New EU rules would force Apple to open up iMessage

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 103
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,534member
    genovelle said:
    avon b7 said:
    This is daft.

    Its liking saying to UPS, here is a fedex package, deliver it.
    Not really. When you call me from the US, your phone company isn't delivering the call. It's my phone company. 

    Same thing happens with SMS. 

    Dame thing happens with email. 

    The DSA is basically looking for interoperability as an end goal. 

    It’s a service that was created for their devices, not for their competition. Are they forcing Spotify to make their platform accessible to all of the other streaming services since the are the dominant streaming service worldwide wide? Of course not. They think they are actually a European company. 
    Spotify is a company-to-user service. IM services are free user-to-user services.

    Users are usually ignorant of what is going on at a company and technical level. That is why most Messages users, to this day, are unaware that they are sending SMS open messages to Android users. 
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 22 of 103
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,534member
    ackpfft said:
    Europe regulates when they have competitively failed.

    One of the few things I appreciated about the prior US administration- but at least they stood up for the US companies and interests.
    That is incorrect. The EU has legislated to stimulate competition, protect consumer rights and reduce deterioration of the environment. 

    Making carriers share their infrastructure is an example from years back.

    The very idea is probably unthinkable in the US. Is their even any competition among US carriers? I hear so many people say they have access to just one provider. 
    muthuk_vanalingamsphericwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 23 of 103
    croprcropr Posts: 1,117member
    lewk said:
    What's pretty screwy about this is that they evidently haven't bothered to talk to their security people.  A lot of government agencies in the US and I suspect in Europe as well, use iMessage because it is encrypted end to end, and considerably more secure than SMS.  I know that I read that the US Armed Forces were using iPhones and iPads as well as Macs more and more due to the better security.
    In Europe the de facto standard is becoming Whatsapp even on iOS.  Whatsapp is end to end encrypted. And thanks to the GDPR and the special requirement that EU has imposed to Facebook when it acquired Whatsapp, Meta cannot share the account information with its other products.    So Whatsapp is secure in Europe (it is less in the other parts of the world).   So it is only logical  that the EU also imposes Whatsapp to have interoperability with other messaging apps.


    spheric
  • Reply 24 of 103
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,282member
    I wonder if the EU gives any thoughts to availability and resilience when it tries to drive everyone into using the same standards? Forcing software vendors to use common infrastructure and middleware increases the likelihood of a single point failure bringing down the whole system. One of the most useful forms of redundancy in software systems is n-version redundancy. Software, unlike hardware, doesn’t usually benefit from having redundancy in numbers, e.g., n-modular redundancy, because a common software defect will usually affect all redundant copies of the software, thus creating a common mode failure mechanism. Plus, software doesn’t wear-out.

    A good example of a common mode failure vulnerability is the way browsers work on iOS/iPadOS. Installing Firefox, Chrome, or Edge on an iOS/iPadOS device does not buy you as much resiliency as it could because the HTTP processing stack is shared between all of the browsers on those devices. It buys you some due to the non-shared parts, but the most critical parts from a connectivity perspective are very vulnerable to a single point common mode failure. Of course Apple believes that because they developed those critical pieces and tested and hardened them, all is well, both from a functional and security standpoint.

    All I know is that in practice, and specifically wrt browsers on macOS, it’s been very useful for me to have the ability to switch to a different browser with its own communication stack when I encounter a problem in a specific browser. Yes, I know that as you drill down deeper into the OS kernel and hardware for non-high availability system there will always be single point and common mode failure vulnerabilities, but at least the attack surface tends to get smaller and smaller as you drill down.

    In my opinion, the interoperability concerns around instant messaging, e.g., iMessage, should be treated just like it is with email (Mail app) on Apple devices. Build an instant messaging client that aggregates and unifies the messages to/from multiple sources in a single client application without messing with the individual diverse underlying messaging systems. I can currently read my Outlook, Yahoo, GMail, and iCloud emails all within a unified inbox in Apple Mail or even in the Outlook client. 

