Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates warned tech giants that they risk government intervention if they are unwilling to work with the government when asked.
“The companies need to be careful that they’re not … advocating things that would prevent government from being able to, under appropriate review, perform the type of functions that we’ve come to count on,” Gates said in an interview with Axios.
Gates said tech companies could be at risk when they resist even legitimate government oversight. Companies have “enthusiasm about making financial transaction anonymous and invisible, and their view that even a clear mass-murdering criminal’s communication should never be available to the government.”
It seems, in this instance, Gates is referring to Apple’s unwillingness to provide a “backdoor” for the government to be able to unlock an iPhone to gather evidence during an investigation.
At a time when tech companies feel they are drawing a lot of scrutiny, Gates is suggesting that a lot of the problems are self-induced.
“Although we disagree with this administration more than the others we’ve met with, we believe it’s still important to work together whenever possible,” Gate said of tech companies’ compliance with the Trump administration. “We keep talking to them because if the U.S. cuts back on its investments abroad, people in other countries will die, and Americans will be worse off.”