WhatsApp terror row: 'If security services can access encrypted messages, hackers can too'

'If security services can access encrypted messages, hackers can too', says former counter-terrorism officer

Amber Rudd has called for messaging services to be accessible

Monday, March 27, 2017

Allowing security services to access encrypted messages would also open the door to hackers and criminals, says a former counter-terrorism officer. 

On Sunday (March 26) Home Secretary Amber Rudd said intelligence services must be able to access relevant information on encrypted messaging services such as WhatsApp, as Khalid Masood appeared to have used the app moments before he launched an attack on Westminster. 

Former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism officer Charles Shoebridge told Sam Delaney it would be dangerous to "open up this so-called 'back door of encryption'" to allow a security service access, as "you also put that weak system there to be exploited, not just by our security services, but also by hackers and criminals."

He also said pointed out that Masood wasn't on MI5's 'top 3,000' list of terror suspects, which "suggests very much that if the intelligence services did have the power to monitor somebody’s WhatsApp messages, they wouldn’t have been monitoring his anyway."

Listen to the full interview above