Security & Fraud

UK Government Renews Calls For Clampdown On End-To-End Encryption

The U.K. government, in the wake of the terrorist attack over the weekend, is increasing its calls for governments around the world to work together to on internet regulation so the web can’t be used as a so-called “safe space” for terrorists to communicate and spread propaganda or messages of hate.

According to a report in TechCrunch, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May called for a clampdown on end-to-end encryption and said during the weekend that internet companies provide these safe havens to spread their messages. Media reports surfaced saying attackers may have turned to YouTube to access extremist videos.

“We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet — and the big companies that provide internet-based services — provide,” May said, according to TechCrunch. “We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online. We need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online.”

Meanwhile, Amber Rudd, the U.K. home secretary, said on a Sunday television program that the government in the U.K. wants technology companies to do more to remove extremist content and limit who gets access to end-to-end encryption. In March, right after the Westminster terror attack, Rudd went after the use of encryption. The report noted that the idea that the U.K. will be able to garner the support of other countries to regulate online content across borders seems farfetched given the fact that different governments have different rules governing free speech. For instance, the U.S. has protections on the books for hate speech, while in certain European countries it’s illegal. On Saturday night three terrorists used a van to run down pedestrians on the London Bridge and then went on a rampage stabbing people in the streets and in bars. It’s the third terrorist attack in the U.K. since March.


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