Signal to leave UK if law changes

Signal to leave UK if law changes

Signal to leave UK if law changes

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The encrypted-messaging app Signal has said it would stop providing services in the U.K. if a new law undermined encryption.

If forced to weaken the privacy of its messaging system under the Online Safety Bill, the organization “would absolutely, 100 percent walk” Signal president Meredith Whittaker told the BBC.

The government said its proposal was not “a ban on end-to-end encryption.”

The bill, introduced by Boris Johnson, is currently going through Parliament.

Critics say companies could be required by Ofcom to scan messages on encrypted apps for child sexual abuse material or terrorism content under the new law.

This has worried firms whose business is enabling private, secure communication.

Element, a U.K. company whose customers include the Ministry of Defense, told the BBC the plan would cost it clients.

Previously, WhatsApp has told the BBC it would refuse to lower security for any government.

The government, and prominent child protection charities have long argued that encryption hinders efforts to combat online child abuse, which they say is a growing problem.

“It is important that technology companies make every effort to ensure that their platforms do not become a breeding ground for pedophiles,” the Home Office said in a statement.

It added “The Online Safety Bill does not represent a ban on end-to-end encryption but makes clear that technological changes should not be implemented in a way that diminishes public safety, especially the safety of children online.”

“It is not a choice between privacy or child safety, we can and we must have both.”

UK, Economy,