back to article McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has thrown a hissy fit over the refusal of Apple CEO Tim Cook to attend a Senate hearing on encryption. Opening the Committee on Armed Services' hearing on cybersecurity this morning, McCain went out of his way to note that Cook has declined the senator's invitation to give testimony alongside …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boo fucking hoo.

    I lost what little respect I had for McCain the day he picked Palin as his running mate. Now he's just an irrelevant old man constantly shouting at people to get off his lawn.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Boo fucking hoo.

      Sadly, I must agree with you. I would have loved to cast a vote for the John McCain who ran in 2000. In 2008, he sold his soul to the religious right to win the nomination, then doubled down on that stupidity by picking Palin. I think that move lost the election for him.

      I don't know if President McCain could have done all that much better with the mess he would have inherited from Bush than Obama did, but I'm pretty sure that if McCain had taken office in 2001 instead of Bush there would have been less mess to inherit in 2009 at least on the foreign policy front.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. andrewj

        Re: Boo fucking hoo.

        +10^6. Selecting Palin and her tacit encouragement of racism and rabble rousing are what has led us to Trump.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      FAIL

      "he picked Palin as his running mate. "

      When this happened was anyone else thinking "Is this a disturbing new trend. Old politician gets "trophy" VP?"

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: "he picked Palin as his running mate. "

        I just thought "disturbing".... anyway, I think DougS already has said all there is to say.

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: "he picked Palin as his running mate. "

        Palin is a "trophy" ?

        Must be a consolation prize trophy.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: "he picked Palin as his running mate. "

          A Dunce Prize, you mean.

    3. jgarbo
      Devil

      Re: Boo fucking hoo.

      How could you ever respect a person who blocked repatriation of fellow Vietnam POWs he was afraid would reveal his treachery? He left them to rot to save his slimy hide.

      http://polidics.com/ethics/fellow-pows-say-john-mccain-was-a-coward-and-a-traitor-in-viet-nam.html

      1. DougS Silver badge

        @jgarbo

        I don't know anything about this stuff you're alleging, but it seems to be a pattern that if anyone that is considered a 'hero' or even had any military service at all runs for president, the other side finds some guys to come out of the woodwork to tear down their record. Either because they are partisan, or just getting paid off. This happened rather publicly with John Kerry, and to a lesser extent with the allegations that daddy's connections are what allowed Bush Jr. to get a cushy stateside air national guard posting (probably "to a lesser extent" because no one doubted it was true, and no one was claiming his national guard service made him a war hero)

        I don't recall hearing anything about these allegations against McCain during the 2008 election, which is when they would have come out if there was even a shred of truth there, so I'm going to go out on a limb and assume they're so thinly sourced and conspiratorial that the MSM wouldn't touch them. Looking at the other links on that site you referenced, including stuff like "CIA operatives admit Al Qaeda is a complete fabrication" tell me that my suspicions are correct.

        Heck these ideas are so fringe that even Trump hasn't heard them - because we know he'll parrot back any conspiracy theory he hears. No doubt when challenged on his "McCain is not a war hero" line if he'd heard of this he'd have mentioned it. Not like his handlers are capable of stopping the verbal diarrhea he's prone to, after all...

      2. John Presland

        Re: Boo fucking hoo.

        From the people who brought you Obama's a foreigner and muslim to boot, John Kerry was a swift boat coward, etc.

    4. CmdrX3

      Re: Boo fucking hoo.

      For some unknown reason whenever someone mentions the name Palin I get an image of Forrest Gump in my head.

  2. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Sure, John--you can pass your legislation...

    As long as you agree to tie the Republican party's political fundraising income to future U.S. tech industry sales, once you torpedo the industry's global competitive position.

    Does that sound like something you could live with? I didn't think so.

  3. Someone Else Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    To my surprise...

    ...Tim Cook showed much more political aplomb than any of the Repo's in Congress. Way to Go, Timmy!

  4. O RLY

    Theatre. Nothing more.

    If Senator McCain really wanted Tim Cook there, McCain's committee has subpoena powers. Of course, Cook has lawyers who can fight a subpoena, but McCain can certainly send an invitation with teeth.

    1. Sproggit

      Re: Theatre. Nothing more.

      McCain is stupid, no doubt about that. But even he is not so stupid as to risk offending one of the leading CEO's of Silicon Valley. Had McCain decided to "bully" Tim Cook into showing up, that would have been enough to unite all the Tech CEO's against the Republicans.

      That's a lot of lobbying money and campaign contributions that would have walked out the door, right there.

      The GOP would never have let McCain be so stupid.

      1. Kurt Meyer

        Re: Theatre. Nothing more.

        @ Sproggit

        "The GOP would never have let McCain be so stupid."

        Two words for you to ponder.

        Sarah Palin

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

        Re: Theatre. Nothing more.

        "The GOP would never have let McCain be so stupid."

        Are we talking about the same GOP that is about to field Donald Trump?

