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Bill Gates backs FBI against Apple over debate to open San Bernadino gunman’s phone

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Silicon Valley is now divided over the rift between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Apple over the unlocking of a terrorists iPhone.

Bill Gates is the latest tech personality to come out in the stand-off over unlocking one of the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone.

Gates said that technology companies should be compelled to work with law enforcement in terrorism investigations.

Read also: Google sides with Apple’s refusal to hack gunman’s phone

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

Gates’ comment follows Tim Cook’s warning that creating a tool to help the FBI break into Syed Rizwan’s iPhone 5c will set a “dangerous precedent”.

“The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices,” Cook said in a rare letter to Apple customers last week.

“In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

Cook also called on civil liberties experts to discuss the implications of the rift for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms.

“This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order we knew we had to speak out,” he wrote.

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