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UK Government rules out encryption backdoors

Posted by malcolm on Thursday, October 29th, 2015 at 19:03

The UK government has “no intention” of introducing legislation to weaken or provide backdoors to encrypted communications, the Minister for Internet Safety and Security, Baroness Shields, has confirmed.

In a debate on cybersecurity in the House of Lords, Baroness Shields said that the government “do not advocate or require the provision of a back-door key or support arbitrarily weakening the security of internet applications and services”.

Lord Clement-Jones (LD): My Lords, I welcome much of what the Minister has said. Can she absolutely confirm that there is no intention in forthcoming legislation either to weaken encryption or provide back doors to it?

Baroness Shields: I can confirm that there is no intention to do that; that is correct.

While apparently ruling out legal restrictions on encryption of communications in transit, the Minister expressed concerns about service providers providing end-to-end encrypted communications between users without retaining the ability to decrypt these communications.

The Prime Minister did not advocate banning encryption; he expressed concern that many companies are building end-to-end encrypted applications and services and not retaining the keys. The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that there cannot be a safe place for terrorists, criminals and paedophiles to operate freely, with impunity and beyond the reach of law. This is not about creating back doors; this is about companies being able to access communications on their network when presented with a warrant.

For more information, see: ‘Govt will not pass laws to ban encryption’ – Baroness Shields – The Register

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