As Apple’s battle with the FBI drags on, the company’s senior vice president of software and services Eddy Cue has sat down with Univision to discuss the case. In the interview, Cue echoes much of what his colleagues have said before regarding the case, including that it should be decided in Congress and several other points.
The interview, done in Spanish, is relatively extensive and covers a lot of ground on Apple’s reasoning for denying to unlock the iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen. Cue explains that Apple has always helped the FBI and police when it can, but that this request is asking the company to give away something that it simply can not give. He likens the FBI’s request to the idea of you giving someone a key to the back door of your home (translated):
First, we help the police and the FBI in this case and many more cases. We give all the data we have. In this case, the problem is that they want to give the one thing that we do not, that we can not give.
What they want is you to give a key to the back door of your house and you do not have the key. Since you don’t have the key, they want to change the lock. When we change the latchkey, it changes for everyone. And we have a key that opens all phones. And that key, once it exists, exists not only for us. Terrorists, criminals, pirates, all too will find that key to open all phones
When asked about what he would say to the victims of the attack in San Bernardino, Cue expressed that he was nothing but condolences for the families and that is why this case is so important to Apple. The Apple executive explained that not giving the government the key to the phone is the best way to protect everyone’s safety. Cue also noted that the government is notorious for losing critical information of citizens:
How you can talk to a family member who has lost someone in a terrorist case?… My heart aches, just thinking if [that happened to] me or someone in my family. I am very, very sorry, it should not happen to anyone in the world. And that is why it is so important in this case that we do the best we can do for the safety of everyone. If we do not protect the phone, we will make a much, much worse.
In recent years, the government has lost more than five million fingerprints, employees of government itself. They have lost hundreds of millions of credit numbers, financial systems.This problem is happening more and more and more. And the only way we can protect ourselves is to make the phone more safe.
When asked if Apple was working to make its phones even harder to crack now, Cue explained that it’s something Apple’s engineers are always working on, while noting that in no way should the general public view this case as Apple engineers versus the FBI or the government. Cue iterated that Apple’s goal is to protect everyone from threats from criminals and other dangerous people:
It’s Apple engineers against terrorists, against criminals. They are the people we are trying to protect people from. We are not protecting the government. We want to help. They have a very difficult job, they are there to protect us . So we want to help as much as possible, but we can not help them in a way that will help more criminals, terrorists, pirates.
We are always thinking about how we can do it safer. It is very important to always move forward from where there are terrorists, where criminals are.
The full interview can be read on Univision’s website.