Europol's director Rob Wainwright - the EU's top cop - told a conference in Brussels on Wednesday that “the public accepts that private phone calls may be intercepted. Society accepts that this is a reasonable way to run a democracy."
The now familiar refrain of “give us all your data if you want us to keep you safe” was not far from Wainwright’s lips.
Despite efforts by law enforcement across the globe to to force companies to decrypt information on gadgets - federal prosecutors in the US went so far as to unearth a 1789 law - Wainwright says that in many ways “encryption is forcing the police and intelligence world to innovate and evolve.”
However, he still made the now-standard case of all police that they need more data.
For example, he claimed that more than 50 per cent of activity on Tor is criminal, but police "got kinda lucky" in shutting down the Silk Road.
“It wasn't because of systemic police routines. Police should have lawful access to that data that tech firms are already collecting anyway,” he added.
Christian Horchert of Chaos Computer Club argued that this would lead to to “pre-policing” but Wainwright countered that he didn’t recognise the terminology. ®