Civil Society Organizations Call on the House Of Lords to Protect Private Messaging in the Online Safety Bill
As the UK’s Online Safety Bill enters its Second Reading in the House of Lords, EFF, Liberty, Article 19, and Big Brother Watch are calling on Peers to protect end-to-end encryption and the right to private messaging online.
As we’ve said before, undermining protections for end-to-end encryption would make UK businesses and individuals less safe online, including the very groups that the Online Safety Bill intends to protect. Criminals, rogue employees, domestic abusers, and authoritarian governments are just some of the bad actors that will eagerly exploit backdoors like those proposed by the Online Safety Bill. Proposals like this threaten a basic human right: our right to have a private conversation.
The briefing continues:
In spite of some changes being made to the Bill during its Commons Committee stage, these provisions have remained untouched, and as a result of the breadth of the Bill have failed to be robustly scrutinised. Throughout the Bill’s passage in the Commons, multiple amendments were also tabled to safeguard end-to-end encryption, although they have not been accepted… We urge parliamentarians to oppose the Online Safety Bill’s intrusion into private messaging at Second Reading.