Tuesday 20 June 2017

Fight for a Secure Encrypted UK

I’m writing today because I’m deeply concerned about reports that the government is covertly planning to undermine the encryption tools that keep us all safe.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd's leaked plan shows that she wants to force tech companies like WhatsApp to "remove electronic protection" and Internet providers to allow "near real time" access to our private online communications.

The Tories appear to see encryption purely as a way for terrorists to hide from scrutiny, but it also plays an absolutely essential part of everyday internet use.  I use encryption whenever possible to reduce my risk of identity theft which could lead to financial ruin.  It protects my business partners' and clients' trade secrets from corporate espionage.  It keeps my connection to my bank secure and my medical records private.  For the most vulnerable members of our society, encryption is the difference between life and death, safety and abuse.

I urge my representative in parliament Robert Syms MP to fight against putting back-doors into encryption technologies and communication services that don't just allow the government to spy on us, they break encryption entirely.  There is no such thing as a back-door that can't be exploited by hackers; if one is added, it's only a matter of time before someone finds a way to exploit it.

Breaking widely used encryption won't expose terrorists, it will just push them further underground into the "dark web" where their activities will be harder to track.  The only people who will suffer are peaceful civilians.