UK Government responds to Encryption petition

UK Government responds to Encryption petition

UK Government responds to Encryption petition


The UK Government has responded to an Encryption petition, saying that they are not seeking a ban on encryption or limiting the technology. They have also stated that they will not require an Encryption “back-door”.

This response comes as a result of a petition, which is quoted below, has received more than 10,000 signatures. If the petition receives more than 100,000 signatures parliament will have to consider holding a debate on the issue.  


Government to abandon all ideas of trying to ban strong encryption

Strong encryption is used every day by citizens, businesses, the government, even this very web site. Encryption exists, and like trying to ban multiplication, it is pointless to try to stop it. A ban, or forcing back doors, can only harm law abiding citizens and have no impact on criminals.

  UK Government responds to Encryption petition  

Below is the full response from the Government to the petition, which says that they are not seeking to ban or limit encryption, recognizing the important role that it plays in the lives of citizens.  It also states that the UK Government is not seeking a “back-door” for encryption, as it only serves to weaken security.


    The Government is not seeking to ban or limit encryption. The Government recognises the important role that encryption plays in keeping people’s personal data and intellectual property safe online.

This Government recognizes the importance of encryption, which helps keep people’s personal data and intellectual property safe from theft by cyber means. It is fundamental to our everyday use of the internet. Without the development of strong encryption allowing the secure transfer of banking details there would be no online commerce. As Baroness Shields made clear in the House of Lords on 27 October 2015, the Government does not require the provision of a back-door key or support arbitrarily weakening the security of internet services.

Clearly as technology evolves at an ever increasing rate, it is only right that we make sure we keep up, to keep our citizens safe. There shouldn’t be a guaranteed safe space for terrorists, criminals and paedophiles to operate beyond the reach of law.

The Government is clear we need to find a way to work with industry as technology develops to ensure that, with clear oversight and a robust legal framework, the police and intelligence agencies can, subject to a warrant which can only be issued using a strict authorization process where it is necessary and proportionate, access the content of communications of terrorists and criminals in order to resolve police investigations and prevent criminal acts.

There are already requirements in law for Communication Service Providers in certain circumstances to remove encryption that they have themselves applied from intercepted communications. This is subject to authorization by the Secretary of State who must consider the interception of communications to be necessary and proportionate. The Investigatory Powers Bill will not ban or further limit encryption.



This petition is still open to signatures, so I urge any of our readers in the UK to sign this in order to start a debate in parliament and further push for encryption to be protected. When the petition hits 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

You can find the online petition here.  


You can join the discussion on the UK Government’s responds to this Encryption petition on the OC3D Forums.