King’s Speech: Investigatory Powers Act reforms threaten security

Open Rights Group has responded to the proposed amendments to the Investigatory Powers Act, announced in the King’s Speech today.

The amendments could mean that global tech companies are forced to get permission from the UK government if they want to make changes to security features of their products and services. This is likely to mean further attacks on end-to-end encryption, which keeps our communications and transactions safe. At the time of the consultation into these changes, Apple responded by saying that if it was forced to weaken the security of products such as FaceTime and iMessage, they would simply remove them from the UK.

Abigail Burke, Platform Power Programme Manager for Open Rights Group said:

“End-to-end encryption keeps our data and our communications safe and secure. The proposed reforms to the Investigatory Powers Act are the government’s latest attack on this technology.

“If enacted, these reforms pose a threat to companies’ ability to keep our data safe and increase the risk of criminal attacks. We urge the government to engage with civil society and tech companies, and to reconsider these potentially dangerous proposals.”

Read Open Rights Group’s submission on the consultation into the reform of the Investigatory Powers Act.