Microsoft ‘wholeheartedly’ backs Apple’s refusal to assist U.S government in unlocking iPhone

“Make no mistake about who Microsoft sides with in the case of Apple versus FBI,” Robert Hackett reports for Fortune.

“Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said at a congressional hearing on Thursday that his company “wholeheartedly” supports Apple’s refusal to assist the FBI in unlocking a terrorist’s iPhone,” Hackett reports. “‘We at Microsoft support Apple and will be filing an amicus brief next week,’ he said.”

“The tech exec apparently whipped out an early 20th century adding machine to illustrate his point, the Seattle Times reports. ‘We do not believe that courts should seek to resolve issues of 21st century technology with a law that was written in the era of the adding machine,’ he said, alluding to the All Writs Act, which is the basis of the FBI’s case,” Hackett reports.

“Previously, the only hint at Microsoft’s position came last week when CEO Satya Nadella retweeted a link Smith posted to Twitter. The link led to a statement from the industry group Reform Government Surveillance that objects to encryption ‘backdoors,'” Hackett reports. “(Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently walked back from statements that seemed to endorse the FBI’s position.)”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Because, if Microsoft didn’t back Apple, everyone on the planet would believe Microsoft to be in cahoots with the U.S. government and that Windows 10 already has backdoors built in. Such a thing would severely limit Windows PC sales*, even in America, but especially worldwide. Now they have to try to get crazy back on the reservation.

*Sales of Windows phones and tablets are already limited to Zunian proportions regardless.

Bill Gates waffles, doesn’t support the U.S. government or Apple in iPhone privacy fight – February 23, 2016
Bill Gates backs U.S. government’s iPhone hack request – February 23, 2016


    1. I actually think there is something to the MDN take here.
      MS already has back doors for the government (and anyone else for that matter) in the form of swiss cheese software. I used to think it was just bad coding, but maybe that was by design and MS doesn’t want that info to get out.

    1. Blaise Pascal invented a mechanical calculator in France in 1645, it was known as Pascal’s Calculator. His name was commemorated in a programming language widely used in the 1970’s

      If that’s not old enough for you, how about the 2,000 year old Antikythera mechanism? It was a mechanical calculator, estimated to have been built in the late second century BC. It was used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. A simpler device called the astrolabe was first invented around 150BC and developments of it remained in use until comparatively recently.

      Apart from the abacus, there was also Napier’s Bones, log tables and the slide rule, all of which were invented before 1700.

      Maybe there are people who only learn any history from Hollywood movies set in olden days, but these inventions and other similar devices are widely known about by intelligent people.

  1. Can a government stand against an entire industry? Our allies are assembling… We shall fight in the courts, we shall fight in the halls of congress, we shall fight in the public arena for hearts and minds…

    We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

  2. While I applaud this gesture, I still wonder why I haven’t read about the number of locked Android, Blackberry and Windows phones that the FBI have seized and are waiting for the manufacturers to open them up for investigation? Are we meant to believe that Apple has a 100% market share amongst crooks?

    If the FBI already have the means to access those other phones, then the motives of those other manufacturers siding with Apple might not be so clear cut.

  3. A slide rule is considerablly closer to an IPhones computing prowess than an adding machine or an abicus. Invented in the 17th century a slide rule or slipstick was the prize possesion of any serious engineer. I still have my 50 year old one. And can still use it, but usually don’t.

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