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UK government to launch ad campaign to convince people that end-to-end encryption is bad

The high-budget campaign will reportedly involve ‘real-world stunts’; meanwhile, privacy groups plan counter measures.

The United Kingdom (UK) government will soon launch an advertisement campaign attacking end-to-end encryption by convincing people that it harms children's safety, Rolling Stone reported. This is the country's latest attempt to weaken the security of encrypted communication apps and devices. As far back as 2015, the UK government proposed a complete ban on apps like WhatsApp and iMessage if they declined to provide UK security services backdoor access to messages. Eventually, in 2016, the government passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which expands the surveillance power of the government and allows the government to outlaw encrypted apps by issuing something called a Technical Capability Notice (TCN). Then in May 2021, the government released the draft Online Safety Bill which mandates platforms to moderate illegal and harmful content on their platforms, but critics have pointed out that removing or weakening encryption is the only way to comply with this bill. The UK is not the only country waging a war against end-to-end encryption. The US is thinking along similar lines and so is India. The Indian government last year released the Information Technology Rules 2021, which includes a provision that asks messaging apps to enable tracing the originator of a message. Companies have argued that such a feature will effectively break end-to-end encryption and WhatsApp has legally challenged the provision. More details on UK's campaign against encryption Targeted towards Meta: The campaign will especially target Meta's (formerly Facebook) plan to encrypt the Messenger app, the report said. Meta has already delayed its plans to encrypt…

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