US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA went on television at the weekend to talk up his administration's efforts to combat terrorism, and to urge tech firms to help the government to protect citizens.
In what's been seen as an unusual move, Obama decided to reach out to America's TV-loving masses and beam his anti-terror/smash encryption message straight to their living rooms.
"I will urge hi-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice," he said.
"We have to work together to address the challenge. The fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies – no matter how effective they are – cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual is motivated by Isil or some other hateful ideology. What we can do – and must do – is make it harder for them to kill."
The president faces a tough job getting tech firms on-board, however. Tech companies tend to ball up like hedgehogs when demands for access to data come their way, and they have – almost to a man, and they are mostly chaps – vocally opposed it.
I think Obama said encryption without saying "encryption"— max zimbert (@maxzimbert) December 7, 2015
Speaking live from the Oval Office shortly after the terror attacks in California that left 14 dead and 21 injured, Obama did not mess about: "Here's what I want you to know: the threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy Isil and any other organisation that tries to harm us.
"Our success won't depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That's what groups like Isil are hoping for. Instead, we will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power."
If Obama wants to be able to bypass encryption, he's got a lot of persuading to do, as there is a lot of support for it, which may explain why he took his message direct to folks at home. µ
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