The French lower house of parliament has voted in favor of legislation that would fine and jail executives from any private company that refuses to hand over encrypted data to investigators. The legislation comes in the wake of numerous battles between law enforcement and tech firms over encrypted devices used in crimes.
The controversial amendment, drafted by the rightwing opposition, stipulates that a private company which refuses to hand over encrypted data to an investigating authority would face up to five years in jail and a €350,000 (£270,000) fine.
Telecoms would be liable to lower penalties but would still face up to two years in jail.
The legislation, backed by right-wing politicians but opposed by the socialist government of President François Hollande, was approved as part of a broader bill aimed at combatting terrorism and organized crime. The National Assembly is scheduled to vote on the entire bill on March 8th, then the bill would move on to the Senate.