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New Data Laws Could See Snapchat and WhatsApp Banned

Won't Somebody Think of the Messaging Apps?

New data laws which were proposed by British Prime Minister, David Cameron would see certain messaging apps banned. This would leave those in the UK unable to use popular apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp.


Now I don’t really like to get involved in politics, but please. For the love of all that is holy, please leave my Snapchat alone. How else am I supposed to send everyone pictures and videos of my dog? I found out this week that she’s terrified of cups. I don’t know why, but it makes for funny clips. Do you see what the world could be deprived from?  

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last week and MI5 releasing warnings that extremists could be planning mass casualty attacks on the UK (though, when are they not?) encrypted data services are in David Cameron’s cross hairs for the coming election.

In a statement given on Monday, Cameron said that if he wins the upcoming election in May he would impose a ban on encryption messaging apps if they refused to reveal all communications to British intelligence.

To be fair, we face this issue in the wake of any form of attack in the West. Be it the attack in France or someone attacking a school in the US.

Beginning the long campaign journey, David Cameron spoke about encrypted services and his stance on them.

‘Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn't possible to read? My answer to that question is: No, we must not. The attacks in Paris demonstrated the scale of the threat that we face and the need to have robust powers through our intelligence and security agencies in order to keep our people safe.’
Thankfully, for these laws to be put into effect, he’ll have to win the Election in May first. Then we wouldn't see our apps banned until at least 2016.

Unfortunately, with all issues of giving greater access to our personal information there is always the concern of these laws snowballing in effect until we face a complete loss of privacy.

But people who fear for their safety will argue that if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn't stand against your information being on show. However, I don’t think this view would be truly spoken if people could see their online footprint if all their information and interaction was to be exposed.
These issues are currently a heated topic in the EU with social media channels coming under scrutiny about how much they should co-operate with intelligence agencies concerning issues of national security. For example, Facebook fell into blame for not alerting authorities about two men who proceeded to murder Lee Rigby in Lewisham, 2013.

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg spoke out against laws which came at the cost of privacy. When he spoke with BBC4, he commented that what was proposed involved:

‘scooping up vast amounts of information on millions of people - children, grandparents and elderly people who do nothing more offensive than visiting gardening centre websites.’

He went on to say that:

‘Privacy is a qualified right. If someone wants to do us harm, we should be able to break their privacy and go after their communications. But the snoopers' charter was not about intercepting communications. It was about storing a record of all your social media activity, of every website you have visited of every single individual in this country, of people who would never dream of doing anyone else any harm, would never dream of becoming a terrorist or having anything to do with extremist ideologies. The question we need to ask ourselves, in a free, open society as we defend our values against the abhorrent attacks we saw in Paris, is where do you draw the line?’

Clegg does seem to be more internet and technology savvy than his counterparts, but this is an incredibly complex issue and time will show were we as a nation stand.

But for now, please just leave my Snapchat alone.


Tom has just graduated from University of East London in Creative and Professional Writing. He loves writing and is currently interning as a content writer hoping to go further. His other loves include Arnold Schwarzenegger films and his dog. Follow him @TomAtSMF

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New Data Laws Could See Snapchat and WhatsApp Banned Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 Rating: 5
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