Noted security expert Jon Callas is back on Apple’s rolls. The move assumes added significance coming as it does on the back of Apple’s epic feud with the FBI, and the manner in which the case finally got disposed.
Jon Callas earlier worked at Apple during the 1990s and again between 2009 and 2011. It was during his latter stint that Callas had devised an encryption mechanism to secure data on Mac devices.
Earlier, Callas had continued with his zeal of devising better security measures to ensure enhanced privacy for the masses in the digital age. He co-founded Pretty Good Privacy or PGP and Silent Circle, which sell the BlackPhone 1 and 2 series of handsets. Needless to say, both are among the most secure mobile handset, offering the best possible resistance to hacking attempts. Both the companies are small but are highly regarded for the expertise they have on offer.
Both Apple and Callas have declined to comment on Callas’ role his third stint at Apple. However, it isn’t that difficult to guess as it definitely has to do with Apple’s passion for devising even better encryption methods.
Apple had earlier scored a few brownie points by resisting pressure from the courts to assist the FBI in jailbreaking a particular iPhone 5C that belonged to one of the prime accused in the San Bernardino terror attack case. The Cupertino-based company simply refused claiming such a move will undermine the security of the hundreds of thousands of other such iPhone devices currently in use the world over.
While Apple had remained steadfast in its claims, almost the entire tech community had rallied behind Apple, supporting its privacy cause.
However, things took unexpected turn as the FBI managed to hack the said iPhone with the help of a white hat hacker, with Apple playing no role in it. Not only was it a bit embarrassing for Apple, the entire episode had also somewhat dented the Cupertino company’s tall claim’s as regards its commitment to privacy of its users.
The wider political debate of whether the privacy of an individual’s digital data holds precedence over the likely threat that the individual might pose to the masses at large remains wide open.
While Apple along with a clutch of other companies continue to uphold the virtues of user’s privacy, there already are political efforts in place to make it legally binding for companies to create backdoors if needed during the course of an investigation.
Interestingly, Callas has a more moderate viewpoint on the issue, and supports hacking of devices by law enforcement officials so long as they are willing to share the vulnerabilities for the companies to plug the gaps later on. Callas though said he is against forcing companies creating backdoor to the very same devices they have devised security measures for.
Till the debate resolves, Callas will be hard at work devising even more stringent encryption technologies to secure Apple devices for sure.