Apple says it will pull Messages and FaceTime if UK forces back-door access to its encryption

Originally published at: Apple says it will pull Messages and FaceTime if UK forces back-door access to its encryption | Boing Boing


To call this a bad bill would be too kind.

One of the things Apple is highlighting is that it mandates companies give the Home Secrecy oversight of any proposed changes to the workings of software that would affect law enforcement’s ability to break into conversations.

In short, it would give the very dim, very unpleasant, very strident Suella Braverman the right to dictate computer security policies anywhere in the World.


How many of the UK government representatives that are pushing for this change use Apple products? It would be an enlightening exercise if Apple were to make a proof-of-concept version of Messages and FaceTime that complies with the proposed requirements, push it to those representatives’ phones (along with a message containing a unique passcode for each representative), and offer a bug bounty to any white hat hacker who could provide them (and the representative) with that passcode.

I don’t think it would take 24 hours before the first representatives received notice that their passcode had been obtained.


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Why should Apple go to that amount of work to prove that the bill is flawed, when the politicians will just exempt themselves from the law anyway.

Apple have stated their case, and I would be fully supportive of them killing the services if it goes through. If Whatsapp follows suit as well then that would be the nail in the coffin.


… nobody in the UK can imagine that Apple is serious and would just not do business in the UK


They can’t really exempt themselves though. The encryption is flawed or it’s not.


They think they can. Actual knowledge of subject matter doesn’t enter into it.


We’re learning from the Covid Inquiry that much of Cabinet business is conducted on WhatsApp and isn’t properly archived, so any ban would probably bring the government to a grinding halt in a few days.

When I write that, it sounds like quite an appealing prospect.


Cue lots of Apple jailbreaking, Android mods and VPN use to pretend the phone is anywhere but in the UK… by the very people they are trying to target.


Has anyone in the British media started calling it “iBrexit”?


… they think they can make Apple do things :confused:


encryption is being kicked down the road…
when will hacked off… or even greenpeace get the mouth off sum…

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This is very important to comprehend in a time where for some reason or another people are trying to return to an authoritarian, undemocratic and even outright fascist style of politics.

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But they’re not suggesting that; they’re saying they would disable features as they do in other authoritarian countries.

In China, as far as I understand it, iPhones do have Messages and FaceTime, with the same crypto as elsewhere, but it is rendered moot because they also come with PKI materials that let the government install spyware in the same way as an employer can do on company phones (and then some). So Apple likely still can’t read your messages, but the government can, and also see your private photos, access your microphone, erase data or anything else.

I’m sure Apple would do that if HM Government asked for it. The government’s problem is, they want to be the Stasi while looking liberal, and they expect vendors to do a bunch of Potemkin engineering to make that wish come true. But I think Apple would sooner forgo a couple of years’ UK sales than accept such an albatross (which dwarfs any concession they’ve made for the far more important Chinese market). Meta and Google probably have even less to lose.


two national newspapers say nearly 400 mp’s spent a good deal of mony on apple products how much time will it take one to read this through…

They’ll still sell iPhones, they just won’t have iMessage on them. Don’t worry, Apple won’t lose any meaningful amount of money. And if you consider it part of advertising their privacy policies, this stance will likely prove very lucrative for them.

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