Why Tim Cook is standing up for encryption

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

15 January 2016

This week, Tim Cook called on President Obama to stop being “wishy-washy” on encryption, defending the use of unbreakable encryption to protect the information of individuals.

But why did the Apple CEO feel the need to vent his feelings?

White House officials and law enforcement groups have recently been vocal about their desire for encryption backdoors—intentionally coded openings that would allow law enforcement officials to completely bypass encryption and reach an individual’s data with ease.

Officials argue that such methods are necessary to preserve national security, and to allow the police and FBI to more efficiently do their jobs. However, the tech community believes that such backdoors undermine the point of encryption, and would expose users to hackers and snoops. They ague that any vulnerability that would let in governments and police would also let in criminals and thieves.

Cook, like many tech leaders across the country, believes that the government should take a stand against encryption backdoors for the sake of the privacy and security of their citizens. FBI Director James Comey has even gone so far as to say that security and tech companies should change their business models, and stop offering end-to-end encryption altogether.

Of course, coding a vulnerability into an encryption service goes against the very idea of online security. You only have to look at the minor panics instigated by the discovery of security vulnerabilities like POODLE, Heartbleed and Shellshock to understand the huge impact that a lack of real security would have on society. Individuals, companies, organizations and even governments rely on end-to-end encryption. The web is a dangerous place, and real security is necessary.

Many in the tech community have welcomed Cook’s strong stance on this issue. Of course, as a privacy company, we steadfastly believe that our users have a right to security free from vulnerabilities. In fact, at SurfEasy we believe that you should be able to keep your data private even from us, which is why you can pay for your SurfEasy VPN with Bitcoin via BitPay. We don’t log any of your browsing data or download history, and we don’t keep any information on you—because our business model doesn’t involve selling that data on to third parties.

Our bank-grade encryption creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet, protecting your data from being collected by others and you from being tracked online. We believe that this is your right, and we’re proud to help you exercise this right.

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