Re: Of course they would say that
Could the law as it stand force Apple to push out a software update if demanded by the NSA which, as well as storing the fingerprint on the A7, also upload it to Utah (or iCloud)?
Honestly.. The iPhone doesn't store an image or a loop pattern for a finger, but a hash. If Apple has had any sense, that hashing sits in the hardware sector surrounding the sensor, so they couldn't change that if they wanted to, or were forced to.
What COULD happen is that the hash is exported, but if the hash incorporates, for instance, parts of the hardware it will be useless outside the device.
On the flip side, it is indeed possible for any mobile provider with a US HQ to be forced to silently collaborate with intercept. That is, after all, the law in the US (people hollering at the NSA is wrong - they should yell at those that task it because the orders are illegal - the NSA simply does what it was set up to do). However, that is not limited to Apple. If anything, Apple sells hardware, with some software sauce to facilitate that. Android's architect, however, IS in the data gathering business and has already repeatedly appearing in court for being a tad too enthusiastic in ignoring the laws that surround ownership of that data and privacy. Microsoft also has had a tad casual approach to other people intellectual property, but I'm not sure how deep they were into data gathering.
Take your pick who you trust least. "Neither" is probably the correct answer (still have my trusty Nokia 6310)..