Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’

“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

50 Comments

    1. You Obama-voting fools were sold a bill of goods. Remember this the next time you are asked to waste your vote on a stupid quest to “make history.”

      “Making history” for making history’s sake is stupidity. On top of that, you’ve now got the worst race relations since the 1960s because Obama is a moron who had the chance to say, magnanimously, on his first day in office: “Now we turn a new chapter. We put the animus aside. We stop blaming each other for the sins of our forefathers and truly unite as one nation.” And we would have.

      But, nooooo, he had to be petty., He had to play the race card repeatedly. He was always out for revenge for things none of us who are alive did or were responsible for.

      He had to stoke racial tensions whenever the opportunity presented itself. Obama is a pitiful failure. He couldn’t even do the one good thing he had in his power to do. He blew it because he’s a petty, egotistical, small man.

      He’ll be lauded by the obtuse for being “the first black president” for the rest of his life, but the cold eye of history will regard him for what he was: a failure who squandered his moment, made the world less safe, made the country weaker militarily and economically, inflamed racial tensions, vastly increased government dependence, failed to uphold laws on the books, failed to secure his country’s borders from criminal invaders, and signed a failed, costly “healthcare” law that was repealed immediately after he left office.

      1. Add to the list: Won a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing. Ended up perpetuating wars, starting new ones, projecting weakness to the Putins of the world which caused more strife and is ruining Europe with refugees who refuse to assimilate, and, last time I checked, Hopey-Changers, Gitmo is still open.

        Obama voters = the most gullible fools this side of the Nobel Peace prize committee.

            1. it’s tough to beat G.W. Bush’s initiation of torture

              If Obama had stopped that shit you’d have a point, but he didn’t, so you don’t.

              -jcr

            2. First it is a disservice to this issue to make this a partisan thing and an excuse to bash Pres. Obama. If we had had iPhones in the time of 9-11 and one of those terrorists had used one, you can bet that Bush would have pushed hard for Apple to break into that iPhone.

              Also, let’s remember that all Republican presidential candidates side with the DOJ against Apple, many voicing it in stronger ways than Obama. Most elected Republicans are against Apple. Issa is one exception to that.

              Hillary comes down on the same side as Obama, trying to nuance the issue. I don’t know about Bernie. But here’s the real truth: no matter who is in the White House, they are going to side with their FBI and DOJ and want to be seen as strong in protecting against terrorism. The only real hope would be to elect Hillary or Bernie and hope they nominate a very liberal Supreme Court judge who would protect privacy rights.

              Down ballot, you vote for the very liberal. From day one, going back to Bush, it’s been the very liberal…not just Democrats, but liberal Democrats…who have fought hard to protect privacy rights.

              Let’s face it: Bush blew it and lost to Bin Laden. He fear mongered, wasted trillions of dollars, cost thousands of American lives, many more Iraqi civilian lives, and set us on a course where the fear of terrorism trumps everything else. Hence the GOP gets Trump.

              And while I side with Apple on this and don’t like the idea of an iPhone less secure, I am less troubled by that than I am by the GOP that endorses the use of torture, carpet bombing, targeting families and children, etc, in the name of fighting terrorism. If you are serious about this issue, you have to be concerned about those. And yes, those are real positions taken by GOP presidential candidates, and not just Trump.

            3. He’s just following the precedent but you are right, it’s not much of a point. Mind you the thing that the current president did do is get Bin Laden.

              I think that’s a bit better than G.W. although for being funny and totally stupid, G.W. takes the cake.

        1. Road-W: I assume O is your guy overall, but on the topic of the article (privacy), saying he’s great compared to GW shows your bias/ignorance, as BOTH signed/advocated the Patriot Act and the NDAA. Both are “scary.” This new progressive reach makes him scarier.

          1. I’m not from that country so I can’t really tell a repubican from a demoncrat. To me what really brings the G.W. Bush legacy into focus is what I stated to First 2014, Then 2016.

            Plus the current president is the one who caught Bin Laden and that’s one plus.

            1. He just happened to be in the president’s seat at the time Bin Laden was caught. BHO did very little if you read the insider’s viewpoints and I’m speaking of those who were in the loop during time when the raid was being developed up till the aftermath. They have a very different view on what Obama was told and when he was told and is a matter of public record. BHO was being protected and that protection was actually hindering US efforts at getting to him. Did BHO actually capture Bin Laden? NO. It was the US military along with the efforts of the CIA and various intelligence sources that got him. BHO just got the credit because he was the sitting president at the time. There is a premium for being at the right place at the right time in politics and being able to suck up credit for something that had been in place years before your tenure. BHO was just “Johnny on the spot” for this event.

