Bill Gates Sides With FBI, Mark Zuckerberg With Apple, In iPhone Encryption Case
A number of high profile names from the business world have already come out in support of Apple as the company fights against a federal court order to assist law enforcement in unlocking an iPhone involved in the San Bernardino shootings in California. Notably, current Google CEO Sundar Pichai offered his support to Apple, calling the move a “troubling precedent” if allowed to continue. Now, a couple of additional figure heads from the technology community have chimed in with an opinion, one in favor of Apple’s stance on the case, and one supporting the FBI’s position.
Microsoft co-founder, American business magnate, and world famous philanthropist, Bill Gates, has spoken up about the situation, offering his opinion and support in favor of what the FBI is trying to achieve with the demand.
It seems that Gates isn’t particularly swayed by Apple’s argument that cooperating with the FBI would ultimately compromise the security of users and their data going forward:
This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case. It is no different than should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records.
Gates also goes as far as calling for a debate on the situation that would hopefully result in a best practice of safeguards being built to prevent any kind of backdoor from being abused. In contrast to the option of Microsoft co-founder Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also added his option to the growing debate. Zuckerberg has joined Google CEO Sundar Pichai and WhatsApp founder Jan Koum in support of Apple, stating that Facebook as a company is “sympathetic with Apple on this one”. Speaking at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg took the opportunity to address the situation:
We’re sympathetic with Apple on this one. We believe in encryption. I expect it’s not the right thing to try to block that from the mainstream products people want to use, and I think it’s not going to be the right regulatory or economic policy to put in place.
We have a feeling that the majority of the debate is just getting started on this situation as Apple looks to fight a court order that essentially asks them to create an entirely new version of iOS that would allow security measures to be circumvented from the device. Meanwhile Tim Cook has explained the company’s stance to all its employees by issuing an email, and has also posted a FAQ page and a public letter to Apple customers.
Update x1: In a new interview, Bill Gates has now told Bloomberg that he is disappointed the way his view on the subject have been presented. He further clarified that he does not side with FBI in this particular case and believes that the issue should be decided by court.