UK Home Secretary Doesn't Want Backdoors; She Just Wants Companies To Stop Offering Encryption Because No One Wants It

from the insanity-plea dept

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, perhaps now most famously known for not knowing the "necessary hashtags," is back to beating up on encryption because it (no citation provided) helps terrorists get away with terrorism. Her op-ed piece for The Telegraph begins as so many pleas to undermine encryption do: with the horrors perpetrated by terrorists. Only now, the parade of horrors tends to sound something like a "CSI: Cyber" exposition outtake.

Nearly every plot we uncover has a digital element to it. Go online and you will find your own “do-it-yourself” jihad at the click of a mouse. The tentacles of Daesh (Isil) recruiters in Syria reach back to the laptops in the bedrooms of boys – and increasingly girls – in our towns and cities up and down the country. The purveyors of far-Right extremism pump out their brand of hate across the globe, without ever leaving home.

The scale of what is happening cannot be downplayed. Before he mowed down the innocents on Westminster Bridge and stabbed Pc Keith Palmer, Khalid Masood is thought to have watched extremist videos. Daesh claim to have created 11,000 new social media accounts in May alone. Our analysis shows that three-quarters of Daesh propaganda stories are shared within the first three hours of release – an hour quicker than a year ago.

An hour quicker! In internet time, that's practically a millennium. It's tough to tell what Rudd's attempting to make of this technobabble. Is she suggesting future Masoods will act quicker because they'll be able to complete their viewing of extremist videos faster? If that's the case, maybe regulators need to step in and throttle broadband connections. The more the video buffers, the less likely it is someone will watch it… and the less likely it is someone will carry out an attack. The math(s) work out.

Unfortunately, this is not where the op-ed is heading. Sadly, Rudd is here to take a swing at encryption. But she takes a swing at it in prime passive-aggressive, Ike Turner-style, saying she loves it even as the blows rain home.

Encryption plays a fundamental role in protecting us all online. It is key to growing the digital economy, and delivering public services online.

I ain't mad at ya.

But, like many powerful technologies, encrypted services are used and abused by a small minority of people. The particular challenge is around so called “end-to-end” encryption, where even the service provider cannot see the content of a communication.

But you mess me up so much inside.

To be very clear – Government supports strong encryption and has no intention of banning end-to-end encryption. But the inability to gain access to encrypted data in specific and targeted instances – even with a warrant signed by a Secretary of State and a senior judge – is right now severely limiting our agencies’ ability to stop terrorist attacks and bring criminals to justice.

In a fun twist, Rudd doesn't call for harder nerding. (Note: Rudd is visiting Silicon Valley to meet with tech leaders, so it's safe to assume requests for harder nerding will be made, even if not directly in this op-ed.)

No, Rudd doesn't want the impossible: secure, backdoored encryption. Instead, she wants to know if tech companies will just take the encryption off one end of the end-to-end. Her bolstering argument? The public doesn't give a shit about encryption. It just wants easy-to-use communication tools.

Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security. So this is not about asking the companies to break encryption or create so called “back doors”. Who uses WhatsApp because it is end-to-end encrypted, rather than because it is an incredibly user-friendly and cheap way of staying in touch with friends and family? Companies are constantly making trade-offs between security and “usability”, and it is here where our experts believe opportunities may lie.

Having set up her straw app user, Rudd moves towards her conclusion… which is severely lacking in anything cohesive or coherent. The "opportunities" lie in persuading tech companies to provide users with less secure communications platforms. Should be an easy sale, especially if the average user doesn't care about security. But maybe the company does and doesn't want to give bad people an easy way to access the communications of others. Hence encryption. Hence end-to-end, so even if the provider is breached, there's still nothing to access.

What Rudd is looking for can't be called a trade-off. The government has nothing tech companies want. All they can offer is platitudes about fighting crime and national security. The government, meanwhile, wants tech companies to write software the way the government wants it, rather than how the company or its users want it. That's not a trade-off. That's a one-way street where every internet communication platform becomes a proxy government agency.

Rudd's idea is bad and she should feel bad. But I get the feeling that no matter how many tech experts she talks to, she's still going to believe her way is the right and best way.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 5:54am

    According to these people planes should be raining from the skies and bombs going off like fireworks in crowded western locales. And yet I'm failing to see this terrorpocalypse for at least 15 years now (if you consider 9/11 the starting point to this "ZOMG TERRORISM!" craze). On the other hand, we have given less and less funding and opportunities for mental health for instance, which will eventually produce people going on a rampage with vehicles in bridges or young adults going on shooting sprees in schools and colleges with very real consequences.

    Anybody with at least 1 functioning neuron can see there's no evidence that the terrorism issue is as big as you'd think from govt surveillance creeps speeches. However, when you put it under the control and censorship light it makes a whole lot of sense.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      Well, obviously the reason that there are no bears stomping through the middle of the city is that the Bear Patrol is doing its job!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:33pm

      Re:

      And yet I'm failing to see this terrorpocalypse for at least 15 years now (if you consider 9/11 the starting point to this "ZOMG TERRORISM!" craze).

      The starting point for the craze, yes, but actual terrorism was much more common before it. More people are killed in the USA because of the fears (by jumpy police officers, by traffic while avoiding TSA checkpoints, etc.) than by terrorists.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 6:27am

    Governments hate things that challenge their power. Guns, speech, encryption pick your fight, the battle is for liberty.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 6:47am

    Easy solution

    Have the government write the software and applications that they desire and offer it in competition with the software the companies and other developers are making.... Then let the market decide. At the very least, it ought to be good for a laugh or two.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 6:54am

    Lord she's stupid

    UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd,

    There are two reasons you want end-to-end encryption, even if you don't realize it:

    1. Encryption helps to ensure you are talking to the person that you believe you are talking to. It's not a guarantee, but it's the closest thing we've got. Without encryption, you might think you're talking to your mum, but you're really talking with an NSA agent. Or ISIL.
    2. Encryption helps to ensure that the things being said between you and your mum remain between you and your mum. Otherwise, the Daily Mail can easily see everything you type each other and put it on the front page every day, if they so desire.

