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Terrorists use the internet to communicate

  Forum Editor 09:46 06 Jun 2017
Locked

beacuse they can do so, sure in the knowledge that security agencies will not be able to read messages that are sent via apps - like WhatsApp and Telegram - which automatically apply end to end encryption to every message.

End to end encryption effectively scrambles messages as they travel between sender and receiver, so they cannot be read by an intercepting party - even by security agencies.

Theresa May has - since the London Bridge incident - spoken about the internet being a 'safe haven' for terrorists, and she's right. The problem is, what can be done about that? Preventing social media companies from using end to end encryption is one thing, but it would simply result in terrorists designing and using their own messaging apps, and legal users would be deprived of the security they want for their personal messages.

It's a nightmarish scenario, and nobody has yet come up with a solution. Would you be happy to see services like WhatsApp and Telegram being prevented from encrypting your messages to your friends and family?

  Forum Editor 15:28 06 Jun 2017

john bunyan

"Bletchley Park have defeated most encryption since Enigma and Code Purple. I would be surprised if they cannot crack any encryption in time."

Bletchley Park was active during WWII and for a while afterwards, but it's been a a museum since 1993 - no decrypting activities have taken place there for a very long time.

Nobody has - so far - succeeded in breaking end to end (E2E) encryption technology. Not even the companies using it can read messages that pass through their servers because they don't have the encryption keys - they simply cannot decrypt messages, and neither can anyone else. Only the recipients can do that.

The current government has been worried about this for a number of years, and very recently it was announced that if re-elected the Conservatives intend to introduce urgent legislation to force social media companies to hand over decrypted data to security agencies when called upon to do so.

This would mean that the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram would have to abandon end to end encryption in order to comply.

If you want to learn more about E2E and the problems associated with getting at encrypted data, you might want to get yourself comfortable and settle in to plough through this

It identifies the problems facing security agencies faced with E2E.

1]: [click here

  anskyber 17:15 06 Jun 2017

OK. So if E2E was unlawful and the terrorists simply create their own E2E where is the benefit of removing E2E? My take is simply making their lives a little more difficult is reason enough.

The bigger picture is surely that it is time for a fundamental review of priorities for government investment where some politicians may have underestimated the impact of technology and maybe overestimated the need for conventional solutions to outside threats.

I just, and only just, support the replacement programme for Trident but at such a huge cost and with the pressing need to deal with cyber crime and the misuse of cyber technology my convictions are being strained somewhat.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:31 06 Jun 2017

Quantum computers will be able to smash through all current encryption so your privacy isn't going to last much longer anyway.

It doesn't matter what tech we invent someone will find a way to misuse it for evil intent. Everything from the simple rock to break open a nut (or a head) to using a drone for smuggle drugs or drop a device on a crowd of people. Human nature I'm afraid.

  Forum Editor 17:48 06 Jun 2017

"Quantum computers will be able to smash through all current encryption so your privacy isn't going to last much longer anyway."

Quantum computing could be decades away, and even if it isn't, the development of post-quantum encryption algorithms is already under way. By the time quantum arrives, there will be quantum-proof encryption technologies.

  oresome 18:57 06 Jun 2017

You're all getting fixated with technology.

A Stanley knife is all it takes to create mayhem.

  morddwyd 20:05 06 Jun 2017

The internet is no more a "safe haven" for terrorists than the telephone or postal services are.

Both can be intercepted, with safeguards, and are, under existing law, and there is no reason for the internet to be different.

We should be very careful of a government monitoring our private intercourse as a matter of routine.

  Quickbeam 20:15 06 Jun 2017

"We should be very careful of a government monitoring our private intercourse as a matter of routine."

Which is one of the concerns that Corbyn and may raised when voting against some of the recent proposed security measures.

  Forum Editor 22:37 06 Jun 2017

morddwyd

"The internet is no more a "safe haven" for terrorists than the telephone or postal services are."

I find it hard to believe that you seriously think that is true.

If you do, let me enlighten you. Terrorists use the internet to communicate because the internet - or more specifically, some social media apps - make it easy for them to communicate in perfect privacy, with the authorities having no way to monitor their messages. End to end encryption makes it possible, and nobody can eavesdrop on their conversations.

If it was possible, it would be done, and we would all know about it.

  morddwyd 08:34 07 Jun 2017

with the authorities having no way to monitor their messages. End to end encryption makes it possible, and nobody can eavesdrop on their conversations.

That is where we essentially differ.

I do not believe that.

  john bunyan 09:56 07 Jun 2017

I agree with morddwyd- see for example

encryption

Also I went to a closed talk by a top GCHQ bod on a number of issues and although he was discreet a strong hint suggests they will find an answer, along with NSA.

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