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...
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97 Comments

60. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Let's ignore the fact that this was actually a specific set of events that lead to the info in iCloud being wiped and Apple usually being able to gain that information... How many people each year are killed by obesity? How many alcohol related deaths are there per year? How many people die because of the amount of guns in the country? And yet, no drastic and privacy related requests from the government. No coercing a company to do something that hinders their users. Hell, more Americans are killed by deer every year than by terrorists. Maybe we should do something about them too? This really is a black and white issue where a hard stance is needed. Governments and laws work via precedence. Starting a precedent where the government has immediate backdoor access to information is scary and wrong. Starting a precedent where the government can compel a company to create that backdoor for them is equally orwellian. Trying to scare the populace by using the terrorist boogeyman is simple fear mongering to get the end result they want.

68. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Obesity, alcohol, and in some cases, gun related deaths are by the choice of the individual. How many people per year choose to kill themselves in a terrorist attack. And we do do something about deer, it's called deer season, which uses guns. Starting a precedence where they can compel... wait a minute, people are compelled to testify, hand over information pertinent to a case, and compelled to let law enforcement search their house, car, computer, with a proper warrant. In this case it doesn't matter how proper the warrant is or how serious the situation is, there would be no way to have access to an encrypted device, period. The Farook case isn't even actually the same thing, because the newer devices are set up so even Apple can't get into them and they can just say sorry. And this isn't just about terrorists either. Criminals are apparently loving encryption, no need for burner phones anymore, they can have a shiny new iPhone to keep any records of their activists on. How many people are killed by criminal activity in the US? More than deer?

72. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

What about the people that drunk drivers kill? The people that get shot by guns? Where is the sweeping legislation there? Regardless, the issue I'm trying to point out is that the country has a variety of far more serious issues that gets far less attention, and has far fewer implications when it comes to personal privacy. And? There is a world of difference between exercising a search warrant or compelling testimony and having a back door created that would allow for a search on any device. There is also a huge difference when you are forcing a company to create that back door for you, to the detriment of their customers. So there is a need to sacrifice privacy and freedom because of crime? I can't accept that. This is precedent that hits several slippery slopes. We are dealing with world governments and law enforcement agencies that are doing some seriously shady things. The more freedoms we hand over, the more things we give up in the name "security", the more power we are giving away from our daily lives.

74. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Let me add a caveat, as I can't see the future, nor can I predict that this won't ever, ever ever ever, be needed. The government needs to handle this much, much better. They need a better method of approach rather than citing a 200+ year old law that's clearly not equipped for this issue, and is at its core basically "we're the government, lol, give us what we want". They need to figure out a way to work with tech companies to better measure limitations and how law enforcement and these companies should work together. They need to introduce legislation that handles modern realities of privacy and the conundrum that technology can pose to security. Too many people making government decisions don't know what they need to know. They need to be transparent in this. They need to show the world why they need these things, exactly what freedoms they are asking people to sacrifice, and what self imposed limitations they intend to set up. They also need to be held 100% accountable as well as demonstrate that there will be oversight. And finally they need a reason wayyyyy better than some ridiculous fishing expedition for something that may or may not be on a device, and for reasons that are clear and make sense.

93. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

Right, jellmoo! I might recall as well the lame excuse of the U.S gorvement who said it was for "security" when the Edward Snowden saga broke out, leaking data which exposed the U.S's spying on about 38 embassys. Spying on other countries and infiltrating into their privacy, in the name of security? WTF

98. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I'm going to put both replies in one for simplicity sake. Yes, there are many things that can kill people, I get it. It's not about eliminating every single thing that can, but lessening the more serious ones. Car accident kill people but I'm not going to push to outlaw cars. I have never said I wanted them to just make a backdoor to let any and everyone in. It's amazing to me how many times I have said how I feel but everyone just ignores that and tries to put me on one side or the other. I've been saying that Apple should he the one to handle it. It shouldn't be a new OS, but a tool that they and only they can use to unlock phones on a per case basis. Keep it in a room with absolutely no connection to the outside world. And once the relevant data is pulled, wipe and destroy the device. As far as people reverse engineering it off the code, couldn't the code that allows the tool to work be encrypted? And if it is kept in a room with no outside connection, there's no way, short of a rogue employee, fr it to get out on the net. Thats my solution. What do you think happens any time a person is jailed or a search warrant is carried out. Im not arguing that we should just hand all of our rights and privacy away, but at this point we might as well just say once tye cops see a piece of technology, it's off limits because there is no way to make a case from anything off there with encryption in place. I'm not nor have I ever argued that they are handing it well or that they don't need to do better, on that we agree. What I AM arguing against is everyone who doesn't seem to give any thought to the issue at all and simply say "Privacy good, government bad." There is never one side to anything, and what the majority here is pushing for leaves absolutely no way for a valid search warrant to he carried out on any personal devices. We are in effect saying, this isn't now, nor should it ever be anything that can be viewed by anyone else, regardless of if I break the law and therefore gve up my rights, my right to keep this from anyone else is absolute. As I said above, I am arguing not for a backdoor into every device at any time, but a way to crack individual device's on a case by case basis with a valid reason to do so.

100. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

There is still a huge opportunity for government abuse of such a tool, even if it's kept at Apple HQ under a lock. If US government gets it's way with this phone than ANY government in the world can ask Apple to unlock any device under their jurisdiction. Now imagine some regime where same sex marriages and relations are forbidden. They could persecute and jail any homosexual person because warrant issued is perfectly legal in their country. That specific example may not be applicable to the US and you may not give two s**ts about it, but this will have wider consequences throughout the world.

103. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

A crooked government could do whatever it wanted. They could go in and force them to do it under threat of death, it happens in countries with a dictatorship. According to reports, Apple may have done this in China already. The Chinese government asked for security audits as a stipulation for being able to do business in their country. They've done so in the past as well, blocking Google's search unless it was censored. In regards to Apple, when asked about it they've either responded with No comment or directed those asking to their privacy policy on their website. If they in fact haven't agreed to it, why wouldn't they flat out call the accusations false? I give two $hits about it, but at the same time their are real consequences to not doing anything. I've been saying all along, let's look at it from all sides, not just one or the other. What makes me question people who are all for not giving anyone access to devices under any circumstances is that they are placing their trust in a for profit company. Apple, and most of the others who are siding with them are the same companies shown to have given governments access to their customer's information with the warrants being rubber stamped by a secret court. That put all of them in a bad light in the eyes of their customers. Now they are taking a hard stance against what they've done in the past. Why didn't they do it earlier? Because earlier we didn't know about it and now they're trying to get back in the public's good graces. I'll guarantee that if Snowden hadn't shed a light on what was going on behind our backs, it'd be bsuiness as usual for these companies. So I'm sorry but I don't see them as the paragon of privacy everyone else seems to, what I see is a bunch of companies who got caught and are trying to restore their reputation. The only time they care about our privacy is when it benefits them.

108. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

I've heard talk about Apple and Chinese government, but nothing was ever proven (AFAIK) so I'm assuming they can't just get into any iPhone sold in China. People are so divided in opinion because there is no "good" solution, just a bunch of equally bad ones. If there was a clear perfect solution that would satisfy all parties involved, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I for one have absolutely no fear of "terrorist" and having been wronged by law enforcement stand firmly in ENCRYPT EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING camp but it's not the same for everyone. As for your statement that Apple is only protecting it's own interests, I fully agree. I'm just glad that I can count on corporate greed to work in my favor for once.

111. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Like I said, they've never admitted anything, which in itself should be worrisome. If they didn't do it, why not just come out and say it? I agree there's no perfect solution, but that doesn't mean we should just pick a mediocre one and see what happens either. In that way it's like this year's presidential run. When dealing with one of the most important posts in our country we shouldn't have to settle for the best of what we're being offered. Many times I've wished that they offered a D. None of the above on the ballots and start over. And a situation of this gravity shouldn't be taken lightly either, by saying, yes absolutely let them do it or no under any circumstances isn't the solution either. People have been wronged by law enforcement long before even computers were around so this won't change that. We've had encryption on phones for only a couple of years and people are acting like it is a basic right. We do have a right to privacy, but even that isn't absolute, only the protection against unlawful searches, not lawful ones. There's a saying about that, a broken clock is right at least twice a day. The problem I see here is everyone is acting like their actions are pure, when I'd bet dollars to doughnuts it's anything but. It's fine to be happy they're on your side, just don't try to tell me that they're doing it for you or me.

115. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Anyone who thinks Apple is doing this out of kindness of their heart is simply deluded. I've seen the quotes how "Apple is fighting the good fight" and similar but it's not even from fanboys, simply uninformed. As for US presidential elections, you have my sympathy, but aren't you allowed to boycott it? If you don't vote at all isn't it same as your "none of the above" option?

116. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

No, because then we'd still be stuck with whoever is currently running. I'm saying get rid of them all and start with new candidates. Currently not voting just means one of the people you don't like will have office for 4 years barring an impeachment. The way this year is going, I'm not going to be votng for someone, but against someone else to keep them out of office.

28. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Wow, on this rare occasion I actually agree with Obama.

46. mixedfish

Posts: 1544; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Try listening to his honest interviews, he's more than just the 'black guy president'.

32. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I really can't pick between the possibly of not having any privacy when using an iPhone and stopping terrorist, it's just not fair. Apple vs Gov, one will eventually win. I can say, I will be both happy and sad when that day comes, I'll either be happy my privacy is safe and sad about the possibility of not stopping/catching a terrorist or vice versa.

33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The problem here is the Govt is making a false claim to get what they want. They have no idea what is on the phone. I highly doubt there was a 3rd person. The 3rd person is whoever told them to do it. I am sure he wouldn't be there. I dont get why the fact they are Muslims make them terrorist? After all, in other countries do they call Christians terrorists? I am sure plenty of so-called Christians have killed lots of people. After all have you read the bible? We dont know what is on the phone. If he has a contact on his phone that would lead the Govt, to the person or persons involved, is a terrorist who has no idea what they are doing. There are lots of people in the USA who die everyday and get killed and I dont see the cops here trying to recover info from a person cellphone who could be someone on the 10 most wanted list. I don't think the President should choose a side either and nor does he have too. If he thought Apple was right, then he would step in. After all he did when Apple was found guilty of infringing on Samsung patents. He is also right. There are some people who are obsessed with their phones.

42. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

You know what, I agree with what he said, there needs to be a balance. Only problem is, it's impossible to trust the same government, that staged 9/11 for the sake of oil and power, with something this important. Only way to build that trust again is to publicly tell the truth (https://goo.gl/YXOmxJ |https://goo.gl/vE8d2u ) and punish the real terrorists in office, especially them deceptive zionists that control the media (https://goo.gl/rbtMpE ). "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free"

48. mixedfish

Posts: 1544; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

No, just no.

94. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Denial, just sticking your head in the sand and forget reality.

95. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

The U.S people, and especially Republicans have always been like that.

49. kevin91202

Posts: 640; Member since: Jun 08, 2014

9/11 was not staged but the Bush presidency definitely knew that something was going to to happen, as Condoleezza Rice admitted during a Congressional hearing. Of course, the evidence against Iraq was all made up, and MILLIONS of innocent Muslims were murdered for it by the USA.

84. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

100% truth.

91. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

What evidence do you have that it wasn't staged? There's loads of evidence backed by laws of physics and nature that pain it as a staging, many are in the videos I linked to. Including this one showing the stupid bush's reaction when asked about it: https://goo.gl/66y2LThttps://goo.gl/w47fEa Kindly share your evidence of it not being staged. So far, videos I've seen saying it's not staged is just some american sticking their head in the sand and living in denial...no physics/nature evidence to back their claims.

73. willard12 unregistered

You people used to be entertaining. Now, you are just annoying.

89. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Sorry that the truth hurts muffin.

96. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

It hurts inedeed. And the 9/11 was staged. Fact!

52. Adreno

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 12, 2016

9/11 was staged bruh! In fact, it was a U.S conspiracy.

53. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

slaps Obama... the nerve

54. NewroticSlob

Posts: 181; Member since: May 09, 2013

One issue with the current arguments is the labeling of who are committing these crimes. These are not Christians or Muslims committing these crimes. Do those who are committing these atrocities truly believe their God would order and condone these acts? Yes, there is a history of these acts being ordered in Old Testament. However, Jesus came and stated that Love is most important above all else. As for Islamic beliefs, I do not believe these acts are being guided by Allah. These acts are acts of men. These men may believe they are acting in the will of their God. In my opinion, they are acting out of their own will to 'honor' their belief. I find these acts of violence abhorring as a man who believes in God and Jesus Christ. I find anyone who states they hurt, killed, stole, hated, or committed a crime against another human in the name of God and claim to be a Christian is a man of religion and not a man of faith. These acts are committed for selfish reasons only. Many may argue my stance and say it is not true and/or these acts are condoned by either God. I ask you to find where it is stated in whichever book you read, Bible or Koran, that God has declared war on humanity, aside from where I have stated it already exists? Humanity is a selfish lot and bring much of this crap onto ourselves and use God as our license to commit crimes. To say, God told us to do it is as believable as stating, the devil made me do it! If we want to blame anyone, blame us! We did it for our own reasons to get whatever it was we wanted! It's that simple.

86. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Damn good post.
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