As part of the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016, a new proposed bill wants companies offering messaging services to weaken their end-to-end encryption to allow a backdoor for the government.
The U.K. government wants a backdoor to access and scan encrypted messages for illegal content, such as child abuse, as shared by BBC News.
The government claims that the existing law allows this, but it is not possible for the government to access and scan messages due to the strong security employed by companies, such as end-to-end encryption.
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
However, Apple and other messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Signal, have opposed the bill, saying that it would reduce the privacy and security of their users. In the case of Apple, both iMessage and FaceTime are end-to-end encrypted. It submitted a nine-page reply to the U.K. government saying that it would not create backdoors for encryption, report security changes before launch, or disable security features without due process for one country.
In case the bill passes, Apple said that it would have no choice but to disable iMessage and FaceTime for U.K. customers, instead of weakening the product for all users.
The bill is currently in an eight-week consultation period, during which Apple and others hope to persuade the government to revise it.
Learn more about the bill and what the U.K. government is proposing here.