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Apple is "deeply concerned" that proposed changes to British surveillance legislation could give the U.K. government unprecedented powers to secretly prevent software updates from being released in any other country (via BBC News).

apple-regent-street-hires.jpeg

The UK government is planning to update the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which came into effect in 2016 and allows the British Home Office to outlaw certain encrypted services by issuing something called a Technical Capability Notice (TCN).

Dubbed by critics as a "Snooper's Charter," the updated Act of Parliament could also allow the Home Office to decline security and privacy updates without telling the public.

The bill proposes changes including:
  • Creating a new condition for the use of internet connection records to aid "target detection."
  • Introducing an alternative, less stringent regulatory regime for the retention and examination of bulk personal datasets where individuals have little or no
    expectation of privacy (such as publicly available online telephone directories).
  • A new notification requirement which can be issued to selected
    telecommunications operators requiring them to inform the government of
    proposed changes to their products or services that could negatively impact the current ability of agencies to lawfully access data.
Apple opposes the requirement to inform the Home Office of any changes to product security features before they are released, the requirement for non-U.K.-based companies to comply with changes that would affect their product globally, and having to take action immediately if requested to disable or block a feature without review or an appeals process.
"We're deeply concerned the proposed amendments to the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) now before Parliament place users' privacy and security at risk," said Apple in a statement.

"It's an unprecedented overreach by the government and, if enacted, the UK could attempt to secretly veto new user protections globally preventing us from ever offering them to customers."
In a July 2023 letter to the Home Office, Apple argued that the proposed changes "would suppress innovation, stifle commerce, and — when combined with purported extraterritorial application — make the Home Office the de facto global arbiter of what level of data security and encryption are permissible."

The company also said it would consider pulling services such as FaceTime and iMessage from the U.K. rather than compromise future security.

Earlier this month, civil liberties groups including Big Brother Watch, Liberty, Open Rights Group and Privacy International, issued a joint briefing opposing aspects of the bill.

The groups said the proposed changed could "force technology companies, including those based overseas, to inform the government of any plans to improve security or privacy measures on their platforms so that the government can consider serving a notice to prevent such changes."

"This would be effectively transforming private companies into arms of the surveillance state and eroding the security of devices and the internet," the groups added.

The proposed changes will be debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News 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 Warns Proposed UK Law Could 'Secretly Veto' Global User Protections
 
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wanha

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2020
1,457
4,225
Democracy, the way it is often run, seems to be a system where people who lack the basic understanding of how something works make decisions on how it should work.

It's a terribly stupid system, but the alternatives are even worse.
 
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seggy

macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2016
369
257
Why on earth would someone support such law.
The answer to everything as far as things go for the Conservative Party is "Think of the children" no matter how irrelevant that is.

This article makes it seem like Apple is the first to push back against this (and obviously that makes sense given where it is posted) but other majors like Google and Microsoft has been pushing back on this for far longer than Apple has.
However Apple has major visibility, and that can only help.

It's kinda good that we are a relatively small market in the global scheme of things that Apple is openly pushing back - if this was China, Apple would bend over backwards no problemo.
 

ric22

Suspended
Mar 8, 2022
1,735
1,696
The answer to everything as far as things go for the Conservative Party is "Think of the children" no matter how irrelevant that is.

This article makes it seem like Apple is the first to push back against this (and obviously that makes sense given where it is posted) but other majors like Google and Microsoft has been pushing back on this for far longer than Apple has.
However Apple has major visibility, and that can only help.

It's kinda good that we are a relatively small market in the global scheme of things that Apple is openly pushing back - if this was China, Apple would bend over backwards no problemo.
China hasn't publicly asked for a say in Apple's worldwide behaviour, as the UK seem to be doing. Plus the UK is a far far smaller and less significant market for Apple.
 

springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,222
1,209
The investigatory powers act is an awful piece of legislation. While the rest of the developed world is concerned more with data privacy, the U.K. cares more about surveillance.

When it comes to encryption, it’s clear that government thinks it can just legislate away a clear paradox. It’s truly moronic.

The U.K. has suffered a significant decline in the last 20 years. It didn’t start with Brexit. I’m so glad I left, and even as a Brit I would never go back. The standard of living is so much better in Europe, and despite their flaws, European governments are a bazillion times more competent than the British.
 

seggy

macrumors 6502
Feb 13, 2016
369
257
China hasn't publicly asked for a say in Apple's worldwide behaviour, as the UK seem to be doing. Plus the UK is a far far smaller and less significant market for Apple.
No - that's only how the news is framed when you ultimately consider what's going to be requred.

What they're asking for in effect is the same as China did and has got in spades: A specific and far-reaching exemption to the rule.

And as for the latter sentence as I said, that's the only reason Apple *is* publicly pushing back. It just boggles my mind that people still think companies like Apple do this for the public good, Stockholm Syndrome at its most powerful - but again, in this case it is extremely useful because of the rabid brand loyalty Apple has among the vacuous media.
 
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AngstyKylo

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2018
166
182
London UK
Why on earth would someone support such law.
The UK Govt is pretty much Saudi, Russia, India and China lobbied and funded for at the least the past 5-6 years. Those countries have actually played a blinder in destroying, controlling and pillaging the UK. Brits have probably the dumbest electorate, many still simp for the Royal Family/upper classes and believe everything they read from The Mail or Murdoch owned news.
 

jlc1978

macrumors 603
Aug 14, 2009
5,475
4,258
Instead they should stop issuing iOS updates to the UK. People will lose their ****.

I'm not sure that would suffice as the UK would still want to be able to "lawfully access data;" so as long as Apple is in the UK any changes external to the UK that would impede that might run afoul of the law.

That's the struggle for the digital world, its transnational nature means laws will conflictand companies caught in the crossfire. Some will simply leave jurisdictions that are not worth the trouble, as we see with some websites that aren't available in the EU due to privacy and data protection laws if you have an EU IP address.

Companies such as Apple, with a large global presence, will find leaving, even if they want to, difficult.
 

laptech

macrumors 68040
Apr 26, 2013
3,572
3,929
Earth
When terrorists, child grooming gangs, people smugglers, people traffickers and drug suppliers/dealers are able to use electronic devices with impunity due to electronic device manufacturers designing strong hardware and software encryption and security into their devices then governments will act to stop that impunity.

For generations the UK has suffered numerous terrorists acts by the IRA and still do to this day as well as terrorists acts by other groups and thus the UK government will do what is necessary to protect it's citizens. Apple and other manufacturers think they are doing everyone a favor by beefing up security in their devices but when that security is used to help cause death and destruction, governments and security services/authorities will act whether we like it or not.
 

arkitect

macrumors 604
Sep 5, 2005
7,072
12,403
Bath, United Kingdom
When terrorists, child grooming gangs, people smugglers, people traffickers and drug suppliers/dealers are able to use electronic devices with impunity due to electronic device manufacturers designing strong hardware and software encryption and security into their devices then governments will act to stop that impunity.

For generations the UK has suffered numerous terrorists acts by the IRA and still do to this day as well as terrorists acts by other groups and thus the UK government will do what is necessary to protect it's citizens. Apple and other manufacturers think they are doing everyone a favor by beefing up security in their devices but when that security is used to help cause death and destruction, governments and security services/authorities will act whether we like it or not.
Oh my, Grant Shapps, Priti Patel, Suella Bravermann and now, James not-so-Cleverly really love voters who think like this.
"Please ma'am, may we have less freedom? Priti please?"

Good grief.

To haul out the IRA (been keeping up with the news lately?) is just asinine.

Don't believe everything Rupert and his editors tell you.
 
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