What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry



Cameron obviously feels he missed an opportunity to destroy the UK with the secession of Scotland.


This is what you get when you have technologically illiterate career politicians. They believe that anyone inside the tent must be trustworthy and more intelligent than the rest of us.

Time to start writing a (futile) letter to my (Tory loyalist) MP.



Of course, the way headlines around here work, I just assume a headline that says “David Cameron will Kill Us All” actually means, “David Cameron will Mildly Inconvenience Professional Authors” or something.

It would be instructive, if impossible, to study what percentage of secure communications are originated by terrorists, by other criminals, by industrial users, and by security geeks. Without any evidence at all, I’m willing to bet the “bad guys” account for less than 1%, maybe two if you include dissidents.

Yeah, then we can outlaw only that 1% terrorist communications (or 2%, if you include dissidents). It’s so simple!


(My emph). Do you include the 1%? I think they have minions to do their communications for them.


Like most Conservative policy it is unworkable, ethically inexcusable, ideologically driven and palpably theoretically flawed to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the subject. But as with Conservative policy on immigration and austerity, it’s not about trying to find knowledge-driven, practical solutions to perceived problems, it’s about trying to generate enough easily-digested headlines to ensure that they and their cronies can continue to asset strip the country for another five years.

It’s a terrible piece of legislation but as a piece of Politics, it’s outstanding, if so incredibly cynical it makes me embarrassed to have chosen this username.


The good news is that this would have a side effect of banning DRM. So there’s that…


As a somewhat impertinent aside to Cory, could you submit this to the Guardian if you haven’t already done so, please? You’re preaching to the choir here but their current analysis is dominated by the sort of pro-privacy arguments that are easily dismissed by shouts of “but terrorists and paedophiles!” and very little analysis of why this is such a monumentally stupid idea from a technological standpoint…


I can never quite decide if Cameron is dumb enough that he achieves a life outside of an assisted-living scenario purely through malice and low cunning; whether there is, in fact, a terrifyingly-state-power-backed childish wish fulfillment fantasy running 24/7 behind that gormless, squishy, face to the exclusion of all else; or whether he’s sharp enough but has deliberately bound himself to a depraved mockery of epistemology where the only truths are poll projections and power.

My money is on #3; but I can never quite shake the other two.


I think you have it all wrong.
What the esteemed David Cameron is proposing is that we implement the oft-neglected RFC3514


Good article.
But Cameron is doing the only thing he can do in response. Talk big and sound tough. He cant talk about foreign policy because its in total tatters.
We cannot ever stop soft target terrorism. The mere fact that there has been so few incidents is a result of how few extremists there are and not because counter terrorism stops them.
The real underlying issue now is that of foreign policy and whether the world is becoming safer or more unsafe because of it.
Would ISIS and AL Qaeda be as strong now if we hadn’t invaded Iraq and Afghanistan or drone attacked Yemen and Pakistan for years? Even the republican far right rhetoric is changing on the subject!


Seconded, Cynical. Cory, please please submit this, or a version of it, to a broadsheet.


That would be nice. But I suspect the opposite is true. If you can look at every packet and identify the content, then you can then enforce DRM. In fact, it is probably easier to recognize the same content then to identify new content, so we will get the ability to enforce DRM before we do anything about terrorism, if indeed we ever do.

Cheer up, though. It is well known that piracy costs each one of us every second more than the entire motion picture industry made over the last 100 years. If we stop wholesale theft of copies of Disney’s ‘Frozen’, we’ll all be rich…

Yeah. Right…


Turns out The Guardian has already got it covered, to an extent: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/cameron-ban-encryption-digital-britain-online-shopping-banking-messaging-terror

…anyone want to bet we won’t see similar analysis anywhere in the Murdoch press or on the ‘unbiased’ BBC?


That’s a good article. I also like Cory’s point about hobbling computers so they can’t run naughty software - but it’s tough to put that on a protest sign or explain it to grampa.


I’m surprised this article doesn’t come with bookstore-like recommendations: “Other users also read 1984”


Is “Charlie” a slang term for “great steaming shiny headed turd”?


This should be a mandatory reading for those who still think that they don’t need an easy way to root their phones, and who still believe that delegating the decisionmaking about what they can and cannot run on their devices, without a choice to opt-out, is a good idea.