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According to a new bill proposed recently by California lawmaker Jim Cooper, the sale of smartphones with built-in encryption should be banned, to enable law-enforcement agencies to curb human trafficking.
The legislation proposed by Cooper – via the bill titled ‘Human Trafficking Evidentiary Access’ – is similar to a terrorism-focused bill which was proposed by New York lawmaker Matthew Titone in June 2015, and reintroduced a few weeks back.
The proposal put forth by Cooper will make it mandatory for all smartphones manufactured on or after January 1, 2017, and sold in California, to be “capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.”
If the bill introduced by Cooper is passed by the California State Assembly and Senate, then signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the currently available Android and iOS handsets which are encrypted by default will be affected.
In reference to the key objective behind the proposed legislation to prohibit sale of handsets with impenetrable encryption, Cooper said in a statement that encrypted smartphones are being used by human traffickers “to run and conceal their criminal activities.” Cooper further added that full-disk encrypted operating systems render the legal process of judicial court orders useless, because they give criminals “an invaluable tool to prey on women, children, and threaten our freedoms.”