UK Government is pushing through a bill that will immobilize WhatsApp and iMessage as they currently exist.
The bill has been re-drafted after it was criticised by every parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising it, but many of the most controversial powers remain.
The new draft of the Investigatory Powers Bill includes a clause that forces technology companies to weaken their security when spies need it to which includes the removal of end-to-end encryption, the technology that allows services like WhatsApp, iMessage and FaceTime to allow people to communicate securely.
Earlier, under Indian government, The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has released a draft of National Encryption Policy in order to regulate government control over the internet in various fields including social media, e-banking and e-commerce.
But the main reason for conflict among Indian citizens in this draft remained that it will control the encryption of the social media websites and applications such as Whatsapp, Hangouts and Facebook.
But later the government had backtracked. Telecom Minister Ravishankar Prasad announced a withdrawal of the draft policy saying the government would place it in public domain again after reworking some of the “expressions” that were giving rise to “misgivings”.
UK Government said that it had re-written the law to respond to concerns about the weakening of encryption, and that it would no longer force them to weaken encryption. It will only force companies to weaken security that they themselves applied, for instance.
But the new law could still force companies to install backdoors in their security, undermining the technology used in many of the most popular chat apps.
Charities including Privacy International criticised the bill, arguing that no changes had been made to guarantee people’s security.
On the other note, the draft powers do not make clear how the Government would treat instances of extra-territorial conflict, meaning that the new bill could force companies to break the law in other countries to satisfy the UK powers.
The ban on encryption only requires companies to remove the security features when it is deemed “practicable”. Technology companies have repeatedly complained that it isn’t clear what that restriction means.
On the other hand, France is set to give workers the ‘right to disconnect’ from work emails outside of their contracted hours in a bid to ease pressure and offer a better work-life balance.
Workers will be able to ignore telephone calls and emails from their bosses during evenings and weekends in an attempt to help them have more of a social life outside of their working week.
France already operates a strict 35-hour working week policy, with workers also enjoying six weeks paid holiday, as well as extremely generous sick leave and striking rights.
Many of the proposed labour laws are designed to make the French labour market more flexible – but this one, in particular, is aimed at encouraging companies to join the small minority who already prevent employees from responding to emails outside the office.
On one end, the “right to disconnect” ease out the pressure on one’s life while on the other end, spying law questions the one’s privacy.
It can be deduced that the world is heading towards a global change from the laws to the life.
I read. I write. A threat to humor, if one liners could kill. Twitter: @profylayush
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