Thursday, 20 August 2015

Government to abandon all ideas of trying to ban strong encryption

I have tried hard to explain the problem with government plans to interfere with strong encryption.

Sign the petition here.

My son just posted on Facebook to try and explain this as well :-

"You may not understand the implications of the laws they wish to put in place so let me put it this way, it would make whatsapp, snapchat, facebook and even many phones illegal in the UK, so please sign..."

And for the majority of the public this is a good start. Ultimately the existing systems that do whatsapp, iMessage, FaceTime, Snapchat and so on are not compatible with the way the government want things done.

At the end of the day we have to get the government to understand that there is an issue here - that trying to mess with encryption will have serious negative impact on citizens, business, and even government departments. It will create new ways that criminals can impact our lives and new ways to invade privacy.

Criminals wanting to keep secrets still can as the cat is out of the bag - encryption exists, and is easy to access and use. You do not even need a computer!

Sign the petition here.


  1. After signing the petition I was told that I could share it by Email (protected by SSL), Twitter (SSL), Facebook (SSL) or WhatsApp (I'm assuming SSL). Some irony in action there!

    1. The petition site itself also uses SSL!

  2. I don't think there's any realistic prospect of the government trying to impose an outright ban on encryption. People are assuming this because it is a logical requirement of Cameron's "no safe space for terrorists" comment, but attempts by journalists to get a straight answer out of Downing St have met with evasion or denial. Cameron may be technologically illiterate but he is not politically suicidal. He is not going to hand a victory to his opponents by trying to ban applications which are used by millions of ordinary people.

    Most likely we will see a bit of posturing and perhaps some symbolic legislation that makes it slightly easier for the security services to demand encryption keys (a power they already have under RIP and which can only be enforced against UK companies). The politicians can strut around telling everybody they are Tough On Terror, and the lone wolf terrorists will carry on murdering people with knives, motor vehicles or black-market AK47s without ever needing to discuss their plans on the internet.