Apple says it will remove services such as FaceTime and iMessage from the UK rather than weaken security if new UK government proposals are made law and acted upon.
The government is seeking to update the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016. It wants
messaging services to clear security features with the Home Office before releasing them to customers. The act lets the Home Office demand security features are disabled, without telling the public. Under the update, this would have to be immediate.
Currently, there has to be a review, there can also be an independent oversight process and a technology company can appeal before taking any action.
WhatsApp and Signal are among the platforms to have opposed a clause in the Online Safety Bill
allowing the communications regulator to require companies to install technology to scan for child-abuse material in encrypted messaging apps and other services.
The government has opened an eight-week consultation on the proposed amendments to
the IPA. , which already enables the storage of internet browsing records for 12 months and authorises the bulk collection of personal data.
Apple has made a 9 page submission to the current consultation opposing the snooping proposal:
It would not make changes to security features specifically for one country that would weaken a product for all users. Some changes would require issuing a software update so could not be made secretly The proposals
constitute a serious and direct threat to data security and information privacy that would affect people outside the UK.