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Tim Cook stands firm on encryption

With many U.S. lawmakers calling for an end to encryption, Tim Cook has decided to reiterate Apple's stance on the matter. Apple's CEO believes that when it comes to encryption there is no trade-off between privacy and national security.

During CBS' program '60 Minutes on Sunday,' Cook defended the need for encryption and how it important it is to Apple and its consumers to the show's host Charlie Rose. According to him there is no reason why Americans should not be able to have privacy while simultaneously protecting America's national security.

Cook made the point that consumers should be able to protect their personal data on their smartphones. This data includes health information, financial information, private conversations, and private business information.

Whether or not encryption should be allowed has become a rising issue after the recent terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. Lawmakers have come to believe that tech companies should play a greater role in the prevention of terrorist attacks by working more closely with law enforcement agencies and allowing them to access the encrypted communications of their users. Even President Obama has urged tech companies and law enforcement “to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice.”

Cook has stood firmly in favour for encryption despite these recent requests. He is willing to work together with law enforcement when a warrant has been issued but in the case of allowing access to encrypted communication he has been unwavering. Apple also refused to give the passcode of an iPhone 5S to aid investigators in a lawsuit in October 2015 since this would have been a violation of that users' privacy.s

Lawmakers and others opposed to encryption are encouraging tech companies to build backdoors into their systems which would allow law enforcement agencies a way to access encrypted communications.

Cook believes that such a move would jeopardise the security of Apple's devices since putting a back door in would allow both law enforcement and criminals a means of accessing consumers' personal information.

Photo credit: Spectral-Design / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.