Bill plans to ban iPhones from being sold in New York, Apple would face fines of $2,500 per device

By Eric Boehm

A New York lawmaker has proposed a bill that would ban iPhones from being sold in the state, unless Apple provides special “back doors” that would allow law enforcement to spy on users.

That’s a double dose of the Nanny State: setting rules for what can be bought and sold, while giving the government an easier way to spy on residents’ everyday activities.

The bill is sponsored by State Assemblyman Matthew Titone, D-Staten Island, and it would mandate that iPhones and other cell phones sold in New York be “capable of being decrypted and unlocked.” The bill has support, perhaps unsurprisingly, from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and other law enforcement groups in the state.

According to U.S. News and World Report, “Vance reportedly recommended the bill to Titone,” and a member of Titone’s staff told Newsweek the bill was proposed by 62 New York district attorneys seeking the assistance of their legislators.”

Apple’s newest iPhones come with default encryption settings and would be banned from the state by the legislation unless Apple created new software for phones sold in New York. Google has followed suit and offers data encryption as an option on some newer devices.

Those default settings help protect iPhone users from unwanted hacks — from malicious hackers, government spies or law enforcement agents.

If the bill passes, Apple would face fines of $2,500 for every device sold in New York.

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