back to article Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption

Amid the row between Apple and the FBI over the unlocking of a mass murderer's iPhone, President Barack Obama has told the tech world to suck it up and do what the Feds want. Speaking today at hipster-circle-jerk SXSW in Austin, Texas, the United States' Commander in Chief said phones and computers cannot be unbreakable "black …

  1. Graham Marsden

    Was there a Q&A afterwards?

    And if so, was the first Q: "Mr President, do you have the *slightest* clue what the hell you are talking about???"

    1. redpawn

      Re: Was there a Q&A afterwards?

      He has a clue. President by president, regardless of party has made the government more and more intrusive. Be VERY AFRAID we are told to be of this technology. Pedophiles will multiply like rabbits if they have encryption and terrorists will be untrackable if their phones are encrypted. Terrorists and pedophiles are to dumb to encrypt by other means.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Was there a Q&A afterwards?

        ... and unfortunately, the TLA's have to let the paedophiles through the net, otherwise it will confirm the existence of their backdoors to spy on the terrorists.

        1. msknight

          Re: Was there a Q&A afterwards?

          There should have been, as when it comes to... "The whole Snowden disclosure episode elevated people’s suspicions. The Snowden issue vastly overstated the dangers to US citizens in terms of spying."

          ...I'd ask, "Does that mean you're going to let him come back and not threaten to throw the whole damn legal library at him?"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was there a Q&A afterwards?

      FYI according to The Washington Post

      "Surprise" , "the NSA-data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism"

      then they end with this , OK I'll go bold. . .and shout


  2. Herby

    Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

    Please read up on such things as amendment #1, and amendment #4, and no I won't give you the combination to my safe, see amendment #5.

    Lots of people can come up with codes and cyphers (and we all do!), and you aren't entitled to break them.

    So, can you keep a secret? So can I!!

    p.s. How about telling this to your former Secretary of State.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

      Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead... -- Benjamin Franklin (i.e. The Cat on the 100$ Dollar Bill).

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

        @Michael Habel

        You mean the $100 bill that some other person with nothing better to do, has decided that it's also a bad thing. It makes crime of all kinds easier.

        1. Youngdog

          Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

          That paper was written by Peter Sands? The same Peter Sands that advised the UK government and was instrumental in formulating the bank bail-out in 2009? The one running Standard Chartered when it copped squillions in fines for assisting money laundering with sanctioned countries? The one who steered said bank's share price off a cliff in chasing profits through bad loans and an obviously unsustainable commodity boom? Yeah, you should totally listen to that guy.

      2. MarieAntOnNet

        Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

        Another applicable --- albeit ahistorical --- Franklinism might be, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

      The US constitution? Bawahahahhaahhaaaa!

      Under the past two or three presidents it has acquired one final amendment, "Now wash your hands".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

      No, no he's not. He was an adjunct who "lectured" on topics such as "Blacks and the Law" and was picked because of his colour and politics, not because of his knowledge and ability.

      Obama's actual knowledge of the constitution can probably be written on one side of a piece of paper, using big letters.

      1. Naselus

        Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

        "Obama's actual knowledge of the constitution can probably be written on one side of a piece of paper, using big letters."

        He's a Harvard-trained civil rights lawyer with a 20-year legislative career who's been POTUS for nearly 8 years. He also spent 12 years as lecturer and then senior lecturer on constitutional law at Chicago.

        I suspect the constitution may have come up a bit more often than you're suggesting.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

        Actual law professors at the school have publicly stated he was unqualified even for that position - that he was a political hire forced down their throats.

  3. DCLXV

    Isn't it a bit rich to reference terrorists while attempting to frighten the public with hypotheticals?

    1. Ole Juul


      What Obama is trying to tell us is that encryption actually causes paedophilia and terrorism.

      1. Lars Silver badge

        Re: hypotheticals?

        No, what Obama is trying to tell you is that if he was for encryption then that statement would be used in the presidential circus as if he was weak on terrorism. A situation like with "have you stopped beating your wife". Just a fact as it is right now.

        1. streaky

          Re: hypotheticals?

          If it wasn't for encryption the internet wouldn't exist and we wouldn't need publicly available strong crypto. The fact that seemingly everybody in government in at least five eyes countries is too stupid and ignorant to know this only underlines the hilarity.

          And still nobody has talked about what they'd do about foreign-based crypto projects that are open source.

          1. danbi

            Re: hypotheticals?

            Perhaps send the "world's most powerful army" to convince them stop encrypting?

            1. Vic

              Re: hypotheticals?

              Perhaps send the "world's most powerful army" to convince them stop encrypting?

              You want to invade every country in the world simultaneously to prevent them doing (currently) legal things?

              That'll work well...


  4. Crazy Operations Guy

    "body searches and scanners by the TSA at airports, which obviously thwarts terrorism"

    Not in the slightest, given the recent security audits of airports, the only thing preventing terrorism is pure luck on our part. In a recent audit of Denver International, the TSA failed 67 out of 68 tests in which the auditors were able to get pipe bombs through security.

    "Actual quote: "Everybody’s walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket. So there has to be some concession for the need to get into that information.""

    That doesn't even make any sense... But from what I'm able to parse is that he wants to know what is in our phones, except without a warrant, that's a blatant violation of the Bill of Rights.

    "If your argument is strong encryption no matter what, and we can and should create black boxes, that, I think, does not strike the kind of balance we have lived with for 200 or 300 years, and it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value."

    Yeah, but we also used to feed people mercury and bleed people for hundreds of years as well. Phones have become so entwined with our personal lives, they contain very, very personal information including the people we communicate with, the places we've been, and even our banking and medical information.

    "If there is probable cause to think that you have abducted a child, or that you are engaging in a terrorist plot, or you are guilty of some serious crime, law enforcement can appear at your doorstep and say 'I have a warrant' and go into your bedroom to rifle through your underwear and see if there's any evidence of wrongdoing."

    Oh goody, the old "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" argument. What the hell ever happened to "Innocent until proven guilty"?

    If you are concerned about terrorists, then you should be working on building a society that terrorists don't want to destroy. With our treatment of refugees and military action in the Middle East, we have painted ourselves as an evil empire that seeks to wipe out Islam, making it easy for the terrorists to gain power. The Islamic State recruiting spiel is pretty much "The West doesn't care about us, they just drop bombs on us and destroy our livelihoods, and after doing so, they refuse to help us. We will give you money and food to support your family, we will take care of you after your death, no go show that Evil Empire that we will not tolerate them anymore! Stop them from harming your innocent countrymen!". Violating our civil and human rights only feeds that narrative, making these radicals stronger, so we have to violate more human rights and kill more people....

    1. noj

      best comment ever

      "If you are concerned about terrorists, then you should be working on building a society that terrorists don't want to destroy."

      And where you start is by not destroying their society.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: best comment ever

        you mean by creating a society where the state is indistinguishable from the one the terrorists idealize over ?

        1. noj

          Re: best comment ever

          @AC: No. I mean by not marching into another country and destroying it.

      2. Pseu Donyme

        I'm mystified, ...

        ...deeply mystified as to what a terrorist could possibly have against the local building society.

      3. Preston Munchensonton
        Big Brother

        Re: best comment ever

        And where you start is by not destroying their society.

        For those who can't read between the lines, this means that the US should stop cowardly bombing innocent people with drones from thousands of miles away. That has increased dramatically under President Obama.

  5. Alan W. Rateliff, II

    Hey, Mr. President...

    Just a little more... then a little more... then a little more... until, what? How far do we go until we have gone far enough? And what about pointing that "narrow" beam of enlightenment upon yourself and upon those who carry your water? Does the attitude change then?

    This from an administration and a man who has claimed executive privilege in an investigation involving his own Department of "Justice," has fought tooth and nail FOI requests on his various alphabet departments, obfuscating as much of its activities as possible, meanwhile mocking and belittling those who demand to know the inner workings of its politburos.

    Then to speak about the laws of the land while ignoring and undermining law at every turn, laughing derisively when anyone challenges the actions.

    There was a time when I hoped to work for the NSA, because I believed that by getting such a post I would be in a position to help people better protect themselves and work to coordinate better protection for our infrastructures at a national level. I followed an academic path to accomplish this, but the closer I got the more I noticed how my moral compass just did not align with what was transpiring in our government. Now, instead, I find myself pursuing a path to advocate against the directions in which our government is lunging head-first, much at the cost of its citizenry.

