The following is an excerpt from Dustin Volz | April 19, 2016 | reuters.com |
Apple has been asked by Chinese authorities within the last two years to hand over its source code but refused to do so, the company's top lawyer told U.S. lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday.
Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell made the statement in response to a line of attack from law enforcement officials who have attempted to portray Apple as complicit in handing over information to Chinese authorities for business reasons while refusing to cooperate with U.S. requests for access to private data in criminal investigations.
Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and the FBI returned to Washington to testify before lawmakers about their heated disagreement over law enforcement access to encrypted devices, highlighted in the case of a locked iPhone linked to a gunman in last December's Islamist militant-inspired shootings in San Bernardino, California.
Earlier in the hearing before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, Captain Charles Cohen, commander in the Indiana State Police, repeated the suggestion that Apple has quietly cooperated with Beijing. But when pressed by Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, for the source of that claim, Cohen only cited news reports.
“That takes my breath away," a visibly frustrated Eshoo said. "That is a huge allegation.”
The growing use of strong default encryption on mobile devices and communications by criminal suspects is handicapping investigators' ability to pursue them, law enforcement officials told the hearing. Apple Inc and other companies defend the technology as integral to protecting consumers.
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