GCHQ: Tech firms should co-operate over encryption
The head of the GCHQ has called for some more co-operation among the spy, Govt. & technical companies to deal with the challenges which are posed by encryption. Robert Hannigan, GCHQ boss has said that the encoding of the data is being misused by a very small number of people & by a very small minority. He has said that the rational response is not to think that encryption was bad, but to look for the pragmatic methods of responding.
Mr Hannigan was speaking as the FBI goes in a legal battle with Apple over the encryption systems of the firm. At an event which was held at the MIT in Boston, Mr Hannigan who is the director of the UK government’s communications intelligence agency has said that it must be up to the politicians & not the companies or the spies in order to set the parameters.
On the first day, the in-charge of GCHQ in November 2014, Mr Hannigan has written an opinion piece for the ‘Financial Times’ accusing the US technical companies to become the ‘command & control network of choice’ for the various terrorist groups.
A year & a half later in Boston, Mr Hannigan has conceded that the comments caused a much bigger stir than he expected & said that they were wrongly viewed as an attack on the technical industry. The tone of the new intervention was conciliatory, focusing on the requirements for the government agencies & companies to work in integration to find the solutions.
He told the audience that we require a new relationship among the technical civil society & the government agencies. We must be bridging the divide, share the ideas & build a constructive dialogue in a low highly charged atmosphere. Apple has produced the phones with some strong encryption which has made it impossible for the companies to retrieve the data for the state, including in case of one of those who are involved in the San Bernadino attacks.
The company & its supporters have laid stress on creating some form of ‘key’ for the Govt. to unlock the data that will create a vulnerability for the hackers & others to exploit. Mr Hannigan has not mentioned Apple directly but he emphasized the way in which GCHQ is supporting strong encryption because of the role of agency in securing the British information from the hackers & the other states.