Steve Wozniak takes Apple’s side against FBI demands

Steve Wozniak is siding with the company he helped found in its fight against the FBI to keep data securely stored on iPhones.

Woz said on Conan last night that he once wrote a virus that could have spread itself on Macintosh computers forever. The fear he felt after realizing his code could be exploited by hackers is one of the reasons the Apple co-founder is backing the company he helped create.

“Each time I threw away every bit of code I had written. I was so scared inside. You do not want to let something like that out. Once you create it there is a good chance hackers get into it,” Wozniak said on Conan.

The outspoken programmer stressed the importance of computer security today, citing the millions of accounts that have been exposed.

Wozniak is a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital rights group that has already taken Apple’s side in the case and voiced its opinion on the importance of encrypting devices.

Last year, under the All Writs Act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation requested that Apple create a backdoor within its operating system to allow the bureau to gain access into otherwise encrypted data. The “lame” case, as described by Wozniak, is based around last year’s San Bernadino shooting that ended with 14 deaths and 22 injuries. The FBI wants to unlock shooter Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c to gain more information about his cohorts.

If the FBI wins, Apple will be required to make its iOS less secure by creating software that circumvents security already in place including the passcode and auto-erase features

Last month Apple CEO Tim Cook said the software the FBI is requesting of Apple is something the company considers “too dangerous to create.”

A hearing for the case is set for March 22 in Riverside, California. 

Photo via William Hook/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)