Today, the House Judiciary Committee takes on the encryption issue, hearing testimony from both the FBI and Apple in the midst of a controversial and closely watched trial. Called The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy, the hearing will hear testimony from FBI Director James Comey, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and Apple chief counsel Bruce Sewell, scheduled to begin at 1PM ET. According to the committee, the goal will be "to find a solution that allows law enforcement to effectively enforce the law without harming the competitiveness of U.S. encryption providers or the privacy protections of US citizens."
Sewell's prepared statement was previously released to the press, and argues strenuously against the FBI's demands in the case. "We now find ourselves at the center of an extraordinary circumstance," Sewell's statement reads. "The FBI has asked a court to order us to give them something we don’t have. To create an operating system that does not exist — because it would be too dangerous. They are asking for a backdoor into the iPhone — specifically to build a software tool that can break the encryption system which protects personal information on every iPhone."
The hearing comes as many involved in the case are pushing for congressional action. On Monday, a judge in a similar New York iPhone case vocally rejected FBI reasoning, concluding that it would "confer authority that Congress has considered and decided not to enact." Earlier today, representatives in the House submitted a bill that would create a national commission to examine these very issues. "Technology companies and law enforcement both have raised serious public policy questions," said Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who co-sponsored the bill. "It’s time to work together."
Verge Video: Apple vs. FBI encryption debate