Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says he was ‘disappointed’ in reports claiming he sides with the FBI in its battle with Apple over breaking into an iPhone, saying they did not reflect his view on the issue.
During an interview with The Financial Times, Gates disputed concerns by Apple CEO Tim Cook that creating software to break into the phone of one of the killers in the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings would become a “master key” for access to any iPhone.
“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.”
However, during an interview later Tuesday with Bloomberg, Gates seemed to dispute headlines claiming he agrees with the FBI in this situation. “I was disappointed because that doesn’t state my view on this,” said Gates. “I do believe that with the right safeguards, there are cases where the government on our behalf, like stopping terrorism which could get worse in the future — that that is valuable.”
Asked specifically his thoughts on the Apple/FBI case, Gates said the courts will ultimately make the decision. “In the meantime, that gives us this opportunity to get the discussion, and these issues will be decided in Congress.”
Top names in Silicon Valley including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have stepped forward in support of Apple as it pushes the government to drop a request to unlock the iPhone.
On Monday, Cook addressed the issue in a memo to employees and through a Q&A posted on Apple’s website. “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,” said Cook.