Monday, July 24, 2023

Apple Opposes Updated UK Investigatory Powers Act

Benjamin Mayo (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Facing possible legislation that would require messaging services to offer backdoors in end-to-end encryption, Apple is saying it would rather remove apps like iMessage and FaceTime entirely from the UK market (via BBC News).


The UK government wants the ability to scan end-to-end encrypted messages, for child-abuse material and other illegal content. They argue the existing law accommodates this but is technically outdated by the security provisions of modern technology.

Apple has submitted a nine-page opposition to the planned bill.

Nick Heer:

While Kleinman broke this news, it was Jonny Evans at Apple Must who obtained and posted the full letter:

The threat was presented to the UK within Apple’s response to the government in relation to these proposals. You can read the nine-page criticism here (PDF).

Suzanne Smalley (via Hacker News):

A bill requiring social media companies, encrypted communications providers and other online services to report drug activity on their platforms to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) advanced to the Senate floor Thursday, alarming privacy advocates who say the legislation turns the companies into de facto drug enforcement agents and exposes many of them to liability for providing end-to-end encryption.

The bipartisan Cooper Davis Act — named for a Kansas teenager who died after unknowingly taking a fentanyl-laced pill he bought on Snapchat — requires social media companies and other web communication providers to give the DEA users’ names and other information when the companies have “actual knowledge” that illicit drugs are being distributed on their platforms.


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Old Unix Geek

Yes, it's sad that people die.

However, since there are bad people everywhere, not just in the population but also in government, getting rid of privacy only moves the evil-doing from those who would hide it using encryption (the comparatively weak), to those who would exploit it using surveillance (the comparatively strong). The fact that a bad person hid behind encryption does not imply that people would be safer without encryption.

Indeed, there have been wars continuously since World War 2, in which Western governments were involved, if not directly responsible. War is the ultimate crime, so if the average human being on planet Earth needs protecting from anyone, more than anyone else, it's probably from our governments.

Frankly, law-makers seem to be the most stupid people ever to roam the earth. They seem unable to see further than one move in any game, when their job is literally seeing all the implications of the laws they come up with. It is a shame that we keep making the world so safe for them, weakening Darwinian selection. Time to reintroduce uncorruptible saber tooth tigers.

Well said OUG

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