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UK urges WhatsApp to do more in fight against pedophiles, terrorist content

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UK urges WhatsApp to do more in fight against pedophiles, terrorist content

The British government wants Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp Inc. to do more in aiding law enforcement agencies, as its end-to-end encryption communication services are being exploited by pedophiles and organized crime, Reuters reported Oct. 3, citing U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

Criminals must not be allowed to operate beyond the reach of law enforcement, hence the urgency to step up cooperation between the government and the tech industry, Rudd said.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said WhatsApp "can do more" to help prevent crime without jeopardizing end-to-end encryption.

The comments come as the U.K. responds to recent terror attacks and tries to curb crimes such as child pornography and organized crime.

The country also made its counterterrorism laws more stringent, including up to 15 years' imprisonment for people who repeatedly view terrorist content online.

The government said Oct. 3 that it is investing £600,000 in "Project Arachnid," a technology that can identify and take down indecent images of children online. It is being developed by the Canadian reporting service CyberTipline.

"Child exploitation has absolutely no place on our service — which is why we work with law enforcement to identify these accounts and block them," a WhatsApp spokeswoman said.