Kara Swisher interviewed The President this week. Here it is:
was hoping for something with a greater edge, approaching adversarial ..
Interviews are granted in advance with conditions attached and questions in advance. This type of thing isn’t a 60 minutes ambush.
from interviewer or O?
Swisher: “We do our own hacking of our countries…can we make a good argument that we should be protected against them when we are doing the same thing”.I realize this is just an interview and Kara is just asking the types of questions that everyman (that reads recode?) would think of but stupid questions like that just crack me up.
If you have an understanding of international law I do not think it’s a stupid question at all. There are different kinds of norms and agreements among countries about what behavior is or is not acceptable (i.e. torture, use of chemical weapons, use of nuclear weapons, etc.) and so what I think Swisher was getting at was should this be the kind of behavior that is barred by some kind of international norm or treaty and should we expect to not be hacked if we do it ourselves. I don’t think she was asking about whether we should build defenses or defend ourselves against the attacks.
That’s what he followed up with. But at this point it’s an “everyman for himself” scenario and obviously we are going to “get away with anything that we can” and push the limits. For that matter even if there is international law if it’s still in our best interest to do things and we can get away with doing so I say go for it. The home team is who I care about.Look, right now the Jordanians are bombing Isis and I’m sure they are killing many innocent people as well. (Has to be no accountability don’t care what you read.) People killed, that if we were doing the bombing, everyone would be up in arms over us doing things like that. (Israel is also good at doing dirty work that we can’t do as well).
I disagree. It is not us against them, ultimately. That mentality of “home team” perpetuates the friction.
Imagine how difficult it is to be President (or really any politician) and to have to keep two parts of your brain separate one part which contains what you can say (or want to say) and one part which has information that you can’t use and can’t talk about. Obviously he gets all the questions in advance (said so much at the start) but it must take a ton of brain cycles to not get tripped up even with extensive practice.
not really. this is what Obama does continualy. and every President. plus I did not really see any of her questions as sneaky or sublime.
Difficult because he only has to slip up once and things can go south for him. He has to be dead on all the time being under a microscope is not a walk in the park.
nope. that is why he is POTUS and no other.
He’s POTUS almost certainly (among many reasons) because Oprah backed him early on. I remember the day he was on her show, I was watching. He earned being POTUS but take away Oprah and he wouldn’t be our President now.
and then he became POTUS and Oprah evaporated.
Well besides that from outside it looks like he crapped on her after the fact (stories re: Valerie Jarret and or Michelle being Yoko Ono and all) the fact is that Oprah gave up her power base (her show) which was her source of halo in the first place. She is “out of sight out of mind” in a sense.  Very basic concept. People want you because of what you can do for them, not who you are in cases like this at least. Oprah still has power but that power isn’t in our face everyday. A reason why it would pay Fred, marketing wise, to show his face at Bucks in Woodside, regardless of how he despises things like that. I was meaning to say that the other day.
This “is” the skill of a politician. They all possess it at the pro (dc) level, every congressman and senator. It’s not rare.
Remember when Kara Swisher once interviewed two guys who, for all of their faults, actually made something? That was some of the finest tech journalism I’ve ever seen in my life.http://www.wsj.com/video/bi…I mean, I don’t even know what’s she doing talking to Obama about his war propaganda. Such a stark contrast against the background of her own career.
They might use the “always lie” approach. It’s a method that provides the ability to evade any mistake. I don’t know the psychology behind it but it definitely can be used and does work!
but – to always lie requires a temerity and rigor also. if you’re going to lie WTF have the interview in the first place? If it is not info for public consumption you simply say, for reasons of national security, I cannot answer that question.
Well a president must appear to communicate with people. Even if he/she were too busy for interviews and public speaking it is wise to still engage in them..Remember a president is running a country not making friends with the people.
no,. a President is indeed “running a country – nay, the world – whicxh is his duty. The country is the people. Engage as much as able and prioritize.
