Apple's Wozniak Calls Snooping Laws 'Evil'

The co-founder of Apple has said proposed surveillance laws are "evil" and that it's "wrong" for companies like Apple to pay so little tax.

Speaking to Sky News about the Investigatory Powers Bill, which would require companies to keep people's internet browsing history for a year, Steve Wozniak said: "This would give them ultimate power over companies, individuals and companies, to snoop, to find everything.

"I was told that was the evil part about communism when I was growing up. And now we'll justify it because we want it?"

Mr Wozniak, now 65 years old,  founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976. It is now the largest company in the world and has become embroiled in a dispute with the US government about unlocking data on its phones relating to criminal investigations.

Most notably, it refused to write software to break into the phone of one of the San Bernadino killers, forcing the FBI to pay $1.3m to crack the device.

A local police cruiser drives by the home of Raheel Farook, brother of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, in Corona, California

A local police cruiser drives by the home of Raheel Farook, brother of San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, in Corona, California

The FBI clashed with Apple over the San Bernardino investigation

But it also refuses to extract data from phones in other cases, including a drugs prosecution in Brooklyn.

Mr Wozniak defended the company - where he is still an employee - and said that encryption was vital.

"Apple's doing about all it can. There are a lot of ways to investigate and solve crimes and you don't need this.

"My phone has such a personal connection, it's my life. It's like your home. And our constitution protects your home."

Mr Wozniak also said that anyone surprised by the revelations of the Panama Papers had "psychological problems".

"I feel very sorry for people who have psychological problems and have to get angry about something that always existed, that we've always known, that wealthy parties and companies have all these offshore places to hide money - it's always existed."

Apple's Latest iPhone Models Go On Sale Across U.S.

Apple's Latest iPhone Models Go On Sale Across U.S.

iPhone sales are widely expected to fall

Apple should pay more tax, Mr Wozniak said, but couldn't be blamed for using offshore structures.

"It's not right and we should say that it's wrong," he told Sky News.

"But there's financial people and their motivations are only to find the last little penny that they can get by any trickery.

"Every single company in the world would do it. And Apple isn't run by a few ethical people - it's run by millions of shareholders."

Apple is reportedly set to unveil its first drop in iPhone sales in its forthcoming results.

Mr Wozniak was fairly sanguine about the technology giant's prospects.

"Apple's now following tendencies. Eventually you might run out of how much you can make it dissimilar, it's just 'this year's.

"I think automobiles is going to be the next big one for Apple. Because it's such a huge company, you have to look at something that's worth huge amounts of money.

"Could Apple's car be just another good car, or could it be something shocking that we can't even imagine right now? An Apple product has to be so indpeendt and distinct on its own. We're going to find out when it;'s out, and that might be years from now."

:: To see the full interview, watch Swipe this weekend on Sky News.

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