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Apple defends stronger encryption against cyber attacks, terrorism

Apple has written to the Australian government asserting the need for stronger encryption against cyber criminals.

tech Updated: Oct 13, 2018 13:52 IST
Indo Asian News Service
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FILE PHOTO: The company's logo is seen outside Austria's first Apple store, which opens on February 24, during a media preview in Vienna, Austria, February 22, 2018.(REUTERS)

Countering a common argument that strong encryption may come in the way of well-meaning investigation of criminal activities, Apple has stressed that stronger -- not weaker -- encryption is the best way to protect against threats of cyber attacks and terrorism.

In a letter to the Australian government, the Cupertino, California-headquartered tech giant asserted that encryption was in fact a benefit and public good, The Verge reported on Friday.

Apple was specifically responding to a bill designed to five government easy access to the devices and data of criminals during investigations. The tech giant said it takes technology’s role in protecting national security and citizen’s lives extremely seriously.

“Every day, over a trillion transactions occur safely over the internet as a result of encrypted communications,” Apple said in its letter while responding to the Australian Parliament’s Assistance and Access Bill.

“Criminals and terrorists who want to infiltrate systems and disrupt sensitive networks may start their attacks by accessing just one person’s smartphone. In the face of these threats, this is no time to weaken encryption.”

While Apple was not outright condemning the bill, it, however, attempted to make the case that “the draft legislation remains dangerously ambiguous with respect to encryption and security” The Verge report added.

Apple and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation engaged in a showdown in 2016 over the iPhone used by an assailant in the San Bernardino terror attack.

The FBI had to seek third-party help after Apple refused to assist the investigating agency unlock the phone.

First Published: Oct 13, 2018 13:52 IST