When Michael Bloomberg floated a presidential run earlier this year, several in Silicon Valley could barely contain their excitement.
Perhaps they hadn’t heard his stance on encryption.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published this week, the billionaire media tycoon and former New York City mayor accused tech companies of hindering national security by fighting government efforts to access data from their users, citing Apple’s standoff with the FBI over the iPhone in the San Bernardino shootings.
Today, 1.3 million men and women serve in the military on active duty, often in dangerous situations overseas. Yet here at home, some executives in an industry that thrives on freedom — technology — are resisting government efforts to safeguard it. They are dangerously wrong.
Much of Bloomberg’s appeal to people in tech was his posturing as a pro-business moderate — a social liberal who would curb burdensome government regulation.
Oddly enough, he deploys his perch as columnist to remind Silicon Valley of its origins from government funding and reprimand it for being uncooperative. In addition to Apple, he admonishes software giants, like Google and Facebook, for moving to fully encrypt user data, which, he writes, “makes it harder for democratic societies to protect themselves against terrorists and criminals.”
Bloomberg decided not to run for president. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has recently moved her position on encryption to be more aligned with Silicon Valley’s. Her likely opponent, Donald Trump, is nowhere close.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.