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Are we talking about the same GOP that is about to field Donald Trump?

          That's not stupidity, that's bowing to public opinion. They'd be stupid not to pick the most popular candidate, however mental he may be.

    2. energystar
      Headmaster

      Re: Theatre. Nothing more.

      Maybe I'm wrong about how USA works, but was just an invitation. Not to dismiss -from the Committee on Armed Services. Leaving aside remarks on Personae.

      Tim could have arrived with his own advising Team.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Theatre. Nothing more.

      McCain si proving that Congress critters of all strips are so stupid they can not grasp that 1 + 1 = 2. Of course the committee can subpoena Cook. But it would show to anyone with more brains than a Congress critter that this is nothing but theater to "prove" encryption is bad because the doughnut eaters are too lazy to do real gumshoe work.

  5. frank ly Silver badge

    They have subpoena powers

    That means they can compel Tim cook to attend. If they do, can he can bring his Apple legal team to represent him and tie them all up in procedural tape?

    1. Number6

      Re: They have subpoena powers

      They can compel him to attend but given that he's turned up, is there anything else they can compel him to do? I don't know if they do stuff under oath, but if not, he could respond to everything with a quote from Shakespeare or similar.

      I don't know what happens if one refuses to take oath, presumably there's a clause about contempt to cover that.

      1. Blake St. Claire

        Re: They have subpoena powers

        Well, the probably would swear him in, to tell the truth, the whole truth, etc.

        Should he choose not to answer or give nonsense answers they could probably find him in contempt of Congress; jail time might be an effective incentive, fines probably not so much.

        But IANAL, so these are just guesses on my part.

      2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: They have subpoena powers

        'Respectfūlly plead the 5th'

        Over and over again.

        Then, after leaving, immediately issue a huge, highly detailed press release laying out one's position in one's own words with pesky interruptions. Committee loses, one wins.

        Subpoena powers are toothless.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They have subpoena powers

          The 5th only protects you if the evidence would incriminate yourself in a crime.

          There is also spousal privilege that prevents you from being forced to testify against your spouse.

          Neither of those would apply in this situation so failing to answer would be contempt.

          1. Swarthy Silver badge

            Re: They have subpoena powers

            "I'm sorry Senator, I have no recollection of that event." - Ronald Regan

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They have subpoena powers

              They wouldn't be asking him about past events.

              He doesn't recall how encryption currently works on Apple devices? Apple's CEO?

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: They have subpoena powers

      I would think Apple's lawyers could fight it on the grounds that Apple products are just one of dozens of ways that terrorists could potentially use to communicate via secure encryption. Are they going to also subpoena CEOs from Google, Facebook, Microsoft and other US tech companies? And just ignore the apps written outside the US that allow the same thing?

      I guess I don't know the limits of the subpeona power of Congress, but just forcing people to show up and answer questions if they aren't doing what you think they should is unreasonable power IMHO. Apple isn't alleged to be doing anything illegal, if they craft a law I doubt they are going to take Cook's input into account anyway so why should they be able to compel him to show up?

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: They have subpoena powers

        "...forcing people to show up..." Yes.

        "...and answer questions..." Nope. No such power.

        Anyone may 'respectfully plead the 5th'. Over and over again.

        Then issue a huge press release on one's own terms. One's own words. No rude interruptions.

        For the win.

  6. Anonymous Vulture
    Mushroom

    Dear Senator McCain

    You have a demagogical, narcissist, egomaniac who is the presumptive nominee from your political party for the position of chief executive of the country currently equipped with the largest nuclear weapons stockpile. Please reprioritize your agenda. When you have addressed this issue as well as several others, Mr. Cook might be persuaded to sit still while you belittle him. In the meantime, he and the rest of the world have better things to do.

    Thank you for your time.

    PS - Congressional hearings were once used so members could learn about a variety of topics from a variety of viewpoints. I suggest exercising some leadership on the subject and trying to return to form rather than continuing to use them as public witch burnings.

    Icon selected as to how said presumptive nominee tends to state he will address most issues relating to foreign policy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Senator McCain

      I take it you don't like Trump and prefer Clinton who should be in jail.

      1. Anonymous Vulture
        FAIL

        Re: Dear Senator McCain

        Given the choice between the unstable egomaniacal demagogue and the corrupt politician, I am reluctantly backing the historical trend. We know what the corrupt politicians can and will do. Unstable egomaniacs are by definition a wild card. Wild cards equipped with nuclear weapons make me very nervous. See the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The major difference is the rockets in Montana and North Dakota have been proven to work. In any event, I am not eligible to weigh in on the former colonies elections.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Dear Senator McCain

          Pretty sure if Trump had been investigated to the level Clinton has for the last 25 years they would find plenty of reasons to jail him as well. Or do you really believe that all his bankrupt ventures didn't do anything illegal? I guess you are fine with a candidate who won't show his tax returns? Obviously he has something to hide, the only question is how big of a bombshell it would be if revealed.

