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.