Tech Execs

Apple chief on spying: ‘There is no back door’

Apple chief executive Tim Cook is repeating his denials that his company has any type of back door that allows federal spy agents to spy on users.

“Much of what has been said isn’t true; there is no back door,” he said in an interview on ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” scheduled to air on Friday evening. “The government doesn’t have access to our servers.”

In order for federal officials to access the computer giant’s data, they would “have to cart us out in a box,” he added.

“And that just will not happen.”

{mosads}Last year, documents released by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden showed that the agency’s PRISM system allows it to access private communications of users on nine major Internet services.

Other documents indicated that the government can intercept nearly all forms of communication sent from an iPhone.

The program, known as DROPOUT JEEP, allows the NSA to tap into people’s contact lists, text messages and voicemails, according to slides. The agency also has the ability to turn on phones’ cameras or microphones.

Technology and communications companies are limited in the amount of information they can disclose about requests for data and their cooperation with intelligence operations.

Silicon Valley companies have said that new revelations about government surveillance have made customers distrustful and worry about their privacy. Executives have pressed for the government to allow them to say more about their interactions with federal agents.

Cook added that he has been “pushing very, very hard to open the books and be totally transparent.”

Americans would be more at ease about the programs, he said, if only they could hear what Apple has to say.

Cook’s interview comes on the 30th anniversary of Apple’s Mac computer.

In the interview on ABC, he revealed the first Mac made in America.

“It’s a big deal but we think we can do more,” he said. 

Tags Apple Inc. National Security Agency Tim Cook

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