          1. willi0000000

            Re: Dear Senator McCain

            the only question is how big of a bombshell it would be if revealed.

            it would be yoooge!

      2. JC-Reg

        Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

        Yes... let's put someone in jail for ... and get this ... where their e-mail was stored.

        That's how f*****g republicans roll. Petty 'til their very last breath.

        No laws were broken but does that matter? Hell no. We're republicans.

        Logic and the truth count for absolutely nothing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

          Funny how the Republicans seem to have forgotten:

          1) Nixon

          2) Ford pardoning Nixon, technically not breaking any laws, but morally bankrupt never the less.

          3) Reagan and Iran-Contragate.

          4) Cheney, just being Cheney. Another moral bankruptcy. And a slimy git.

          5) Shrub lying about WMDs in Iraq.

          Those who forget history, yada, yada, yada

          1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

            GWB42.com.... a private email server that members of the government used to communicate about government business, and from which records were "lost".

          2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            6) Cheyney getting a staffer to award a sole source cost plus contract to Haliburton for Iraq

            For support services, IE running laundry and canteens.

            Said staffer goes to work for Haliburton later.

        2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

          US law on protecting classified information is very clear. If you know any classified information it is your personal responsibility to protect the information. Setting up an insecure email server in your closet is not protecting the information thus by law a very serious feral felony. There is not wiggle room for intent. If you have ever held or smelled a US security clearance this is drilled into your head from day one. And this is a lifetime responsibility. Thus, many over here, particularly those who know the law, are angry that Hildafelon is not wearing an orange jumpsuit especially designed for Club Fed residents. Voting for Trump for many then becomes not an endorsement of Trump but an attempt to keep Hildafelon out.

          The current choice between Blowhard and Hildafelon is between bad and disaster.

          1. oldcoder

            Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

            Your second sentence

            "If you know any classified information it is your personal responsibility to protect the information."

            Is true, thus it is the responsibility of the SENDER of the email to only send it to secured mail servers, over a secured network, and using encryption at the time.

            Unfortunately, the State Department HAD no "secure" mail servers, no secure network, no encryption (to my knowledge).

            The State Department had been penetrated for quite some time, and from what I remember, it was reported that IT department couldn't be sure when they could actually HAVE secured mail servers (happens when you use an operating system known for its lack of security).

            And as it turns out, it appears that Clintons mail server was more secure.

            1. tom dial Silver badge

              Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

              The State Department, like numerous other agencies, has, and had, a secure network. These networks have no connection to the public internet or to the non-classified state.gov network. They may be located in secure areas (some classified material requires it). Due to their nature, these systems cannot be used for ordinary email, although it is possible they have email amongst themselves and to/from the governments Secure IP Routing Network. Hillary Clinton declined to use these facilities, and instead elected to have, and use for all her official State Department email, a personal off-premise server with RDP and VNC exposed on the public internet.

              The compromise of the State Department non-secure network appears to have occurred well after Secretary Clinton's tenure, although that certainly does not eliminate the possibility it was compromised earlier as well. The State Department's Information Resource Management division may have been somewhat broken, but probably did not allow remote administration via the public internet, as Ms. Clinton's servers did.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

            @ a_yank_lurker

            So what... a serious feral felony as opposed to what...a tame one?

          3. PNGuinn Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

            "feral felony."

            I like it. Upvoted.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Senator McCain

        Ivan 4 "I take it you don't like Trump, who should be in an asylum, and prefer Clinton, who should be in jail."

        TIFIFY.

      4. lsatenstein

        Re: Dear Senator McCain

        From one of the Canadian Perspectives (me), Hillary Clinton is by far a better leader than Trump.

        Trump is a loner, he doesn't lead or develop careers. I imagine that he will do the same nepotism for the country as he did for his kids.

        We may call HC a lier, but her lies were based on memory recall -- Just look at your hero "Donald exaggerating insulting Trump" He nicknamed every opponent. I would take crazy Bernie, or Lier Hillory any day. I will always take someone who talks with body language, than with Trump and his hands. Watch whatever clip of Narcissistic insulting Trump. He distracts you with his obsessive hand waving. If he makes it to President, what's he going to do, "Wave his hands at all problems that a President will encounter".

        As an onlooker, I felt that young Rubio would do a substantially better job than Trump. Sadly, I will miss Obama.

        Just realize the danger of a Republican Congress followed by a Republican Senate, followed by a Republican Majority of Judges in the Supreme court followed by a Republican President. Are the senior generals in the Army Republicans?

        It is a great opportunity for anarchy.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Trump and nepotism

          Given how big of a presence his kids have in his campaign I'm sure he'd give them big roles in his administration. Maybe official, maybe not.

          I'm sure the same republicans who were constantly outraged at how much involvement Hillary had in Bill Clinton's administration would have no problem with it, and the same democrats who had no problem with Hillary's involvement in her husband's administration would be outraged at the involvement Trump's kids have.