    To speak of the law of the land, while at the same time taking the Constitution as if it consisted of mere suggestions and guidelines, is shameful. But you will not be ashamed, will you, because you are indeed a True Believer.

    So, Mr. President, with no due respect, screw you and the horse.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      And to think that this is the guy who got a Nobel Peace Prize simply for being elected.

      He has finally shown what he actually is : a puppet in the hands of the true power in America - the men who have the money.

      Those men are white, old and paranoid. They are the 1%ers who need to keep the money flowing (towards them), and the only way they to do that is to keep people scared and under control.

      Breaking encryption is not going to help against terrorists. The CIA knew all about the men who committed the atrocities of 9/11 and they did nothing to stop it. Had they had access to encrypted data, nothing would have changed.

      No, breaking encryption is just another feather in the cap of the fascists who are now running this once great country. One more means of tapping into the lives of people in order to break the ones who risk being a nuisance - the people who want to stand up for their rights.

      But that is the one great thing that America still is - a country that can. I'm hoping that, when it comes to doing, the solution will not be too bloody.

      1. jason 7 are spot on. When you fight through all the mist and murk it is purely the top 1% of the 1% making sure they keep hold of what they stole.

        They need to find the future leaders (read trouble makers in their speech) that others may follow and deal with them before they become a potential challenge.

        The last thing they want is to be dragged up against a school wall and shot.

      2. BlokeInTejas

        Conspiracy Theory

        Ah, yes, the simplistic idea that there's a small cadre of Those Who Control on whom we can blame everything.

        It used to be evil secret societies from the deep past, or the Jews, or ... But now it's "the one percent".

        last time I looked, none of the rich (except the vile Pelosi, perhaps) actually passed laws. So you're actually claiming, to the extent that your claims have any merit, that the elected representatives in all Western societies are corrupt.

        Maybe that's a root cause to go worry about, rather than pointing at some group and saying "they're bribing".

        1. Denarius

          Re: Conspiracy Theory

          what has being able to pass laws got to do with control ? When a small group of like minded are the funding of the parties, then that group has control. No need to be elected, no need for conspiracy. Just rational self interest.

          1. jason 7

            Re: Conspiracy Theory

            Indeed, it's blatantly obvious and simple. Everyone can be bought for the right price. Democracy hasn't existed ever. Sure the rabble can vote this way and that but the same agenda carries on.

            The top 1% of the 1% are worried that the rabble will realise that revolution (like in Eastern Europe in the early 90's) is the only alternative available to them. They need to make sure that never happens. The only way they can do that is monitor us all to nip dissent in the bud.

        2. Waspy

          Re: Conspiracy Theory

          Don't know who is down voting you Blokeintejas, it all sounds very conspiracy theory to me.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey, Mr. President...

      It was a smart move to put Obama in place. No matter what he does or doesn't do, he will always be the first black president.

      Nobody will remember that he didn't stop Guantanamo or that he did increase drone strikes... He'll always be the first black president.

      So while they're (Obama and his superiors) having a good run, they might as well take encryption, too.

      This will give the next Muppet President a running start and they can go straight to microchipping us like dogs.

  6. Martin-73 Silver badge

    I think he's discovered that it doesn't matter what he says

    So he's made a little side bet with someone on how much complete bollocks he can talk in his last few months. I've been a staunch supporter of the chap throughout the racist hatred he suffered, throughout all the crap where NOTHING he did was right... and now he's beginning to become exactly like the ones he was defended FROM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think he's discovered that it doesn't matter what he says

      Yes, I seem to recall Obama claiming he was less than successful because, racism! A Whiner from the beginning, and now we are seeing his true colors as well. Deal with it.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: I think he's discovered that it doesn't matter what he says

        @Big John

        Obama wasn't elected to succeed. Rather set up to fail. Race has nothing to do with it. He was a senator from Illinois*, the crappiest state in the union. He has close ties with Chicago**, corrupt and crime ridden.

        *I'm a native

        **Studied there

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: I think he's discovered that it doesn't matter what he says

      What do you expect eh? He's a Lawyer like 99% of all US Politicians.

    3. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: I think he's discovered that it doesn't matter what he says

      He didn't suffer any significant amount of racist hatred. That was a convenient accusation by the left, which equates opposition to a black person's ideas to opposition to black people (if it suits their agenda). They never appeared to notice the irony: by insisting that opposition to Obama's policies was really about his race, they denied him the opportunity to have his ideas seriously considered and debated on their merits. In doing so, they trivialized the policies they supposedly supported, since any serious idea is going to generate a significant amount of opposition.

      Obama suffered "your policies are crap" hatred that sometimes extended to him personally, much as Bill Clinton did in his first term, before he "triangulated" and basically adopted the GOP's platform to steal their thunder and get re-elected. Obama's been a tyrant from the beginning... nothing has changed. It's just that now people are beginning to realize it.

      It's funny that the same people who excoriated Bush 43 (and rightly so) for his support of the PATRIOT act are silent now that Obama's administration (the NSA being part of the executive branch) is actually doing the things that they were concerned that Bush COULD do (but never did).

      1. DavCrav

        Re: I think he's discovered that it doesn't matter what he says

        "Obama's been a tyrant from the beginning... nothing has changed."

        I think you don't know what the word 'tyrant' means. But if you are talking about for example, executive orders, you are pretty much wrong. Actually, let me rephrase: you are absolutely wrong, completely and utterly wrong. Obama has issued the lowest number of executive orders per year of office since Grover Cleveland. In fact, in the modern age, Jimmy Carter is the most tyrannical of US presidents, by this measurement.

        So, since you cannot mean giving executive orders, please explain what about Obama's term in office you would declare as 'tyrannical'. And you should explain how it is personally his fault, and not the responsibility of the (Republican) Houses of Congress as well.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The DROWN openssl vuln shows how weakening security (at the US Govt's behest, no less) works out in practice. Especially when you try to put the genie back in the bottle.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

    Most disappointing president EVER!

    1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Big Brother

      Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

      And those of us who predicted this from the very start were (and are still frequently) dismissed and disparaged as ignorant racists. On the one hand I could take solace knowing that they will and do suffer as much as I. On the other hand I am unhappy that any of us must suffer at all.

      1. Number6

        Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

        You think the next one will be any better when it comes to encryption? About the only one who might is Sanders.

        1. Michael Habel

          Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

          Oh fuck no only Sanders could ever make Hillery look like a sane human being. If that nut actually had a chance in hell of winning (Thankfully he does NOT). Not only would I want to leave the USoA. Like so many a Celbutard al-la a Trump victory. But, also the Earth. Sanders could not lead Picnick Ants to the Park on a warm sunny day much less a Nation like the US. Dreamy new age millennials need to wake the hell up. They arn't ever gonna get to go to Uni, in the US, at the expense of the Taxpayers Dime. No matter how many times he makes that promise.

          1. DN4

            Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

            > They arn't ever gonna get to go to Uni, in the US, at the expense of the Taxpayers Dime. No matter how many times he makes that promise.

            Yes, there are many reasonable laws/policies/... that are unlikely to be ever implemented in the US. The list is in fact so long that I do not want where to start... Your point?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

              Hillary can't win now anyway, what with alienating her lgbt supporters over Nancy.

              Time to get ready for president smelly. The world will end two weeks thereafter.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

                So if it's not Hillary or Sanders. Trump for President!

                Or hey, start a revolution and put the power truly in the people hands as was intended by the founding fathers by decentralising government power to individuals and make governments mere admin staff in *our* great country.

          2. Uncle Slacky
            Thumb Up

            Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

            "Not only would I want to leave the USoA. Like so many a Celbutard al-la a Trump victory. But, also the Earth."

            You'd have to leave the planet, as (a) other countries are not obliged to take you in and (b) they've all got evil socialist things like universal healthcare, and we know how much you hate that.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

              So how is that universal healthcare you got in Britain? Everyone getting prompt quality care when they need it? I'd like to think so, but I keep seeing scary reports involving doctors being run ragged, half the population opting to pay extra for private care, hospitals caught in big scandals over patients left to die for lack of space, etc, etc. It's a bit disconcerting when the whole idea was to do it better than capitalism could.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

                In the UK the NHS has deteriorated over the last few years, mainly due to the forced introduction of private companies and rampant managerialism (also imported from the private sector).

