UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has once again demonstrated she does not know how encryption works, this time by explicitly admitting it to delegates at a Tory party fringe conference where she also hit out at "patronising" techies that "sneered" at politicians.
Speaking at a Spectator event, Rudd said: "It's so easy to be patronised in this business. We will do our best to understand [encryption].
"We will take advice from other people but I do feel that there is a sea of criticism for any of us who try and legislate in new areas, who will automatically be sneered at and laughed at for not getting it right," reported the Beeb.
"I don't need to understand how encryption works to understand how it's helping – end-to-end encryption – the criminals. I will engage with the security services to find the best way to combat that."
Rudd has repeatedly criticised tech companies for not doing more to work with the government to allow intelligence services to get into encrypted services such as WhatsApp.
But as many "sneering" experts have previously pointed out, if a backdoor exists then anyone can exploit it, including criminals, making it impossible to allow access to encrypted messages without compromising the entire system.
Rudd had previously been subject to much "patronising" commentary when she said the government needs to get people who "understand the necessary hashtags" talking. The Home Office later clarified that Rudd meant "hashing".
Later today the Home Secretary is expected to announced that people who repeatedly view terrorist content online could face up to 15 years in jail. ®