back to article Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan

The FBI director James Comey's bid to have Congress kibosh default encryption appears to have publicly failed after senators said the proposal would be rejected. Republication and anti-surveillance crusader Zoe Lofgren told The Hill the G-Men's bid to have Congress wind back the crypto clocks would have "zero chance" of …

  1. Gray

    No big surprise here ...

    If there is any group in America that does not want anyone peeking into their email or cellphone messages, it is our esteemed Members of Congress and their contributors!

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: No big surprise here ...

      Even though if you look at it more sensible, those are the ones who probably should be watched way more. :)

      Assuming people are the same no matter how much money they have/deal with, the chance of someone doing a fraud is the same for everybody. However if you are dealing with billions the damage of a fraud is likely to be much higher than if you only deal with hundreds of dollars.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: No big surprise here ...

      Exactly Gary. Exactly.

  2. JoeF

    Zoe Lofgren is a Dem

    Read the article from The Hill that you link to...

    1. Steve Knox

      Re: Zoe Lofgren is a Dem

      To be fair, Pauli didn't call her a Republican -- he called her a "Republication".

      Give him the benefit of the doubt -- perhaps she was out of print for a while.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Zoe Lofgren is a Dem

        He called her a "Republication and anti-surveillance crusader", I believe. I assume that means she's in favor of publishing things again (but only things that were public to begin with, and not anything that was private).

        Later in the article he wrote "Lofgren's stance was backed up by fellow Republican Darrell Issa". Darrell is a fellow, but Lofgren is not one of his fellow Republicans. That is, as a member of Congress she's probably a republican, but she's not a Republican.

        I hope that clears things up.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A rare outbreak of common sense! Can we have some more please?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Wow

      Common sense? No, just very pointed self interest that also happens to benefit the rest of us peons.

  4. John Savard Silver badge


    Very few voters would have wanted the DMCA, but Congress had no problem putting that into law. So I don't think it would take very much for Congress to give the FBI whatever it wants, even post-Snowden. But it would be even more effective if they could do it without letting the public know that they're doing it.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Odd

      More like a case of bad timing on the part of the FBI. Surely they must know there's an election in two weeks and all 435 Representatives and 33 Senators are trying to keep their jobs. It's best to hold the applause for the congresscritters and see what happens on this score in the next few months.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Odd

      When the FBI contributes as much to re-election campaigns as the movie studios - then they can get their own laws passed

    4. SolidSquid

      Re: Odd

      There's a reason why Congress (and pretty much every political group) does bills with a large number of features lumped together, it makes it much harder for the public to know what the new bill does. Passing something explicitly to roll back a feature the public already has and is aware protects their privacy is far riskier, because they can't hide it behind other policies or spin it in a positive way

    5. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Odd

      ""I think the public would not support it, certainly industry would not support it, civil liberties groups would not support it," Lofgren said."

      Which of those three groups do you think they were listening to?

    6. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Odd

      Congress ain't real bright. They've been known to shoot themselves in both feet just so they'll match.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Too little, too late.

    While it's nice to hear that Congress "probably" wouldn't go along with the FBI, it's too late. I think we

    Americans have lost all faith in Congress or the 3-letter agencies to do the right thing. Hell... Congress has a pissing contest just on passing a budget and any other legislation. What makes us think that they wouldn't have one on this and then give into the FBI?

    1. Rethegister

      Re: Too little, too late.

      It's really just Republicans who are pissing on those budgets. Democratic refusals to pass budgets are typically substantive, even if you disagree with their substance. Republican refusals are ideological or simply anti-government for practical 1%er reasons.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    The real measure is what happens AFTER the election...

    The time to start cheering is when you see SERIOUS reform of the Patriot Act when it sunsets next year. Until then, its just so much talk.

  7. An0n C0w4rd


    Right now there is still some public resentment about the NSA stories coming out post-Snowden. Wait a few months or maybe 1-2 years and then the Feds will be able to sneak anti-crypto legislation in without hitting the headlines.

