Proposed California bill focused on encryption backdoors could see in-state iPhone sales halted


image iPhone Stormtrooper security

California is a big state with a high population, and there are a lot of Apple products out there in the wild. And considering it’s also Apple’s home base, it would not be good news if the company couldn’t sell iOS devices in the area anymore.

But that’s a potential future right now, as a proposed bill in the state focuses on encryption backdoors for mobile devices. Specifically, the bill states that any phone that is sold in the state must have a backdoor in its encryption, which would allow access to the contents therein by anyone other than the owner of the device. While this translates to every phone manufacturer that sells phones in California, Apple is obviously the biggest target, as the company continues to be the most prominent name bandied about by federal officials when it comes to encryption on devices.

This bill in California isn’t the first of its kind, either, with a similar idea cropping up in New York state earlier in January of this year.

In both cases, they’re simply propositions, and not law just yet. There is one important detail in the bill in California, though: If it were to pass right now, as it is written, that would mean anyone who buys an iOS device right now, with encryption in place, would be fined $2,500 per device. Worse, the bill actually backdates purchases all the way back to July 2015, which means the bill would fine buyers after they purchased legal devices.

This isn’t just an issue in the United States, either. In the United Kingdom, anti-encryption legislation continues to rise to the surface. The law, if passed, would mean that Apple could no longer completely lockdown/encrypt a phone or tablet, effectively locking it down even from its own resources to access the content therein protected by a passcode or Touch ID.

Encryption is a topic that is obviously not going away anytime soon. Do you think Apple is on the right side of the debate?

[via ZDNet]

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