Wikipedia founder: Apple should stop selling iPhones in the UK if ‘stupid’ new law banning Apple encryption is enacted

“Apple should stop selling its popular iPhone line in the UK if a new law banning fully encrypted communications is passed, the founder of Wikipedia has said,” Jon Stone reports for The Independent.

“Jimmy Wales, who set up the online encyclopaedia in 2001, described the draft Investigatory Powers Bill as ‘stupid,'” Stone reports. “‘I would like to see Apple refuse to sell iPhone in UK if government bans end-to-end encryption,’ he said on Twitter. ‘Does Parliament dare be that stupid?'”

“The proposed law, to be published in its full draft from on Wednesday by the Home Secretary Theresa May, will mandate internet and technology companies to hand over communications data on request. This means that encryption on communications would in theory have to be breakable by those firms in some way,” Stone reports. “Mr Wales is a long-standing campaigner for an open and free internet and has previously spoken out on issues regarding intellectual property reform and privacy.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Clearly, the Investigatory Powers Bill belongs in the loo as it is the product of some fools’ arse.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

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38 Comments

  1. On reflection, the China situation may be more complex. iPhone sales are currently allowed in China only because Apple has persuaded the government to make a tradeoff: it can’t access the devices belonging to members of its financial, political, and military elites who can afford iPhones, but neither can the NSA or GCHQ. The People’s Republic might be perfectly happy with a situation where its intelligence agencies could read Western phones, but we couldn’t read theirs. So they might insist on retaining unbreakable encryption on their iPhones, even as the UK and its allies force Apple to abandon it on their territories.

    The good news is that the resale value of iPhones with proper encryption is about to go through the ceiling.

  2. When the first iPhone came out, it was only available in four countries; even that, apple reported usage of thousands of iPhones in South America, Mexico and Asia.
    Stop selling the iPhone in GB and people will buy it anyway from other countries.

  3. As a Brit I’m appalled and ashamed of this proposed law. Cameron is losing touch with reality. English law making has to go through several stages before its finalised and I can see huge watering down of the proposals before it hits the statute book. I hope Apple is doing plenty of lobbying behind the scenes.

  4. Apple will have to cease selling iPhones in the UK if the proposed law is enacted. Introducing a decryptable iPhone would incite a host of other governments to enact similar laws.

  5. The Government Blinked. When the official draft was introduced to Parliament today, the encryption ban had been removed. It still requires ISP’s to retain records of their customers’ internet access for a year.

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