In a segment on ABC’s World News, Apple CEO Tim Cook flat out insisted that the there was no “back door” that gave the NSA access to snoop in Apple’s cloud.
But he still thinks the public needs to know more about what the NSA is doing, and if they did, they would feel better about it, Cook told ABC News anchor David Muir.
Here’s how the conversation went:
David Muir: What is your biggest concern — with the surveillance program here in this country?
Tim Cook: “I’ve been pushing very, very hard to open the books and be totally transparent. Much of what has been said isn’t true; there is no back door. The government doesn’t have access to our servers. They would have to cart us out in a box for that. And that just will not happen. We feel that — strongly about it. But I do want to be transparent, because I think transparency would help put everything in perspective.”
David Muir: “Do you think Americans, Tim, would be more at ease if you could tell them more?”
Tim Cook: “I do.”
Cook’s response mirrors Apple’s statement from December after news broke that the NSA has the capability to install spyware on all of the company’s devices. At the time Apple said:
“Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.”
As Business Insider’s Jim Edwards pointed out, Apple came close to referring to the NSA as “malicious hackers,” which indicates how angry tech industry giants are over government spying.
Cook wasn’t quite so in-your-face as that, but he clearly thinks there’s much that still needs to be discussed.
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