News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

The debate over phone and data encryption




Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images

Listen to story

10:41
Download this story 5MB

Among the many after-effects of the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, a new turn in the debate of data encryption on phones.

The U.S. government wants manufacturers and operating system providers to grant a way to unlock any phone on request. But, for the most part, the phone makers have resisted that idea.

For more on the status of phone encryption, we turn to Kim Zetter, staff reporter at Wired covering cybercrime, privacy and security.  

"The arguments are a reaction to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino and claims that the attackers, at least in Paris, had used encryption apps like WhatsApp and Telegram to secure their communications" says Zetter. 

Recently, California assembly member Jim Cooper recently introduced a bill that would require manufacturers or operating system providers to include a way for unlocking all phones. 

But companies, in particular, Apple has been pushing back on the idea since it emerged. 

"Having a backdoor for one law enforcement agency creates vulnerability for all users because that back door can be exploited by hackers and other intelligence agencies," says Zetter. 

So far there's no compromise that would be acceptable to both sides.