Facebook CEO Zuckerberg backs Apple in iPhone security dispute – Yahoo Finance

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Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Monday that he supports Apple’s (AAPL) position in its fight with the U.S. government over weakening the security of the iPhone.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, Zuckerberg was asked directly where he stood on the controversy. “We’re sympathetic with Apple on this,” Zuckerberg answered. “We believe in encryption.”

A magistrate judge in California last week ordered Apple to create new software to weaken security measures on an iPhone 5C that was used by one of the deceased San Bernardino terrorists. The FBI has been unable to access data saved on the iPhone, which is stored in an encrypted format that can only be decrypted with the proper passcode. Apple was ordered to write software to make it easier for the FBI to guess the passcode.

But Apple said writing the software even just in one case would open a backdoor into iPhone security and make all iPhone users less secure.

Zuckerberg said he opposed adding backdoors into encryption, which he said would be both ineffective and a bad idea for society. Facebook opposes terrorism and helps uncover and block terrorist activity on its network, he added. Facebook has lately taken a more aggressive approach to identifying and removing content and users who support terrorist groups, a move fully supported by law enforcement but one which privacy advocates have disagreed with.

The CEO’s remarks were consistent with a statement Facebook released last week in support of Apple. “We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services,” the company said. “However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products.”

Zuckerberg also addressed a more Facebook-specific controversy in his talk. Regulators in India recently shut down a Facebook effort to supply free Internet connections, saying the “Free Basics” program violated net neutrality rules.

The ruling was “disapppointing for the misson of what we’re trying to do,” Zuckerberg said, calling it “obviously a major setbeck in India.” The program is offered in 38 countries and has connected 19 million people who couldn’t otherwise afford an Internet connection, he said.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg backs Apple in iPhone security dispute – Yahoo Finance}