Just because Apple and the FBI avoided an historic showdown in court this week over a previously issued court order for Apple to create a so-called “government OS” that bypasses normal iPhone security measures, that doesn’t mean the whole thing was tidily wrapped up.
For one thing, no legislative precedent was set here – at the eleventh hour, the FBI said it thinks a mysterious outside party (which may have now been identified) will be able to help it get inside an iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino shooters – leaving the law enforcement agency free to pursue a similar “test case” in the future. That’s why we probably shouldn’t be surprised if Congress eventually wants to get involved, since legislative rule-making today could prevent this kind of thing from having to be worked out over a protracted court proceeding tomorrow.
So far, though, the most knowledgeable members of Congress about this issue haven’t been heard from much. That’s because, as it turns out, there aren’t all that many of them.
Of the 535 members of Congress, BGR has only been able to identify four whose education background includes a computer science degree. Perhaps just as surprising: their responses when approached by BGR about the Apple-FBI battle were not particularly uniform and can be illustrated along a continuum that ranges from the specific to the non-existent.
Let’s take a look. More →