WhatsApp must not be ‘place for terrorists to hide’

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There must be “no place for terrorists to hide” and intelligence services must have access to encrypted messaging services, the home secretary has said.

It comes after it emerged that Khalid Masood was reportedly on the messaging app WhatsApp two minutes before an attack in Westminster in which he killed four people.

Police are unable to read his messages.

But labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said there was a balance between the “right to know” and “the right to privacy”… More at the BBC.

The arguments she used in the interview were primitive and harked back to the classic ‘we used to be able to do this and do that’. When we give up privacy for every good citizen, we accept that we have lost and that the people who simply do not like the way we live our lives have won.

I realise that this is a big topic and that there are no easy answers, but time and time again the simplistic view that privacy should be taken away for all is used by politicians as the only answer. No imagination, no time taken to look for a better solution and the problems just continue…

6 thoughts on “WhatsApp must not be ‘place for terrorists to hide’

  1. The basic problem is that we don’t trust the government, the politicians, the police, or the intelligence agencies to use the information not only properly but discretely. Most, like the vast majority, of us don’t have information affecting national security or crime or anything like that. But we do have things that we’d rather not have everyone know about. Things that we’d like to keep with friends or family. With the insecurity of online databases, how long would it be until a hacker got into everyone’s information. Worse if that information included all our passwords.

  2. Yeah, really complex feelings on this for me.

    On the one hand, “I have nothing to hide”. And in general I’m enough of an attention seeker that I have a diminished need for privacy. But a counter to that is, I’m not gay, but I still support gay rights, etc.

    But a counter to that is, some of the people who have something to hide, what they have to hide is very dangerous to other people.

    And then there’s the sense of, if there’s great government power, what happens when the government shifts? Certainly the last year has taught us that our governments can take a turn for the scarier.

    And then, in general, any backdoors left in for the authorities create possible bridges for people with even less regard for individuals.

    (And of course, then I get to the melancholy existential truth of noticing that my opinion doesn’t matter that much anyway.)

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