                The 50% paying extra for private care is simply untrue - not a good reflection on your source for that one.

                Of course one problem of a universal health care system is that people tend to live longer, with a consequent increase in geriatric health problems which then require additional social and health care, and its safe to say that in the UK we haven't really grasped the nettle on this yet.

                Any reference to capitalism is meaningless because:

                a. universal health care is part of a capitalist system,

                b. capitalism changed in 2008/9 and shows no sign of reverting to its previous state

              2. Number6

                Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

                So how is that universal healthcare you got in Britain? Everyone getting prompt quality care when they need it?

                There is plenty to fix about the NHS, much of it related to the way the government is trying to turn it into a US-style operation.

                The main thing about the NHS is that urgent care is available pretty much on the spot and is free, and that for less urgent stuff you get it for free after waiting a while. For the well-off who don't want to wait, you can go buy top-up insurance to jump the queue.

                In the US, if you don't have the money then you get to wait forever for treatment or go bankrupt, which is far worse than being on a waiting list.

              3. Roj Blake Silver badge

                Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

                How's universal healthcare in Britain? Well, it means that people get treatment they need without being bankrupted by it for one thing.

                And whether you use it or not, the NHS costs less than US-style medical insurance.

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

                So, you actually believe everything the media tells you do you?

                The NHS is, on the whole, fucking wonderful, it has some excellent staff but is run from Westminster by a group of grabbing bastards, all of who have private medical insurance.

                But don't knock the NHS, especially if the only interaction you have had is a front page of a hacks mag.

          3. Greg Fawcett

            Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

            ...and there we go, over the top outrage.

            There was a time when politics was more rational and people understood that it meant little in the scheme of things. Now we all seem to have to hate the guy (or gal) on the other side, and threaten to leave the country if they get in (yeah right!). But you've got to keep ratcheting up the outrage, right? So the next logical progression is violence - it would be so awful if Trump/Sanders/Obama got in that I'd better strap on my suicide vest and really show 'em how I feel!

            Whereas this article shows that actually, in The Who's immortal words, "Meet the new boss - same as the old boss". Be nice to each other.

          4. TimeMaster T

            Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

            " If that nut actually had a chance in hell of winning (Thankfully he does NOT). "

            You might want to read this,


            and start packing.

    2. Geoffrey W

      Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

      RE: "Most disappointing president EVER!"

      Sure, I'm somewhat disappointed by what Obama has done, but its a poor measure of his overall worth.

      The only reason George W Bush didn't disappoint me was because I expected him to do all the crazy shit he did. He did not disappoint me one bit. I know which of the two of them I prefer though, and it isn't Bush.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

        "Sure, I'm somewhat disappointed by what Obama has done, but its a poor measure of his overall worth."


        What a man has done is the only measure of his overall worth.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Geoffrey W

        The only reason George W Bush didn't disappoint me was because I expected him to do all the crazy shit he did. He did not disappoint me one bit. I know which of the two of them I prefer though, and it isn't Bush.

        Well I'm not exactly sure why, since so many of Obama's policies and actions are straight out of the neocon play book.

        Here's a non-exhaustive list:

        - Warrantless wiretapping

        - Executing American citizens abroad without trial (drone strikes)

        - Keeping business as usual on Wall Street - nobody held to account for the financial crisis

        - Stupid, misguided foreign interventions in Libya and Syria

        - Fomenting revolution in Ukraine and helping restart a new Cold War

        You see that's what makes Obama so hateful. He's a wolf in sheep's clothing - pretending to be a liberal progressive while maintaining the status quo. In other words, the elite's best stooge yet. The Nobel Peace Prize President who's legacy will be a country and wider world that's more divided than ever.

        1. Mark 85

          Re: @ Geoffrey W

          You forgot his other goodies.. deepening the racial divide, Obamacare which is a flop, looking the other way when his Secretary of State really screwed the pooch in Benghazi, and generally pissing off so many people that Trump is looking good. That last part is the really scary part.

    3. DavCrav

      Re: Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

      "Mr Barack "Hope & Change" Obama

      Most disappointing president EVER!"

      I think William Henry Harrison feels happy now he has lost that title.

      (If you don't know, look him up.)

  9. a_yank_lurker


    Remember Obama is nothing more than an arrogant shyster and like all arrogant shysters likes to pontificate, subtracting from the sum total of human knowledge, on many topics he knows absolutely nothing about. Both the Donkeys and the Elephants are quite good at this.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Go to Hell, Mr. President

    "The whole Snowden disclosure episode elevated people’s suspicions. The Snowden issue vastly overstated the dangers to US citizens in terms of spying"

    The Snowden disclosures didn't raise suspicions, they confirmed that the government was doing stuff that would have got you promoted to the tinfoil-hat brigade 3 years ago. For example, ask Google's network and datacenter ops people how their inclination to "trust the government" went when they found out that the NSA was tapping the fiber-optic links between Google datacenters, and then boasting about it with little smiley-face emoticons in classified Powerpoint presos.

    You want us to stop harboring suspicions? Give us real transparency into data interception/SigInt being done by intelligence and law enforcement. Don't make our worst fears into reality and then expect us to believe that there aren't yet more creative ways of tapping into worldwide data comms and storage that are in the works.

    Thankfully, in one year I won't have to worry about what you are up to beyond the relatively small drain on the federal treasury that is required to keep your Secret Service detail going.

    1. Charles Manning

      Re: Go to Hell, Mr. President

      One thing he has done is piss in Hillary's soup.

      A lot of people (blacks in particular) are saying they're voting Hillary because she's a continuation of Obama's policies.

      Now those people have to make a choice:

      * Believe Obama and all the threats of terrorism etc - in which case they must be concerned about Hillary's server in a bathroom.

      * Believe Hillary is fine, in which case they must dismiss Obama as a fearmonger.

  11. Patras


    I cannot believe he actually said that. It sounds like the ramblings of a crazy person.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: OMG

      >Implying that Liberals are sane to begin with...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMG

        Are you really stupid enough to believe this is a liberal vs. conservative issue? Go look at the stand all the republican candidates for president have taken. They all support the FBI as well, none are standing with Apple.

      2. Fibbles

        Re: OMG

        Am I the only one who gets annoyed by the American perversion of the term 'liberal'?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OMG - Am I the only one who gets annoyed by the American perversion of the term 'liberal'?

          No. Also see socialist, "socialized", "wealth creators". You'd almost think if you were crazy enough that there were right-wing "think tanks" working hard to lie to the American public about the meaning of words.

          "Cato Institute"

          "American Enterprise"

          "Heartland Institute"

          ....oops, there really are.

        2. Teiwaz

          Re: OMG

          "Am I the only one who gets annoyed by the American perversion of the term 'liberal'?"

          - I judge it as a good sign that I am reading the ramblings of someone who has bought into the propoganda, either consciously or unconsciously.Either way, any opinion expressed with that scapegoating atitude is highly suspect.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OMG

          No, and this is exactly what Orwell was talking about when he wrote about NewSpeak.

          Corrupt and simplify the language, and claim words mean there exact opposite. Makes discussion impossible.

          Talking to an American about politics IS impossible without first laboriously defining terms.

          Liberal = right politics

          Conservative = far right politics

          Free market = Crony capitalism with corporate welfare

          Socialism != Communism-lite


          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: OMG

            Typical leftoid bullshit. Free markets are the antithesis of crony capitalism, indeed crony capitalism naturally emerges when governments gain too much power such as under "socialist" governments short of full on tyrannical communism. P J O'Rourke nails it, "when buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things that will be bought and sold are politicians."

            Socialism is simply a way to leech off the productive members of society by a coalition of the lazy, the dishonest, and the conniving. The conniving run the place and get power and money, the dishonest get more money, and the lazy are kept in their place so they can keep voting for people who promise more money but never deliver.

            Newspeak as defined by Orwell defines leftism, the typical lefty thinks free speech means agreeing with them and not being allowed to speak otherwise.

            1. Schultz
              Thumb Down

              "Free markets are the antithesis of crony capitalism"

              No, because even "free markets" are based on rules and whoever makes the rules can select the winners and losers of the game. This is the whole basis of the 1% discussion.