    Maintaining diversity in software improves fault tolerance and resiliency, just as it does in the DNA of living organisms. This diversity can be improved today by installing multiple messaging systems side-by-side on your device. The inconvenience of the user switching between all of them to communicate to everyone they need to can be alleviated by creating a unified client app and routing the messages through the systems that are designed to process each unique type. Apple wasn’t forced have to open up its email stack to allow it to work with Outlook/Exchange so why should different flavors of instant messaging be treated any differently? 

    The EU should be careful about what it asks for and consider wider system effects. They are too often blinded by their narrow mindedness and unwillingness to allow natural selection, evolution, and fitness to determine who wins and who loses. They want to pick the winners and losers themselves for various reasons that are typically scoped to their own self interests, many of which have fleeting or unproven-in-use value.

    Where are all the product innovations, vast improvements in consumer choice, cost reductions, and market diversity that resulted from the Microsoft takedown by the EU for bundling IE with Windows? More than 20 years later we basically have the same market share between major personal computer platforms and a sparse selection of browsers that are all basically indistinguishable. What happened to IE? It was killed off because it was unfit for continued survival. In other words, it succumbed to evolution and natural selection, not punitive regulation and manipulation.
    edited March 2023 Illus1veforegoneconclusionwatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 25 of 103
    This is daft.

    Its liking saying to UPS, here is a fedex package, deliver it.
    No, it's more like the road to your house was built by company X, and the road to my house was built by company Y, therefore I can't visit you even if you gave me an invite. DMA rules are about big companies not abusing the network effect. 

    You meet a new person, they tell you to WhatsApp them. I hate WhatsApp and FB, but I still need to install WhatsApp on my phone to communicate with them. Good luck trying to get that person to install any other messenger because a lot of people can barely tell the difference between different messengers. If instead WhatApp could send a message, even without e2ee to my messenger using internet, without SMS charges, then that will do. I don't necessarily need video calling and that as we could negotiate what platform we could use to communicate later. 

    All the provider needs to say on their app is that messages sent to this user won't be e2ee. For people worrying about WhatsApp spam to iMessage, all they need to be given is an option to block all messages for WhatsApp or any external provider they don't like. Now I am not an Apple user and don't know how apple users typically communicate with outsiders, but can't see why a mechanism to do so without SMS charges is not in the interest of apple users.

    And for the example of streaming services like Spotify, one could think of entertainment more like luxury although it's preferable that they provide their services on a standard browser and they do but basic text communication can be treated more like a utility these days.
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 103
    "We're sorry, but due to the greedy stupidity of your government, this service is not available in your region."

    Here's hoping Apple provides me a switch to block messages from platforms that I detest.
    edited March 2023 watto_cobrastrongy
  • Reply 27 of 103
    Android users have such an inferior experience even with RCS. Opening up Messages (before even considering E2EE implications) isn’t going to fix that when the apps themselves suck on Android.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 103
    lowededwookie said:
    Didn’t Apple already open up the iMessage protocols but the industry didn’t care?
    The EU are idiots of the highest levels.

    This never happened with Messages. Maybe you are thinking of Microsoft allowing access to Messages in Windows while an iPhone is attached to it by USB. Not really the same thing...

    Google semi-opened their RCS system, but not really the E2EE side. Although Google might be willing to expose their E2EE work as a power grab that locks you in to using a Google account.

    edited March 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 103
    Not sure why the EU/EC has such a bug up their butts over this - Apple doesn't restrict messaging apps in iOS.

    I have Signal on my iPhone because it allows for multi-platform end-to-end encryption with certain features like message expiration, and I don't expect Messages to handle this simply because I want those features.

    Just why is it that the EU/EC thinks they can force developmental changes to Apple's messaging app to shoehorn in other people's messaging protocols?

    Is it just some minister saying, "I use WhatsApp and I hate it when I have to tell the recipient to download WhatsApp and they refuse to do so?"

    Why is it that EU regulators think they're software/hardware engineers? Are they just frustrated that they don't have a domestic phone platform they can ruin through their meddling?

    So are they trying to screw with the iMessage protocol, or the Message app implementation? Do they want Messages to handle other protocols, or group message implementation? For instance, RCS has end-to-end encryption but only on Google's servers - and they don't have a group messaging E2E encryption model (unlike iMessage). EU/EC meddling threatens to turn a relatively clean app/protocol into a rats nest with exceptions out the wazoo.

