WhatsApp Will Not Comply With British Regulations

Britain’s proposed Online Safety Bill requires messaging companies to remove end-to-end encryption to scan messages for child sex abuse material and is reaching the final stages of the legislative process. Now, WhatsApp (owned by Meta) says that it would refuse to remove its end-to-end encryption if it’s ordered to comply with the new regulations. 

End-to-end encryption ensures that only the user and the person they are communicating with can read or listen to what is sent, and nobody in between, not even Meta's Facebook, can gain access to this content. However, the government, and some child-protection charities, argue that such encryption hinders efforts to combat the growing problem of online child abuse.

Both WhatsApp and Signal are taking a stand against the British government's attempts to weaken the encryption of services like theirs. It's said that the government's aim is to help weed out child abuse material that is sent via the services, but it would also make them less private for everyone else at the same time. 

The head of WhatsApp at Meta, Will Cathcart, has said the company would prefer leave the UK than to be blocked with the UK Online Safety Bill that would undermine its encrypted-messaging system.

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform in the UK, used by more than seven in 10 adults who are online, according to communication regulator, Ofcom. However, the UK government’s Online Safety Bill contains a clause that requires technology companies providing end-to-end encrypted messaging to scan for child sex abuse material, which would require them to use client-side scanning and check the contents of messages before they were encrypted. This would require WhatsApp to remove end-to-end encryption from its product. 

Signal has also  said it could stop providing services in the UK if the bill required it to scan messages and  its President, Meredith Whittaker, said that the company would be pushing back in an attempt to protect its own encryption from governmental meddling. 

If WhatsApp refused to comply, it would either have to pull out of the UK market or have its parent company Meta face fines of up to 4% of its annual turnover.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) says research shows grooming and child-abuse-image crimes recorded in the UK have significantly increased.  The NSPCC believes that encryption doesn't necessarily mean getting in the way of privacy, however.

The charity's Richard Collard added that "experts have demonstrated that it's possible to tackle child-abuse material and grooming in end-to-end encrypted environments. "The government, for its part, says that its Online Safety Bill "does not represent a ban on end-to-end encryption." Others have argued that the bill could open the door to mass surveillance of UK citizens.

Parliament:     BBC:    Computer World:    WION:   Proactive Investors:    Macruomors:     Pocket-Lint:

You Might Also Read:

European Union Has Rules On Illegal Online Content:

___________________________________________________________________________________________

If you like this website and use the comprehensive 6,500-plus service supplier Directory, you can get unrestricted access, including the exclusive in-depth Directors Report series, by signing up for a Premium Subscription.

  • Individual £5 per month or £50 per year. Sign Up
  • Multi-User, Corporate & Library Accounts Available on Request

Cyber Security Intelligence: Captured Organised & Accessible


 

« Turning The Tables On Tomorrow's Threat Agent 
Britain's New Security Agency To Counter Chinese Hacking  »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

LockLizard

LockLizard

Locklizard provides PDF DRM software that protects PDF documents from unauthorized access and misuse. Share and sell documents securely - prevent document leakage, sharing and piracy.

MIRACL

MIRACL

MIRACL provides the world’s only single step Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) which can replace passwords on 100% of mobiles, desktops or even Smart TVs.

Mielabelo

Mielabelo

Belgian consulting firm providing services in the security and compliance of information systems and IT service management.

Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP)

Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP)

The Association of Information Security Professionals (AISP) represents the interests of information security professionals in Singapore.

Netwrix

Netwrix

Netwrix empowers information security and governance professionals to identify and protect sensitive data to reduce the risk of a breach.

AdaptiveMobile Security

AdaptiveMobile Security

AdaptiveMobile Security, a world leader in mobile network security, protecting more than 2.2 billion subscribers worldwide.

Axonius

Axonius

Axonius is the only solution that offers a unified view of all assets and their coverage, empowering customers to take action to enforce their organization’s security policies.

Lineal Services

Lineal Services

Lineal supports clients in meeting their digital forensics, cyber security and eDiscovery needs by providing bespoke solutions to complex problems.

DivvyCloud

DivvyCloud

DivvyCloud protects your cloud and container environments from misconfigurations, policy violations, threats, and IAM challenges.

Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA)

Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA)

Trusted Connectivity Alliance is a global, non-profit industry association which is working to enable a secure connected future.

Global Resources

Global Resources

Global Resources' planning and management capabilities support city, regional, and national utility and infrastructure management, and information systems and cyber security service delivery.

Mr Backup (MRB)

Mr Backup (MRB)

MRB offers Data Protection as a Service for businesses looking to reduce the time, cost and complexity of securing your company data.

MyKRIS Asia

MyKRIS Asia

MyKRIS specialise in providing and managing Internet network services and cyber security services to enterprises.

Quod Orbis

Quod Orbis

Quod Orbis are a fast-growing, innovative company providing market-leading expertise in cyber security and Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM).

QEDIT

QEDIT

QEDIT is leading the standardization of Zero-Knowledge Proofs through the ZKProof.org Workshops, and builds production-grade ZKP systems for blockchain.

Beacon Technology

Beacon Technology

Beacon Technology offers a comprehensive platform consisting of XDR, VMDR, and Breach and Attack simulation tools.

Queen Consulting & Technologies

Queen Consulting & Technologies

Queen Consulting & Technologies specialize in providing IT support, management, and Security to Gov’t Contractors, CPAs, and Nonprofits.

Adaptiva

Adaptiva

Adaptiva, the autonomous endpoint management company, delivers the fastest way to patch and manage endpoints at scale.