Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report encryption battle with the FBI moved to Capitol Hill Tuesday as Apple's chief legal eagle and the FBI director fielded questions during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter. Cisco (CSCO) - Get Report expanded its cloud presence in snapping up startup CLiQr and Facebook (FB) - Get Report took a hit as its top Latin America executive was arrested by Brazilian police.
The House panel put FBI Director James Comey on the hot seat Tuesday during a hearing on Apple's iPhone encryption and the government's efforts to pressure the iconic computer maker into building a way to access information stored on the iPhone of a San Bernardino terrorist.
During the hearing, legislators grilled Comey on such questions as whether the password on San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone had been changed, to which Comey acknowledged the FBI had made the mistake of changing the password that ultimately resulted in the iPhone losing its ability to backup its information to Apple's servers, which would have been accessible to the government's investigation, according to a Business Insiderreport.
Some panel members questioned Comey on whether the court order the FBI seeks to force Apple to build a backdoor to the iPhone software to allow it access to Farook's phone is a way to sidestep Congress and its ability to draft laws regarding these types of searches, the report noted, describing Congressional members from both parties largely skeptical of Comey's comments.
Apple has repeatedly stated that building a backdoor for the FBI would weaken the security on the iPhone, since any malicious attacker could use the same backdoor if one was built.
Apple's shares closed at $100.53, up 4%.
Cisco Systems climbed higher into cloud computing Tuesday when it acquired application management cloud company CliQr for $260 million.
CliQr, which aides corporate customers in deploying and managing their applications in cloud environments, is already integrated into a number of Cisco’s data center switching and cloud offerings like Application Centric Infrastructure and Unified Computing System.
“Customers today have to manage a massive number of complex and different applications across many clouds,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president of Cisco's corporate development, in a statement. “With CliQr, Cisco will be able to help our customers realize the promise of the cloud and easily manage the lifecycle of their applications on any hybrid cloud environment.”
The CliQr deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, bolsters Cisco’s cloud acquisition spree, which includes four other cloud deals last year. Cisco, in October, acquired cloud-based video platform company 1 Mainstream. Other cloud companies it acquired last year include cloud-based file sharing software company Pawaa, cloud-based software platform company MaintenanceNet and cloud API platform company Tropo.
CliQr's technology allows enterprises to form a single application profile then deploy it to a public or private cloud and any data center. CliQr automatically applies a company's access controls and security policies to an application, as well as measures app performance in any cloud environment. In addition, CliQr provides a one-click single management interface to control and monitor apps, users and cloud environments.
Cisco closed at $26.83, up 2.5%.
Facebook's top executive in Latin America was arrested by Brazilian authorities over ignoring a court order to provide police with information from the company's WhatsApp messaging service in a drug-trafficking investigation.
Diego Dzodan, a Facebook vice president stationed in Latin America, was taken into custody, according to a Reutersreport. This is just the latest incident involving Facebook in Latin America. A judge in December suspended the WhatsApp service in Brazil for half a day after it failed to adhere to two court orders to divulge information in a criminal case.
WhatsApp is a popular messaging service, in which Facebook retains the information on its servers until the message has been delivered. Facebook, according to a statement made to Reuters, called Dzodan's arrest an "extreme and disproportionate measure," noting the company is always available to answer authorities' questions.
Dzodan, a former veteran of enterprise software company SAP (SAP) - Get Report , joined Facebook last year as its Latin America chief, according to a ZDNetreport. Brazil is an important market for Facebook, as noted in the company's annual filing for 2015. Daily Active Users (DAUs) grew 17% to 1.04 billion last year, with Brazil, India and the U.S. serving as the three main growth drivers.
According to Reuters, the WhatsApp messaging service is installed on roughly 93% of Android devices in Brazil, pushing it into the position of the most common app in the region. It has yet to be seen what impact a deteriorating relationship with Brazil will have on Facebook's financials.
Facebook advanced 2.7% to end the day at $109.82.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.