    The security of your communications is only as strong as the weakest link, so the potential for compromise increases with every protocol used/implemented.
    darelrexwatto_cobraFileMakerFellerstrongy
  • Reply 30 of 103
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,104member
    lewk said:
    What's pretty screwy about this is that they evidently haven't bothered to talk to their security people.  A lot of government agencies in the US and I suspect in Europe as well, use iMessage because it is encrypted end to end, and considerably more secure than SMS.  I know that I read that the US Armed Forces were using iPhones and iPads as well as Macs more and more due to the better security.

    I suspect that Apple would lose some sales if they simply said they wouldn't support this and stopped selling iPhones in the EU, but I bet people would find still find a way to buy them there - black market, mail order, or having a friend pick one up while on vacation in the USA.

    If you've read about what is coming out in Great Britain about the use of WhatsApp by government officials it is quite an eye-opener.  I'd be amazed if the same sort of thing wasn't happening in the EU.  (They literally laughed at you)
    Research iMessage and the Ghost Proposal.  

    Of course it's more secure than SMS, but that raises the point of why Apple won't swap over to RCS which can be secured in the same manner as iMessage when that service is unavailable but insists on maintaining the insecure SMS which does Apple users no favor when communicating outside of Apple services. The reason they have not done so benefits only Apple's revenues, and works against improved inter-device security for Apple users.  

    When Apple's hand is forced, which I believe will happen, I posit it will be RCS and not SMS that is used for the interoperability, which will allow for secure E2EE messaging between Android/Apple/other users. That's the smart play. 
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 31 of 103
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,104member
    Didn’t Apple already open up the iMessage protocols but the industry didn’t care?
    Nope, not as far as I know. It was promised when first announced, but Apple reneged, as is their right of course.
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingamspheric
  • Reply 32 of 103
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,002member
    Once again, the stupidity of a government entity rears its head...

    The success of iPhone is highly driven by the controlled ecosystem that Apple has built and its consumers desire, the very ecosystem that the governments are trying to tear down. It's ludicrous and dangerous. Apple operates in the private market, they are not a public utility or governmental agency.

    It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish. They have the right and responsibility to determine the best blend of proprietary and open standards as they see fit, measured against whatever criteria they wish, but certainly in relation to security, competitive advantage, market preference, and success. And they have the fiscal responsibility to be as profitable as possible.

    The marketplace will decide if they've turned the dials correctly. And thus far, its very clear they have.

    As others have posted, this seems to be more about trying to degrade the protection of end to end encryption by forcing alternative means, and/pr dismantle success to exert control.

    Plenty of other messaging apps are available on the iPhone if you want them as well. 

    You don't like Apple's approach? Who cares. Get an Android phone, Plenty of options.




    watto_cobraFileMakerFellerstrongy
  • Reply 33 of 103
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,104member
    thrang said:
    Once again, the stupidity of a government entity rears its head...

    The success of iPhone is highly driven by the controlled ecosystem that Apple has built and its consumers desire, the very ecosystem that the governments are trying to tear down. It's ludicrous and dangerous. Apple operates in the private market, they are not a public utility or governmental agency.

    It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish.
    Microsoft would have loved for that to be true
    avon b7muthuk_vanalingamspheric
  • Reply 34 of 103
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,534member
    thrang said:
    Once again, the stupidity of a government entity rears its head...

    The success of iPhone is highly driven by the controlled ecosystem that Apple has built and its consumers desire, the very ecosystem that the governments are trying to tear down. It's ludicrous and dangerous. Apple operates in the private market, they are not a public utility or governmental agency.

    It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish. They have the right and responsibility to determine the best blend of proprietary and open standards as they see fit, measured against whatever criteria they wish, but certainly in relation to security, competitive advantage, market preference, and success. And they have the fiscal responsibility to be as profitable as possible.

    The marketplace will decide if they've turned the dials correctly. And thus far, its very clear they have.

    As others have posted, this seems to be more about trying to degrade the protection of end to end encryption by forcing alternative means, and/pr dismantle success to exert control.

