- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
The UK government risks sleepwalking into a confrontation with WhatsApp that could lead to the messaging app disappearing from Britain, ministers have been warned, with options for an amicable resolution fast running out.
At the centre of the row is the online safety bill, a vast piece of legislation that will touch on almost every aspect of online life in Britain. More than four years in the making, with eight secretaries of state and five prime ministers involved in its drafting, the bill, which is progressing through the House of Lords, is more than 250 pages long. The table of contents alone spans 10 pages.
Backers of the bill are unimpressed with efforts to rewrite it to suit big tech, though. Damian Collins, the Conservative MP who chaired a Westminster committee scrutinising the bill, said he did not support one amendment introduced to try to protect end-to-end encryption.
If users access WhatsApp through a web browser, the service can also collect information about websites visited before and after sending messages, Collins added.
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