US President Obama had a small appearance at SXSW and criticized everybody who is not in favor of completely abandoning their right to privacy as being an absolutist.
My conclusion so far is that you cannot take an absolutist view on this. So if your argument is strong encryption, no matter what, and we can and should, in fact, create black boxes, then that I think does not strike the kind of balance that we have lived with for 200, 300 years. And it’s fetishizing our phones above every other value. And that can’t be the right answer.
My response to Mr. Obama on this is:
Yes, we can.
For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we’ve been told we’re not ready or that we shouldn’t try or that we can’t, [ like criticizing secret laws from inside secret courts, monitored by secret services, exposed by whistle blowers you swore to protect ], generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.
Yes Mr. Obama, we can and we will protect our privacy. We do not want to live in a world where everybody can be monitored at any time and the parallels you draw to what the police is able to do in the physical world is flawed.
the people who understand this best and who care most about privacy and civil liberties have sort of disengaged or taken a position that is not sustainable for the general public as a whole over time.
No, Mr. Obama. We’re right here. Even though I am not a citizen of your country, your government is harvesting and analysing my data. I am a pacifist. I do not wish war, terror or death to anyone. You know that already, of course.
Also we are right here, to maintain a general public that is sustainable over time even though, governments that don’t know better, like yours, like the Danish I live in and the German I come from, attack our civil rights, with the data hungry machinery you have built.
Be proud of companies that stand up against you, be proud of your critics, because we are the remaining free speech and we are not at all disengaged.