          Because, unfortunately, neither side cares what is right, or only whether "their side" or "the other side" is doing it. Witness all the republicans who overlooked Bush and the RNC "losing" 5 million+ emails that were being stored on an RNC server instead of a US government server to avoid records retention laws, but are now outraged about Clinton doing the same thing (no doubt hoping to avoid those records retention laws herself, since she knew she was going to run again and knew the republican congress would be going after her) And of course the democrats who were outraged over Bush's use of the RNC email server have been falling all over themselves to defend Clinton for it.

      5. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Dear Senator McCain

        >jail

        Methink you should look up Trump University. Might be Clintons are sleazy at times, but Trump is a 21st century used car salesman as far as I am concerned. And Trump being anti-elite? Positively Orwellian in hypocrisy.

        Too bad for Reps. It sucks that Dems are likely to win again because... well democracies benefit from alternating parties being in power. But as long as Rep primaries choose candidates w ever more right, ever more white, religious, ever more old views, then thats going to make winning real hard in actual full population elections.

        Especially in an US that is turning less white. Trump was not the worst of those to choose from, which is scary.

        Nearly old, white, centrist, male, happy not to be living there.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          @JLV "democracies benefit from alternating parties being in power"

          While I agree, I think we have a chance to witness something more. If Trump loses in a landslide as many are predicting, despite republicans getting democratic opponent with a lot of dislike and distrust against her, the republican party could truly fracture and in a few years no longer exist as we know it.

          Now democrats might think that would be great, because then they'd win every election, but if the republican party broke into several smaller factions the democratic party would quickly follow because the various factions within the democrats would want their agenda moved to the front of the line. This campaign demonstrated there's a pretty big split in the democrats between the progressive "true liberal" wing that followed Sanders banner, and the neocon lite wing led by Obama and Hillary - i.e. the democrat "establishment" that is hard to distinguish from the republican establishment led by Bush, Bush Jr and Bush with the exclamation point.

          The two party system is too entrenched in the way US election and campaign laws are set up for so many factions to last, so they would reassemble - but they might reassemble in some interesting ways. We might end up with two parties that are mainly distinguished by how they view foreign policy, rather than the current state where they are mainly distinguished by how they view social issues. One a mixing of the Bush/Clinton interventionists who think using our military to remake the world as "safe for democracy" is a good thing, and the other a combination of Sanders/Trump isolationists who think the US military should defend our borders, but stay out of conflicts that not ours. The religious conservatives would be left out in the cold with only minor third parties able to speak for them, similar to how the isolationists are today left out in the cold with only the libertarians able to speak for them.

          This may be a lot bigger than the shift that occurred 50 years ago, when LBJ getting behind the Civil Rights Act caused many southern democrats to abandon the party for the republicans (yes, ironic that the party of Lincoln became the new home for the racists, after a century of the democrats having them) It was right around that same time that Phyllis Schlafy starting pushing the republican party platform towards social conservatism, which finally bore fruit with the nomination of Reagan in 1980. Before that most people felt that religion and politics shouldn't mix, and the nomination of Trump is reportedly causing a lot of social conservatives to give up on the party and politics in general so we may see that attitude return.

          1. JLV Silver badge

            Re: @JLV "democracies benefit from alternating parties being in power"

            Interesting analysis. Dunno about splits, and I rather doubt that the religious right will go away.

            If faced with yet another loss (gotta remember no one thought Brexit was gonna pass though) could the Republican Party instead amend its primaries' rules to reduce the capacity of outliers (i.e. unusually religious folk) to push forward candidates that will be unacceptable to the larger American electorate? And indeed to members of their own party. Cruz being just one of several examples. Too much religion in politics makes many people worried. And it certainly made the founding fathers uneasy, hence the 1st amendment.

            It would be extremely difficult to clip the zealots' wings without being seen as unjustly disenfranchising people who, while I don't agree with them, or even like them, should still be allowed their democratic opinion. But their right to their opinion should not necessarily grant them the right to hijack their party's nomination process. If only to avoid that party predictably ending up in opposition.

            Have any other countries successfully changed their nomination procedures to avoid these effects? I realize openly voting for candidates is not the norm so examples are few. More mainstream Reps voters voting in primaries would do it but is unlikely to happen.

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Alert

      Perhaps if it wasn't just a witch hunt...

      If an equal number of "pro encryption" folks were invited instead of just Mr. Cook, apparently just to waste his time being lambasted, maybe he would have accepted the invitation. Reps from Google and Microsoft for example could have been invited as well. Or perhaps someone from the EFF. At least it would be a little better balanced then.

  7. DougS Silver badge

    Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce

    Nor will bomb sniffing dogs, metal detectors, airport security, "if you see something, say something" or more military hardware for the police.

    Eventually we're going to have to concede that those who are hell bent on mass killing of innocents are going to find a way no matter what we do, and becoming more and more of a police state isn't an answer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce

      Eventually we're going to have to concede that those who are hell bent on mass killing of innocents are going to find a way no matter what we do, and becoming more and more of a police state isn't an answer.

