Rep. Polis defends Apple’s denial of FBI request to decrypt iPhone

Skyler Leonard

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(Photo courtesy of the State of Colorado.)

Fort Collins’ House Rep. Jared Polis defended Apple in the company’s ongoing legal battle, according to a press release sent out Tuesday. Apple has refused to aid FBI officials in bypassing the passcode of an iPhone owned by one of the radicals complicit in the San Bernardino shootings.

“The federal government’s demand to force a private company to develop new decryption software for its own device in the name of national security will produce the exact opposite results,” Polis said. “Not only will this weaken the security of Americans, but who doesn’t believe that cyber-criminals and foreign spy agencies are salivating at the idea of a permanently weakened American cyber-ecosystem? Relying on a 200-year-old law, the ‘All Writs Act,’ for 21st-century policing, demonstrates the shallowness of the federal government’s argument.”

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Polis’ comments occurred following Apple CEO Tim Cook’s letter openly defying a federal magistrate judge’s request that the company comply with the FBI. In the letter, Cook emphasized the need for a discussion on data privacy.

Cook also stated that complying with the FBI would “undermine decades of security advancements that protect our customers.” FBI officials have asserted that breaking into the iPhone will allow for more information on the phone’s owner, Syed Rizwan Farook, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California Dec. 2.

Polis’ district, which encompasses the area of Boulder and Fort Collins, houses many tech-related companies. Both cities were nationally-ranked as having the highest ratio of tech startups, with Boulder coming in first and the Fort Collins-Loveland area coming in second.

“This case has implications far beyond allowing the federal government to crack one iPhone,” Polis said. “Creating any type of a backdoor will impact users and businesses, ultimately making our data less secure and more vulnerable. The courts should overturn this misguided decision and leave the debate over encryption to the proper venue in Congress.”

Collegian Executive Editor Skyler Leonard can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Skyler_Leonard.