Bill Gates Bucks Tech Trend, Sides With FBI

The government is 'not asking for some general thing'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2016 6:26 AM CST
Bill Gates Bucks Tech Trend, Sides With FBI
Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates is introduced Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at Microsoft's annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Wash.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Bill Gates stands alone. Well, and with the FBI. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates addressed the question of whether Apple should comply with the FBI's request (and a federal judge's order) to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, and in Gates' view, the specificity of that request matters. The government is "not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case," he said. "It is no different than [the question of] should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records." He spins that into an analogy: "Let's say the bank had tied a ribbon round the disk drive and said, 'Don’t make me cut this ribbon because you’ll make me cut it many times.'"

Fortune points out that Tim Cook continues to vehemently disagree about the one-off nature of the case, on Monday sending a letter to Apple employees that asserted "the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people" is at stake. The letter also laid out a suggested way forward: via Congress. Per TechCrunch, Cook suggests the formation of "a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology, and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy, and personal freedoms. Apple would gladly participate in such an effort." Another tech bigwig gave his two cents on Monday, reports the BBC: Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Mark Zuckerberg said he didn't see a required back door to encryption as "really the right thing to do. We are pretty sympathetic to Tim [Cook] and Apple." (Read more Apple stories.)

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