Flag of FranceFrench lawmakers yesterday backed a plan to impose penalties on companies like Apple that deny access to encrypted data during a terrorist investigation.

Under the proposals, a technology company with operations in France would be hit with a €350,000 ($386,000) fine and its executives could be jailed up to five years if it refused to comply with a request to aid investigators in accessing encrypted data. Additionally, every person who refuses to share information relating to an investigation could be sentenced to two years in jail and fined €15,000.

According to Bloomberg Business, the bill amendment that would give legal weight to the power was submitted by opposition party The Republicans, as part of an overhaul of legal procedures in the wake of last year's terrorist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

France's lower chamber of parliament cleared the bill on first reading by 474 votes to 32. It will be subsequently reviewed by the Senate once it clears the lower house in the coming months.

"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."

Apple is currently fighting a U.S. court order compelling the company to help the FBI unlock the iPhone owned by deceased terror suspect Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino, California. The FBI asked Apple to create a version of iOS that would both disable passcode security features and allow passcodes to be entered electronically, allowing it to then brute force the passcode on the device.

Apple has officially opposed the order, arguing that the FBI is seeking a "dangerous power" that would undermine the security and privacy interests of hundreds of millions of people. In addition, the company argues that the All Writs Act, which the FBI is using in the case, does not give the government a pass to "conscript and commandeer" the company and sets a precedent that could lead to more insidious demands in the future.

Apple's opposition to the order will face off against the government in court on March 22.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

Imory Avatar
75 months ago
So much for liberté, égalité, fraternité, France. What a sad and pathetic development we've seen. Unbelievable how fear can be used to strip away the most basic human rights.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Eraserhead Avatar
75 months ago
Shows no understanding of how security works.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ValSalva Avatar
75 months ago
Now we know one reason Apple has accumulated that huge pile of cash: for lawyers to fight this crap.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cableguy84 Avatar
75 months ago
The French didn't surrender for the first time in their history.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
decafjava Avatar
75 months ago
Idiots.
Non, les idiots.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aaronvan Avatar
75 months ago
I keep my iPhone where no Frenchman would ever find it: with the soap.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Best Black Friday Deals on Apple Watch, AirPods Pro, MacBook Pro, More

Wednesday November 24, 2021 8:06 am PST by
Black Friday 2021 has kicked off, and you can now get some of the year's best deals on numerous Apple products. In this article we're providing a quick summary of all the best sales we've seen so far this season. For more on the best sales happening this week, visit our Black Friday Roundup. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Delays iOS 15 Feature for Adding Your Driver's License to Your iPhone Until Early 2022

Tuesday November 23, 2021 9:35 am PST by
Apple recently updated its website to indicate that an upcoming iOS 15 and watchOS 8 feature that will let you add your driver's license or state ID to your iPhone and Apple Watch in participating U.S. states has been delayed until early 2022. Apple previously said the feature would launch in late 2021. In September, Apple said Arizona and Georgia would be among the first states to introduce ...
airpods pro blue holiday 3

Black Friday: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Drop to $159 on Amazon

Tuesday November 23, 2021 9:12 am PST by
Amazon is now matching Walmart's price on the AirPods Pro with MagSafe, available for $159.00, down from $249.00. These are shipped and sold directly from Amazon, and in stock now. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Stock may begin dwindling soon, ...
airpods pro pink holiday

Black Friday: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Hit Lowest Ever Price

Tuesday November 23, 2021 7:47 am PST by
Apple's AirPods Pro with the new MagSafe Charging Case is now available for its lowest ever price thanks to Black Friday sales. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The limited-time deal is available at both Amazon and Walmart, which are both...
maxresdefault

There's No Windows for Arm Macs Yet Because Microsoft Has Secret Exclusivity Deal With Qualcomm

Monday November 22, 2021 12:56 pm PST by
Microsoft has declined to make a version of Windows 11 available for Apple's M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Macs that are built on an Arm architecture, and now we may know the reason - a secret exclusivity deal with Qualcomm. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. According to XDA-Developers, Arm-based Windows has only been made available on devices with Qualcomm SoC's because of ...
airpods pro holiday 2

Apple Black Friday: AirPods Pro With MagSafe Drop to All-Time Low of $159 ($90 Off)

Monday November 22, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
Update November 23: This deal is now also available at Amazon. Black Friday is officially in full swing this afternoon, with the launch of one of the first major discounts at Walmart. There you can get Apple's AirPods Pro with MagSafe Charging Case for just $159.00, down from $249.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Accessories Worth Checking Out

Tuesday November 23, 2021 7:06 am PST by
Every so often, MacRumors videographer Dan rounds up some of his favorite home products that he's been using. We have another installment of our HomeKit series, this time featuring devices from Lutron, Belkin, Sonos, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. You can see everything in action in the video, and we have links and a short description for the HomeKit...
wrap up 3 homepod spotify 1

Spotify Users Growing Impatient and Canceling Subscriptions Over Lack of Native HomePod Support

Monday November 22, 2021 10:39 am PST by
Spotify users are growing impatient with the music streaming giant over its lack of HomePod support, pushing several customers to the brink of canceling their subscriptions entirely and moving to alternative platforms, such as Apple Music. More than a year ago, at the 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that it would be adding third-party music service support to HomePod. A ...