Police chief argues for ‘back door’ into encrypted apps

Police should be able to unlock encrypted messages in “exceptional circumstances” such as child abuse and terrorism, one of Britain’s most senior police officers has said.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey told the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse yesterday he wanted tech giants to build a back door into apps, which he said were making it “so much harder” to catch paedophiles.

The trend among tech groups is for apps with greater encryption.

Mr Bailey, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on child protection, said the public would not oppose such a feature if it was aimed at people sharing indecent images.

Grahame White