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See if You Can Decipher Bill Gates's Take on Apple-FBI Standoff (Poll)

Whither Gates?

JP Yim | Getty Images

If you were worried that the government’s ongoing dispute with Apple — and, by extension, the entire tech industry — would become less dramatic, don’t fret.

The latest twist comes from Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and tech icon. On Monday night, the Financial Times ran an interview with Gates that, at first blush, showed him backing the government position that Apple should hand over data from the iPhone involved in the San Bernardino terror attacks. (The article’s headline proclaimed that Gates “breaks ranks” with Apple.)

Gates went on Bloomberg TV this morning to dispute the FT story. “I was disappointed, because that doesn’t state my view on this,” he said. Gates then argued that there are legitimate cases, namely terrorism, where the government is entitled to information, given the “right safeguards.”

The FT is standing by its initial interpretation. And to prove it, the paper has posted the relevant portion of the interview.

There’s some debate among the Re/code staff whether Gates has a legitimate beef with the FT — if his comments were more waffling than a strong stance, or if he’s just backpedaling. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, whom Gates advises, has only weighed in by re-tweeting a middling trade association endorsement of Apple’s position.

What do you think?

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