This is troublesome for many reasons. Here’s a link to the bill. Click “View Bill Text” to see the bill itself.
From the bill:
ANY SMARTPHONE THAT IS MANUFACTURED ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN, AND SOLD OR LEASED IN NEW YORK, SHALL BE CAPABLE OF BEING DECRYPTED AND UNLOCKED BY ITS MANUFACTURER OR ITS OPERATING SYSTEM PROVIDER.
THE SALE OR LEASE IN NEW YORK OF A SMARTPHONE MANUFACTURED ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN THAT IS NOT CAPABLE OF BEING DECRYPTED AND UNLOCKED BY ITS MANUFACTURER OR ITS OPERATING SYSTEM PROVIDER SHALL SUBJECT THE SELLER OR LESSOR TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR EACH SMARTPHONE SOLD OR LEASED IF IT IS DEMONSTRATED THAT THE SELLER OR LESSOR OF THE SMARTPHONE KNEW AT THE TIME OF THE SALE OR LEASE THAT THE SMARTPHONE WAS NOT CAPABLE OF BEING DECRYPTED AND UNLOCKED BY ITS MANUFACTURER OR ITS OPERATING SYSTEM PROVIDER. NO SELLER OR LESSOR WHO PAYS THE CIVIL PENALTY MAY PASS ANY PORTION OF THAT PENALTY ON TO ANY PURCHASER OF SMARTPHONES BY RAISING THE SALES OR LEASE PRICE OF SMARTPHONES.
First, if passed, the bill will apply retroactively. It refers to phones manufactured on or after January 1, 2016, also known as two weeks ago. This means the mere threat of this law will have a chilling effect on iPhone sales. If someone sells an iPhone built this year, they are subject to massive fines ($2500 per phone) on the off chance that the bill passes.
And if, by some miracle, this bill passes, it will be a point of leverage for the forces that want to force a decrypting capability into all smartphones.
This is outrageous.