One of the great things about iMessage and FaceTime is that it encrypts your messages automatically, making it very, very difficult for hackers to spy on the messages you send.
But guess what? If U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gets his way, iMessage and FaceTime encryption might soon be a thing of the past.
If Cameron he gets re-elected, part of his plan is to make it illegal for anyone to send encrypted messages, the Independent reports.
The Prime Minister said today that he would stop the use of methods of communication that cannot be read by the security services even if they have a warrant. But that could include popular chat and social apps that encrypt their data, such as WhatsApp.
Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime also encrypt their data, and could fall under the ban along with other encrypted chat apps like Telegram.
These moves are being made in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.
What does it mean if Cameron succeeds? It’s possible that Apple would have to build a backdoor for law personnel into iMessage and FaceTime, or, less likely, unencrypt messages entirely.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says it well: “This is a dreadful, oppressive, ignorant idea. There is no magic way to have encryption that only ‘good guys’ can intercept. As for the fear that is driving this, I offer the words of Benjamin Franklin: ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.'”