Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., right, speaks with Jessi Hempel

Facebook’s Zuckerberg both woos and lashes out at phone industry

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg expresses sympathy for Apple over their encryption row with the FBI in the U.S. The Facebook founder and CEO made his comments during a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

BARCELONA, SPAIN (FEBRUARY 22, 2016 (MOBILE WORLD LIVE) – Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Monday (February 22) expressed sympathy for Apple over an encryption row with the FBI in the U.S..

Speaking for the third straight year to an annual gathering of telecoms executives at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg highlighted the responsibility Facebook has to help make society safe.

“I mean we have already shared our stance on that. We’re sympathetic with Apple on this one. You know, we believe in encryption. We think that’s an important tool that, honestly, people are going to find a way to get anyway. So I just think it’s not the right thing to try to block that from the mainstream products that people want to use and I think is not going to be the right regulatory or economic policy to put in place. But at the same time we feel like we have a pretty big responsibility running this big network and community to help prevent terrorism and different kinds of attacks. And 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 kick – take that off the service, get those people off the service. We don’t want people doing that kind of stuff on Facebook. And if we have opportunities to basically work with government and folks to make sure there aren’t terrorist attacks then we’re obviously going to take those opportunities and we feel a pretty strong responsibility to help make sure that society is safe. So we care about that, that’s a big deal. We take that seriously. I don’t think that backdoors into encryption is either going to be an effective way to increase security or is really the right thing to do for just the direction that the world is going in. So yeah, we’re pretty sympathetic with Tim and Apple on this one,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg is kicking off a tour of Europe on Monday that includes a town hall meeting in Berlin on Thursday (February 25).

Facebook has faced criticism in Germany in recent months from politicians and regulators over its privacy practices and a slow response to anti-immigrant postings by neo-Nazi sympathisers on the popular social network.