Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has branded a new proposed law banning encrypted communications in the U.K. as “stupid,” and says that if it is passed, Apple should stop selling iPhones in the country out of principle.
“I would like to see Apple refuse to sell iPhone in UK if government bans end-to-end encryption,” Wales posted on Twitter. “Does Parliament dare be that stupid?”
I would like to see Apple refuse to sell iPhone in UK if gov’t bans end-to-end encryption. Does Parliament dare be that stupid?
— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) November 3, 2015
Having lived in London in recent years, Wales has an extra-keen interest in stopping government snooping. His outrage concerns a new proposed law, due to be published in draft form later today, mandating that tech companies must hand over communications data if requested.
Apple has made a point of noting that strong encryption means it can’t do so with iMessages even if it wanted to — something which has already drawn the ire of authorities in the U.S.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier this year that there should be no “means of communication” that “we cannot read” by those in charge.
While the chances of Apple stopping selling iPhones in the U.K. is slim-to-none, I definitely applaud Wales’ point — and I’d be very, very surprised if he’s the last public figure to make it.