“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.

Turing Award winners advocate for encryption; back Apple vs. U.S. government overreach – March 1, 2016
Mark Cuban: Why Apple must win vs. the FBI; in the United States of America, we have rights – March 1, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch plays disinformation card in iPhone unlocking fight – March 1, 2016
The FBI’s case against Apple got kneecapped in Brooklyn: The judges rebuke couldn’t have been stronger – March 1, 2016
U.S. Magistrate Judge: The U.S. government cannot force Apple to unlock an iPhone in New York drug case – February 29, 2016
Verizon CEO McAdam supports strong encryption; Apple vs. FBI should be addressed by U.S. Congress – March 1, 2016
House Judiciary Committee members consider legal brief in support of Apple vs. U.S. government – March 1, 2016
Apple will tell Congress that strong encryption protects against terrorists – March 1, 2016
U.S. Representative Darrell Issa on Apple vs. FBI: Very scary when your government wants to know more about you – February 24, 2016
Apple CEO Cook decried Obama’s ‘lack of leadership’ on encryption during a closed-door meeting last month – February 29, 2016
Apple’s top lawyer: U.S. government order weakens security for all iPhones – February 29, 2016
Apple CEO Cook decried Obama’s ‘lack of leadership’ on encryption during a closed-door meeting last month – February 29, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook can probably defy the US government all he wants and not go to jail – February 29, 2016
Apple CEO Cook picks up where Snowden left off in privacy debate – February 29, 2016
Obama administration set to expand sharing of data that N.S.A. intercepts – February 28, 2016
If Apple loses, your home could be the next thing that’s unlocked: Access to your security cameras would be just a judge order away – February 28, 2016
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