John Oliver donated the bulk of Sunday’s Last Week Tonight action to the increasingly loaded topic of encryption, breaking it all the way down with his usual attention to detail. Of course, much has been said about the ongoing showdown between Apple and the FBI regarding the inherent risks of backdoors and those who actually use them, with most of Apple’s peers in the tech industry also siding against the government. However, though it’s easy to imagine these dangers in terms of leaked nudes, everyday Americans may sometimes have a spot of trouble truly understanding the extent of what an FBI victory just might entail.
"Encryption can protect the things most important to us," Oliver insisted. "Our financial information, health records, dick pics, trade secrets, classified government records, dick pics, our physical location, the physical location of our dicks, credit card information, dick pics and pictures of our dicks." Though "dick pics" are indeed a very crucial aspect to this battle, Oliver then outlined the underlying issue at play: clever hackers.
"There’s no easy side to be on in this debate," Oliver said, championing Apple. "Strong encryption has its costs, from protecting terrorists, to drug dealers, to child pornographers. But I happen to feel that the risks of weakening encryption, even just a little bit, even just for the government, are potentially much worse." Noting that a forthright approach might serve both parties in this battle quite well, Oliver then unveiled a decidedly "honest" Apple ad regarding the nature of privacy.
For more on why exactly Apple's fight against the FBI is so important (and why you should care), revisit our recent breakdown here.