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

  • B.C. woman can file class-action lawsuit against Facebook: Supreme Court

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada says a woman who wants to sue Facebook over its use of “sponsored stories” can pursue her case in British Columbia. Deborah Douez wants to file a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant over a now-defunct advertising format, which allegedly used her name and profile photo in ads endorsing a company for which she had clicked the “Like” button. Source
  • Is Tesla getting into the streaming music business?

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Electric carmaker Tesla said Thursday it was considering ways to enter music streaming amid a report it may launch a unique new service. The high-end carmaker, which already has a tie-up with streaming leader Spotify in some international markets, said it was aiming at ways to please drivers. Source
  • Solar eclipse in August raising worries about Ontario's power grid

    Tech & Science CTV News
    An astronomical delight this summer is going to pose a terrestrial problem. Operators of Ontario’s power grid are bracing for a sharp drop in electricity generated by solar panels during a summer solar eclipse coming Aug. Source
  • Total solar eclipse casts spotlight on rural Oregon town

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MADRAS, Ore. -- Just before sunrise, there's typically nothing atop Round Butte but the whistle of the wind and a panoramic view of Oregon's second-highest peak glowing pink in the faint light. But on Aug. Source
  • Japan zoo releases gender of star panda

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOKYO - The baby panda, who has become an overnight celebrity in Japan, is a girl. Tokyo's Ueno Zoo said Friday the panda, born June 12, was ruled a female by examining experts. The still nameless cub has been doing well, drinking mother ShinShin's milk. Source
  • Japan zoo reveals gender of star panda

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOKYO - The baby panda, who has become an overnight celebrity in Japan, is a girl. Tokyo's Ueno Zoo said Friday the panda, born June 12, was ruled a female by examining experts. The still nameless cub has been doing well, drinking mother ShinShin's milk. Source
  • China tightens online video controls, scaring investors

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- Three popular Chinese internet services have been ordered to stop streaming video after censors complained it contained improper comments on sensitive issues. The move prompted a sell-off in the U.S.-traded shares of Sina Corp. Source
  • Trump's bright idea: a solar wall at the U.S.-Mexico border

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump wants to add solar panels to his long-promised southern border wall -- a plan he says would help pay for the wall's construction and add to its esthetic appeal. Source
  • Astronomer who built advanced telescopes has died

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Jerry Nelson, an astronomer who designed advanced telescopes that help scientists glimpse far reaches of the universe, has died in California. He was 73. The University of California, Santa Cruz, where Nelson was a professor emeritus of astronomy and astrophysics, said he died June 10 at his home. Source
  • Research into exoskeleton walking devices big leap forward for human-robot interactions

    Tech & Science CBC News
    At first glance it looks like a fancy leg brace. But the "exoskeleton" system developed by a group of researchers at Carnegie Melon University in Pittsburgh could open the door to a new, more customized way of approaching human-robot interaction. Source