UK to ban messaging applications under a new law

Pierluigi Paganini July 11, 2015

In the UK hard times for messaging applications like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the Investigatory Powers Bill, probably will pass in Autumn.

We have already discussed the plan of the UK Government to ban principal messaging applications for security reason, the authorities fear that they could be exploited by terrorist groups as a communication channel.

Early this year, Prime Minister Cameron said that the UK would pursue banning encrypted messaging apps if the Intelligence was not given access to the communications, now the nightmare is becoming reality and popular applications, including WhatsApp, Snapchat, message and Facebook Messenger, could all potentially be banned in the UK.

The controversial Draft Communications Data Bill (also known as the Snoopers’ Charter or Snooper’s Charter) is a draft legislation proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May in the United Kingdom. The proposal would require Internet service providers and mobile service providers to maintain records of each user’s activity, including traffic data, voice calls, and messages.

messaging applications ban

“The government is to introduce an investigatory powers bill that is far more wide-ranging than expected, including an extension of the powers of the security services in response to the surveillance disclosures by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.The legislation will include not only the expected snooper’s charter, enabling the tracking of everyone’s web and social media use, but also moves to strengthen the security services’ warranted powers for the bulk interception of the content of communications.” reported the Guardian.

Home Secretary Theresa May announced the imminent pass for the Investigatory Powers Bill, probably in Autumn.

The Investigatory Powers Bill would allow the UK Government to ban instant messaging applications that use end-to-end encryption to protect the privacy of their users.

The recent terroristic acts are increasing the fear of European Governments about the exploitation of the web for propaganda or for attack vectors, hacktivists and jihadists.
The same concerns are shared also with overseas Intelligence, the US Government, for example, is aware that terrorist groups are training their members on best practices to avoid the law enforcement monitoring.
“In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which […] we cannot read?” “My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not’.” said Cameron.
In UK hard times for messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  Online Messaging Applications, Surveillance)

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