The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, wants President Obama to pressure social media to cooperate with GCHQ, the British intelligence service that works closely with the NSA in the United States to surveil the internet and private electronic communication.
Intelligence services are increasingly critical of encryption methods used by Facebook and Twitter to secure the communications of users.
MI5 boss Andrew Parker took the tech giants to task for encryption and warned the “dark places from where those who wish us harm can plot and plan are increasing.”
Parker said tech companies must offer “greater co-operation” in the fight against terrorism and added that “privacy has never been an absolute right.”
Cameron’s request follows an earlier suggestion that the United Kingdom may outlaw online messaging services that use encryption.
Cameron, in a meeting scheduled for Friday in Washington, will ask Obama to support an effort to deny people the government considers terrorists and terrorist sympathizers a “safe place” on the internet.
Privacy International has accused Cameron and the British government of “cynical opportunism” in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack.
“Government officials … rally in the name of freedom and human rights claiming that the terrorists will never win and hate us for our freedoms. Then moments later … they attempt to curtail our rights they boldly proclaim in public as unassailable,” a spokesman for the group said.