Bipartisan US bill sides with Apple/Google in seeking to outlaw proposed state bans on encrypted phones
Attempts by states like California and New York to ban the sale of encrypted phones could be overruled by federal law. The Verge reports that a cross-party bill is being introduced today in Congress by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX).
The ENCRYPT Act of 2016, or by its longer name, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications Act, would preempt state and local government encryption laws. The two men said today they are “deeply concerned” that varying bills surrounding encryption would endanger the country as well as the competitiveness of American companies. The argument is that it wouldn’t be easy or even feasible to tailor phone encryption capabilities for specific states.
New York last month kicked off the attempt to ban the sale of encrypted phones in the state unless the manufacturer built in a back door, with a virtually identical bill proposed in California later the same month. The moves – which would effectively outlaw the sale of current iPhones in both states – followed similar proposals in the UK last year …
Apple and other technology companies will soon have to answer the Australian Parliament as to why content from iTunes costs more for Australian consumers than United States consumers. The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy has now signed off on a parliamentary inquiry that will carry out sometime this year by the standing committee on infrastructure and communications from the House of Representatives.
The report noted the inquiry could extend to eBooks if evidence of price increases for Australian consumers comes to light. In July 2011, Apple cut the price of iOS apps in Australia by up to 25 percent in response to criticism from many, such as federal Labor MP Ed Husic, who raised the issue in Parliament. However, the inquiry will be the first time Apple is asked by Parliament to explain its pricing strategies for the Australian market. The issue surfaced once again last week with the release of Adobe’s latest software suite, which costs up to $1,400 more for Australians.
Husic also raised similar pricing complaints over Apple’s hardware products, which is something that the Brazilian market is experiencing today with the release of the new Apple TV: