Cyber diplomacy bureau opens for business
NATSEC OFFICIALS BACK APPLE — Nearly two dozen former national security officials made a familiar argument in an amicus brief filed late last week in the ongoing antitrust battle between Epic Games and Apple: allowing iPhone owners to download mobile apps outside of Apple’s App Store — something Epic is fighting for and Apple is resisting — could make their phones more vulnerable to hacking and espionage.
The group, led by former DHS official Paul Rosenzweig, argued in an amicus brief filed Thursday that allowing app downloads outside of the App Store will make it harder for Apple to prevent customers from accidentally downloading spyware, malware and other malicious apps onto their phones. That argument is similar to what Apple and other tech giants have been saying in recent months, as both U.S. and European lawmakers push to toughen their competition laws.
Rosenzweig organized the brief with his lawyers at Robbins Russell, who then circulated it among the other signatories. Rosenzweig told your MC host that the brief’s goal was to educate the courts on the ways these antitrust cases could possibly weaken the country’s cyber and national security landscape.
Signatories include a consortium of former officials at CISA, Cyber Command, the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, the White House and more. They don’t hold back, warning in the brief that “the world in which Epic prevails also immediately places individuals and the country at risk.”
“There’s some concern among antitrust advocates that this is all just sort of blown up by the tech companies and that this is a concern that only they hold,” said Tatyana Bolton, a former CISA official who also signed onto the brief, in an interview. “What we’re trying to do here is really signal that it’s not just tech companies. These cybersecurity concerns are real.”