>> It was one final message, but to whom we don't know. Minutes before Khalid Masood launch his deadly attack in London last week, it's believed he sent an encrypted message using the service WhatsApp. Britain's government says the authorities should be able to read it, accusing tech companies of blocking justice.
>> It is completely unacceptable, there should be no place for terrorist to hide.>> Reuters' tech correspondent, Eric Auchard, says WhatApp's software would be a tough nut to crack.>> End to end encryption means that the company itself can't see what its users are saying. So, when police come knocking, asking for messages to be revealed in a case they're investigating, the company has relatively little to say.
>> The fear of intelligence services is that militants are using social media platforms, such as WhatsApp, as an avenue to communicate with each other covertly. And companies, including Google, have been criticized this week for failing to block militant handbooks online, including one offering advice on how to use a car as a weapon.
It's not a new problem. In the United States, both local and federal law enforcement agencies have repeatedly clashed with tech companies over ways to circumvent their products' encryption.>> Encrypted communications present special challenges to the police, and yet they have other tools that they can use to get around encoded communications.
If they have access to the phone, which they do in the case of the Westminster Bridge attacker, they can simply break into the phone to read the messages. Probably a simpler problem than breaking encryption, which is by all accounts almost impossible to break.>> WhatsApp told Reuters they were cooperating with investigators without offering further detail.
But the question remains, would lives have been saved in London if end to end encryption was banned? Privacy rights groups say the evidence points to no