Tories want rid of instant messaging services
The prime minister has unveiled, in a seemingly draconian manner, that his Tory government wants to ban the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Apple’s iMessage.
The announcement comes as part of an effort to destroy online havens for terrorists to communicate with each other.
The messaging apps use encryption methods, which make it difficult for the authorities to track what everyone is saying to each other, however security experts have spoken up on the absurdity of the PM’s plan.
Graham Cluley, independent computer security expert, told The Guardian: “It’s crazy. Cameron is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land if he thinks that this is a sensible idea, and no it wouldn’t be possible to implement properly.”
Christopher Graham, data watchdog’s information commissioner, agrees, saying “we must avoid knee-jerk reactions … I am concerned about any compromising of effective encryption for consumers of online services.
“Citizens, businesses, and nation states need to protect themselves. Internet companies are understandably offering their customers online services that are better encrypted following recent security incidents.”
The announcement was aired on Monday (13 July), with Cameron saying: “In extremis, it has been possible to read someone’s letter … to listen to someone’s call … that is why the same applies to mobile communications.
“The question remains: are we going to allow a means of communications where it simply isn’t possible to do that? My answer to that question is: no, we must not.”
What would this mean if it goes ahead?
If the Tories were to get the green light to ban instant messaging services, it wouldn’t be long before somebody creates a new one. And in that scenario, it would undoubtedly lead to the advent of new, less secure services, inviting hackers to prey on private information.
What do you think about the prime ministers plan to eradicate online messaging services? Have your say in the comments section below.