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#SnoopersCharter: #Whatsapp and #Snapchat Face #UK Ban

express.co.uk
Instant messaging apps WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat could be banned in the UK in just a few months under new laws on mobile messaging.

These powers first appeared in the Communications Data Bill – labelled the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ by critics – blocked by the Lib Dem government in 2012. It would allow access to a database of information including Google searches, WhatsApp conversations and Snapchat videos, as well as location data. The Bill was cut down and introduced as the Investigatory Powers Bill in 2014. Under current domestic law, the police and MI5 cannot look at a person’s online data without permission from the Home Secretary.

Home Secretary Theresa May plans to push the bill forward as soon as possible in order to counteract the annulment of data retention and save innocent lives from crime and terrorism. PM David Cameron hinted at a ban in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January. Snapchat, WhatsApp and iMessage all encrypt their data to protect users’ privacy, making it impossible for the government to look at it. In the wake of the Paris attack, the PM would have them banned unless their developers agree to open up their data to the government, in an attempt to prevent terrorists from having safe space to communicate with one another.

huffingtonpost.co.uk
But sceptics have concerns that the changes would damage digital civil liberties. A report by computer experts at MIT suggests that removing encryption raises legal and ethical questions, and could cause economic damage. None of the companies have yet agreed to remove encryption. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said in June that the battle of encryption is an attack on civil liberties and pledged that Apple would continue to safeguard its users’ privacy.






Aaron Waterhouse
Aaron is a recent English graduate from Durham University who is now working as a content writer intern. An enthusiastic traveller, he hopes to become a journalist and report from around the world. Follow him @AaronAtSMF

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#SnoopersCharter: #Whatsapp and #Snapchat Face #UK Ban Reviewed by Aaron Waterhouse on Saturday, July 11, 2015 Rating: 5

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