CA phone decryption bill defeated

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 6:12 PM

The bill didn't get a vote, with members of the Gathering Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection worrying the measure would destroy data security and impose a logistically untenable requirement on CA companies.

CA phone decryption bill defeated

A national debate over smartphone encryption arrived in Sacramento on Tuesday as legislators defeated a bill penalizing companies that don’t work with courts to crack into phones, siding with technology industry representatives who called the bill a risky affront to privacy.

The bill didn't get a vote, with members of the Gathering Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection worrying the measure would destroy data security and impose a logistically untenable requirement on California companies.

Disagreement over the balance between privacy and public safety exploded into public view in recent months when the phone of San Bernardino massacre perpetrator Syed Farook. Apple refused to abide by and ultimately .

Gathering Bill one thousand six hundred eighty-one would approbate .500 penalties against phone manufacturers and operating system providers if they don't submit Ct orders to decrypt phones. Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, who led an Internet crimes task force, called it “mind-boggling” that look for warrants authorize access to peoples’ houses but not necessarily to their phones.

“I’m not concerned about terrorism. The federal investigators deal with that,” Cooper said, but “local law enforcement deals with cases every day and they cannot access this information.”

Cellphones protected by full-disk encryption proposal criminals a digital fortress in which to cover and work freely, Cooper and his law enforcement backers argued. They said the technology has been a specific boon to human traffickers and baby pornographers. Cooper relayed a legend of a trafficked teenager who was given phones by the men controlling her and then declined to cooperate with law enforcement.

“She’d been brainwashed so badly she refused to give access to the smartphones,” Cooper said, but because of encryption, “a look for warrant proved useless.”

Apple, Google and organizations representing the tech and wireless industries took the opposite view, arguing the bill would both erode personal privacy and endanger security by exposing information to hackers and other criminals. Other opponents included the CA Chamber of Commerce and the CA Bankers Association.

“Fundamentally weakening the security of smartphones in the way AB one thousand six hundred eighty-one envisions not only doesn’t create us safer, it actually makes us less safe,” warned Internet Organization lobbyist Robert Callahan, who called encryption “an incredibly necessary tool in today’s interconnected, Internet-enabled world to hold data secure.”

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