Apple criticizes UK bill that could require scanning of encrypted messages

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Apple has joined the growing number of organizations opposed to the UK’s pending Online Safety Bill, saying the proposed law threatens the end-to-end encryption that protects private messages.

“End-to-end encryption is a critical capability that protects the privacy of journalists, human rights activists, and diplomats,” Apple said in a statement reported by the BBC yesterday. “It also helps everyday citizens defend themselves from surveillance, identity theft, fraud, and data breaches. The Online Safety Bill poses a serious threat to this protection, and could put UK citizens at greater risk. Apple urges the government to amend the bill to protect strong end-to-end encryption for the benefit of all.”

The BBC quoted a government spokesperson as saying that “companies should only implement end-to-end encryption if they can simultaneously prevent abhorrent child sexual abuse on their platforms.”

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