Bill Gates said that reports that he unequivocally backs the FBI in their mission to make Apple crack an iPhone that belonged to the San Bernardino terrorists didn't quite get it right.
"I was disappointed 'cause that doesn't state my view on this," he told Bloomberg
on Tuesday morning.
"I do believe there are sets of safeguards where the government shouldn't have to be completely blind," he stated. "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."
On the other hand, Gates said that, generally speaking, there needs to be some "balance" between privacy and national security.
"The courts are going to decide this," he said. "These issues will be decided in Congress."
Commenting more specifically on the recent case against Apple, Gates seemed to maintain his stance that the tech company should help the FBI.
"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 said.
CNN Money noted
that, in recent days, FBI Director James Comey has said the bureau's request is "limited."
Currently, the iPhone will erase itself if a passcode is incorrectly guessed 10 times in a row. The FBI wants Apple to remove that hazard without cracking the iPhone. If Apple complies, the FBI can then use a brute force technique that will guess at the password over and over and over until it gets it right.
"We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist's passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly," Comey has explained. "That's it. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land."
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