Apple criticizes British plans to extend online surveillance

LONDON: Apple has raised concerns about British plans to give security agencies extra online surveillance powers, saying a planned law could weaken the security of personal data for millions of people.

Britain unveiled proposals for sweeping new powers last month, including the right to find out which websites people visit, that it said were needed to keep the country safe from criminals, fraudsters and militants.

Critics say the Investigatory Powers Bill gives British spies powers beyond those available in other Western countries, including the United States, and it is an assault on freedoms. Apple said it was opposed to proposals in the bill that would weaken encryption, such as the explicit obligation on service providers to help intercept data and hack suspects’ devices. The California-based company, which uses end-to-end encryption on its FaceTime and iMessage services, said the best way to protect against increasingly sophisticated hacking schemes and cyber attacks was by putting into place increasingly stronger – not weaker – encryption.


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