During his visit to the UK to discuss internet regulation with legislators, Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp at Meta, stated that the app would not compromise its end-to-end encryption, even if ordered to comply with the proposed online safety bill in the UK.
Cathcart emphasized that weakening the encryption would impact all users, not just those in the UK, and therefore, the app would prefer to be blocked in the UK instead.
Cathcart explained that 98% of WhatsApp’s users are outside the UK, and they would not want the security of the product to be lowered.
Additionally, Cathcart noted that WhatsApp has never compromised its security, and the app has been blocked in other parts of the world in the past.
The proposed online safety bill, set to return to parliament this summer, could require WhatsApp to remove its end-to-end encryption, or face significant fines, as the government or communications regulator Ofcom could demand the app apply content moderation policies.
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