Chief of the UK intelligence agency calls for an end of the ‘abuse of encryption’

In a speech given at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Robert Hannigan, director of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (the UK intelligence agency) asked for a strengthened cooperation between governments and technology companies in order to end the ‘abuse of encryption’ by a ‘minority of people who want to do harm to others’. Hannigan underlined that the UK government is not favouring or asking for the banning or weakening of encryption, but that ‘where access to data is legally warranted, companies should provide data in clear where it is practicable or technically feasible to do so’. He also made reference to the fact that, in their law enforcement activities, authorities often need immediate solutions, and cannot wait for ‘complex […] possibilities to be offered’; to address this situation, he suggested that a constructive dialogue and cooperation between public authorities, the tech industry, civil society and academia is needed.