Tech firms should get rid of ‘UNBREAKABLE’ encryption to help fight terrorism, Rudd says

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Tech firms should get rid of ‘UNBREAKABLE’ encryption to help fight terrorism, Rudd says

Tech firms should get rid of ‘UNBREAKABLE’ encryption to help fight terrorism, Rudd says
AMBER Rudd has urged online messaging service WhatsApp and other tech giants to do more in the battle against terrorism by getting rid of “unbreakable” encryption software.sa
By Matt Drake
PUBLISHED: 01:31, Tue, Aug 1, 2017 | UPDATED: 07:48, Tue, Aug 1, 2017

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The Home Secretary claimed that jihadis are aided by the “end-to-end” encryption on such messaging sites, which makes it impossible for the Government or the technology firms to track the terrorists.

WhatsApp is one of the platforms used by terrorists to communicate with each other. It is a messaging app that uses the internet rather than mobile phone signal and uses “end to end encryption,” which means the messages cannot be decoded by a third party, or even WhatsApp.

Amber Rudd, WhatsAppGITTY
Amber Rudd thinks WhatsApp helps terrorists
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Ms Rudd told the Telegraph: “Awful terror attacks this year have confirmed again how terrorists use internet platforms to spread their vile ideology and to inspire and to plan their acts of violence.”

In March this year, the world’s most powerful technology companies formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The Forum meets for the first time today in Silicon Valley and Ms Rudd is also attending. Although the internet companies want to go further in finding technology to remove extremist content, Ms Rudd doesn’t think they will go far enough.

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TerrorismGITTY
Terrorists use WhatsApp to contact each other

She writes in The Telegraph: “To be very clear – the Government supports strong encryption and has no intention of banning end-to-end encryption.

“But the inability to gain access to encrypted data in specific and targeted instances – even with a warrant signed by a Secretary of State and a senior judge – is right now severely limiting our agencies’ ability to stop terrorist attacks and bring criminals to justice.”

She added: “The inability to gain access to encrypted data in specific and targeted instances – even with a warrant signed by a Secretary of State and a senior judge – is right now severely limiting our agencies’ ability to stop terrorist attacks and bring criminals to justice…

“Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security. So this is not about asking the companies to break encryption or create so called ‘backdoors’.

However, advocacy group Liberty believes the Government is attacking British civil liberties which terrorists wish to destroy.

In an article on its website in March it said: “The scary thing is the Home Secretary’s words are more than an empty threat.

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“The Investigatory Powers Act which passed into law at the end of 2016 actually gives Rudd the power to go ahead and backdoor the entire WhatsApp service in total secrecy – without us even knowing about it.”

The Investigatory Powers Act, otherwise known as “The Snoopers Charter”, already has far reaching clauses including mass collection of everybody’s communications data, internet history and interception of communications.

Ms Rudd met with representatives of Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft in California on Monday and is set to talk with bosses from Apple and WhatsApp today, while she will also speak at the first Global Internet Forum for Countering Terrorism.
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