A recent survey of BCS members revealed that in order to protect national security, 76 percent of IT professionals disagree that companies should weaken their own security to give authorities access to encrypted content.

“The draft UK Investigatory Powers Bill will face the same questions which have been raised in this case and I think we've still to see a good way forward. This is a polarised debate, and we'd like to see it come together. We do not want to see any organisation standing against a lawful attempt to fight crime and terrorism, yet the implications of both the UK's Investigatory Powers Bill and the FBI's desire to crack Apple's software have exercised the technical community for a reason,” said David Evans, director of policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

The study also revealed a significant disparity between the general public and IT pros about surveillance. More than half (54 percent) of British adults are comfortable with security services having access to their web history. Only 35 percent of IT pros feel comfortable with it.

Evans stated, “we often hypothesise about the strength of feeling against surveillance measures from the technology community versus a sanguine public opinion and we now have findings to support it. We need to spend more time discovering the reasons behind this disparity.