iPhone lineup

Update: Bill Gates has told Bloomberg that he was “disappointed” by the ways his views were presented, and he does not back the FBI’s side of this particular case, and that the matter should be decided by the courts.

Apple is locked in a battle with the FBI over whether or not it should create a tool to access data on a locked iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino gunmen, but as some have expected, that’s only one of many cases in which Apple is involved. The Wall Street Journal reports this evening that the Department of Justice is seeking data from at least 12 other iPhones in criminal cases.

The report, citing people familiar with the matter, says that the Justice Department is pursuing data from “about twelve” iPhones around the country. While the details of these investigations have not yet been made public, the report claims that none of them involve terrorism charges like the San Bernardino case does.

“In most of the cases, rather than challenge the orders in court, Apple simply deferred complying with them, without seeking appropriate judicial relief,’’ prosecutors in a New York drug-related case wrote.

Meanwhile, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has come out and sided with the FBI in the ongoing debate over user privacy versus national security. The Financial Times reports today that Gates believes that Apple should create a way for the government to access the data in this specific case:

“This is a specific case where the government is asking for access to information. They are not asking for some general thing, they are asking for a particular case,” Gates told the Financial Times.

However, Gates appears to have made this comment before the revelation that the U.S. government is seeking data from an additional 12 iPhones involved in criminal cases. The way Gates worded his opinion made it sound like he agrees with the FBI only in the San Bernardino case. Whether or not Gates’ opinion has changed with this evening’s revelation is unclear.

Apple’s battle with the FBI over national security versus user privacy began last week and has since become one of the biggest and most complex stories in tech and politics. You can view all of our extensive coverage at the links below:

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About the Author

Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

Tips, questions, typos to chance@9to5mac.com