Apple has opposed the proposed Online Security Law that would grant the UK government access to end-to-end encrypted messaging applications such as iMessage, WhatsApp, and Signal.
While WhatsApp previously stated that it would not change its security procedures for any government, Signal has explicitly refused to eliminate end-to-end encryption and declared that it would cease operations in the UK if the proposed legislation is passed.
Following these developments, Apple also opposed the circumvention of end-to-end encryption, stating, “End-to-end encryption is a critical feature that safeguards the privacy of journalists, human rights activists, and diplomats. It also assists ordinary citizens in protecting themselves against surveillance, identity theft, fraud, and data breaches. The Online Security Law poses a significant threat to this protection and could put UK citizens at greater risk.”
It has been reported that Apple called on the government to amend the legislation in order to protect strong end-to-end encryption for the benefit of everyone.
The UK government, on the other hand, stated that these powers would only be used as a “last resort.”
Many technology experts argue that the only way to achieve this would be to install software known as client-side scanning, which scans messages on the phone or computer before they are sent.