UK Prime Minister David Cameron could push for a ban on WhatsApp and Snapchat if he wins this year’s general election. The move would be the result of new surveillance plans proposed in the wake of the terror attacks in France.
Cameron, speaking in Paris – in comments quoted by The Independent – said: “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which…we cannot read?”
He made it clear that he wants to stop the use of communications methods that cannot be read by the security services even with a warrant. That would include communications and social media apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat which encrypt their data.
WhatsApp added end-to-end encryption to its service in late-2014.
In practice, while the government could seek to impose a ban on encrypted communication apps and see them removed from mainstream app stores, it would be almost impossible to prevent their use entirely.
It’s unlikely that the proposals will become law if the Conservatives find themselves in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats again after this year’s General Election. If the legislation is pursued as proposed, the move will face serious challenges from civil liberties groups.
➤WhatsApp and Snapchat could be banned under new surveillance plans [The Independent]