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Sir Tim Berners-Lee criticises UK over encryption measures

Posted by Babatunde Onabajo on Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 at 17:37

Sir Tim-Berners Lee, forefather of the World Wide Web, laments UK Government's opposition to encryption technologies and argues measures against it are impractical and contrary to the right to privacy. 

Surveillance data

Speaking to the BBC, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, regularly nicknamed the “father of the web” for his important role in the development of the World Wide Web, raised concerns over the UK Government’s desire for backdoor requirements to encryption technology. He said such measures will likely result in opposing forces to the Government being more adept at breaking the encryption than the Government itself: “Now I know that if you're trying to catch terrorists it's really tempting to demand to be able to break all that encryption but if you break that encryption then guess what - so could other people and guess what - they may end up getting better at it than you are”.


Sir Tim Berners-Lee also described the measures as an assault on the privacy of web users, and described the recent Investigatory Powers Act – a law which requires internet service providers to monitor the web usage of users and hold all such data for six months – as “appalling”.



The comments came following the announcement that Sir Tim-Berners Lee is to be awarded the Turing Award, an award given to those who have contributed to computing substantially and is regarded as the “Nobel of computing”. The comments also come amidst a national debate about the relationship between the Government and encryption technologies. Home Secretary Amber Rudd is cynical towards encryption, arguing that it provides terrorists with the means to communicate online.  Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also commented on the encryption issue, arguing a balance must be struck between the right to privacy and the right to know.  

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