Pro-Apple privacy protests are planned for 50 cities around the U.S. today


Encryption protest San Francisco
Protests will take place at 5.30pm today.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac (via Apple and

Grassroots protests against the government’s attempts to hack the iPhone are set to take place today in nearly 50 cities around the United States, beginning at 5.30pm local time.

“FBI Director [James] Comey has been repeatedly asking the White House and Congress for a backdoor to encrypted phones for the past year,” privacy advocates Fight for the Future representative Holmes Wilson tells Cult of Mac. “If he says he doesn’t want this kind of access going forward, he’s just lying, and you can see it in the public record.”

According to Wilson, this is why this story is such a big deal — and what Cult of Mac readers can do to get involved:

Read Tim Cook’s entire email to employees regarding FBI battle


Tim Cook was an outspoken Hillary supporter.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook doubled down on his privacy position this morning, refusing to give in to the FBI’s demands to create an iOS backdoor so the bureau can unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

In an email to employees with the subject line “Thank you for your support,” the Apple CEO says the company’s battle is about much more than a single iPhone or single investigation.

Tim Cook doubles down on Apple’s battle against FBI backdoor


Tim Cook was ranked the nation's top CEO by ExecRank.
Tim Cook isn't backing down from a fight.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook sent out an email to all Apple employees this morning, thanking them for their support and outlining the reasons why the FBI’s court order needs to be dropped.

“This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order we knew we had to speak out,” Cook wrote. “At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties.”

Our Android guy says Apple should help the FBI [Friday Night Fight]


Just hear me out.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s fight against the FBI continues to dominate headlines, with the company standing firm to protect its beliefs and the privacy of its users. But should it really be doing more to help law enforcement agencies?

Friday-Night-Fights-bug-2No one who uses Apple products wants it to compromise the security of iOS by creating dangerous backdoors, but should it be working to find a safer solution that would provide the FBI with information when it’s needed?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight between Cult of Android and Cult of Mac as we battle it out over this hot topic — and be sure to weigh in at the end with your opinion!

Family of murdered soldier object to Apple’s fight against FBI


iphone run better
Does Apple's pro-privacy stance pose a risk to people's lives?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Big tech companies might be supporting Apple’s pro-privacy stance when it comes to creating a backdoor for the iPhone, but not everyone is in complete agreement.

Specifically, the family of British soldier Lee Rigby — who was murdered by Islamic extremists in 2013 — has spoken out about Apple’s decision to refuse a court order to break into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Rigby’s family says Apple’s stance is “protecting a murderer’s privacy at the cost of public safety.”

AT&T CEO thinks Apple should give up on protecting encryption


Should Apple cave when it comes to encryption?
Should Apple cave when it comes to encryption?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple is a fierce defender of its customers’ privacy, which is why every iPhone and iPad has its data encrypted by default. But according to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Apple and CEO Tim Cook should show their bellies and let Congress decide whether encrypted data should be accessible through backdoors by government agencies.

Controversial app that let you ‘buy’ people shuts down


Boom! You've been owned, Stolen!
Boom! You've been owned, Stolen!
Photo: Stolen!

Stolen!, the app that let you buy and sell Twitter users in a fictional exchange, has been taken off the App Store by its developers due to privacy concerns.

“The app is no longer available in the App Store,” the Stolen! team tweeted Thursday afternoon. “We’ve heard everyone’s concerns and have decided the best thing to do is to shut down.”

Wikipedia’s founder thinks Apple should stop selling iPhones in the U.K.


The iPhone 6s is Apple's best smartphone yet. But is it worth the upgrade?
Bye-bye Britain?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has branded a new proposed law banning encrypted communications in the U.K. as “stupid,” and says that if it is passed, Apple should stop selling iPhones in the country out of principle.

“I would like to see Apple refuse to sell iPhone in UK if government bans end-to-end encryption,” Wales posted on Twitter. “Does Parliament dare be that stupid?”

Pro Tip: Keep your boss from snooping on you with Tor messenger beta


Even some of my screenshot has to be secure.
Even some of my screenshot has to be secure.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bug While you may chat about state secrets while on your Mac at work, you might not want your chats to get out there or be archived. The answer is to use encryption so no one can intercept your messages and figure out you’re really angry at your boss.

The Tor Project aims to make anonymous, off-the-record chats simple with a new instant messenger app you can run on your Mac or Windows PC. Simply run the app (now in beta), log in to your preferred instant messaging service or services, and talk about whatever you want, secure in the knowledge that your chats are safe from your boss’ prying eyes.

Apple bans hundreds of apps that swiped user data


Apple responded swiftly to the discovery that over 250 apps collected data with private APIs.
Photo: Jason Howie/Flickr CC

Apple banned over 250 apps from the App Store that were using software to access users’ personal information. These apps managed to get through the App Store approval process with private APIs, which are against the rules. Apple took action shortly after news broke this morning that a security firm discovered these apps.