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Apple's FBI Fight Draws Strong Opinions

Apple's FBI Fight Draws Strong Opinions
Apple's standoff against the FBI has others in the tech industry coming forward with their own opinions.

Most in the tech industry are backing Apple's claim that creating a backdoor in iOS for the FBI is unsettling and could be abused but the Microsoft founder was reported to be siding with the FBI. "Apple has access to the information, they're just refusing to provide the access," Bill Gates was quoted as saying in a statement to the Financial Times. "You shouldn't call the access some special thing." Following reports that he sided fully with the FBI on the matter, Gates came forward in a later interview with Bloomberg, saying that he was "disappointed" by these reports because they do not reflect his views. "I do believe there are sets of safeguards where the government shouldn't have to be completely blind," said Gates. "But striking that balance … clearly the government's taken information historically and used it in ways that we didn't expect, going all the way back to the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover."

While Gates' opinion may be muddled, others have come forward with clearer opinions. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "We're sympathetic with Apple on this one. We believe in encryption." He added, "I don't think requiring backdoors into encryption is either going to be an effective way to increase security or is really the right thing to do for the direction the world is going in. So, yeah, we're pretty sympathetic with Tim and Apple on this one." Google CEO Sundar Pichai also vocalized his support of his competitor saying, "We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders." Meanwhile, FBI director Jim Comey called for everyone to "stop saying the world is ending." Apple has until Thursday, February 26 to submit its response to the federal court order.

Photo: © iStock.
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