I was answering your question of “if you’re going to lie WTF have the interview in the first place”..The answer is a prez must provide propaganda to people. A prez cannot be unseen and unheard. That doesn’t work. It causes people to become frightened that something bad has happened.
Not “propaganda”. Information. Engage strategically considering reach and import.
Right not propaganda. 🙂
let’s revisit this. in your mind, what is the ideal frequency/duration/medium of communication?
Face-to-face is best. But you can use various mediums depending on how much sensory information they can carry.
face to face. in what numbers.
Well… small. You asked me which was best not which will easily reach the most people.
that is correct. what is your idea of small.
For teaching. During a single engagement, meaning one run of a single topic, I’d say no more than 30 per teacher..For spreading propaganda. You can go thousands or more at the same time because they can’t stop you to question your reasoning.
what medium do you recommend?
For teaching: face-to-face. Which can be done via the web. You can of course deliver materials electronically. Books, case studies, etc..For propaganda: edited videos. That way you can ensure complete ambiguity with no way for people to pin down your comments.
I do not agree and I am over and out – thx
OK, you’re welcome.
the psychology is called pervasive deception, a feature of sociopaths and psychopaths.
It’s a pretty good interview, but am curious why the ceos of google, yahoo & Facebook aren’t attending his cyber security summit?
They are not cybersecurity companies, and I know for a fact one of them settled on a suit with the gov’t due to collaborating with cyber-criminals.
I thought they were invited.
Many companies did not show. Personally I think this deal would be best carrried out a little more intimately
Obama claims (at Swisher’s prodding) that companies are putting in methods of encryption because of market demands. I don’t know if he really thinks that or if he has been told that and just believes it. However I fail to believe that companies are doing this because of market demand. The overwhelming amount of end user consumers don’t care about this type of thing and don’t think about it at all. The tech community cares about it just like it stirs the pot on many issues that end users don’t care about.The tech community tends to have a very aspergers paranoia in the sense that things are binary that is if the government has the ability to slurp up all sorts of information they will act on that information and they have the resources to do so. Anyone who has been paying taxes for generations knows that the government doesn’t even come close to using information that they have to “come after you” simply because its a resource and practicality issue. People should spend more time worrying about true threats and problems and not hypothetical shit that in the end doesn’t matter. (Like getting searched at the airport who gives a shit if you have to be patted down?)
I don’t think that consumers are worried but the Mayo Clinic, General Electric, and Sony are and they have a lot of market forces.
By the way I believe that if Apple is doing what they are doing with the unbreakable “not subject to court order” encryption “because it’s what consumers want” (which I dispute per my other comment) the actual reason is so that Apple can use that as a bargaining chip to get something else that they want in exchange for allowing the government to get what they want. I think this is possible simply because it’s the way I would play it. You find something that you don’t really care about and you hold to it in order to give it up in the end in exchange for a pound of flesh that you care about. The “consumers care” routine is the leg to stand on with this.
Thanks to the White House that BlackBerry is still in business 😉
You think the White House makes fed purchasing and equiptment decisions?
The boss uses a BlackBerry.
I have no insight into why that might be but surely there is a strategic reason.
Yes. They can be modified with [insert encryption chip favoured by your spooks here], and have the ability to be managed end to end via BES10.Merkel also favours them for matters of state — and given the US of A was spying on her Nokia, she has probably switched for personal use too.
makes awesome sense. thank you for the info
I enjoyed the part about diversity in STEM because it is a strangely vexing problem. I do not think anybody views it as a tragedy that Taylor Swift is making millions in music instead of coding an app, or that Ruth Bader Ginsberg ended up on the Supreme Court instead of serving as CEO of Microsoft. Individually it’s not an issue if someone chases their own dream, but collectively I think it does hold us back and also hurts the availability of talent for tech CEOs to hire.However I think the President is on the right track in regards to role models. Amelia Showalter wrote an interesting post on Medium about how female politicians in top positions seem to inspire more women to run for office at lower levels: https://medium.com/thelist/…. Considering that from a rational standpoint running for public office is not an overly appealing activity in the first place, I could only imagine the impact that role models can and do have in tech.
good pick. just combed M and missed that one
have experience related here. my thoughts. http://padawanmusing.com/th…
thought it was a good interview that raised some interesting questions to ponder, but no clear answers. one follow up that I would have asked is, “when does a cyber attack amount to an act of war?”
