Facebook's Zuckerberg 'sympathetic' with Apple's U.S. government stand-off

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg said Monday he was "sympathetic" with Apple's chief executive Tim Cook in his stand-off with the US government over breaking into the iPhone of a mass shooter.

See Full Article

"I don't think that requiring back doors to encryption is either going to be an effective thing to increase security or is really the right thing to do. We are pretty sympathetic to Tim and Apple," Facebook's chief executive told delegates at the world's biggest mobile congress in Barcelona.

"At the same time we feel we have a really big responsibility running this big networking community to help prevent terrorism and different types of attacks.

"If we have opportunities to basically work with the government to make sure there are not terrorist attacks, obviously we are going to take those opportunities," he added during an address at Mobile World Congress.

The controversy emerged earlier this month when Apple refused to help the FBI break into an iPhone belonging Syed Farook, who along with his wife went on a deadly shooting rampage, killing 14 people in California's San Bernardino in December.

Apple claims that cooperating with the probe would undermine privacy and security for its devices, while the US government counters it is a one-time request that will aid an important investigation.

Until now, Zuckerberg -- who has been at pains to plug privacy features on the social networking site in recent years -- has not spoken publicly about the spat although last week, Facebook issued a statement in support of Apple.

A dangerous precedent?

In the statement, it pledged to continue "to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems," saying such demands "would create a chilling precedent".

Apple has vowed to fight a judge's order that it should create an operating system that would allow the FBI to force entry into the iPhone.

Last week, Apple's Cook also warned that complying with the order would set a dangerous precedent and open the door for governments and even criminals to access sensitive data in the future.

"Facebook and other large tech firms are global, and one of the things that they are concerned with is that when they make policy in the US, that policy is cited by other regimes, including non-democratic ones," Avi Greengart of Current Analysis research firm told AFP.

"There is also the real fear that once you ensure that encryption can be broken, it will be broken, because the tools for doing so will inevitably leak out -- and that imperils security for personal information, business information, and transactions."

Consumer privacy 'most important'

Other major firms at the Barcelona congress have also sided with the iPhone maker.

Richard Yu, consumer devices chief for Chinese electronics giant Huawei, said Sunday that privacy was "the most important thing to the consumer."

"We should really protect the consumer's privacy and security. Personally, I support... Tim Cook's idea," Bloomberg quoted him as saying.

Facebook was long accused of brushing aside users' privacy concerns, and although Zuckerberg has strived to win back trust with a flurry of features, the social network is still in the eye of the storm.

Earlier this month, it was given three months by France's CNIL privacy watchdog to stop storing data on people who do not have an account with the social network.

The decision comes after Facebook lost a similar fight with Belgium's privacy watchdog in November when a court ordered it to stop storing personal data from non-users.

On a regional level, the European Union's 28 privacy watchdogs have been coordinating probes into possible violations of EU law by Facebook's policy for handling personal photos and data.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Campaign to make island of floating trash official UN country making waves

    Tech & Science CTV News
    An online petition asking the United Nations to recognize an island of floating garbage as the planet's 196th country is gaining momentum, with the aim of highlighting the growing epidemic of plastic trash in the planet's oceans. Source
  • Neanderthal boy's skull grew like a human child's: study

    Tech & Science CTV News
    The first analysis of a Neanderthal boy's skull uncovered in Spain suggests that he grew much like a modern boy would, in another sign that our extinct ancestors were similar to us, researchers said Thursday. Source
  • Facebook CEO directs release of 3,000 Russia ads

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Facebook will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators. The move Thursday comes amid growing pressure on the social network from members of Congress, who pushed it to release the ads. Source
  • Nevertheless, they persist: Babies can copy adult tenacity

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Especially if a baby is watching. Children around 15 months old can become more persistent in pursuing a goal if they've just seen an adult struggle at a task before succeeding, a new study says. Source
  • Preventing oilsands bird deaths not a 'realistic goal,' says U of A biologist

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Cannons, radar scanners and scarecrows will never completely prevent bird deaths in Alberta's oilsands region, says a conservation expert charged with protecting waterfowl from open-pit mines. "As a social and political problem, I think it's pretty substantial," said Colleen Cassady St. Source
  • Canada's best-documented UFO sighting still intrigues, 50 years on

    Tech & Science CTV News
    HALIFAX -- The first frantic callers to reach the RCMP were clear: something had crashed in the waters off Shag Harbour, N.S. It was around 11 p.m. on the night of Oct. 4, 1967. Source
  • Amazon reviewing its site after bomb-making materials report

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Amazon says it is reviewing its website after a British TV report said that the online retailer recommended purchasing ingredients together that could make a bomb. Channel 4 News in London said that when it tried to buy certain chemicals on Amazon, the website's "frequently bought together" section suggested products that could help build a bomb. Source
  • Japan's emoji creator saw nuance in pictures

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOKYO -- The tiny smiley faces, hearts, knife-and-fork or clenched fist have become a global language for mobile phone messages. They are displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They star in a new Hollywood film. Source
  • London parrot makes online purchase by mimicking owner

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A pet parrot managed to place an online shopping order by mimicking its owner on a voice-controlled smart speaker, a British newspaper reported Wednesday. Buddy the parrot ordered a £10 ($16.67) set of gift boxes via Amazon's Alexa voice-controlled system, The Sun reported. Source
  • Google buys big piece of HTC in billion-dollar bet on devices

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Google is biting off a big piece of device manufacturer HTC for $1.1 billion US ($1.4 billion Cdn) to expand its efforts to build phones, speakers and other gadgets equipped with its arsenal of digital services. Source