The UK Government published a draft for their Investigatory Powers Bill this week, which they hope to put through Parliament soon.

Many members of the technology community have recently expressed concerns with the bill, the biggest and latest of whom being Apple, who recently voiced their own concerns over the bill.

Where Apple is mostly concerned is with the subject of requiring companies to allow the government to access encrypted messages. Currently Apple has a system in place that stops this, allowing only the person who sent the message, and the recipient of that message to read it, not even Apple can access it once it has been sent via their iMessage service.

The government has backed this idea up by stating it is simply an extension of the already gained powers from Ripa, an earlier piece of legislation. But this legislation was originally made only from traditional internet service providers, and many firms argue that this new bill is a step too far.

“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,” Apple said. “In this rapidly evolving cyber-threat environment, companies should remain free to implement strong encryption to protect customers”

“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.”

The bill won’t only affect encrypted messaging services however, it will also allow the Government to hack into any computer worldwide, forcing companies to help the Government do so when required.

This is also something that Apple voiced concerns over:

“It would place businesses like Apple – whose relationship with customers is in part built on a sense of trust about how data will be handled – in a very difficult position,” Apple stated.

“For the consumer in, say, Germany, this might represent hacking of their data by an Irish business on behalf of the UK state under a bulk warrant – activity which the provider is not even allowed to confirm or deny. Maintaining trust in such circumstances will be extremely difficult.”

At the moment the bill is only in its draft form, and whether it will actually make it through Parliament remains to be seen, of course as soon as we hear more we will update you.

Via: The Guardian

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