Apple Criticizes Proposed UK 'Investigatory Powers' Surveillance Bill

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple today spoke out against the UK's proposed Investigatory Powers bill, expressing concern that it would "weaken security" for millions of law-abiding customers, reports The Guardian. Apple added that in a "rapidly-evolving cyber-threat environment," technology companies should be allowed to "implement strong encryption to protect customers.

    Introduced last month by UK home secretary Theresa May, the Investigatory Powers bill allows for the bulk collection of website records by law enforcement agencies. It requires web and phone companies to store records of websites visited by every UK citizen for 12 months, and it has provisions that would require technology companies to build in backdoors or help bypass encryption on devices to allow access to information.

    Apple and other technology companies believe the implementation of such a bill could inspire other countries to adopt similar measures. In a letter written to the parliamentary committee looking over the bill, Apple expressed concern about the scope of the bill and asked for changes to be made before it's passed. In its current incarnation, Apple worries the bill could give the UK government enough power to demand changes to the way iMessage works, ending the encryption that makes it inaccessible even to Apple.
    Apple went on to say the legislation could cause businesses to have to deal with a set of "overlapping foreign and domestic laws" that will "inevitably conflict" and lead to the risk of sanctions. UK agencies could, for example, ask for information stored in data centers in other countries, infringing on that country's data protection laws. "That is an unreasonable position to be placed in," Apple wrote.

    Other technology companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo, also plan to submit evidence to the parliamentary committee in the hope of getting the proposed bill changed.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: Apple Criticizes Proposed UK 'Investigatory Powers' Surveillance Bill
  2. UKPoliticsGuy macrumors regular

    May 3, 2009
    Err, RIPA keeps us safe Mr Cook. Its capabilities allow us to keep track of threats.

    Not all of us have the privilege to be wet-behind-the-ears West Coast liberals.
  3. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    I'm glad Apple understands exactly what building these backdoors and creating mass databases will ultimately do. I'm proud to continue buying from a company that can get behind the privacy rights of their customers even when it is not politically expedient to do so.
  4. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Apple is rightfully upset.

    England ... birthplace of 1984.
  5. CaTOAGU macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2008
    Manchester, UK
    However, we all have the right to be innocent until proven guilty and not have our private communication spied on without probable course and a properly signed warrant. That warrant should be signed by a judge too, not a politician.

    This whole anti encryption drive by governments is utterly self defeating also. Apart from the fact you can't have a back door that only the good guys can use, encryption isn't an app, it's maths. If you allow back door access to iMessage or Facebook messenger etc, the bad guys will simply use their own apps to communicate.
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Online fraud is *much* more of an issue than terrorism - and it costs us £75 billion a year.

    You can't have safe encryption and still keep it unsafe for terrorists, it's not mathematically possible.
  7. AbSoluTc macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2008
    This is not for the greater good of the people. It's for the good of the people's governments. Which is pure ********. Hiding under the veil of "security against terrorism and the like" is garbage. If I know something has a back door and is being monitored, I will use something else that isn't susceptible to such attacks and snooping.

    This **** needs to stop and I sincerely hope the tech companies DO NOT FOLD and tell the governments to **** right on off.
  8. Sheza macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2010
    Cambridge, UK
    Should the issue of ending encryption on iMessage or creating backdoors ever fully arise, Apple should just refuse to comply. Most MPs in Parliament use their products daily. The House of Commons is full of iPhones and iPads. See what happens if they fail to comply.
  9. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    England ... 1984 realized.
  10. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    I see the propaganda has been having its intended effect.
  11. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2014
    Or even better, disable iMessage completely in the UK and force SMS only. Then make sure that the press lets UK citizens know why the change was made. No better way to change a politicians mind quickly than to anger all of there constituents at once.
  12. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I am embarrassed and perturbed by the government of my country's current position on this. I don't really know what is more disturbing - that they actually understand what they seem to be saying they want to do despite its insanity, or that they don't know what they want to do but are pressing ahead with it anyway regardless of their ignorance.

