Apple is doubling down on its iOS security stance with its latest hire.
Apple has hired Geneva-based Frederic Jacobs, one of the world's leading advocates for end-to-end encryption, and the developer of Edward Snowden-endorsed iOS messaging app Signal, to its Core OS Security team. This team oversees the framework for developers to access certificates, private and public keys, and cryptographic keys, which stores user data without exposing it to other parts of the operating system.
From Jacobs on Twitter:
I'm delighted to announce that I accepted an offer to be working with the Core OS security team at Apple this summer.— Frederic Jacobs (@FredericJacobs) February 25, 2016
Jacobs is well-known for his work with Open Whisper Systems, where he was the lead developer for the iOS version of Signal, a simple messaging app that promotes end-to-end encryption and reliable, fast communication. He has also worked with popular crowdsourced journalism organization, Bellingcat, and is working with Swiss-based fintech startup, Bity, on a Bitcoin-based exchange.
In recent days, since the FBI's court order to force Apple to modify its iOS software to allow the government agency to attempt to break one of the now-dead San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone password, the company has vigorously defended not only its stance on customer privacy, which excludes the use of backdoors for governments, but the importance of proper security engineering. iMessage has caused government consternation in the past because Apple claims that even with a warrant it is not possible to intercept messages sent between two devices.
Apple has reportedly filled a number of security-related roles for the iOS team over the past few months. Jacobs will be joining Apple as an intern for an undisclosed period.