“Obama sided with law enforcement Friday in the debate pitting encryption and personal privacy against national security, arguing that authorities must be able to access data held on electronic devices because the ‘dangers are real,'” Darlene Superville reports for The Associated Press. “Appearing at an annual tech festival in the Texas capital, Obama delivered his most extensive comments to date on an issue currently being played out in federal court. Apple, one of the world’s largest technology companies, is challenging the government’s request that it help the FBI access data on a cellphone that was used in the San Bernardino, California, attack that killed 14 people.”

“Obama restated his commitment to strong encryption but also raised the question of how would authorities catch child pornographers or disrupt terrorist plots if smartphones and other electronic devices are designed in ways that keep the data on them locked away forever,” Superville reports. “‘My conclusion so far is that you cannot take an absolutist view on this,’ Obama said. ‘So if your argument is strong encryption, no matter what, and we can and should, in fact, create black boxes, then that I think does not strike the kind of balance that we have lived with for 200, 300 years. “And it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value. And that can’t be the right answer,’ he said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, encryption is either on or off. This is a binary issue. There is no in-between. You either have encryption or you do not.

There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

Oppose government overreach.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

“Obama said government shouldn’t be able to ‘just willy nilly’ access smartphones that are full of very personal data. But at the same time, while asserting that he’s “way on the civil liberties side,” Obama said ‘there has to be some concession'” to be able to get the information in certain cases,” Superville reports. “‘I am not interested in overthrowing the values that have made us an exceptional and great nation simply for expediency,’ Obama added. ‘But the dangers are real. Maintaining law and order and a civilized society is important. Protecting our kids is important.'”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in September 2014:

Think of The Children™. Whenever you hear that line of horseshit, look for ulterior motives. Fear mongers: Those who use of fear, scare tactics, and emotional appeals in attempts to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end.

Again, encryption is either on or off. This is a binary issue. There is no in-between. You either have encryption or you do not.

Since Obama is answering “gray” to a question requiring a black or white answer, he most certainly is advocating “overthrowing the values that have made us an exceptional and great nation simply for expediency” regardless of whether his answer is due to ignorance, fecklessness or malice.

“Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who has sharply questioned FBI Director James Comey during congressional hearings on the matter, released a statement in which he said Obama’s comments showed his ‘fundamental lack of understanding of the tech community, the complexities of encryption and the importance of privacy to our safety in an increasingly digital world,'” Superville reports. “Issa said the solution, or key, that the government wants Apple to create could eventually compromised. ‘There’s just no way to create a special key for government that couldn’t also be taken advantage of by the Russians, the Chinese or others who want access to the sensitive information we all carry in our pockets every day,’ Issa said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Three quotes:

• You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before. — Rahm Emanuel, former White House Chief of Staff under Obama

• Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. ― Louis D. Brandeis

• Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds. — John Perry Barlow

To set a stronger alphanumeric passcode on your iOS device that cannot be easily brute-forced:

1. Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. On devices without Touch ID, go to Settings > Passcode
2. Tap Change Passcode
3. Tap Passcode Options to switch to a custom alphanumeric code
4. Enter your new, stronger passcode again to confirm it and activate it

SEE ALSO:
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
U.S. government takes cheap shots at Apple – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Obama lists the ‘tech leaders’ involved in new U.S. Cybersecurity Initiative and purposely snubs Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
U.S. government seeks to force Apple to extract data from a dozen more iPhones – February 23, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Short-timer U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder blasts Apple for protecting users’ privacy against government overreach – September 30, 2014
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013