Apple threatens to pull out iMessage and FaceTime from UK if new law goes through

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Seems like Apple could pull both iMessage and FaceTime from devices in the United Kingdom following the ongoing protests against the update to the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA). The UK government led by Conservative Party PM Rishi Sunak has proposed certain changes in the IPA act thereby threatening tech giants to disable privacy features to comply with national security.

As of now, the government uses an independent oversight committee to review any security features put forth by messaging services such as iMessage, Signal, WhatsApp, etc. The process gives enough time for the defender to appeal and make necessary changes. However, with the proposed amendment to the IPA 2016, the UK government can review and disable such security features with immediate effects.

The government wants to build a backdoor to end-to-end encryption channels put forth by services such as Signal and WhatsApp. Having a backdoor means these messaging services are no longer encrypted as well.

Tech juggernaut Apple has been one of the biggest critics of this decision. It added that these clauses in the law can force a company like Apple to deprive the UK market in case if asked to withdraw critical security features. It added that such proposals tend to make the Home Office the “global arbiter of what level of security and encryption are permissible” as per the filing.

It’s not just Apple but WhatsApp and Signal too that have criticized the move and threatened to move out of the country depriving users of such critical security features.

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