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Mark Zuckerberg backs Apple in FBI encryption row

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended Apple’s decision to defy FBI orders to allow backdoor access to an iPhone owned by perpetrators of the San Bernardino shooting.

Speaking at MWC 2016, Zuckerberg said he sympathised with Apple over its refusal to bow to the Feds over encrypted iMessage chats.

“We’re sympathetic with Apple on this one. We believe in encryption,” he said.

I expect it’s not the right thing to try to block that from the mainstream products people want to use. And I think it’s not going to be the right regulatory or economic policy to put in place.”

See also: Apple vs the FBI: Your questions answered

The row between the world’s largest company and the world’s most illustrious law enforcement agency, which has seen the latter ask Apple to allow access to all iOS devices via a special backdoor, has made headlines around the globe.

Apple’s decision to stand firm has huge ramifications for the future of tech companies and consumers around the world. Zuckerberg, of course, has his own messaging service, WhatsApp, which also offers its users the security of end-to-end encrypted chats.

The CEO also says Facebook remains proactive in ensuring promotion of terrorist sentiment remains off the social network.

“We feel like we have a pretty big responsibility,” he added.

“We certainly do have very strong policies on this that if there’s any content that’s promoting terrorism or sympathizing with ISIS or anything like that, we’ll get those people off the service. We don’t want people that are doing that stuff on Facebook.”

Elsewhere during his MWC appearance, Zuckerberg spoke of the importance of Facebook’s continued drive into video and its expansion into Facebook Live streaming.

He said: “There’s this increasing pressure to do well. In 2016, if you’re sharing a photo you want it to be a good photo. What is really powerful about messaging platforms and live video now, too, is it gives people more intimate environments and more raw environments where you have a reason to just be yourself. It doesn’t need to feel like it’s super curated.”

Do you agree with Apple’s decision to stand up to the FBI in order to keep your conversations private? Or are you happy to surrender some liberties in the fight against terrorism? Share your thoughts below.

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Remember, whichever side of the debate you fall on, Donald Trump has asked you to boycott Apple in a tweet sent from his iPhone.

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