Probably makes more sense to have a line in the sand that is fluid and not clearly defined. That way it’s easier to justify an action and harder for the adversary to game their actions or push limits.This is similar in a way to how restaurants that give out free plastic utensils don’t tell you how many you can take. They leave it ambiguous on purpose clearly stating limits would cause more total usage of “free” utensils. Same with towels in hotels and so on. Stating something in advance equates in many cases to “ok to do this”.
“Stating something in advance equates in many cases to “ok to do this”.”.Do you mean it says it’s ok to do what you stated not to do?
My example relates to how it pays to be ambiguous and not precise with limits because if you are exact in some cases it will be a big disadvantage.On cruise ships for example where there is “no charge for food” if you want you can get two entrees. “Give me the filet and the lobster”.However they don’t tell you that you can get two entrees (or for that matter you could get three) because if they did in advance you would have many more people ordering two entrees in much larger sums then by not saying anything at all. So on a case by case basis they allow it but they don’t openly publicize it or state a limit (which would be used as rational by more people to take advantage of and increase total consumption).
I believe in clear and concise communication.
I disagree. Clearly, very clearly define what constitutes an act of war. Knowing full well that a course of action will result in counterattack is a deterrent. War is no joke. For either party ever. You do not go vague on that stuff.
how about zero tolerance.
Now you’re talking. There are better ways to spend time and money instead of playing war games!
fuck yes….thank you.
whatever. try reading my blog.
Do you use profanity on your blog?
it the only bad word I use.
How do I find your blog?
is that your personal theory or do you have data behind that? Do you really think everyone is out to grab as much as they can?
Everyone is a very broad statement. Things are never 100%. Of course not “everyone”.  The conclusion that I have reached after years of observation (reverse engineering what companies actually do) and more importantly knowing a bit about human nature (people cheat on their taxes for example I don’t have “data” on that either) and how people actually operate (I’ve personally handled thousands of interactions and transactions over the years) is that in certain circumstances (the ones that I am talking about) putting up a limit will increase consumption. Because people will feel it’s “ok” instead of the “unknown” ie “is it ok?”.Another reverse analogy is (from what I hear) is how churches tell people to tithe a percentage of their salary in charity to the church. In this case they’ve decided that you will get more if you tell people the percentage instead of leaving it up to them. Synagogues on the other hand do a random anonymous “beg” maybe two times a year but (the ones that I am familiar with at least) set costs and charge at a level that they need and allow discounts if the person claims they can’t pay. Now of course perhaps in Brooklyn Hipster USA people operate by a different set of “earthly” principles. But Brooklyn is not everywhere.
I think what LE is saying is… People are so stupid that if you provide them an inch then they’ll try to take a mile. But if you don’t provide the inch they won’t get any ideas about the mile even being possible.
Yeah that’s it although I wouldn’t use the word stupid (here).In negotiation there is a similar strategy. ie “take a mile”.If someone tries to get a discount, and you allow them to negotiate, often they will then wonder “hmm could I get more”.So if you don’t budge, even a bit, they take that as evidence that the price is firm (regardless of how stated) and they back off and accept the price more easily then if you offered any type of discount, large or small.
maybe we would do well to take a step in the right direction and address the root of the perceived problem.
Oh my… Hey guys… I have to eat sometime.
Right. The people. If we address the intelligence of the people then most problems will be fixed.
so I hear you. In many matters such as these it is finding the sweet spot. not taking advantage, nor unwittingly limiting. I think – a guideline with facts works well. such as: if you tithe 10% of your salary you help feed 10,000 Somali children.
And your proposal, for those children, would be rejected by an intelligent person. You provide no method for ensuring the children get the food. You provide no method for ensuring the food is purchased at a good price..You only say what people want to hear – it will cost a small amount of money and a large amount of people will be fed. But you give no way to be sure the donator’s objective will be reached.
hmm. good question. Taking down the entire NYC grid, halting everything here and beyond?
So then… Since we know hackers attack via the internet. Are the people who connect important facilities to the internet committing crimes against the US? They know by connecting to the internet they put their facility at risk of cyber attack. Isn’t that an act against the US? If someone knowingly gives out names of our agents that puts the agents at risk of attack. Isn’t providing cyber attackers a way to attack the same thing?
I apologize but I am not following your comment in the context of mine. Can you clarify?
if they are knowingly connecting a breach on behalf of an agent with forethought and malice. Simply connecting is a must. I do not see how you link hacking the grid and connecting the facility to the internet.
They know that if they stay disconnected it makes them more secure by preventing cyber attack. Remember there is no *need* to connect to the internet. Many facilities can and do run without it..In fact the country is more secure with many small autonomous facilities than with many interconnected ones! Take energy production. It is much more secure to have many smaller ones that are not connected to the internet than it is to have fewer but connected ones.
if they don’t need to then don’t. I don’t need a BBQ grill. so I do not have one. Are you saying you think energy facilities run without any connectivity? There is communicational connectivity, and there is operational. Ops is subject to takedown.
Certainly. Energy facilities have run for decades without being connected to the internet. The are many ways to provide communications. Connecting to the internet, knowing that cyber attacks are the next big thing, is a bad decision for any important facility..Can you think of any reason why they would *need* to connect to the internet?
I have no familiarity with energy facilities. Given that they to some degree require internal communication, you could est. an intranet.
http://energy.gov/oe/servic… here you go
bingo. good grab.
All simply ways to reduce staff. When you connect everything you make it easier to be attacked. If every building were self sufficient, by creating it’s own energy, then attacking the US to cause a blackout would be tremendously more difficult! You would have to attack each and every building in a city just to cause a problem. That would take much more effort and resources. To the point of it being more or less a fruitless endeavor..Creating a network that has security flaws makes it easier to reach more targets. Think of it this way. Why does the military no longer bunch their troops together an march toward the enemy like they did during the civil war?
Elon Musk is rolling out individual home energy units.
because we fly robots over them instead
grids and “facilities” are connected differently.
Right. But aren’t we talking about cyber security?
Yes. You asked what would constitute an act of war. Taking down the entire grid. But, surely you’ve read of financial firms on the Street being hacked – that is a breach of cyber security and hardly an act of war. You do not avoid attack by withdrawing and inhibiting ops; you defend and secure. And intel.
I didn’t ask what constitutes an act of war. I was saying that we know to be more secure from cyber attacks it’s best to stay off the internet. I mean think about it. What better way to prevent a cyber attack than to not be connected to cyber space?!
and what better way to revert to the Paleolithic Era at the same time?
But the truth is the best way to prevent cyber attack to stay out of cyber space. The internet, more to the point the web, is not necessary at all. If it were necessary humans would not have survived without it. So we would not have invented it and we would not be here now..Contending that without the internet we would revert back to paleolithic era is absurd. You’re brainwashed.
It’s called sarcasm. Is the web necessary? It was not until it was and now it is.
No it is just brainwashing that makes people think the web is necessary. I’ve gone webless as a test and things went fine. No problems. In fact it was nice to get the noise out of my life..It was so good. I started using an “objective based web usage approach” to things. For example I’m here for entertainment purposes. That is the objective. If being here didn’t support reaching that objective I would not be here..There is nothing the web provides that a person cannot do without..I do get a chuckle now that you pointed out the sarcasm. Thanks.
