GCHQ Urges Tech Help on Encryption

Head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, has called for improved cooperation between spies and tech companies in dealing with challenges posted by encryption.

Hannigan believes the rational response is not to think encryption is bad, but to look for pragmatic ways of responding to it.

Mr Hannigan spoke out as the FBI engaged in a legal battle with Apple over the firm's encryption systems. His latest statement focuses on the need for government agencies and companies to work together to find solutions.

Speaking at an MIT event in Boston, Mr Hannigan said: "We need a new relationship between the tech sector, academia, civil society and government agencies. We should be bridging the divide, sharing ideas and building a constructive dialogue in a less highly-charged atmosphere."

Mr Hannigan believes that the British government's position - as set out in the Investigatory Powers Bill - would not outlaw the type of end-to-end encryption which is currently at the centre of the row between Apple and the FBI. He said, instead, that it will demand companies take practical steps to provide data when demanded.

He added: "Within the parameters set by legislation, it should be possible for technical experts to sit down together and work out solutions to particular manifestations of the abuse of encryption."

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