      So what in a civilised country is the alternative to a bit more policing?

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce @AC

        "So what in a civilised country is the alternative to a bit more policing?"

        France has been policing more and more lately. Didn't help with a crazy individual.

        Education, fighting poverty, better (mental) healthcare would be the first steps for mass movements like ISIS.

        Single mentally insane actions can't be prevented until we're all under total control or someone can predict the future. The latter is fiction and the first is the "bit more policing" scenario North Korea is striving for.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce @AC

          @Sandtitz,

          "Education, fighting poverty, better (mental) healthcare would be the first steps for mass movements like ISIS."

          You are completely deluded if you think that modern Islamic terrorism is the product of poverty, mental illness or poor education. Often it is carried out by affluent, well educated and perfectly healthy people who for some reason bear a grudge and are amenable to influence from others who have their own twisted agenda.

          That's not to say that there isn't poor education, poverty or poor health care in some parts of the world, but generally speaking it's the poor who are the victims of wealthy outsiders coming to their towns to impose their own views.

          1. oldcoder

            Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce @AC

            You are talking about the leaders... not those that carry out their plans.

            VERY few of the suicide attackers are well educated, or well to do.

            Most seem to be poor, uneducated, and deluded.

          2. sed gawk

            Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce @AC

            I take issue with your definition of people willing to behave in such fashion as being "perfectly healthy".

            One way or another these people are not *healthy*, it's long been remarked that the prisons are populated chiefly by "the sad, the bad, and the mad", what's your evidence, that these actions come from a healthy mind?

            I offer you, 1) Richard Reid, http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1780000/images/_1783237_bomberagain150.jpg He looks totally with it doesn't he?

            I think there is some correlation between mental health and susceptibility to manipulation.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: who for some reason bear a grudge

            Yeah, just because their country has been invaded, the infrastructure destroyed and a bunch of maniacs have risen to power they bear a grudge! Bad losers I call them!

        2. DropBear Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce @AC

          "France has been policing more and more lately. Didn't help with a crazy individual" THAT THEY ALREADY KNEW OF. Just like of every single one of the others who ended up stirring shit up. Perhaps they should rethink how security is supposed to be done - maybe a bit of proffesional focus instead of grabbing more arbitrary blanket "powers" the idiots seemingly have no clue how to use effectively. Waiting for them to march into the closest Géndarmerie and give themselves up voluntariliy doesn't seem to work so well - I wonder did they notice that yet?!?

        3. TheOtherHobbes

          Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce @AC

          >Education, fighting poverty, better (mental) healthcare would be the first steps for mass movements like ISIS.

          On Capitol Hill, that's crazy talk. Authoritarians gonna authoritarianise. It's what they do.

          Fixing problems? Making the world a better place? Avoiding future tragedies that are obvious to anyone with a working braincell?

          Ain't no campaign dollars in that, boy.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            "What is the alternative to 'a bit more policing"

            Two people had really good answers:

            1) education, fighting poverty and more mental health care

            2) stop producing terrorists

            As stated, the leaders and funders of terrorism may be well educated and well to do, but generally not the suicide bombers. Those with a cushy life generally see no reason to end it early, and prefer to find someone else to do it for them (sort of like all the chickenhawks in DC who never served or if they did never fought a real war, but are only too happy to send America's young men to fight pointless wars for them) A place where most of the men are poorly educated, living in poverty and have very high unemployment meaning little prospect of having a family is prime recruiting ground for extremists.

            The second point is the one that too many people - at least those in the US - don't want to hear. They don't believe that the constant wars, helping coups, drone attacks, etc. help create terrorists. The US has itself to blame for creating Al Qaeda, by meddling in Afghanistan when the USSR was trying to take it over. Given how little success we had without another superpower getting involved, it is pretty safe to say that the USSR would have failed in that attempt even if the CIA hadn't created Bin Laden and the rest of the mujahideen. The war in Iraq created "Al Qaeda in Iraq", which after the US decided to get involved in the Syrian civil war later turned into ISIS.

            We have ourselves to blame, for creating them, and they have good reasons to want to attack us. Notice how they never attack Switzerland? Why is that? Do they have such superior police and security that they are able to detect and stop all attacks before they occur? Or maybe, just maybe, is it possible that terrorists don't attack them because they don't have any reason to hate them, given that Switzerland remains neutral and doesn't think they are the world police?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce

        "So what in a civilised country is the alternative to a bit more policing?". To stop producing terrorists, perhaps?.

      3. oldcoder

        Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce

        Hate to say it, but more freedoms. Less "might makes right".

        More education for a big one.

        Better big projects (my favorite would be establishment of a lunar colony mining for construction material for satellites and exploration). Get people enthused over exploration and learning instead of money.

        BTW, the ORIGINAL attacks should have been treated as the criminal acts they were. Instead, we got knee jerk reactions and a lot of political drama.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Banning encryption won't stop an attack like the one in NIce

        AC "...the alternative to >a bit< more policing?"

