Obama: Let Big Brother In If You Want Online Protection

President Barack Obama responds to questions at the University of Chicago Law School, where he taught constitutional law for over a decade in Chicago, Thursday, April 7, 2016. Obama discussed his nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, and continued to call on the Senate to give him a …
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

President Obama urged students to open up their digital life to the federal government, if they wanted to be protected by the government, calling the current privacy expectations from Americans unrealistic.

“People have a whole new set of privacy expectations that are understandable. They also expect though that since their lives are all digitized, that the digital world is safe, which creates a contradictory demand on government,” he said.

Obama discussed the issue during a conversation about the Supreme Court at the University of Chicago, where he used to teach Constitutional law.

He pointed out that citizens expected the government to protect them from hackers and terrorists, but refused to allow the government to have some sort of access to their information.

He characterized the problematic attitude as “protect me from hackers, protect me for terrorists, protect me from et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, but I don’t want you to know any of your business and I don’t even want you to have the ability to investigate some of that business when it happens because of its broader implications and we’re worried about Big Brother.”

Obama asserted that privacy issues would be paramount in the future of the Supreme Court, which was why he urged Congress to confirm his nomination to the court.

“There’s going to be a whole series of issues around that, that I think will be coming up,” he said.


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