Overnight Tech: Apple, FBI ready for round two before Congress

LEDE: Apple and the FBI will be back on the hill talking about encryption on Tuesday. But we have bad news for those of you hoping for the congressional equivalent of a cage match: the witnesses from the tech company and the law enforcement agency are on different panels.

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell will lay out the company's case -- familiar to many Americans by now -- that encryption and strong law enforcement can coexist before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. "To suggest that the American people must choose between privacy and security is to present a false choice," he will say. "The issue is not about privacy at the expense of security. It is about maximizing safety and security."


Amy Hess, the FBI's executive assistant director for science and technology, will appear on the panel before Sewall. Her testimony isn't yet online, but the FBI has been insistent for months that law enforcement needs ways to access encrypted data. Other witnesses include academics and other representatives from law enforcement agencies nationwide.

For more on Apple and FBI and the week ahead, click here.

WHERE IS WHATSAPP: The company said last week it had declined an invitation to testify at the hearing. Earlier this month, the Facebook-owned platform turned on end-to-end encryption for all of its users by default. "We respect the important role the Committee plays in examining these issues and their impact on privacy and security," a spokesperson for the companies said last week. "While we are unable to participate in this hearing, we will continue to be engaged on this important issue."

For more on the debate over WhatsApp, click here.

E&C ALSO MARKING UP COMMUNICATIONS BILLS: It's going to be a busy day for House E&C. The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is marking up seven communications related bills. Most notable is legislation that applies a $1.5 billion hard cap to the Lifeline program, in contrast to the FCC's reforms approved last month which set a higher, flexible cap. "The changes this bill would make don't end the program, and they don't require the FCC to turn people away," subcommittee chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said in his opening statement Monday night, according to text released by the committee. "All we are asking is for fiscal discipline. If there is a budget in place, the FCC will be forced to undergo a more serious examination of the problems plaguing the system." Democrats have suggested that capping the program will leave families wanting for the phone and internet subsidies provided by the program.

WALDEN DEFENDS SAFETY BILL ON PRIVACY: Walden also used his opening statement on Monday to defend the Kelsey Smith Act, which makes it easier for law enforcement to obtain location data from phones, against privacy criticisms leveled against it by an ACLU representative at a hearing last week. "While I know these concerns are shared by some members here, I believe the law as drafted creates a sufficiently narrow set of circumstances in which law enforcement can access this type of data, as well as a very small subset of data that they are able to access," he said Monday, according to the text of his opening statement. "The bill seeks to balance all interests by protecting the privacy of users while still providing access when the situation demands it."

WARREN PICKETS WITH VERIZON STRIKERS: "Verizon workers are fighting for their jobs & respect," Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 Sanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids Senate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension MORE (D-Mass.) tweeted. "Glad to join MA workers on the picket line in Cambridge."

AUTHORS DISAPPOINTED WITH SCOTUS GOOGLE BOOKS DECISION: The Authors Guild expressed disappointment Monday after the Supreme Court decided against hearing its appeal that Google Books infringed on the copyrighted work of millions of writers.

"We filed the class action lawsuit against Google in September 2005 because, as we stated then, 'Google's taking was a plain and brazen violation of copyright law.' We believed then and we believe now that authors should be compensated when their work is copied for commercial purposes," the group's president Roxana Robinson said.

For more on the Supreme Court decision's, click here.


At 10 a.m., the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on encryption. http://1.usa.gov/1Myb3fm

At 2 p.m., the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a markup. http://1.usa.gov/20S2cYF


Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneHillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber The Year Ahead: Push for privacy bill gains new momentum On The Money: Trump, Dems battle over border wall before cameras | Clash ups odds of shutdown | Senators stunned by Trump's shutdown threat | Pelosi calls wall 'a manhood thing' for Trump MORE (R-S.D.) is asking the Federal Communications Commission to investigate any employee misconduct in the hours ahead of a hectic meeting last month.

European regulators are moving closer to charging Google with competition violations related to its Android operating system, according to several reports.

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal from the Authors Guild alleging that Google Books infringes upon writers' copyrighted works.

A majority of voters trust major technology companies to protect customers' personal information more than the federal government, according to a poll commissioned by The App Association.

Google and Oracle were unable to reach a settlement Friday that would have stopped a closely watched case involving the Android operating system from going to retrial next month.

Please send tips and comments to David McCabe, dmccabe@thehill.com and Mario Trujillo, mtrujillo@thehill.com Follow us on Twitter: @HilliconValley@dmccabe@_mariotrujillo