Bill Gates Backs FBI Against Apple, Backtracks

In an interview with the Financial Times, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Apple should comply with the FBI in their legal battle over access to an iPhone used by a gunman in December’s San Bernadino terror attack. CEO Tim Cook has said the company won’t yield to a government search warrant to unlock the smartphone. “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information,” Gates responded in the interview published early Tuesday. “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.”

Later Tuesday, Gates told Bloomberg TV that he is “disappointed” by reports that suggest he outwardly supports the FBI, adding “that doesn’t state my view on this.” In his backtracking, the Microsoft creator suggested a more moderate approach: “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.”