TIME Companies

Microsoft ‘Wholeheartedly’ Backs Apple Against the FBI

A logo sits illuminated outside the Microsoft pavilion on the opening day of the World Mobile Congress at the Fira Gran Via Complex on February 22, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos/Getty Images A logo sits illuminated outside the Microsoft pavilion on the opening day of the World Mobile Congress at the Fira Gran Via Complex on February 22, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.

They join Google and WhatsApp

Make no mistake about who Microsoft sides with in the case of Apple versus FBI.

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said at a congressional hearing on Thursday that his company “wholeheartedly” supports Apple’s refusal to assist the FBI in unlocking a terrorist’s iPhone. “We at Microsoft support Apple and will be filing an amicus brief next week,” he said.

The tech exec apparently whipped out an early 20th century adding machine to illustrate his point, the Seattle Times reports. “We do not believe that courts should seek to resolve issues of 21st century technology with a law that was written in the era of the adding machine,” he said, alluding to the All Writs Act, which is the basis of the FBI’s case.

The Redmond, Wash.-based computing giant joins a number of companies and business leaders that have shown support for Apple’s objection to helping law enforcement break into an iPhone owned by one of the San Bernardino, Calif. shooters. Top tech execs such as Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s Jan Koum have made public statements in favor of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s stance.

Previously, the only hint at Microsoft’s position came last week when CEO Satya Nadella retweeted a link Smith posted to Twitter. The link led to a statement from the industry group Reform Government Surveillance that objects to encryption “backdoors.” (Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently walked back from statements that seemed to endorse the FBI’s position.)

Smith’s latest statements came at a hearing over cross-border data transfers. Apple recently backed Microsoft in its legal battle over the since-replaced Safe Harbor rules that governed transatlantic transfers; now Microsoft appears to be returning the favor.

James Comey, director of the FBI, and Bruce Sewell, Apple senior vice president and general counsel, are scheduled to testify before Congress on March 1. The hearing will concern encryption issues.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team