x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Obama: We need to stop fetishizing our phones

Posted: , by Alan F.

Tags :

Obama: We need to stop fetishizing our phones
When President Barack Obama first took office in January 2009, the smartphone revolution was just getting underway. Obama, like many CEOs his age, had already been bitten by the BlackBerry bug by the time he took the oath of office and was sworn in as president. Early in his first term, we had already addressed his BlackBerry addiction.

Yesterday, Obama visited SXSW; during a talk he tried to convey a sense of balance in the dispute between Apple and the DOJ. The government wants Apple to build a special version of iOS to unlock an iPhone that was used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook. Apple has refused to comply with a court order because of fears that such code would end up in the wrong hands. That would make every iPhone user on earth vulnerable to having the private information kept inside their phone, stolen by hackers. Just the other day, the DOJ threatened to force Apple to turn over the source code to iOS along with the electronic signature needed to access it.

But instead of siding 100% with Apple, or 100% with the Justice Department, Obama talked about finding a delicate balance between both sides, adding that he is "of the view that there are very real reasons why we want to make sure the government cannot just willy-nilly get into everybody’s iPhones or smartphones…" On the other hand, the president asks "How do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot? What mechanisms do we have available to even do simple things like tax enforcement if, in fact, you can’t crack that at all. If the government can’t get in, everyone is walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket."

"My conclusion so far is that you cannot take an absolutist view on this. So if your argument is ‘strong encryption no matter what, and we can and should in fact 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, and that can’t be the right answer."-President Barack Obama

At the same time, Obama says that we need to stop "fetishizing our phones above every other value." You can watch his speech by clicking on the video below.

source: WhiteHouse via BGR

Story timeline

  • Options

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 20:36 20

1. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1639; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

I don't think wanting privacy and not having the government be able to access sensitive information is the equivalent of "fetishizing our phones". The fact of the matter is, phones are starting to be used for a large variety of things. Ten years ago, we used them to talk and text one another, but now we have credit cards on them and medical information on them. We use them for work emails and taking pictures of our lives (some even use them to take pictures of more private/intimate moments...cough cough). So, the fetishizing of phones has happened not necessarily because of consumers but because of the push by various industries. You go into a doctor's office nowadays and can have information pulled up from your cell phone. So, yes, encryption is important.

Also, just to put this out there, there is no real way to stop terrorists from using encryption. Even if you create backdoors, there are tons of encrypting software out there (both free and paid) that they can use. Just as one is compromised, they can move immediately to the next one and the next one.

You cannot have security and privacy. One has to give way to the other.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 01:24 2

44. almostdone (Posts: 238; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)

I agree.

Do we really think terrorist are that stupid? Once you have a back door to access iPhone's they will move onto other encryption methods or a different phone.

This is nothing more than a way for governments to control and track you. The next big thing for the governments of the worlds is to control free speech of the internet.

Open your minds. There are many good documentaries to open and free your mind. Start watching 'Thrive' to see what really is going on with this world. We earn peanuts like slaves to enrich a few bums at the very top w

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 12:13 1

99. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

LOL. I just imagine a bird going, "Open your minds. Cuckoo cuckoo!" Anytime anyone tells me to watch a documentary my brain shuts off. Sorry, grown up here, no time for Social Justice Warrior BS too busy earning money to take care of my family.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 14:41 3

101. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1290; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)

That kind of thinking is what causes all kinds of bad things to happen. While you were working so hard to make money you may wake up to find that your rights were stripped from you while you slumbered away working. The issuance of these very laws threaten your family just as much as not working hard to get ahead.

Giving up keeping your eye on social freedom to work hard is just as bad if you don't take the time to keep an eye on those that would oppress you and your family.

The fact that you took the time to read and answer this post shows time is available if you allow it to be.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 15:36 4

105. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

That's a good worker bee. Do what the Queen tells you to do :)

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 03:34

51. engineer-1701d (unregistered)

they could at least cut the first 40 mins of blue screen notes

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 10:01

75. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

Yeah, but it doesn't pose as a major setback of the show.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 15:33 1

104. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

I disagree. We could have both privacy and security if the world wasn't so focused on money/greed.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 20:57 2

2. Piyath_ale (Posts: 79; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)

Obama has a narrow mind

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 00:07 7

40. ilkhan (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

No. Obama has a statist mind.

"f the government can’t get in, everyone is walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket."
I'm ok with that.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 15:38 1

106. lyndon420 (Posts: 5002; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

It had to fit into his narrow head/face :)

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 21:03 5

6. Dude2014 (Posts: 448; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)

OK next time when terrorists bomb your ass, don't blame government.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 21:56 19

30. 14545 (Posts: 1676; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Who blames the government, you imbecile?

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 22:31 15

35. volcano (Posts: 348; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)

Ok next time when someone steal your data don't blame apple

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 05:36 1

55. Vrils (Posts: 42; Member since: 17 Sep 2011)

1st - the USA government is not only the FBI, the NSA and CIA can unlock any phone. they do not do it in this case because they want to have a legit - official 'right' to do this for all the phones.

2nd there were a few terrorist attacks in the last years in USA and the USA government can access anything from facebook accounts to gmail ...all is under surveillance yet they could not stop 2 brothers bombing boston or these other recent moslems killing innocents.

