Just recently, a court ordered Apple to help the FBI unlock the phone of one of the shooters in the San Bernardino shootings. They also asked Apple to create a software (essentially a backdoor) that would allow the FBI access to said phone. Obviously Apple said no and the company’s CEO Tim Cook published a very long and public letter as to why.
While Google and Apple are obvious rivals on the mobile front, it seems that this is something that Google believes very strongly as well, and a recent series of tweets by the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai has shown that Google has thrown their support behind the Cupertino company. Pichai acknowledges that law enforcement officials face a hard time trying to protect the public from crime and terrorism.
He also points out that companies such as Google are more than happy to comply with valid legal requests. “We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders.” However he notes that asking for companies like Apple to open a backdoor sets a very troubling precedent.
According to Pichai, “But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent.” This is similar to what others have said in the past, where providing a backdoor for the good guys also means that bad guys could potentially have backdoor access as well if they find it. Google’s stance is unsurprising given that they too have adopted similar encryption practices as Apple.