I am glad that works for you. For many, the interwebs are the backbone of their professsion, education, entertainment. Resources available and connectivty to persons and info not otherwise possible.
Sure those things would be possible. Just not as easy. But more importantly there would need to be more people involved and more costs involved. Which would mean more jobs and more revenues. Which would mean less homeless, less starving, etc..The TV is a great form of communication. But yet it’s just filled with horse manure. The web is going the same way..The education field proved to us that an educated person is less likely to become addicted to drugs/alcohol, less likely to be abused or be an abuser, more likely to contribute to society, and many more important things. But yet you can’t get on the internet and get a free life long education. Most of the problems of society are solved through education!.You’ve swallowed the pill Alice and you’re on an adventure.
Yes, you can get on the internet and get a free (well, Time Warner) life-long education. It’s called knowing how to do really good research. Beats any textbook I have ever seen. Your argument is seriously off the rails. I know education is key. I work in it. And yes I am on an adventure but damn does the ride get queasy.
Then why aren’t you pushing for free education for all via the internet?
I am not “pushing” it I am saying it is already there for the taking. The issue is curation. That is what I am doing with my literacy non-profit. The problem is most people cannot discern fact from fiction, spin from objective, reliable source from poor. To use the internet as the source of edu requires qualified evaluation of the entirety of it’s contents, ad nauseum on this.
BTW… I taught computer science for 7 years..You don’t have to do qualified evaluation of everything. You just have to teach people that it’s “buyer beware”. Then you teach them to think on their own and form their own opinion. That’s true education!!!.Look at how people throw around links to web pages as if just because it’s on the web it has to be true..I’m asking why you’re not pushing it. Providing education through the web can be a great thing if done correctly.
The problem is, we have a large portion of society that does not know how to think. No blame. But fact. I agree with you wholeheartedly. And I know how it can be done well. It’s not difficult in theory. In execution – it will take a platoon or 10. But well worth the investment.
well. to curate the interwebs would require de-indexing sites that would piss off major media entities. or at least downgrading them in eval. which = fewer ad $ which pisses people off.
But we don’t need to curate everything. We just need to teach people to think on their own. To be able to make their own decisions. If you just teach them “buyer beware” instead of “seal of approval” then they can know how to evaluate information sources.
yes we do. curation is the interim solution while we teach people to think critically. adults. children have to start now. and – to my point of enraging mass media, would the guide be independent so as to avoid perceived bias? a label does not teach people how to think.
But it only takes a few days to teach someone how to think critically. It’s human nature to be suspicious. All you need do is re-enforce that with a proper process for logical evaluation..What guide? There is no need for a guide. We’re talking about teaching people how to evaluate any information and determine if it is valid for use or not. It’s not that hard.
May I sincerely ask: do you have a background in what constiitutes cybersecurity?
20 years in IT.
ok great. ditto. have you been hacked? I have. The cybersecurity game / dance is not a matter of software or connectivity, it is intel, data analysis, and vigilance. This is why anyone and everyone could be at risk at any time. It is depednet on your resources.
does that make sense?
But you’re making the assumption that we must get involved with cyber security. We don’t need the web. We got this far without it. If it were shut down tomorrow we would be fine.
On what. I can’t tell what you responded to because the messages indents don’t indent any further.
sounds like a personal problem. you said we don’t need the web. I say you are dead wrong, it is one of the most life-enhancing advancements of modern civilization.
TV was also suppose to be life-enhancing. I remember all the things the web was gonna’ do for people. I was there when the visions were being described!
you can opt out at any time. I do not watch television.
WOW!!!.I do “no TV” days and it’s great. My thinking is so clear the day after that I’m considering a ban, for me, on broadcast TV. The thing is I like to watch movies and the wire can deliver them to me. So it would be difficult to justify removing the wire.
