Bill Gates Sides With FBI in San Bernardino iPhone Case
Microsoft's co-founder breaks rank with other tech giants to support the FBI in its efforts to unlock an iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.Bill Gates, Microsoft's storied co-founder and former CEO, is siding with U.S. law enforcement officials in the controversial San Bernardino iPhone case. Apple CEO Time Cook has publicly rejected a court order to assist the FBI in unlocking an encrypted iPhone 5C used by Syed Farook, one of the suspects in the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead and another 22 wounded. In a Feb. 16 letter to customers, Cook argued that the FBI wanted Apple to create a new version of the iPhone operating system that circumvents key security features. "In the wrong hands, this software—which does not exist today—would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone's physical possession," wrote Cook. "The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control." Cook's stance has garnered the support of other influential tech CEOs, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Jack Dorsey and Google's Sundar Pichai.
"We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that's wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices and data," wrote Pinchai in a series of Feb. 17 tweets. "Could be a troubling precedent."