Online Safety Bill May Kill WhatsApp in UK

Bad news for just about everybody working in SW1: WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart has warned the app may be pulled from the UK entirely if the Online Safety Bill reaches the statute books. As if this bill needed any more reasons to be scrapped…

Speaking on the BBC’s Tech Tent podcast, Cathcart slammed the bill for an amendment which would force WhatsApp and other tech companies to make their “best endeavours” to use new technology to flag inappropriate and abusive content, essentially by snooping on users’ private conversations. As Cathcart puts it, “what’s being proposed is that […] we read everyone’s messages”.

Essentially, the bill would give Ofcom the power to compel companies to abandon end-to-end encryption. Like the Free Speech Union points out, this is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut: when the UK’s own Information Commissioner’s Office is saying this sort of thing is a bad idea, maybe it needs rethinking. First the Bill gives Big Tech the power to censor online content, now it wants them to create back door keys to everyone’s private messages…

mdi-tag-outline Techno Guido WhatsApp
mdi-account-multiple-outline Nadine Dorries
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