Online Harms Bill is kill switch for encryption

10/12/2021 | Open Rights Group

In its latest criticism of the Online Harms Bill, the Open Rights Group warns what it considers to be the most consequential provision in the proposed draft is contained within Chapter 4, at clauses 63-69. This is the section that gives OFCOM the power to issue "Use of Technology Notices" to search engines and social media companies. As it currently stands, the powers facilitate "routine and perpetual surveillance of our online communications". As a direct consequence, this also undermines the use of end-to-end encryption, "one of the fundamental building blocks of digital technology and commerce."

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