WhatsApp, Signal and others sign open letter warning against weakening EE2E

18/04/2023 | BBC News

WhatsApp and Signal, along with five other messaging applications, Session, Element, Threema, Viber and Wire, have signed an open letter urging the UK Government to rethink provisions contained in the Online Safety Bill that undermine end-to-end encryption (EE2E). The letter states: "As currently drafted, the Bill could break end-to-end encryption, opening the door to routine, general and indiscriminate surveillance of personal messages of friends, family members, employees, executives, journalists, human rights activists and even politicians themselves, which would fundamentally undermine everyone’s ability to communicate securely." The letter concluded, "The UK Government must urgently rethink the Bill, revising it to encourage companies to offer more privacy and security to its residents, not less. Weakening encryption, undermining privacy, and introducing the mass surveillance of people’s private communications is not the way forward."

In a related post, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, warns against undermining encrypted messaging, claiming that it will harm public confidence. The post explains that this is not the right time to "weaken encryption when it is vital to public trust in the value of technology."

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