Thursday, 2 December 2021

UK targets WhatsApp encryption after London attack


LONDON: The British government has said its security services must have access to encrypted messaging applications such as WhatsApp to prevent violent crimes. UK media reports have suggested that the man behind an attack in London last week sent an encrypted whatsWhatsApp message moments before killing four people by ploughing his car into pedestrians and fatally stabbing a policeman. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Sunday it was “completely unacceptable” that police and security services had not been able to crack the heavily encrypted service. “You can’t have a situation where you have terrorists talking to each other – where this terrorist sent a WhatsApp message – and it can’t be accessed,” Police said on Saturday that they still do not know why Khalid Masood, 52, had carried out the attack in central London and said it was likely that he acted alone, despite a claim by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. In a interview, Rudd said end-to-end encryption was vital to cyber security to ensure that business, banking and other transactions were safe – but insisted it must also be accessible. “It’s not incompatible. You can have a system whereby they can build it so that we can have access to it when it is absolutely necessary.” Rudd said she did not yet intend to force the industry’s hand with new legislation, but would meet key players on Thursday to discuss this issue.

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