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01
Jun
2016

Encryption Fight Intensifies as Apple Rehires Security Pro

by Bill

Ever since a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California created a problem for the federal government, encryption has been on everyone’s mind, specifically in relation to Apple devices and other mobile technologies. The attacker had an iPhone 5 that was locked with a passcode, and the federal government wanted in. They couldn’t crack the code and wanted to force Apple to create a “backdoor” into the iPhone that would allow them to try an unlimited number of four digit combinations to try to get into the phone where they would hopefully find some helpful information.

Apple refused, very publicly, to create such a technology, insinuating that such an idea would be harmful to all iPhone users. So, the government had to turn to an outside firm to create the technology to crack the phone. Inside, it’s alleged that they didn’t find much.

Perhaps in reaction to this initial fight, Apple has rehired a security pro who specializes in cryptography to make their consumer devices even more secure and better encrypted. The expert is John Callas, who worked for Apple in the 90’s, and from 2009-2011. When not working at Apple, he has founded many secure communications companies, including Silent Circle, which created the Black Phone – a very secure and fully encrypted smartphone.

Previously Mr. Callas has designed ways to keep information stored on Apple Computers safe, but so far Apple is mum about his new role at the company. Mike Janke, who cofounded Silent Circle with Callas has some insight as to why he would go back to Apple: “It has always been Jon’s dream to bring the most secure products possible to a bigger population,” he told Reuters.

This could be the start of an intensified battle between consumer product companies and global governments about private, secure and protected communications as the world struggles to balance individual liberties and public safety concerns globally.
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