David Muir’s one-on-one interview with Tim Cook

I just got done watching the ABC News one-on-one interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Though Craig Federighi and Bud Tribble were both there, this really was an interview with Tim Cook.

The interview opened up with this quote from Steve Jobs, a quote which is prominently displayed at Apple’s One Infinite Loop headquarters:

“If you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

Muir started with a focus on the new Mac Pro, stressing the fact that the Mac Pro is manufactured in Austin, Texas. Tim mentioned that the Mac Pro was just the start, in terms of on-shore manufacturing, briefly touching on the sapphire glass effort starting up in Phoenix.

There were glimpses of the 1984 SuperBowl commercial, and of Steve Jobs’ original Mac rollout.

Next, a brief discussion of secrecy (locked doors, black drapes over unannounced products) segued into the topic of the NSA and surveillance. To me, this was the most interesting part of the interview.

Tim Cook stressed the need for transparency, saying “We need to say what data is being given, how many people it affects, how many accounts are affected, we need to clear. And, we have a gag order on us right now and so we can’t say those things.”

There’s a shot of Tim Cook in a large group meeting with the President.

He continued, “Much of what has been said isn’t true. There is no back door. The government doesn’t have access to our servers. They would have to cart us out in a box for that. And that just will not happen. We feel that strongly about it.”

Muir: “Do you think Americans, Tim, would be more at ease if you could tell them more?”

Cook: “I do.”

Muir: “Are you going to press Congress for more transparency?”

Cook: “Yes. Absolutely, absolutely.”

After a brief moment of Bud Tribble playing the piano (that was really the only non-Tim Cook moment), Muir said to Tim, “Steve Jobs said to you, I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right.”

Tim replied, “But by saying what he said, for me, it relieved, I believe, a huge burden that would have existed, had he not said it. And so I think it was incredible of him to do that.”

This was not a long interview. It did not dive deep. But I did appreciate Tim Cook relating Apple’s position on government surveillance. He moved up two notches in my esteem by doing so.

  • Anamika

    NSA issue is not access to Apple Servers. It is about storing every communication going thru the Internet, Cell Phones, etc. By Changing definition of clear words, Government is lying on what it is doing. Mr. Cook is doing the same BS because as a citizen he is not against this thing because all the elites want a world wide surveillance system same way FBI was listening to all politicians and blackmailing them in the 50s and 60s. FISA didn’t change anything it just put it in court to decide but all Phone traffic was going thru NY for the same reason.

    Trying to hide behind foreign surveillance won’t change what is being done. Mr. Cook is also playing dumb, if he truly believes security then he should put all Apple document in the iCloud.

    • Might want to loosen that tin foil hat just a bit.

      What Tim Cook told us with that statement is that there is now a request from the FISA court for records in Apple’s servers. That has nothing to do with a backdoor Cook was talking about. They want Apple to hand it over.

      How do we know the request has been made? Because several months ago he said they had not had that request yet. He could not have said that if there was a request. So he pretty much told us in that interview that there is now in fact a government request for some data on Apple’s servers.

      And no doubt they are fighting it. But we also know they probably can’t win. But at least the told us for a fact that if they ever said they could not reveal such a thing, then we know for a fact that it has happened.

      Name one other company that went out of their way to make that clear to us?

      • Anaam

        I think you have reading comprehension problem.

        I guarantee you that Tim Cook supports the NSA program as defined and doesn’t think it is unconstitutional. Please become a reporter and go post the question. Then we shall see who is wearing Tin Foil Hat. No where did I reference any conspiratorial data or event everything taken from pages of history.

        • LOL! I have a masters of journalism from the leading j-school in the world.

          You’re the one with reading comprehension problems. You put words in Tim Cooks’ mouth which are the opposite of his public expressions just recently expressed.

          Unless you know him personally, you’re projecting your own animus on him. You know what projection is a symptom of, right? (I was also a psychiatric social worker.)

      • Anaam

        No other company can do that either because Internet is owned by US Government.

        Did you dispute what is US Government doing and has done in the past regarding the communication outside the US.

        Apple has 70% of its customer outside of US. Apple can’t fight anywhere in the world using American Laws which don’t protect non citizens.

        • What are you talking about? The US government doesn’t own the Internet. That’s crazy talk. No other company can reveal they have a FISA court order, because the government puts a gag order on anyone who has it. So I’m not sure what your point is in relation to Apple. Other than they have done everything they can to reveal what they can without getting charged. And they just said yesterday that they would fight any requests from the government tooth and nail. So your prejudice against Apple is misplaced.

          And you have it backwards. Apple’s money until recently was made mostly in the US, and the majority of their customers are in the US, and a lot of critics of Apple love to point out how little influence they have outside the US compared to the competition.

          You’re right about not being able to protect foreign citizens with US laws. So there’s that.