    Plenty of other messaging apps are available on the iPhone if you want them as well. 

    You don't like Apple's approach? Who cares. Get an Android phone, Plenty of options.




    No one has the right you are proclaiming.

    Everything falls under the different treaties and laws that have been signed. 

    No one is immune to that. 

    Those treaties and laws are there to be followed. 

    Apple and others are probably thankful they have managed to get so far unchallenged. 

    Apple could probably lighten the scrutiny and investigative load by simply pulling back from offering services to the outside world. Close the platform off from external apps, bring everything in-house. 

    The platform would quickly die without access to the outside world as Apple would not be able to satisfy everybody's needs. 

    The solution therefore is to continue as is, but by complying with legislation. 

    These situations are not really EU specific. They are being played out in various non-EU countries. 


    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 35 of 103
    aijwsaijws Posts: 9member
    Let the EU Build their Own Phone, Operating System, Messaging System and Communications Network!

    They already do that for Combat Aircraft  .  .  .  oh, yeah, they have the French, British and Italians building different or ordering different (American) Aircraft and Systems. 

    Don’t think Lockheed and Boeing are going to turn over their Software Code to the EU.  And I don’t expect Airbus to giveaway their Proprietary Secrets to the US, in Military or Commercial Products.  

    At least the Israeli’s do their own Research and Modifications to make their aircraft viable for their purposes.  
    Illus1vewatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 103
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,025member
    portowine said:
    This is daft.

    Its liking saying to UPS, here is a fedex package, deliver it.
    No, it's more like the road to your house was built by company X, and the road to my house was built by company Y, therefore I can't visit you even if you gave me an invite. DMA rules are about big companies not abusing the network effect. 

    You meet a new person, they tell you to WhatsApp them. I hate WhatsApp and FB, but I still need to install WhatsApp on my phone to communicate with them. Good luck trying to get that person to install any other messenger because a lot of people can barely tell the difference between different messengers. If instead WhatApp could send a message, even without e2ee to my messenger using internet, without SMS charges, then that will do. I don't necessarily need video calling and that as we could negotiate what platform we could use to communicate later. 

    All the provider needs to say on their app is that messages sent to this user won't be e2ee. For people worrying about WhatsApp spam to iMessage, all they need to be given is an option to block all messages for WhatsApp or any external provider they don't like. Now I am not an Apple user and don't know how apple users typically communicate with outsiders, but can't see why a mechanism to do so without SMS charges is not in the interest of apple users.

    And for the example of streaming services like Spotify, one could think of entertainment more like luxury although it's preferable that they provide their services on a standard browser and they do but basic text communication can be treated more like a utility these days.
    Not quite.

    There is already a road that goes to every house, that all delivery services can use. Let's call it the "Internet" or "Mobile Cellular Network"  However, the driveway leading from the road to your front door, is on your property and thus it is up to you whether to allow any delivery service to use your driveway. Every drive way is already built to allow deliveries by Service X (SMS). And every delivery service can use Service X path, providing they modify their delivery to Service X standards. But other delivery services must have your permission to build a special path on your driveway, just for them. Some delivery services will modify their delivery, so they can use Service X path. You still get most of the message but also might lose part of it. Others will not. In which case you get nothing delivered.

    It's up to you choose what delivery services can use your driveway. It's your driveway. It's your right to choose. But you don't have the right to force any delivery service to modify their delivery, so to be able to use one of the paths you chose to have built on your driveway. It's not like you're going to pay them for the delivery. They get paid the same whether you accept any delivery from them or not. 
    watto_cobrastrongy
  • Reply 37 of 103
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,002member
    gatorguy said:
    thrang said:
    Once again, the stupidity of a government entity rears its head...

    The success of iPhone is highly driven by the controlled ecosystem that Apple has built and its consumers desire, the very ecosystem that the governments are trying to tear down. It's ludicrous and dangerous. Apple operates in the private market, they are not a public utility or governmental agency.

    It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish.
    Microsoft would have loved for that to be true
    If you are referring to the Internet Explorer issue with Microsoft many years ago, wasn't that MS coercing others to "not" include/support competitive browsers? That would be akin to Apple denying What's App, FB Messenger, Signal etc. from running on the iPhone, which is a very different thing and not reality.

