Tim Cook is facing questions from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. CNBC reports that the committee has sent letters to Apple, Intel, and other tech companies concerning the Meltdown and Spectre chip security flaws that emerged earlier this month…
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The congressional committee is asking the companies to offer new details about their agreement to keep details of the security flaw under wraps. Recipients of the letter include the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, AMD, Arm, Intel, and Microsoft.
For instance, in the letter sent to Cook, representatives write that the Meltdown and Spectre issues highlight the need for “additional scrutiny regarding multi-party coordinated vulnerability disclosures.” For its part, Apple rolled out fixes for the bugs as early as December, before it was made common knowledge.
A portion of the letter reads:
“While we acknowledge that critical vulnerabilities such as these create challenging tradeoffs between disclosure and secrecy, as premature disclosure may give malicious actors time to exploit the vulnerabilities before mitigations are developed and deployed, we believe that this situation has shown the need for additional scrutiny regarding multi-party coordinated vulnerability disclosures,” representatives Greg Walden, Marsha Blackburn, Robert Latta and Gregg Harper wrote in their letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The committee is asking the executives to arrange a briefing for House committee staffers by February 7th. While Apple has yet to acknowledge the questioning, Intel said in a statement that it appreciates the questions and is open to continuing the dialogue:
“We appreciate the questions from the Energy and Commerce Committee and welcome the opportunity to continue our dialogue with Congress on these important issues,” an Intel spokeswoman told CNBC in an email. “In addition to our recent meetings with legislative staff members, we have been discussing with the Committee an in-person briefing, and we look forward to that meeting.”
This is the second time that U.S. congressional members have questioned Cook in recent weeks. Representatives from the Commerce committee sent a letter to the Apple CEO earlier this year asking for more information regarding Apple’s disclosure that it slows down older iPhones with aging batteries.
We’ll update if Apple publicly responds to the congressional committee’s questioning.