              Of course you might equate free market with anarchy and the absence of rules. In that case, the strongest will take what he likes and start imposing his rules on everybody else. Free markets are an abstract economic concept and any real exchange of goods is limited by implicit and explicit rules.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me

    ... or is anyone else seeing that enormous brick wall approaching at terminal velocity? We're way beyond the shit and fan phase. You just don't know which part of what will hit first.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    You want backdoors?

    Fine, we'll start with the IRS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You want backdoors?

      nononono, the "backdoor" means door to YOUR ass, while what you call "backdoor" they call "terrorist breach". Do as I say, says the prez, he knows what he's saying...

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: You want backdoors?

      Didn't the IRS already create their own back door for anyone to use?

  14. Jamesit

    "The whole Snowden disclosure episode elevated people’s suspicions. The Snowden issue vastly overstated the dangers to US citizens in terms of spying."

    My bullshit detector just exploded

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You need to use the more expensive political strength bullshit detector if you want to use it on statements by presidents, congressmen, or candidates for those positions. The politician grade units use special unobtainium circuitry that can handle bullshit at neutron star densities which you will regularly encounter in the statements of a seasoned politician (warning, it may still explode if exposed to statements by Donald Trump, as his bullshit regularly reaches quark star densities)

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: bullshit detector

      I'm happy to report that mine is still working fine. It's a Soviet-built model, calibrated on copious amounts of finest excrement of the Soviet propaganda machinery. Has served me well for ages.

      What is rather worrying, though, is that numerous unrelated samples from different parts of the world tend to give out fairly similar readings. One can only wonder...perhaps bullshit is the true lingua franca of the modern world?

  15. Mark 85
    Black Helicopters

    Jeezus frikkin' Christos... did he actually...? Why yes he did... Just exactly who's side is he on? It's apparent that it's not "we, the people". As Vizzini would say: "Inconceivable".

    I'd make some more comments on this, but I'm sure that I'd hear the rumble of heavy trucks, the cadence of SWAT, and the sound of helicopter overhead in the night.

  16. Camilla Smythe


    I ate Taco Bell. Let me slip my penis up Austin Texas. Apple Pie... On these things, and Great Americans 'Woot Woot Woot', Obama is certain and then..... mumble mumble mumble.

    Mumble... Big Data..

    Mumble... Medical Records for research..

    Mumble... Voting and why they are voting so we can get them to vote the right way..

    Mumble... Making sure Activists are monitored.

    So.. The reason I am here is to Big Up Texas "Go Texas, Go Texas, Go Texas Taco Bell. I'll have fries with that. Woot Woot Woot.. but, like hey, we fuck up on a regular basis and the only way we can fix this is to get you little people called 'citizens' involved"

    .. So I set up a web site to collect your big health data and this was a bit embarrassing for me because I know fuck all about apt-get install apache and that html shit, although my kids know how to do Banners in GeoCities, so I spunked loads of money on some consultants so they could fuck it over... and they did.

    I remember my childhood listening to the Rooskies talking about Left Boot production on that radio thang. Anyway.. having personally fucked it up, with assistance, I asked my mates who had fucked it up in the first place how to unfuck it and, Bruce Willis was not interested, so we came up with, and pissed an extra shitload of money on, a SWAT team.

    That's SWAT!!! not SWOT. Fuck analysis we go in with Mini-Guns Blazing. Go America Go America Go America. 'Woot Woot Woot'.

    Any way.. so we asked Google and FaceBook to sort things out for our Viet Nam veterans and the rest of the good old boys who got fucked over by us waging war against that Left Boot Producing idiot Putin all over the planet.

    So these dudes are really kind of cool and I am up to speed with the foo-bar thing but they need to be institutionalised. Err,, that is to say I do not have a fucking clue and that Zuckerfuck needs to ask himself whether the loaded shotgun I am pointing at his fucking face is loaded...

    Uhm cough.

    So what we need is people who know shit to stop trying to tell people who don't know shit how shit works and just make it fucking work the way I want it to work. So you are invited to become engaged to do it or I'll throw my toys out of the pram. O maybe not.

    America Today asks its Geeks to set up shit so no-one else can use it without America having full access to their shit and stop the nutty side of Islam developing counter measures. It's not enough to take out ISIL with Tomohawk missiles.

    We need to develop Genetic Warheads based on our Big Medical Data to stop the fuckers from having children capable of thinking beyond being capable of flipping burgers... and we need that for our children as well.

    We need the industry to use their ad-spaffing technology to kill off any kind of thought and also help you idiots make the right choice in respect of who you are going to vote for using their Big Data Thang. It seriously fucks me off that you do not turn out to vote because last time I checked I am Dudellicious so what the fuck is your fucking problem?

    Do my ears poke out too much or what?

    Look.. You Austin Texas Folks here are incredibly talented. 'Woot Woot Woot'... ahhh come on give me a 'Woot Woot Woot'....

    .. but the problem is your Texan Leaders have fucked up big time because you are fucking Texans. Everything around here is supposedly just so fucking big, and rightly so, that you do not pay attention to idiots outside of your locality.

    As we all know there are 52 states..

    Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas Austin Texas

    and the rest of the World, including Kansas is just some Islamofascist Fantasy.

    So What we need is for you Fat Texan Bois to take your heads out of your fat fucking arses and sign up to FaceBook so you can have the right to vote.

    "Go Bama Go Bama Go Bama" 'Woot Woot Woot'.

    Yo!! Look, you Dumb Texan Fucks check the weather on your phone. We've got satellites that do that sort of shit and Verizon that checks where you are so as we can direct you to the nearest umbrella shop... Then we get celebrities to predict the weather and fuck that one up as well. Fuck me, we also use economists to predict the fucking economy... Or you can look outside the window.

    So.. anyway. What I am saying here is we need an ISIL free economy where the Muslims get to flip burgers but we keep them out of the country so Taco Bell and my mates in the Ad-Spaffing industry sort stuff out with The Big Data Thang so you idiots know how to vote and your children can become top skill in burger flipping.

    And you know what. That Economy Thang. Truth of the matter is it's all been changed. Hey.. like sorry about the fuck ups in respect of loss of your personal data to ISIL and the bankers fucking over the economy but it is all Kool coz we printed more money, told them not to do it again and I am going to introduce a new free 'identity fraud protection' web site... but this time it will work properly using your FaceBook login.

    Oh.. and it was all our own fault for not giving our authorities enough money to take on the lawyers as paid for by the other side to enforce the law. I guess we just fucked up because we are all clueless MBA majors, did not write the law stuff down properly and some of us need the odd $XXXXXXXXX from the lobbyists so we can garner your votes.

    ..... Gives Up.

    What fucking ever,

    I guess part of getting older is Plod looks Younger and Politicians become Pig Fucking Ignorant Shits

    1. Chris G

      Re: Whut?

      Camilla! I think Obama has rattled your cage!

      But I am jealous, I would have liked to have written your comment, it does sort of capture the idiocy of the whole thing.

      1. Camilla Smythe

        Re: Whut?

        Cheers. Have One -->

        I have no fucking idea where you live.... as if it should matter because this is a world wide problem, but Obama comes across as being a bit of a facile knob end and it would seem America gets to vote which facile knob end gets to do the same old fuck all beyond shit getting worse for the next four years.

        1. Mark 85

          Re: Whut?

          Well.. since he's done a turn around and is now against encryption, this puts him and the US in lock-step (or maybe goose-step) with likes of May and the governments of several other countries. I guess they haven't figured out yet that it will be an uphill battle. One that they may well win but they haven't figured out the cost.. be it citizen anger or corporate anger when the break-ins get even worse.

          1. Camilla Smythe

            Re: Whut?

            I guess they haven't figured out yet that it will be an uphill battle.

            I am low quality..



            Now, [un]like an idiot Sophist Politician, I can barely come to terms with what that might all be about other than, in my case, accepting that it makes sense to people a damn sight cleverer than myself who have reached the Non-Sophist conclusion that if you try and build a broken one it will be broken.

            Unfortunately in the Political World ten times out of ten Sophistry trumps over Logic/Science so we will just forget that in the Real World Logic/Science grinds Sophistry to dust eleven times out of ten so it is OK to cripple your own capabilities because no-one reads Wikipedia.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      @ Camilla Smythe -- Re: Whut?

      Camilla, did you (to paraphrase Blondie) eat amanfromMars1?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ungoverned Governments....

