Trump: “They have the keys to so many criminals and criminal minds, and we can do things.”
In a statement, Apple said it provided gigabytes of information to law enforcement related to the Pensacola case but that it would not build a “backdoor” or specialized software to give law enforcement elevated access.
Trump told CNBC on Wednesday: “They could have given us that information. It would have been very helpful.”
The president said he’s not concerned about his relationship with Cook or Apple because the stakes are so high.
“You’re dealing with drug lords and you’re dealing with terrorists, and if you’re dealing with murderers, I don’t care,” Trump said.
Of course, Apple doesn’t have the information or they would give it. They don’t have the keys, either. Though they could indeed rewrite the software to be insecure and unprivate and get most people to update by also adding some new emojis at the same time.
And Trump’s position is very appealing to common sense and appeals to the common good.
But although guns make outlaws and murderers more dangerous and harder to apprehend, we judge the cost to society of taking away guns to be worse. The same is true of encryption today, except it is not protected and the president is effectively trying to get rid of it.