Signal’s president vows to reject UK law on message scanning before encryption

Meredith Whittaker, the president of Signal, a popular encrypted chat service, strongly criticized the proposed British online safety legislation and declared that the company would leave the U.K. market if the law is enacted. Whittaker argued that the government’s requirement for a back door to access encrypted messages is “mathematically impossible” and undermines user privacy and security. She emphasized that Signal’s mission is to prioritize user privacy and prevent socially accepted surveillance. While the U.K. believes a back door is necessary to combat illicit activities, tech giants and privacy advocates fiercely oppose the bill. If the Online Safety Bill passes, both Signal and WhatsApp have pledged to exit the U.K. Whittaker warned about the dangers of allowing governments access to private messages, citing a case where Facebook’s cooperation with law enforcement led to the prosecution of a mother and daughter for giving abortion pills. Despite having a smaller user base compared to WhatsApp, Signal remains committed to its principles and protecting user privacy.

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