Technology with attitude

WhatsApp and Facebook Off-limits In The UK?

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In today’s world, a world in which everybody is exposed, terrorists have made a target out of social media platforms and IM services worldwide.

Remember the NY Times article on the individuals that got arrested in Belgium for compromising messages that were made public on WhatsApp? Big names like Al Qaeda or Taliban are lurking around each corner and are constantly letting people know they are there. This is even more troubling when you come to think of the fact that there are encrypted networks out there, like Snapchat or iMessenger just to name a few.

British PM David Cameron is pretty optimistic and wishes to gain full control over the e-communication means. Currently, the “talk of the town” is regarding a legislation that is dubbed Investigatory Powers Bill (Snooper’s Charter for short). What would this do? It would prohibit suspicious apps like Snapchat, iMessenger, WhatsApp and the titan Facebook with the sole condition that the info sent through their service to be unrestricted to the government.

This was made public back in 2012. Apparently, this type of bill would decree that all Internet service provides must maintain the full records of all the social media practice along with the emails, mobile phone chats and conversations. All of this data would have been kept for 12 full months.

This is something that Theresa May (Home Secretary in UK) wishes to set in motion fast. According to HuffPost UK, this bill should be on the table by the end of 2016. However, the media in UK has been publishing rumors about this legislation for quite some time now.

A lot of these social media networks have applied end-to-end encryption. This means that the user’s private data and info are of course protected and when sending a message to someone via such a social media network, the latter can solely be read by the sender or the receiver and nobody else, not even the government.