Apple has said it would rather pull its apps, iMessage and FaceTime, from the UK market than break end-to-end encryption, in response to potential legislation requiring messaging services to offer encryption workarounds, BBC reports. Such a position appeared against the background of consideration of a new draft law on Internet security, which is currently under consideration in Great Britain.
The UK government wants to be able to scan end-to-end encrypted messages for illegal content, such as child abuse material. The government says that existing laws allow this, but that they are technically out of date due to the security requirements of modern technology.
Apple, as well as other services such as WhatsApp and Signal, opposed the proposal. In a nine-page statement against the proposed bill, Apple strongly objected to requirements such as end-to-end encryption backdoors.
The tech giant said it would not make country-specific changes that would weaken the security of all its users, instead threatening to disable iMessage and FaceTime for UK users.
The proposed legislation is currently undergoing an eight-week consultation period. Apple and other companies hope the government will revise the bill in response to criticism.
Apple previously abandoned plans for its own CSAM scanning feature for iCloud Photos after pressure from customers and rights groups. However, Apple’s solution was safer for privacy than what the UK government is currently proposing.