John Oliver Rewrites Apple Ads To Make Them More Honest About Encryption

On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver looked at length at the ongoing, complicated legal battle between Apple and the FBI, which has asked a court to compel the tech company to rewrite its software to allow authorities to search crime suspects’ locked iPhones. And while Oliver ultimately came down in defense of Apple’s position in the matter, he also believes the company could be more direct about presenting the reality of the situation.

In the 18-minute report, Oliver made the case that Apple and other tech companies shouldn’t have to weaken their encryption as it’s the only thing preventing our data from being stolen and hackers have proven time and again that they will find ways around security devices.

That said, the host notes that Apple “could help both their customers and the government understand this a lot better if they were a little more honest regarding security in their ads.”

And so, with the help of Mad Men‘s Rich Sommer and comedian Eugene Mirman in the memorable role of “Gary” the self-pleasuring hacker, Oliver created a new ad for Apple:

“Here’s something you should know,” clarifies the ad. “We’re barely one step ahead of hackers at all times, so that when you idiots lose your phone your information doesn’t wind up in the hands of guys like Gary.”

It continues: “So when the FBI comes to us as asks us if we can undermine our encryption without compromising everyone else’s emails, texts, and skateboarding videos, this is our response: ‘Are you f*cking kidding me? We’re engineers, not wizards.”

In the fake Apple ad, the company acknowledges some past failures: “We made the Newton; we made that one Mac that looked like a toaster; we actually thought the Apple Watch was cool…. We put a U2 album on your phone — you know, the one you’ve been struggling to delete but that thing keeps coming back.”

It concludes: “Best case scenario, we can keep hackers out of your stuff for about six months… so please, keep enjoying our products. Just know this shaky edifice could crumble at any moment.”

The company’s new, more honest slogan: “Apple. Join us as we dance madly on the lip of the volcano.”

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