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Google’s Sundar Pichai Responds To Tim Cook’s FBI Letter (Who’s Next?)

Apple has taken a bold stance. Google is supporting it, at least cautiously.

Google’s Sundar Pichai Responds To Tim Cook’s FBI Letter (Who’s Next?)
[Photo: Flickr user Maurizio Pesce]

This morning, Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to a U.S. Federal judge’s demand that the company help the FBI break into an iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. His open letter argued that doing so would set a terrible precedent that would leave iPhones permanently more susceptible to unauthorized access, including intrusions by hackers.

The moment it appeared, people started wondering if the CEOs of other large companies would have Cook’s back–and, if they failed to say anything, what that meant:

This afternoon, Google did chime in, in the form of a tweetstorm by its CEO, Sundar Pichai:

You could argue that Pichai’s support feels tentative–it certainly lacks the blunt clarity of Cook’s missive, which takes a waffle-free stance in a way that’s rare for any corporate communication on such a controversial topic–but it’s way better than silence. And once one CEO of a large company that people depend on to protect their data speaks on the record, it’s tough for others to pretend that the conversation isn’t happening. Does Microsoft’s Satya Nadella have anything he’d like to say? Jeff Bezos, are you out there?

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.



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