WhatsApp calls on the UK Government to amend proposed Online Safety Bill – Affiliate Marketing Agency, Media, Training & Events

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In a last ditch effort to get the UK government to amend its proposed Online Safety bill, Whatsapp has released an open letter. The letter outlines that the proposed bill would effectively ban messaging encryption.

The UK government sees the bill as providing extra protection for younger users online by enforcing stronger requirements for access and more stringent penalties for online platforms around underage use. However, it also calls for mandatory oversight to all elements of user interactions, which WhatsApp says would ’open the door to trying to force technology companies to break end-to-end encryption on private messaging services’.

As per WhatsApp: “Around the world, businesses, individuals, and governments face persistent threats from online fraud, scams and data theft. Malicious actors and hostile states routinely challenge the security of our critical infrastructure. End-to-end encryption is one of the strongest possible defenses against these threats, and as vital institutions become ever more dependent on internet technologies to conduct core operations, the stakes have never been higher.”

“The Bill provides no explicit protection for encryption, and if implemented as written, could empower OfCom to try to force the proactive scanning of private messages on end-to-end encrypted communication services – nullifying the purpose of end-to-end encryption as a result and compromising the privacy of all users.”

And so the argument becomes “Privacy or safety?” again.

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