The head of the popular messaging platform Signal is sounding the alarm bells, warning that if the proposed online safety bill weakens end-to-end encryption, they will be forced to close their doors in the UK. Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal, made it clear: “We would absolutely 100% walk rather than ever undermine the trust that people place in us to provide a truly private means of communication. We have never weakened our privacy promises, and we never would.”
What is concerning advocates for privacy is how the bill could force encrypted messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp, and Apple’s iMessage to keep tabs on users’ messages; this opens up vulnerabilities that could be exploited by less desirable actors and governments alike. Signal is highly regarded due to its commitment to providing secure communications, serving activists and journalists, plus some intelligence services – all with end-to-end encryption that only allows senders and recipients to view the contents of a message.