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Google’s Sundar Pichai supports Apple against cracking shooter’s phone

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Washington: Indian American Chief Executive of Google, Sundar Pichai supported the rival Apple in its battle aginst a court order which will help the FBI access information on the encrypted iPhone used by a Pakistani-American shooter couple in San Bernardino.

Pichai on Wednesday directed followers to Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s open letter Tuesday night arguing that helping the FBI try to get into the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook would sabotage the security of “tens of millions of American citizens.”

Farook and his Pakistani origin wife, Tashfeen Malik, gunned down 14 people at a social services agency Dec 2 in San Bernardino, California, before being killed in a shootout with police.

FBI Director James Comey said last week that investigators still haven’t been able to get at the information on Farook’s iPhone 5c.

A Riverside, California court Tuesday directed Apple to help FBI crack the phone by developing software to hack into one of its own devices.

In a series of tweets Wednesday evening, Pichai argued that even that would essentially put tech companies in the position of hacking their own customers:

1/5 Important post by @tim_cook. Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy.

2/5 We know that law enforcement and intelligence agencies face significant challenges in protecting the public against crime and terrorism

3/5 We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders 4/5

But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent

5/5 Looking forward to a thoughtful and open discussion on this important issue

The government, Cook contends, is asking Apple to create a “backdoor” to its own security systems.

“Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them,” Cook wrote in a letter published on the company’s website.

“But now the US government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.”

Reacting to Cook’s stand, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he was floored that Apple had not volunteered to aid the FBI. “Who do they think they are?” he asked on Fox News.

Speaking to reporters in South Carolina, Senator Marco Rubio said he hoped the tech giant would voluntarily comply with the government’s request, but acknowledged the court order is far from a simple issue.(IANS)

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

Next Story

Google Introduces its Gaming Subscription Service with 22 Games on Board

Stadia is right now available in 14 countries -- Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US -- with a monthly subscription of Stadia Pro costing $9.99 (Rs 690 approx) in the US

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Taking on Apple Arcade, Google on Tuesday finally launched its gaming subscription service Google Stadia with 22 games on board.

“Stadia will continue to add features and updates in the coming weeks and months, as well as more games. Twenty-six titles are coming this year, with many, many more in development all around the world,” Phil Harrison, Vice President and GM, Google Stadia, said in a statement.

Harrison had earlier confirmed that the company’s game streaming platform Stadia’s launch day line-up has been expanded with 10 more games, bringing the total to 22.

Assassins Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2: The Collection, GYLT, Just Dance 2020, Kine, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Thumper, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and SAMURAI SHODOWN are the 12 games that were confirmed to be available on Google Stadia when it arrived.

Additionally, users will also be able to play Attack on Titan: Final Battle 2, Farming Simulator 2019, Final Fantasy XV, Football Manager 2020, Grid 2019, Metro Exodus, NBA 2K20, Rage 2, Trials Rising and Wolfenstein: Youngblood.

Google
Google Vice President Phil Harrison confirmed on Monday that company’s game streaming platform Stadia’s launch day lineup has been expanded with ten more games, bringing the total to 22. Wikimedia Comons

Over the next six weeks, Borderlands 3, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2, and Darksiders Genesis will be playable on Stadia.

Additionally, in 2020, more games will come to Stadia, including Doom: Eternal, WatchDogs: Legion, Gods & Monsters, and Cyberpunk 2077.

Also Read: Amazon Brings Plug-in Smart Speaker ‘Echo Flex’ in India

Along with Pixel smartphones, Google’s game streaming service will also support Chrome OS tablets such as the Pixel Slate, Acer Chromebook Tab 10 and HP Chromebook X2.

Stadia is right now available in 14 countries — Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US — with a monthly subscription of Stadia Pro costing $9.99 (Rs 690 approx) in the US. (IANS)