HOW WOULD THE POWER TO UNLOCK THE IPHONES WOULD HAVE STOPPED THESE TERRORIST ATTACKS? the terrorists in this case (its like the FBI prayed to have another terrorist case to use it as a reason to demand to unlock phones) are already DEAD, they acted ALONE - as they already said it - before the attack - on messages posted on... FACEBOOK !!!! on facebook where the USA government has FULL CONTROL !

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 10:05 1

76. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

Indeed. I do not see how them having a back door into the iOS will make them stop any terror plot.
This PR stunt in orser to get into people's privacy is getting crazy already!

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 21:06 13

11. kevin91202 (Posts: 599; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)

Terrorism? Cmon now. Just because the shooters were Muslims does not make them terrorists. Had they been Christians, they would've been labeled as militia members fighting for their "rights," just like those hillbillies in Oregon.

Extremist Muslim = terrorist
Extremist Christian = patriot; freedom fighter

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 21:32 12

25. chebner (Posts: 236; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

How many people did those hillbillies in Oregon kill? How many suicide bombs have extremist Christians detonated? How can you be that blind to make that comparison?

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 22:14 16

34. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 2108; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)

Extremist Christians don't use bombs. They use more severe methods. Do the world a favor and look up the atrocities committed by Christians during the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials, to name a few. What the Conquistadores did to the Native Americans in North, Central and South America for not converting to Christianity is abhorrent. Muslims happen to be this generation's whipping boys but "Christians" have a sh*tload more blood on their hands. The Pope in Rome in bygone days was nothing short of a butcher. It's all there in the history books, how can you be so blind not to pick one up and read about it.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 08:10 7

61. threefontstreet (Posts: 9; Member since: 06 Mar 2016)

Oh please spare us this half-baked propaganda. Do you see Christians still doing such things as centuries ago? Are you that dense? Muslims have historical blood on their hands and to this day continue. That is the point. But you are too willfuly blind to see.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 10:11 7

78. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

Right! Comparing Christians versus Muslims using data of centuries ago isn't accurate.

Why not compare both parties using the facts of today?
Muslims are terrible people, not just their Extremists. But even their Quran bible, which says "fight all those who do not believe in allah and his prophet muhammed".

Yet, they call their religion a religion of peace?


posted on 13 Mar 2016, 11:23 1

92. MrElectrifyer (banned) (Posts: 3960; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

Where did you read that? Chances are, you're misinterpreting what you've read. A Muslim friend of mine explained that the Qur'an does contain some teachings for the believers during the time of war, telling them how to defend themselves against the disbelievers.

He showed me this their website containing the full Qur'an and commentaries of it, you could check it out and search for ANY of those violent teachings you claim are in it:


I can guarantee the commentary won't be as violent as you initially interpreted the direct English translation.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 22:51 9

36. myawan (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Apr 2013)

Christians don't use suicide bombs, they just invade your country with NATO forces and get license to kill......thousands innocent people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in this decade and last. They also have drones to kill whoever and call them as terrorists afterwards.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 03:04 5

45. kevin91202 (Posts: 599; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)

Killed thousands? The Iraq and Afghan wars have murdered at least one million people. ONE MILLION. And Iraq had NOTHING to do with USA's 9/11. So, President Bush Jr. said his Christian god told him ("There is a higher father that I appeal to") to attack the Muslims in Iraq for 9/11, when the entire world knew Iraq had nothing to do with it. (Those 9/11 attackers were Saudi, but we all know the USA needs oil from the Saudis, and now from Iraq.)

9/11 casualties: 3,000 Christians
Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001: >1,000,000 Muslims
since 1990: 4,000,000 Muslims






posted on 13 Mar 2016, 08:22 1

67. threefontstreet (Posts: 9; Member since: 06 Mar 2016)

Yep, Western forces totally had a plan tourder those civilains on purpose. There totally wasn't an opposite fighting force also fighting. Leave the West and go to an ISIS held nation since they are the same. Haha you won't you lying coward.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 10:18

79. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

So you say the then U.S President Bush was a Christian? Seriouly?

It was all a plot! 9/11 bombings was done by the U.S gorvement itself! Then using it as a bait to tear apart the middle east countries, hence get their oil and gas.

A true Christian will not kill his ennemies, no matter if the Christian is right or wrong!

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 08:12 1

62. threefontstreet (Posts: 9; Member since: 06 Mar 2016)

Again another ignorant person. Turkey is part of NATOs, are they Christian? NATO OS not a Christian organization looking to promote Christianity. You are insane. Go move to Saudi Arabia if you live in a Christian counseling try that is soooooo evil.

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 10:21 2

80. Adreno (banned) (Posts: 755; Member since: 12 Mar 2016)

Indeed insane to hear someone say the NATO is a Christian organisation.
Quite lame.

posted on 12 Mar 2016, 23:38 3

38. bambamboogy02 (Posts: 655; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

How many abortion clinics and planned parenthood buildings been blown up or attacked?

posted on 13 Mar 2016, 03:29 1

50. kevin91202 (Posts: 599; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)

You can throw in the countless Black churches that were bombed by the Christians. Let's also not forget slavery.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories