Apple inc. has criticized a British plan to give intelligence agencies extra online surveillance powers, saying such move could weaken the security of people’s personal data and paralyze the tech sector.
“We believe it is wrong to weaken security for hundreds of millions of law-abiding customers so that it will also be weaker for the very few who pose a threat,” Reuters quoted the iPhone maker as saying Tuesday.
The comments came after Britain unveiled proposals for new online powers that it said were needed to keep the country safe from criminals, fraudsters and militants.
The powers sought include the right to find out which websites people visit.
Critics say the Investigatory Powers Bill gives British spies authority beyond those available in other Western countries, including the US, and that it constitutes an assault on personal freedom.
Submitting its response to a British parliamentary committee that is scrutinizing the new bill, Apple said the draft laws could weaken data encryption, sanction interference with its products and force non-UK companies to break the laws of their home countries.
It also warned that UK’s move could spark similar legislation in other countries, which could result in companies getting paralyzed under the weight of dozens of contradictory laws, the report said.
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