Tags: Michael Hayden | iPhone | Tim Cook | Encryption | Security

Michael Hayden: 'We Are More Secure' If iPhone Encryption Can't Be Broken

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden. (Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 08:19 AM

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Tuesday that he agrees with Apple CEO Tim Cook that being forced to install "backdoor" technology to break iPhone encryption software sets a dangerous precedent, but he does think Cook needs to prove that helping federal agents unlock a San Bernardino terrorist's phone will lead to that.

"They're being asked to suppress one aspect of the operating system so the government can take a shot at decryption," the retired four-star general told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program during an an interview about his memoir, "Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror."

"The burden of proof is on Tim to prove to me, the public — if he wants to stop it — he has to prove that this — which I think is very narrow and limited — leads to that," Hayden, who served as CIA director under former President George W. Bush, continued.

At the same time, Hayden said he believes that the government forcing a company to embed a backdoor into their products is also dangerous.

"[We] are more secure if it's much more difficult for anyone to break the encryption on our iPhones," Hayden told the program. "Tim Cook cannot have the position that, 'I will refuse to give law enforcement any information under any circumstances.' That's a loser.

"An equally losing position is our government demanding that American industry embed in their products a back door."

Hayden said he holds that position not only as a former CIA director, but also after serving as the director of the National Security Agency, where he started and still defends the surveillance program to collect telephone metadata from millions of Americans.

"I ran the NSA too besides the CIA," said Hayden. "When somebody put a backdoor into anything for any purpose, no matter how noble, my simple response was 'thank you Jesus.' Because we're going to exploit that back door. There are a lot of talented security services around. Don't think of this as just security and privacy. This is security and security."

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Former CIA director Michael Hayden said Tuesday that he agrees with Apple CEO Tim Cook that being forced to install "backdoor" technology to break iPhone encryption software sets a dangerous precedent...
Michael Hayden, iPhone, Tim Cook, Encryption, Security
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2016-19-23
Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 08:19 AM
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