According to The Verge, Will Cathcart, the president of WhatsApp, criticized the UK’s online security law as the strictest set of online regulations in the western world and threatened to leave the country if these problems continue.
In this context, he added that the fact is that our users all over the world want the high security of our application. 98% of our users are outside the UK. They don’t want us to lower the security of the product and it is not right for us to cover up the requests of a large number of our users and ignore them.
Last month, the Signal app had a similar reaction to the British security bill. Meredith Whittaker, CEO of Signal, has said that the company would prefer to exit the UK entirely rather than undermine public confidence in providing a means of communication.
Whittaker and Cathcard both point to a provision in the online safety bill that would require companies to use valid technology to scan users’ messages for child sexual abuse. The bill does not explicitly state how these scans will be implemented, but security experts say it would be impossible to introduce them without breaking end-to-end encryption (a privacy standard followed by WhatsApp and Signal that means the content of a The message is visible only to the sender and receiver.
It should be noted that in 2021, Apple unveiled its plans to scan user messages for CSAM, but the following year it was forced to shelve this project after continuous criticism from the security community.
The bill further greatly expands the UK government’s powers to regulate online platforms. However, it is not yet clear what will happen to this bill in the future.