Quoted: Slamming encryption by Google, Apple… and BlackBerry?

“There’s a very comfortable techno-libertarian culture where you think you’re doing the right thing.”

Stewart Baker, former general counsel for the NSA, on Google and Apple’s moves to encrypt user data on mobile phones. He is not a fan. He said “tech companies are picking a big public fight with the NSA because it looks good, as opposed to changing the ability of government to get data.” (Actually, some tech companies have supported legislation that seeks to limit the ability of the government to collect Internet user information. They also have pushed to be able to be more transparent about government requests for user data.)

Baker — who joins other spying types who have voiced displeasure with Google and Apple’s encryption moves — also said BlackBerry’s encrypted messages have contributed to that company’s problems, including limiting its market in places such as China and Russia: “BlackBerry pioneered the same business model that Google and Apple are doing now — that has not ended well for BlackBerry.”

 

Illustration from MCT archives

 

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