Tim Cook has refused to back down over iMessage end-to-end encryption in a stance which could see Apple on a collision course with the UK government, as clamor grows for the security services to be given more snooping powers following the Paris terror attacks.
In an interview with the Irish Independent Cook explained his repeated position that Apple has never allowed access to its servers or “worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services.”
"The UK government has been clear publicly that they are not seeking to weaken encryption," Cook is quoted as saying.
"And so I take them at their word that they would not do that. And at the moment as you know, we encrypt iMessage end-to-end and we have no backdoor. And we have no intention of changing that. Any change made would contradict the UK government's view that they would not weaken encryption.”
That might not entirely be true because of either confusion or deliberate vagueness by some politicians and intelligence bosses when they talk about not wanting to weaken “encryption” as opposed to “end-to-end” encryption.
In fact, the controversial Investigatory Powers Bill currently passing through parliament contains a passage stating that CSPs must assist with interception warrants and “maintain permanent interception capabilities, “including maintaining the ability to remove any encryption applied by the CSP to whom the notice relates.”
However, Cook seemed to suggest that parliamentary scrutiny and common sense would prevail.
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