Michael Chertoff and Mike McConnell, former head of Homeland Security and National Security Agency respectively, expressed their strong support on the issue of encryption technology, which Apple also strongly supports.

The two joined the panel discussion on the topic at the RSA conference held in San Francisco.

Dubbed "Beyond Encryption: Why We Can't Come Together on Security and Privacy, and the Catastrophes That Await If We Don't," the panel aims to discuss how the government and private groups vary in their opinions when it comes to protecting Web-based data.

According to Chertoff, weakening encryption can potentially limit technological advancement. Technology, as it develops, should not, in any way, be stifled by implementing certain policies, rules and laws.

Chertoff also mentions the importance of trust and how it can fuel the Internet's economic engine. When that trust is weakened, however, it creates risk that can affect the benefits.

Chertoff even points out the possible danger of having a fragmented Internet since different countries would all resort to going their own way for the sake of privacy.

In the meantime, McConnell said that if he were to advise the FBI about Apple's case, he would say that the agency picked the wrong test case.

McConnell believes that Congress and the public itself need to gain more expertise to make more informed decisions on matters that concern cybersecurity. He suggests that a group of experts should be congregated to help Congress in making sound decisions.

At the conference, Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney General, was asked about the possible risk if Apple or any other company built a device or a product that cannot be infiltrated by the government.

Lynch replied: "We know that devices are more and more the repository of all types of information, and they are so essential to investigating and solving serious crimes. Having the inability to actually attain evidence that could save lives is a real risk. And the other issue that we have to face is how are we going to decide this issue. And essentially, how are we are going to determine the scope of what law enforcement can and can't do. And those are other risks that I think have to be part of the national discussion."

With all these talks going on, it seems that Apple and its support for encryption would inspire further debates on the topic. It remains to be seen if the company will continue to gain more supporters on the issue.

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