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Apple's Court Order Battle Wakes Up Intelligence Committee to Consider new Ground Rules for Technology Companies

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According to a new report this afternoon, senior U.S. lawmaker Adam Schiff expressed a new willingness to support legislation establishing ground rules for when technology firms should grant authorities access to their products, after Apple said it would fight a court order to unlock an iPhone linked to the San Bernardino rampage.


Reuters is reporting that "Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday that the 'complex issues' raised by the Apple case, as well as the prevalence of strongly encrypted devices and communications, 'will ultimately need to be resolved by Congress, the administration and industry, rather than the courts alone.


While lawmakers are far from a consensus on the issue, Schiff said that 'the court's decision will likely accelerate our consideration of how to weigh the competing privacy, security and competitiveness issues."'


The report further noted that "Schiff's pivot could signal renewed interest from lawmakers in an encryption debate that so far has found little traction in Congress. The House Judiciary Committee is planning to hold a hearing on encryption on March 1 and has invited Apple to attend, according to a congressional source."


Now that will certainly be an explosive event to watch. Will CEO Tim Cook tell Congress that the issue is all just 'Political Crap?' Likely not this time around; though he's bound to be planning to deliver a few zingers for the press and to charge up groups like 'Fight for the Future.'


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Reuters reminds us that "Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate intelligence panel respectively, have said they want to pursue encryption legislation, though neither has introduced a bill yet."


Interestingly Reuters added that "Federal officials have privately dismissed a theory that the Apple case was choreographed to stir up support for encryption legislation."


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