Apple vs. FBI – Who’s for, against opening up the terrorist’s iPhone

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Edward Snowden, Donald Trump, others weigh in.

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Everyone has an opinion

Apple and the Department of Justice are locked in a court fight over whether the company should disable the anti-brute force mechanism on the iPhone used by the San Bernardino terrorists. Public opinion is split on which side is right, and everyone from tech experts to presidential candidates is weighing in on whether the order actually threatens privacy or whether it’s just a way to find out what’s on that particular phone. Here’s a sampling of comments about the issue from the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump.

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Credit: Wikimedia
Microsoft founder Bill Gates

"Nobody’s talking about a backdoor, so that’s not the right question. This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They’re not asking for some general thing, they’re 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." Quoted in the Financial Times.

ALSO: Bill Gates backs the U.S. government in Apple's iPhone privacy standoff

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Credit: Flickr
Mark Zuckerberg

"I don't think that requiring back doors to encryption is either going to be an effective thing to increase security or is really the right thing to do…We are pretty sympathetic to Tim [Cook] and Apple."

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Credit: Flickr
Donald Trump

“I think Apple is absolutely in the wrong.”

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Credit: Flickr
Former NSA Director Michael Hayden

"In this specific case, I'm trending toward the government, but I've got to tell you in general I oppose the government's effort… [FBI Director Jim Comey]" would like a back door available to American law enforcement in all devices globally. And, frankly, I think on balance that actually harms American safety and security, even though it might make Jim's job a bit easier in some specific circumstances."

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Credit: Reuters
FBI Director James Comey

“The relief we seek is limited and its value increasingly obsolete because the technology continues to evolve. We don't want to break anyone's encryption or set a master key loose on the land."

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NSA leaker Edward Snowden

“The problem is, the FBI has other means… They told the courts they didn’t, but they do.”

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

“We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms.”

ALSO: Tim Cook issues internal memo on ongoing FBI/iPhone saga

Google/CEO Sundar Pichai
Google/CEO Sundar Pichai

“We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders. But that’s wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent.”

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins

"There needs to be a balance.”

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Credit: Flickr
Hillary Clinton

“What I keep calling for is to try to get the government and our great tech companies to figure out what is the path forward.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders
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Sen. Bernie Sanders

“[F]rankly I think there is a middle ground that can be reached.”

Sen. Marco Rubio
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Sen. Marco Rubio

“It will take a partnership between the technology industry and the government to confront and solve this.”

Sen. Ted Cruz
Credit: Flickr
Sen. Ted Cruz

“I think law enforcement has the better argument…I think we can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

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Obama Press Secretary Josh Earnest

“I think it is important to note here… exactly what the Department of Justice is requesting. They are not asking Apple to redesign its product or to create a new backdoor to one of their products. They’re simply asking for something that would have an impact on this one device.”

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AT&T

“In a democracy, it is the elected representatives of the people, in this case the Congress, who should decide the proper balance between public safety and personal privacy.” – statement reported in USA Today