Security Expert John Callas is Leaving Apple for the ACLU

Apple has a variety security experts on hand, but according to a new report the company is losing one of the most prominent.

Reuters is reporting on Tuesday that John Callas, a security expert that has been with Apple for quite some time, is leaving the company to join the American Civil Liberties Union. The report also indicates that Callas will be taking a significant pay cut to make the transition to the union. He’s signing a two-year deal with the ACLU to be a technology fellow for the group. He apparently began his position on Monday of this week.

In his time at Apple, Callas was working with a dedicated team of hackers to try and break into pre-release Apple-branded products. This is not his first time leaving Apple, actually. In his first stint with the company, Callas created an encryption system to protect data on Macs. Before he joined Apple the first time, the security expert helped co-found companies like Blackphone, PGP Corp., and Silent Circle.

“Jon has unparalleled knowledge about the hazards of surveillance back doors and is also an extremely effective communicator to the public, which is equally important,” said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project”

Callas will continue the focus on security in general, and hopes that technology companies do the same. He does not believe these entities need to install backdoors in their software, and should definitely not do so to appease law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, for the ACLU, Wizner believes Callas will “help the group resist governments demanding access to company platforms for surveillance of users and to weigh in on issues including fairness and transparency in artificial intelligence”.

[via Reuters]