London Terror Attack Revives UK Efforts to Revisit Encryption Back Doors

After learning that the killer of four in last week’s London terror attack was active on WhatsApp minutes prior, Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd seemed to endorse encryption back doors. “It used to be that people would steam-open envelopes or just listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing, legally, through warranty. But on this situation we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.” The UK government has not yet introduced legislation to compel the installation of such back doors, but has invited major tech companies like Google and Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) to set up an industry board to address the issue. —AK

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