Here’s how Steve Jobs answered a question about government snooping in 1981

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Check out the hipster beard on Steve!
Photo: ABC

Apple turns 40 today and, while a lot has changed since the company’s early days, it seems that questions about government snooping have not.

ABC News today released footage from a vintage interview in which a very young Steve Jobs debates computers on a 1981 episode of Nightline.

In addition to trotting out his “bicycle for the mind” metaphor, Jobs also talks about how best to stop the government from snooping on your computer, a topic that seems very timely in the aftermath of Apple’s battle with the FBI.

Check out the Steve Jobs interview below.

“I think the best protection against something like that is a very literate public, and in this case, computer literate,” Jobs told host Ted Koppel. “We’ve already reached approximately every one in 1,000 households in the United States,” he said, and added that he hoped the number would one day be one to one.

While it’s a pretty nifty trick to turn a question about the dangers of computing into a recommendation that people buy an Apple computer, Jobs’ point still stands in 2016. As computer savvy as we are today, what was remarkable about the FBI’s privacy standoff with Apple was how much it revealed many people still don’t understand the bigger picture of encryption and computer security.

Still, as Apple enters its fourth decade (check out our top 40 moments in the company’s history), it’s pretty neat to see the company getting some early TV exposure. And to have Jobs described as a philosopher as well as an entrepreneur.

Source: ABC