If mandated by the Internet Safety Bill, WhatsApp claims it would prefer to be blocked in the UK than compromise its encrypted messaging system.
Will Cathcart, the company’s CEO, declared that if asked to weaken the privacy of encrypted messages, the company would reject.
The messaging software Signal previously stated that if the bill obliged it to scan messages, it might quit offering services in the UK.
According to the administration, privacy and child safety can coexist.
According to communication regulator Ofcom, WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging app in the UK, used by more than seven in ten online users.
child abuse content
End-to-end encryption encrypts communications so that not even the provider of the service can decipher its content.
Nevertheless, opponents of the Online Safety Bill claim that it gives Ofcom the authority to mandate the adoption of “certified technology” by private encrypted messaging platforms and other services in order to detect and delete child abuse content.
According to Mr. Cathcart, compromising WhatsApp’s privacy in the UK would affect all users.
98% of our users are located outside of the UK, and they want us to maintain the product’s security, he said. “Our users all over the world desire security,” he added. Also, the app would prefer to be blocked in the UK.
“For instance, we recently encountered a blockage in Iran. A liberal democracy has never done that, “Added he.
Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal, previously told BBC News that if the bill obliged it to reduce the privacy of its encrypted messaging system, it “would definitely, 100% walk” and cease offering services in the UK.
Afterwards, she tweeted that she was “looking forward to working with @wcathcart and others to push back”.
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