WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage and other encrypted messaging apps could be banned in the UK

WhatsApp, Apple's iMessage and other encrypted messaging apps could be banned in the UK
David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, believes that encrypted messaging applications, which don’t allow authorities to read them if needed, should be blocked. Included here are hugely popular apps like WhatsApp (now owned by Facebook) and Snapchat, as well as Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime services. 

Unlike in the case of phone calls, which security services can access when a warrant is issued, text and content sent via these applications is unreadable by other parties than senders and receivers.


The UK Prime Minister is concerned that encrypted messaging apps can be used by terrorists and other types of criminals - that’s why he says that, in extreme cases, authorities should be able to read them. These concerns were raised after recent terrorist attacks in France, including the shocking Charlie Hebdo shooting.

If companies behind encrypted messaging apps won’t work with UK authorities on this matter, David Cameron could propose a law to ban them - if he’ll be elected as Prime Minister again in May.

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29 Comments

1. Busyboy

Posts: 731; Member since: Jan 07, 2015

Three cheers for no privacy!

2. BattleBrat

Posts: 1476; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Hip Hip..

11. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Hurrawful.

3. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

They condemn an attack on free speech, yet they want to freely monitor communication? Big Brother needs to extract its head from its rectum.

8. apple4never

Posts: 1064; Member since: May 08, 2013

no different than the U.S only they sneakily steal all your info whereas the UK is at least telling you that they will if need be

4. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Let's be honest here, they don't have the guts to do it, and if they do, terrorists will be the least of their worries.

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Typical idiot Cameron. That buffoon is just trying to distract Britons with this lame distraction for the upcoming General Elections in few months. He's failed on all his promises he made 5 years ago and his recent venture to merge UK with EU failed as well to which Britons replied by not voting Conservative in EU elections and a even a new party like UKIP scored much higher then Cameron's Conservative party.

6. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Let's hope the UK aren't stupid enough to vote for him again then. Is this a way for him to try to retire as politician?

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

When another bomb does off and someone you care die who are you going to blame? If you want them accountable give them a means to do their job.

9. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

"He who gives up liberty for a bit of safety, deserves neither, and loses both." - Benjamin Franklin

12. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Particularly when "safety" is an illusion based on ignorant delusion.

13. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

I would swap out "particularly" for "especially".. otherwise, very true!

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Liberty is not in question here. You do vote in your government, do you not? However there are enemy and spy within your mix. Without information it will be the blind leading the blind. A nation survival depends on those that do their jobs well. A person that view things only in black and white will lose out on all the secrets hiding in the millions of RGB colors. In modern warfare has just one saying don't bring knives to a gun fight and your intelligence agent better know which gun they have and will bring.

15. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

By blind leading the blind, if you mean yourself and those who think like you, I agree. Liberty IS the question here. Having access to everyone's communications goes against the very fundamentals enshrined in our constitution. The simple notion as even thinking someone is listening in on your conversation, changes the very nature of that conversation, explicitly infringing on freedom of speech. All this is in direct conflict with these amendments: 1, 4, 9, and 14 (though and 3'd also protects your privacy though more or less from physical infringement by person). The other fact largely ignored is that this entire issue skips over due process. Are all now guilty of crimes, until their pilfered data proves them innocent? When we are guilty before proving ourselves innocent, rather than innocent until proven guilty, we can rightly claim we live in a tyrannical state. In truth, the answer of who is worse to the people of this nation, and of this world, is simple. The man who calls for the cession of liberties, is worse than the man who seeks to take life/lives. One may be the enemy, but the other is an enemy AND a traitor.

17. willard12 unregistered

It doesn't skip over due process as it still requires a warrant from a FISA court. The supreme court has ruled it legal in accordance with the constitution thar you mentioned. The freedom that you love so much is only guaranteed by those who defend it. Sinice you also love quotes, the leader of ISIS said "I'll see you in New York." Please be sure to explain your constitutional rights to him and his army when they get here.

28. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

It doesn't skip due process? I'm not sure if you have mental instability, or are truly that deluded. FISA has essentially been found giving blanket authorization. There is not a single instance where they have turned down a request. But here's the kicker. FISA is only used as a formality when required to do so, otherwise, these searches happen without any warrants whatsoever. I guess in a way due process is given, as we are all treated the same.. we are ALL spied on. Anyone who isn't a blind patriot, who isn't a deluded pro-fascist government, and who understands the constitution, knows the Supreme court hasn't upheld the Constitution in the past several decades whatsoever. After all, you can't say that after cases such as where they ruled that police can search your vehicle without a warrant, that they stand for the Constitution. The fourth amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by PROBABLE cause. By the way, unreasonable search and seizure applies to ALL of your property, not just your home. Idiots like you are pure and simply TRAITORS. As long as the Supreme court says it's fine to infringe on the Constitution, then it must be ok? And funny thing is, people like you say "well supreme court is saying what's ok according to the constitution". So the constitution says it's ok to infringe on the rights enshrined in the constitution? HA. By the way, ISIS is created by the US and Israel. If you don't know that by now, then there really is no hope for you.

18. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Salazzi, what is so important that could not be disclosed and must be kept in the dark even when its will destroy your ability to retain the freedom that you treasure so much. Do share. Because i am talking about dark secret that will either kill your friends, your family and your loved ones if no timely actions is taken to prevent it. Make no mistake this is WAR! Every War call for the sacrifice of innocent blood. To sacrifice privacy is just a small step towards not losing this WAR!

29. hypergreatthing

Posts: 44; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Tell me what terrorist wasn't on the watch list and being spied upon by the current tools that exist for law enforcement? Because every single one that i'm aware of was watched/spied upon and yet they were still able to carry out whatever they wanted. Extra powers to the government isn't the answer. And as for ISIS coming here with an army? lol. Delusional. The only ISIS that will get to the US is the one from Archer.

16. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Also, liberty is not merely being able to vote (although nowadays it's simply choosing between two pre-chosen evils). It is quite clear you know nothing of what liberty truly even is. Indeed there is an enemy and a spy in our midst.. it is government and all those who seek it's expansion on the carcasses of our liberties.

23. TAMARETTE

Posts: 182; Member since: Jun 15, 2014

Agreed. I would rather die than to give up the liberties that our ancestors died for. The NSA is evil itself, and if we give up more of our own liberties because of terrorists, we will gain nothing but lose everything. When liberties are curtailed in order to "fight terrorism" then the very thing we are fighting for no longer exists. Benjamin Franklin most certainly WOULD NOT be happy that the USA is now sending out kill squads and subverting due process. He would ask why the USA is creating so many enemies? How can the USA and Western Europe stand as beacons of light when we allow such things as waterboarding and GITMO? One thing for certain: one day people like you and me, who question why, will be labeled terrorists or enemies of the state ourselves if this long downward spiral continues.

20. aaronix

Posts: 17; Member since: Jun 05, 2014

Benjamin franklin did not face terrorist threat. Human has evolve so does terrorism. If you does not do anything wrong, you no need to hide.

27. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Terrorism is merely a made up term. It is the act of inflicting terror onto a person/persons. When someone is getting mauled by a police dog, is he not terrified? When someones loses all their money in the IRA because the banks put it up as collateral and lost, are they not terrified? When our military invades a sovereign nation, and murders tens of thousands.. are they not terrified? By definition then, the Police, the banks, and the military are all terrorists. Don't try to lecture me on what terrorism is. You can't fool me. It isn't a modern phenomenon, as people didn't simply start to feel terror just 50 years ago.

10. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

given that imessage is owned by Apple and whatsapp by Facebook, why is the UK govt so concerned? Both companies seem willing and able to work with the NSA, why not their intelligence services?

22. Leo_MC

Posts: 6647; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

iDiot! How can they stop their citizens from using those services? So what if they ban them? One can install from an account outside of UK and use them in UK. iDiot!

24. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

People are becomin crazy, I live in iran and the government invades our privacy for its safety. Here the government is not representative of people hence I am against their actions. People from west claim that they have democracy which means government is an organization from people which organizes society (people). So if your government is not curropted like ours why the hell wouldn't you let them check communications on the condition of if and only if it is needed and it is not abused, so they can provide safety agains some crazy f*cks who think there is a place called heaven full of free b*tches and the way to access it is either by not f*cking b*tches in this world or getting yourself killed while killing innocent people and go there as a martyr.

25. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

So they continue drawing comics of Muhammed after a shooting, to show the world how they won't let the terrorist take away their freedom of speech, but at the other side the privacy beeing taken away because of the threat of terrorism...

26. tokuzumi

Posts: 1821; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

IB4 "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about"

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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