Apple and FBI to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Encryption Next Week

Apple's legal chief Bruce Sewell and FBI Director James Comey will both testify at a U.S. congressional hearing on encryption issues planned for March 1, the House Judiciary Committee announced today.

sewellcomey
Comey will participate in the first panel, while Sewell will testify in the second panel alongside Worcester Polytechnic Institute professor Susan Landau and New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Vance last week said his office was in possession of 175 iPhones that can't be accessed due to encryption. "This has become the Wild West in technology," he said. "Apple and Google are their own sheriffs and there are no rules."

The congressional hearing, titled "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy" will examine encryption technology and its impact on American citizens and lawmakers with the goal of finding a solution that lets law enforcement do their jobs without affecting the privacy protections of U.S. citizens.

"The widespread use of strong encryption has implications both for Americans' privacy and security. As technology companies have made great strides to enhance the security of Americans' personal and private information, law enforcement agencies face new challenges when attempting to access encrypted information. Americans have a right to strong privacy protections and Congress should fully examine the issue to be sure those are in place while finding ways to help law enforcement fight crime and keep us safe.

Head Apple lawyer Bruce Sewell is leading Apple's legal team in its fight against the FBI. Apple plans to oppose an order that would require it to help the FBI brute force the passcode on San Bernardino shooter Farook Syed's iPhone. The FBI is demanding Apple create a software that would both disable passcode security features and allow passcodes to be entered electronically.

In an interview yesterday, Tim Cook said that the FBI was asking Apple to build the "software equivalent of cancer," something the company won't do. While Apple has announced its intentions to fight the order, its official appeal is due tomorrow.

Update: In related news, Microsoft today announced its full support of Apple's decision to stand against the FBI. Next week, Microsoft plans to file an amicus brief to back the company. Verizon has also come out in support of Apple. "We support the availability of strong encryption with no backdoors," Verizon CEO and chairman Lowell McAdam said in a statement.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Chatter Avatar
68 months ago
This will be about who can scare the people more.

FBI: Terrrrrorrrrrists are coming to keeeeel you and we need backdoors to find them.
Apple: Terrrrrorrrrrists are coming to keeeeel you once they find FBI backdoors to track you.
FBI: shut up
Apple: No you shut up.
FBI: I said it first
Apple: We said it to infinity

:eek:
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
\-V-/ Avatar
68 months ago
175 iPhones?! So Apple were right, this wouldn't be a one off rogue version of iOS that was used on one phone.
First it was 1 ... then 12 ... now 175. The FBI are looking like a bunch of ass hats right now ... not that they weren't before ... but this is ridiculous.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
garirry Avatar
68 months ago
FBI: just oooone phone pleease
FBI: Just 12 phones, come one, that's not a lot
FBI: Really? Is 175 phones that big of a concern to you?
FBI: Wow, this country is a bunch of terrorists, not letting us unluck 1,920 phones.
FBI: Dude, 20,000 phones? That's like nothing.
FBI: 240,000 phones we have to unlock, and Apple won't even let us unlock one? Those terrorists.
FBI: 2.8 million phones from innocent pe- I mean terrorists we have to fix. This country truly is corrupted. DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT 2016!!! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN AND BOYCOTT APPLE!!!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bdkennedy1 Avatar
68 months ago
Remember that Microsoft software from like 10 years ago that let's the FBI hack into any computer? Then a hacker stole it and it got passed around on torrent sites? Yeah, it's like that.

Google Microsoft Windows back door and look at all of the hits that come up. And people wonder why Windows needs anti-virus software.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Boatboy24 Avatar
68 months ago
First it was 1 ... then 12 ... now 175. The FBI are looking like a bunch of ass hats right now ... not that they weren't before ... but this is ridiculous.
That's 175 just in the possession of the NY DA's office. What about the rest of the country? Between DA's, Police, Sheriff, FBI, etc, there are probably thousands.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the-oz-man Avatar
68 months ago
This remains the single best point of logic I've read on MacRumor in many a year.

If I was a defense attorney representing a person accused of wrongdoing, and this type of "back door" iPhone data was being used by the prosecutor, I would ask in discovery for a detailed, exacting description of how The information was obtained by Apple. I would probably want to do a discovery deposition of each of the technicians that were involved in crafting the software that unlocked the phone. I would probably also want them to produce the code to have my own forensic experts examine it. The cat is out of the bag then
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Fires Newly Hired Ex-Facebook Product Manager Following Revelations of Past Misogynistic Comments

Thursday May 13, 2021 12:10 am PDT by
Apple has fired Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager and author of the controversial book "Chaos Monkeys," following public and internal calls for removal and investigation due to past misogynistic statements, The Verge reports. Apple hired Martínez earlier this week to join its ads team, however, comments that Martínez made in the past sparked condemnation from users...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Wednesday May 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them. It will come as no surprise that M1 iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...
AirTag in Envelope Feature 2

AirTag Used to Successfully Track a Mailed Package Across the UK

Wednesday May 12, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
An Apple customer in the United Kingdom has successfully used Apple's Find My network to track an AirTag as it was being sent by mail to a friend in a completely different city. Outlined in a blog post at Intego, Kirk McElhearn said he taped an AirTag to a piece of card, wrapped it inside a small bubble envelope, and then sent it on its way. Kirk lives in the small town of...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...
prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...