During an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing earlier this week, entitled “Deciphering the Debate Over Encryption: Industry and Law Enforcement Perspectives,” which discussed the feud between Apple and the FBI over an iPhone tied to the San Bernardino shootings, Indiana State Police Captain Charles Cohen, Commander of the Office of Intelligence and Investigative Technologies, accused the Cupertino company of releasing its iOS source code and user data to China, while refusing to do the same thing for the US.
“I saw several news stories that said Apple provided the source code for the iOS [operating system for iPhone and iPads] to China,” Cohen said.
Following Cohen’s claims, for which he provided no evidence, Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel, confirmed that the company had “been asked by the Chinese government” for the source code, but that “we refused.”
Apple was also accused of possessing a key to access encrypted user messages and data – which would mean the company’s claims of end-to-end encryption were fraudulent – which it disposed of at the end of 2014.
“We have not provided source code to the Chinese government,” Sewell countered. “We did not have a key 19 months ago that we threw away. Those allegations are without merit.”
Image courtesy of Shelley Palmer.