Lawmaker shelves bill to give La. police access to locked phones

Passcode-locked smartphones sold in the state would need to have 'back door' access under the bill

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. — A proposal to allow criminal investigators with a court order to unlock homicide victims' cellphones has gotten stuck in a House committee, after lawmakers split on the idea.

Rep. Ted James, a Baton Rouge Democrat, expects to bring his bill back before the Commerce Committee, saying it has more support than Monday's 6-6 vote suggested.

Passcode-locked smartphones sold in Louisiana would need to have "back door" access under the bill.

Tech advocates called it the wrong approach, suggesting it could threaten consumer protection. They said lawmakers should wait for a federal law on phone encryption.

While James' proposal stalled, the panel advanced to the full House Monroe Rep. Marcus Hunter's bill allowing family members court-ordered control of a deceased person's digital accounts.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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