The relationship between government officials and security apps is complex. Many government officials want access to encrypted chat apps. However, tech policy has protected its users. This annoyed U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week, who was willing to ban all encrypted chat apps if he could not receive backdoor access to them. Recent comments from Obama hint that he is going down a similar path, according to PCWorld.
Obama made such comments during a dual press conference with David Cameron at the White House to announce a series of steps the White House was taking to minimize cybersecurity threats.
During the event, President Obama expressed his belief that any tech that might hinder a law enforcement official from stopping a threat is a "problem."
"If we get into a situation where the technology does not allow us at all to track somebody that's a terrorist, if we find evidence of a terrorist plot somewhere in the Middle East that traces directly back to London or New York, [and] we can't penetrate that, that's a problem," the president said.
While these comments do not go as far as Cameron's, they certainly express the government's dislike of encryption policy, which the FBI hopes Congress will handle in the near future.
According to Obama, the constantly growing market of technology makes it hard to balance the need for security with privacy. This need for balance is why the president will work with tech companies in order to figure out how they can work together to serve those two important needs.
"The dialogue we're engaged in is designed to make sure that all of us feel confident that if there is an actual threat out there, our law enforcement and our intelligence officers can identify that threat and track that threat [without the government] fishing into whatever text you might be sending on your smartphone.....I think that's something that can achieve, [though there are] going to be hard cases."
Obama and Cameron announced their collective goal to share resources and efforts in order to fight against cyber security threats. These will include increased threat information and sharing joint cyber-security and network defense exercises.