The recent TalkTalk hacking seems to have taught David Cameron a lesson on how important it is to keep data safe and encrypted.
The topic came yup this week in the House of Lords when Joanna Shields, minister for internet safety and security, confirmed that the government will not pass laws to ban encryption. and that the government has no intention of introducing
legislation to weaken encryption or to require back doors.
The debate was brought by Liberal Democrat Paul Strasburger, who claimed Cameron does not seem to get the need for strong encryption standards online, with no back door access. Strasburger said:
[Cameron] three times said that he intends to ban any communication 'we cannot read', which can only mean weakening encryption. Will the Minister [Shields] bring the Prime Minister up to speed with the realities of the digital world?
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Clement-Jones asked if she could absolutely confirm that there is no intention in forthcoming legislation either to weaken encryption or provide back doors.
Shields denied Cameron intended to introduce laws to weaken encryption and said:
The Prime Minister did not advocate banning encryption; he expressed concern that many companies are building end-to-end encrypted applications and services and not retaining the keys.
She then seemingly contradicted herself by adding that companies that provide end-to-end encrypted applications, such as Whatsapp, which is apparently used by the terror group calling itself Islamic State, must be subject to decryption and
that information handed over to law enforcement in extremis .
US lawmakers from both political parties have come together to reintroduce a bill that, if passed, would prohibit the US government from forcing tech product makers to undermine users safety and security with back door access.
The bill, known as the Secure Data Act of 2018 , was returned to the US House of Representatives by Representative Zoe Lofgren and Thomas Massie.
The Secure Data Act forbids any government agency from demanding that a manufacturer, developer, or seller of covered products design or alter the security functions in its product or service to allow the surveillance of any user of such product
or service, or to allow the physical search of such product, by any agency. It also prohibits courts from issuing orders to compel access to data.
Covered products include computer hardware, software, or electronic devices made available to the public. The bill makes an exception for telecom companies, which under the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) would
still have to help law enforcement agencies access their communication networks.