Image for Home Office leak reveals secret plan to end encryption
Avatar image of Ruth Coustick-Deal

Home Office leak reveals secret plan to end encryption

A shocking leak reveals Home Office plans to gain real-time access to our texts AND force companies like WhatsApp to break the security on its own software.

Leaked docs reveal the UK Home Office’s secret plan to gain real-time access to our text messages and online communications AND force companies like WhatsApp to break the security on its own software. A shocking leak scooped by our friends at Open Rights Group has made this information public.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has made it very clear, on several occasions, that she thinks no one should get to use safe and secure messaging apps, she’s even specifically gone after WhatsApp before. Despite assurances from experts of how important encryption is to security for the country as a whole, she continues to ask for more and more powers to break it.

Now she has set on the path to make her wish come true.

The Home Office is not expecting to hear from the public. They planned to keep this entire process secret — including a “consultation” they didn’t announce, even to tech businesses - the ones who would have to break their own software!

Because of this secrecy, we now have fewer than 10 days to get our voices on the record — we don’t have a moment to lose! Will you send Home Secretary Rudd a message right now to ask her to stop undermining our privacy and security?

The Government’s proposals will force tech companies and Internet providers to allow “near real time” access to all your private online communications. They will do this through asking them to “remove technological protections”.

Strong encryption saves livesVulnerable groups will have their safety compromised if services like WhatsApp and Signal are forced to build backdoors. Lawyers will lose client confidentiality, victims of police misconduct will be spied on, journalists unable to protect sources, and domestic abusers could be gifted further ways to exploit tech vulnerabilities.

Clearly, the only information Amber Rudd believes should stay hidden is the Government’s own powers.  We need to make it clear that secretive laws that break our tech and strip away our privacy have no place in a democracy.

The UK Home Office already has some of the most aggressive surveillance powers in the world. This is nothing more than a power grab for even more invasive powers — but if enough of us speak up we can stop this.

They won’t be expecting a big reaction in so little time — Tell Home Secretary Amber Rudd: Encryption keeps us safe. Do not weaken everyone’s security by creating backdoors that hackers and malicious actors can exploit.

Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work