    The reason there is so much resistance to allowing law enforcement access to personal data is that people do not trust their own governments.

    That's a much bigger problem than cracking the latest encryption algorithm.

    In other words - people are more concerned about out-of-control government than some radical, islamist terrorist on a donkey half way around the world.

    I know we are supposed to be scared about onshore terrorists, too. However, there's plenty of disturbed people in our own countries, capable of mass killings and high school shootings. That's a bigger risk than terrorism.

    Somebody Please explain to me, why removing my doorlocks will make me safer?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ungoverned Governments....

      Because if your door is unlocked police won't accidentally shoot you through the door while trying to blow the lock.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ungoverned Governments....

      So according to some estimates (no proper records are kept) it takes between 2 and 3 years for US police to kill as many innocent people as were killed on 9/11. There is on average an incident in which more than one person is shot about every day.

      And the threat from terrorism is largely due to an out-of-control government trying to "civilise" the Middle East by invasion, bombing and régime change. Which is not at all like the way that the Soviet Union tried to control the buffer states between it and NATO. Not at all.

      If only a mechanism existed to fit every worker in the Pentagon and every politician with a mirror, and a way of playing their own words back to them, they might eventually get the point. War is peace!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes me wonder how terrorists operated before the arrival of mobile phones? In a world where technology changes the way we work and live so rapidly, we can take some comfort that guns still operate the way they did 100 years ago.

    Residents of your local trailer park can just visit the local supermarket and but a few semi-automatic weapons to go huntin' .

    Yet - we're being told that the Real Danger is the mobile phone in his/her pocket.

  19. The_Idiot

    Hmmmm. Maybe it's time...

    ... to fight dirty (blush).

    While I neither confirm nor deny my support or opposition to the matter, it's proven a little difficult for those in power to address anything relating to the Second Amendment. And, as I recall, the Second Amendment doesn't _directly_ refer to firearms - rather, to the right to' keep and bear arms for the purpose of maintaining a well organised militia'. Which is interesting, because it might not be too big a stretch to say:

    1: Secure (from the 'enemy') communications logistics have long been recognised as an essential element of sustaining any such force (a view even supported by the assertion expressed by various speakers from time to time that the use of encryption is critical to 'opposition' forces)

    2: Encryption has, more than once, been qualified as a 'munition' in the past.

    So maybe:

    "Encryption doesn't kill people/ do bad things to children! _People_ kill people/ do bad things to children!


    "I'll give you my GPGP when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!"


    "They'll try to smear you as the enemy. They will slander you as cyypto-philic, horn-rimmed spectacle wearing, tech-obsessed maniacs who stand in the way of a safer America. Will you remain silent? I will not remain silent. If we are going to stop this, then it is vital to every law-abiding encryption user to register to vote and show up at the polls on Election Day!"

    Quite what they'll do when they _do_ show up, and can't find anyone sane to vote for is another problem entirely... sigh.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm. Maybe it's time...

      Nazi Germany called Jews and other religious and ethnic groups "sub-humans". In order to get the consent of the population they first had to de-humanize these groups - so disowning and killing them didn't feel as terrible as it actually was.

      We still continue putting labels on people so they can be unlawfully detained, tortured and/or killed.

      Governments around the world claim the exclusive right on labeling individuals as "terrorists".

      Then they move on to drop hellfire missiles on "terrorists" and bystamders at 65.000$ a pop.

      So as long somebody is deemed a terrorist it is ok for a single institution to be the judge, prosecutor and executioner - even on foreign soil.

      Apperently this practice has been conducted thousands of times since 9/11 and is going on right now.

      I have no sympathy for any terrorist organisation and I do not like uncontrolled goverment either.

      Goverment has unlawfully killed thousands of "terrorists" that have never put foot on US soil, yet they want to follow the legal process and decrypt that iPhone to find out who the foreign mastermind was ?

      It's not as if mass shootings in the US are a novelty. I wonder if they already found the terrorist mastermind that engineered the GFC of 2008 ?

      The goverment couldnt give a shit whether decrypting the phone is legal or illegal. If they could - they would already have done it and this topic would've never made it into the news.

      I always thought governments were ele ted by the people and thst governments works for the people. But i do not think that's the Case.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm. Maybe it's time...

        "Then they move on to drop hellfire missiles on "terrorists" and bystamders at 65.000$ a pop."

        To be fair the British government has so far found very few "terrorists" at which to fire those missiles, whereas the Russians have had no difficulty. The two countries which are supposed to have supplied the most "foreign fighters" to IS are Saudi Arabia and Turkey. They are apparently our allies in trying to overthrow a government recognised by the UN and run by a former British GP. Perhaps that's why Hunt hates the BMA; all potential terrorists.

      2. Havin_it
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Hmmmm. Maybe it's time...

        >The goverment couldnt give a shit whether decrypting the phone is legal or illegal. If they could - they would already have done it and this topic would've never made it into the news.

        Ed Snowden has claimed that they can, which if true means (A) they're trying to draw heat away from any allegations that they have this capability, and/or (B) this case is simply a pretext to have this debate in public, with a scenario that they reckon plays well to steering that debate in their favour.

        One possible inference from this might be that there actually *is* a backdoor, that Apple put it there deliberately on request/under warrant, and that this whole fight is security theatre with their connivance.

      3. Chris G

        Re: Hmmmm. Maybe it's time...

        If you would like to know more about drone strikes and their casualty list have a look at this:

        Obama and his allies are all guilty of setting themselves up as Judge, Jury and Executioner, I hope the sons of bithes are no longer able to sleep at night. They all accept large numbers of casualties as Collateral Damage and seem to manage to convince themselves that they are the defenders of democracy.

    2. MrTuK

      Re: Hmmmm. Maybe it's time...

      Simple, we need a new party called "None of the above" :)

  20. Michael Habel
    Black Helicopters

    Oh thank Mighty Zarquon this asshat is due for the chop!

    I'm just glad that there's still enough resistance in Congress to stop this asshat from forking over America anymore Then he already has. Hopefully his Healthcare Tax will also get the yank sometime next year too. Though I doubt Trump would actually care about that, as much as Cruze, or Rubio would. Since they are not RiNOs unlike Trump who could put even McCain to shame.

    But, like the Press says good encryption policies are only for the '1337'5, and not for you pleb class drones out there now give us all your data like a good little drone.

    What's that loud whirling noise? OH SH--

  21. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    The Black Market

    Look through history. Whenever laws are laid down to forbid something from happening/not happening (delete as applicable), someone will come along and fill that void. In this case there will be people with the technical know-how to produce technology that does not have back-doors in it, and they will make money out of that skill. There is a saying "keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer". Negotiation is arguably more effective than legislation.

  22. Christian Berger

    The underlying point is deeper

    Well first of all, this particular case is just for show. Clearly if you have physical possession of the device, you can just read out the flash chips and RAM. You can probably do that via JTAG in minutes... so that's not really an issue.

    The deeper issue is that Apple, just like virtually all mobile phone manufacturers, is actually able to comply to not just this, but even much more invasive methods of surveillance. The operating system on modern smartphones is so complex that it's so buggy that you actually need over the air updates. Once you do have such updates, it's trivial to put one specific update to one specific telephone. Disabling automatic updates is no option either as many of those bugs being fixed are security holes.

    Maybe we need to rethink "smart" phones. There is little need for a full blown operating system and loads of libraries making everything needlessly complex. Why not make devices that are "smart terminals". Essentially machines which do have some local processing capability (e.g. a text editor), but mostly are terminals to a server you might rent some space at, or even own yourself. In fact running a browser remotely and just sending over the image probably is faster and takes less data than displaying it on a local browser. With LTE we are now down to single digit latency, with protocols like mosh we can work with multi second latency. So it's certainly feasible.

    1. Circadian

      Re: The underlying point is deeper

      @ Christian Berger

      you are a fucking idiot. Here's some simple maths for you - how many operating systems do you have to get right for a secure smartphone as opposed to a semi-smartphone + a server that has to do everything?

      Further practical considerations involve a communication channel between them (also nice MITM opportunities there)? With infinite free bandwidth? That is always available?

      From an attacker's perspective, a server that is always on will always have password active in memory - much easier to access than a smartphone that has been switched off.

