Six Lines

Tim Cook on Stephen Colbert

Posted by Aaron Massey on 22 Sep 2015.

Long time no see. I spent much of my extra blogging time on the process of getting a job,1 but I saw something I simply couldn’t pass up blogging about Tim Cook’s appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The whole show is worth watching, but the part that I wanted to comment briefly on is this:

This comes close to confirming something I speculated about in my previous post, which was almost a year ago now:

There are countries in the world today where homosexuality is illegal. There are cultures, including in parts of the United States, where homosexuality is an anathema. This changes the nature of a government request for information. If Tim Cook was thinking about publicly announcing his homosexuality and also thinking about updating Apple’s encryption policies around the same time frame, then that would go a long way to explaining why [updating their iOS encyption policy] was something that Apple chose to do now.

I’m even more convinced that Cook’s views on privacy and encryption have been shaped by his personal experiences. For as much debate as their seems to be about corporations as people, Cook is demonstrating that they can at least be a little more human.

  1. I’m now a Assistant Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. More information is available on my academic website