Menu
UK prime minister suggests banning encrypted apps like WhatsApp, iMessage

UK prime minister suggests banning encrypted apps like WhatsApp, iMessage

Having access to people's communications is vital for combating terrorism, David Cameron says

The U.K. may ban online messaging services that offer encryption such as WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage, under surveillance plans laid out by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Services that allow people to communicate without providing access to their messages pose a serious challenge to law enforcement efforts to combat terrorism and other crimes, Cameron said Monday.

He didn't name specific apps, but suggested those with encryption would not jive with new surveillance legislation he's looking to enact if he gets reelected this year. Such apps include WhatsApp, iMessage, Google Hangouts, Microsoft's Skype, CryptoCat, and more.

"In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which, even in extremists ... that we cannot read?" Cameron said, adding later, "No, we must not."

"The first duty of any government is to keep our country and our people safe," he said.

He didn't say how the government might enforce the legislation or keep people from downloading such apps.

His comments follow the wave of shootings in Paris last week by Islamic extremists. Being able to gather information about people's communications, be that communications records or actual content, could help authorities to thwart and investigate attacks, Cameron said.

But his comments also come at a time of increased concern over government surveillance, and the loss of digital privacy in general. On the same day Cameron delivered his remarks, in the U.S. President Obama announced plans for new legislation that would give Americans more control over their data online. A Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, Obama proposed, would allow consumers to decide what pieces of their personal data are collected by companies and decide how the data is used.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesinstant messagingWhatsAppsecurityCryptocatencryptionmobile

Featured

Slideshows

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

​The New Year brings the usual new round of humdrum technology predictions, glaringly general, unashamedly safe and perpetually predictable. But while the industry no longer sees value in “cloud is now the norm” type projections, value can be found in following developments of the year previous, analysing behaviours and patterns to formulate a plan for the 12 months ahead. Consequently, here’s the top Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017...

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017
Show Comments