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Apple v FBI encryption case in quotes - Bill Gates, Google, Edward Snowden

Tamlin Magee | March 29, 2016
As the FBI and Apple wage a battle in the courts, technology heavyweights are publicly coming out in favour of encryption

UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has urged "great caution" in attempting to undo Apple's encryption - and warned that the FBI risks "unlocking a Pandora's Box that could have extremely damaging implications for the human rights of many millions of people, including their physical and financial security."

The commissioner said in a statement: "[The case] will have tremendous ramifications for the future of individuals' security in a digital world, which is increasingly inextricably meshed with the actual world we live in.

"It is potentially a gift to authoritarian regimes, as well as to criminal hackers... Encryption tools are widely used around the world, including by human rights defenders, civil society, journalists, whistle-blowers and political dissidents facing persecution and harassment."

5. Apple vs FBI: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple vs FBI: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook slammed the FBI over a lack of communication - claiming he first heard about the case through the press.

Cook told ABC: "I think there should have been [more done]. We found out about the filing from the press and I don't think that's the way the railroad should be run.

"And I don't think that something so important to this country should be handled in this way."

He also said providing the technology to the FBI would be "bad for America".

"It would also set a precedent that I believe many people in America would be offended by," he said.

6. Apple vs FBI: Bill Gates

Apple vs FBI: Bill Gates
Image: Flickr/OnInnovation

Microsoft founder Bill Gates appeared to take the FBI's line of reasoning - saying that this is a "specific case where the government is asking for access to information" - although this would appear to be undermined by later developments about iPhone access from the US Justice Department.

"They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case," said Gates.

He also suggested gaining access to the iPhone was "no different" to rifling through bank records.

"Let's say the bank had tied a ribbon around the disk drive and said: 'Don't make me cut this ribbon because you'll make me cut it many times'," Gates said.

He later told Bloomberg he was disappointed with the coverage of his comments.

"That doesn't state my view on this," he said, speaking with Bloomberg Go. "The extreme view that government always gets everything, nobody supports that. Having the government be blind, people don't support that."

7. Apple vs FBI: FBI director James Comey

Apple vs FBI: FBI director James Comey
Image: Wikimedia Commons


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