      Also others may have different usage scenarios from yours - having a fully portable fully functioning computer (after all, that is what a smartphone is) allows them to do things directly on the device without needing connectivity.

      Go back to playing "snakes" - or have you never moved on from that?

      After saying all that, your paragraph 2 is very accurate. We are in the position where we have to absolutely trust the smartphone software provider, and we are completely at their mercy regarding updates. There may be some niche players trying to provide secure smartphones using open systems, but are expensive and may still be hit with a writ they have to comply with.

      So I think ultimately it ends up with "who do you trust"? Or maybe distrust least? Or do we simply have to learn to live in a panopticon and the consequences of what that will do to the sanity of the inhabitants?

      I guess I'll just leave quoting the words of wisdom of a wise old man. "We're doomed I tell ye - doooooomed."

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: The underlying point is deeper

        First of all starting a comment with "You are a fucking idiot" automatically weakens your point as it means that you obviously haven't thought about the issue. Otherwise you wouldn't use that kind of language.

        Then look at the facts. We are already doing a very decent job at securing servers. Particularly since servers are at secure locations and run operating systems designed to do their job, we can trust them way more than any mobile device.

        For a server operating system "vendor" security is one of the prime concerns, for a mobile operating system vendor it's largely irrelevant.

        So securing the operating system on the server is _much_ easier than securing the system on the client. Plus since you control the update process on your server, and typically you download everything from a rather transparent 3rd party server, it's much harder to push special updates to you.

        Securing a simple "terminal" operating system is also much simpler than securing a mobile telephone. You can, for example, start by using network ACLs, raising the complexity of any attack. Then you can have an additional layer of encryption with a pre-shared key. Since you are only dealing with one server (ideally your own) you can greatly lower the risk of anybody messing with your protocol as the actual cryptographic protocol will only see garbage. You don't need a full operating system for that, so your attack surface becomes minimal.

        Bandwidth is not really the issue here as most websites are now so badly made, screen shots of them are smaller than the actual website.... often by a factor of a hundred or more.

        In any case, trusting your "smart phone" also means trusting the cloud service it syncs to or talks to. And that's run on servers, lots of servers. You already need to worry about several different operating systems... most of which you have _absolutely_ no control over.

        1. Circadian

          Re: The underlying point is deeper

          @ Christian Berger

          I should really not comment until after I've had my coffee and come round a bit, but... you are still a fucking idiot. Yeah, shows I'm an uncouth bitch, but I don't really care. The stupidity in your posts just goes beyond what I can put up with.

          The point of all this is not defence against just black-hats, but against government abuse. Servers are always-on. Get a warrant (assuming they can even bother with that anymore), wander into datacenter and grab the relevant server image and copy of the memory. Full access (relatively) trivially. Even if you host your own, an always-on server is relatively simple to get full access to.

          Your uses of mobile also seem very limited - the only usage shown in your examples is to browse web-pages. Mobile phones are capable of a lot more than that, including media, games, books etc., with access to the majority independant of internet access. Your scenarios go back to a dumb device that can do nothing without a connection. There are still people who get drop-outs and end up in places with no signal, or no cheap way of connecting to the internet.

          Server operating system, plus terminal host - unfortunately, any way you wish to spin that, that is another operating system - plus comms channel ALWAYS required, and to get the full security of custom keys, both server and device need to be fully in your control to get the keys shared. No, the attack surface is pretty high, even if you trust the individual components more yourself, you are talking about all three to be fully secured with no vulnerabilities. The next aspect is who maintains the patches for the two devices and how do you trust them (I assume that you are not claming that the code for both needs to be maintained by the user)? Especially for what is supposed to be a mass-market, "consumer" device.

          And your last point? Sounds like you agree with what I said about trust in the vendor.

          Damn it - think the coffee is starting to kick in. I don't think we are so far apart about wanting there to be better security for everyone, just that I feel your vision is much too far a step backwards and rules out too many useful scenarios for a smartphone - which is after all a very portable computer - and you overestimate servers and underestimate smartphones. So to finish, I apologize for calling you a fucking idiot.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The underlying point is deeper

          The problem is that "smart phones" are not where its going to end. Legislation on "smart phones" will fall into legislation on computers, and computers in your house. The fact of the matter is that the phone of even 5 years ago, is not simply a phone anymore. Its a portable tiny computer. The foundations of the internet and the way it work depend on encryption. Any restrictions they do to encryption on a smart phone are sure to follow next to home personal computers and servers and it needs to stop before that happens.

    2. Vic

      Oh, FFS...

      Clearly if you have physical possession of the device, you can just read out the flash chips and RAM. You can probably do that via JTAG in minutes... so that's not really an issue.

      The data in flash is encrypted.

      So yes - you can read it out via JTAG. And you'll be left with an encrypted dump that will take you a few trillion years to decrypt. That will help.


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The underlying point is deeper

      Christian, you do not understand the technical issues so I would suggest you stop pontificating on it. The flash is encrypted, strongly encrypted, and the key only resides in the phone itself. Sure they an lift the contents of the memory, but it is doubtful that the encryption could be cracked in a reasonable time period (like multiple years) on the fastest computers available.

      The real problem is that the only way to get the key is on the actual device because that's how Apple has set it up. The key is made up of various parts including the 4 digit "pin", so you need that pin as well as data on the phone itself (I believe it is a large number generated at the exact [according to the phone] time it was first turned on or registered plus an on chip code that is not recorded). So you need the pin, and it takes an hour per guess at best; at worst the optional "permanently erase after 10 incorrect guesses" is turned on and you only get 10 attempts.

      However I believe you are correct that this is not just about this phone but is a "fishing" expedition, designed to establish a precedent so that authorities can demand access to any iPhone on request. That is what must be resisted.

  23. chivo243 Silver badge

    So the money saved

    On gubbermint boffins cracking my phone, due to backdoors etc can be used to repay me the money the crims stole due to said backdoor or superadmin superroot accounts existing?

    I didn't really think so.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a general rule...

    ...if people are lobbying for one rule for themselves/their mates and another rule for everybody else, then they can just go fuck themselves.

  25. dwonk786

    I live in Colorado. Obama could have made a difference, but he sold out long ago. He had the votes for single-payer. He did not close Guantanamo. He permitted torture. He is currently allowing The NSA to spy on not only U.S. citizens, but the entire world. Without encryption, of course, we are naked.


  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's an awful headline and lead in of what was actually said

    Completely biased article, and not open minded at all. Ignore this junk and go watch the talk for yourself, it's much more intelligent than this outlet makes it.

  27. jake Silver badge

    Mr. President ...

    So you think that privacy isn't important for the GreatUnwashed?

    Serious question, Mr. President. That's an EXTREMELY slippery slope.

    Do you, your Wife and Daughters have plate-glass[0] windows on the outside walls of 1600 Pennsylvania, with a clear view from the outside of your bathrooms/showers? If not, what, exactly, are you hiding? Are you a ::whispers:: a terrorist organization?[1]

    Hint to FiveEyes/Echalon, who should have already had all this crap from the cellphone in question on file, I am not impressed ... and you're not going to relay this comment to the CIC because you've been cocking things up for decades.

    [0] Bullet proof, of course. Wouldn't want anyone getting hurt.

    [1] Aside from the constant background radiation of the .gov trying to getting me to fear manufactured terrorists that will never exist in my life, that is ... Sorry, .gov, you can't terrorize me. I ain't quaking in my boots.

  28. tskears

    >> "People put up with body searches and scanners by the TSA at airports, which obviously thwarts terrorism, so why can't people put up with a little less security in their phones'

    Because passing through a body scanner in Denver Airport won't allow some miscreant in Belarus to crack the encryption on my iThing and drain every last penny out of my bank account.

    i am no expert, but the way I perceive this debate is that there is encryption and there is broken encryption. Place a back-door in encryption and the question is not "if" someone who shouldn't have access will find it, the question is "when" someone who shouldn't have access will find it.

    Please correct me if I am in error...

    1. a_yank_lurker

      @tskears - You are correct. Any vulnerability in anyone OS put users at risk. The risk maybe theoretical now versus real 6 months out. But if the hackers know there is a deliberate weakness they, being smart, will start looking for it with a vengeance. They will find "backdoors" whether they are deliberate or by coding errors.

    2. Vic

      there is encryption and there is broken encryption. ... Please correct me if I am in error...

