MI5’s director general Andrew Parker has called on technology companies to find a way to allow spy agencies “exceptional access” to encryption. In an ITV interview, 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.
The result, he says, is that cyberspace has become “a wild west, unregulated, inaccessible to authorities”, as he repeated calls that have been made by Britain’s spy agencies in recent years for special access to encrypted messages.
Parker called on the tech firms to “use the brilliant technologists you’ve got” to answer a question: “Can you provide end-to-end encryption but on an exceptional basis – exceptional basis – where there is a legal warrant and a compelling case to do it, provide access to stop the most serious forms of harm happening?”
MacDailyNews Take: No. That’s not how it works. Parker is either a dummy or is playing one on TV in order to get what he wants: the complete destruction of privacy.
A spokesperson for Privacy International, a technology human rights group, said strong encryption kept communications safe from criminals and hostile governments.
“The reality is that these big tech platforms are international companies: providing access to UK police would mean establishing a precedent that police around the world could use to compel the platforms to monitor activists and opposition, from Hong Kong to Honduras,” the spokesperson added.
MacDailyNews Take: For the umpteeth time, there’s no such thing as “exceptional access” to encryption for MI5 or anyone else.
Encryption is binary; it’s either on or off. You cannot have both. You either have privacy via full encryption or you don’t by forcing back doors upon Apple or anybody else. It’s all or nothing. — MacDailyNews, March 8, 2017
There have been people that suggest that we should have a back door. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, December 2015
This is not about this phone. This is about the future. And so I do see it as a precedent that should not be done in this country or in any country. This is about civil liberties and is about people’s abilities to protect themselves. If we take encryption away… the only people that would be affected are the good people, not the bad people. Apple doesn’t own encryption. Encryption is readily available in every country in the world, as a matter of fact, the U.S. government sponsors and funds encryption in many cases. And so, if we limit it in some way, the people that we’ll hurt are the good people, not the bad people; they will find it anyway. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, February 2016
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
• More proof that iPhone backdoors are a stupid idea: Massive cache of law enforcement personnel data leaks – July 2, 2018
• Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
• Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘back doors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016