Maybe you missed the news that's been circulating around the web for the past couple of days, but the media have been actively (opens in new tab)reporting on the imminent (opens in new tab)doom of WhatsApp and other encrypted communications tools in the UK, thanks to a new legislative that's drawing closer.
The excuse for banning encrypted communications tools is unchanged – it’s needed to combat potential terrorism.
To make things clear right from the start – WhatsApp and others are safe at this point in time, as no legislation exists, or has been drafted, which could prove otherwise.
“As of today, there is no actual proposal from the government that says that encrypted tools and apps will be outlawed, banned, restricted, regulated, or subjected to licensing”, Huffington Post (opens in new tab) said today.
However, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in the near future, and that’s the real news here.
What does exist at the moment are a couple of official documents which explore the possibility of the creation of the Snooper’s Charter. Those include the Anderson Report and a special report for the Intelligence and Security Committee in Parliament.
So, wat’s this Snooper’s Charter?
Snooper's Charter is draft legislation proposed by Home Secretary Theresa May in the United Kingdom which would require Internet service providers and mobile phone companies to maintain records of each user's internet browsing activity (including social media), email correspondence, voice calls, internet gaming, and mobile phone messaging services and store the records for 12 months.
It’s been backed, although indirectly, by Prime Minister David Cameron, who in a recent statement said: "In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read? My answer to that question is: 'No, we must not'."