Ap­ple lawyer, FBI di­rec­tor to face off be­fore Congress

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Ap­ple Inc and the U.S. Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion will make their cases be­fore a con­gres­sional panel on Tues­day re­gard­ing a court or­der to force the tech­nol­ogy com­pany to give the FBI data from the iPhone be­long­ing to one of the San Bernardino shoot­ers.

On Thurs­day, Ap­ple filed a mo­tion to va­cate the court or­der, main­tain­ing its stance that Ap­ple Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Tim Cook said he would be will­ing to take all the way to the Supreme Court. Ap­ple's gen­eral coun­sel, Bruce Sewell, will ar­gue Tues­day that cre­at­ing a tool to un­lock the phone would weaken the se­cu­rity of hun­dreds of mil­lions of Ap­ple devices, ac­cord­ing to Sewell's pre­pared re­marks be­fore the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee.

"Hack­ers and cy­ber crim­i­nals could use this to wreak havoc on our pri­vacy and per­sonal safety," he said in those re­marks. Sewell will tes­tify di­rectly af­ter FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey, who told law­mak­ers last week that cre­at­ing an un­lock­ing tech­nique would "un­likely to be a trail­blazer" for set­ting a le­gal prece­dent and would not be use­ful for break­ing into later gen­er­a­tion Ap­ple devices.

Comey told a con­gres­sional panel on Thurs­day that the phone could have "lo­ca­tor ser­vices" that would help the agency fill in a gap in its knowl­edge of the route that Syed Rizwan Farook and Malik Tash­feen trav­eled as they fled po­lice af­ter their shoot­ing ram­page in De­cem­ber that killed 14 and wounded 22 in San Bernardino, Cal­i­for­nia. "We've looked at ev­ery gas sta­tion cam­era, ev­ery in­ter­sec­tion cam­era, we have the whole route, but we're miss­ing 19 min­utes be­fore they were fi­nally killed by law en­force­ment," Comey said. "The an­swer to that might be on the de­vice." Man­hat­tan District At­tor­ney Cyrus Vance will also tes­tify in sup­port of the FBI, ar­gu­ing that de­fault de­vice en­cryp­tion "se­verely harms" crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tions at the state level, in­clud­ing in cases in his district in­volv­ing at least 175 iPhones. Vance's of­fice has drafted leg­is­la­tion it wants Congress to en­act that would go be­yond the sin­gle court case and re­quire com­pa­nies like Ap­ple to en­sure that their devices could be ac­cessed in un­en­crypted form. "My col­leagues from ju­ris­dic­tions around the coun­try have been run­ning into the same road blocks in their ef­forts to in­ves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute se­ri­ous crimes," Vance said in pre­pared re­marks. The U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment has sought court or­ders to force Ap­ple to ex­tract data from 15 devices in the past four months, be­gin­ning with a case in Brook­lyn in which Ap­ple de­clined to co­op­er­ate with in­ves­ti­ga­tors in Oc­to­ber.

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