Apple warns against the UK's proposed spying law

The proposed law would weaken the security for millions of law-abiding citizens, the company says.

Apple is serious about security and privacy. Tim Cook brought this message to 60 Minutes on Sunday, telling Charlie Rose that Apple can’t hand over encrypted info to governments—and frankly doesn’t want to, also rejecting the idea of a “back door” built into software.

Now Apple is bringing that same message to the United Kingdom, going on record to express concern that a proposed investigatory powers bill could expose “personal data of millions of law-abiding citizens.”

The bill is currently in committee in the UK’s House of Commons, and Apple sent its concerns to that committee on Monday, suggesting changes. The proposed bill, for example, would allow the government to demand access to iMessage, which currently features end-to-end encryption. Obviously that would weaken iMessage’s security, and not just for bad actors—for everyone.

“The creation of backdoors and intercept capabilities would weaken the proptections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers. A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.”

The bill as written would even grant official authority to the government to hack computers anywhere in the world, and require companies like Apple to actually help it do so. “It would place businesses like Apple, whose relationship with customers is in part built on a sense of trust about how data will be handled, in a very difficult position,” said Apple, in one of the biggest understatements of the year.

The story behind the story: Apple isn’t the only company speaking out against this particular bill, which was first introduced in November. Internet service providers have warned that the bill’s requirement that they store browsing data for a full year would both risk security and cause higher broadband bills.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about AppleRose

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Susie Ochs

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts