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'Five Eyes' security alliance to discuss encryption in London - source

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'Five Eyes' security alliance to discuss encryption in London - source
FILE PHOTO - Newly appointed Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain July 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay   -   Copyright  HANNAH MCKAY(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Encryption is one of the top agenda items at a London meeting of security officials from the U.S.-led ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance, an official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Five Eyes – which groups Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – evolved from a secret World War Two alliance between British and U.S. cypher and code breaking teams.

Encrypted data makes it harder for spies to pry and can complicate investigations and prosecutions.

Attendees at the meeting in London are also due to discuss countering child sex abusers and tackling militant finance, the official said.

Five Eyes’ attorney generals, or top government lawyers, are due on Wednesday to hold a meeting to discuss cyber crime, social media, hostile state activity and legal issues.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, will participate in the meeting. He attracted controversy last week when he complained about how the proliferation of “warrant proof encryption” was making it easier for criminals to “evade detection.”

(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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