In an interview with Bloomberg, Bill Gates says he was "disappointed" by reports that he supported the FBI in its legal battle with Apple, saying "that doesn't state my view on this."
"That doesn't state my view on this."
Still, Gates took a more moderate stance than some of his counterparts in the tech industry, not fully backing either the FBI or Apple but calling for a broader "discussion" on the issues. "I do believe that with the right safeguards, there are cases where the government, on our behalf — like stopping terrorism, which could get worse in the future — that that is valuable." But he called for "striking [a] balance" between safeguards against government power and security.
When asked specifically what his stance was on this case, he said "the courts are going to decide this [case]" and "these issues will be decided in Congress."
The Financial Times reported yesterday that Gates backed the FBI in its demand for Apple to help unlock a phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. "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," Gates said, according to the publication. "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.'"