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Weakened and unstable British PM declares war on encryption

by on12 June 2017

Gotta blame someone

UK PM Theresa May has failed to notice that bringing out too many unpopular policies can make even an unelectable leftie like Jeremy Corban look viable.

In the middle of negotiating with even less electable born-again Christian homophobic climate change deniers from Northern Ireland to prop up her government, May announced that she was going to take out encryption.

"We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed," May said.”Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide. We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremist and terrorism planning. We need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online."

Of course all this shows that she does not understand how it works. It means stopping Britons from installing software that comes from software creators who are out of her jurisdiction.

Digital activist and author Cory Doctorow described May's call as "a golden oldie, a classic piece of foolish political grandstanding. May says there should be no 'means of communication' which 'we cannot read' – and no doubt many in her party will agree with her, politically. But if they understood the technology, they would be shocked to their boots.

"If you want to secure your sensitive data either at rest — on your hard drive, in the cloud, on that phone you left on the train last week and never saw again — or on the wire, when you’re sending it to your doctor or your bank or to your work colleagues, you have to use good cryptography.

"Use deliberately compromised cryptography, that has a back door that only the 'good guys' are supposed to have the keys to, and you have effectively no security. You might as well skywrite it as encrypt it with pre-broken, sabotaged encryption."

Last modified on 12 June 2017
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