Amber Rudd talked about WhatsApp encryption and everyone is correcting her

Amber Rudd talked about WhatsApp encryption and everyone is correcting her

Home Secretary Amber Rudd demanded that social media companies do more to tackle online terror and radicalisation.

On the Andrew Marr Show, she condemned end-to-end encryption, which protects the privacy of Whatsapp users.

There should be no place for terrorists to hide.

We need to make sure those organisations like Whatsapp and there are plenty of others like that don’t provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other. 

In an exclusive The Sunday Telegrapharticle she said that Google, Facebook and Twitter leaders are to have a meeting to discuss what is to be done about extremism.

However, people have found a few issues with her Marr interview.

Mainly, that she doesn’t appear fluent with the terminology or the technology.

What is encryption?

Encryption is the process by which information is scrambled in such a way as to ensure that “only you and the person you’re communicating with can read what is sent”.

The aim being that if the information is intercepted, it cannot be read.

Khalid Masood, the man whose attack in London last week left four people dead, reportedly used Whatsapp a few seconds prior to the attack.

Her calls to get rid of end-to-end encryption is for some, confusing, given that online banking uses it too.

Further, Rudd talked about a "terror manual" that took just two minutes to find via a Google search, and said that tech companies are "now publishing companies".

She appears to have taken the information from a Daily Mail front page suggesting Google is "the terrorists' friend".

Except Google is merely a service which organises publicly accessible documents, and presents them in an easy format.

Rudd’s comments imply that services which offer encryption are aiding the process of radicalisation.

However Masood is thought to have converted to Islam in prison, as many have pointed out.

It all got a bit much for people on Twitter:

More: London terror attack: What we know and what we don't know

More: People are making dangerous assumptions about a picture from the terrorist attack yesterday

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