WhatsApp joins Signal in 'encryption war', risks business in the UK
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WhatsApp joins Signal in ‘encryption war’, risks business in the UK. Will Cathcart, the CEO of WhatsApp, allegedly refused to compromise the messaging platform’s end-to-end encryption, a feature that the Meta-owned corporation has frequently advocated in the past, endangering the company’s UK operations. By taking this stance, it has basically “pushed back” on the UK’s demand to “reduce the security” of the messaging service, joining the competing software Signal in doing so.
According to a BBC story, Cathcart stated that, if requested by the government, the firm would prefer to be blocked in the UK rather than impair the privacy of encrypted conversations under the Internet Safety Bill.”98% of our consumers are located outside of the UK, and they all demand security. They do not want us to decrease the product’s security. For instance, we recently encountered a blockage in Iran. Liberal democracy has never done that,

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WhatsApp goes Singal’s way.

The change occurs only weeks after Signal threatened to discontinue offering services in the UK if the law forced message scanning. Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal, stated that the business “We’ll do every effort to maintain access to Signal for users in the UK. Anything but the things that violate our privacy guarantees.”

Cathcart promised to “work together to push back” and shared her remark.
“We won’t compromise WhatsApp’s security. In addition to accepting being banned in other areas of the world, we have never done that “Cathcart spoke up out of concern that the UK may create a precedent that other countries might imitate.
When a liberal democracy asks, “Is it Acceptable to monitor everyone’s private communication for criminal material?

UK’s Online Safety Bill

According to BBC, the UK’s Internet Safety Bill gives the Office of Communications, or Ofcom, the country’s communications regulator, the authority to demand that private encrypted messaging apps and other providers employ “certified technology” to find and delete child abuse content.
The government has maintained that efforts to address the issue of online child abuse are hampered by encryption, which scrambles communication content so that it cannot be accessed by the corporation itself.

Moreover, the UK government asserted that it is possible to balance child safety and privacy. Nevertheless, the president of Signal stated that “there’s no such thing as communications that are both ‘private’ and monitored” in response to a tweet examining the application of “AI/ ML in monitoring private (encrypted) chats for many types of crime.”

The bill proposes several measures to protect users from harmful content, including illegal content such as child sexual abuse material, terrorist content, and the sale of illegal drugs.

Under the proposed legislation, online service providers will have a duty of care to protect their users from harm. This means they will have to take proactive measures to prevent harmful content from being uploaded, remove it quickly once it is reported, and take appropriate action against those responsible.

The bill also proposes the creation of a new independent regulator, the Online Safety Regulator, to oversee compliance with the new rules and enforce penalties on companies that fail to comply.

The UK government has said that the legislation is necessary to protect people from the harms of the online world and ensure that the internet is a safe place for everyone. However, critics of the bill have raised concerns about freedom of speech and the potential impact on small businesses and start-ups that may struggle to comply with the new regulations.


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