Apple World Today News Update: March 28, 2018

 Image via Recode

Image via Recode

Just a few stories for you this afternoon on the Apple World Today News Update podcast:

  • A Department of Justice investigation shows that the FBI misled Congress when it said that it had used all possible means to access the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers and wanted to force Apple to "open a back door"
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed by MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Recode's Kara Swisher with topics ranging from education, creativity and technology to the Facebook controversy and freedom of speech

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

The FBI has been shooting itself in the foot lately, and today it was reported that a Department of Justice investigation concludes that the FBI misled Congress when it said that it had used all possible means to access the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers. The FBI had claimed that it had no means of accessing data stored on the iPhone without Apple’s help, a claim that was later repeated to a Congressional hearing. Former FBI Director James Comes had testified before congress that the FBI was not able to access data on the iPhone in question and that it would require the assistance of Apple to do so. The FBI then quickly succeeded in accessing the phone with no help from Apple, with an FBI Executive Assistant Director testifying that “rapidly changing technology” had made the data hack possible. However, the new report says that the FBI’s Remote Operations Unit (ROU) was aware that a vendor was likely to be able to crack the phone. Basically, the FBI director and assistant director were telling the truth as they knew it as they time, but the ROU hadn’t yet worked with the vendor to finalize the cracking solution. All in all, the bad-mouthing of Apple by the FBI was totally unnecessary.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was on TV today with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher for an interview, primarily to talk about yesterday’s announcements and Apple’s vision for technology amplifying creativity and education. At one point during the interview, the current Facebook controversy was brought up as a topic, and Cook was asked what he would do if he was in Mark Zuckerberg’s position. Cook point-blank responded that “I wouldn’t be in this situation,” which was met to loud applause. Cook then said that “We could make a ton of money if our customer was our product. We’ve elected not to do that. You are not our product, you are our customer, you are a jewel.” That comment was met with another long round of applause. Hayes also asked Cook why Apple is “streaming” NRA TV, the video service provided by the National Rifle Association. Cook corrected Hayes, telling him that “We don’t stream it; we place the app on the App Store.” Cook said that although he doesn’t like their tactics or their position, it is important that the public see both the NRA’s point of view and those of an alternate opinion. “In a democracy, freedom of speech has to have as wide of a definition as possible,” Cook noted. The full interview with Cook will be repeated on MSNBC next Friday at 8 PM ET.

That’s all the news for today - join me tomorrow afternoon for another edition of the AWT News Update.