Craig Federighi writes an op-ed on Apple’s fight against the FBI; says lowering iOS security measures will put everyone at risk

ive craig federighi

Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, has written an editorial for The Washington Post regarding the ongoing Apple vs. the FBI encryption fight.

Craig reiterates in the editorial what other Apple executives have been saying: the FBI and other government agencies are asking Apple to reduce its security measure on the iPhone by creating a special version of iOS that allows one to bypass the built-in passcode protection mechanism. This will allow a hacker to force their way into an iPhone.

Craig says that the encryption technology used by Apple in the iPhone “represents the best data security available” to consumers right now. He further adds that these security measures not only help in preventing unauthorised access to one’s personal data, they also help prevent hackers and people with malicious intent to implant a spyware or malware into one’s device.

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. They have suggested that the safeguards of iOS 7 were good enough and that we should simply go back to the security standards of 2013. But the security of iOS 7, while cutting-edge at the time, has since been breached by hackers. What’s worse, some of their methods have been productized and are now available for sale to attackers who are less skilled but often more malicious.

Craig believes that while great software has a lot of potential to solve human problems, “malicious code moves just as quickly, and when software is created for the wrong reason, it has a huge and growing capacity to harm millions of people.”

The vice president of software engineering at Apple ends his editorial by saying that security is an endless race, which one can never really win. One needs to continuously improve their security to provide a strong base for the software innovations of tomorrow.

“To slow our pace, or reverse our progress, puts everyone at risk.”

Apple’s fight against the FBI is only going to get more intense in the coming weeks and months. The company is under a lot of pressure from various government agencies to lower the security measures on the iPhone and help it unlock the iPhone of various criminals, but it has stuck to his initial decision that creating a backdoor in iOS is potentially very risky and that if it agrees to the court order this time around, it would end up setting a legal precedent.

Do you think Apple is doing the right thing here?

[Via The Washington Post]