Apple threatens to pull iMessage and FaceTime in the UK

Apple has joined the Meta and Signal to indicate that it will pull iMessage and FaceTime from the UK, should the agreement be accepted. Internet Security Bill Which is being discussed by British lawmakers and would essentially require providers of online text, voice and video messaging services to allow the government to monitor all conversations that happen.

Section 110 of the Act requires websites and apps to proactively block “harmful” content from appearing on messaging services. This would require reviewing all content, from all users, all the time. It does not support iMessage and FaceTime end-to-end encryption, or minimal right to privacy of words.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a body that has also issued negative comments on the proposed law, “When our words, images, and videos are scrutinized for compliance with state-set standards, they conflict with our rights to free expression online. When detected by algorithms, the decision to remove content will be made without context.”

Apple has indicated it will not make changes to how its apps work in certain countries and prefers to disable them for UK customers and has filed a nine-page opposition to the planned bill, staunchly opposing requirements such as backdoors for end-to-end encryption, reporting of changes to product security features before they are released, and being forced to disable security features before the appeals process takes place.

The bill is undergoing an 8-week consultation and evaluation process and has drawn heavy criticism from technology companies, telecom service providers, and privacy and security experts.

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This isn’t the first time Apple has confronted authorities and lawmakers about the privacy capabilities of its systems. However, the company and its directors have declared on surprising occasions that “privacy is a basic human right” and with each new release of its operating systems and devices, it goes deeper into offering protections that enable the privacy and security of information of those who choose to use its products and services.

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