US Congress sides with Apple in ongoing FBI privacy tussle

Apple has secured vital backing from the US Congress after legislators accused the justice department of overreaching itself and undermining privacy and cybersecurity.

During a congressional grilling lawmakers bluntly told FBI director James Comey that he was ‘on a fool’s errand’ in his crusade to strong arm Apple into unlocking the iPhone of suspected terrorist Syed Farook, responsible for slaying 14 people during a gun rampage in San Bernardino.

Comey faced a wave of flak from legislators for bypassing Congress to pursue its own lawsuit against Apple - with some calling on Congress to be proactive in setting the boundaries for state intrusion, for which Apple has previously expressed support.

In his defence Comey said that Apple would not be allowed to create ‘warrant-free spaces’ warning that: “The logic of encryption will bring us to a place in the not too distant future where all of our conversations and all our papers and effects are entirely private.”

However Comey appeared to confirm fears expressed by Apple chief Tim Cook that the Farook example would not be a ‘one time request’, after confirming that the precedent would ‘potentially’ apply in future cases.

John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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