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UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that if re-elected, he will consider introducing legislation that would ban encrypted online communication apps, including WhatsApp, Snapchat, CryptoChat, and Apple’s iMessage.

Cameron’s announcement is part of his plan to increase the UK government’s surveillance capabilities in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks that took place in France last week.

“Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read?” Cameron said Monday while campaigning. “My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not.’ The first duty of any government is to keep our country and our people safe.”

Privacy and anonymity advocates have responded to Cameron’s proposed legislation with skepticism.

Some, such as Emma Carr, Director of Big Brother Watch, condemn the UK Prime Minister’s use of the Charlie Hebdo attacks to justify greater government intrusion into people’s lives.

“It is wholly unacceptable for this tragedy in Paris to be used as a means to call for a return of the ‘snooper’s charter,’” Carr said, referring to Cameron’s plans to increase the ability of UK security services to monitor internet communications.

“It is the wrong solution and would divert resources from focused surveillance operations at a time when the agencies are already struggling to cope with the volume of information available.”

Others, including UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, have interpreted privacy as a “qualified right” but have noted that Cameron’s legislation would go too far.

“The irony appears to be lost on some politicians who say in one breath that they will defend freedom of expression and then, in the next, advocate a huge encroachment on the freedom of all British citizens,” Clegg is reported to have stated.

Cameron has acknowledged the implicit dangers in his announcement and stated that the home secretary would still need to sign a warrant in order to access user information. However, many observers are still concerned by Cameron’s plans.

Privacy advocates’ reactions to this latest news echo the responses of many observers following the UK government’s announcement last month that it would bolster its abilities to track down pedophiles that use the “dark net.”

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  • Brent B.

    When you ban a technology, the result is nearly always the same.. Only the criminals will continue to use and have access to such technologies. The end result on increasing citizens safety is nearly always moot. Furthermore, it only makes it easier for criminals to eavesdrop on the unsuspecting, resulting in a decrease of the privacy and safety of law abiding citizens.

    • Good point Brent. Also- aren't firearms illegal in France? Strangely enough, the bad guys still managed to get hold of some high powered firearms and shoot up the place. Go figure.

  • A good web site based encryption messaging is eKryptoMe, is independent and free to use. The life span of a message is very short, only 5 minute. eKryptoMe is the place where you securely can send and receive encrypted message, all messages are encrypted at the source and then stored in our database.


    If there is no evidence that anybody died regarding C.H. then he can´t enforce any rule by using C.H. to justify it. That´s as silly as an admin on an online chat forum trying to enforce rules against everyone else justifying imaginary threats. On a chat room you become retarded no matter what your education is – in the U.K. political system you have to vote no matter what lies you´re told. It tells you that the people who get elected don´t take their job seriously – and the people who elect them don´t take elections seriously either. How can we then take seriously rules supposed to ´make us safer?´How do we take seriously lead rules when politicians impose them? How can we take a cadmium rule seriously if a politician enforces it? And how can we take anything from admins and system administrators seriously if people who´re not retarded suddenly become retarded because they say so?
    That needs to stop. Things like mandatory voting, mandatory vaccinations and other needless mandatory bullshit need to be replaced by things like needful mandatory stuff such as mandatory gmo labelling. We´re done playing with politicians, admins and system administrators. And David Cameron´s encrypted bullshit sounds less comprehensible than any encrypted bullshit I´ve ever seen.

  • Good point Brent. Also- aren't firearms illegal in France? Strangely enough, the bad guys still managed to get hold of some high powered firearms and shoot up the place. Go figure.

  • Jack Adam

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