Mark Zuckerberg backs Apple in encryption debate

Facebook CEO: 'We're sympathetic with Apple'
Facebook CEO: 'We're sympathetic with Apple'

Mark Zuckerberg went on the record Monday to support Apple in its fight with the U.S. government.

Speaking on stage in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, the Facebook CEO said he doesn't think requiring back doors would be "the right thing to do" nor would it be an effective way to get data from the iPhone of deceased San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook.

"We've already shared our statement," said Zuckerberg. "We're pretty sympathetic with Tim and Apple on this one."

Last Thursday, Facebook (FB, Tech30) joined other Silicon Valley companies in backing Apple, which has vigorously opposed an FBI demand to alter part of its iOS software so that authorities won't get locked out of the iPhone that Farook used.

Such demands "create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies' efforts to secure their products," Facebook said in a statement at the time.

Related: Apple promises privacy -- but not on iCloud

Zuckerberg had stayed silent on the subject until Monday, while leaders from Google (GOOG) and Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) made public comments supporting Apple last week.

"We build secure products to keep your information safe and we give law enforcement access to data based on valid legal orders," Google CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted in a series of tweets on Wednesday. "But that's wholly different than requiring companies to enable hacking of customer devices & data. Could be a troubling precedent."

A day later, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted simply: "We stand with @tim_cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!"

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