Privaterelay Blog

Apple voices its objections to the new UK draft bill on internet and communication snooping

Privacy information - PrivateRelay - Posted 22 Dec 2015 9:23 CET


There is a new law up for discussion in the UK, called the Investigatory Powers Bill. Since the recent majority Conservative government got into power, they have used this as a mandate to introduce the new bill, sometimes referred to as the “snooper’s charter”. It's something that they proposed previously but didn't have cross parliamentary support and therefore wouldn't have been able to get passed into law.

On the day of the deadline to submit written evidence to the panel reviewing the legislation, Apple sent in an eight page document outlining the problems as it sees.

In summary their objections can be put down as:

  • Encryption has been built into mobile products to protect citizens from criminals and identity fraud. The ability for states to have back door access to this information weakens that security.
  • International warrants on companies / data not located in the UK land of jurisdiction, could force organisations to give access to data in countries with dubious human rights like those in Russia and China.
  • Interference with hardware is a part of the bill which is extremely vague. It could be interpreted as the ability for the UK government to modify the software or hardware of products to allow them access to data. This would all be done without any public knowledge or scrutiny.

It appears that Apple is betting that upholding its client's privacy, rather than colluding with state intelligence services, will net them more profit than the cash on offer from governments to allow a back door into their products.

Source: The Guardian


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