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End-to-end encryption works by ensuring that only the sender and recipient of a message can read it – meaning it would not be possible for tech firms to give government access to specific messages, even if they wanted to.
Ms Rudd took on that argument and said that might be true "in theory" but that "the reality is very different".
But Whats App never had such features, and no other features were broken when Whats App added encryption, a development that came relatively recently.
The Open Rights Group said Ms Rudd's claims were "dangerous".
Others may be worried about confidential information, or be working in countries with a record of human rights abuses.
It is not the Home Secretary’s place to tell the public that they do not need end-to-end encryption.
"I know some will argue that it's impossible to have both – that if a system is end-to-end encrypted then it's impossible ever to access the communication," she wrote in a piece for . But the reality is very different." She went on to write that people didn't really want encrypted messaging apps anyway, and that they would prefer to use software with more features.
"Who uses Whats App because it is end-to-end encrypted, rather than because it is an incredibly user-friendly and cheap way of staying in touch with friends and family?
" It isn't clear what Ms Rudd was referring to when she suggested there was a trade-off between ease of use and features, and security.
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