Popular instant messaging apps could soon be banned in the UK, owing to the strict laws on social media and online messaging services. The move comes as British Prime Minister David Cameron pushes ahead with new legislation that plans to stop people from sending any form of encrypted messages.
Earlier this year, Cameron stated that if re-elected he would look at ways to ban encrypted communication services. “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read? My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not’,” the Prime Minister said.
With the new Investigatory Powers Bill, Internet Service Providers, internet companies like Google, Facebook and Apple, will have to record the history of every UK user. Currently, British police have to make a request in order to access a user’s texts, calls and other internet usage if required, but the new legislation would make this information accessible to authorities at any given time.
Many have labeled the law as a breach of privacy. While the full extent of the powers it will grant remain unclear, there are those who worry the UK government will use the legislation to spy on its citizens, irrespective of whether they are crime suspects or not.
The recent spate of terror attacks, including the shooting of 30 Britons on a beach in Tunisia, has prompted the British Government to accelerate the Investigatory Powers Bill's progress through Parliament. It's thought the new law could arrive within in the next few weeks.