Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak professes the outsize mistrust of authority of a true child of the ’60s.
So, naturally, in a recent phone interview with Re/code, Woz had some pretty critical things to say about the FBI’s request that Apple develop a crippled version of its operating system — one that undoes the security on an iPhone used by one of the attackers in San Bernardino so federal investigators can hack it.
“They aren’t going to get anything on this phone,” Wozniak said. “To have Apple make a weak operating system is just wrong.”
Wozniak echoed skepticism about whether the attacker, Syed Rizwan Farook, would have stored sensitive details about the Dec. 2 attack that left 14 people dead on a device issued by his employer, San Bernardino County. He and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, destroyed their personal phones. They both died in a shootout with law enforcement.
The engineer said weakening Apple’s security will do nothing to halt the use of encryption by criminals, who have access to countless other apps, written by developers in other countries, to scramble their conversations — including Telegram and Signal.
“You’re not going to stop them from sending mathematically encrypted data,” Wozniak said. “The good guys, who should have an element of privacy in their life, [won’t].”
Wozniak also expressed concern that forcing Apple to open a back door for U.S. law enforcement to fetch data from encrypted devices will trigger a dangerous international chain reaction.
“I’m also worried if you open it up for any one country, China is going to say you need a back door,” Wozniak said.
Wozniak said difficult questions about privacy and security shouldn’t be addressed in the heat of an emotional issue like a domestic terror attack.
“When you react emotionally and not think out the logical train, you don’t come to the right conclusion,” he said.
In an interview with late-night host Conan O’Brien on Monday, Wozniak said the FBI picked “a lame case”:
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.