    Remember, when the US found Bin Laden we were told he couriered information on USB thumb drives. If what the UK government says it wants to do happens, it doesn't make anyone safer from terrorists or criminals, it just makes using the internet less safe for all the law-abiding citizens (and not just in the UK, because the internet is global, and no matter how much people curtailed their online activities it is so interweaved into our society these days it is not feasible for some people to rip it out of their lives overnight just because it's not as secure anymore). It's like a more serious example of the flawed logic of DRM (Digital Rights Management) that never hampers determined pirates who will get round it, only legitimate customers who play the rules, however the insane the rules imposed upon them are.

    You either have strong, working encryption or you don't. What the UK government seem to want is the equivalent of being a bit dead, or slightly pregnant - to have their cake and to eat it too.
  13. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    The English public don't really care about this type of thing.

    The people who want to stay encrypted here will stay encrypted, because there's always a way and the law is unenforceable.

    Most of the British public won't know or care unfortunately.
  14. peterh988 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2011
    RIPA, that's the one that was only supposed to affect people involved in serious criminal activity, yet has been used countless times over things such as dog fouling, and checking if people live in the correct school catchment area?

    That's the problem with these things, perhaps people wouldn't mind if they were used responsibly and correctly targeted at serious criminals, but people lose faith when it's used because you didn't clean up after your dog took a dump on the street.

    Time and time again government and law enforcement have proven they can't use their powers responsibly, so the people no longer want them to have the ability to do something they know will be abused.
  15. iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003
    I'm sure Apple complies with the laws of the countries within which they trade, whatever and wherever they are.

    They can moan about it publicly all they like, but their actions aren't necessarily the same.
  16. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    What's more the same Members of Parliament that we elect to represent our views are immune from the invasion of privacy.

    The draft bill clearly omits them from being subject to the surveillance that they would have us under; it will write 'the Wilson doctrine' into law, preventing surveillance of their communications.
  17. jennyp macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
  18. CaTOAGU macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2008
    Manchester, UK
    Sadly our current government cares very little about what we think, a more hateful bunch of people I have yet to come across.
  19. CaTOAGU macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2008
    Manchester, UK
    They've not given the Chinese backdoor access though, they've just allowed them to audit their code, to ensure they're not passing information back to the US government, which is no where near the same. As far as I know, Apple would have to re-engineer iMessage to allow anyone backdoor access, the way it works now, Apple simply can't provide back door access to anyone, as it doesn't have the necessary encryption keys to allow it to do so.
  20. b0nd18t macrumors 6502


    Apr 9, 2012
    I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before we lose out to these back doors. Too many governments pushing hard for it. What can be done to stop it?
  21. thasan macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
    With all due respect to other politicians, Theresa May is the most incompetent, incapable and stupid minister. She is like a monkey with a machine gun, without having any clue about what she has been proposing. Spent billions of dollars and stupid legislations to make voters happy yet ineffective. My passport for visa application was with UKBA for 9 bloody months cause the officer didn't like my bank statements. And the phone contact number they officially provided in the letter was a fax number. And guess what, I resubmitted the documents and everything got sorted. All of this in the middle of a policy change and within that 9 months, she changed the visa policy for universities in uk three times. No wonder she doesn't have a clue about privacy and only proposing this to show that she cares! Hope all tech companies resist this. Otherwise pseudo democratic countries will use this to oppress citizens :(
  22. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    Is that the tax evasion Apple weighing in on international matters?
  23. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I agree with Apple on this. However, I suspect most people don't know that iMessages are encrypted. In fact I will go further and say most done even know the difference between iMessage and SMS.

    Most people just send SMS and as far as they are concerned some are green and some are blue.
  24. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Of course she dealt with your visa application herself. Perhaps the officials did not think you should be allowed in the country because you did not demonstrate you could support yourself.

    It is generally considered she has been the best home office minister for many years. I disagree with her on this particular issue but it does not make her an incompetent Home office minister.
  25. Shaun, UK Suspended

    Shaun, UK

    Mar 23, 2006
    I use Messages every day on my iPhone and iPad and never even noticed that lol.

    I don't agree with the U.K. government on this and hope they drop the proposals. I'm not a criminal or a terrorist, I just don't trust politicians.

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