Bill Gates Clarifies Statements On Apple Vs. FBI, Calls For Safeguards And Discussion

Editor’s note: A previous version of this post had the headline “Bill Gates Says Apple Should Unlock The iPhone” but Gates appeared on Bloomberg after this report was published, and attempted to clarify his intentions. You can watch the whole interview here where he backpedals a bit.

Bill Gates is siding with the FBI and says Apple should unlock the phone of the San Bernardino shooter. In an interview with FT, the Microsoft founder simply reiterates the Justice Department’s claim that this is a one-off case and the FBI is not asking for a general unlocking tool.

“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” Bill Gates told The Financial Times. “They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case,”

“It is no different than [the question of] should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records,” he said. “Let’s say the bank had tied a ribbon round the disk drive and said ‘don’t make me cut this ribbon because you’ll make me cut it many times’.”

Gates’ comments stands in stark contrast to those made by executives at Google, Facebook and much of Silicon Valley, who have applauded Tim Cook’s hardline stance against opening this particular iPhone.

Just yesterday Tim Cook released another letter, this time to Apple employees, where he called for the FBI order to be dropped and thanking Apple employees for working on security features that protect customer data.

Apple vs FBI