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.

Tech and privacy groups have already responded negative. The American Civil Liberties Union called an earlier draft of the bill, “a clear threat to everyone’s privacy and security,” while the Electronic Frontier Foundation has said it would do its utmost to keep such a law “tied up in the courts for years.”

Perhaps the most significant opposition, however, has come from Oregon senator Ron Wyden, who called it a “flawed bill” and said that it would “leave Americans more vulnerable to stalkers, identity thieves, foreign hackers and criminals,” while not making people any safer.

Previously the White House refused to publicly support a draft of the bill, although it reportedly viewed the text and offered a small amount of feedback.

The Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016 bill is being put forward by senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, respectively the Republican chair and top Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Both Burr and Feinstein have been reportedly been contacted by the FBI to discuss the work that went into cracking the San Bernardino iPhone 5c.

You can read the draft bill here.

Via: The Verge