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As Apple faces off against the FBI in court to avoid undermining the security of its own products, one congressman has a plan to make Apple cooperate. Republican congressman David Jolly has introduced the No Taxpayer Support for Apple Act. This bill would prohibit any entity in the federal government from buying Apple products until the company provides the assistance being requested by the FBI.

“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 at a congressional hearing. Describing the importance of unlocking the phone Jolly stated, “According to the FBI Director, this phone likely contains communications preceding the terrorist attack, including potential calls and messages with fellow terrorists with whom he coordinated.” Finally, he called on Apple to show the same conviction to protect the nation that “every citizen and every company” had following 9/11.

The text of the bill is quite short. Section one merely states the short title that the bill can be cited by. The only other section is posted below.

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.

It’s not too clear how much support this bill will find in Congress. While there are certainly elements in Congress that side with the FBI in this case, the recent congressional hearing on this matter had some hostile questioning directed at the FBI director. A major point of concern is the fact that the FBI got this court order while there is still an ongoing debate within Congress on how to deal with encryption. There are serious fears that the FBI is trying to bypass Congress’s legislative authority.

Should Congress follow Donald Trump’s lead and boycott Apple? Leave your comments below.

Max Michael

Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

  • Clairity

    Aaaaand why should Apple care? I doubt the government makes extensive enough use of Apple products to make a significant dent in their profits. All their computers are either servers (in which case Linux is the only sensible option) or PCs (again, Windows and Linux are the most sensible options here).

    Phone-wise, well, they’re shooting themselves in the foot, seeing as Apple is taking phone security seriously there. I doubt they want China hacking a government official’s phone and learning juicy secrets.

  • Definitely not true

  • Clairity

    Why am I wrong? I’d kind of like to know what your reasoning is.

  • webkilla

    so switch to android – a free market government using an open platform is far more fitting anyway

  • Sections of the federal government already use apple products enmass. The government is a very, very convoluted mix bag of technologies

  • Kev Lew

    complete with free market viruses and patchwork security. I like apple for the software and service but hardware wise they are well behind the competition on every feature.

  • BasedLink

    If Congress wants to boycott Apple, they can go ahead and do so. But they don’t need to pass a bill saying so. The bill won’t get much, if any support based on that immutably obvious fact alone.

  • Typical

    The fact that a congressman that should know Apple has helped in every case until they wanted them to break security makes me weep for humanity.

  • Grey

    This stinks of Freedom Fries.

  • Clairity

    If that’s the case, then wouldn’t banning Apple products just hurt them? After all, they likely chose Apple because it was the best option available, considering the massive cost of Apple products compared to Linux or Windows based alternatives.

  • Not really the case

    Government officials can choose apple because they like apple. Quality is irrelevant

  • Clairity

    Do you have any idea how wasteful that would be? Choosing the much, much more expensive option just because “you like it” not because “it’s better for this task”?

    The government may be inept, but if they were wasting taxpayer money on Apple devices they didn’t even need, there would be a huge stink and the people in charge would be fired.

  • It’s ignored over bigger fish like the f35 project