Data Security, Encryption

SXSW: Obama says gov’t can’t go ‘willy-nilly’ into iPhones

President Obama said he is “on the civil liberties side” when asked at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival about the Apple vs. FBI rift over an alleged San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5C.

The President said that he couldn't address the situation directly but cautioned against taking an absolutist approach in the encryption debate, during the keynote address at SXSW in Austin..

"I am of the view that there are very real reasons why we want to make sure that government cannot just willy-nilly get into everybody's iPhones and smartphones that are full of very personal information," the President said.

He went on to say the government and technology companies should strike a balance between privacy and security but cautioned against "fetishizing our phones."

President Obama recognized that the Snowden's revelations elevated the public's suspicions and stressed that he was not interested in “overthrowing the values that have made us an exceptional and great nation simply for expediency.”

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