"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 in an interview published Tuesday.
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained the FBI had asked Apple to build a new version of the iPhone operating system and software that would allow authorities to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession through a "back door."
"It is no different than [the question of] should anybody ever have been able to tell the phone company to get information, should anybody be able to get at bank records. Let’s say the bank had tied a ribbon round the disk drive and said ‘don’t make me cut this ribbon because you’ll make me cut it many times’," Gates stressed.
Apple's stance has been publicly supported by such tech giants as Google, Facebook and Twitter.
On December 2, US-born Syed Rizwan Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik attacked the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino killing 14 people and injuring more than two dozen others.