News

California Moves to Ban Encrypted Phones

The state of California is looking to introduce new legislation that would see encrypted smartphones banned from sale and ownership. The bill, ZDNet reports, was introduced by Democratic California assembly member Jim Cooper and would require any smartphone manufactured “on or after January 1, 2017, and sold in California after that date” to be “capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” A phone that could not be decrypted on demand would be deemed illegal and the owner subject to a $2,500 fine.

Under this new legislation, Apple, based in California, would not be able to sell its iPhones on its own turf. Apple CEO has been very vocal in his support of end-to-end encryption in the past, saying that “Nobody should have to decide privacy and security. We should be smart enough to do both,” and that his company has “never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services […] and we never will.”

The bill still has to pass the California state assembly, and then be signed into law by California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

A similar bill, with nearly identical wording, was introduced in to the New York Senate last week.

 

 

Ashley Allen

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