Apple is a distinctive company that has improved the lives of millions of Americans. But Tim Cook omitted critical facts about data encryption on 60 Minutes last night. He claimed that Apple does not comply with lawful subpoenas because it cannot. While it may be true that Apple doesn't have access to encrypted data, that's only because it designed its messaging service that way. As a society, we don't allow phone companies to design their systems to avoid lawful, court-ordered searches. If we apply a different legal standard to companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook, we can expect them to become the preferred messaging services of child pornographers, drug traffickers, and terrorists alike--which neither these companies nor law enforcement want. Our society needs to address this urgent challenge now before more lives are lost or shattered.
That was the recent statement by Tom Cotton (R-AR) in response to Tim Cook’s segment on 60 Minutes. As usual, Tom Cotton doesn’t really know what the hell he’s talking about, so let’s take a deeper look.