Major names at WhatsApp, Signal, Viber and many others have penned an Open letter to the UK government protesting the new bill that could break end-to-end encryption on messaging.
A group of end-to-end encrypted communication services is urging the UK Government to reconsider the Online Safety Bill as it could compromise everyone’s privacy and safety. The group argues that the Bill could allow for general and indiscriminate surveillance of personal messages, undermining the purpose of end-to-end encryption. They also claim that it could compromise the security of all users and embolden hostile governments. The group calls for the UK Government to revise the Bill to encourage more privacy and security, rather than less. The United Nations has also warned about the privacy risks associated with the Bill. There is a fear that the bill could force OFCOMs hand into active monitoring rather than being a neutral regulator.
What is OFCOM?
OFCOM is the UK’s independent regulator for the communications industry, responsible for overseeing and regulating the telecommunications, broadcasting, and postal industries. OFCOM plays a vital role in ensuring that these industries operate fairly and effectively, while also protecting the interests of consumers and the public.
As a regulator, OFCOM is responsible for setting and enforcing rules and standards for the communications industry, such as ensuring that telecommunications companies provide reliable and affordable services and that broadcasters adhere to codes of conduct related to accuracy, impartiality, and decency. OFCOM also plays an important role in managing the use of the radio spectrum and ensuring that it is used efficiently and effectively.
In addition, OFCOM is responsible for monitoring and investigating complaints from consumers and the public about the communications industry and can take enforcement action against companies that breach the rules and regulations.
Overall, OFCOM is important because it helps to promote competition, innovation, and investment in the communications industry, while also protecting the interests of consumers and the public.
What is End to end encryption?
End-to-end encryption is important because it provides a strong level of security for communications between two parties, ensuring that the sender and the recipient are the only ones who can access the message. This means that even if a third-party intercepts the message, they would not be able to read or understand it.
End-to-end encryption is particularly important in today’s digital age as we increasingly rely on internet technologies to conduct our daily activities, such as sending confidential information, conducting financial transactions, or sharing personal details with friends and family. Without end-to-end encryption, our sensitive information would be vulnerable to cyberattacks, identity theft, and other malicious activities.
What can I do?
Contact your local MP! You can do so for free, and super easy using a service like https://www.writetothem.com/ which helps you locate and write to your local MP for free.