Apple exec: FBI trying to ‘turn back the clock’ on security


An Apple executive said in a Sunday night op-ed that granting the FBI’s request to create an encryption backdoor would set Apple back in its fight to keep data safe.

“Identifying and fixing those problems are critical parts of our mission to keep customers safe,” wrote Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, in The Washignton Post. “Doing anything to hamper that mission would be a serious mistake.”

“That’s why it’s so disappointing that the FBI, Justice Department and others in law enforcement are pressing us to turn back the clock to a less-secure time and less-secure technologies.”

He also said that the industry "cannot afford to fall behind those who would exploit technology in order to cause chaos."

The op-ed is part of Apple’s very public battle with the FBI over whether it should be required to write new code that would help the FBI access encrypted data on a phone used by one of the San Bernardino attackers.

Federighi’s contribution is notable in large part because he’s not a regular commentator on policy issues.

But Apple has aggressively positioned its executives to defend the company to its customers and the public. CEO Tim Cook, for example, gave an interview to ABC News last month where he said Apple was “making the right choice.”

The case is still moving through federal courts, with last week bringing the deadlines for other companies to file briefs in support of Apple.