Remember when we told you how the NYPD wanted to read your text messages in November?

At that time, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said his inability to read potential attackers' text messages was the greatest barrier in preventing terrorist attacks like the one that occurred in November in Paris.

Well, it was just a pipe dream at that time, but now it's an actual bill that's moving through congress, according to On the Wire.

The bill in question would require smartphone manufacturers to build mechanisms into devices that could let the manufacturers decrypt or unlock a phone on demand from law enforcement. 

New Apple iPhones are encrypted by default, as are some Androids. 

"They're going into an encrypted app, they're going onto sites that we cannot access," Bratton said. "Basically, the technology has been purposefully designed by manufacturers so that even they claim that they cannot get into their own devices."

Now, they're trying to actually enact legislation that would require manufacturers to be able to decrypt cellphones.

"Encryption threatens to lead us all to a very, very dark place. The place that this is leading us is one that I would suggest we shouldn't go without careful thought and public debate," said FBI Director James Comey in 2014.


Comey's solution to prevent our country from hurtling into that dark place he mentioned?

"The safety of the citizenry calls for a legislative solution, and a solution is easily at hand," Comey said.

Apple, Google, and other manufacturers have resisted the push to decrypt cell phones, citing privacy and security as their main concern.

Now, as it has been for decades, we're faced with the junction of safety and privacy, and forced to choose which we value more highly.

radityanjarr Hari ini, hari yang tidak saya duga-duga, setelah banyaknya korban yang telah terkena wabah "ebola" khusus xperia m ini, tidak percaya ternyata saya salah satu korbannya :( Hp saya tidak benar-benar mati namun tidak bisa digunakan lagi -_- Dan "penyakit" ini belum ada solusinya :( Dan data-data yang berada di memori internal hilang sudah :( Termasuk kontak :( #XperiaM #Koma #ebola #decrypt #storage

The bill states, "Any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January 1st, 2016, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider."

The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Matthew Titone last summer, and referred to committee on January 6th. If passed, every manufacturer who doesn't make it possible to decrypt a phone will face a $2,500 charge per device.

The next step for the bill would be to move to the floor calendar and face votes from the assembly and the senate. 

If the government hadn't demonstrated its tendency to skew its surveillance toward a particular ethnic group or race, we'd be much more inclined to respect their infringement of our liberties.

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[via On the Wire] [Feature Image Courtesy The Washington Post]