Smartphones sold inside New York might be less safe than the rest of the country, if a new encryption bill is passed in the state. The bill would force manufacturers or operating system providers to decrypt and unlock smartphones for law enforcement and other authorities, creating a backdoor to surpass the encryption.
Introduced earlier this year, the bill would penalize manufacturers $2,500 for every device that does not comply with the law, according to Onthewire. New York State Assembly members who created the bill claim the it is in the best interests of New York State residents, citing terrorists and criminals who use encryption to avoid law enforcement as ample reason for the bill to be passed.
“The fact is that, although the new software may enhance privacy for some users, it severely hampers law enforcement’s ability to aid victims,” notes on the bill say. “All of the evidence contained in smartphones and similar devices will be lost to law enforcement, so long as the criminals take the precaution of protecting their devices with passcodes. Of course they will do so. Simply stated, passcode-protected devices render lawful court orders meaningless and encourage criminals to act with impunity.”