Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has repeatedly voiced his opinions over agencies having backdoor access to its users' devices or data. However, a new bill being proposed in New York could have all handset manufacturers including the behemoth iPhone maker be required to implement a method for law enforcement agencies to access, decrypt and unlock a user's device.
The New York bill is the latest news that arrives in the midst of issues concerning the user's privacy with their devices. With the revealed information regarding widespread government surveillance, device manufacturers have answered the call to increase the use of data encryption.
The bill will have handset manufacturers as well as operating system providers have the means to unlock or decrypt any device sold or leased in New York after January of this year. Should a company not comply with the bill, they will be subject to a fine.
While the bill had been introduced by Assemblyman Matthew Titone a couple of months ago, it has only been referred to committee only as of late. According to Titone's notes that accompany the bill, the decryption of a device's security would be for the safety of the citizens with the threat of criminals and terrorists using encrypted devices as their means for their deeds.
'The safety of the citizenry calls for a legislative solution, and a solution is easily at hand. Enacting this bill would penalize those who would sell smart- phones that are beyond the reach of law enforcement,' the notes on the bill say.
Both Apple and Tim Cook have been outspoken against backdoors in encryption technology, as the move to allow it would mean providing access not only to law enforcements but also for terrorists to use them to their own nefarious deeds. Recently, Cupertino had criticized the proposed Investigatory Powers bill in the United Kingdom that tracks a user's website history and adds a backdoor into encryption.