Monkey see, monkey do. After New York proposed a bill that would outlaw the sale of encrypted smartphones in its state, California is jumping on the bandwagon to do the exact same thing.
If you don’t remember, New York’s problem is that smartphones which can’t be decrypted by the software vendor are a problem. If law enforcement needs to access a phone for the sake of security then Apple and Google can’t do anything about it as they’ve encrypted the software in a way that not even they can crack it.
The change wouldn’t completely ban encryption, but it would require Apple and Google to use methods that allow them to easily decrypt the smartphone when needed. This is sure to be a troubling and hotly debated topic going forward, with many folks believing that any backdoor is bad news.
Some have likened it to the “key under the mat” theory: it’s there for the good guys when they need to get into the house, but a bad guy with enough wit could be just as likely to find it. That’s a great way to put it, and we hope voters see it similarly. We should be allowed to protect our belongings both physically and digitally, and if this law passes it only spreads the message that personal security is no longer a right we’re entitled to. Start sending those letters to your local representatives, folks.