WhatsApp soon to be banned from the UK?
It’s not just TikTok that needs to show its credentials in Europe. This is also the case for WhatsApp, which is worried about a bill that will jeopardize its presence in the United Kingdom. Indeed, the head of the messaging application within the Meta parent company, Will Cathcart, does not welcome a bill dubbed the Online Safety Bill, which could force WhatsApp to weaken end-to-end encryption. end used to secure messages on the platform. And this in order to detect illegal content (terrorism, child pornography, etc.) likely to appear in certain discussions on the application.
But for WhatsApp, there is no question of complying with such a requirement, reports The Independent. In the columns of the British daily, Will Cathcart said he was shocked that the company was forced to make the end-to-end encryption currently in force on the application less opaque. Under the current system, only participants in a discussion can have access to the exchanges it contains. Even WhatsApp is unable to see what users send to each other on the platform.
WhatsApp is a free and secure instant messenger that allows you to keep in touch with all your friends or family, you can download and install it on all platforms.
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In the eyes of Will Cathcart, the bill, currently being debated in the British Parliament, could have a negative impact on the privacy of WhatsApp users. “This has only happened with governments trying to suppress the ability of their citizens to communicate freely”, he believes. And to add: “When a liberal democracy asks if it’s okay to scan everyone’s private communications for illegal content, it encourages countries around the world, which have very different definitions of illegal content, to come up with the same .”
In addition, the head of WhatsApp assures that the application offered in the United Kingdom is the same as that available in the rest of the world. Therefore, a weakening of end-to-end encryption would affect WhatsApp users worldwide, not just those based across the Channel. Be that as it may, Will Cathcart assures that he will not apply this measure if it is adopted by British parliamentarians, even if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government asks him to.
By refusing to comply with this legislation if it is adopted, WhatsApp could become illegal in the United Kingdom, and therefore find itself subject to a ban on the territory. An end to which Will Cathcart obviously does not want to be confronted. That’s why he’s urging the UK government to add an amendment to the bill making it clear that private messaging is different from other social networks, and that encryption must be protected. It remains to be seen whether his appeal will be heard in the coming weeks.