Apple CEO Tim Cook Says, “Encryption is what makes the public safe.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke in Salt Lake City, Utah, as part of the US state’s “Utah Tech Tour” event. Taking questions from the audience, Cook discussed a number of subjects, including augmented reality, Apple’s business objectives, and formative lessons he has learned.

And when asked about security, he reiterated Apple’s hardline stance on user privacy — and the benefits of making strong encryption technology available to all.

‘This is one of the biggest issues that we face,” he said. “Encryption is what makes the public safe. As you know, there are people kept alive because the grid is up. If our grid goes down, if there was a grid attack, the public’s safety is at risk” — hence the need for encryption to protect it.

“You can imagine defense systems need encryption, because there are a few bad actors in the world who might like to attack those.”

“Some people have tried to make it out to be bad,” the chief executive told the audience at the Utah question-and-answer session. “Encryption is inherently great, and we would not be a safe society without it. So this is an area that is very, very important for us … as you can tell from our actions earlier this year, we throw all of ourselves into this.”

He added: “We’re very much standing on principle here.”

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