GOP lawmaker: Ban government from buying Apple products

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Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) is proposing a way to punish Apple for refusing to abide by a court order directing the company to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters: Stop buying its products for government use.

Jolly, who is running for Senate in a crowded GOP primary, has introduced legislation to prohibit federal agencies from purchasing Apple merchandise until the company gives the FBI access to the encrypted device. 

"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 in a Thursday statement.

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The legislation so far does not have any cosponsors.

Jolly's bill echoes a call from Donald Trump last month to boycott Apple until it agrees to assist the FBI. 

The FBI has been mounting public pressure on Apple to relent to the court order, saying that the phone likely has communications related to planning the attack.

Privacy advocates warn that such a move would undermine unbreakable encryption considered necessary for online privacy and security. Apple has argued that abiding by the court order would be equivalent to creating a "backdoor" into all iPhones that hackers could exploit.

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing this week, lawmakers questioned FBI Director James Comey on whether forcing Apple to unlock the shooter’s phone would set a precedent. 

Despite calls for Congress to resolve the dispute between Apple and the FBI, little consensus currently exists on Capitol Hill for legislation regarding encryption standards.