Bill Gates says U.S. needs limits on covert email searches
Bill Gates said on Monday that no one was an “absolutist” on either side of the digital privacy debate, but the co-founder of Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said he supports his company’s lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking the freedom to tell customers when federal agencies have sought their data.
“There probably are some cases where (the government) should be able to go in covertly and get information about a company’s email,” Gates said at a Reuters Newsmaker event in Washington.
“But the position Microsoft is taking in this suit is that it should be extraordinary and it shouldn’t be a matter of course that there is a gag order automatically put in,” he said in an interview with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler.
The lawsuit, filed last week in federal court in Microsoft’s home town of Seattle, argues that the government is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing Microsoft from notifying thousands of customers about government requests for their emails and other documents, sometimes indefinitely.
The move comes as rival Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is locked in a showdown with the U.S. government over access to an iPhone belonging to one of the killers in the December shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Gates said more collaboration between law enforcement and privacy advocates would help determine which “legislative framework … strikes the perfect balance” on government access to private data.
“I don’t think there are any absolutists who think the government should be able to get everything or the government should be able to get nothing,” Gates, 60, said.
The man who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 and is still held in reverence by the technology world made waves in February when he appeared to distance himself from Apple in its legal fight with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, but later clarified his comments and said that headlines suggesting he supported the FBI’s position were inaccurate.
Gates, the world’s richest person, also talked about the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organization he formed in 2000, which has an endowment of more than $40 billion.
The foundation, where Gates works day to day, has focused attention in recent months on the Zika outbreak, which has been linked to thousands of suspected cases of microcephaly, a rare birth defect, in Brazil and is affecting large parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international health emergency on Feb. 1. Gates said the foundation would be contributing funds to aid in the Zika fight, but did not say how much.
Private sector and governments need to work together to quickly roll out products to combat Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, Gates said.
“Zika is a tough one,” he said. “There are potential solutions. They won’t come soon enough to avoid some problems in the entire hemisphere.”
What is ‘Financial Analysis’
Financial analysis is the process of evaluating businesses, projects, budgets and other finance-related entities
to determine their suitability for investment. Typically, financial analysis is used to analyze whether an entity is
stable, solvent, liquid, or profitable enough to be invested in. When looking at a specific company, the financial
analyst will often focus on the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. In addition, one key
area of financial analysis involves extrapolating the company’s past performance into an estimate of the company’s future performance.
BREAKING DOWN ‘Financial Analysis’
One of the most common ways of analyzing financial data is to calculate ratios from the data to compare against those
of other companies or against the company’s own historical performance. For example, return on assets is a common ratio
used to determine how efficient a company is at using its assets and as a measure of profitability. This ratio could be calculated
for several similar companies and compared as part of a larger analysis.
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