The Financial Times reports that the law that could have seen Apple Messages and WhatsApp withdraw from the UK has been watered down in a face-saving compromise.

In July Apple said it will remove services such as FaceTime and iMessage from the UK rather than weaken security if new proposals for the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) are made law and acted upon, reports the BBC.

The Investigatory Powers Act is an Act of the UK Parliament  passed in 2016. It comprehensively sets out and in limited respects expands the electronic surveillance powers of the British intelligence agencies and police.It also claims to improve the safeguards on the exercise of those powers

As noted by the BBC, Apple has consistently opposed the act. Its submission to the current consultation is nine pages long, opposing:

  • Having to tell the Home Office of any changes to product security features before they are released
  • The requirement for non-UK-based companies to comply with changes that would affect their product globally – such as providing a backdoor to end-to-end encryption
  • Having to take action immediately if a notice to disable or block a feature is received from the Home Office, rather than waiting until after the demand has been reviewed or appealed against

Apple says:

  • It would not make changes to security features specifically for one country that would weaken a product for all users.
  • Some changes would require issuing a software update so could not be made secretly
  • The proposals “constitute a serious and direct threat to data security and information privacy” that would affect people outside the UK.

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today