Home Political John Oliver Destroys the FBI’s Case Against Encryption

John Oliver Destroys the FBI’s Case Against Encryption


John Oliver Destroys the FBI’s Case Against Encryption


Apple’s refusal to create a backdoor that would help the FBI get into an iPhone that once belonged to a terrorist caused a number of reactions from businessmen, IT experts and politicians.

Few, however, have the ability to summarize different aspects of a complex issue (and throw in a few jokes) as comedian John Oliver, who dissected the case in Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

In the 18-minute segment, Oliver reminds us of a similar case in the ’90s, when the U.S. government was bent on creating the Clipper chip, an encryption device with a built-in backdoor for monitoring phone calls — a plan that fell through a few years after its inception in 1993.

Oliver also points out that those who need encryption can get apps that support it — such as messaging app Telegram — regardless of Apple.

Ultimately, Oliver sides with Apple, though he does admit that backdoor-free encryption comes with a price.

“There is no easy side to be on in this debate. Strong encryption has its costs, from protecting terrorists, to drug dealers, to child pornographers. But I happen to feel that the risks of weakening encryption, even a little bit, even just for the government, are potentially much worse.”

At the end of the video, Oliver throws in a fake Apple ad, showing how tough it is for the company to be ahead of hackers and protect their users’ privacy in the first place. Even if you’re sick of the Apple/FBI iPhone encryption debate, check out this part of the video just for the laughs; it starts at the 15:50 mark.