A bill being considered in the French Parliament would penalize tech executives that do not provide access to encrypted communications in terrorism related investigations. 5 years in jail and a 350,000 Euro fine.
The lower house of Parliament cleared the bill 474 to 32.
Parliament wants phone makers to unlock phones. Period.
Of course, most legislators don’t understand tech, but that doesn’t stop them from creating laws regarding them.
Lawmakers said that it will be up to the manufacturer to use whatever technique is necessary to unlock the phone.
One technique is to write off France. After all, in the grad scheme of things it is not a very large market. Given Tim Cook’s attitude at the moment, I would not be completely surprised if he does just that if the bill passes.
The Senate still needs to approve it in the next few months.
There could be changes to the bill to make it compatible with the French penal code – so that it would not be challenged in constitutional grounds, but not to change the plan.
What the legislators don’t understand is that they cannot legislate math. Math doesn’t care.
Riddle me this –
If Apple creates a back door to let French police into an iPhone but the data is encrypted by an app distributed by Daesh (the terrorist group also known as ISIS), will the police be able to figure out what is going on inside the phone?
The answer is no. And I don’t think Daesh really cares that the French police will be upset.
What is unclear is whether Apple cares. Stay tuned for that answer.
This genie can not be put back in the bottle. Even if legislators think it can.
Information for this article came from IAPP.