Apple criticises the UK’s Snooper’s Charter surveillance bill

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By Larry Banks

Apple says that changes to the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill are needed. The bill aims to track the public’s Internet use and allow UK government agencies to snoop on the country’s citizens. The technology giant says if the proposal goes through, it will affect customers’ security and privacy.

The bill was published last month and is currently being reviews. In recent submission to the bill’s committee, Apple said the following:

We believe it would be wrong to weaken security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat. In this rapidly evolving cyber-threat environment, companies should remain free to implement strong encryption to protect customers.

Apple also reckoned the bill could allow the government to demand Apple weakens encryption so it could snoop on iMessage conversations.

The Cupertino-based company also added:

The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers. A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.

Apple has also stated concerns about provisions in the bill that apply to companies outside the UK:

Those businesses affected will have to cope with a set of overlapping foreign and domestic laws. When these laws inevitably conflict, the businesses will be left having to arbitrate between them, knowing that in doing so they might risk sanctions. That is an unreasonable position to be placed in.

The committee assessing the bill has until February to review the proposed legislation and publish a report with its findings and recommendations.

SOURCE: The Guardian.

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