If you are a privacy fan, this
should make you cackle...
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday made a passionate case for mobile devices to be built in such a way as to allow government to gain access to personal data if needed to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws.
"Enforce tax laws"?
Thank you, Barack Obama, for making sure that Americans turn against your administration's efforts to intrude on our privacy.
By the way: The immediate focus of discussion is an iPhone used by Rizwan Farook, the San Bernardino shooter. Don't most people make computer backups?
Let's get back to heckling the above-linked article:
But he made clear that, despite his commitment to Americans' privacy and civil liberties, a balance was needed to allow some intrusion when needed.What
commitment? The man hopes that by using the words
"privacy" and "civil liberties," he can bamboozle you into ignoring what he is actually doing
"The question we now have to ask is: If technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong that there is no key, there's no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer, how do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot?" he said.Terorists and pedos. Terrorists and pedos.
Those are the go-to scare words, heard whenever Big Brother wants to read our mail. Obama must know that these scare words are losing their power to scare, because he felt constrained to add something new:
"What mechanisms do we have available to even do simple things like tax enforcement because if in fact you can't crack that at all, government can't get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket."
This is outrageous. Swiss accounts became famed for their privacy because a 1934 Swiss law insured that banks could not share information about their customers. American bank secrecy laws are quite different, especially since the passage of the PATRIOT act. Government investigators should talk to the banks, as they have always done; they don't need to commandeer our phones.
By the way, you don't need a phone or a computer to do banking: I can recall a time when all
banking was done in person. Is Obama arguing that tax enforcement was impossible in the pre-iPhone era?
Obviously, the government has no need to eavesdrop on our phones in order to collect taxes: The PATRIOT Act is quite enough, thank you. More