FBI January 15

AAPL: 97.13

-2.39
Stock Chart

Apple’s strong position on privacy and encryption has been at odds with the United States government’s pressure to step up its national security efforts in the wake of recent terrorist attacks across the globe. In short, iPhones are encrypted to protect customer data from prying eyes, and law enforcement agencies believe that gives criminals a safe haven for communication that can’t be traced.

The Obama administration including the former and current attorney general and FBI director have strongly voiced opposition to Apple’s position, and Tim Cook reportedly pressed the White House to back strong encryption as recently as this week. So it’s no surprise that Tim Cook and Apple came up at the end of last night’s Republican presidential debate hosted by the Fox Business channel where at least one candidate was asked to address his position on the subject.

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FBI September 8, 2015

AAPL: 112.31

3.04
Stock Chart

FBI May 19, 2015

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FBI March 2, 2015

Tim Cook appears to be using his international tour, which so far includes Israel, Germany and the UK, to push a second product every bit as hard as the Apple Watch: privacy. In an interview with the German newspaper BILD posted yesterday (paywall), Cook went as far as to praise Edward Snowden for his role in prompting discussion of the issue.

If Snowden did anything for us at all, then it was to get us to talk more about these things. [Apple’s] values have always been the same.

The comments follow a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at which data privacy was reportedly a key topic. Cook also told the Telegraph last week that “none of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information.” Cook has in the past resisted FBI pressure to compromise its strong encryption, and was the only tech CEO to attend a recent White House cybersecurity summit.

In the BILD interview, Cook reiterated Apple’s stance on privacy, and also said that as Apple had grown larger, it had taken deliberate decisions to be less secretive about some aspects of its business …  expand full story

FBI January 7, 2015

Bloomberg reports that a Manhattan District Attorney is challenging recent moves by Apple, Google and other tech companies by suggesting government pass laws that prevent mobile devices from being “sealed off from law enforcement.” In an interview this week, the government official called it “an issue of public safety.” expand full story

FBI December 2, 2014

Earlier this year the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it would be suspending its “iPad for All” program after it ran into an array of problems. Things started off optimistically in July 2013 when the district announced that it would give 640,000 students iPads for school.

A few crafty students figured out a way to bypass the built-in restrictions on the devices, then the district realized that it may have miscalculated the cost of the entire program. Eventually officials started to question if iPads really were the right tablets to hand out after all.

Now the LAUSD has decided to scrap the entire plan for good just as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started taking a closer look at the deal.

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