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Former GCHQ head criticises Government’s approach to encryption

The former head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has expressed criticism over the Government’s stance on encryption technology. Hannigan described encryption as an “overwhelmingly good thing” and criticised plans by Home Secretary Amber Rudd to install backdoors into encrypted communications as unworkable and dangerous: “Building in back doors is a threat to everybody and it’s not a good idea to weaken security for everybody to tackle a minority.”

The comments from Robert Hannigan echo those of Max Hill QC, the independent reviewer of counterterrorism legislation, who strongly condemned the Government’s approach to encryption. The growing barrage of criticism from pillars of the security establishment give renewed strength to industry warnings that undermining encryption will weaken UK security, rather than protecting the public.

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