You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Watch: John Oliver Rips Into Apple-FBI Encryption Fight

John Oliver — no shocker here — is squarely in the Apple camp in the tech giant’s battle with the U.S. government over unlocking access to a terrorist’s iPhone.

On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, Oliver dissected the case in his popular analytical-rant format, stressing the importance of encryption for protecting personal data. The late-night commentator has seen strong online traction for his political-satire videos, with his deflation of Donald Trump last month marking the show’s most-viewed clip to date.

To Oliver, the issue of forcing Apple to create code to crack into iPhones at the government’s behest is “a hugely complicated story with massive implications” and called the FBI’s case “legally tenuous.”

“The government is essentially demanding that (Apple) come up with a cheat code for their top-selling iPhone game, ‘F—, What’s My Passcode?!,’ rated ‘E for everyone,'” he opined.

Oliver acknowledged that strong encryption “has its costs,” in protecting the likes of terrorists, drug dealers and child pornographers, but added, “I happen to feel the risks of weakening encryption, even a little bit, even just for the government, are potentially much worse.”

Apple has filed a motion requesting a federal court throw out a judge’s order that the company must develop software to help the FBI access data on an iPhone used by an attacker in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings last December. The company argues that the order is unconstitutional and would potentially threaten the security of millions of iPhones.

Government prosecutors have called Apple’s position “not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights.”

More Digital

  • Reed Hastings Netflix

    Netflix Won't Be Part of Apple's Video Service, CEO Reed Hastings Confirms

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed at a press event in Los Angeles Monday that his company won’t be taking part in Apple’s upcoming video service. “Apple is a great company,” Hastings said. However, Netflix wanted to control its experience within its own app, which is why it wasn’t working with Apple. “We have chosen not [...]

  • mark Beaven

    If Spotify Is Holding Town Halls for Songwriters, They Must Be Open (Guest Column)

    Earlier this month, Amazon, Google, SiriusXM and Spotify challenged the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision to increase the compulsory mechanical rates paid to songwriters by 44% over the next five years. The streamers have come under fierce criticism for the move, which they claim is over the complexities of the CRB’s rules but is widely assumed [...]

  • iHeartMedia Promotes Angel Aristone to Executive

    iHeartMedia Promotes Angel Aristone to Executive VP of Communications

    Angel Aristone has been promoted to executive vice president of communications for iHeartMedia, the company announced today. According to the announcement, Aristone will continue to position iHeart as a media and entertainment leader through proactive strategic communication efforts on both a local and national level. She will also continue to oversee media relations and external [...]

  • UFC 235 Mixed Martial Arts, Las

    All UFC Pay-Per-View Events Moving to ESPN+ Exclusively in U.S. Through 2025

    The UFC — in a major jump to digital away from traditional pay TV — inked an expanded pact with ESPN under which all of the mixed martial arts promoter’s pay-per-view events will be available exclusively on ESPN+ in the U.S. for the next seven years. Under the agreement, the ESPN+ subscription streaming service will [...]

  • iPhone 7 Tim Cook

    Apple’s Video Streaming Plans: Key Open Questions

    Apple is expected to give a glimpse of its upcoming video streaming service at an event on its Cupertino, California-based campus on March 25. Reports over the past year have trickled out hinting at what an Apple streaming service could look like, but the company itself has been tight-lipped on divulging details. The streaming product [...]

  • Google Gaming Unveiling Will Include Hands-On

    Google Pop-Up Museum Teases New Logo, Possible Gaming Hardware

    A pop-up Google exhibit that appeared outside the Game Developers Conference Monday morning is teasing what is likely some sort of gaming hardware that’s “coming soon” along with its new logo. A Google employee confirmed to Variety that the logo — seen in the image above —  is for the new tech set to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content