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UK: WhatsApp Ban Causes Social Media Outcry As Government Pushes Ahead With ‘Snoopers Charter’

During the Queen’s Speech, the Government unveiled plans for a new version of the controversial ‘Snoopers Charter’ bill which would potentially allow the Government to ban instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger would both be banned under the new legislation.

Since that point attention to the ‘Snoopers Charter’ has increased after a number of reports started appearing that Home Secretary Theresa May was planning to have the bill in place before the end of the year.

The Investigatory Powers Bill would — admittedly with a number of strict procedures in place — allow security services such as GCHQ and MI5 to access instant messages sent between two people in this country.

The problem is that almost all the major apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage and Snapchat) all use encrypted end-to-end communications which means that Governments and indeed the technology companies can’t see what’s being sent.

Speaking in the aftermath of the Paris Shootings, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremes, with a signed warrant from the Home Secretary personally that we cannot read,”


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