ICYMI: President Barack Obama appeared at SXSW to discuss the Apple vs FBI case, among other tech matters. The (very long) keynote conversation is above. Michelle Obama also appeared to discuss Let Girls Learn, an initiative she is leading to try and get girls globally to stay in school. About President Obama’s keynote:
“I anguish a lot over decisions we make to keep the country safe,” Obama said. “I would caution against taking an absolutist perspective.”
While Obama wouldn’t directly comment on the recent Department of Justice court battle with Apple over accessing information on an iPhone in the San Bernardino, Calif. shootings, the president suggested there should be situations where phones could be surveyed.
“All of us value our privacy,” Obama said. “Before smartphones were invented and to this day, if there’s probable cause to think you abducted a child or you are engaging in a terrorist plot or you are guilty of a serious crime, law enforcement can appear at your doorstep” with a warrant, he explained.
“I am of the view there are real reasons we should make sure government can’t willy-nilly get in everyone’s iPhone,” the president continued. “The whole Snowden disclosure episode elevated people’s suspicions of this. So does popular culture, which makes it appear I’m in the [Situation Room],” monitoring private exchanges.