Apple CEO backs use of encryption

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cotton slams Apple on encryption.

Tom Cotton on Monday slammed Apple CEO Tim Cook over his defense of encryption on “60 Minutes” and warned that major tech companies risk becoming havens for “child pornographers, drug traffickers and terrorists alike.” In the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., top law enforcement officials including FBI Director James Comey have complained about the lack of “backdoors” that would help the government decipher private communications. Following his comments on a shortage of skills in the U.S. and the “focus” of other countries’ educational systems on vocational training, Cook said, “you can take every tool and die maker in the U.S. and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in.

One House lawmaker wants to commission an entire, select panel to study encryption; others have asked the National Academy of Sciences to open an inquiry. And a growing number of lawmakers are looking at ways to require the tech industry to play a greater role in policing social media for potential terrorist threats. At the Democratic debate Saturday, front-runner Hillary Clinton went as far as to call for a “Manhattan-like Project” to study ways to balance law enforcement needs with privacy, though she argued that “maybe the back door is the wrong door.” Republican candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, meanwhile, have affirmed their support for greater surveillance tools. And yes, it would be wonderful to have a stronger focus on vocational skill training in our public schools, and even to think outside the box a bit more, with sponsored apprenticeship programs. The fact is that lower labor costs abroad, combined with low shipping costs, make it irresistible for companies like Apple, or any other mass producer of finished consumer goods, to have as much production as possible taking place outside the U.S.

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