In a new interview with the Financial Times, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has instead backed the FBI, denying that they are asking for a back door. The Microsoft founder believes this is a one-off scenario, and that Apple should provide the government with the information they need to solve its case.
“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” Gates told The Financial Times. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case”.
While Apple CEO Tim Cook has consistently argued that unlocking one device would set a dangerous precedent, Gates doesn’t believe that it would. He argues that Apple has access to the information, but that they are declining to provide access to the information. Gates compares it to when a bank or telephone company is requested to give up records for a particular person.
Gates went on to say that there were benefits to governments having some access to information, but that there would have to be rules in place to limit how they can access that information. He says that he hopes people will “have that debate so that safeguards are built and so people do not opt out – and this will be in country by country – [to say] it is better that the government does not have access to any information.”
FBI director James Comey hopes to change that with an open letter published this week in which he insisted the bureau was simply trying to do its job and protect the American people.
“The San Bernardino litigation isn’t about trying to set a precedent or send any kind of message,” he wrote on the Lawfare blog. “It is about the victims and justice. Fourteen people were slaughtered and many more had their lives and bodies ruined. We owe them a thorough and professional investigation under law.”
This is a battle that’s sure to rage on, and it’s only going to get more interesting from here.
Bill Gates believes Apple Should Unlock San Bernardino Shooter’s iPhone