Apple CEO Tim Cook Says PCs Are Dead, Draconian UK Surveillance Bill Would ‘Hurt Good People'

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On the eve of opening up sales for its highly anticipated 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a wide-ranging interview in which he talks about topics ranging the United Kingdom’s efforts to snuff out smartphone encryption and user privacy in the name of national security to future medical devices.

The UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill [PDF], a newly proposed cybersecurity measure, would allow law enforcement officials and even spies to access internet connection records (ICRs) stored on your smartphone or on your computer. And how exactly would these parties have access to your data? Well, OEMs, ISPs, and even social networks would be required to decrypt users’ data communications at will.

In the Unites States, companies like Apple and Google contend that they don’t have the capability of even offering law enforcement officials the so-called “keys” to decrypt user data in their latest operating systems. That simply won’t fly in the UK if the Investigatory Powers Bill is passed.

“The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure that, with clear oversight and a robust legal framework, the police and intelligence agencies can access the content of communications of terrorists and criminals in order to resolve police investigations and prevent criminal acts,” said a Home Office spokesman.

“That means ensuring that companies themselves can access the content of communications on their networks when presented with a warrant, as many of them already do for their own business purposes, for example to target advertising.”

Tim Cook

Not one to be bullied by such tactics, Cook fired back. "To protect people who use any products, you have to encrypt. You can just look around and see all the data breaches that are going on,” said Cook. “These things are becoming more frequent. They can not only result in privacy breaches but also security issues. We believe very strongly in end to end encryption and no back doors.

“Any backdoor is a backdoor for everyone.”

But Cook didn’t stop there, he also went on to rail against the PC industry, stating, “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” Dems’ fighting words there, Tim. While Macs have no doubt carved out a nice piece of the computing pie — especially with laptops — you can’t simply disparage PCs as antiquated lumps of technology that no one would be caught dead purchasing.

Cook goes on to talk about how the iPad Pro will likely cannibalize desktop and notebook sales, adding that users “will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.” Coupled with the $169 Smart Keyboard and $99 Apple Pencil, a case could be made for the iPad Pro becoming more of a productivity tool than the iPad mini 4 or iPad Air 2, but it remains to be seen if heavy content creators will be willing to abandon their OS X-powered desktops and notebooks completely.

As for the future, Cook hints that Apple could find its way into the medical devices field, but it won’t go that route with its Apple Watch wearable. “I wouldn’t mind putting something adjacent to the watch through [the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process], but not the watch, because it would hold us back from innovating too much, the cycles are too long. But you can begin to envision other things that might be adjacent to it -- maybe an app, maybe something else.”

Cook goes on to talk about some other topics of interest including the newly released Apple TV, iPhone 6S sales, and how devices like the iPhone 6S Plus are cannibalizing sales of the iPad mini. You can read more at the source link below.