Baku, March 13, AZERTAC
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday made a passionate case for mobile devices to be built in a way that would allow the government to gain access to personal data if needed to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws, according to Reuters.
Speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, the president said he could not comment on the legal case in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to force Apple Inc. to allow access to an iPhone linked to San Bernardino, California, shooter Rizwan Farook.
But he made clear that despite his commitment to Americans' privacy and civil liberties, a balance was needed to allow some government intrusion if necessary.
"If technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong that there is 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?" he said.
"What mechanisms do we have available to even do simple things like tax enforcement because if in fact you can't crack that at all, government can't get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket."
Last month, the FBI obtained a court order requiring Apple to write new software and take other measures to disable passcode protection and allow access to Farook's iPhone.
Apple, which declined to comment on Obama's remarks on Friday, has not complied. It said the government request would create a "back door" to phones that could be abused by criminals and governments, and that Congress has not given the Justice Department authority to make such a demand.
Obama's comments were his most expansive on the subject since the dispute.