Steve Wozniak Apple-FBI case Conan O Brien show image 001

As a strong proponent of privacy and human rights, it is now wonder that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak would stand firmly with Apple in its fight against the FBI and the United States government regarding creating a backdoor into the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.

Appearing on the Conan show last night, the Woz said the FBI “picked the lamest case you ever could”. It’s “worthless” to expect something’s on the shooter’s iPhone 5c that the FBI wants to break into because Verizon had already turned over all the phone records and SMS messages and law enforcement got iCloud backups form Apple.

“I side with Apple”

The Woz explains why he sided with Apple:

I side with Apple because on this one. First of all, I’ve always been related close to human rights—I’m one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Aside from that, once countries can come in and tell manufacturers, “You have to make your own products insecure”…

“Computer security is so important today,” he added.

“They picked the lamest case you ever could”

Regarding the FBI’s demand that Apple create a version of iOS with the removed auto-wipe and software-imposed passcode delay features so that the FBI could brute-force the passcode on the shooter’s device:

They picked the lamest case you ever could. The two phones owned by the people that aren’t even convicted terrorists didn’t have one link to a terrorist organization.

Verizon turned over all the phone records, all the SMS messages. So they want to take this other phone, that the two didn’t destroy, which was a work phone, and it’s so lame and worthless to expect something’s on it and get Apple to expose it.

Here’s the clip.

“I wrote something that could be a virus”

Wozniak went on to explain why writing a special version of iOS for the FBI would be a terrible idea, even if Apple itself loaded that software on the shooter’s device itself and used it to hand over the phone data to law enforcement.

A couple of times in my life I wrote something that could be a virus, that could have spread itself on Macintosh computers forever. And each time I threw away every bit of code I’d written, I was so scared inside.

“You don’t wanna let something like that out,” he said.

“Once you create it, there’s a good chance hackers will get into it. ”

“Chinese and Russians will want it”

Wozniak has posed a question that has been on many people’s minds, what if foreign governments that are not necessarily allies of the United States use the Apple-FBI case as a leverage to demand access to the same iPhone backdoor.

“Once you create it, there’s a good chance hackers will get into it—and what if China says ‘Apple, you’ve got to give us a backdoor so we can get into any phone, even your government officials’ iPhones and inspect them any time’—that’s wrong,” he said.

Do you agree with his position in this polarizing debate on encryption and security?

  • Deli Dang

    Yes, Woz is right! This could be potentially risky.

  • redsymphony

    Worst idea ever, he is right.

  • Leguro

    Pretty obvious to me that this isn’t going to happen. The only thing that is an obvious to me is why the FBI thought they could get away with it in the first place…

  • TheShade247

    This guy should’ve been apple ceo.

    • techfreak23

      He’s a great guy and a gifted engineer, but he lacks the necessary skills to run the company, especially at this point in its life. He has not been an active part of the company since his plane accident back in the 80’s.

  • nonchalont

    The people’s privacy is so much greater than any government. People rule, not government. That simple, period.

    • Alain


  • Satyam Panchal

    Woz remember those days when you want Mac open source??? Imagine what if Steve jobs let you do that … Today you understand about it well done woz

  • TechToch

    Why is he not apple CEO ?

    • techfreak23

      He has not been an active part of the company in decades after his plane accident back in the 80’s.