Google CEO: FBI's request of Apple could set a 'troubling precedent'

Sundar Pichai has some concerns about user privacy.

AP Photo/Tony Avelar

Tim Cook did not mince words in a lengthy open response to the FBI's order that Apple create a backdoor to allow the agency access to a terrorism suspect's iPhone. Plenty of privacy groups and Apple customers have praised Cook's words thus far, and now one of Apple's biggest competitors is showing support for the company's stance. Google CEO Sundar Pichai just posted a series of tweets regarding Cook's letter and it seems he firmly comes down on the same side as Apple's leader.

"Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users' privacy," Pichai tweeted after calling Cook's post "important." He goes on to note that Google understands and respects the challenges law enforcement faces, but he believes that "giv[ing] law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders" is entirely different than "requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data." Pichai also calls Google's products "secure" and says that they "keep your information safe" and said he's looking forward to a "thoughtful and open" discussion about the issues that the FBI's order have raised.

Most of Cook and Pichai's contemporaries like Microsoft's Satya Nadella haven't yet made any public statements on the matter, but it wouldn't surprise us to hear other major software and hardware providers throw support behind Apple on this front, as well. WhatsApp CEO and founder Jan Koum posted a statement in support of Apple on his Facebook page earlier today, and he likely won't be the only one. Public sentiment came down strongly in favor of privacy when Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the US government's ability to monitor its citizen's supposedly private communication, and they'll probably be on the side of Apple this time around.