Ex-MI5 Head: Don’t Weaken Very Positive Encryption

The former head of the UK’s MI5 Lord Evans has said he supports cryptography and is against any attempts to weaken it for security purposes.

Speaking on news and current affairs show the Today Programme on BBC radio, the retired boss said cybersecurity should come first, beyond attempts to control information.

“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,” he said quoted by The Register.

His comments come as the UK’s history of encryption integrity continues to be called into question.

Having become infamous for the issuance of the so-called ‘Snooper’s Charter’ legislation in 2015, the country’s politicians have also voiced distaste for end-to-end consumer encryption available on services such as Whatsapp and Telegram.

At the same time, the country could be more vulnerable to malicious actors from outside - than many assume, Lord Evans warns.

“Whilst understandably there is a very acute concern about counter-terrorism, it is not the only national security threat that we face,” he continued.

“It’s very important that we should be seen and be a country in which people can operate securely – that’s important for our commercial interests as well as our security interests. Encryption in that context is very positive.”

The link to Lord Evans speaking on The Today Programme in this article may not be available in some countries.


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