Apple-Opposed 'Investigatory Powers' Surveillance Bill Moves Closer to Legality in UK

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The United Kingdom's House of Commons this week passed the controversial "Investigatory Powers" bill, which gives spy and government agencies the ability to "engage in bulk surveillance and computer hacking," and has met stern opposition from various technology companies, including Apple. In the House of Commons, the bill passed by a vote of 444 to 69 (via Bloomberg).

    The original wording of the bill required companies to build anti-encryption backdoors into their software -- a point of contention Apple fought over repeatedly against the FBI this year -- and the storing of website records for every UK citizen by web and phone companies. The updated version of the bill passed this week introduced slight alterations to these rules, which could ultimately play in the favor of companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft in the UK.

    The updated bill clearly states that companies aren't required to install backdoors to get around encryption when a government agency requests it, with one exception: if taking such an action "is technically feasible and not unduly expensive," the company could face the same request the US government gave Apple earlier in the year.

    Of course, the exact definition of what would be "technically feasible and not unduly expensive" isn't divulged in the bill. If the bill ultimately becomes law, these definitions would be left to the decision-making of a British judge on a case-by-case basis. According to Apple and CEO Tim Cook, if the company would have been required to introduce a workaround to grant unlimited access to terrorist Syed Farook's iPhone, it would have taken a team of engineers weeks and been the "software equivalent of cancer."

    In the favor of communications companies and mobile operators who would be required to store the records of UK citizens for 12 months at a time, wording in the new bill states that these institutions would be reimbursed "for the cost of complying with the new legal obligations." No similar monetary reimbursement for anti-encryption backdoors by tech companies is mentioned.

    The Investigatory Powers bill is now headed to the House of Lords, where it will be analyzed by a panel of legal experts, headed by the UK's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation David Anderson. Anderson and the panel will report if they believe the surveillance and anti-encryption aspects of the bill are legal and justified, and a final vote by the House of Lords will occur in the fall. If everything ultimately passes, the bill is expected to go into effect January 2017.

    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-Opposed 'Investigatory Powers' Surveillance Bill Moves Closer to Legality in UK
  2. robotica macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
  3. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    Spike Milligan was right:

  4. iZac, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016

    iZac macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2003
    So in 5 or so years when I move back to the UK, I'll be swapping one totalitarian, corrupt Government that spys on everything I do, for another one that speaks English as a first language - Great.

    I guess I'll be keeping my VPN forever then - whatever good it does me.
  5. clunkmess macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2011
  6. Hustler1337 macrumors 68000


    Dec 23, 2010
    London, UK
    I suspect there will be requests for further clarity on the meaning of "technically feasible and not unduly expensive" as it leaves it too open for the judges to interpret and sits uncomfortably with the rule of law. We've now got to a point where security is too secure that tech companies are being forced to leave key under the government's doormat just in case they feel the need to spy on us.
  7. John Mcgregor Suspended

    John Mcgregor

    Aug 21, 2015
    AKA House of idiots.
  8. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    The tories in the house are no better than Nazis. Look at the rally in the run up to the Syrian bombings—they were practically wetting themselves, it was sick! These disgusting pigs forget that laws stay around and can be used and abused by not only the current shower of dicks in power, but the next and the next.
  9. Kabeyun macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
  10. orbital~debris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    England, UK, Europe
    WTF, WTF?
  11. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    I live in Germany, arguably one of the better places to live in this regard, but only going by the horror that is happening around us and across the seas...

    But even here, I pretty much regard a VPN plan, a proper one and not merely "the cheapest you could find" as a necessity and a firm part of your monthly internet bill so to say.

    Glassed Silver:mac
  12. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    So does this accomplish anything? If I want to thwart the authorities I can use a bunch of apps that are encrypted. getting access to the phone will currently only give you access to location data. everything else can be encrypted with other apps (emails, text, phone calls).
  13. mixel macrumors 65816


    Jan 12, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    #13 - most of the time we'd be better off without them but occasionally they keep the govt in check when they're doing something stupid too.. *shrugs*
  14. LovingTeddy macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2015
    I strongly support government action and support against Apple turning this to PR show.

    I strongly support government action require companies build back door for national security and anti terrorist purpose. Any company that build software cannot be accessed by law enforcement need be treat same as terrorist. They are building hardware and software used by terrorist and they are supporting terrorist. Apple's leader need change their course of action, otherwise, they should check charged as treason and support of terrorism.
  15. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    Power granting itself more powers, but only when the Power is excluded from being subject to the powers itself...
  16. vooke macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2014
    Apple should stop whining, when China enacts the law's equivalent, there will be no negotiations, either they comply or are kicked out and boom! 25% of their revenues vamooz
  17. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Oh, and by the way, I did not realize that Security and Encryption of a phone is a political and not a technical issue. o_O:eek::confused:

  18. touchstoned macrumors regular


    Apr 4, 2015
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    I'd like to blame Canada here for your complete lack of understanding of the US Constitution and moreover, for being unable to grasp the significance of the continued erosion of the fundamental human right to privacy. Canada, please educate your youth so in the future we don't have totally uninformed pro-authoritarian views like this expressed.

    My personal view is that Apple should stop selling products in the UK, and offer the UK government to create a special "Ultra-surveillance" equipped phone that has cameras on every side and never stops recording but that will only be sold to idiot british citizens who couldn't care less about their government becoming a police state but are highly concerned about there global implications of prawnhub on the world at large. Call it the iBrit
  19. Jess13, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016

    Jess13 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    Thing is, this all stems from 9/11. There are 28 pages on 9/11 involvement by plural foreign governments, that have been classified and withheld for the past 13 years. That is the real treason. One of the plural governments is the British government, the same British government spying on everyone because of 9/11.
  20. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    You forgot the pedophile argument. :rolleyes:
  21. jdillings macrumors 68000

    Jun 21, 2015
    Tim needs to put on his big boy pants and pull out of the UK. We'll see how fast these politicians cave.
  22. vvswarup macrumors 6502a

    Jul 21, 2010
    Law enforcement can't get into our brains. What if the only information of a crime is in someone's brain? Is the government going to make someone build a machine that can read people's thoughts?
  23. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
  24. garirry macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2013
    Canada is my city
    When will humans finally become not stupid?
  25. Shirasaki macrumors 604


    May 16, 2015
    UK holds 1% of total population in the world, but holds 20% of total surveillance cameras in the world.
    "The most watched nation"
    Glad I live in Australia.

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