        You spelled 'a lot' incorrectly.

        And even then, all it would accomplish is forcing them to think up more imaginative attacks.

        One doesn't need much more than a room temperature IQ, even in °C, to see that your proposal is useless and simply awful.

  8. Blipvert

    Coronary Heart Disease...

    meet John McCain, hope you two will get along.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Coronary Heart Disease...

      "Faster! Faster would be better!" - Firefly

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    John McCain is an ass. Once upon a time, I didn't think so. But for last ten or fifteen.. he's been a complete ass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah - he's always been an ass. The only thing he's ever accomplished was getting shot down and captured. Just read up on his inglorious history.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possibly the wrong strategy here by Cook. Jaw jaw is better than war war, as Churchill said. By refusing to talk with them Cook is literally inviting the politicians to reach their own conclusions. If they do that with zero input from Cook then he can hardly complain about the laws that get passed in the future. Sure, it may not be a law dreamt up by McCain, but there's a lot of law enforcement pressure to change the current situation. It'd be a whole lot better if the whole tech industry were sat at the table talking about it, instead of pretending that they have no need to participate. Or do they think they control the whole democratic process?

    Besides, what's Cook worried about? That McCain would make him look stupid?

    1. Notas Badoff

      Off script?

      "By refusing to talk with them Cook is literally inviting the politicians to reach their own conclusions."

      In theatres they do these things called plays. Those have scripts. And most everybody knows that the actors are _not_ ad-libbing. The script for this particular play was written long ago to agree with the 'conclusions' decided long ago.

      Tim declined to show up for the role of Bottom. And that frustrates McPuck? Applause all around!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Off script?

        Tim declined to show up for the role of Bottom. And that frustrates McPuck? Applause all around!

        Right, so what if McPuck, or someone else, succeeds in passing a new law? Bottom would then be sulking, but wouldn't be entitled to complain about it.

        Sigh, since when has it become necessary to denote Shakesperian references on a UK website with hyperlinks to corresponding articles on Wikipedia? Still, these days it would be entirely understandable if readers assumed it was a reference to the great TV series Bottom, representative YouTube here

        1. Herb LeBurger
          Happy

          Re: Off script?

          "since when has it become necessary to denote Shakesperian references on a UK website with hyperlinks to corresponding articles on Wikipedia?"

          This dumb Yankee appreciates the links.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Off script?

            This dumb Yankee appreciates the links.

            This one too - because that is NOT the "bottom" to which I thought you were referring. I had incorrectly assumed it was a crass reference to Mr. Cook's sexuality (which I share, mind you.)

        2. Woza
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Off script?

          "Right, so what if McPuck, or someone else, succeeds in passing a new law? Bottom would then be sulking, but wouldn't be entitled to complain about it."

          However, if Bottom *did* attend and a new law was passed, then he's still not entitled to complain - he'd have given his input and been consulted, right?

          Heads you win, tails I lose. I don't blame him for staying out of it.

  11. Neil Alexander

    McCain's just pissed because Tim Cook knows that the Government have absolutely nothing sensible to say about encryption. Cook's refusal to entertain it sends a powerful message, one that not many companies are strong enough to send.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the same era as Snowden exposed widespread NSA abuse...

    * WTF did McCain expect? There's a total lack of self-awareness in US politicians and the elite that just boggles the mind....

    * Face it US legislators, prosecutors, law enforcement.... You have lost the public trust. Even the courts are siding with the outside world (M$ ruling this week).

    * No one trusts you to not abuse this kind of power. We know it'll get pissed away on favors-to influential-friends / special-interests, while persecuting anyone who doesn't fit your world view or support the status quo.

    * Expect the vulnerable or anyone calling out wrong doing, to be first in the firing line. Examples: investigative journalists, whistle-blowers, human rights activists, EFF/EPIC, or just about anyone pointing out political or corporate corruption.

    * Hell Bush even used the Patriot Act to monitor the flight-plans of Congressmen he wanted to track whenever it suited him! And in the UK there's been countless abuses and breaches of trust by the UK police reported here on the Reg...

    * But, but, no... we need this to catch T's and P's... Get stuffed John McCain Prisoner of War!... We're all victims of the War-on-Privacy now, aren't we John...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In the same era as Snowden exposed widespread NSA abuse...

      Face it US legislators, prosecutors, law enforcement.... You have lost the public trust. Even the courts are siding with the outside world (M$ ruling this week). Etc. Etc.

      Er, so who elected them into the job if it wasn't the public?

      If you don't like the lot that's there now, stand for election and do something about it. That's how it works. A population gets the politicians it votes for, and if better people are too lazy to stand for election then they won't get the best people doing the job.

      1. Elf

        Re: In the same era as Snowden exposed widespread NSA abuse...

        Er, so who elected them into the job if it wasn't the public?

