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A New York bill would force decryption of smartphones “on demand”

January 14th, 2016 |  Published in Devises, Digital and Mobile Technology, Telecom and broadband

cracked smartphone screen

 

14 January 2014 – So now we have word that New York Assemblyman Matthew Titone has a bill that forbids the sale of smartphones that can’t be cracked by their manufacturers. On the Wire reports: “A bill that is making its way through the New York state assembly would require that smartphone manufacturers build mechanisms into the devices that would allow the companies to decrypt or unlock them on demand from law enforcement.

The New York bill is the latest entry in a long-running debate between privacy advocates and security experts on one side and law enforcement agencies and many politicians on the other. The revelations of the last few years about widespread government surveillance, especially that involving cell phones and email systems, has spurred device manufacturers to increase the use of encryption.

New Apple iPhones now are encrypted by default, as are some Android devices. Apple, Google, and the other major manufacturers have said that user privacy and security is their main concern. The bill that is now in committee in the New York State Assembly makes no equivocation about what it is designed to do. In the New York bill:

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.”

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