Green Party amends impending misconception of ending end-to-end encryption

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Sunday 28 May 2017 15:30
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Picture:(Getty Images)

On the Andrew Marr show this morning, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas said she wanted to end end-to-end encryption.

This subsequently trended with lots of people on Twitter expressing their shock at the claims, not toeing the line with Green Party policy.

The question, asked by Andrew Marr was:

You say in your manifesto, you think the internet should be 'free of state and corporate surveillance with our rights and freedoms protected.'

In these circumstances, and knowing that jihadi groups and extremist groups use encrypted messaging on the internet and also use the internet to provide their hate-filled messages.

Do you really think that's a sensible policy?

Lucas responded by saying Green Party policy is about opposing the large scale at which people are on the domestic extremist list. She acknowledged that she herself is on this list.

He then asked:

Do you think that ending end-to-end encryption is wrong?

Lucas replied:

Do I think that ending end-to-end encryption is wrong? No.

Then Marr, somewhat confusingly asked:

So you would like to see an end to it, this end-to-end encryption, very very controversial, I'll be talking to the Home Secretary about it later on.

You would like to see that ended?

She replied that the bottom line for the Green Party is taking advice from security services about what keeps us safe.

Lucas later clarified the remarks that the Green Party do not want to see an end-to-end encryption, and that she was confused by the wording of the question.

She also asserted that she knew what it was despite a lot of speculation on Twitter.

However, it's opened up a wider debate about how little both politicians and the public know about end-to-end encryption.

In particular, the light has been shone on Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who critics accuse of not understanding it.

Encryption, by the way, is a service that ensure messages between two devices or users are only readable between those communicating.

Popular messaging services WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption.

If you decrypt the service that keeps messages private, it essentially renders every message on the service readable. You can't selectively decrypt.

So when Marr asked if Lucas wanted to end end-to-end encryption, he was asking if she wanted to make it illegal to have a messaging service that's unable to be read by the government.

More: Amber Rudd talked about WhatsApp encryption and everyone is correcting her

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