Apple has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill, which aims to give the authorities greater surveillance powers, claiming it will put hundreds of millions of consumers at risk of hacking.
In a submission to the joint committee overseeing the bill, the company stated: “We believe it would be wrong to weaken security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat. In this rapidly evolving cyber-threat environment, companies should remain free to implement strong encryption to protect customers.”
Under the bill, communications companies will be forced to unscramble end-to-end encrypted messages. Apple claims it currently uses the the ‘strong’ encryption method for iMessage and FaceTime and suggests it is not able to read the content of these messages even if asked to by law enforcement agencies.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Microsoft are all planning to jointly submit similar criticisms as Apple, according to a report in the FT.
The bill also legitimises the ability for mobile phones, laptops, servers, routers and almost any other electrical device to be hacked, so intelligence can be gathered.
Apple’s evidence to the MPs and Lords said: “The bill as it stands seems to threaten to extend responsibility for hacking from government to the private sector.”
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