WhatsApp fears that these potential laws will open the door for dictatorial governments to limit the freedom of their citizens to circulate messages and data away from state control.
Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp owned by the American company Meta, warned both Britain and the European Union against decrypting the application’s messages, a measure that threatens the right of users to trade data confidentially, according to his description.
Cathcart cited Britain’s proposed Online Safety Bill and Brussels proposals related to combating terrorism and child sexual abuse, including calls for lawmakers to proactively access and remove such material from encrypted services such as WhatsApp.
Cathcart confirmed that WhatsApp is already investigating and deleting materials related to terrorism or sexual assault without the need for laws and governments to intervene.
According to Politico, WhatsApp fears that these potential laws will open the door to dictatorial governments seeking to limit the freedom of their citizens to circulate messages and data away from state control.
“There have been consistent proposals from the UK for backdoors (for an encrypted service) over several years,” said Cathcart, who met with local politicians and regulators during his recent visits to London and Brussels.
“If you see a lot of gray areas (in the proposed legislation), along with a lot of anti-crypto rhetoric, the right thing to do is to worry,” he added.
Cathcart demanded that so-called end-to-end encryption be maintained, which ensures that messages cannot be read by companies or governments.