Senior U.S. official meeting UK officials to tackle online security issues

FAN Editor
Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Capitol Hill in Washington
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

October 13, 2017

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s campaign to force Silicon Valley to compromise on encrypted communications has received strong backing from a top U.S. government legal official, who called out tech firms for failing to balance crime-fighting demands with privacy needs.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met to discuss encryption with senior British government officials including interior minister Amber Rudd and the chief of MI5 intelligence agency on Thursday. He plans to meet with the head of its GCHQ service on Friday, he told Reuters.

“At this point we are coordinating with our foreign partners as to what the challenges are,” Rosenstein said in response to a question from a Reuters reporter at the global Cyber Security Summit, organized by Skytop Strategies

“I wouldn’t describe my goal is to put pressure on the tech industry,” he said, adding “Regulation is a potential option”.

Britain is trying to step up attempts to counter criminal activity online after a series of militant attacks this year but has to ensure it balances the demands of state security with the freedoms of democratic societies.

(Reporting by Eric Auchard; writing by Elisabeth O’Leary)

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