“In the days after the attacks of Sept. 11, law enforcement and national security agencies brought Congress a lengthy list of new surveillance powers they wanted. Most ended up quickly becoming law as part of the Patriot Act,” Aaron Pressman reports for Yahoo Finance. “But a request to ban strong computer codes, or encryption technology, was left out completely.”

“It was hardly the first time — or the last — that Congress shot down legislation to ban or regulate encryption,” Pressman reports. “And that’s likely why Apple (AAPL) has been fighting to shift its court battles with the FBI and federal prosecutors to the broader legislative arena in Congress. While presidents and the executive branch often side with law enforcers, courts have been less predictable — and more importantly, Congress has continuously and repeatedly sided with tech companies.”

“The reason is that laws to weaken encryption so the FBI can crack criminals’ hidden data also put at risk the digital data and online transactions of hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens. And many industries — from technology equipment and telecommunications carriers to banking and retailing — deeply rely on strong encryption. That has created a formidable array of lobbyists and campaigners to make the case that strong encryption is a source of economic strength,” Pressman reports. “And as Tuesday’s hearing unfolded, the FBI director faced hostile questioning from most of the members who spoke, a rare show of unity among Democrats and Republicans on a commitee that is usually deeply split on partisan issues.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, Congress, not the courts — legislation, not judicial decrees — should decide this issue.

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U.S. Representative Darrell Issa on Apple vs. FBI: Very scary when your government wants to know more about you – February 24, 2016
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Apple’s top lawyer: U.S. government order weakens security for all iPhones – February 29, 2016
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The Apple vs. FBI fight is about something more basic than software and laws – February 28, 2016
Apple privacy battle with Washington looms as watershed moment – February 26, 2016
Apple’s lawyer: If we lose, it will lead to a ‘police state’ – February 26, 2016
Apple: The law already exists that protects us from U.S. government demands to hack iPhone – February 26, 2016