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UK Prime Minister to Ban Encrypted Chat Apps

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In the last few months, there have been a lot of articles, debate and general discussion involving the idea of smartphone privacy, what it means and how far the government can go.  Here at Prepaid Reviews, we even wrote a brief article explaining the debate for those of you who don’t really watch the news.

Well, as it turns out, the United States isn’t the only country questioning the idea of smartphone privacy versus public security. Earlier this week British Prime Minister David Cameron said that unless popular messaging apps with encryption abilities (such as Snapchat, iMessage, FaceTime, and WhatsApp) provide government backdoors for surveillance purposes, he wants to see them banned in the UK.

“Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read?” Cameron said Monday while campaigning, in reference to apps such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, and other encrypted services. “My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not.’”

I am sure that the US and the UK aren’t the only countries considering such actions, but this is the first I have heard of another country engaging in a public debate about smartphone privacy and government surveillance and access to smartphones. And, based the comments on the Gizmodo and other articles I read, it doesn’t look like UK citizens are any more supportive of government surveillance US citizens.

On the topic of the US policy on smartphone encryption, I did a bit of research after seeing all the articles on Cameron’s campaigning and it kind of looks like things are at something of a standstill. Apple’s iOS 8 has been extremely popular, and Google has been releasing Lollipop (which also has encryption) to newer phone models slowly over the last couple of months and the criminal justice hasn’t collapsed. So I say so far, so good.

If you’re interested in seeing which apps encrypt your messages, (and therefore might be in danger in the UK) check out this site, which scores messaging apps based on their security.