If the new proposals become law and are implemented, Apple has stated that it will stop offering services like FaceTime and iMessage to users in the UK rather than compromising security.
The Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016 is being sought after to be updated by the government.
Before making security features available to customers, it wants messaging services to have them approved by the Home Office.
The act enables the Home Office to request that security features be turned off without disclosing this to the public. This would have to take place right away under the update.
Currently, before taking any action, there must be a review, there may also be an independent oversight process, and a technology company may appeal.
Little is known about how many of these demands have been made and whether they have been complied with due to the secrecy surrounding them.
However, many messaging services now provide end-to-end encryption, allowing only the devices sending and receiving the message to decipher it.
One provision in the Online Safety Bill that would have allowed the communications regulator to require businesses to install technology to scan for child abuse material in encrypted messaging apps and other services was opposed by platforms like WhatsApp and Signal.
They claim that despite Signal's threat to "walk" away from the UK, they will not comply with it.
Apple is also against the idea.
The proposed changes to the IPA are the subject of an eight-week consultation launched by the government. , which already permits the storage of internet browsing history for a year and permits the collection of large amounts of personal information.
They aim to make the law more compatible with modern technology, not to "create new powers," according to the statement.
The law, which critics initially referred to as a "snooper's charter," has always been opposed by Apple. Its nine-page response to the current consultation opposes:.
- before a product is released, any changes to its security features must be reported to the Home Office.
- the need for non-UK-based businesses to abide by amendments that would globally affect their product, like offering a backdoor to end-to-end encryption.
- having to act right away rather than waiting until the demand has been reviewed or appealed against if a notice to disable or block a feature is received from the Home Office.
- It wouldn't alter security settings specifically for one nation that would make a product less secure for all customers.
- Some adjustments couldn't be made covertly because doing so would require publishing a software update.
- The proposals, which would impact people outside the UK, "constitute a serious and direct threat to data security and information privacy.".
Technology companies were unlikely to accept the proposals, according to Surrey University's Prof. Alan Woodward, an expert in cyber security.
He continued, "If the government thinks some of the larger tech companies will comply with the new requirements without a big fight, there is a degree of arrogance and ignorance from the government.".
The Investigatory Powers Act, according to the Home Office, was created to "protect the public from criminals, child sex abusers, and terrorists.". .
"We keep all legislation under review to ensure that it is as strong as it can be," the statement continued, "and this consultation is part of that process; no decisions have yet been made.".
Zoe Kleinman's Twitter handle is @zsk.