Bill Gates supports US govt in face-off with Apple

2016-02-24 05:16
Bill Gates. (AP)

Bill Gates. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Bill Gates is supportive of investigators' efforts to force Apple to help them crack into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, saying a balance needs to be struck between government access and the need to preserve data security.

While clarifying he doesn't support untrammelled government access to personal data, the Microsoft co-founder's position runs contrary to those of many tech executives who have backed Apple. The heads of Facebook, Twitter and Google have all sided with Apple on the grounds that complying with the government's request would ultimately undermine data privacy.

Gates stated in a handful of interviews that it's not uncommon for phone companies and banks to hand over customer information to investigators. He questioned why tech companies should be treated differently.

In particular, he took issue with Apple CEO Tim Cook's argument that helping the crack the shooter's iPhone would set a broader precedent.

"They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case," Gates, who remains a technical adviser to Microsoft, told the Financial Times in a Tuesday interview.

And in a lengthy interview on Charlie Rose on PBS, Gates said that if government is "blind", it might not be able to stop online crimes such as tax evasion, child pornography and, most importantly, terrorism.

He added in an interview with The Associated Press that public opinion will likely be on the government's side, saying "I do think people want the government to act on their behalf if they feel like the safeguards are there."

But Gates later on Tuesday said that he was being mischaracterised by the media as backing the FBI.

"The extreme view that government always gets everything, nobody supports that," he told Bloomberg News. "Having the government be blind, people don't support that."

Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym last week ordered Apple to assist investigators by creating specialised software that would let the FBI rapidly test random passcode combinations to try to unlock the iPhone and view data stored on it.

The county-issued iPhone 5C was used by Syed Farook, who with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people at an office holiday party in December before they died in a gun battle with police.

But Apple maintains that creating such software would set a dangerous precedent, threatening data security for millions by making essentially a master key that could later be duplicated and used against other phones.

Read more on:    apple  |  microsoft  |  bill gates  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.