After boldly and publicly rejecting a federal court order to hack an iPhone on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook could reasonably have wondered: Who’s with me?
The Twitterverse was full of fans. Civil liberties activists were cheering him on. But in Silicon Valley, the initial response was less immediate and effusive.
Google, the other tech behemoth that has promised to make encryption, security, and privacy a priority — but has stalled in implementing unbreakable encryption on its services by default — was notably silent for most of the day. But then Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressed his support in a series of tweets: “Important post by @tim_cook,” he wrote. He went on:
Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy. We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism. We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent. Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue.