Apple could be banned from selling iPhones on its home turf of California if a new bill banning unbreakable encryption is passed.
Called bill 1681, the proposed law was put forward by California assembly member Jim Cooper, who wants any smartphone sold in California after July 1, 2015 to be “capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.”
Any smartphone not complying with this rule would be fined $2,500.
The wording is very similar to a proposed law in New York, which states that, “Any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January first, two thousand sixteen, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating-system provider.”
With mounting pressure from governments around the world to do something about its smartphone encryption, it will be fascinating to see how Apple reacts to this latest proposed bill. Apple has already publicly criticized the U.K.’s not-dissimilar draft Investigatory Powers Bill, a.k.a. the “snooper’s charter,” arguing that forcing companies to create backdoors in encryption services like iMessage could “hurt law-abiding citizens.”
During Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose on the “Inside Apple” episode of 60 Minutes, Apple’s CEO argued against backdoors, saying that, “If there’s a way to get in, then somebody will find the way in. There have been people that suggest that we should have a backdoor. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.”