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Did Hillary Clinton just say she wants a some sort of iPhone backdoor?

Published Mar 8th, 2016 9:21AM EST

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Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s stance on the Apple vs. FBI battle is pretty clear, and not a surprise considering where it’s coming from. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, isn’t as supportive of the FBI as you’d expect. But at the same time, the Democrat who may end up facing Trump in the November election isn’t fully opposed to an iPhone backdoor either.

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Talking about the Apple vs. FBI duel while campaigning in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Clinton said that she is “someone who is just feeling like I am in the middle of the worst dilemma ever.”

“There has got to be some way to protect the privacy of data information,” Clinton said, according to Bloomberg. “There has got to be some way to avoid breaking data encryption and opening the door to a lot of bad actors. But there has to be some way to follow up on criminal activity and prevent crimes and terrorism.”

Unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways. One of the side-effects of data encryption is that said encryption can end up protecting the wrong individuals, in addition to securing the data of millions of regular users.

There is information Apple can provide about iPhones involved in criminal activities, including terrorism, but the company is limited by encryption. So what Clinton is looking for is essentially a sort of backdoor that would provide law enforcement with the data it seeks.

“It’s a problem we’ve got to come up with some way to solve. And I am not expert in any way to tell you how to do it” she said, adding there’s “real mistrust” between technology companies and government, which is also a “serious problem” that needs a fix.

Voters will be quick to remember Clinton’s own tech scandal, the personal email server that didn’t go far enough to protect sensitive communications, according to some experts. That’s one case where strong encryption use may have helped.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.