I have not watched television since…on occasion a game. I never owned one until I was 35? and it was not mine. prefer reading.
It’s great of Recode to give Obama a voice that he wouldn’t otherwise have pushing his many plans of war and destroying the Internet.I’m wondering what’s he doing on this blog though.
He’s half-listening to Boehner whine about something.
You can’t lead by listening to the voice of irrelevance.Obama is in fact doing neither leading, nor siding with his opponents.If I listen to him for long enough and I decode what he actually means, I’m always left with the impression that he always ends up doing the exact opposite of what he pretends to be saying.War is peace, massacring human beings is humanitarianism, torture is a mere mistake, breaking the internet makes a better internet, backdoors are safety, persecution is freedom, etc.
Speaking to and informing the general public is a challenge on many matters, esp. of import. Sometimes, as now in Syria, we must engage in war to achieve peace. He has made this determination. I am not aware of any instances of torture under Obama’s tenure. Nor any vagaries about persecution and humanitrianism by death
I don’t mean to imply that you’re misinformed, but it’s possible that through your specific focus on other things you may have overlooked what’s been happening.Please consider the following:On humanitarianism:http://www.academia.edu/576…http://www.globalresearch.c…On persecution and draconian interpretation of the law:http://www.salon.com/2015/0…http://www.theguardian.com/…http://ideas.time.com/2013/…http://www.rollingstone.com…http://www.bloombergview.co…http://pando.com/2013/01/14…http://www.veteranstoday.co…On persecution and torture:http://news.nationalpost.co…On Lawfare:https://www.aclu.org/blog/t…All of this happened under Obama.And this is just a tiny bit of articles anyone can find in the press, not even big academic research.
Thank you; I will take the time to read those pieces. I appreciate that. I apologize, I am doing the best I can and the curve is steep. :)I appreciate it.Emily
Oh please, you don’t need to apologise, I assume we’re all learning all the time.I appreciate your curiosity.Cheers 🙂
Emily,, you impressed me with your thoughts. You are a load of talent
thank you, Teren.
“If I listen to him for long enough and I decode what he actually means…”.Be very careful doing that. That can influence your algorithms for thinking. In fact it could be a form of subliminal programming. For example if you can start to understand why a serial killer does what she does. Then you might start down a road to killing people. I know it sounds far-fetched by the most contagious thing on the planet earth is an idea!.You must guard you mind against picking up bad algorithms.
For your peace of mind, I can safely report that I’m a law-abiding citizen and that I’m inoculated against anything mass murderers can say. Thanks for your concern for my safety though, it’s very much appreciated.
i like him. a lot.
Let’s watch him destroy the Internet then.
And and damage doesn’t stop there. The eagerness to regulate is essentially a threat to take. Ownership, after all, is really about control. Every additional regulation, every increase in control by the government is the government’s way of stealing a little bit more of an industry.The message it sends to investors and entrepreneurs is that they can expect to have a little (or more) of their enterprise taken.That threatens growth and damages the economy in the long run.
I suppose the question is whether the state will use its considerable power in keeping the markets honest and fair, or if it will tilt the balance towards some specific faction.There’s no historical evidence since republics exist that they can do the former, and there’s plenty of evidence that they will often do the latter.Of course if you happen to be in the ‘winning’ faction you will like this, a lot, without regard for what happens to the markets.
i don’t think anything close to that is going to happen on his watch
Just read about David Carr. Bummer.
Such a thoughtful man.You can see him trying to give as straight as possible answers, within the confines of what he can reveal.Not your average president or politician.
yup, that’s what i like about him. he thinks.
A great interview indeed. I find the constant interruptions, the speaking over, and the not letting the president finish his sentences a bit disrespectful. I know time is limited and they try to keep these videos as short as possible so that more people see it but I think cutting a question or two out is more efficient than coming across as irritant.
agreed. she seems grumpy.