Even though Apple’s fight over the San Bernardino iPhone is essentially over, the overall debate regarding encryption versus national security remains. In an effort to continue to beef up security options on consumer devices, Reuters today reports that Apple has rehired well-respected security expert Jon Callas. News of this hire comes as we’re hearing from sources that Apple is in the midst of entirely overhauling its security team.
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Today’s report details that Apple has rehired Callas this month. The security expert originally worked at Apple in the 1990s and was hired again between 2009 and 2011. At Apple, Callas was responsible for designing an encryption system to protect data stored on a Mac.
Aside from working at Apple, Callas co-founded PGP Corp (now Symantec), Silent Circle, and Blackphone. For those unfamiliar, Silent Circle is a company that works to protect phone calls from eavesdroppers, while Blackphone develops Android-powered phones that put security and protection of user data first.
While Apple did confirm that Callas has been rehired by the company, it declined to give specific details regarding his role. Callas’ rehire and the fact that Apple is working to entirely overhaul its security team comes following more intense pressure from the FBI and the government over user encryption becoming too advanced.
Apple refused to build a tool to unlock an iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen earlier this year. The FBI ultimately was able to unlock the device via a third-party, but Apple has remained committed to protecting user data. The company is said to be working on beefing up security surrounding iCloud, while it also recently hired the developer behind Edward Snowden’s recommended secure chatting app.
As a further sign the encryption debate is far from over, the FBI and Apple once again faced off in Congress last month to discuss encryption. You can watch that video here. That hearing came after the initial testimony over the San Bernardino iPhone.