The media reports that Apple has taken a position of radical rejection of updates to the Investigatory Powers Act, which was proposed by the British government.
The technology giant in this case, according to British journalists, did not look for ways to compromise solution to the problem and did not express any intention to follow the instructions of the authorities, which so far exist in the form of the project under discussion, and not the current legal norm. Tim Cook’s company, expressing fundamental disagreement with the legal initiative of the British government, stated that in case of amendments to the law, FaceTime and iMessage messaging services will not be available in the United Kingdom.
The proposed legal edits stipulate that messaging services should clear security features with the Home Office. Also, if the law is changed, this agency will receive the authority to require the immediate shutdown of these functions without notifying the public.
The tech giant consistently opposed the changes during the discussion on amendments to the law, which opponents of this initiative called the espionage charter. Apple claims that the consequences of implementing the practice of monitoring the use of the security function will manifest themselves not only within one country but also on a global scale, which means the impact of a potentially possible decision of the British government on users around the world. The company also states that the changes required by the proposed edits provide for the need to update the software, which is why there is no possibility of secrecy within these actions.
Another counterargument of Apple is that the legislative initiative threatens data security and privacy of information that will affect people outside the United Kingdom.
The company also does not agree with the proposed practice of taking immediate action after receiving notification from the Home Office of blocking or disabling a feature. The technology giant believes that in this case, a review procedure is necessary, and not an unconditional instant action.
As part of this discussion, according to media reports, the main object of consideration is end-to-end encryption, with which users can conduct private conversations.
Other messaging platforms have joined Apple in disagreeing with a clause in the British Online Safety Bill, which provides that the government may require technology companies to install software to scan materials that may contain facts about child abuse practices. The concept of this bill is to increase the degree of responsibility of online platforms for monitoring content as part of the fight against harm in the virtual space. For technology companies, this means the need to remove materials that are not in violation of the law but contradict certain moral and ethical postulates.
Cybersecurity expert Professor Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey expressed doubt that eventually, online platforms will agree to the changes in the law. He also said that the government is mistaken, counting on the unconditional acceptance of its initiatives by technology companies.
The Home Office, commenting on the legislative proposal to the media, noted that in this case, the goal is to protect society from criminals, persons involved in attempts at the sexual integrity of minors, and terrorists. Separately, the authority indicated that the final decision has not yet been made.
As we have reported earlier, Spain Antitrust Watchdog Fines Amazon and Apple.