Apple remains committed to end-to-end encryption, its CEO, Tim Cook, has said in a recent interview with the Irish Independent.
The idea of introducing backdoor access, which would undermine the fundamental nature of encryption, is something that remains firmly off the tech giant’s agenda, he revealed.
Mr. Cook, who took over from the late Steve Jobs in August 2011, was unequivocal in Apple’s position on the matter, explaining that the company has never – and will never – allow access to its servers.
He remains optimistic that attempts to legislate and cripple encryption will fail because it is not a viable option, nor in the public interest and, interestingly, runs contrary to what certain governments want.
"We encrypt iMessage end-to-end and we have no backdoor and we have no intention of changing that."
"The UK government [for example] has been clear publicly that they are not seeking to weaken encryption," Mr. Cook told the online news provider.
"And so I take them at their word that they would not do that. And at the moment as you know, we encrypt iMessage end-to-end and we have no backdoor.
“And we have no intention of changing that. Any change made would contradict the UK government's view that they would not weaken encryption.”
In all likelihood, the debate over encryption looks set to continue for a long time, as any decision that is made in favor of it supporters or its detractors will, for now, be unsatisfactory to the losing side.
Consider a recent study from Artmotion, which canvassed the opinions of 1,000 UK and US IT decision-makers, as testament to the challenge that policymakers have with weakening encryption.
The report, titled Defending Data Privacy, found that the overwhelming majority of respondents (87 percent) do not support the UK government’s plan to make encryption ‘accessible’.
“Our research highlights a growing unease amongst the IT community that the UK government is placing unspecified threats to national security ahead of the genuine risk of cyberattacks,” Mateo Meier, CEO of Artmotion, commented at the end of October.
“While it’s good to see that the government has dropped its ill-conceived plans to ban encryption entirely, this updated Snoopers’ Charter [Investigatory Powers Bill] does little to reassure the tech community.”