UK Government Contemplates Banning Apple Security Updates, Casting Doubt on iMessage & FaceTime The UK government's latest proposal could undermine Apple's ability to issue critical security updates, following its controversial stance against end-to-end encryption in iMessage and FaceTime.

iMessage

As the UK government intensifies its push against end-to-end encryption, a measure that could impact popular services like iMessage and FaceTime, it’s also considering a ban on some Apple security updates.

In the latest move, the government is proposing that tech companies must notify authorities before implementing a security fix. However, permission may be denied if the update blocks a vulnerability that security services are actively exploiting.

This contentious approach to encryption and security isn’t new for the British government; as far back as 2017, it sought to ban end-to-end encryption. At that time, the country’s former MI5 chief had already warned officials about the perils of such a ban.

More recently, this viewpoint was reiterated in a BBC Radio interview with the same former head of the Security Service (MI5), who stated that while encryption does make intelligence work more challenging, it remains a “lesser evil.” He emphasized that in an age where both governments and criminals use cyberspace, it’s essential for the UK to be a country where people can operate securely.

The British government maintains that encryption hinders the work of security services, but this claim is increasingly met with skepticism.

Apple has taken a firm stand against weakening its encryption standards, stating it would prefer to pull iMessage and FaceTime from the UK market altogether rather than compromise its end-to-end encryption.

This tussle between the tech giant and the UK government underscores broader concerns about individual privacy, data security, and the efficacy of legislation around evolving digital landscapes.

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