Home secretary Amber Rudd's heading to Silicon Valley to meet top tech firms about tackling terrorism

Lynsey Barber
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Meetings with tech companies are on Amber Rudd's agenda (Source: Getty)

Amber Rudd is heading to Silicon Valley, the home of the biggest global tech giants, to talk to them on home turf about their efforts to tackle terrorism.

The home secretary will land in the US today. She is said to be meeting with representatives from Alphabet's YouTube, Reuters reports.

Tech companies have come under pressure in the wake of terrorist attacks in the UK, with Prime Minister Theresa May accusing them of providing a "safe space" for terrorism. Both women have pointed the finger at tech companies in recent months, with May calling for greater regulation of "cyberspace" to stop "the spread of extremist and terrorism planning".

Read more: Apple boss Tim Cook on London terror attacks: We've been cooperating

Rudd has made repeated calls for firms such as Facebook to drop end-to-end encryption because terrorists can use messaging apps. However, experts warn that so-called backdoor access to such communication puts everyone's security at risk and point out that it is unrealistic to think the internet can be "policed".

Rudd has called the tech firms in to meet with her in the UK, but this is understood to be the first time she has sought to tackle the matter with their top brass in the US.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg revealed yesterday that she has met with Rudd and the social networking giant is "very aligned in our goals" with the government. But, speaking on the BBC's Desert Island Discs, she warned that people could move to other encrypted apps that do not share even metadata - information about the message but not the contents of the data itself - with authorities, as Facebook does.

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