Experts hit out at the UK Home Office’s scaremongering anti-encryption campaign 

Embargo: Immediate

In advance of the UK Safer Internet Day (8 February 2022), Open Rights Group, and leading security and technology experts around the world have accused the UK Home Office of misleading the public with a “scaremongering” campaign against end-to-end encryption, the technology that keeps messaging services such as WhatsApp and Signal private.

In an open letter [1], 50 experts and Global Encryption Coalition members including Open Rights Group, Index on Censorship, the Internet Society and Article 19 publicly criticise the campaign: 

“Undermining encryption would make our private communications unsafe, allowing hostile strangers and governments to intercept conversations. Undermining encryption would put at risk the safety of those who need it most. Survivors of abuse or domestic violence, including children, need secure and confidential communications to speak to loved ones and access the information and support they need.”

The Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, Jim Killock, said: “The way the government has been using scare tactics damages trust with its citizens. The government exploiting emotive narratives for their campaign is manipulative and does not provide a balanced view. The truth is that encryption is vital for online safety.”

“Home Secretary Priti Patel has spent more than half a million pound of taxpayers money to mislead the public on Internet Safety. Her scaremongering campaign is a desperate attempt to demonise end-to-end encryption, which in truth makes the Internet much safer.

“If the government weakens encryption for messaging apps, it’ll only help predators, criminals, blackmailers, and scammers.

“Even the UK privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned that her plans puts “everyone at risk” including children.”



Press 07951265812 /

Notes to the Editor:

[1]: The open letter can be viewed here: