WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) issued the following statement on a California federal judge’s decision to mandate that Apple create new technology to give the FBI backdoor access to I-phones.
“In the aftermath of the worst attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, the law enforcement community is tasked with preventing more attacks on the homeland. As challenging as their jobs are,
drastic, fear-driven policy that dramatically effects the privacy of every single American should not be made in the courts. Before we mandate that the government must have a “key” for all encrypted data-- we must step back and consider what it means to set aside the Constitution. It is the role of Congress to debate this and to change the policy, not the courts.
Congress has recently taken steps to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans in the digital age; this decision does the opposite. This order in effect would give the government the keys to the backdoor to every cell phone in America. In order to do this, the government is attempting to force Apple and other companies to re-engineer all of their products in order to give the government the ability to access all phones.
This decision will not only violate the privacy of American citizens- far more than just the owner of the I-phone the court ruled on-- it will also hurt American tech companies. American products will suffer on the world market because international consumers will know that their phones are not safe from the eyes of the snooping United States government.
My bill, H.R. 2233, End Warrantless Surveillance of Americans Act would specifically prohibit the Government from either mandating (as they are trying to do with Apple) or even requesting that a back door be installed. Congress should immediately act on this to make the law clear. The role of the court is to interpret the law, not create them.”