FACEBOOK will hand “a gift to terrorists” and child abusers by giving them total anonymity online, Britain’s spymaster warned yesterday.
He urged Silicon Valley to “engage seriously with governments or with me” to combat evil online.
The MI5 director general said he would only want private data handed over if the Home Secretary and a judge had signed off a warrant.
And MI5 is dealing with rising numbers of teenagers seduced by online extremism, one as young as 13, il a dit.
He also named and shamed Will Cathcart, CEO of Whatsapp – owned by Facebook – who recently dismissed police and spooks’ fears as “Orwellian”.
SILICON VALLEY SHAME
The MI5 Director General branded Mr Cathcart’s comments a “mischaracterisation”.
Mr McCallum said Facebook and other tech firms had “falsely presented” encryption as a straight choice between privacy or safety for users.
In fact MI5 and cops want firms to hand over data on suspects only where the Home Secretary and an independent judge had signed off a legal warrant.
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Mr McCallum said: “UK public opinion is clear – terrorists, paedophiles and serious criminals should not enjoy an absolute right to privacy.”
And he added: “The tech companies are brilliant at what they do.
“It seems to me they have solved harder problems, when they really want to.”