UK Prime Minister Wants to Ban Messaging Apps Without Backdoor Access

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UK Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed that, should he be re-elected, a Tory government would plan to block encrypted messaging applications like WhatsApp and Snapchat unless the government gets backdoor access to users' messages.

Citing the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris to bolster his argument, Cameron used the example of letters and phone conversations as part of security surveillance techniques — while they can be monitored by investigators if a warrant is given, encrypted messaging apps cannot.

"Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn't possible to read?" said Cameron while out on the campaign trail earlier this week. "My answer to that question is: 'No, we must not.'"


"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."

Cameron also revealed his intentions to revive the so-called "Snooper's charter", allowing security services greater access to spy on internet communications.


It's unclear if, let alone how, Cameron's government would achieve the goals laid out — with smartphones increasingly encrypted by default and the likes of WhatsApp popular in part for the very reason that they don't play ball with the reviled NSA and GCHQ, the Conservatives will struggle to make this an even remotely popular policy. [Independent]


This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.