Apple has made a rare but timely intervention in UK politics, attacking terms of the proposed Investigatory Powers bill currently at the committee stage in the British Parliament.
In a letter that has been sent to the committee and extensively quoted from by The Guardian, Apple has warned that the bill, if passed in its current form, could “weaken security” in “a rapidly-evolving cyber-threat environment”. Especially alarmingly in light of Apple’s strong commitment to user privacy, it would require tech firms to help the government to bypass encryption on their devices.
Apple has warned that such legislation “would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers. A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.”
The company has also expressed concern that many of the bill’s provisions would apply even to numerous companies based outside the UK. Apple noted that such businesses “will have to cope with a set of overlapping foreign and domestic laws” – which, when in conflict, could leave them having to “risk sanctions.” This, Apple has added, is “an unreasonable position to be placed in.”