Yesterday the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, was right to say that Britain would not be cowed by the terrorist attacks last Wednesday. Nor would we accept terrorism as an inevitable fact of life.
We must always be mindful against encroaching on traditional British liberties which protect the citizen against the state. We must be equally mindful that 21st century terrorists use 21st century tools, not those of the previous century or decade. Our laws and techniques to combat terrorism must keep pace with the tools of terror that threaten our safety.
With the publication of new Investigatory Powers legislation due this week, Adam Afriyie MP, a former technology entrepreneur and Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has said that a crackdown on encryption technology would be economically irresponsible and ultimately futile.
In an article, published on the Telegraph Online, Adam Afriyie writes:
“The Government is rightly concerned about the risks of digital encryption technology, in the same way that it was concerned about invisible ink, encoded letters and faxes in the past. If there is substance to rumours of a crackdown on encryption in the publication of new Investigatory Powers legislation, it would be as mistaken as it would be ineffective.