Tech giants sign letter condemning UK agency’s plan to spy on encrypted messages
Four tech giants have slammed a proposal by the UK government to allow government spies secret access to private chats that are supposed to be encrypted. In a joint letter to the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Microsoft, Google, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) and Apple said that the “ghost protocol” espionage proposal by the UK agency would gravely undermine security and human rights. The firms also argued that the plan would lead users to lose trust in the affected messaging services.
One of the officials who worked on the GCHQ proposal said that the agency “welcome[s] this response to our request for thoughts on exceptional access to data — for example to stop terrorists.” The official added that “the hypothetical proposal was always intended as a starting point for discussion” and that the GCHQ “will continue to engage with interested parties and look forward to having an open discussion to reach the best solutions possible.”