Saturday, March 25, 2023

WhatsApp May Stop Operating in the UK


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The messaging app WhatsApp could soon become inaccessible to users in the United Kingdom. The head of the app, Will Cathcart, who works for its parent company Meta, has stated that WhatsApp will not comply with the proposed Online Safety Bill by the UK government. The bill would hold online platforms liable for publishing various forms of abuse, such as cyberbullying, hate speech, fraud, and inciting violence. The platforms would also be required to remove such content, and the UK’s regulatory body for communications, Ofcom, would have enforcement powers.

Critics of the bill are concerned that private encrypted messaging apps, like WhatsApp, will be forced to use “accredited technology” to identify and remove child abuse material. Cathcart has stated that if this is the case, WhatsApp will not comply as it would require them to stop using end-to-end encryption. Furthermore, Cathcart believes that 98% of WhatsApp users are outside the UK and would not want the app’s security to be compromised. Therefore, it would not make sense for WhatsApp to reduce its security measures for a small number of users.

WhatsApp is currently the most popular messaging app in the UK, with over seven in ten adults using it, according to Ofcom. However, if WhatsApp does not comply with the proposed bill, it is likely that UK users will need to find alternative messaging apps.

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