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Ending Whatsapp Encryption to Stop Terrorism Would Make People ‘Less Safe’

March 28, 2017

Privacy advocates have criticized U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd after she called for security services to be able to access encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp in order to fight terrorism.

Rudd said there must be “no place for terrorists to hide” following Wednesday’s attack in London that killed four people. Police believe the perpetrator had accessed WhatsApp two minutes before carrying out the attack.

 

“We need to make sure that organizations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,” Rudd said on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

 

WhatsApp said in a statement it was “horrified” by the attack and is cooperating with law enforcement as they continue their investigations.The Facebook-owned messaging platform, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide, introduced end-to-end encryption last year to protect people from “cybercriminals,” “hackers,” and “oppressive regimes.”

 

Many at the time praised WhatsApp’s decision to enable encryption. Jacob Ginsberg, a senior director at encryption firm Echoworx, told Newsweek that it was a “great leap” forward.

 

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