California bill would force makers to disable encryption on all phones

“Smartphone users in California take notice: a new CA State Assembly bill would ban default encryption features on all smartphones,” Andrew Crocker writes for Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Assembly Bill 1681, introduced in January by Assemblymember Jim Cooper, would require any smartphone sold in California “to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” This is perhaps even more drastic than the legal precedent at stake in Apple’s ongoing showdown with the Justice Department, in which the government is trying to force a private company to write code undermining key security features in specific cases.”

A.B. 1681 would penalize “manufacturers and providers of operating systems $2,500 per device that cannot be decrypted at the time of sale,” Crocker writes. “Similar proposals have been made by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who published a white paper [pdf] in November 2015 arguing that law enforcement needs to access the contents of smartphones to solve a range of crimes. A nearly identical bill is also pending in the New York State Assembly.”

“A.B. 1681 is hopelessly flawed,” Crocker writes. “Take action and tell lawmakers not to support this misguided bill.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Abject stupidity from California Assemblyman Jim Cooper.

U.S. Congressman introduces bill to forbid federal agencies from purchasing Apple products until company unlocks terrorist’s iPhone – March 3, 2016
Proposed New York State bill looks to outlaw sale of encrypted smartphones – January 14, 2016


      1. Amazing, isn’t it? An iPhone has never killed anyone but guns have killed many. There seems to be a lot of confusing in the US about what the true danger is.

  1. From the wording of the bill it appears that phones can have encryption features but none will be on by default at time of sale.. Just adds one step to turn it on when users first set up their device. Doesn’t seem to exclude any encryption apps that you can add later either.

  2. Are they idio ts?
    Why the hell do you want an encryption system that can be decrypted by other people besides the owner?
    Whats next? to give our debit card’s PIN number to the government? to give them the phone numbers of the girls i went out? to give them a key to my house and gym’s looker?

      1. Agree, Apple should move to another country if the US dones’t want it.
        How is it that canada is not requiring to get into the private life of every citizen in order to keep peace in their country? May be the FBI and NSA should ask for advice to Alberta’s local police department.
        Apple already have most of the production and the money outside the US so that won’t be easy. The government should know that it is better to have the greatest technological company in the world and the one that is in most homes in the world too and its side and not in other’s country side.
        After the cold war, the US were hiring Russian scientists in order to avoid that knowledge going into other’s countries hands. So now they want to expel all the knowledge form the US?

    1. It’s getting worse:

      Fbi is threatening to ask for souce code unless Apple cooperates and is “smearing Apple with iiniendo of collusion with China accusations” which prompted Sewell to go balistic in a press conference.

      We are under attack of a second monster ala J. Edgar Hoover.

      Time to consider a peaceful free life in another haven…

  3. It seems to be basic wrong for states (and their Junior G-Men wannabe misguided pandering politicians) to be horning in on the action when it’s the Feds and Congress who need to decide.

    I can see the hackers of the world salivating and rubbing their hands in anticipation now, amazed at the abject stupidity bringing manna so easily to their nimble keyboard hands.

  4. California is often associated with progressive politics; but the fact is that, in recent years, some incredibly backward and stupidly conservative political actions have happened in the sunshine state. Stupidity is stupidity, no matter where it comes from.

    1. Just to make it clear, Assemblyman Cooper is a Democrat, along with all but a handful of California’s Assembly.

      The label you’re looking for is neither “progressive” nor “conservative”, it’s statist. That’s exactly what these sorts of actions are.

      1. And to make it clearer yet, Jim Cooper is a retired Captain who was with the Sacramento County Sheriff Bureau for many years. He had lots of TV exposure as the long time spokesman and parleyed that into election to the Elk Grove city council and then on to the Assembly. He’s a good guy but obviously is going the wrong direction in this case.

    2. Our elected officials aren’t (for the most part) as stupid as we might like to think. The excuses they give are simply rationales.

      Con men are contemptuous of others because if they can fool someone then they think their that person is stupid and deserves to be taken. The con man’s rationale is that “you can’t cheat an honest man” because only a dishonest person tries to take advantage of a con man’s deal. This ignores the reality that honesty doesn’t grant immunity to deceit or fraud.

      Like con men, politicians are contemptuous of the electorate (victims) because they keep re-electing (conning) them.

  5. “Doesn’t seem to exclude any encryption apps that you can add later either.”

    Such as the ones that ANYBODY that matters – terrorist or general criminal – are already using.

  6. Jim Cooper, the author of the bill, is a former cop. One of his biggest accomplishments was heading a task force targeting child predators and identity thieves. He lives in my neck of the woods.

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