There is a lot of reckless endangerment in the recently published draft UK surveillance legislation, here’s what a few technology companies are getting worried about:
Major technology firms are concerned that the British government is
attempting to ban strong encryption with the Investigatory Powers Bill,
despite its assurances to the contrary.
A number of companies, both large and small, have expressed their
fears to the Guardian that one particular clause of the proposed
legislation gives the government the power to force them to weaken their
systems, in order to enable the bulk collection aspects of the bill.
Section 189 of the bill, titled “Maintenance of technical
capability”, allows the secretary of state to issue orders to companies
“relating to the removal of electronic protection applied … to any
communications or data”.
The only limits on the power of the Secretary of State to do so are a
requirement that they consult with an advisory board beforehand, and
that any specific obligation must be “reasonable” and “practicable”. The
technical capability notice can even be issued to people outside the
UK, and require them to do, or not to do, things outside the UK.