      You are in error.

      There is encryption and there is everything else. Associating this latter with the word "encryption" in any way is incorrect.

      HTH, HAND, etc.


  29. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Monty Python did a song about Kissinger (the other ultrakill-holding Nobel Peace Prize holder)

    ...there should one about Obama

    1. Havin_it
      Thumb Up

      Re: Monty Python did a song about Kissinger (the other ultrakill-holding Nobel Peace Prize holder)

      Ah yes...

      You've got nicer legs than Hitler,

      And bigger tits than Cher.

      I'm not sure Eric Idle [or was it Neil Innes?] has creativity of this calibre left in him at this point, but would be interesting to see what he'd come up with for Obie-poos.

      [Personally preferred their one on Oliver Cromwell, more educational.]

      1. Chris G

        Re: Monty Python did a song about Kissinger (the other ultrakill-holding Nobel Peace Prize holder)

        No! No! The Philosopher's song, or Sit on my face and tell me that you love me. Both educational for some.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't FiveEyes a terror organization?

    1. Havin_it


      But a piece of shit has a thousand eyes. /CoreyFeldman

  31. Wade Burchette


    Like many politicians and elitists there are rules for thee and rules for me.

    "We must protect the sanctity of marriage!" "But Mr. Politician why were you having an affair with one of your staffers?" "Stop driving your SUV or the earth will die. Now excuse me while I fly to another conference to make the same speech."

    Don't ask me to do something you will not first do yourself. Lead by example; if the problem is real, then prove that is real by following the rules you tell me to live by.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Everybody’s walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket. So there has to be some concession for the need to get into that information."

    LMAO. Everyone's also walk around with pants on. Does there need to be concession to get into those? Hey why don't you just outlaw clothes and underwear.

    Can the police force you to strip right now? Or walk around with x-ray scanner head units?


    Governments: The biggest organised criminal organisation in the world.

    It's time to relegate them back to being civil _servants_.

  33. Tejekion

    Oh go blow it out your two faced ass Obama. Or have you forgotten the saying "If it's good enough for the government, then it's good enough for me!"? In other words if YOU, yeah YOU, ODumma, your administration, Congress, the military, and government et al, require encryption, then why in the knights of holy living heyall, do you think the people DON'T need it?! We're YOUR boss, and WE dictate to YOU how you are supposed to be when fulfilling your oath of office.

    So don't give me a cockamamie bullsh1t line about why WE, THE PEOPLE(Sorry, WWE Zeb Coulter, reference there), shouldn't have encryption, when Hillary Clinton has been getting grilled sh1tless over using a non-encrypted server for sending emails while doing her job?!

    You, can't have it both ways, or at least you're not supposed to be able to. But then again the whole Hillary thing is not really about whether she's right or wrong. It's more about "Job creation" for a bunch of rich, greedy attorneys, judges, and government folk isn't it?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    there it was

    Was wondering when it was coming, think of the kids.

  35. partypop69

    Obama is correct, but only in theory. I do believe "a trusted government" should have access to encryption in order to fight on the people's behalf. But the government is no longer trusted, and that is the problem. They have abused their power time and time again.

    Besides, what if terrorists don't use a cell phone, then what? They can't be caught?

  36. thomas k

    Well, it really is our fault

    When he said "Change", we just assumed he meant 'for the better'.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news...

    Big Brother stated that anyone not prepared to have telescreens installed in their homes was guilty of aiding and abetting terrorists, pedos, islamists, radicals, dissenters and seditionists.

    War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Threats in order of severity

    American government

    American corporations

    My government

    Climate change

    Banking system collapse

    Antibiotic resistance

    Obesity epidemic bankrupting the health service

    Honey badgers

    Wild Pokémon


  39. Keith Glass

    "You can't take an absolutist view on this",

    says Obama

    Actually, yes, we can. How about:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Code IS Speech. "Bernstein v. Department of Justice" settled that.

    So. . . .suck it, Obama. . .

    1. Vic

      Re: "You can't take an absolutist view on this",

      No, no. He's right.

      All we need do is invent a non-absolutist mathematics and the problem is solved. Calculations that only work for the Good GuysTM.


  40. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "We have engaged the tech community aggressively"

    We noticed. That wasn't a good start.

  41. crayon

    "To be fair the British government has so far found very few "terrorists" at which to fire those missiles, whereas the Russians have had no difficulty."

    To the Russians, terrorists are terrorists. To the British government (and other "Western" countries) there are "good" terrorists and "bad" terrorists.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    do as I say

    don't do as I... oh, stop moaning about your f... rights or I'll have you locked up and you'll see how much your rights are REALLY worth!

  43. noj

    I don't know if anyone else has posted this, but if a backdoor is forced on all phones then that backdoor will most likely be accessible remotely. The FBI wouldn't be satisfied with having to go after individual phones. And once the backdoor is compromised all of the phone related data, in the cloud or only on the phone, will be there for the taking.

    On a different note, I watched the video of Obama. He goes on with the rhetoric about stopping terrorists and catching pedophiles - then says something about catching people who cheat on their taxes. After that he says that predictions of an Orwellian society are overblown.

    The road we are traveling down looks very dark ahead.

    1. Vic

      After that he says that predictions of an Orwellian society are overblown.

      Are there any queers in the audience tonight? Get 'em up against the wall.


      [Don't downvote just because I wrote "queer". Watch the video. It's only four minutes. It has a point to make. In fact, watch the whole film - it is magnificent.]

  44. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    The analogy of the combination to a safe is probably the better one to use here. If you have a warrent you seize the safe and drill through the lock to get inside. You don't force the safemaker to install an extra door on the back and give the government a skeleton key.

    1. Havin_it

      That's a crap analogy. This "safe" is drill-proof (as far as we're led to believe), so your only way in is by the pre-emptive tactics you outline here (unlikely*) or by coercing the combination out of the owner (impossible without a working ouija board in this case but more often quite viable).

      *More accurately, getting the safemaker to design the front door lock with a skeleton-key option.

      1. DocJames

        "This "safe" is drill-proof"

        Not true. "This safe will take longer than the universe's predicted existence to drill through the lock."

        The analogy stands as it was stated. Simply because a new material for locks has been discovered does not allow the government to mandate a backdoor with another (easier to pick? who knows) lock for which the government has the key.

  45. martinusher Silver badge

    Mistrust of government is endemic

    We put up being hassled by the TSA because we have no choice -- I don't feel any safer for standing in long lines to go through a metal detector cranked up to '11'. Anti-terrorism legislation has a bad track record of not catching terrorists but instead creeping into everyday life. Its certain that once the FBI gets their way over San Bernadino then the floodgates will open -- New York's got 175 phones it wants to crack, the list is endless, and as this becomes routine then the reasons for opening phones will become trivial to the point where there's zero privacy.

    People are rightly suspicious of the Federal government. It has a track record of overreach. Never forget that one of the FBI's terrorist targets was Martin Luther King.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. GrumpenKraut

      Re: New QC/AI Encryption Protocol Launched

      How are you related to ?

      The "whitepaper" does not convince me at all.

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      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge


    Obama, you are absurd.

    A) We "accept" the TSA so we should give up our Constitutional right to privacy? Nope. The TSA is a joke, I won't go through the full body scanners, and think the searches and such are ridicucous. And the stats back this up. Also that dropoff in flight bookings the last 10 or 15 years? These are people who are deciding they do not want to deal with the TSA, it makes flying too unpleasant so they either drive or don't go at all.

    B) There is no give on encryption. If you build flaws into it, it WILL be broken and be effectively useless. This isn't tech companies being difficult and there is no middle ground on this.

    C) You must think the public are idiots by claiming the Snowden revelations exaggerate and expecting anyone to believe it. They are not fairy tales, but real leaked documents.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Iraq, afganistan, Syria and Libya

    hey Obama,

    You sure did well in these countries. You did your "shock and awe" tour and left without clearing up after the party. Leader of the free world? And you lay the blame on others...

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Their own fault

    Maybe if US law enforcement hadn't taken a dump on peoples rights right across the globe, not just in the USA; people would still have faith that a court order to bypass encryption etc. was really for the public good and not just a way to create a legal precedent to allow them to do it whenever they feel like it in the future. Every time they introduce a law to 'combat terrorism' it begins to be abused within a year until its considered standard and ready for general use.

