WhatsApp 'aiding terrorist groups'

02 August 2017 - 06:54 By © The Daily Telegraph
File photo.
File photo.
Image: Nacho Doce

Online messaging services such as WhatsApp should stop using "unbreakable" encryption software because it only benefits terrorists.

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who was due to meet representatives of WhatsApp in California, US, yesterday, says "real people" do not need such sophisticated privacy protection, which has hindered the security services in their attempts to detect terrorist plots.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph yesterday, Rudd saidthe terrorist attacks this year had shown that terrorists used online platforms to "inspire and plan their acts of violence".

WhatsApp is among the platforms that have been used by terrorists to communicate with each other.

It uses "end-to-end encryption", meaning that messages cannot be decoded by a third party, not even by WhatsApp.

Rudd said she hoped companies would voluntarily stop using such encryption.

"The inability to gain access to encrypted data in specific instances - even with a warrant signed by a secretary of state and a senior judge - is severely limiting our agencies' ability to stop terrorist attacks and bring criminals to justice."