tv FBI Director James Comey Testimony on Fiscal Year 2017 Budget CSPAN February 27, 2016 4:15am-4:28am EST
comey was on capitol hill earlier this week, he answered questions from lawmakers on local efforts to get apple to break the encryption on the phone used by one of the san bernardino shooters. comey was testifying before the house appropriations committee. here's a look. >> i have some very strong opinions about that, and there's a question here. but i want to start by thanking you for being diligent and pursuing the court order and staying on top of this. look, my view of the world, and i view it is one member of this committee doesn't necessarily reflect the entire committee, but this is a court order applying to within phone, and apple is refusing to comply with that order and frankly, if their fill you're to comply means that there is additional information out there that has already contributed to other incidents, or will in the future contribute to other incidents of terrorism or national security, i think
apple leadership risks having blood on their hands. and i think tim cook is going to have a very hard time explaining why he stood in the way of justice on this issue. so i thank you for what you're doing. this is not my iphone you're trying to look at. this is the iphone of sayed farook who i believe gave up every one of his civil liberties the day he killed 14 americans and injured 21. so i thank you for what you're doing on that. i know our chairman asked what might be on that phone, and it led to a bit of supposition about the content of communications. from a factual standpoint, though, what are the files on a typical phone? and what profile might you be able to build of his activity or communications as a layperson i would presume phone calls, messages. but what profile do you not have of this murderer that you might otherwise have?
>> the phone was last backed up three weeks before the attack. and so very often -- and again, i don't do any of this to pick on a company. i actually find the company has been helpful in a whole lot of ways. it just got to a point where they said we will not assist you further, and for reasons i don't doubt they hold honestly. but if the stuff is backed up to the i cloud, apple cooperates with court orders and we get backed up photos or backed up -- all kinds of records about people we can get lawfully with the judge's authorization. and so anything that might have been backed up to the cloud may still be on the phones. that would be photos or texts or notes or gps information, where this phone traveled. one of our real concerns here is we have 19 minutes we can't figure out where they were. after the attack. we've looked at every gas station camera, every intersection camera. we have the whole route but we're missing 19 minutes before they were killed by law enforcement. the answer to that may be on the
device. >> you would typically have some type of gps or tower signals where you would know approximately where they were? >> sure. they may have all kinds of locator services turned on in connection with the phone. all of us -- i mean, these phones are wonderful. i love them. our entire lives are on the phone. that is why people ask good questions about privacy, but it's also why i want people to take a step back and say if we got to a world where those places were warrant proof, what does the world look like where it's warrant proof in a certain space in american life. and that's the other thing i want people to understand. it's not the bureau going to open people's device. if we want to open a device, we go to a judge, the judge issues a specific warrant, tells us what can take from the warrant and what we can take from the device or the place and how we can do it. >> i thank you for that. obviously you know the perspective from which i'm coming.
that includes apple and tim cook. you reeve got folks up here that i know side with law enforcement. i appreciate what you're doing. i hope you do prevail. we will leave that to the courts to decide. i don't doubt their intentions. i agree with you. i don't doubt apple's intentions. i just think they are wrong on this one, they are airing on the side of privacy and cloaking what is a national security moment in which they could contribute to a safer america and they're choosing not to. so i appreciate you. thank you very much. >> thank you. i have serious concerns about the privacy implications also of the fbi's ongoing attempts to force apple, which is based in my district to create a hack to allow the fbi to gain access to encrypted information on the phone of one of these san bernardino shooter ps . and i realize that you face a tough challenge investigating this attack on our nation and our communities. however, what the fbi requests will echo beyond this case.
