Apple Formally Objects to UK Surveillance Law


Apple has expressed major concerns over the UK government’s investigatory powers bill, saying it would weaken the security of the “personal data of millions of law-abiding citizens,” reports the Guardian.

“We believe it would be wrong to weaken security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat,” Apple said. “In this rapidly evolving cyber-threat environment, companies should remain free to implement strong encryption to protect customers”

In a submission to the bill committee, Apple also called for changes before the bill is passed and pointed to the areas it wants to see altered. According to the submission, the bill would require Apple to alter the way its popular iMessage works, which would weaken encryption and enable security services to eavesdrop on the service.

“The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers. A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.”

Mobile security is just one part of the problem: Apple also threw out the idea of hacking into its own desktop operating system, as it will be forced to do so if the bill passes, since the bill contains provisions that require communications firms to assist security services when they need to hack into devices.

If the bill were enforced, Apple would lose some of the trust it has gained from customers, the submission suggests.

“It would place businesses like Apple – whose relationship with customers is in part built on a sense of trust about how data will be handled – in a very difficult position,” Apple says.

Also, the company is worried about the scope of the bill, as many of the provisions apply to companies regardless of where they are based, giving the bill international scope, even though it is at first glance domestic legislation only.