Friday Mar 10 2023
Web Desk

WhatsApp CEO supports Signal's concerns over UK's Online Safety Bill

Web Desk
Representational images of Messaging platforms Signal (left) and WhatsApp. — Reuters/File
Representational images of Messaging platforms Signal (left) and WhatsApp. — Reuters/File 

Voicing concerns and strong reservations over the United Kingdom's (UK) new legislation "Online Safety Bill" the rival messaging platforms WhatsApp and Signal have united in its opposition. 

The bill hoping to regulate communication platforms is currently under discussion in the UK's House of Commons.

WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart backed Signal's stance while retweeting the rival messaging app on Twitter. 

In the tweet, Signal shared its President Meredith Whittaker's detailed blog on the bill. 

WhatsApp CEO supports Signals concerns over UKs Online Safety Bill

End-to-end encryption is a secure form of communication offered by WhatsApp and Signal which allows users to enjoy safe and secure communication without decryption other than the recipient.

The bill focus's on end-to-end encryption is being criticised by both the platforms. 

WhatsApp CEO opposed the bill earlier saying it would erode freedom of expression and compromise its well-established end-to-end encryption privacy. 

"We have never seen a liberal democracy do that," he said.

The WhatsApp CEO termed the bill "the most concerning piece of legislation currently being discussed in the western world".

While in a blog post published on Signal's website, the messaging app's president wrote: "Signal exists to provide people everywhere with a tool for real private communication. That’s our only goal, and we take it very seriously, but the current state of the Online Safety Bill in the UK puts the future of privacy and expression in grave jeopardy."

The Signal president was of the view that the bill contains provisions that may undermine encryption, and could create an unprecedented regime of mass surveillance that would eliminate stop the people of UK to communicate with each other outside of government interference.

She termed the bill a "grab bag". 

Whittaker said: "We cannot let well-meaning emotions lead us to authoritarian futures."

She said she opposes the bill in its current form and believes key provisions need to be fundamentally reconsidered.

As per the legislation, the government would be in a position to push the platforms for content moderation which cannot be done without compromising end-to-end encryption.