Congressman Proposes Law Banning Government From Purchasing Apple Devices
from the Florida-Man:-Congression-Edition dept
Global terrorism has accomplished one thing: the continual generation of stupid legislation. Add some panicked law enforcement voices to the mix and some lawmaker is going to feel compelled to throw a Kneejerk Convention.
Legislators on both coasts are pushing a ban on the sale of encrypted phones. And now this, as reported by Zack Whittaker of ZDNet.
Republican lawmaker Rep. David Jolly (R-FL, 13th) has introduced a bill that would ban Apple products across government.
Jolly said the legislative effort was in protest of the company’s refusal to help federal agents unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists.
Jolly, it must be said, is the paragon of efficient stupidity.
The bill, dubbed the “No Taxpayer Support for Apple Act,” or HR 4663, is just 11 lines long.
Here’s the official wording.
No agency or other entity within the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Federal Government may purchase any product manufactured by, licensed by, or otherwise sold under the trademark of Apple Inc. of 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California (hereafter referred to “Apple”) until a court of Federal jurisdiction certifies that Apple has provided the Federal Government with the technical support necessary to access encrypted information sought by a judicial warrant that may be materially relevant to the investigation of commission of terrorism.
This would be a boon for Apple’s competitors, except for the fact that they’ve all backed Apple in its fight against the FBI. Is Rep. Jolly going to be happy that the lesser of two evils has supplanted Apple’s government marketshare, or will he be amending this to encompass the companies who have shown support for Apple’s
material support for terrorism refusal to assist the FBI in setting a dangerous precedent?
I sincerely hope he does go that route. Because if he does, government agencies will not only be locked out (irony!) of purchasing Apple devices, but they won’t be able to use Android or Microsoft devices either.
Agencies might have to move towards a more paperful office, what with a variety of tech companies expressing their support for Apple. Government employees will also find themselves without an internet browser option — which will probably be fine as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook would all be on Jolly’s “enemies of the state” list. Perhaps the elimination of unproductive web surfing will make up for efficiency loss resulting from the lack of an email or cloud storage options.
But perhaps the most hilarious thing about Jolly’s dumbass proposal is his statement in support of it.
“Taxpayers should not be subsidizing a company that refuses to cooperate in a terror investigation that left 14 Americans dead on American soil,” Jolly said.
While we’ve often noted the FBI’s over-zealousness when it comes to terrorism investigations, we honestly had no idea it had gotten this far out of hand. Apparently, the FBI has already killed 14 Americans during its investigation of the San Bernardino shooting. How many more will it have to kill before this investigation is concluded? If Apple’s swift compliance can prevent the FBI from killing more people, perhaps it’s time to reconsider its stance.