"Thank you for hosting this conversation and for helping us all talk about an issue that I believe is the hardest issue I've confronted in government, which is how to balance the privacy we so treasure, that comes to us through the technology that we love. And also achieve public safety which we all very much treasure."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) James Comey, FBI Director:
"Two terrorists in the name of ISIL killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at an office gathering, and left behind three phones - two of which, the cheaper models, they smashed beyond use, and the third was left locked. In any investigation that's done competently, the FBI would try to get access to that phone. It's important that it's a live ongoing terrorism investigation, but in any criminal investigation, a competent investigator would try and use all lawful tools to get access to that device."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) James Comey, FBI Director:
"There are no demons in this debate. The companies are not evil. The government is not evil. You have a whole lot of good people who see the world through different lenses, who care about things - all care about the same things in my view."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) James Comey, FBI Director:
"Sure potentially, because any decision of a court about a matter is potentially useful to other courts, which is what a precedent is. I happen to think, having talked to experts, there are technical limitations to how useful this particular San Bernardino technique will be, given how the phones have changed. But sure, other courts, other prosecutors, other lawyers for companies, will look to that for guidance or to try to distinguish it."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) James Comey, FBI Director:
"There's already a door on that iPhone. Essentially, we're asking Apple - take the vicious guard dog away. Let us try and pick the lock."
FBI Director James Comey likened impenetrable digital encryption to a "vicious guard dog" Tuesday, as a high-stakes fight between privacy and national security moved from the courts to Congress.
"There's already a door on that iPhone. We're asking Apple to take the vicious guard dog away and let us pick the lock," Comey said before the House Judiciary Committee.
Tuesday's hearing comes amid two significant — and conflicting — court rulings in New York and California on whether Apple can be forced to help the FBI gain access to locked phones.
The hearing, which was also to feature Apple's top lawyer, is providing an extraordinary public forum for the Justice Department and Apple Inc. to stake out competing positions. The company's recent opposition has brought a long-simmering debate over digital privacy rights and national security to the mainstream.
A judge in California two weeks ago directed Apple to help the FBI hack into a locked iPhone used by one of the gunmen responsible for the San Bernardino, California attacks that killed 14 people. But on Monday, a judge in Brooklyn said the Obama administration couldn't force Apple to help it gain access to the phone.
Comey acknowledged Tuesday that either decision could set a precedent for other courts.
The California case involves an iPhone 5C owned by San Bernardino County and used by Syed Farook, who was a health inspector. He and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people during a Dec. 2 attack that was at least partly inspired by the Islamic State group. The couple died later in a gun battle with police.