Google, WhatsApp, and Apple slam GCHQ proposal to snoop on encrypted chats

A group of 47 companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and WhatsApp, have criticized energetically a proposal from the UK intelligence agency GCHQ to spy on encrypted messages. In an open letter published in Lawfare companies say the plans would undermine security, threaten trust in encrypted messaging services and, ultimately, endanger citizens' right to privacy and privacy. the Liberty of expression.

The GCHQ proposal was first published last November as part of a series of essays, and does not necessarily reflect a legislative agenda of the intelligence agency at this time. In the essay, two senior British intelligence officials argue that the application of the law should be added as a "ghost" participant in each conversation of encrypted messages.

This would mean that the intelligence agencies would be sent by CC in encrypted messages, without the users knowing that they are present in a chat. The authors of the proposal argue that this solution is not more invasive than current practices for listening to unencrypted telephone conversations.

Although this approach would eliminate the need for If backdoors are added to the encryption protocols, the signers of yesterday's letter argue that this solution it would still "seriously undermine the security and confidence of the user". They say the proposals would require messaging applications to change the way they use their encryption, and I need to trick users by hiding messages or notifications about who is present in a chat.

In response to the open letter, one of the original authors of the proposal, Ian Levy, of the National Cyber ​​Security Center, said the proposal was "hypothetical" and that it was only intended "as a starting point for the discussion". In a statement sent to CNBC Levy said: "We will continue to work with stakeholders and hope to have an open discussion to come up with the best possible solutions."

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