Apple seems to be banking on one of their former employees to bring additional security and encryption to their ecosystem. Jon Callas, who worked for the company twice in the past, was recently rehired, although it remains unclear as to what role at Apple will be going forward.
Jon Callas – Crypto-Developer and Security Innovator
It is positive to see technology giants taking appropriate actions to ensure they can provide top notch security and encryption to their users. Apple’s hiring of Jon Callas is a significant move, considering his involvement in designing cryptosystems and working on secure communication platforms, including Blackphone and Silent OS.
Callas has worked for Apple twice in the past, as a senior scientist and one of the people responsible for building cryptosystems used in various Apple products. He has also worked on various other security projects, such as the Silent Phone and the Silent Text messaging application. Moreover, he was also involved in the creation of PGP and OpenPGP.
Joining Apple at this time is kind of interesting, considering the company is facing a lot of scrutiny from law enforcement over their device encryption. In recent months, the FBI managed to break the iPhone encryption for one particular investigation, and they paid roughly US$1m for outside help in doing so.
Additionally, Apple CEO Tim Cook remains adamant in his belief that the company should not – and will not – set a precedent for weakening device encryption. Law enforcement does not need backdoor access to Apple – or other manufacturer’s – devices, as encryption is designed to keep prying eyes out. Moreover, there is still no proof encryption has ever hampered the execution of legitimate court orders.
Callas is a firm believer of encryption and improving security standards for secure communication. While this will create future clashes between manufacturers, software engineers, and law enforcement, encryption is direly needed in this Information Age.
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