Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, has condemned popular encrypted sexting apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp for allowing terrorists to communicate freely. Speaking in his first live interview, Parker demanded that technology companies provide the government access to their secure communication services. Good luck selling that to the Randian libertarians in Silicon Valley…
“Shifts in technology and particularity internet technology and the use of encryption and so on, are creating a situation where law enforcement agencies and security agencies can no longer obtain under proper legal warrant the contents of communications between people they have reason to believe are terrorists. I think that is a very serious issue, it requires that there is a legal framework to authorise, but it also requires the cooperation of the companies who run and provide services over the internet that we all use.”
We all understand the need for the security services to monitor and catch terrorists and spies, however, and this is a big however, when those same security services and the governments behind them stop undertaking mass surveillance of the general population, and concentrate solely upon the terrorists and spies, then perhaps the same public at large will agree that they need access to the communications of those specific groups, WITHIN A LEGAL FRAMEWORK, i.e. warranted interceptions. No more, no less and with no scope creep.
Until the mass surveillance ends, there will be very few who will want tech companies to grant open access. This lack of access to certain types of communication and the growth in encrypted messaging is a direct result of government actions. Do not blame the public for what government has done.
The majority of people have nothing to hide, but that does not mean that they wish their entire life to be stored and become accessible to all and sundry simply because they have a ‘government’ badge.
Edward Snowden taught us all one very important lesson. Your freedom comes at a price, but giving every detail of your life up to a government that will suck that life out of you is not the right price.