Statement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. on Apple-Supported Congressional Commission to Study Encryption

February 23, 2016

“As the head of a major city prosecutor’s office directly affected by Apple’s encryption practices, I support legislative action on the issue of encryption. Should Congress proceed with a commission, as Apple now supports, I recommend that it convene quickly, include voices from state and local law enforcement, and conclude its work within 90 days so there is no unwarranted delay. Time is not a luxury that state and local law enforcement, crime victims, and communities can afford. Statutes require time-sensitive charging and speedy trials. Victims require justice before they can hope to receive closure. And criminals require accountability before they can reoffend.

“Congress has held numerous hearings on encryption since September 2014 and, to my knowledge, Apple has not testified at any of them. I am pleased that the company is willing to join the conversation now.”