Apple Court Order Heats Up Encryption Battle on Capitol Hill

Hamza Shaban, reporting for BuzzFeed

“Apple chose to protect a dead ISIS terrorist’s privacy over the security of the American people,” Sen. Tom Cotton says, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein vows to introduce a bill to force Apple to comply with a court order giving the FBI access to the San Bernardino shooters’ phone.

Expect this sort of rhetoric to heat up. The emotional component of the San Bernardino attack is explosive.

As for Feinstein, I think any such bill would make for a terrible law — but I’d rather see an actual law passed than see the All Writs Act of 1789 abused by the FBI in this way. The more I think about it, though, the more I think that this is actually the FBI’s goal here — to create a political controversy driven by fear of terrorism committed by Muslims, and get egregious new anti-encryption legislation passed. I think the FBI knew Apple would fight this, and that the laws currently on the books are on Apple’s side. They want to get a new law on the books.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016