Apple Inc. has won support from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in its stance of not to help the FBI in unlocking the device obtained from Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the terrorists behind the San Bernardino shooting. Though the iPhone firm has the support of several tech leaders, the FBI enjoys the support of the public, according to the results from a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Zuckerberg openly favors Apple
On Monday, speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg said Facebook believes in encryption and that backdoors are not only ineffective but ethically dubious also.
“We’re sympathetic with Apple on this one. I expect it’s not the right thing to try to block that from the mainstream products people want to use. And I think it’s not going to be the right regulatory or economic policy to put in place,” Zuckerberg said.
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Facebook is the world’s foremost social network, and for this reason, it has obvious skin in the game as far as protecting users’ data is concerned. End-to-end encryption technology is used in WhatsApp, a service similar to Apple’s iMessage. This means if the DOJ succeeds at setting a precedent with Apple, then Facebook might see similar government pressure.
Zuckerberg’s support for Apple comes after prominent tech personalities such as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and entrepreneur Mark Cuban voiced their support in Apple’s favor.
Public sentiment against Apple
Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll late last week in which 51% of respondents said that Apple should unlock the terrorist’s iPhone, while 38% said it should not do so. The remaining 11% did not give any opinion. The exact questions the respondents were asked are not clear, but the sentiment clearly agrees with the DOJ.
Along with supporting Apple on the overarching issue of strong encryption, Facebook’s CEO hedged his bets and pointed out that Facebook always complies with warranted law enforcement data requests and thus does its part. Zuckerberg said the company certainly has very strong policies, and if they find any individual posting content that promotes terrorism or sympathizes with ISIS or anything like that, they take such user off the service.
“We don’t want people that are doing that stuff on Facebook,” he said.