The hugely popular messaging apps WhatsApp, iMessage and Snapchat have the potential to be banned in the UK should the controversial ‘Snooper’s Charter’ legislation be passed. This new law would stop people from sending any form of encrypted messages in a move to crack down on communication between terrorists.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, talked about this issue earlier in the year questioning whether or not communication between people that cannot be read by government security agencies should be allowed. Answering with a no, Cameron stated that he will ensure a comprehensive piece of legislation will be implemented to make sure that terrorist activities do not go undetected.

Following the horrific terrorist attacks in Tunisia and France, UK Home Secretary Theresa May has warned that the government will push the legislation through, with the potential for it to be in place by autumn of this year.

In order to remain legal, these messaging services would have to allow government security agencies access to data that would be stored for at least a year on company servers. This means every iMessage, WhatsApp message, and risque Snap would be kept on file for government agencies to view as and when they see fit.

It’s unlikely that these messaging platforms would be banned, but it’s always possible. Who knows, maybe we’ll have to go back to actually talking to people…

About the Author