Former Apple chief executive John Sculley believes that his old company is doing an excellent job in the debate with the U.S. government over helping it decrypt San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone.
Sculley laid out his views on the subject in an interview today with VentureBeat. Here’s what he said:
I have a very strong opinion [on the subject]. I think Tim Cook has handled this situation extremely well. In fact he’s done such a good job at it that I’m sure he’ll end up being a Harvard Business School case history of how an executive manages a crisis.
They obviously have issues that need to be, you know, appreciated and understood and clarified regarding security. Nobody wants terrorists doing bad things. But the reality is to go out and take a look at the 1789 All Writs Act law and use that as an example, and they say they want to create a precedent to open up privacy on people’s smartphones — I think that was, you know not well thought out before they went and did that.
Absolutely, I think they’re doing what’s right. What Tim Cook has said — he said, “Look, it’s not Apple’s role to determine law. … We have the Constitution, we have Congress, and we have Supreme Court. Let’s do it the way we do things in other big issues in the history of the country. Let Congress weigh in and let the Supreme Court weigh in. Why should Apple be the one that has to determine all these things?”
The way the law is now on privacy and freedom of speech, I think Tim Cook has handled it exactly as he should.
It’s not surprising to see Sculley sticking up for the company he used to run, but he is one more prominent person taking Apple’s side in this complex controversy. Other technology executives, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, have also announced their support for the iPhone maker.
Sculley, author of the 2014 book Moonshots, has been busy as of late. He’s a cofounder of Obi Worldphone, a company selling low-priced Android phones in Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa. And he’s more directly involved with PeoplePicker, a company that maintains a database of pay rates for every job in the U.S., and RxAdvance, a company seeking to lower pharmaceutical costs using big data analytics.
For a full rundown of the Apple-FBI case, check out our timeline.