Under the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016, a new bill has been proposed that requires messaging service companies to weaken their end-to-end encryption in order to create a backdoor for government access.
The U.K. government is seeking a backdoor to scan encrypted messages for illegal content, such as child abuse, as reported by BBC News.
Although the government claims that existing law permits this access, the strong security measures implemented by companies, such as end-to-end encryption, make it impossible for the government to view or scan messages.
The government is proposing updates to the Investigatory Powers Act.
These include forcing tech firms to pre-clear new security features w the Home Office prior to releasing them, & making a demand to disable security actionable immediately
Apple is angryhttps://t.co/6SVHgvZ9wd
— Zoe Kleinman (@zsk) July 20, 2023
Apple and other messaging services, including WhatsApp and Signal, have voiced their opposition to the bill, stating that it would compromise the privacy and security of their users. Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime are both end-to-end encrypted. In a nine-page response to the U.K. government, Apple firmly stated that it would not create encryption backdoors, report security changes prior to release, or disable security features without appropriate legal procedures for any country.
If the bill is passed, Apple has made it clear that it would have no choice but to disable iMessage and FaceTime for its U.K. customers, rather than compromising the security of all users.
The bill is currently undergoing an eight-week consultation period, during which Apple and others hope to convince the government to reconsider its provisions.
To learn more about the bill and the U.K. government’s proposals, click here.
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Deepak Sen is a tech enthusiast who covers the latest technological innovations, from AI to consumer gadgets. His articles provide readers with a glimpse into the ever-evolving world of technology.