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UK Online Retailers Warn Government Against Ill-Grounded Encryption Ban

© Flickr / Ministerio TIC ColombiaИнтернет
Интернет - Sputnik International
Chief Operations and Policy Officer at IMRG said that the UK government should not make any “knee-jerk reactions” that would lead to the banning of on-line encryption.

EDINBURGH, January 15 (Sputnik), Mark Hirst – The UK government should not make any “knee-jerk reactions” that would lead to the banning of on-line encryption, Andrew McClelland, Chief Operations and Policy Officer at IMRG, the country’s on-line retail association, told Sputnik.

“While we appreciate that the government has a clear responsibility to protect UK citizens, we would strongly advise against any knee-jerk reactions without undertaking proper consultation and wide-ranging debate to understand the impacts of banning encryption,” McClelland told Sputnik on Wednesday.

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For many industries, the change would be “profound”, and encryption forms a vital component of protecting citizens’ in many circumstances, he added.

On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that there should be no means of communication that the UK government cannot read. Cameron’s comments came amid a string of terrorist attacks in the French capital, which claimed the lives of 17 people.

The minister’s proposals also found criticism from UK-based radical Islamic cleric Anjem Choudary, who suggested that unfettered access to every UK citizen’s digital activity was not necessarily good for national security.

“Too much information is not good for security. If the state is monitoring everybody, who is going to have the time to sit down and go through all that information,” Choudary told Sputnik, adding that "it needs to be targeted, but who exactly are they going to target?”

Choudary went on to defend the Charlie Hebdo attack, claiming that the majority of the world’s Muslims would have no sympathy for the victims.

“There is a very serious situation when people begin to insult the honor of the Prophet,” he said, adding that “the vast majority of Muslims around the world have absolutely no sympathy with those people who were killed in Paris at Charlie Hebdo”.

According to the cleric, “the more you provoke the Muslim community, the more there will be the kind of backlash that we have seen in Paris.”

The Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, targeted in one of last week’s terror attacks in the French capital, is known for ridiculing religions, especially Islam. The magazine's latest "survival" edition, which hit the stands on Wednesday, features a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie” on the cover.

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