Amber Rudd bans sales of acid to under-18s after attacks

Dan Kitwood  Getty Images

Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Speaking ahead of her keynote speech at Conservative Party conference, Ms Rudd warned that military-grade encryption on services such as Whatsapp - which is owned by Facebook - is providing criminals with a safe space to exchange messages. A Home Office spokesman confirmed the proposed law change, although there is no timeframe attached to the plan as yet.

In one attack in July, five men were targeted by two moped-riders in north and east London in the space of 90 minutes. "There is now a gap in the law around material [that] is viewed or streamed from the internet without being permanently downloaded".

Security Minister Ben Wallace, who oversees British counter-terrorism and communications data legislation, said he was disturbed to see that end-to-end encryption services prevented security services from tracking criminal messaging.

The law, for now, only addresses offenders who have downloaded or stored information or content useful to a terrorist, rather than repeat viewing, BBC reports.

Now it applies only to material that is downloaded and stored.

Can the United Kingdom government combat IS online? Although how exactly investigators would be able to determine that a particular individual has repeat-viewed proscribed content is an open question.

It is believed that a "reasonable excuse" will continue to apply to academics, journalists and researchers who delve into such material as part of their profession.

The stipulation would also apply to terrorists or would-be evildoers who publish information about authorities, like armed forces and law enforcement, in an attempt to further their nefarious aims.

New laws will be introduced that could see consumers of terrorist content imprisoned for up to 15 years.

Writing in a newspaper article this summer Rudd appeared to claim it was possible for e2e encryption to be compromised without the need for a backdoor.

In the latest crackdown against IS, Home Secretary Amber Rudd will close a loophole that allows people to freely watch vile propaganda.

Asked by an audience member if she understood how end-to-end encryption actually worked, she said: "It's so easy to be patronised in this business".

"We also know that end to end encryption services like WhatsApp, are being used by paedophiles", Rudd told party activists in the northern English city of Manchester. "There are other areas, to do with do with other access that could help and we don't get that help".

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