French lawmakers vote on bill to make tech firms unlock data

PARIS -- France's lower house of Parliament has approved a measure aiming to give prison sentences to technology company executives who refuse to give data to investigators in terrorism-related cases.

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The bill, adopted Tuesday by 474 votes to 32 in the National Assembly, will now have to be debated by the Senate.

One measure would punish executives in companies like Apple and Google with a fine of up to 350,000 euros ($386,000) and a five-year prison sentence if they deny prosecutors access to a suspect's encrypted data.

During the debate, French lawmakers referred to the case that has opposed Apple to the U.S. government regarding an iPhone used by the shooter who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.

Apple's pushback has fueled debate over digital privacy rights and national security.



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