Apple lead attorney Bruce Sewell to testify before US Congress on encryption debate March 1

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The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on encryption next Tuesday, and Apple's top attorney, Bruce Sewell, will be in the nation's capital for the discussion.




Sewell, an Apple senior vice president and the company's general counsel, will take part in a hearing entitled "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy." The discussion will be held on March 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific, and will be streamed live from the Judiciary Committee's website.

Joining Sewell as part of the second panel in the hearing will be Susan Landau, a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., district attorney in New York County.

A separate panel at next Tuesday's hearing will have just one member: James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also spoke before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

"Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will continue its examination of encryption and the questions it raises for Americans and lawmakers," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) said in a joint statement. "As we move forward, our goal is to find a solution that allows law enforcement to effectively enforce the law without harming the competitiveness of U.S. encryption providers or the privacy protections of U.S. citizens."




The discussion on encryption and how it affects law enforcement reached a boiling-over point last week, when a U.S. magistrate judge ordered Apple to comply with FBI requests to help extract data from an iPhone owned by one of the shooters involved in the December terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. The device in question is a passcode-protected iPhone 5c that the FBI seeks to unlock.

Following the judge's order, Apple has taken an extremely proactive and public approach to dealing with the issue. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook issued an open letter to say that the creation of a backdoor tool to access a locked iPhone would set a bad precedent. Security advocates and tech industry insiders have largely sided with Apple, expressing concern over the power the government could wield if it were given backdoor entry into mobile platforms like Apple's iOS.

Cook has also suggested that the U.S. government form a commission to discuss the implications of unlocking the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.

"We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms," Cook said.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,449member
    Google spends a whole lot more than Apple on government lobbying and relies heavily on having access to personal data. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Google is working behind the scenes to help the government coerce Apple into loosening its privacy/security safeguards. On the other hand, I'm sure every Silicon Valley company is worried that if they stand too tall behind Apple, the government will come down hard on them all. (Hopefully the government takes a closer look soon into the personal data collection and mining that's going on, but it won't happen with this case.)
    edited February 2016 macseekerbadmonk
  • Reply 2 of 8
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,449member
    justme12 said:
    Immigration or an iPhone? We don’t have an encryption problem, we have a Muslim immigration problem. Brilliantly summed up by Daniel Greenfield http://www.frontpagemag.com/node/261941
    You think those 175 iPhones that New York wants help with were all--or even mostly--owned by Muslim immigrants? Don't be stupid. The FBI is just inciting fear, and so is Greenfield.

    You want something to think about? Consider the pro-ISIS postings Tashfeen Malik made on Facebook, yet the INS chose to ignore them and let her into the U.S.  Consider the government issued an iPhone to her husband without first installing mobile management software on it.
    edited February 2016 jfc1138fotoformatjdgazlostkiwifastasleepjohn galtbadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 8
    sog35 said:
    snip

    snip... the next step is for the FBI to have remote access, access to location services, camera, and mic. They would be able to track every where you went. Tract your conversations 'offline' by using your phones mic. Be able to use the phones camera to take pictures and video of you at home in your most intimate moments.  They could tract where your children are. When they leave school. They could tract your heart rate. Track how much exercise you get.  What time you sleep.  When you go on your lunch break.  What music you listen to. 

    Sure a mind reading machine could help stop some crime.  But at what cost?  And what if that machine falls into the wrong hands? 
    In 1949, George Orwell's "1984" was seen as too far-fetched to ever happen... your scenario above outlines what could happen sooner than we ever thought... unless it is stopped, properly, now!
    lostkiwilatifbpjony0badmonk
  • Reply 4 of 8
    Looks like the 5th amendment should apply to your iPhone: you have the right to remain silent to avoid incriminating statements. Since your iPhone contains a lot of information about you, where you were, what restaurants you like, what pictures you take or save, your contacts, your messages, etc., I would suggest that the 5th amendment should apply. It's more than your property safe from unreasonable search and seizure by the 4th amendment.
    lostkiwilatifbp
  • Reply 5 of 8
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 349member
    If I were Apple I would not show up at a roundtable entitled "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy.". There is no tightrope here. Either we have security and privacy or we don't. 
  • Reply 6 of 8
    jdgaz said:
    If I were Apple I would not show up at a roundtable entitled "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy.". There is no tightrope here. Either we have security and privacy or we don't. 
    This is hardly a round table. It is the House of Reps hearing before congress begins to weigh in on legislation options. You are, in effect, telling Apple not to present their side of the case before the other side does. It's not like a kid's game of cover my eyes and you can't see me. It's doing what the FBI did NOT do before filing with the court. The FBI filed their ex party with the court without first notifying Apple (normal procedure for their position to be presented to the judge assigned the case),  notified the press, filed,  then notified Apple. You can't not participate no matter how you think staying at home is going to solve any problem.
    badmonk
  • Reply 7 of 8

    "Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will continue its examination of encryption and the questions it raises for Americans and lawmakers," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.) said in a joint statement. "As we move forward, our goal is to find a solution that allows law enforcement to effectively enforce the law without harming the competitiveness of U.S. encryption providers or the privacy protections of U.S. citizens."


    "We feel the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands under the All Writs Act and, as some in Congress have proposed, form a commission or other panel of experts on intelligence, technology and civil liberties to discuss the implications for law enforcement, national security, privacy and personal freedoms," Cook said.
    How come privacy and personal freedoms are always listed last as kind of an afterthought?
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