Bill Gates ‘disappointed’ everyone thought he supported FBI
There is no doubt about who Microsoft is siding with. It’s official, Microsoft has backed Apple in its battle with the FBI, and the US government.
Apple is currently refusing to comply with a court order that has required the company to create the decryption tool that would make it easier for the FBI to unlock an iPhone that was used in the December massacre in San Bernardino, California.
Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith of Microsoft speaking at a congressional hearing, said that the tech giant “wholeheartedly” supported Apple’s in its adamant refusal to aid the FBI in unlocking a terrorist’s iPhone Smith also said:
“We at Microsoft support Apple and will be filing an amicus brief next week.” – An amicus brief is a legal apparatus that allows third parties not directly involved in a court case to ‘weigh in.’
To illustrate his point, Smith then placed an antiquated early 20th Century adding machine on the desk in front of him saying:
“We do not believe that courts should seek to resolve issues of 21st century technology with a law that was written in the era of the adding machine…Every case has implications for others.”
The machine served as a reference to the All Writs Act, which the FBI has used to underpin it’s legal case against Apple. Smith’s use of the old machine didn’t necessarily go down well at the hearing. “Do you have any other props?” he was subsequently asked.
Locking the Gates
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has also stated he was “disappointed” by several reports that he was in favour of, and supported the FBI’s demands for the iPhone in question to be unlocked. He said that news reports were not accurately reflecting his opinion.
“The extreme view that government always gets everything, nobody supports that. Having the government be blind, people don’t support that.”
Too many Cooks?
Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has vigorously vowed to fight the order, saying the software required to access the phone doesn’t exist and that being forced to create it could place millions of iPhones at risk of being hacked or spied on by governments.
Microsoft is currently fighting the U.S. government itself in court. But their battle centers around a suspected drug trafficker’s e-mails that are stored on one of the company’s data centers in Ireland. Apple has backed Microsoft in that case, which is still ongoing.
Apple’s response to the court was due Friday.