United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron is campaigning for legislation to install backdoors into all instant messaging apps. Cameron, who is looking to win the general election to be held later this year, has promised that he will ban encrypted online messaging to combat terrorism.
Cameron said, “If I am prime minister, I will make sure it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that makes sure we do not allow terrorist safe spaces to communicate with each other.”
Many messaging apps and services now feature encryption to increase the privacy and security of users. A situation brought on by revelations by Edward Snowden who revealed that the US and its allies were spying on private citizens. Apple, who had been facing security issues, included default encryption on the iPhone 6; while Google also introduced it in the Nexus 6.
Should the proposed law go into force, companies like Whatsapp would be forced to provide access chat logs to UK authorities; or in an extreme case, possibly even allow unlimited access to the network.
This is not the first attempt by governments to overtly request access to encrypted private information. FBI Director James Comey had also urged the tech industry to provide backdoors to the US government. However, considering that this move for greater control over private communications hinges on Cameron’s Conservative Party winning a majority seat in the House of Commons, it is unlikely that he will actually be able to pull it off.