David Cameron Wants Strong Encryption Ban Amid Opposition

David Cameron Wants Strong Encryption Ban Amid Opposition
David Cameron Gareth Milner / Flickr CC BY 2.0

It seems that British Prime Minister David Cameron is quite serious about putting into a place a strong encryption ban. According to the Business Insider, strong encryption refers to a way of scrambling information such that there is no way to understand it without using a password or passcode. Strong encryption is responsible for providing user security for today’s tech products. Sites like Facebook utilize strong encryption to ensure not just their user’s security, but a certain degree of privacy as well.


The BBC has reported that when he spoke at an event back in January, he declared, “If I am prime minister, I will make sure it is a comprehensive piece of legislation that makes sure we do not allow terrorist safe spaces to communicate with each other. That is the key principle. Do we allow terrorists the safe spaces to talk to each other? I say ‘no we don’t.”

Moreover, he added, “I am confident the powers we need, whether it is on communications data or the content of communications, I am very comfortable they are absolutely right for a modern liberal democracy.”

Meanwhile, politics.co.uk has also learned that he reiterated his point recently, following the violent attacks in Tunisia. When asked by Tory MP Bellingham whether the said recent attacks would mean that “companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter… understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable,” the Prime Minister responded, saying that security services must be capable of always being able to “get to the bottom” when it comes to online communications.

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Moreover, Cameron said, “We have always been able, on the authority of the home secretary, to sign a warrant and intercept a phone call, a mobile phone call or other media communications, but the question we must ask ourselves whether, as technology develops, we are content to leave a safe space—a new means of communication—for terrorists to communicate with each other. My answer is no, we should not be, which means that we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on.”

The Prime Minister has also recently confirmed that the government will be moving forward in drafting what is being called an investigatory powers bill in autumn. In the past, it came to be known as the “snoopers charter.” Today, a lot of people are opposing its comeback, including tech companies.

According to a report done by The London School of Economics and Political Science, social media company Ind.ie’s founder Aral Balkan has said they will be leaving the UK. Meanwhile, in an interview with Business Insider, cryptographer and security expert Bruce Schneier has said that things will get “draconian pretty fast.”

As he explained, “The government would have to enforce Internet censorship: people couldn’t download secure software, search engines couldn’t answer queries about secure software, and every packet would be inspected to ensure it isn’t being encrypted with secure systems.”

Moreover, he added, “Closed computing systems like iPhone would ban their users from installing secure software, and open computing systems like Microsoft Windows would be redesigned to prohibit users from installing secure software. Free software would be banned. Anyone entering the UK with a phone or computer would have them conform to UK standards, and border control would seize any devices that fail to do so. UK researchers would be prohibited from researching secure systems.”