“With all due respect,” Mr. Cook told those around the table, including Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism chief and the heads of the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, “I think there has been a lack of leadership in the White House on this.”
Apple vs. the U.S. Government and the Second Amendment
On April 1, 1976, almost exactly 40 years ago now, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in the garage of Jobs’ parents.
The garage has become a historic site and the center of tech mythology. Wozniak put some cold water on the mythology in his comments in this post.
Who would have thought at the time that 40 years hence, this little company would be the most valuable company on the planet, the icon of corporate America, and the company that would take on the U.S. government in a legal fight about encryption, and the U.S. public in understanding the subtleties of high tech and how it affects the war between good and evil?
Now some Americans vilify Apple for sympathizing with terrorists. Even Trump is trumpeting drivel about this. Apple has taken the fight to the public. My stand is fairly radical in favor of Apple.
Personal communications devices must be secure. To be secure they must be encrypted, and there can’t be any backdoors. Any software system that has any backdoors will automatically be open to anyone. Backdoors never work. All large government contracts our company holds explicitly disallow backdoors of any kind. Yes – “The Government,” our customers, require that there be no backdoor. However, here “The Government” is asking Apple to build a backdoor to 700 million iPhones it has sold over the years. It makes no sense.
Sorry, one investigation into a case of terrorism does not warrant exposing 700 million users to intrusion by “bad guys.” Let’s make no mistake about this: The bad guys will get ahold of the backdoor quicker than you can blink.
Let’s put this into the perspective of the infamous debate about the Second Amendment. Encryption of my devices is my only defense against bad guys with backdoors. I have a right to that encryption, just as I have a right to own a gun to protect myself against bad guys with guns.
Think of secure encryption as your only defense against bad guys with software that want to steal your stuff. And then you might see the very important point that Apple is making.
Apple knows what it is doing, and apparently “The Government” does not. Would I trust “The Government” with the key to my valuables?
Chilling Letter by Apple’s CEO about U.S. Government Overreach
I have no words to add. Tim Cook’s letter is succinct and very much to the point. The U.S. Government is spinning out of control. If there were a backdoor to the iPhone, I would no longer be able to use my iPhone.
Here is the letter by Tim Cook.
Apple Junk: Apple Apps I Never Use
“Raise your hand if you have a folder on your iPhone full of native Apple apps you never use … yup, that’s a lot of you. Now raise your hand if you use iCloud Mail, iCloud Drive or the default iOS Notes or Reminders apps instead of third-party options like Gmail, Dropbox, Wunderlist, Evernote and so on. Not nearly as many of you are raising your hand this time.”
— Nathan Ingraham
Yep, I am one of those. You can see the “Apple Junk” folder on the third or fourth page of my iPhone. That’s where I put all the native Apple apps that I can’t delete off my phone. Either I don’t need them, or I don’t like them, or they are too complicated, or they are too clunky to use, or I have another app that I’d rather use.
One of the most frustrating major apps is the Apple Maps app. I can’t stand how it works. Somehow I can’t use it. Google Maps works fine, is reliable, and is intuitive instead. It galls me that Apple does not allow me to make Google Maps the default navigation tool. So when I navigate from another app, it launches Apple, and then I have to memorize the address and retype it into Google.
Some things about Apple are great, and other things really suck.
Don’t even get me started with iTunes!
Outrageous Apple Pricing
Apple is the most profitable company in the history of the world. Last quarter, Apple made $18 billion profit. The most ever done before was Exxon with $16 billion for a quarter. Ever.
Apple’s market cap right now is around $750 billion, that’s about twice that of Exxon/Mobil, the company that was the largest and most valuable company in the world for decades.
I predict Apple will be the first “trillion dollar company” in the not too distant future.
Here is why:
I needed an adaptor to show my new iPad Mini on a projector for a demonstration. So plug it into an HDMI cable, I needed the “Lightning Digital AV Adaptor shown above.
I paid an outrageous $49 plus tax for this tiny piece of plastic and cable.
It made me sick, but I needed it.
And that’s how you build a profitable company.
Apple and Corporate Responsibility
Apple has been, for a while now, the most valuable company on the planet, with a market cap of $469 billion as of today. The next largest is Exxon/Mobil with $417 billion, followed by Google with $408 billion.
The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) is a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. and an Apple shareholder. At the company’s annual shareholder meeting, NCPPR’s general counsel Justin Danhof wrote in a statement before the meeting:
“We object to increased government control over company products and operations, and likewise mandatory environmental standards. This is something [Apple] should be actively fighting, not preparing surrender.”
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO responded that environmental efforts also make economic sense. “We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive. We want to leave the world better than we found it.”
Anyone had a problem with that? They should sell their Apple shares.
“Get out of the stock,” Cook suggested.
Danhof’s proposal was voted down by shareholders.
Here is a company that takes no shit from pseudoscience promoters. Apple has a long way to go to clean up its act, but with this statement, my respect for Cook has just jumped up a few notches.