    The reason I say that is that it will give them enough time to invent some cases that prove that crypto that the Feds can't crack through a subpoena are causing people to be killed by kidnappers or causing children to be sold into prostitution (or whatever). The fact is right now the Feds cannot point out a SINGLE case where crypto prevented them from solving it, and the 3 cases Mr Comey (FBI Director) highlighted in a recent speech had nothing to do with crypto AT ALL ( see )

  8. Frankee Llonnygog

    I have just one thing to say to Mr Comey

    Dhf87r 8 4h5457 88 86967 9869986985h bjh86f76. Esd 7 ydf gudy87r r8tt , ty87rri 5u6 85858.

    - so there!

    1. Random Handle

      Re: I have just one thing to say to Mr Comey

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's two things....

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick

        Re: I have just one thing to say to Mr Comey

        Re: I have just one thing to say to Mr Comey

        Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's two things....

        If you are using proper Albanian hyphenation principles, yes, but hey, you are dealing with Americans. What do you expect from that School System ?

  9. chris lively

    Dark places...

    >>Last week the FBI director said mobile encryption threatened to "lead all of us to a very dark place".

    By "all of us" he means the TLAs (FBI/NSA/CIA/???). Which is the entire point of mobile encryption being always on. We are FED up with the spying.

  10. Daniel B.


    I was kind of expecting Congress to pass something like that, or bring up "Clipper: The Sequel". But then they're having a big election next month and nobody wants to be the idiot who killed liberty in "the Land of the Free".

    At least Senator Darrell Issa is consistent; he opposed both the hideous SOPA/PIPA thing and the equally horrible ACTA. Nice to see a congresscritter on the real citizen's side for once.

  11. J__M__M

    I don't know...

    Maybe I'm just getting old, but the image of the burning B-26 you chose to go with the link to this article (under "More From The Register") is, well, questionable.

    It's public domain and well used, I get it. The crash and burn reference, I get it. But I also get how it captures one of the last few terrifying seconds on this earth for eight guys who went to England and, thanks to a direct flak hit on Feb 23 1945, never came back.

    Capt. Carl F. Chapman, Jr. - Pilot - Macon, Georgia

    1st Lt. John J. Sheehan - CoPilot - Boston, Massachusetts

    2nd Lt. James R. Harl - Bombardier - Pulaski, Iowa

    1st Lt. Kenneth G. Bowdish - Navigator - Seattle, Washington

    1st Lt. Frederick D. Storey, Jr. - GEE Operator - Houston, Texas

    T/Sgt. J.P. Herndon - Radio Operator/Gunner - Dallas, Texas

    S/Sgt. Ballard J. Bentley - Engineer/Gunner - Neon, Kentucky

    S/Sgt. W.T. Williamson - Tail Gunner - Dallas, Texas

    I don't know...

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: I don't know...

      A pertinent point.

      There's a wall plaque a stone's throw from where I'm typing this that records two incidents that happened nearby. An 8th Air Force B-24 Liberator on a training mission had some sort of trouble and came down on the parkland near where the memorial is now. A second -also on a training flight - about a month later parked itself into a house at bit further down the road. Two crews, no survivors.

  12. WireBug

    OMG, this is such a dark place I am in. I need to stop using this encryption.....

    oh wait *click* i just needed to turn the light on!

  13. ecofeco Silver badge

    Oh NOW Congress finally figures it out

    Took them long enough to finally realize the spook agencies were also spying on them.

  14. naive

    They just have to wait to get it approved

    When bombs start getting off in European capitals like it is Bagdad or Belfast in the 70's, the majority will soon beg for the encryption to be removed.

    It just takes time and some nasty footage on the 8 o'clock news.

  15. Alsee

    A dark place

    the FBI director said mobile encryption threatened to "lead all of us to a very dark place" -

    Yes, hopefully encryption WILL lead the FBI and NSA and Generic-TLA very much into the dark.

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