British PM Wants To Ban Encrypted Messaging Services Following Paris Attacks

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has it out for encrypted mobile messaging services in the wake of attacks in Paris, announcing yesterday that he'd seek to ban said services if he was returned to power in the upcoming election. So what counts as an encrypted messaging service then? Well, according to a report, it's anything that British spooks can't easily read. Think WhatsApp and Snapchat for starters.

Image: Leon Neal - Pool/Getty Images

In an address yesterday, first reported by the NY Times, PM Cameron said that the UK government would not allow "a means of communications which it simply isn't possible to read".

"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 said.

The UK already has a data retention law that already captures data from the likes of online mail services and other communications networks. The law was rushed through the Parliament last year.

PM Cameron isn't the first politician to say that government spooks ought to be able to read messages sent back and forth in the name of national security. Following the attacks in Paris and even closer to home in Sydney's Martin Place, Attorney General George Brandis has reaffirmed the need for metadata retention. [NY Times]



    they used normal phones, nothing encripted. It's just an excuse. Bollocks is what it is.

    Pft, spooks can definitely easily read snapchat. It's barely encrypted, probably the most overhyped unsecure "secure" service that exists. Hell even when exposed, they pretended to do something by banning everyone using security flaws to get in, instead of actually patching them.

      please shut up, i know this is true but i don't want people to know

        Haha, ok I'll shh so the nudes keep coming your way :).

    Didn't the UK try to ban Caching to stop internet piracy at one point?

    It wouldn't surprise me if the first draft of the law accidentally ends up "banning" https and mobile bank aps.

    All the while actual terrorist will just do stuff like dead drops, or even just face to face.

      Or one-time pads over unencrypted channels

    Terrorists are using mobile phones? We better ban them to protect our children from terrorists.

    True... no-one anywhere should have any secrets. We should probably make sure everyone's required to carry ID, with GPS and national database integration to match up to CCTV so that anyone whose facial recognition doesn't match their ID can get picked up. And cameras in homes and other private places, too, so no-one has anywhere to hide.

    I am so sick of the governments of the world trying to bubble-wrap the entire world. How about we solve some REAL problems instead of watching each other with shit-you-not-we're-actually-there Big Brother levels of scrutiny?

    Last edited 13/01/15 11:39 am

    Is the logical conclusion, should we wish to communicate with one another, that we send our messages to a spy agency who then test/check the message before sending it to the intended recipient?

    The Authorities need to get their own act together, instead of making everyone suffer loss of privacy imo. The Martin Place shooter was well known to the law and allowed to walk freely in public. At least two of the Paris gunmen had terror related records and were left alone to plan and execute their attacks.

    David Cameron has proven is as technologically illiterate as the long line of idiotic Australian politicians dating back to the Howard era. Brandis, Abbott, Turnbull, Conroy, Coonan, Minchin & others I have forgotten all absolutely clueless anti-intellectual morons.

    Does this mean the politicians are encrypted because they don't make sense ?

    So he wants to stop business especially foreign in the UK.
    Industrial espionage is a thing that's why a lot if businesses use encrypted means of communication.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now