Bill Gates has joined Donald Trump in condemning Apple for refusing to backdoor its products at the behest of the FBI, promising that the company that he founded, a waning firm called Microsoft, would happily compromise its security on demand for the US government.
Though Microsoft’s Bitlocker full-disk encryption was considered very secure at its launch, questions have since been raised about its integrity. The company was an early participant in the NSA’s Prism program.
Update: Gates has issued a non-denial nonpology insisting that he stands behind his words, but he’s still a good guy, so cut him some slack.
In an interview with the Financial Times published late Monday night, Gates dismissed the idea that granting the FBI access would set a meaningful legal precedent, arguing that the FBI is “not asking for some general thing, [it is] 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. 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.’”