Obama calls for public debate over encryption - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Obama calls for public debate over encryption

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE

Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - President Barack Obama said Friday that he probably leans more toward strong computer data encryption than many in law enforcement, but added that he understands investigators' concerns over the matter because of their need to protect people from attacks.

He suggested having a "public conversation" about the issue because "the first time that attack takes place in which it turns out that we had a lead and we couldn't follow up on it, the public's going to demand answers."

Obama was interviewed by the technology website Re/code after he addressed a White House summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection that was held at Stanford University.

"And so this is a public conversation that we should end up having," he said. "I lean probably further in the direction of strong encryption than some do inside of law enforcement. But I am sympathetic to law enforcement because I know the kind of pressure they're under to keep us safe. And it's not as black and white as it's sometimes portrayed."

The trend toward strong data encryption follows recent, damaging revelations that the U.S. government was collecting phone records and digital communications of millions of people not suspected of wrongdoing.

Law enforcement officials say encrypted data could hamper criminal investigations by putting potentially useful information off-limits. Privacy advocates disagree.

Obama said companies like Apple are "properly responding" to market demand because people, including him, want to know that their private communications remain so.

Apple's iMessage platform, for example, offers end-to-end encrypted text messages, unlike traditional text messages. That encryption likely means the only way police can see those messages is by obtaining a user's iPhone. Apple has sold hundreds of millions of devices that use iMessage.

Obama said he wants to "narrow the gap" in the differences of opinion over which has more value: privacy or safety. He said people who favor airtight encryption also want to be protected from terrorists.

"There are times where folks who see this through a civil liberties or privacy lens reject that there's any trade-offs involved, and in fact there are," said Obama, who still uses a protected BlackBerry for non-official communications. "It may be we want to value privacy and civil liberty far more than we do the safety issues, but we can't pretend that there's no trade-offs whatsoever."

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

___

Online:

Video of Re/code interview with Obama: http://recode.net/2015/02/13/barack-obama-recode-kara-swisher-video/

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • US arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

    US arrests, accuses woman of acting as Russian agent

    Monday, July 16 2018 4:09 PM EDT2018-07-16 20:09:37 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:24:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.

    Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

    Federal authorities have arrested a Russian woman accused of conspiring to infiltrate American political organizations at the direction of a senior Kremlin official.

  • Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

    Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

    Monday, July 16 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-07-16 16:57:16 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:24:43 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko). U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hand with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a press conference after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018.
    Trump says he raised election meddling with Putin, but says both sides to blame for bad relations.
    Trump says he raised election meddling with Putin, but says both sides to blame for bad relations.
  • Drownings in Oklahoma encourage increased lake safety

    Drownings in Oklahoma encourage increased lake safety

    Monday, July 16 2018 6:23 PM EDT2018-07-16 22:23:00 GMT
    Waurika Lake has not had anyone drown in the waters, but officials are making sure lake-goers are safe. (Source KSWO)Waurika Lake has not had anyone drown in the waters, but officials are making sure lake-goers are safe. (Source KSWO)
    Waurika Lake has not had anyone drown in the waters, but officials are making sure lake-goers are safe. (Source KSWO)Waurika Lake has not had anyone drown in the waters, but officials are making sure lake-goers are safe. (Source KSWO)

    The number of drownings on Oklahoma lakes has reached the double digits since May.

    The number of drownings on Oklahoma lakes has reached the double digits since May.

Powered by Frankly