Ministers to enforce new powers to compel tech giants to hand over encrypted data

MINISTERS are to enforce striking new powers to compel tech giants to hand over encrypted data to terror investigators within weeks.

The government will ask Parliament to nod through the new orders – dubbed Technical Capability Notices – as soon as the election is over, The Sun has learned.

They mean police and MI5 can insist services like WhatsApp and Facebook remove all encryption from suspect messages themselves for the first time.

In a bitter stand off with the government, social media firms have opposed any action on encryption so far, arguing that it forces them to build back doors into their secure platforms that criminals can abuse.

Companies boast to customers that their messages are unhackable as a major selling point.


Each order will have to be approved by a warrant signed by the Home Secretary and also approved by a senior judge.

Security chiefs have pleaded for them to be drawn up since the Westminster terror attack on March 22.

Terrorist killer Khalid Masood sent a final WhatsApp message just two minutes before he struck at the Commons, but police were unable to break into it without seizing the phone.

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