Gizmodo reports on recent comments made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, basically amounting to him saying Apple should just put a secret law enforcement-only backdoor in the iPhone rather than fighting the US government:

As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have started paying more attention to tech’s increasing influence over our lives, Microsoft’s antitrust battle with the US government in the ‘90s has frequently been used as an example of the worst way to deal with the US government. Since it lost that case, Microsoft has become the war-weary veteran of the tech world—highly profitable and not too disruptive. Gates tells Axios that he fears “Apple and other tech giants” are in a precarious position at the moment. “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,” he said.

When pressed for an example of how companies are flouting government oversight, he mentioned the wave of “enthusiasm about making financial transactions anonymous and invisible, and their view that even a clear mass-murdering criminal’s communication should never be available to the government.” Axios pointed out that he appeared to be referring to the FBI’s desire for an ability to break into encrypted iPhones. Gates replied, “There’s no question of ability; it’s the question of willingness.”

Bill Gates is highly intelligent, but this position is just downright dumbfounding.