        Clearly you haven't been watching "elections" for the last 16 years or so her the U.S.. You may have noticed that the candidated we *want* here in the US get pushed aside for candidates crammed down our throats (or up our asses) and then gerrymandering and straight making up election results pretty much precludeds the question of "who elected them". If you happen to find out who "elected" them, there are a number of us who would very much like to know.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In the same era as Snowden exposed widespread NSA abuse...

        "That's how it works."

        When the system has been corrupted by money and greed,it doesn't really work.

        In the USA, this corruption has essentially been written into law, with the campaign funding rules.

        Y'all should fix that.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: In the same era as Snowden exposed widespread NSA abuse...

        Who elected them?

        Money, big money.

        That ensured that only candidates that have been bought and paid for appear on the ballot papers.

        The electorate then have a clear choice between

        a candidate that owes their political allegance to one group of crooks

        OR

        a candidate that owes their .... another bunch of mobsters.

        You get the best paid for candidate.

        US Democracy at its best.

        It is time that the US System was overhauled from top to bottom otherwise this will just keep on going on. Limiting the amount of money that candidates can spend (including their so called 'friends') would be a good start.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If u don't like the lot that's there stand for election do something about it. That's how it works"

      Really, where have you been for the past few decades??? The game is rigged dude! You need money, backing and influential friends just to stand in Washington.... Reason: There's always special interests on the other side, willing to back the other guy for what they can get in return later on....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "If u don't like the lot that's there stand for election do something about it...

        You need money, backing and influential friends just to stand in Washington

        Right, so has anyone thought to form a new party and invite Apple / Cook to back it?

        Thought not.

        1. oldcoder

          Re: "If u don't like the lot that's there stand for election do something about it...

          Of course... but then the politicians are still bought and paid for by whoever provides the funding.

          The politician is NOT independent.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Right, so has anyone thought to form a new party and invite Apple / Cook to back it?"

      Cheaper to just pay lobbyists for whoever is in power....

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boycot apple now!

    Where's the drumpfster when you need him? Ohh he'll be along soon. This could get quite interesting indeed.

  14. DerekCurrie
    Stop

    Technology and US Constitution Illiterate

    [An edit of what I've posted elsewhere about this totalitarian rubbish:]

    HEY STUPID SENATOR McCAIN!

    The FOURTH AMENDMENT to the US Constitution!

    THAT’S WHY your hearing is NONSENSE! That's why technology leaders choose not to attend!

    You're technology and US Constitution illiterate!

    Reading Assignment: The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Now cut the totalitarian BS, STFU and Do Your Job of representing We The People! Sheesh! :-P (I think the guy is seriously senile).

    [My latest mantra:

    Governments serve their citizens, never the opposite!]

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Technology and US Constitution Illiterate

      The US ruling class hates the Constitution because it gives the peasants the legal ability to muck up their attempts to impose their diktats. McCain is a nominal Elephant member of the ruling class.

    2. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Technology and US Constitution Illiterate

      Prohibiting use of encryption entirely would have no fourth amendment impact whatever. Doing so might infringe the first amendment, but that would be an entirely different issue.

      "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

      Clearly, a smart phone or computer can be thought of as an "effect" en this context, but the real content of this is that the government is prohibited from a range of activity -"unreasonable searches and seizures" - unless it follows procedures that were fairly well defined in the English common law long before it was adopted nearly entire by the US and have been refined and updated with some frequency in the succeeding 2+ centuries. Those protections exist as much for unencrypted or otherwise unsecured phones and computers as they do for those that are well secured.

      A secured device will offer better protection against inadvertent or intentional government violation of civil rights, or undesired, unauthorized, and often illegal access by non-government entities. However, US governments have been able to gain authorization, with proper justification, obtained in the correct way, to search and seize as described in properly issued warrants. Under the US Constitution they have been able to do so for the last 225 years. Encryption does not change that except potentially to render the results of the search or seizure unusable, and that is properly a matter of concern for officials charged with enforcing the laws and prosecuting those who violate them.

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

      I guess that Senator McCain and the others on the Armed Services Committee understand the Constitution reasonably well, although their understanding may be more in line with the actual provisions and jurisprudence than that of some others.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    There is no age limit on Senators

    I'm not sure there's one on Congresspeople.

    Presumably on the theory that somehow "age" == "wisdom."

    One made the century as a Senator from some Southern state.

    I think he's the reason when film makers want to depict a crooked senior politician (Brian Cox seems a popular choice for such tasks) they give him a Southern accent.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: There is no age limit on Senators

      Of course there isn't - the "sen" bit means elderly.

      I'm over 65, I wouldn't allow anyone over 70 in government.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: There is no age limit on Senators

        No Trump, then, and no Clinton (over 70 next October), as well as no Sanders. Except for the last, I'm OK with that.

  16. oldcoder

    I believe you can thank "Senator Beauregard Claghorn" for that instead. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senator_Claghorn)

    Or perhaps the 1935 Shirly Temple movie "The Little Colonel". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Colonel)

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      No, I was thinking of this fellow.

