Chat apps like WhatsApp could be banned within weeks under new UK legislation

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Laws being proposed in the UK could lead to popular chat apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat banned within the next few weeks. Should the proposed Communications Data Bill get passed through the House of Commons it could mean that encrypted apps could be banned as early as August of this year.

The bill will target any apps that utilise encryption of messages that are sent and the most popular of these apps include WhatsApp, Snapchat and even Apple's iMessage. David Cameron has been very vocal about not allowing a "safe space" for terrorists to communicate in and he believes that National Security trumps any argument for encrypted data.

The bill was rejected in its' previous form after facing staunch opposition from the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg criticised Cameron's terrorism logic saying "We should not equate that with invading the privacy of every single person in the UK. They are not the same thing".

Home Secretary Theresa May will bring an updated draft of the Bill before a vote and it is more likely to pass this time around given the majority Conservative government that is in place. The legislation would mean that all companies providing such chat services would have to log all of a users communication data dating back 12 months.

If it does pass then that would mean that under the new laws WhatsApp, iMessage and Snapchat would be unable to offer services under their current model. It remains to be seen whether or not affected companies might seek to release alternative versions of their products sans encryption for the UK market so as to make them legal under the new criteria.

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