The sky is falling! Smartphone users are actually protecting their phones with strong encryption (well, at least some of them), stymieing law-enforcement efforts to access the data contained within. Won’t someone think of the children?!? If all the recent outrage over smartphone encryption sounds a bit disingenuous to your ears, you’re not alone, but we may just be finding ourselves on the cusp of a major battle to retain the right to secure our phones against prying eyes. Last week we told you about a bill making its way through the New York legislature that looked to outright ban the sales of smartphones with strong encryption (encryption that can’t be unlocked by the manufacturer at the government’s request), and now California is working on a similar bill of its own.
The wording of California’s bill shares much in common with New York’s, seeking to prohibit the sale of smartphones offering users encryption that can’t be bypassed by the phone-maker.
While that New York bill was interesting enough on its own, this new Californian one threatens to bring the fight over encryption right to Google’s and Apple’s own backyards. Will we see those companies break out the big guns as they attempt to prevent it from becoming law? We’d sure like to hope so.