      He's one of the reasons for the f**ked up state of the US ITAR laws.

      Which seems to have been his major "contribution" to politics.

      Apart from his 24 hr+ filllibuster to maintain segregation, despite having knocked up 16YO Black girl

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the point of Cook showing up to a committee that's clearly already made its mind up? Utter waste of time.

    1. Marcus Fil

      What's the point of Cook showing up to a committee that's clearly already made its mind up? Utter waste of time and someone else's money.

      FTFY

  18. partypop69

    Why would Timmy want to come to a meeting about encryption? I wouldn't either. Who cares. Encryption is the future, stop hating.

  19. David Roberts Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Traditional cipher?

    As far as I can see the underlying agenda is to provide the ability to read all information in transit and not worry too much about warrants and stuff.

    This also gives the ability to extend "terrorism" to cover minor civil alleged misdemeanours. For an illustration of feature creep, check out the UK RIPA.

    For those trying to pretend that having electronic encryption is something special and new and prior to this a search of a premises would reveal all the information required, I would point to the long tradition of keeping secret (paper) diaries in code. Some substitution ciphers are difficult if not impossible to crack without knowing the source text(s) used. So you have to pressure the owner (if still alive) to assist in the decoding. Sound familiar?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still a spoiled brat

    Will this guy ever go away? Even if his father and grandfather we both CNO in their day this hellspawn destroyed the family name before he ever made it to the academy. The Navy couldn't get rid of him fast enough so pawned him off on the rest of us as a politician.

    He is the exact opposite of everything his forefathers stood for and no that ship isn't named after him it's named after his grandfather.

  21. EastFinchleyite

    Here today; gone tomorrow (or perhaps January 2017)

    McCain holds a seat in a traditionally GOP state and normally his re-election this year would be a formality. He won in 2010 with 59% of the vote. This year it could be different.

    - he is getting very old and has made numerous mistakes (Palin not the least or last.)

    - he is being challenged within the GOP by a Tea-Party candidate that will push him to the right. Things he says and does to win his GOP Primary could cost him swing votes in November.

    - The Trump effect is making Arizona much less GOP. If you want to piss off 2 million Latinos then Arizona is a good place to start. The down ticket Trump blowback could be critical

    - Anne Kirkpatrick is working hard.

    Maybe talking to McCain is now regarded as a waste of time

    http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2016/Senate/Maps/Jul17.html

    -

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too many cooks spoil the broth

    Kangaroo tail soup anyone?

  23. sitta_europea

    It seems to me that everybody has forgotten that it is trivially easy to send coded messages which are not crackable by current technology WITHOUT using end-to-end encryption.

    A million dollars to anyone who can crack this:

    atsp pkttma ptmkk strtutp tmp kputt kam ktrttk ptr km skttspu mmas

    ttrkut arm amuarts pmmkprs tptpsua rmuk tst apukk apsata tauam masm

    tk murr tpatrtp upkrstt rmtra tmurt uprstk mkrtuu mr mrsa rm sutm ut

    usaps mtmr tpurkk prs stk amts pmpt tktt akpts trutp ppsu kstmk au

    strmukr rrsk uprr kskurps attmrrr mkasmmm ss krusurs rrsss ukrtua

    ktatsm aupamtp takm

    Have fun!

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Holmes

      OTP

      Sure, you can send unreadable messages, either using an One Time Pad (OTP), or just sending gibberish. But the point of a message is to be read; you just want to ensure that the right person, and only the right person, can read them - that's the hard part.

      So you use an OTP for which the designated recipient has the key, the hard part is to make sure that no-one else has the key, the very hard part is getting the key to the intended recipient, with minimal chance for interception, without meeting face-to-face.

  24. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Seriously?

    I don't agree with the senator when it comes to allowing back doors for encryption, but don't trash someone who was a POW. Especially when news comes from crappy internet web sites with no credibility, no proof, and isn't picked up by a national/world media organization. To do so only makes you a hard headed partisan whose brain is so closed you're no longer able to think for yourself or think critically.

    In all reality, Cook missed an opportunity to be the opposition voice for this... because of his apparent hatred of anyone who wants to mess with encryption. Because of this, it really p$$@#! me off he didn't show. Cook has more than enough experience and knowledge to have answered any questions thrown at him, and given a chance to provide light on a the subject. Congress isn't a bunch of computer nerds, so without testimony from opposition (which is done all the time).

    McCain is equally boneheaded because he is focusing too much on Apple, instead of working a few other angles; which in my view would do him more good... but I must admit I'm glad he isn't!

    It's also apparent people don't understand the 5th amendment and when it can be used. When asking questions to put together facts, and the questions aren't geared towards pressing charges or criminal acts... the 5th can't be used. This should be obvious. Nobody is saying Cook has broken the law, he's just standing up for what he believes to be an infringement on his rights.

  25. Mahhn

    McCain is as corrupt as any politician and is nothing more than an angry self-centered fool. He "always" has been. I am a US citizen and love my country, but not most politicians.

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