Apple spoken Criticism of UK authorities’ plans to pass Internet Safety Bill (Online Safety Law), joined the camp of its opponents, including instant messengers WhatsApp, Signal, etc. The company asked the country’s parliament to think twice before passing a pending bill that would require online messaging services to break the news scan for child abuse using encryption.
Notably, Apple rejected a provision in the bill that would allow communications regulator Ofcom to order tech companies to use it “Accredited Technologies” to identify child sexual abuse content, “regardless of whether the transmission is public or private.” Apple has called for appropriate amendments to the bill to ensure end-to-end encryption is protected.
Security experts have warned that forcing companies to check messages for illegal content, even if done on the client side, can be detrimental to user privacy and security. Apple previously dropped plans to scan iCloud images on users’ devices for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) due to backlash from privacy advocates.
The Internet Safety Bill is currently being discussed in the UK’s House of Lords and is expected to be passed in the summer.