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Apple vs. FBI: Who Elected Tim Cook?

February 21, 2016, 2:23 PM UTC
Apple Event
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple Watch, which he is wearing, on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. Apple's new wearable device marks the company's first major entry in a new product category since the iPad's debut in 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Photograph by Marcio Jose Sanchez — AP

“We didn’t elect Tim Cook to protect privacy,” writes Robert Levine in a Sunday New York Times op-ed piece about the San Bernardino stand-off between Apple (AAPL) and the FBI. “That’s what governments are for.”

“But the current choice,” he concludes, “is between a government that doesn’t seem to recognize limits to its own power to access personal information and a technology company that does. It’s a bad choice, but an obvious one. While nobody elected Mr. Cook to protect our privacy, we should be glad someone is.”

That’s one point of view. It happens to be mine. It’s one shared by eight out of nine U.S. newspaper editorial boards and 71% of my readers.

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But Donald Trump, whose sense of where the wind is blowing is highly evolved, even if his tolerance for complexity is not, sees things differently.

“Tim Cook is living in a world of the make believe,” Trump told Bloomberg on Friday. “I would come down so hard on him—you have no idea—his head would be spinning all of the way back to Silicon Valley.”

For more on Apple, watch our video:

Nobody elected Tim Cook, Mr. Trump. But nobody’s elected you either. At least not yet.