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David Cameron threatens to ban encrypted messaging apps

British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned messaging apps that don’t allow government snooping could be banned after the general election.

The PM says apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp, which offer users the protection of encrypting their messages, are threatening the battle against terrorism.

Cameron says (via NYT Bits), if the Conservative government is re-elected, there’d be an effort to force mobile networks, ISPs and social networks to cough up access to communications.

He said: “Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read? My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not.’

“The attacks in Paris demonstrated the scale of the threat that we face and the need to have robust powers through our intelligence and security agencies in order to keep our people safe.”

The vow comes as a somewhat predictable political response to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

It has been argued governments use the heightened fears during these tragedies in order to erode civil liberties, under the guise of protecting freedoms.

In a joint statement European Union politicians also said: “We are concerned at the increasingly frequent use of the Internet to fuel hatred and violence and signal our determination to ensure that the Internet is not abused to this end.”

How Cameron plans to go about this ban, given the worldwide presence of apps like WhatsApp, remains to be seen.