Apple has added Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to its growing list of elite tech allies that support that company’s fight against the FBI’s demands to create a back door on iOS to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone.
During an appearance today at the the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg said that adding backdoor access to devices is neither effective nor the right thing to do.
“We’re sympathetic with Apple on this one. We believe in encryption,” Zuckerberg said, according to Recode. “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.”
Apple has been ordered by a federal court to unlock Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c that was recovered by the FBI after he and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino. Tim Cook has publicly defied the FBI’s orders, claiming it would set a dangerous precedence and put millions of customers’ private data at risk.
An official appeal from Apple is expected to be filled by Friday, February 26th. The company is likely to argue that being compelled to create software to break the iPhone’s security would be a violation of the First Amendment. Two high-profile free speech lawyers have been hired by Apple to handle the company’s legal battle against the federal government.
“We feel like we have a pretty big responsibility,” Zuckerberg explained. “We certainly do have very strong policies on this that if there’s any content that’s promoting terrorism or sympathizing with ISIS or anything like that, we’ll … get those people off the service. We don’t want people that are doing that stuff on Facebook.”
Many tech leaders have also come out in support of Apple as well. Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweet a muted response to Apple’s efforts, while others like Edward Snowden and cybersecurity legend John McAfee have defended Apple’s position.