            2. I just love the way you snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The second 9-11 happened on G.W.’s watch but I guess one could follow your logic and say he just happened to be in the president’s seat at the time Bin Laden cronies took a couple of building’s down. If you read the insider’s viewpoints and I’m speaking of those who were in the the loop during the time of the attack and no you can’t read their stuff because it’s private and you don’t know them and I’m not going to mention names or give you any sort of evidence but just tell you that this was being developed up till the aftermath. This “they” have a very different view on what G.W. Bush was told and when he was told and is a matter of pubic record. GWB was reading and that reading was actually hindering US efforts at reacting to the situation. Did GWB actually bomb those buildings. NO, it was Bin’s buddies along with their various intelligence sources who wanted to take down a couple of buildings. Who would have guessed that the whole house of cards nation would have followed, it’s beyond mission accomplished. G.W.B. just gets the credit because he was sitting at the right classroom at the time and being able to suck up credit for something that had been in place years before his tenure. G.W.B was just the “johnny on the spot” for this event.

              I bet Pontius Pilate must have said something like that at one point. It’s quite brilliant.

    2. It was just a few weeks ago there was a flurry of proud posters exclaiming it was primariily the Libs preserving privacy. Isn’t it hard to reconcile the this prideful belief when the leader of the Libs advocates an IOS back door?

      1. Not hard at all..it remains true that most politicians defending Apple are Democrats/liberals and most coming down on the side of the FBI are Republicans/conservatives.

        Pres Obama is only one data point. And he is the President, and sees the daily briefings on terrorism and national security, and also feels great pressure to prevent any terror attacks. So I understand where he is coming from. I think many of us armchair commentators, if we were in law enforcement, or if we were president, would feel like Obama, or come down even harder against Apple.

        So please tell us which Presidential candidate has come out on the side of Apple? I don’t know of any. All GOP candidates have come out more against Apple than Obama.

    3. Obama recently said he could not comment on the iPhone case. Accordingly, he should just STFU.

      You talk or you don’t. Hint: you are now talking about it…

  1. I think the problem is that law enforcement is scared shitless of practically unbreakable encryption. That’s a new thing that did not exist before the digital age. But it’s there, and anyone, be they criminals, terrorists or law-abiding people, can use it. Apple hasn’t invented it–they just made it easier to use for anyone.

    The government needs to understand that they cannot role back the devil by outlawing it; and demanding things being searchable is exactly doing that. Encryption tools will still be there, and bad guys will still be using them.

    Don’t whine, and adapt and evolve.

    1. Which is more dangerous? An encrypted iPhone or a gun? Right, regulate the iPhone and leave the guns in place. Guns don’t kill people, iPhones kill people, right?

      1. That probably depends on how damaging/powerful in the wrong hands the information is the encrypted iPhone is. Neither guns nor iPhones kill people, the people using them for ‘bad’ reasons do.

    2. That is the point. Encryption will be there, no matter if it’s baked into the operating system or provided by a third party. The only access the government would gain is to the devices owned by people who aren’t clever enough to get third-party encryption. Criminals and terrorists don’t fall into those categories.

      So, the government disables good protection for all of us by virtue of encryption built into our devices for no net benefit in its ability to catch criminals and terrorists. Sounds like a bad deal to me.

      Far more important than Rahm Emmanuels “Never waste a good crisis” scheme is “Never waste a good election”. Everyone needs to vote at every opportunity. If we push the flush lever often enough, eventually the last floatie will go down the drain.

      1. Technically, what the government would gain is the destruction of an American company. No one will buy a phone, or any device, from a company that the government has unlimited access to. Immediate beneficiaries are Google and Microsoft until court orders come against them as well. Only final winners are foreign companies that don’t have to abide by American rules.

        Explain to me how ruining America is anything other than treason.

        1. You’re wrong on two points. 1 – This is about more than just America, this affects the entire world.
          2 – foreign companies devices will be subject to American laws for their products imported into the US just as much American products.

    3. Have you ever noticed how they change the language? They call it ‘privacy’ for individuals instead of security. National ‘security’ vs. individual ‘privacy’. We have to stop that. It is individual ‘security’, not just privacy. We are not secure if our information is compromised. Banking, buying, etc., medical info. are at stake.

  2. MDN has blinders on. The objection is only to the destroy content feature, not encryption. Besides, if the cloud backup was frequent and necessary then everything on the phone has exposure which has been accessed by Apple for government use. This stupid behavior is only hurting Apple. Dummies!

    1. Jack, you are either one dumb SOB or a troll paid by Uncle Sam to spew government-sanctioned bullshit in the comments sections of the web where people might be questioning our fine, upstanding leaders.

      This isn’t about “destroying content feature.” In fact, I don’t even know what you are talking about. It is solely about citizens of this country having the right to privacy and that privacy includes their data. The government solution not only eliminates the right to privacy from our government. It creates an avenue where any other country, hacker, or criminal can gain access to our information. The reasons that is a bad idea have been clearly described by Tim Cook.

