Barack Obama has weighed in on the increasingly tense battle between Apple and the US government regarding the unlocking of an iPhone belonging to a known terrorist.
While Obama did not mention either Apple or the FBI by name, he used an appearance at the annual South x South West festival in Austin, Texas, to get across his belief that a better balance needed to be found between protecting users’ privacy via encryption and preventing crime and terrorism.
“There has to be some concession to the need to get that information somehow. Folks who are on the encryption side will argue that any key whatsoever, even if it starts off directed at one device, could end up being used on every device,” said the US President.
“That's just the nature of these systems. That is a technical question. I am not a software engineer. It is technically true, but it can be overstated.”
Offering perhaps the calmest take on a fight which has seen Apple and the FBI trade a number of barbs, Obama added: “I suspect that the answer is going to come down to how do we create a system where the encryption is as strong as possible, the key is as secure as possible, is accessible by the smallest number of people possible for a subset of issues that we agree are important.”
Apple and the FBI are due to fight over demands to have the iPhone in this case unlocked in court on March 22nd. The two have already presented their arguments to the US Congress.