Obama The Technocrat Says Government Can’t Let Smartphones Be ‘Black Boxes’

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TN Note: Obama’s argument for forcing tech companies to ‘back-door’ their technology is classic technocrat mentality: How dare citizens be allowed to have even one tiny pocket of privacy that cannot be penetrated at will by the government. Listen to Obama’s own words:

“The question we now have to ask is, if technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system, where the encryption is so strong there’s no key, there’s no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer? How do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot? If in fact you can’t crack that at all, government can’t get in, then everybody’s walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket.”

President Barack Obama said Friday that smartphones — like the iPhone the FBI is trying to force Apple Inc. to help it hack — can’t be allowed to be “black boxes,” inaccessible to the government. The technology industry, he said, should work with the government instead of leaving the issue to Congress.

“You cannot take an absolutist view on this,” Obama said at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. “If your argument is strong encryption no matter what, and we can and should create black boxes, that I think does not strike the kind of balance we have lived with for 200, 300 years, and it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value.”

Obama’s appearance on Friday at the event known as SXSW, the first by a sitting president, comes as the FBI tries to force Apple Inc. to help investigators access an iPhone used by one of theassailants in December’s deadly San Bernardino, California, terror attack. Apple has appealed a magistrate court order that it assist the government, saying to do so would undermine its encryption technology.

Rapid technological advancements “offer us enormous opportunities, but also are very disruptive and unsettling,” Obama said at the festival, where he hoped to persuade tech workers to enter public service. “They empower individuals to do things that they could have never dreamed of before, but they also empower folks who are very dangerous to spread dangerous messages.”

Siding with Apple are technology companies including Amazon Inc., Microsoft Corp., Facebook Inc. and Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. On Thursday, the government filed a memorandum in the case arguing that Apple would need to assign as few as six workers for as little as two weeks to hack into Syed Farook’s phone.

“This burden, which is not unreasonable, is the direct result of Apple’s deliberate marketing decision to engineer its products so that the government cannot search them, even with a warrant,” government attorneys said in the filing.

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Paul Briggs

When the US dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, two civilian cities, filled with non-combatant old men, women and children, this was not a terrorist act. This was a scientific experiment to discover and measure the devastation power of these new nuclear weapons. The bombs had to be tested on humans. Science is now so far advanced it can no longer be halted. The terrorist mass bombing of non-strategic civilian populations in Germany throughout the Second World War was a psychological experiment to test human resistance to such bombings. More people died in the terrorist bombing of Dresden than… Read more »


AS the U.S. is corporation. IT’s NOT A GOVERNMENT. (28 USC 3002) Therefore, any such infiltration is not about pre-“venting” Terrorism. It is about Commercial Market control for the “national (private corporate interest) Interest” to corner a commercial control on a private priority Business interest.. Ergo, it’s about a “Hostile Take Over” of one of the most prolific Companies in the world. The United States Corporation is claiming ALL Property including intellectual property of all Corporations established “under” it’s Commercially establish-meant system. If APPLE would do a counter claim starting out of Revealing exactly WHO the United States really is… Read more »


So only the rich, the government, and corpoartions will have secrecy and encryption, but the schmucks will not be able to squirrel away a dime away from the prying eyes of government. If we are not allowed to have privacy, why then should those who should be scritinized the most, allowed to operate in secret.