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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.
"If you're a bad guy [we] can get a search record for your bank, for your house, you can get a search warrant for just about anything," Cooper told Ars in a brief phone call on Wednesday afternoon. "For the industry to say it's privacy, it really doesn't hold any water. We're going after human traffickers and people who are doing bad and evil things. Human trafficking trumps privacy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it."
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
 
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zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,737
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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.
 

dwsolberg

macrumors 6502a
Dec 17, 2003
847
825
At least this issue isn't too partisan (yet). There is some hope of a rational outcome, however small.
 
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0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
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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.
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.
 

sesnir

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2008
366
287
Human trafficking trumps privacy

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!"
 

Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,322
6,949
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.
 
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JM

macrumors 601
Nov 23, 2014
4,082
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"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?
 
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ron7624

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2011
2,228
437
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.
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
3,145
3,861
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...
 

ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,896
4,234
Milwaukee Area
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.
 
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