Apple CEO warns against device backdoors

Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, who’s been an avid supporter of encryption and a firm opponent to governments looking for a backdoor into a device, has warned against any new spying laws.

The UK is currently debating what’s knowns as the Snooper’s Charter, a draft bill which would, if implemented, force communications firms to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and help them hack into a suspect’s smartphone or computer.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Mr Cook said: "To protect people who use any products, you have to encrypt. You can just look around and see all the data breaches that are going on. These things are becoming more frequent. They can not only result in privacy breaches but also security issues. We believe very strongly in end-to-end encryption and no back doors."

Apple and Google have improved the encryption in their mobile operating systems, knowing it will boost consumer confidence in the brand. It didn’t sit well with the US government.

"We don't think people want us to read their messages. We don't feel we have the right to read their emails. Any back door is a back door for everyone. Everybody wants to crack down on terrorists. Everybody wants to be secure. The question is how. Opening a back door can have very dire consequences."

He added: " It's not the case that encryption is a rare thing that only two or three rich companies own and you can regulate them in some way. Encryption is widely available. It may make someone feel good for a moment but it's not really of benefit. If you halt or weaken encryption, the people that you hurt are not the folks that want to do bad things. It's the good people. The other people know where to go."

"You can't weaken cryptography. You need to strengthen it. You need to stay ahead of the folks that want to break it."