He is standing out from the rest of the tech industry by choosing not to stand with Apple in the encryption debate, stating, “This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case.”
Many have accused him of siding with the FBI, but in an interview with Bloomberg, Gates asserts that he merely believes it’s important to “strike that balance” between privacy and security.
The tech community has by and large sided with Apple in its refusal to grant the government access to information on a phone used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino attack. The company has received varying degrees of support from executives at Twitter, Google, and Facebook, making Gates’s middle-of-the-road stance all the more unusual. Even his own company is part of the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, which came out with a statement against requiring tech companies to create “back doors” into their products.
But at least Gates is on brand.