The UK government is set to ban companies like Apple from providing complete, unbreakable encryption to end users in a new law set to be introduced under the Investigatory Powers Bill.
In a sweeping overbearing move, the likes of Apple and Google will no longer be allowed to offer total end-user encryption wherein customer communications are routinely beyond the reach of law enforcement and the companies behind the technology themselves. UK ISPs will also be tasked to store the browsing history of their customers for a year.
The Daily Telegraph, a prominent UK publication with reliable ties with the current Conservative government has published a report that proclaims the outcome of new laws set within the Investigatory Powers Bill to be established tomorrow, November 4.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has been rallying for support from Members of Parliament and the general public to back the new and increased surveillance laws.
Citing the need to curb the activities of terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers and organized crime, the new law will, quite simply, allow law enforcement and even cyberespionage agencies to look into a target’s communications with a warrant.
In an interview to iTV, Prime Minister Cameron said:
As Prime Minister I would just say to people “please, let’s not have a situation where we give terrorists, criminals, child abductors, safe spaces to communicate.”
It’s not a safe space for them to communicate on a fixed line telephone or a mobile phone, we shouldn’t allow the internet to be a safe space for them to communicate and do bad things.
End-to-end encryption has numerous campaigners for its purpose, a secure connection so effective that the software developer, law enforcement nor the network service provider gets to snoop into a channel of communication between two end users. One of its biggest proponents is Tim Cook, CEO of Apple who has repeatedly taken a stand against the government agencies by not providing them the key for the locked, encrypted channel of communication Apple devices provide.
Such is the level of encryption in Apple devices that a company that operates by selling zero-day vulnerabilities to governments and corporations, will pay the princely sum of a million dollars to a hacker group that supposedly achieved a jailbreak of the latest Apple mobile software platform, iOS 9.
The new ruling from the UK government would mean that in order to look into anyone’s iPhone, all they’d require is a warrant.
The UK Has Always Been at the Forefront of Surveillance.
Edward Snowden’s revelations about state snooping included a program called: “Karma Police” that was set up by the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), UK’s intelligence agency. The purpose of the program was to monitor every single user’s browsing habits on the internet.
That’s trillions of metadata records obtained after targeting popular websites frequented by internet users.
The GCHQ even has the resources and know-how to track and remotely control any smartphone in the country, Snowden confirmed.
For true end-to-end encryption, a good choice for smartphone users is Signal, a crypto-based end-to-end encryption messaging application that’s available for iOS and Android.
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