    Obviously, MS and virtually everyone else are viable businesses because they develop, own, manage and sell proprietary technology. Else what is their purpose?



    13485watto_cobraFileMakerFellerstrongy
  • Reply 38 of 103
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,002member
    avon b7 said:
    No one has the right you are proclaiming.

    Everything falls under the different treaties and laws that have been signed. 

    No one is immune to that. 

    Those treaties and laws are there to be followed. 

    Apple and others are probably thankful they have managed to get so far unchallenged. 

    Apple could probably lighten the scrutiny and investigative load by simply pulling back from offering services to the outside world. Close the platform off from external apps, bring everything in-house. 

    The platform would quickly die without access to the outside world as Apple would not be able to satisfy everybody's needs. 

    The solution therefore is to continue as is, but by complying with legislation. 

    These situations are not really EU specific. They are being played out in various non-EU countries. 


    Of course governments can pass legislation that forces companies to do things that are detrimental to their business. That's the purpose of raiding the point it is ludicrous.

    Essentially, the more desired and successful something is, the more it should be hindered and dismantled?  Let the marketplace decide if a company is approaching the business the right way.

    If Apple was blatantly preventing certain businesses and applications from being a consumer option (WITHOUT those options being legitimate security concerns!), then there is a point to be made for action against them. As well, to force Apple to bear the cost of a competitor to do business on their platform is of course insane at any level, especially if it risks security, reputation, or revenue/profit.
    dewmewatto_cobraFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 39 of 103
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,025member
    gatorguy said:
    thrang said:
    Once again, the stupidity of a government entity rears its head...

    The success of iPhone is highly driven by the controlled ecosystem that Apple has built and its consumers desire, the very ecosystem that the governments are trying to tear down. It's ludicrous and dangerous. Apple operates in the private market, they are not a public utility or governmental agency.

    It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish.
    Microsoft would have loved for that to be true
    You mean Microsoft Xbox is not a proprietary product and Microsoft don't have the right to be as proprietary as they wish with it?

    The reason why MS could not be as proprietary with MS Windows as they would like, is because Windows was a monopoly by being the OS on over 95% of the World's desktop computers. Not only that, Microsoft did not build or own the hardware that MS Windows was on.  Which is why products like the Xbox and iDevices are different and can't be compared to products like MS Windows.  
    edited March 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 103
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,104member
    davidw said:
    gatorguy said:
    thrang said:
    Once again, the stupidity of a government entity rears its head...

    The success of iPhone is highly driven by the controlled ecosystem that Apple has built and its consumers desire, the very ecosystem that the governments are trying to tear down. It's ludicrous and dangerous. Apple operates in the private market, they are not a public utility or governmental agency.

    It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish.
    Microsoft would have loved for that to be true
    You mean Microsoft Xbox is not a proprietary product and Microsoft don't have the right to be as proprietary as they wish with it?

    The reason why MS could not be as proprietary with MS Windows as they would like, is because Windows was a monopoly by being the OS on over 95% of the World's desktop computers. Not only that, Microsoft did not build or own the hardware that MS Windows was on.  Which is why products like the Xbox and iDevices are different and can't be compared to products like MS Windows.  
    Are you claiming the EU cannot do what they are saying they wish to do because "not a monopoly", or you don't think mentioning Microsoft was a valid response to the comment from Thrang: "It's Apple's proprietary product and related services, and they have the right to be as proprietary as they wish."?

    Or perhaps claiming both to be true? If so then you're also saying Apple can safely ignore anything the EU has to say about allowing other browser engines besides their own on your iPhone? Or that Apple could have safely said "NO!" to the charger cross-compatibility rules? And that any challenges to Apple AppStore will be of zero consequence and any attempt for regulators to interfere is not legal anyway, and certainly can't stand up to an Apple legal challenge if they try? 

    Oh, and that Xbox thing you introduced?
    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/business/business-news/microsoft-hit-with-antitrust-suit-from-gamers-seeking-to-block-activision-deal-1235285760/
    edited March 2023 spheric
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