      1. Maybe dumb but his point is correct, the “destroy content” feature is exactly what the government is asking Apple to help override. They want Apple to write custom code to make it so that the iPhone passcode can be attempted infinite amount of times, instead of the data being wiped and erased after the 10th failed attempt. Then FBI we will be free to brute force hack the phone themselves. But yes this has dovetailed into a debate and a tough stance on encryption and yes it’s a bad idea.

  3. Me thinks somebody should ask Obama what he would think if some creep got access to one of his daughter’s iPhones, including their personal details, pictures, emails, texts. By the way, it was confirmed when Obama was on a recent show with Bear Grylls that at least his elder daughter has an iPhone.

      1. Reportedly, Vladimir Putin doesn’t own a phone for that reason. The problem with ANY security measure is always people. As Ben Franklin said,”Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

  4. Close th BORDER Oblunder head. That’s a start without trampling on our rights. Remember seatbelt laws. Only if your pulled over for a bad tail light or speeding. Now it’s checkpoint Charlie. Starts with an inch then a mile.

  5. Democrats (Obama) is arguing for government intrusion and Republicans (Issa) is arguing for the government to keep out of our private lives.

    Huh?

    Next you are going to tell me that that guy from The Apprentice is running for president and is succeeding in the polls. 😐

    1. Democrats are openly talking about how to solve a problem. Republicans would just do things secretly pretending they don’t.
      That’s the way it goes, whatever your believes are.

  6. What double talk, sad to see from the one who organized the termination of Bin Laden. Mind you it wasn’t justice, it was an assassination.

    It’s all sugar coated talk to placate the nation.

    -The authorities must be able to access data held on electronic devices because the “dangers are real”.

    Sure the dangers are real, any technology can be used for a variety of purposes, a recent example is how IBM’s technology helped facilitate Nazi genocide through generation and tabulation of punch cards based upon national census data. The dangers are indeed real, especially in the hands of government and particularly for this government, Snowden has made that all too clear.

    The law enforcement agencies have a plethora of crime detection tools at it’s disposal, everything from fingerprints, to blood and DNA tests to a myriad of cameras in populated areas. You don’t need to turn over every stone on a beach to figure out what’s going on.

    It’s amazing and wonderful that there is now a design for something to keep data locked away forever. It’s not searchable. That empowers everyone’s privacy, for good or evil. It disrupts the balance we have lived for the last few hundred years along with so many other technologies, especially the industrial revolution. That’s called progress. Live with it, it’s not going away.

    That president says: “And it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value. And that can’t be the right answer”. The value of how a phone is used is determined by the user, not the phone. Just like a gun and if there is a fetish in that country it’s the gun. Same for their constitution. Great words on paper, wonderful values, but in practice it seems that the “white man speak with forked tongue” holds true. It’s the gun that rules according to them. It’s in their DNA (Destructive Nuclear Arsenal).

    “Obama said government shouldn’t be able to “just willy nilly” access smartphones that are full of very personal data.”

    But that is exactly what Snowden has pointed out. This government is a threat to global security, heck they torture people, it’s a no brainer that you don’t want to be giving back door keys to these people. They are criminals above the law. When it comes to dealing with a blatant group of criminals responsible for war crimes and atrocities against humanity that president has put them above the law with a brushing “I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” statement and refused, REFUSED to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration’s war crimes. If that isn’t putting someone above the law then I don’t know what is. And the wee people of that nation have done nothing, accepted it, like the herded sheep they seem to have have become, devoid of critical thought, their minds muddled by their media.

    Who do you think these government agencies are going to go after with their back door? Anyone they perceive as a threat, and the way that fearful paranoid government thinks is everyone is a potential threat.

    Obama added. “But the dangers are real. Maintaining law and order and a civilized society is important. Protecting our kids is important.”

    Yeah, you can tell that to your kids next time you take them to the Guantanamo on the Bay resort where you’ve removed law and order from innocent people. Torture is not a feature of a modern day civilized society. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

    I hope Apple employees are braced for what’s going to happen because right now I have little doubt that there is a database being assembled on each and every Apple employee so that the various Hydra heads of this government can have a look and see how they can use this to their benefit.

    It’s ugly and going to get uglier.

  7. here, please take the time to read this transcribed interview.. available at the following address

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-scheer/scheer-intelligence-willi_b_9443362.html

    it will curl your hair and remind you that the administrations of both presidents george bush and barak obama have not done any of us any favors.

    this is a must read for anyone interested in the inner workings of government intelligence agencies and how they operate. it contains some very interesting insights into how deceptive the fbi has been on the issue of apple and the need for back doors.

    it will make you feel like a fish out of water caught between two hungry cats – one republican, one democrat.

  8. One of the stupidest title i’ve seen on this site! Not only are you totally missing Obama’s message, but more: you just turn it into fake misleading story.
    You actually, probably, have the best president USA ever had. And there are “chances” you’ll never get any as good one in the future…

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