WhatsApp, SnapChat and Facebook Messenger could all banned with the controversial ‘Snoopers Charter’ bill.
The Snoopers Bill, mentioned in this years Queen’s Speech, will allow the uk government to restrict or ban smartphone instant messaging apps that refuse to remove the end-to-end encryption that restricts governments from snooping on unsuspecting users.
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger both owned by Facebook and SnapChat would all be banned under the new Snoopers Charter legislation.
The current Home Secretary Theresa May plans to push the urgent bill forward as quickly as possible, putting it in front of the Government by the end of the year. There have been reports that the Government might even have the bill enforced sooner this year, however the Home Secretary gives the bill an official deadline of December 2016, allowing time for more debates and re-drafting.
The risk of a potential ban has caused an outcry on social media with reactions ranging from anger to disbelief that the Government would be able to take on and beat companies like Apple, Google and Facebook.
Prime Minister David Cameron hinted at a crackdown earlier this year in the aftermath of the Paris shootings when he claimed that when implementing new surveillance powers he would have no problem banning services like Snapchat if they didn’t comply.
“In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which even in extremes, with a signed warrant from the Home Secretary personally that we cannot read,” Cameron said in January”.
“My answer to that question is no we must not. If I am prime minister, I will make sure it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that makes sure we do not allow terrorist safe spaces to communicate with each other,”
the prime minister David Cameron added.