I have heard some of your comments in the Lords, on parliament TV, and I would like to try and impart some technical knowledge to assist you in your work, if I may.
One of the key points you make, quite strongly, is that there should be no way that terrorists, pedophiles, criminals, should be able to communicate such that proper authority cannot by some means monitor what they say. No "safe places" for them.
I fully understand that the monitoring of communications is carefully controlled with safeguards and oversight to ensure such an intrusive power is used where necessary against such serious crimes.
However, I feel you may lack some understanding of basic mathematics of encryption.
It is a simple matter of fact that it is possible for two people to communicate in a way that is totally secret. Whilst computers make this easier, it can be done with no more then pen and paper and dice. It would allow secret messages that can only be read by the intended recipient, and not by GCHQ or NSA no matter how much resource they throw at it.
This is a fact - it is a fact of life and mathematics. It is not changed by speeches in the Lords or legislation.
Indeed, with the help of computers, it is possible for such communications to be embedded in random data in images and videos in such a way that it is mathematically impossible to prove there is a message being conveyed. So even outlawing such communications cannot be detected or enforced.
I will be more than happy to visit you and explain these basic principles, and even demonstrate pen and paper encryption to you. I also have some videos on the matter if you are interested.
Given that this is a fact of life, a reality, can you perhaps concentrate your efforts on the negative side effects of Draconian laws to stop people communicating. Criminals can communicate, end of story. All such laws do is impact those of us that choose to abide by laws, and in doing so we open ourselves to criminals attacking us.
Please do take this email seriously. I am a technology expert. I have given oral and written evidence to the committee on the IP Bill. I run training courses on this. I write code for a living and I run an ISP. I can help you understand the issues, and perhaps the serious negative side effects, of your views.
Director, Andrews & Arnold Ltd.
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