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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

Now, Google G Suite Has 6 Million Paid Customers (Tech Report)

The tech giant said there is now a hosted repository of related public datasets available to explore and analyze for free from the Google Cloud Console

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Google G Suite faces competition from Microsoft's Office 365 set of Cloud-based services. Pixabay

Googles G Suite now has six million paid customers, up from 5 million in February last year and the company’s video calling service Meet is witnessing 25 times more traction since January.

According to a CNBC report, quoting Google executive Javier Soltero, the paying customers for Google’s G Suite bundle of productivity software are coming from businesses, schools and governments. Google G Suite faces competition from Microsoft’s Office 365 set of Cloud-based services.

“The business of G Suite is growing at an incredibly healthy and, frankly for me, surprising rate,” Soltero, vice president and general manager of G Suite at Google, was quoted as saying.
Google Meet is different from the Hangouts, which is available to all with a Google account.

In a separate blog post, Google said it has announced free access to advanced Meet capabilities to G Suite and G Suite for Education customers.

It includes room for up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.

Google
Googles G Suite now has six million paid customers, up from 5 million in February last year and the company’s video calling service Meet is witnessing 25 times more traction since January. Pixabay

“Lots of people are working from home now for the first time. This means that networks are strained with more people accessing their email and internet from home, as well as taking part in video conferences,” said Google.

The tech giant said there is now a hosted repository of related public datasets available to explore and analyze for free from the Google Cloud Console.

ALSO READ: “War Room” Set Up May Help Businesses Sail Through Coronavirus Crisis: Experts

These include the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Global Health Data from the World Bank, and more. (IANS)