Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Bill Gates Says Apple Should Cooperate With the FBI

In its ongoing battle with the FBI, Apple has gained the support of other icons of the tech community. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Whatsapp CEO Jan Koum, Box CEO Aaron Levie and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have all publicly commended Apple for its decision to oppose a court order instructing it to weaken the security of an iPhone belonging to the gunman in the San Bernardino massacre.

But there’s one giant of the tech world who’s siding with the FBI.

In an interview with the Financial Times, billionaire Bill Gates said that Apple should cooperate with the government’s request. “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” the Microsoft co-founder said. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.” Gates said the FBI’s demand for a “back door” into the iPhone would not set a wider precedent.

Gates’ sentiment is similar to that of FBI director James Comey, who on Sunday released a lengthy statement saying that the government wants “the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it.” Comey denied that the FBI wanted to “break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.”

That reassurance has not convinced Apple CEO Tim Cook, who on Monday further defended his objection to obliging the FBI with a letter to Apple employees. He wrote that the case is about more than just a single iPhone. “At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties,” he said.

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