British Home Secretary announces ban on carrying sulfuric acid used in attacks

Alicia Cross
October 5, 2017

The Government will ban the sale of acids to under-18s in response to a spate of recent attacks using corrosive substances.

Announcing the decision on Tuesday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd described the growing trend as "absolutely revolting".

Intelligence agencies in the country should have access to messages on platforms like WhatsApp even if they are encrypted because violent extremists use the technology to hide their communications, particularly the logistics and planning of terrorist operations, Rudd said in March.

In her statement, referring to the Manchester attack in May that left 22 people dead, Rudd said that she meant to also drastically limit the public sale of sulphuric acid as it could be used as a compound in homemade explosives, such as the one used in the Manchester bombing. "Endless surgeries. Lives ruined", she said to delegates at the conference in Manchester.

She also told the Tory Party conference that the sale of sulphuric acid would be "drastically" limited, given its use in homemade explosives.

Rudd also announced plans to make it harder for under-18s to buy knives online.

The government said it is bringing in the new penalties after a review of counterterrorism powers in the wake of a spate of attacks in the United Kingdom this year.

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Shops will no longer be able to sell acids to people under 18, Amber Rudd has pledged.

She pledged spending of £600,000 on technology which processes thousands of online pictures a second and will remove pornographic images of children at an unprecedented rate. Britain said WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption communication services allowed paedophiles and organised crime groups to operate beyond the reach of the law and called on the messaging service to move faster to help governments catch offenders.

"Our investment will also enable Internet companies to proactively search for and destroy, illegal images in their systems", she said.

The acid ban was just one of a raft of policy announcements from Rudd.

Ms Rudd said extremists who repeatedly view terrorist content online face up to 15 years in jail. And I will demand very clear answers'.

The European Commission, for example, urged the biggest USA technology companies - like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, YouTube and Google - to crack down on online hate speech in December, or be essentially forced to do so through the enactment of legislation.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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