The San Bernardino attack was gruesome, no one is denying that. Not even Apple. So what keeps the tech giant from supporting the FBI in the case? While news puts it very awkwardly, that Apple has denied support to FBI, to the contrary, Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief Executive, mentions in his letter to the public dated February 16, 2016 that support is actually being extended, but it is not going to be in the form of a backdoor which will put all of Apple’s users at risk.
Once the letter was out, people and companies quickly began to take sides. Most of the Silicon Valley companies sided with Apple, understanding the inherent nature of encryptions and the possible threats it can lead to not only Apple but them as well in the future. Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates, however, has been taking a different route – one that puts him in the good books of the FBI and Apple – or maybe that is what he thinks.
Reportedly, he has decided to play it like a politician. It looks like he is trying to take the middle road and be rather ambiguous about who he is siding with. His comments have advocated for the FBI at times and patronized Apple’s efforts at other times.
In a Financial Times report his support for the FBI was clear as he said, “Nobody’s talking about a backdoor. This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.”
He also mentioned in the Financial Times Interview, “I hope that we have that debate so that the safeguards are built and so people do not opt – and this will be country by country – it is better that the government does not have access to any information.” This shows that Bill Gates finds Apple’s rejection for a backdoor to be appropriate as well.