MI5 Chief Asks Tech Firms for ‘Exceptional Access’ to Encrypted Messages

Dan Sabbagh, reporting for The Guardian:

MI5’s director general has called on technology companies to find a way to allow spy agencies “exceptional access” to encrypted messages, amid fears they cannot otherwise access such communications.

Sir Andrew Parker is understood to be particularly concerned about Facebook, which announced plans to introduce powerful end-to-end encryption last March across all the social media firm’s services.

In an ITV interview to be broadcast on Thursday, Sir Andrew Parker says he has found it “increasingly mystifying” that intelligence agencies like his are not able to easily read secret messages of terror suspects they are monitoring.

There is no such thing as “exceptional access” for good guys. That he claims to be “mystified” means he either doesn’t understand how end-to-end encryption works and why it’s essential to privacy, or he’s playing dumb for politics to drum up public sentiment against strong encryption. My bet’s on the latter.

Friday, 28 February 2020