UK may soon ban Encrypted Messenging and Services In Name of Terrorism
In the wake of the fatal terrorist attacks in Paris, British Prime Minister David Cameron demands that the British Government must be given special access to all encrypted internet services and instant messengers running in the country’s network. Cameron says that due to the present strong encryptions, the government isn’t able to access messages that can help them track down terrorist activities and stop it before it happens again.
Cameron is quoted that “Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read? My answer to that question is: No, we must not”.
The call for a ban again raises the question of how much invasion of privacy citizens will tolerate in the war against terrorism. Consumers and Businesses are increasingly demanding more secure solutions and the ban would stifle those efforts. Since then, almost all major online messenging services have been enhancing their online security infrastructures including Apple, Google and WhatsApp.
The UK hasn’t applied the new rule yet, but it would be the first country in the world to make such a move. The legislation would reportedly only be introduced if Cameron wins another term. Encryption in top chat apps such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s WhatsApp, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iMessage and FaceTime, Facebook, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google Hangouts, Skype, SnapChat, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)‘s BBM and all other cloud services such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) OneDrive, iCloud, and Google Drive would require the companies to provide the UK government with a special backdoor to operate in the country. This would again raise the concern about the privacy of the customer’s personal exchanged data and raise a very dangerous precedence as other countries could wish to make similar moves.
Reports claim that if Cameron comes to power again, UK users as well as friends and families outside of the UK will not be able to use any encrypted services with each other. The ironic part is that, the British Prime Minister himself uses a Blackberry smartphone of his own as mentioned by the chief of Blackberry recently.
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