Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Apple

In a situation that greatly resembles the aftermath of the 2015 San Bernardino shooting, the Justice Department wants access to encrypted iPhones tied to the Pensacola, Fla. Naval Air Station shooting. Apple, for its part, is strongly hinting it will challenge a demand to do so.

Why it matters: The San Bernardino standoff ended without a legal determination when the FBI withdrew its request. Whether law enforcement has the right to access encrypted data on smartphones remains unsettled and is one of the most hotly debated issues in tech, with no clear middle ground.

  • Apple will, with a court order, provide law enforcement with data on its servers, including data backed up from iPhones.
  • However, in the past the company has refused requests to access encrypted data on the phone, which could be accomplished only through rewriting its software, such as to allow an unlimited amount of guesses at a user's passcode.
  • With its statement Monday, Apple is suggesting it will take a similar stance here

Flashback: In the San Bernardino case, Apple challenged the FBI under similar circumstances. The case was never resolved legally, and ended when the FBI withdrew its request after the agency had found another way into the phone.

What they're saying: Attorney General William Barr called for tech companies to provide the government with broader access to encrypted devices. Barr said, per the New York Times, that Apple has provided no "substantial assistance."

  • “We don’t want to get into a world where we have to spend months and even years exhausting efforts when lives are in the balance,” Barr said, according the Times. “We should be able to get in when we have a warrant that establishes that criminal activity is underway.”

Apple, for its part, said "we reject the characterization that Apple has not provided substantive assistance in the Pensacola investigation."

  • "Our responses to their many requests since the attack have been timely, thorough and are ongoing," the company said in a statement to Axios. "Within hours of the FBI’s first request on December 6, we produced a wide variety of information associated with the investigation. From December 7 through the 14th, we received six additional legal requests and in response provided information including iCloud backups, account information and transactional data for multiple accounts."
  • A request for information on a second iPhone came a month later, Apple said.

A Department of Justice representative was not immediately available for further comment.

Go deeper: Distrust of tech could be encryption's Achilles heel

Go deeper

Pence breaks silence to condemn Democrats' sweeping voting reform bill

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In some of his most extensive remarks since Jan. 6, former Vice President Mike Pence wrote an op-ed Wednesday condemning House Democrats' sweeping election and anti-corruption proposal as an "unconstitutional power grab" by "leftists."

Why it matters: Pence has largely stayed quiet since the Capitol insurrection, during which rioters were heard chanting "hang Mike Pence" after former President Trump promoted the claim that the vice president could block the certification of the Electoral College.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.