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East of England Liberal Democrats

We rely on encryption to keep us safe. We must protect it.

August 11, 2017 2:59 PM
By Edward Davey MP, Shadow Home Secretary
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

I'm not personally one of those who thinks we should weaken encryption because I think there is a parallel issue, which is cybersecurity more broadly.

Jonathan Evans, former Head of MI5

Ed Davey (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)That was the former Chief of MI5 Jonathan Evans, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme and stating that he would not support a clampdown on the use of encryption.

He went on to say that the use of encryption in a number of areas, including commerce and security was "very positive".

The way in which cyberspace is being used by criminals and by governments is a potential threat to the UK's interests more widely.

He also warned that encryption would be a vital safeguard against cyber-attacks on our increasingly interconnected society, saying "We need to be really confident that we have secured that because our economic and daily lives are going to be dependent on the security we can put in to protect us from cyber-attack."

It is good to see sensible and expert voices speaking up on this issue.

The Home Secretary has repeatedly painted encryption as something that only benefits terrorists and criminals, the reality is as individuals, and as a country, we rely on encryption to keep us safe.

The Home Secretary needs to stop this vacuous tough talk and listen to the experts to find real solutions.