With the DOJ attempting to rip Apple a new one and an Apple attorney firing back, the President offered his opinion on the recent encryption debacle between the FBI and Apple at SXSW, amidst some talk about the direction of today's tech industry.
- In Case You Missed It: The FBI vs. Apple & Encryption
While not commenting on the Apple case directly, President Obama said "All of us value our privacy and this is a society that is built on a constitution and a bill of rights and a healthy skepticism about overreaching government power."
To reinforce that sentiment, the President added, "I am of the view that there are very real reasons why we want to make sure that the government can not just willy-nilly get into everybody's iPhones, or smartphones, that are full of very personal information and very personal data."
But after seemingly siding with the privacy advocates and the rest of the tech world, the President then followed up with a few statements that remind you he's still a government official. "If it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system ... then how do we apprehend the child pornographer? How do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot?" Obama then added, "If in fact you can't crack that all, if the government can't get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss Bank account in their pocket."
Sounds as though Obama has a good grasp on the situation, but it seems as though the President is playing both sides of the fence here. He's likely aware that we want our privacy, but the man has an intimate knowledge of terrorism that you and I probably never will, which surely makes it tough for him to outright shun the FBI's behavior. Suffice it to say, this battle won't be settled any time soon, but maybe it's time to step up as Commander in Chief, or let someone else.