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French lawmakers are one step closer to making it illegal to sell encrypted devices without backdoor today. The legislation introduced by French opposition party the Republicans has made it out of France’s lower chamber of Parliament still has to clear the lower house before it can be reviewed by the Senate. The lower of chamber of parliament cleared the bill on first reading by 474 votes to 32.

French Proposals

That’s all expected to take at least a few months while concerns around the legislation are not immediate they are concerning. Here’s why, the piece says under the proposals a technology company with operations in France would be hit with a €350,000 or $386,000 fine and its executives could be jailed up to five years that refused to comply with a request to aid investigators in accessing encrypted data.

Bad for business but potentially worse for people who like things like, oh I don’t know, privacy. Say France passes this law which, is by no means guaranteed to happen, but say France passes this law do Apple and Samsung and every other smart phone maker out there stop selling their stuff in France? Do they make a special OS governmon Mall for the hexagon? Or do we all get weaker versions of our respective devices because France wants what France wants?

Arthur C Clarke famously said

any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

sure seems to look that way to some politicians. Republican lawmaker Philippe Goujon is quoted in the pieces saying

“The rule aims to force phone makers to give investigators data and it will be up to the manufacturer to use whatever technique is necessary,”

Republican lawmaker Philippe Goujon, who proposed the amendment, told Bloomberg.

“The target is to have them cooperate. The aim is not to break the encryption – the principle is that manufacturers should cooperate.”

Surely this means that manufacturers should cooperate by breaking encryption right? Some people on twitter seemed to think This has no chance of passing because it already has no chance of making it as an amendment and then the law would have to be passed in the Assemblée Nationale and Sénat. Neither of which Mr Cioti has a majority for.

This article follows on from the piece France Could Force Apple To Add Backdoors

Source (Bloomberg)

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