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Published on Jan 14, 2015
Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (LD):
The Prime Minister made a proposal not to allow any online communications that could not be intercepted. That would cause huge problems for anyone who relies on secure online transactions for banking, shopping or anything else, and would jeopardise Britain’s reputation as a good and safe place to do business. Is that genuinely what the Home Secretary wants to do? Does she really want to join the small group of countries that includes Iran, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan in trying to ban encryption?
I say to my hon. Friend that we are determined that, as far as is possible, there should be no safe spaces for terrorists to communicate. The Prime Minister reiterated that principle in Prime Minister’s questions today. I would have hoped that that principle was held by everybody across all parties in the House of Commons. As far as I and the Conservative party are concerned, our manifesto will make it clear that we will introduce the legislation that is needed to restore our declining communications data capability, and that we will use all the legal powers that are available to ensure that, where appropriate, the police and the security and intelligence agencies have the maximum ability to intercept the communications of suspects, while ensuring that such intrusive techniques are, of course, properly overseen.