Apple threatens to remove iMessage and FaceTime from UK after proposed changes in surveillance laws which breaks end-to-end encryption
In recent developments, the UK proposed new changes to its surveillance laws. In this context, the UK plans on intercepting encrypted messages and disabling security features. Following it, Apple has threatened to remove iMessage and FaceTime from the UK.
Apple is opposing the UK Government’s plans regarding the new changes in surveillance laws. A new planned update to the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016, allows the Home Office to issue a technology capability notice (TCN) to firms, which can demand them to disable security features. This can make messaging apps scrap off or weaken protections meant for data and communication.
For the unversed, end-to-end encryption shuffles messages into a code that can be deciphered only by the devices sending and receiving them. This feature is the safer foundation of private communications and tech companies rely on the same. Thus, tech companies are against this new stance by the UK government.
With the implementation of the new update, companies who receive a TCN will have to follow the order immediately, without even making the public aware of it.
Tech companies as of now are looking forward to a chance for a review or to introspect. They also want to avail the right to appeal before taking action.
Apple has expressed to the government that the changes to surveillance laws will allow Home Office to control security changes of their products and regular iOS updates. This would grant the Home Office decisive power over what tier of data security and encryption are permissible.