  50. Lars Silver badge

    Has it ever occurred to you Americans

    Has it ever occurred to you Americans how damned silly this two party bickering is. The demography of the USA is such that a Republican will not be the next President. Choose between Hillary and Bernie. Bernie hopefully. I can feel the pain among Republicans but seriously the day Sarah Palin entered the stage it was quite obvious that the party lost the plot, the soul or what ever words you like to use. And look at what you have got now. Probably not the fault of Republican voters but a hell of a problem for people brought up in a either or world.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hey lets make guns illegal...

    .. that way only criminals who need to be shot will have them. This idea that the general public will be safer if we rely upon the state to protect us from criminals either with guns or encryption is equivilent in effectiveness and stupidity. Hey why dont we stop making guns that way the criminals wont be able to attack the general public? Yes that has got to work because prohibition never fails does it.

    The only difference between these stupidly shortsighted views is that encryption doesnt kill people so lets stop pretending it does, anytime when you give the weapons to protect joe puplic only to criminal and law enforcement the result is always joe looses out.

    Like prohibition on drugs and alcohol once something is accepted into normal society then there is no putting the genie back into the bottle, any attempt will result in infinite funding for the criminals it is supposed to control. So why dont we stop funding the criminals and instead use the money to protect joe public via improving encryption to the point where hacking it would be prohibitively expensive?

    The law enforcement agencies have become lazy and ineffective because they got used to total access to joe public's data, the criminals increasingly disappeared from their radar and now they think that removing what protection joe public had left is going to force the criminals back into the light? Of course not.

    The only way to make the spies effective again is for them to change not joe public

  52. quartzie

    too predictable

    whenever US politicians have wanted to push a security related (and mostly illegal) agenda, they've defaulted to two "unbeatable" arguments.

    POTUS Obama just proved my point: bla bla bla bla pedophiles blabla bla bla bla terrorists blabla....

  53. chaosmagnet

    What an unbelievable asshole.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flight is Straw Man

    The comparison to flying is absolutely ridiculous. First of all, as a US citizen, I'm not given the constitutional right to fly, its a privilege. Second of all, the terms and conditions of me flying are setup by the vendors (Airlines / FAA etc) and oweners of the "airspace" (FAA, US govt etc) in order to get a flight. Its a contract and a choice to give up personal liberties in exchange for there product "the flight". Its my choice to give up certain freedoms in order for the convenience and safety of flying. If i don't agree, I can walk, drive, take a bus, etc. I am, however, guaranteed the right to 4th and 5th amendment rights which include not having to incriminate myself and against illegal search and seizure.

  55. christocracy

    Nit-picky but I think language selection is important here to establish credibility that he understands the domain.

    1) 45:31: "by digitalizing it"

    Hmm..."digitalize", is that a word?

    >transitive verb: to subject to digitalization

    Ok...digitalization then...

    >Definition of digitalization: the administration of digitalis until the desired physiological adjustment is attained; also : the bodily state so produced

    2) >46:25: "Because we understand the Human Genome"

    This is just plain naïve. That's like saying "we understand how gravity works because Newton". The correct way to talk about the Human Genome understanding can be found on the NIH's own National Human Genome Research Institute's FAQ (

    > Having the essentially complete sequence of the human genome is similar to having all the pages of a manual needed to make the human body. The challenge to researchers and scientists now is to determine how to read the contents of all these pages *and then understand* how the parts work together

  56. BlokeInTejas

    "If there is probable cause to think that you have abducted a child, or that you are engaging in a terrorist plot, or you are guilty of some serious crime, law enforcement can appear at your doorstep and say 'I have a warrant' and go into your bedroom to rifle through your underwear and see if there's any evidence of wrongdoing."

    I thought that just as the FBI (or whoever) could get a warrant to look through your underwear, you could be required to unlock your phone so they could look therein.

    That's NOT the same as saying they need access to everything just in case..

  57. Long John Brass

    Here's a thought...

    Given how devout the US Clergy Politicians present themselves to be

    If you need to decipher something ask ${deity} for the key, If ${deity} gives you the correct key the person was ${evil} if not they're innocent


  58. The Travelling Dangleberries

    "So Barack, here's the deal. The negatives can be yours for a small fee.."

    One of the good old USofA's shady TLAs must have dug up some serious dirt on Barry!

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  60. This post has been deleted by its author

  61. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Toddler danger

    Rather than focusing in low risk stuff like terrorism we should look at the real risk: toddlers. In 2015 more people were shot in the US by gun wielding toddlers than by terrorists.

    I suggest compulsory 24/7 monitoring of all toddlers with live video fed to a newly created and unaccountable government department. It would also be wise to ban encryption technology on baby monitors so lawful intercept can be done in order to monitor and prevent shootings.

    Finally some sort of millimetre accurate 3D body scan should be employed at transport checkpoints to take photos in order to check the toddlers are not armed.

  62. hypernovasoftware

    Obama is a narcissistic idiot who wants to (and is) turning the USA into a third world nation.

    Everything he says is complete and utter bullsh*t.

  63. Joerg

    Barack Hussein Obama the Al Qaeda cell...

    He clearly is a muslim and an Al Qaeda cell. He hates Putin and China because they are the ones that stopped his plan of destroying Israel.

    He uses encrypted secret agencies phones and phone lines to talk to his muslim bros.

  64. Yoru

    Looks like the only way forward is to stop buying American based products, easy.

  65. noj

    bad analogy

    Obama and others say authorities have the right to break into someone's house and rifle through their drawers when a person is suspect of doing wrong.

    Obama and others claim authorities have always had the right to do this. But doing so has always meant singling out specific suspects, putting in some work to insure you have something of a case, getting a warrant, and going after those specific suspects.

    Installing backdoors allow authorities to rifle through everyone's digital drawers whether suspect or not. It effectively bypasses the entire process of going after only those who are suspect, the need for a warrant, and so on. And All Writs was not written with effectively putting the entire population under surveillance in mind.

    So no, Obama, its not something authorities have always had the right to do and no, you or anyone else should not have the right to do it now.

  66. Tony Haines

    A "system where the encryption is so strong that there's no key or no door at all. "

    I like this idea of an encryption which is so strong that it *can't be decrypted*.

    I suppose this is bad news if you like to generate random numbers.

    Occasionally I will decide to put something in a safe place. Over the years I've learned not to put things anywhere *too* safe, because then I can't find it when I need it.

  67. FromTheRoot

    Choo choo Mother......

    “Choo Choo Mother......” is a catchphrase used to characterize a popular opinion or sentiment as a force of momentum that cannot be slowed down or opposed.

    Democracy passes into Despotism. - Plato.

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

    Big Brother is watching you. - George Orwell

  68. DropBear
    Big Brother

    Just one simple question, mr. President - all of us carrying government-approved smartphones means that we become immune to CryptoLocker too, right...? RIGHT?!?

  69. naive

    They never learn

    The authorities in the 10th-17th century were much smarter, they knew how to deal with encrypted smartphones. I guess they could make any iPhone owner scream out the most intimate secrets within 30min, independent from the encryption algorithm used.

  70. Someone Else Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Dear Mr. President,

    You are the President of the United States. You are my President. So it is with the utmost of respect and deference, I respond to you thus: Fuck off with that shit, already!

    Icon because, know....

  71. Someone Else Silver badge

    Theater kings on...*

    People put up with body searches and scanners by the TSA at airports, which obviously thwarts terrorismhelps the less educated among us (read: Trump voters) think that it thwarts terrorism, so why can't people put up with a little less security in their phones?

    There, FTFY

    * Those of you who recognize this line can join me in wishing: RIP, Keith.... :-(

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Short Sightedness

    I believe in helping track down a mass murder wherever possible. However, it seems shortsightedness for a government to require a global company, such as Apple, to give up their intellectual capital to allow the government to break into a device due to a mistake made by the the team initially and most importantly setup a precedence to allow any country demand the same treatment. "If you want to do business in our country, we need to know all your security secrets." Sure, innocently it may be used for good of the people (like to catch a killer), but how many times have governments (USA, UK, Russia, China, etc.) overstepped their bounds to strip liberties and freedoms for their people? Answer: all the time.

    The reaction of Apple not giving in to unlawful government demands, are courageous. It could cost them their USA business and personal lives (jail time).

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