UK Steps Up Rhetoric On Encrypted Messaging

UK Steps Up Rhetoric On Encrypted Messaging

According to a Reuters report, Britain’s Interior Minister Amber Rudd, said “It is completely unacceptable, there should be no place for terrorists to hide. We need to make sure organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other. We need to make sure our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp”.

I get that 21st century law enforcement is hard. I spend a lot of time speaking with security experts and people who are involved in law enforcement and the widespread use of encryption does it difficult to gather intelligence and conduct surveillance.

But we all deserve the ability to communicate privately.

Businesses rely on encryption through VPNs, on file stores, for messaging and many other applications. It’s hard to see how a ban or limitation on encryption will do anything but strengthen the position of criminals.

They’ll simply create their own encrypted tools. Cybercrime is already a $3T industry that’s tipped to double by 2021 according to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures so it’s not like they can’t afford it!

I don’t know what the answer is but prohibitions and bans don’t work.


  • It’s a lose-lose situation; weaken or increasing security helps criminals.

    Create another internet; how do you vet who’s on it?

    Go behind a web proxy, aka Onion; there’s genuine citizens that utilise it, then again there’s criminals, terrorists and all sorts of evil people leveraging off it too…

    For instance, if WhatsApp, Telegram, etc… could be intercepted, what’s to say another app will take it’s place?
    Worse, what’s stopping the nefarious from creating their own apps and encryption ciphers?

    In any case, weakening security and/or creating backdoors isn’t the answer and would only create more problems.

    • To target any method of communication is far too late in the timeline of terrorism.

      What the UK & US (& other western countries) refuse to recognise is that they need to start at the beginning and go back to the root cause of why individuals, groups and even whole countries want to attack them.

      Most reasonably intelligent people know full well that these western countries have caused the problems by centuries of bad behaviour – which has caused a lot of suffering and precipitated the retaliation which we now call terrorism.

      Our countries in the west are now making us pay for their mistakes by forcing us to accept draconian levels of surveillance, reductions of human rights and civil liberties. While we are complicit to the extent that we allowed our countries to behave so badly, we have been frightened into giving up our abilities to bring our governments to account and stop them from using the cycle of fear to a) keep us subservient and b) fight back at those who they have wronged.

      Do we really want to live in an Orwellian world where every single communication we make is monitored by our governments? Because that is what it will be like very soon.

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