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Just a day after the US Senate’s Anti-Encryption bill by Senator Feinstein and Senator Burr was released, the fight between FBI and Apple has moved from courts to the US Congress. Representatives Apple Inc. and FBI are set to testify on Tuesday 19th April before the House Energy And Commerce Committee. The hearing will include deciphering of the debate between the tech industry and FBI over encryption.

What Have We Seen So Far?

Up till now we have witnessed strong resistance from Apple Inc. over the unlocking of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook’s iPhone. However, FBI took an edge over the case when they involved Israeli cybersecurity firm Cellebrite to crack the suspect’s phone.

The conflict over digital privacy continues, as Technology giants and Pro-privacy groups argue over the importance of encryption to ensure secrecy and privacy of user data. Law enforcement agencies claim that they can’t combat crimes effectively without accessing the information on suspect’s mobile device.

Overview of The Hearing

Following is the overview of the scheduled hearing named “Deciphering the Debate Over Encryption: Industry and Law Enforcement Perspectives,” between Apple Inc. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over device encryption:

  • The hearing will be based on two panels, the first panel features “Amy Hess” the Executive Assistant Director for Science and Technology at the FBI.
  • Hess along with other law enforcement officials from the US, will brief the Congress on security concerns.
  • The second panel will be headed by “Bruce Sewell” Apple Inc.’s general counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal & Government Affairs.
  • Both FBI and Apple refused to comment on their testimonies before the hearing.

Earlier this month we witnessed social media giant Facebook implementing end-to-end encryption to WhatsApp conversations. The real question that must be asked here is, what about messaging service providers operating outside the United States? If terrorists start using such services how does the NSA, FBI, the USA Government and other security agencies plan to combat them, the answer lies within Tuesday’s hearing.