Legislators closer to forcing Apple to help unlock iPhones

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Anti-encryption bill has received mixed reactions.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A bill that would force companies to help law enforcers decrypt private communication is one step closer to becoming a reality, after a draft was published this week.

Called the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, the bill would stop companies including Apple refusing to help organizations like the FBI, provided that proper court orders are given.

And — no surprises here! — it’s already proving controversial.

Florida congressman floats stupid, anti-Apple bill

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United States Capitol by Jens Junge
'merica.
Photo: Jens June/Pixabay

Government officials seem to be in some kind of race to see which of them can be the most indignant and/or outraged at Apple’s refusal to create security-bypassing software for its devices. And we’re pretty sure Rep. David Jolly has just won.

Jolly, who represents Florida’s 13th District, submitted a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal for any federal office to own or lease Apple products until Cupertino gives in to the FBI’s demands. And he did so because state-sponsored blacklisting of organizations that legally disagree with the government is exactly how free countries work.

Senate wiretapping debate comes to an end

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wiretapping debate
The U.S. Senate is hashing out the USA Freedom Act, which concerns government wiretapping.
Screencap: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

The U.S. Senate has taken one step closer to a final vote on changing the government’s controversial program to freely tap and monitor citizens’ phones.

Senators voted 83-14 to end debate on the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection and Online Monitoring” (USA Freedom) Act. The bill will extend lapsed provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act and aims to add transparency to the NSA’s activities surrounding wiretapping and data collection.

A final vote could happen as early as this afternoon.

French Minister Slams Apple For Dumping AppGratis

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French startup, French minister. Hmmm.
French startup, meed angry French minister.

Apparently, junior minister for digital economy Fluer Pellerin thinks that Apple shouldn’t have rejected AppGratis from the App Store last week. Her remarks to the French media make it clear that she feels the tech company isn’t behaving ethically in its dealings with AppGratis, a French startup, or others like it, calling the move “an issue of fairness,” and “extremely brutal.”

Not only that, but Pellerin feels that European regulators might want to think about taking action against Apple for the rejection.