In light of the terrorist attack that took the lives of several writers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, many countries are looking into new ways to combat terrorism. The U.S. on Monday announced plans to up security through the Department Of Homeland Security, the Inquisitr reported.
Now, the UK is also taking their own steps. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has taken a far different approach. He believes, according to Ars Technica, that encrypted conversations is the biggest hole in dealing with the Islamic terrorist threat.
David Cameron is running for reelection in May, and as part of the appeal to give him another term is apparently seeking to ban messaging Apps that have encryption. More specifically, Mr. Cameron’s concern is encryption that the UK government does not have a “backdoor” to.
“Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read? My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not.'”
If David Cameron is elected, and this law he promises to introduce is passed, certain messaging Apps would be banned. Snapchat, WhatsApp, and even Apple’s iMessage could no longer be allowed in the UK. It is unclear how or why this would be part of anyone’s reelection campaign, in the UK or anywhere. The plan that Mr. Cameron announced is also a response to increased terrorist attacks around the world like in Australia, Canada, and most recently France, the New York Times reports.
“The attacks in Paris demonstrated the scale of the threat that we face and the need to have robust powers through our intelligence and security agencies in order to keep our people safe.”
A UK Mayor has recently echoed these sentiments, but has taken it step further. Forbes reported that London Mayor Boris Johnson says he is not interested in “this civil liberties stuff,” and if they’re a “threat,” he wants their “emails and calls listened to.”
Although, reports indicate, that it is not just the UK and David Cameron that seem to take issue with encrypted messaging Apps. In the U.S., Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey have been urging tech companies to allow them to have backdoors to their encrypted messaging Apps. The European Union has also taken issue with such Apps. Their argument, which is more general than David Cameron’s reelection law, is that the internet is continually being used to “fuel hatred and violence.” Their moves have also been simply urges.
What are your thoughts? Should governments have a backdoor to private encrypted apps? Should they be banned if they do not comply, as David Cameron implies?
Leave your thoughts below.