John Oliver took on the great encryption code debate Sunday, and after careful consideration, the HBO host sided with Apple.
He used a few TV and pop culture examples along the way to making his point. Citing “Downton Abbey,” the “Last Week Tonight” host explained why the Tim Cook-led company can’t just write a magic code on a piece of paper, use it once, and toss it in the fireplace: “They’re a cutting-edge technology company — not Lord Grantham,” he said.
And Oliver doesn’t want to hear your “We put a man on the moon, but we can’t …” argument.
“We have yet to master time-travel,” he said, throwing up a “Doctor Who” photo, “or figure out why Hulk Hogan dresses for court like he’s a pall bearer at a boa constrictor’s funeral.”
Oliver concluded that forcing Apple to create a so-called master key is more dangerous than it is beneficial.
“People who want encryption will always be able to find it,” he said, citing popular app Telegram, among others.
Plus, the ex-“Daily Show” correspondent and summer fill-in host sees the bigger picture, that such technology could end up in the wrong hands, making the federal government regret its mandate awfully quickly.
“Russia and China have as much respect for privacy as horny teenagers in ’80s comedies,” Oliver quipped.
At the end of the lengthy clip, Oliver and his writers offered Apple a new, honest commercial to run. Readers can fast-forward to about the 16-minute mark to skip to that fun.
The TV ad stars Rich Sommer of “Mad Men,” and it’s pretty darn funny.
Watch the video above.
The whole debate surrounds the iPhone of San Bernadino shooters Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook. The FBI is demanding that Apple help it unlock the cell phone. Apple is refusing, citing a potential Pandora’s Box situation.