A bill proposed in the US Senate would effectively make it a legal requirement for Apple to build a backdoor into iPhones. It would make it illegal for Apple and other tech giants to use strong encryption for either devices or cloud services …
It would force Apple to have a means of accessing customer data on both the devices it sells and the cloud services it operates.
The bill opens by saying that when a manufacturer is presented with a search warrant, it will assist in accessing the data. That’s no different to the position today: Apple will provide whatever assistance it can when presented with a lawful demand.
However, the company currently has no way to unlock an iPhone, and that’s the part this bill seeks to change. It would make a backdoor into devices a legal requirement for anyone selling more than a million devices in the US.
A device manufacturer that sold more than 1,000,000 consumer electronic devices in the United States in 2016 or any calendar year thereafter, or that has received an assistance capability directive under section 3513, shall ensure that the manufacturer has the ability to provide the assistance described in subsection (b)(2) for any consumer electronic device that the manufacturer designs, manufactures, fabricates, or assembles; and intends for sale or distribution in the United States.