- Curvy Wife Guy drops music video for rap song ‘Chubby Sexy’ Friday 7:33 PM
- A ‘Black Mirror’ spinoff mini-series is coming to YouTube via Netflix Latin America Friday 5:56 PM
- Kanye West appears on David Letterman’s Netflix show to talk Trump, TMZ, and Drake Friday 3:27 PM
- QAnon believers link small-town arrest to deep state conspiracy without evidence Friday 1:58 PM
- Instagram photos showing prison conditions spark massive protest Friday 1:33 PM
- ‘Gay rat wedding’ headline sparks amazing new meme Friday 1:03 PM
- ‘I read a gossip piece’ meme mocks Moby’s Instagram post Friday 12:39 PM
- Rotten Tomatoes wants to see your ticket stub to leave a verified review Friday 11:46 AM
- ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie delayed to 2020 to fix his look Friday 11:39 AM
- ‘Swamp Thing’ gets off to a promising start, but can it tell a convincing love story? Friday 11:34 AM
- ‘Falling on deaf ears’: ‘Queer Eye’ star sparks conversation about ableist idioms Friday 11:15 AM
- Parents are spending thousands on YouTube camps that teach kids how to be famous Friday 10:43 AM
- In season 2 of ‘She’s Gotta Have It,’ Spike Lee remains unapologetically himself Friday 10:36 AM
- Trump selling Pride shirts is a grotesque insult to the LGBTQ community Friday 10:27 AM
- Logan Paul is being mocked for pulling out of slapping competition Friday 9:57 AM
The bill would force Apple to “endanger all our customers,” the company warned.
Section 189 of the Investigatory Powers Bill, currently under debate in the British Parliament, requires companies to comply with government demands for “the removal of electronic protection applied by a relevant operator to any communications or data.” Tech companies, security experts, and open-Internet groups argue that this amounts to a prohibition on end-to-end encryption, a form of protection so sophisticated that device manufacturers cannot break it.
In a letter filed with the U.K. parliament and shared with the Daily Dot, Apple said the bill would “hurt law-abiding citizens” and fail to stop “the few bad actors who have a variety of ways to carry out their attacks.”
“The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers,” the company said. “A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.”
Recent terrorist attacks have sparked fears that extremists are hiding their planning by encrypting their communications, and in many Western countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, companies that offer end-to-end encryption are facing pressure to compromise it for government investigators. In the U.S., Obama administration officials and senior lawmakers have reignited this decades-old debate over encryption by demanding that companies install “backdoors” in their code.
Technical experts overwhelmingly condemn backdoors, arguing that they are technologically infeasible and would dramatically undermine security. Apple’s use of the phrase “a key left under the doormat” echoes the title of a landmark report on the need for strong encryption.
“The best minds in the world cannot rewrite the laws of mathematics,” Apple said in its letter. “Any process that weakens the mathematical models that protect user data will by extension weaken the protection. And recent history is littered with cases of attackers successfully implementing exploits that nearly all experts either remained unaware of or viewed as merely theoretical.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook, the tech industry’s loudest voice opposing backdoors, blasted the U.S. lawmakers currently considering a backdoor mandate, saying, “If you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys.”
“We owe it to our customers to protect their personal data to the best of our ability,” Apple argued in its letter. “Increasingly stronger—not weaker—encryption is the best way to protect against these threats.”
Photo via Jason Ralston/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.