Barack Obama has finally broken his silence on the Apple-FBI saga, where the mobile manufacturing company Apple obstructed the Federal Bureau of Investigation from accessing a terrorist’s iphone in  San Bernadino.

The US president has asked manufacturing companies to build mobile device in a way that would allow the government to gain access to personal data if needed to prevent a terrorist attack or in a case they need to enforce tax laws.

Speaking during a southwest festival in Texas, the president acknowledged American’s privacy and civil liberties saying the important balance also needed to allow government intrusion in necessary cases.

Technology is evolving so rapidly that new questions are being asked, and I am 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…

The question we 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? 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.

There has to be some concession to the need to get that information somehow. Folks who are on the encryption side will argue that any key whatsoever, even if it starts off directed at one device, could end up being used on every device. That’s just the nature of these systems. That is a technical question. I am not a software engineer. It is technically true, but it can be overstated. Read Obama’s remarks

Should be arrested

On the other hand, a Florida Sheriff has threatened to arrest Apple CEO Tim Cook for the companies resistance to law. Following an order by the court that would compel Apple to help, the company however has said it will fight the order.

The sherriff said he did not understand how the government was below a law set by a manufacturing company. You cannot create a business model to go, ‘We’re not paying attention to the federal judge or the state judge. You see, we’re above the law,'” Judd said. “The CEO of Apple needs to know he’s not above the law, and neither is anybody else in the United States.”

“But believe you me, if I get a toehold in this county and I can get the state attorney’s office to prosecute, and a judge to back us up with it, I’ll lock the rascal up,” Judd concluded.







Winnie Kuria

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