“Members of the House Judiciary Committee are considering filing a ‘friend of the court’ brief in Apple Inc’s encryption dispute with the U.S. government to argue that the case should be decided by Congress and not the courts, five sources familiar with the matter said,” Dustin Volz reports for Reuters. “The sources cautioned that no final agreement had been reached on what would be an unusual intervention by congressmen in a legal proceeding. Any filing would occur after a panel hearing on Tuesday that will include FBI Director James Comey and Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell. The court deadline is Thursday.”

“The filing would argue that the Feb. 16 order from a federal court in California that instructs Apple to write special software to unlock an iPhone 5c used by one of the San Bernardino shooters threatens the constitutional separation of powers, the sources said,” Volz reports. “They said the brief would come from individual committee members of both Republican and Democratic parties but not the judiciary committee itself… Lawmakers could wait until the appeals process before intervening, the sources said.”

“The unusual Congressional intervention would come on top of a wave of support for Apple among its Silicon Valley brethren. Some two-dozen companies and civil liberties groups are expected to weigh in on Apple’s side,” Volz reports. “A number of large tech firms have publicly said they will file briefs supporting Apple. Google, Facebook and Microsoft are expected to file jointly and be represented by Neal Katyal, a Georgetown law professor and former acting U.S. solicitor general for the Obama administration, according to a source familiar with the companies’ plans. Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, the Mozilla Foundation, and the cloud storage firm Box, along with advocacy groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, are also expected to support Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 🙂

Do the right thing, U.S. Congress.

This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funs encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Visit the Apple-backed reformgovernmentsurveillance.com today.

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