There is no need to discuss the fact that states are not fans of encrypted communication. Similarly, it is a public secret that governments are trying to negotiate with technology companies to work together to give them access to user data.
However, it is not entirely customary for secret service representatives to publicly call for the creation of “back doors” for reading encrypted communications. This is exactly what Sir Andrew Parker, MI5 chief of intelligence, did in one interview. Tem would like to get “exceptional access” for his agency for otherwise secure communication.
According to Parker, cyberspace has become a “wild west, unregulated environment inaccessible to the authorities.” According to him, companies should use their “first-class technology” to see if end-to-end encryption can be offered, while allowing intelligence services to access “on an exceptional basis”.
Parker did not name a particular company. Moreover, end-to-end encryption offers multiple services. However, the statement seems to have come due to the fact that Facebook plans to implement this encryption method on all its platforms. This would deprive the authorities of the opportunity to access the vast amount of communication going through Facebook services.
The MI5 chief stressed that these would only be cases where there is a court order to prevent the worst crimes, especially terrorism. Even so, it is unlikely that technology companies are planning to meet his idea. On the one hand, in the case of end-to-end encryption, it would be quite difficult to ensure such access, but above all it would probably lead to a loss of user confidence.
For example, Apple refuses to grant the police and other components access to user data even if it is obviously a criminal. That’s why police agencies use special third-party devices that use Apple software bugs and stolen prototypes to unlock them.
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And now the question is whether to laugh or cry.