Larry Ellison doesn’t agree with how Apple handled its FBI standoff

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Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison was one of Steve Jobs' best friends.
Photo: Oracle Corporate Communications

Oracle founder Larry Ellison may have been Steve Jobs’ BFF and even considered buying Apple at one point, but he doesn’t agree with everything the company does. In a recent interview, Ellison criticized Apple’s refusal to help hack an iPhone belonging to a shooter in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.

The case blew up into a massive standoff between Apple, in favor of privacy, and the FBI. Speaking on Fox, Ellison called Apple’s behavior, “bizarre.”

Ellison was speaking with Fox Business Network‘s Maria Bartiromo about the way that tech companies approach political topics. The 74-year-old CEO expressed his dismay that Apple is the one which got to choose whether to create an iOS backdoor.

“Apple will decide if the phone’s going to be locked or unlocked,” he said. “Apple, not the courts – not our courts, but Apple would make that decision, is just bizarre.”

During the Apple/FBI standoff, the majority of Silicon Valley executives seemed to support Apple’s position. Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp founder Jan Koum were among those who sided with Apple, largely due to their concerns about attacks on end-to-end encryption. Not everyone agreed with this, though. Bill Gates seems to have thought along the same lines as Ellison.

The case involved San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone 5c and whether or not Apple should help unlock it. Apple refused, largely because doing so would open up a software backdoor which could be exploited by others.

It’s a complex question — and, while this particular situation has since calmed down, it will only become more important. With everything from the spread of “fake news” to legal cases based around mobile device data, these questions aren’t going away. And, based on Ellison’s comments, there’s no consensus as to how best to solve them either.

Source: Business Insider