Obama Hints That Apple Should Not Take An ‘Absolutist’ View On Smartphone Security

There has been a lot of talk over the FBI wanting Apple to create a program that can unlock the iPhone of one of the alleged mass murderers in the San Bernardino attacks that took place two months ago. Many think the FBI is going too far and creating a “big government” situation, while others say Apple must do what it can in order to protect all U.S. citizens.

Obama indirectly addressed Apple’s dispute over smartphone security with the FBI on Friday. MacRumors has the news.

“While Obama said he could not comment specifically on the ongoing encryption battle between the two [Apple and FBI], he spoke on larger issues of privacy and security. Obama cautioned against taking an ‘absolutist’ view on encryption and said American citizens already make concessions to balance privacy with security in other aspects of their lives.”

iPhone 6s Plus
Apple is also introducing a new 4-inch iPhone at the March 21 event. [Photo via Daryl Deino]

Obama added that warrants are used to search homes and possessions, something the public is okay with, as a comparison to accessing data on a smartphone. He also used airport security as an example of a compromise that is made between security and privacy. However, Obama still faces a lot of opposition in trying to get Apple to comply with the FBI. TechCrunch says that Apple definitely has a right to resist the FBI.

“Forcing a company to break its own technology appears to be something a dictatorship might do, not a democracy like the United States.”

TechCrunch adds that Apple should do what is necessary to preserve our long-lasting constitutional values, which include our privacy and speech rights. The article says that our values and constitutional ideas are not mere things to be traded and that they should remain “unmolested” by the government.

The San Francisco Chronicle cites a Reuter‘s poll that reveals the majority of Americans do not want the government to have access to their phone, communications, and internet activity — even in the name of stopping a terror attack.

“Forty-six percent of those polled said they supported Apple’s position, compared with 35 percent who supported the government’s. Among younger Americans, ages 18 to 39, support only grew. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they agreed with the company’s decision to refuse to comply with the government’s order.”

However, a recent article from the Washington Examiner claimed that Apple should comply.

“The FBI, backed by a lawful court order, is asking only for assistance in getting into this one phone. They are not asking Apple to hack the phone, nor to give them what they would need to get into all Apple phones. They just need Apple to turn off the ‘self-destruct’ mechanism that prevents multiple attempts at guessing the password,” the newspaper claims.

Twitter is, for the most part, supporting Apple.

However, there are also some people who think Apple is just trying to protect their profits.

What do you think about the controversy over Apple and the FBI? Do you think what the FBI is forcing Apple to do is unconstitutional? Let us know in the comments section.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]