New York assembly bill aims to penalize encrypted phones

Some politicians in the state of New York have gone mad, introducing senate bill A8093 to fine smartphone makers for failure to allow law enforcement to decrypt the device, or for not having a backdoor into the mobile OS. If the bill becomes law then every smartphone sold in the state would not be truly secure and users’ privacy would be severely compromised.

Since Apple is the top seller of smartphones and has quite a few flagship stores in New York, the company stands to lose the most. Add to the fact that its CEO Tim Cook has been the most outspoken against government imposed backdoors, I wonder if A8093 was drafted to target Apple. Perhaps a game of chicken? – would Apple uphold its privacy-above-all philosophy and quit the New York market (unlikely), or would the desire for profit make the company acquiesce to the state’s absurd demand?

Hopefully, the voters of New York will loudly protest and voice opposition to this bill. The sponsors of the bill cites reasons of anti-terror protection of its citizens. But criminals will always find a way to circumvent or break law – that’s the definition of crime. What this bill really does is further chipping away the liberties of everyday law-abiding New Yorkers, and financially hurt the companies that value consumer privacy.


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