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William Hague to InfoSec community: 'there can be no absolute right to privacy'

Tamlin Magee | June 8, 2016
Speaking at InfoSec 2016, Hague defended the Investigatory Powers Bill and insisted public opinion on encryption can be turned

He also pointed the finger once again at NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, claiming that the extent of the leaks about worldwide surveillance led by the USA and Britain had changed criminal behaviour.

"The Snowden affair led many people to change their behaviour," he said. "It's also led many people to be alarmed about whether the balance between privacy and security is correct."

Hague also said that the Investigatory Powers Bill - currently in the later stages of making its way through Parliament and colloquially known as the Snooper's Charter - is an "overhaul" that addresses these privacy concerns.

He said that if citizens were privy to the procedure behind interception warrants - that they can only be signed off by a secretary of state, "in practice the Foreign Secretary, the Home Secretary, or the Northern Ireland secretary" - then the population would not be so concerned.

"It's accompanied by voluminous legal advice," he said. "The secretary can make his or her own opinion about it, and if people could see that in action they could see how ridiculous the idea of a 'Snooper's Charter' is."


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