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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
 
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Hustler1337

macrumors 68000
Dec 23, 2010
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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.
 
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Mac Fly (film)

macrumors 68000
Feb 12, 2006
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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.
 
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Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
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Kassel, Germany
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.

I guess I'll be keeping my VPN forever then - whatever good it does me.
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
 
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2457282

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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).
 
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LovingTeddy

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Oct 12, 2015
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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.
 
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vooke

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2014
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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
 
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2457282

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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).
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:

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum.
 
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touchstoned

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2015
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Hermosa Beach, CA
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.
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
 
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Jess13

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Nov 3, 2013
461
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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.

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.
 
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rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,397
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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.

You forgot the pedophile argument. :rolleyes:
 
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vvswarup

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
543
219
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.

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?
 
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