Bill Gates waffles, doesn’t support the U.S. government or Apple in iPhone privacy fight

“In an interview with Bloomberg, Bill Gates says he was ‘disappointed’ by reports that he supported the FBI in its legal battle with Apple, saying ‘that doesn’t state my view on this,'” Colin Lecher reports for The Verge.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates
“Still, Gates took a more moderate stance than some of his counterparts in the tech industry, not fully backing either the FBI or Apple but calling for a broader ‘discussion’ on the issues,” Lecher reports. “‘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.’ But he called for ‘striking [a] balance’ between safeguards against government power and security.”

Lecher reports, “When asked specifically what his stance was on this case, he said ‘the courts are going to decide this [case]’ and ‘these issues will be decided in Congress.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In other words, Wuss T. Pantywaist’s big stance is a straddle.

We think his massive rear combover may somehow be warping the old thief’s skull and affecting his brain. (It’s a common affliction. See: Trump.)

Bill Gates can afford 62.38 trillion combs, yet has none
Bill Gates can afford 62.38 trillion combs, yet has not a one

Congressman Ted Lieu asks FBI to drop demand that Apple hack iPhones – February 23, 2016
In the fight to hack iPhones, the U.S. government has more to lose than Apple – February 23, 2016
Here are the 12 other cases where the U.S. government has demanded Apple help it hack into iPhones – February 23, 2016
John McAfee blasts FBI for ‘illiterate’ order to create Apple iPhone backdoor – February 23, 2016
Some family members of San Bernardino victims back U.S. government – February 23, 2016
Apple supporters to rally worldwide today against U.S. government demand to unlock iPhone – February 23, 2016
U.S. government seeks to force Apple to extract data from a dozen more iPhones – February 23, 2016
Apple CEO Cook: They’d have to cart us out in a box before we’d create a backdoor – February 22, 2016
Tim Cook’s memo to Apple employees: ‘This case is about more than a single phone’ – February 22, 2016
Obama administration: We’re only demanding Apple hack just one iPhone – February 17, 2016


  1. Yeah, this is a bit closer to what he said on Charlie Rose (PBS in the USA) last night. He sees nothing wrong with Apple’s approach of working the situation through the courts. But Gates thinks that somehow the US government has a ‘sovereign right’ to ‘not be blind’, IOW a right to crack into anything it wants. I have no idea where he got this ‘sovereign right’ stuff. He made no mention of the US Constitution. I think he’s going a bit senile.

    He did emphasize the importance of the courts and warrant process.

  2. No surprise there. Asking an ethical question to this world’s ultimate geek, is bound to result in a short sighted and narrow response or , in this case, a non-answer with an argument that misses the point.

  3. I’ve read a whole bunch of articles on this FBI Apple case this last few days but what I see missing is a discussion of the massive numbers of surveillance tools AVAILABLE today to security agencies today vs the past. The press seems to be dragged into and perpetuates the mistaken belief that somehow security forces have LESS surveillance capability and are crippled because of Apple etc vs the truth that today Big Brother is more powerful than ever.

    Compare this to just a few decades ago:

    1) there are security cams everywhere, practically on every street corner in major cities and in many buildings.
    Surveillance devices like that have become so cheap.and footage can be analyzed by recognition software…

    2) there are hundreds of millions of people with recording devices like Phones, Go Pro cameras, drones. Try being a cop doing something ‘bad’, you’ll have people filming you!

    3) talking about drones, security forces have access to them plus all kinds of other tech: cameras that can snake for meters on a robot cord (like those plumbers use), listening devices that can hear into buildings by picking up vibrations on the windows, hear conversations blocks away with parabolic devices, there are mini bugs (again very cheap now) the size of pin heads, satellites that can read license plates from space…

    4) all kinds of forensic tools like DNA, face recognition software, algorithms for pattern recognition of trends (like ISIS ‘chatter’ on their websites) etc. we have countries with sophisticated citizen i.Ds, some now incorporating bio metrics.


    most of these things were ‘science fiction’ like I said just a while ago.
    Actually many young people today can’t really imagine the world ( as in none of these high tech gadgets) just a few decades ago and how much MORE surveillance we have today — today 1984 Big Brother is part of their lives BUT the power brokers WANT MORE.

    But the picture the FBI etc are trying to project is that without ‘hacking tools’ corporations can provide and ‘backdoors’ they are ‘helpless’ and ‘crippled’. (btw it’s also a revealed fact that the governments both USA and overseas have been caught in widespread surveillance — without court orders — on their public, the ‘security’ issues mainly being the survival and personal benefit of those in power and the fact that tech backdoors will lead to giant upheavals in cybercrime and breakdown of high tech trade).

  4. After It was reported that Bill said he supported backdoors, many posters were commenting and saying Windows products had possible backdoors to the government, hackers, etc.

    I’m sure Bill’s comments/original news interpretations caused a shit storm at Microsoft today. How can a business use Windows products when all their secrets, financials, etc. are known to governments and maybe even competitors?

    1. Gates’ non-comittal position is much more revealing that he thinks. As I mentioned on an earlier thread, if other manufacturers had not conspired with the FBI to insert back doors into their systems, they would wholeheartedly support Apple’s fight to preserve security.

      On the other hand, if a manufacturer had knowingly conspired with the FBI to insert a secret back door, then they would want Apple to be forced to do the same as them and would therefore not support Apple in this fight.

  5. Gates is a vindictive bastard who remains bitter over Steve Jobs changing the world with Apple’s iPhone and leaving Microsoft in the dust with its crap! That’s why he is taking the side of the FBI over Apple. Get over it, Bill!

  6. There are lots of reasons to dislike Gates, but childish shots at the way a guy looks are petty, but not surprising from MDN. I’d love to have some pictures of the MDN staff posted so we can critique the way they look – I’m sure it wouldn’t be pretty.

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