UK government calls for restricting end-to-end encryption in messaging apps in wake of London terrorist attack


After a recent investigation revealed that London attacker Khalid Masood had used WhatsApp mere minutes before driving into a crowd of civilians on Westminister Bridge, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd is now demanding that a backdoor into the app's encryption is provided to the authorities.

Speaking to the BBC, Rudd described end-to-end encryption used in some mobile texting apps, such as WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage, as “completely unacceptable” and called for tech companies to be more willing cooperate with government institutions.

“We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with one another,” Rudd told the BBC on Sunday. “[...] We need to make sure our intelligent services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.”

Earlier today, MP Nadine Dorries also joined the chorus, tweeting that “to keep our streets safe, we need to rise up against companies like Apple and WhatsApp who provide space and comfort to terrorists.”

Of course, the statements of both were met with a strong response from civil right liberties groups and security experts.

Although a full ban on end-to-end encryption is unfeasible, it is currently unclear how the British government intends to handle the situation.

In early 2016, the FBI demanded an iMessage backdoor from Apple after the San Bernardino attack but went on to crack the app's encryption by other means after the Cupertino, California-based tech giant refused to hand the key.

source: BBC

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14 Comments

1. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

This is stupid, "let's not build windows in a house because thieves can break in using those", US government and intelligence agencies do have some weird ass excuse. Just say it out loud, you wanna to spy on everyone, so you need end-to-end encryption to be lifted

7. limporgyuk

Posts: 360; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

They don't want to spy on everyone - just muslims

10. Guaire

Posts: 886; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

I think everyone want to spy on everyone.

2. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Here we go. Problem , reaction , solution.Romans did that very well.

3. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

So did the Germans..... Let's spy on every one to prevent crimes..... Aka police state.

6. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

And not to mention how crazy it is. Will the British government also accuse the manufacturer of the knive (which was used to stab a police officer during the London attack) for providing a weapon to the assailant? There are legitimate used for end-to-end encryption, thiugh the bad guys also use of it for crime. Bht the same can be said about guns and knives.

4. Philipand96

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

This is the political point of the argument which is designed that way The message is encrypted, not who the person has sent it to Allowing decryption in essence monitoring,and say you're a bad guy who know that message can be read they would then use a CODE , if they have not already If the bad guy sent a text then you would have the recipient of the text, if say you received a text innocently you would open up to show the police 50% of any messages are on another persons phone, so only if BOTH are encrypted would the police have a problem, but they still have a guy albeit silent If I were smart and did not want to leave any trace on Whatsapp just call the person

5. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

The terrorists have won.

8. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

And most of those terrorists are funded by their respective governments.

9. mikehunta727 unregistered

Encryption is such a tricky subject man... I completely understand law enforcement's argument on this, but I also understand the other side of the argument a ton too. If we start breaking down encryption on products and services, then we can't be safe from non government entities and people really at all, everything would be basically almost wide open for everyone. Very tough debate. I wonder how it will truly get addressed in years time

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” ― Winston S. Churchill Any tradgety a government can use to remove freedoms and enhance government, it will 9/11 brought us the patriot act obamacare will bring socialized medicine when it finishes exploding in a few years... as it was designed to do. these actions give excuses for the government to get access to our greatest trove of data legally... our phones.

13. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

Just so you know 'Obama Care" was supposed to give us all affordable health care like every nation but the United States. We rank 39th in this area among nations. Singapore ranks 6th....Go figure. Congress and stock market profits hindered this from happening. Wake up.... I am sure you wanted that trump care plan that would cost you even more than "Obamacare" with less coverage........ Everyone against Obamacare wants it over Trumpcare... This includes house Republicans. This is why they did not vote for Trumpcare..... Lol Obamacare isn't perfect but it is a step in the right direction.

12. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I'd like to tell the British government something from the vernacular of my 70s upbringing - Negatory Pig Pen.

14. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The same goes for couple bedrooms: the government doesn't know if they are having sex or they are planing terrorist schemes, so it should be able to see what they are doing in there.

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