France’s lower house of parliament has passed an amendment which could see Apple charged heavy fines, and even handed out jail time, if it fails to hand over encrypted data as part of government investigations.
The amendment affects both tech and telecoms companies. The punishment could reach up to €350,000 ($385,000) and five years in jail, although a proposed amendment asking the French government to hand out fines of €1 million was rejected.
The bill was first proposed by center-right politician Philippe Goujon. Speaking to the National Assembly yesterday, Goujon called the approved amendment a “realistic sanction” and argued that it correctly identifies the, “the criminal responsibility of encryption key makers who refuse to cooperate” with intelligence agencies.
The socialist party of French President François Hollande was opposed to the amendment.
Apple is currently locked in a battle with the FBI over whether it should be forced to create a backdoor to unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the suspected terrorists in last year’s San Bernardino shooting. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds it’s up against, however, Apple’s pro-privacy stance appears to be winning — with a recent Congressional hearing with both Apple’s chief attorney and FBI director James Comey going in Apple’s favor.
Yesterday, United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye sided with Apple, too — arguing that encryption is “fundamental to the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age,” and slamming the FBI’s demands as unnecessary.
Come on, France: wise up!
Via: The Verge