California Joins New York in Effort to Weaken Smartphone Encryption

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As the argument over smartphone encryption continues on between device manufacturers like Apple, devoted to strong encryption, and U.S. federal government officials pushing for backdoors to access data, several states have gotten involved in the fray.

    New York State Assemblymember Matthew Titone introduced a bill last summer that would require smartphone manufacturers to create devices that can be decrypted or unlocked or face fines, and now California State Assemblymember Jim Cooper is following in his footsteps.

    Cooper on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require any smartphone manufactured after January 1, 2017 and sold in California to "be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider." Violations carry a $2,500 fee per phone.

    Should such a bill pass, it would, like the New York bill, affect both Apple and Google. iOS and Android have default encryption settings that do not allow the companies to access locked customer phones. Starting with iOS 8, Apple ceased storing encryption keys for iOS devices, making it impossible for the company to unlock content on passcode-protected devices under police request.

    In a conversation with Ars Technica, Cooper argued that giving local law enforcement officials the tools to access unencrypted smartphones using warrants to fight crimes like human trafficking was not the same as giving the NSA or CIA unfettered access.
    In a meeting with White House officials last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook urged the Obama administration to issue a strong public statement defending unbreakable encryption and to adopt a "no backdoors" policy.

    In all of his recent interviews, Cook has spoken passionately about Apple's commitment to user privacy and its strong stance on encryption. "There have been people that suggest that we should have a backdoor," Cook told Charlie Rose in December. "But the reality is if you put a back door in, that back door's for everybody, for good guys and bad guys."

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: California Joins New York in Effort to Weaken Smartphone Encryption
  2. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020


    Feb 15, 2015
    There are pros and cons for both side. Good debate
  3. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
  4. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Another idiot politician trying to make laws about things they do not understand.

    Tim Cook should suspend the entire new Apple Campus construction project until this bill is tossed. Watch how fast the government would cave if it looks like they would lose all that economic benefit of Apple building their new campus there.
  5. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    There is no justification whatsoever for this. It's overreaching lazy law enforcement.
  6. dwsolberg macrumors 6502a

    Dec 17, 2003
    At least this issue isn't too partisan (yet). There is some hope of a rational outcome, however small.
  7. T-Will macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2008
    I'm so sick of these ******s. Have these politicians ever heard of the 4th amendment?
  8. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    It's a bad bill, but if we get companies trying to manipulate the government to that extent it sets an even worse precident and could easily lead to the end of what little democracy we have left.
  9. Crosscreek macrumors 68030


    Nov 19, 2013
    Any time you leave a backdoor open someone will find a way in.
  10. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    Just piss on the constitution thinking, continues.

  11. Chatter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2013
    Uphill from Downtown
    I think one issue (there are many points to be made) that often clouds conversation is the process of "dumbing it down" for "everyone" to understand. Leave a "backdoor" only for law enforcement sounds good but the tech doesnt operate that way.
  12. sesnir macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    No, it doesn't, and that's clearly dangerous. For example, it would seem unreasonable to declare that you need to start spying on all Americans to make sure that nobody is participating in human trafficking.

    "Yes, we're reading your emails, listening to all of your conversations online and offline and tracking your movements. But we're just trying to make sure you aren't a human trafficker!"
  13. Porco, Jan 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016

    Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    If these lunatic bills pass I think there needs to be states that take the opposing point of view so that the sensible, security-conscious people in the states affected can buy their smartphones from there instead. Alternatively the likes of Apple and Google could decide to stop selling smartphones in places that invoke such silly laws. Customers could order online from somewhere else.

    And guess what, any criminals will probably not buy a legally-mandated compromised phone anyway either, rendering the whole idea even more of a farce.

    So the only people with backdoored phones will end up being innocent civilians who don't know any better. A little like DRM doesn't stop serious pirates, it just makes life annoying for legitimate paying customers.
  14. SHirsch999 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2011
    Ok California and NY residents - keep these representatives in your memory when their next election cycle comes around. They're obviously not intelligent enough to understand that these back doors can and will also be used by hackers.
  15. yadmonkey macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    Law enforcement can request information (text messages, cloud data, etc.) from tech companies using... what was that thing called again? Ah yes, due process. Anything beyond that is completely unreasonable and beyond irresponsible.
  16. techwhiz macrumors 6502a

    Feb 22, 2010
    Northern Ca.
    Bad public policy.
    Mind you SHA256 is what is standard.
    The NSA helped create it.

    They want to go with something less secure.
    Plain stupidity when politicians make laws about things they dont understand.
  17. JM macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2014
    "Human trafficking trumps privacy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it."

    Well there you go. That side of the argument is pretty clear.

    How about Apple's genius engineers come up with a way so that the government can obtain entrance to a smartphone with a warrant stating to do so. Can't there be encryption keys stored at Apple on their secure servors that no theif or hacker could access?
  18. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    The land line gave govt a way to listen in. The cell phone changed the terrain. The govt wants that power back.
    How many people are in prison because the police and the DA thought someone was guilty of a crime they didn't commit? The tone or subject of a conversation can be misunderstood easily. My wife and I text all day long and we often misunderstand the others meaning.
  19. APlotdevice macrumors 68040


    Sep 3, 2011
    If a warrant is required, then I'm actually okay with this. Obviously the police do need information to help fight crimes. There just needs to be restraints on WHEN they can do things like this, and WHAT kind of information they can actually use...
  20. yaboyac29 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2014
    this is gonna be the future.

    when you are crossing the border you can be asked to unlock your phone/computer by the customs officer. if you refuse to do so then it gets confiscated.
  21. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Terrorism is bad, therefore we will destroy everyone's civil liberties, rights, and freedom until we've destroyed the very fabric of the untied states.

    Human trafficking is bad, therefore we will destroy everyone's civil liberties, rights, and freedom until we've destroyed the very fabric of the untied states.

    Idiotic country.
  22. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    I've never understood taking away rights from law abiding citizens because bad guys do bad stuff. Ironically, this will only push me and probably more like-minded, law abiding citizens to use encryption more.
  23. nightcap965 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
    Cape Cod
    No, human trafficking does NOT trump privacy. Nor does terrorism, or insulting Assemblymember Jim Cooper by calling him a pusillanimous pissant, or any number of other things.
  24. budselectjr macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2009
    Just waiting for the FBI to run an operation that results in some sort of tragedy that "could have been prevented if Apple would have just unencrypted iMessage".
  25. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    They have heard of it, but they just don't care. I am just glad I don't live in one of those states. I bet the government will have the better encryption. As of late they tend to not want to abide by the same laws as the people. Where did the U.S. go?

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