it will create a weakness that can be exploited by attacks on apple by those seeking to gain access to the new code the fbi seeks. these possibilities must be weighed against information. the fbi will be able to recover from the phone of the san bernardino shooters. you have said repeatedly that this is about one phone. yet there have been multiple news stories highlighting other phones that the government seeks to access. can you promise that this is the only time you will ask apple or any company to create software to gain access to a phone? and as you know, apple is an international company. if apple were to comply with the u.s. government's request to build code to its specific needs, do you worry about china and russia requesting the same? >> thank you, mr. honda. i'm going to try to make sure i hit all parts of your question. i will -- i've talked to a bunch
of experts so i'll give this a shot. i don't think the manufacturer is asking to create some code that will go loose on the land and do harm. first, what the court has directed them to do is write a piece of code that would only work in the terrorist's phone. it wouldn't work in anybody else's phone because it's written to the unique signature of that phone. and the second is, they will have custody of it the entire time. the phone would be at the manufacturer, the code would be at the manufacturer, and i don't -- i think they have excellent security. in fact, in 2014 and before, apple would unlock phones routinely in response to search warrants and do it at their headquarters. and i have never heard anything about anything getting loose and hurting us there. so i greet that honestly with a little skepticism. but the judge will sort that out. >> let me ask a question then. are you saying that apple's
technology for i 6, the access code is only for one individual phone and not -- that won't affect other i 6 phones? >> here's the way i understand this. and again, i've talked to experts, but i'm not one. but again i'm going to try to explain as i understand it. what makes this case unusual -- and i wrote about it as the relief we seek is increasingly obsolete. here's why i said this. this is a 5c phone running ios 9. that confluence of the operating system and hard wir is increasingly outdated. the 5c still has the ability for apple to write a unique code for that one phone that will shut off the auto delete function and shut off the delay function. i don't believe that's possible the way they built the 6 and built after the 5c. they did the hardware differently. so i actually don't think that even if the judge says this is appropriate after hearing from apple that the technique will be useful in later generation phones running ios 9 and
thereafter. that's what i'm told by experts. the great thing about the american court system they'll be able to bang together and sort this out. >> i'm not a lawyer, but let me ask the question then. if that were to be done for one phone at this one instance and creates a precedence, will that precedence require other opportunities for law enforcement to act says other technologies on other people's phones? >> yes, i'm a lawyer, it definitely might. because here's what would happen. >> my follow-up question is -- >> can i explain why i say that? a judge will issue a decision in california interpreting the all writs statute that wouldn't be binding on other judges. but there will be other phones. as i've been saying for two years, this is a huge issue for state and local laugh. there will be other phones and other judges will look to that to see if that's a similar
circumstance. there's no doubt about that. >> so my follow-up response is if it does create precedence, what's the impact on constitutional principles? >> that's a good question. the precedence will be created under the framework of our constitution. a search warrant is an exercise of authorities under the fourth amendment. the all writs act congress passed when it pass the fourth amendment in 1789 is an exercise of the court's jurisdiction. so the great thing about this is -- and that's what i keep stressing. this isn't us going and opening people's phones, it's us going to a constitutional court asking for permission under the fourth amendment to do something. and so it would be a precedent in the sense that a court would look to it to see whether it was useful. but the entire frame work is under our rule of law. this is the hardest problem i've seen in government. because it implicates america's gift for innovation,
implications privacy, it implicates the rule of law, it implicates public safety. we just have to talk about it and understand how do we optimize both of these things we care about -- privacy and safety. >> monday on the communicators, the general council for the fbi agents association and chris calabrese at the center for democracy and technology will discuss the controversy between the federal bureau of investigation and apple. he'll also talk about what this case could mean for communications, tech companies and law enforcement in the digital age. we're joined by rueters cybersecurity reporter dustin voles. >> the tool was designed to be impenetrable. as a result, we believe it threatens the way our search and seizure laws were designed to operate. reasonable searches under a
lawful warrant can obtain access to evidence. we do view it as a real threat to the fulcrum that the balance of privacy and security sits on. >> certainly apple is concerned, and we're all concerned about the privacy of the information on the device. but we're also very much worried that building any tool that allows you to break the security on the device is really a privacy harm one that's going to come back and bite apple users around the world. >> watch the communicators monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> officials at the cdc confirm that nine pregnant women have been diagnosed with the zika virus in the u.s. and are investigating ten additional cases. the virus is implicated in severe birth defects and complications with pregnancy.