It was a complete shock watching the images on screen of when British Muslim convert Khalid Masood slammed his car into the crowds on Westminster Bridge.
But, since it emerged that Masood used the messaging service WhatsApp just minutes before his attack, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has called for the police and intelligence agencies to be given access to the app and other encrypted messaging services to stop future terror attacks.
I believe this is against the public’s basic human rights to privacy. Of course what happened is terrible but does this mean we need Big Brother breathing over our shoulders?
It is not just your private life that would be infiltrated. If these agencies had access to encrypted services it could open the doors to fraudsters hacking in and taking information like bank details and passwords, and make the internet less secure.
Experts claimed that even if the UK government did convince WhatsApp to give them access they wouldn’t be able to do so in the way the messenger is written today.
Technology companies should help the police and intelligence services when it comes to specific crimes that involve their product but it should be via proper procedures that can be regulated and monitored.
It should not be a direct attack on companies like WhatsApp and Google, but a wake up call to the government to drive through policy that allows Police and other agencies to access information only when needed.
However, they should not rush this as terrorists want to undermine people’s freedom and their society and to implement draconian laws on handing over private information would mean they have in fact won.