Zuckerberg stands with Apple: 'We believe in encryption'

Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday publicly voiced support for Apple in the fierce debate over whether the tech giant should be forced to help authorities break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.

ADVERTISEMENT
"We’re sympathetic with Apple. We believe in encryption, we think that that’s an important tool," Zuckerberg said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to multiple reports.

"I don’t think requiring backdoors with encryption is either going to be an effective way to increase security or is really the right thing to do for just the direction that the world is going to," he continued.

Apple reiterated on Monday morning that it will oppose a court order, handed down last week, that demands the tech giant disable certain key security features on the iPhone 5c of Syed Farook.

The company argues that the court order is effectively demanding that it build a ‘backdoor’ in iPhone encryption that could be repurposed by cyber criminals.

“We strongly believe the only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is to never create it,” Apple said Monday.

FBI Director James Comey, meanwhile, pushed back on that analysis on Sunday night, insisting that, "We don’t want to break anyone’s encryption or set a master key loose on the land.”

"We simply want the chance, with a search warrant, to try to guess the terrorist’s passcode without the phone essentially self-destructing and without it taking a decade to guess correctly. That’s it," he said in a statement.

Apple has quickly drawn the support of several major tech companies, including Google and Facebook.

“Forcing companies to enable hacking could compromise users’ privacy,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted shortly after the court order was announced. “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.”

Two major tech trade groups that list Facebook as a member also expressed concerns that the court order sets a worrisome precedent for companies.

Facebook also circulated an official statement in support of Apple last week.

“We will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products,” the social media company said.