    Now you know!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 6:58am

    Interesting tactic. People who know what they're talking about are all warning of the problems. So, they're not "real people", problem solved!

    "Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security."

    I think most "real people" would prefer there to be *both*. If they're told WhatsApp will have to lose features to get proper security, sure they'll go for the features. But, nobody's going to argue *against* increased security if it doesn't affect operation of the app. I haven't seen a single person complain about lack of features since WhatsApp introduced additional security measures.

    Also, it's true that security has never been as good a selling point as new features in the past. But, guess what changed that and made it a more saleable commodity? That's right, revelations of government spying! The things she's suggesting be allowed are what made people want encryption enforced in messaging apps in the first place...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:04am

    a "CSI: Cyber" exposition

    Do not give them any ideas, although on second thought it might be quite humorous - like that show where they had to upload new firmware to an airplane system before it could land .. or something like that .. anyway, they had to connect via a usb cable - in flight from a vehicle on the runway. lmao.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:08am

    You know what else we do not want?

    - uneducated, inexperienced representatives

    But somehow this is not important to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      Well, you have been fooled.

      They are by no means uneducated and by no means inexperienced.

      They know exactly what they are doing and are very well informed. They also know that people like you that are at least partially informed are in the minority. You might know about technology, but they have experts at their disposal that know how to frame their words to get you believe they are just ignorant and stupid keeping you disarmed and from thinking they are being intentionally controlling and malevolent.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re:

        One might think that, as I once did, but after much thought I have come to the conclusion that they are in fact just a bunch of morons.

        Although they want you to think they know everything, it is readily apparent to the casual observer that they don't know shit about anything other than screwing everything up - which I think is their objective. That by its self does not make them smart.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:11am

    That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

    Anyhoo, umm, Google for "what can I do to thwart the surveillance state", so that Google can store your search term forever; and it gives NSA "direct access" according to Snowden, so may come up even decades later. -- POINT IS, this is trivial among the daily de facto surveilance state. Why worry about it?

    Just write off the whole of UK, most surveilled country in world, I think, more cameras, and nasty "intelligence agencies" answering only to whims of a literal monarch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:14am

      Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

      And Techdirt blocked a prior browser that had already commented. That's SURELY administrator action.

      Then another, but the "Resend" on the new TOR browser often works.

      So who cares about the UK when this US business, Techdirt, is attempting, and sometimes succeeds, in blocking discourse? -- How many others have been blocked here, just aren't persistent enough to bother with this tiny site?

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

        Which comment are you whining about being "blocked" this time? Go on, point it out, we can all see it...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:37am

          Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

          He is practicing the political principle, lie often enough and people will start to believe him.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

            Must be one of those trump supporters.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 3 Aug 2017 @ 5:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

            I'd have clicked report on both of those comments on the grounds that they're spam. Our monarch has no power at all, she's just a little old lady with a rubber stamp, a mountain of tiaras, and a sense of duty that trumps all.

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        • icon
          The Wanderer (profile), 3 Aug 2017 @ 8:44am

          Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

          If I'm parsing his comment correctly, he's saying that he tried to post the comment in one browser (with which he had previously posted successfully), and had it blocked - but that he later tried again using a different browser (along with some other related configuration, I can't parse exactly what), and it worked.

          So he's commenting about the conditions under which he can and cannot get a post through, after having done enough experimentation to be able to figure out a way to get one through.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 4 Aug 2017 @ 12:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

            Well, whatever he's actually saying he is rather obsessive and incoherent about it. It's strange that someone who claims this site is so trivial and ineffective spends so much time and effort trying to get his voice heard above everyone else's.

            But, for all the self-important whining he does, he hasn't worked out that he's being hidden (not censored or blocked) due to the content of his posts, not the source. That he manages to get some things visible before the community tells him he's not welcome again does not mean there's someone personally blocking his messages, as he is claiming.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:26am

        Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

        Welcome to TD the U.K. of the Internet (evil laugh).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:47pm

        Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

        It's amazing these didn't get censored, I mean "hidden"! Likely just playing "fair" and "tolerant" for today.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:17am

      Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

      If you think the UK serves the Queen you've missed about 400 years of history. I know the whole of the US's history happened in this gap so I guess you were too busy?

      The Queen is a figurehead who has almost no power. That said I'd actually rather answer her whims than those of May and Rudd.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        R.H. (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:45am

        Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

        To be honest, the Queen does have quite a bit of statutory power in the UK. However, if any monarch ever improperly used any of that power, I think it would be quickly removed.

        The last time she used her prerogative to prevent something from being discussed in Parliment for example, was to keep Parliment from bypassing her and joining the US in Iraq. In hindsight, that was a pretty good decision so, no revolution.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:13am

          Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

          "almost no power" vs "theoretically has some limited powers power that will vanish if it's used."

          I don't see a significant difference in the two but if you do more power to you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Cowardly Lion, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:34am

        Philip the Greek

        Actually...

        I know he's just about to stand down from his official duties, but time was that Prince Philip had a behind-the-scenes unofficial role in British intelligence at the highest level. Not as a figurehead or as a nod to his rank, but as someone very much interested and active in matters of state.

        Given his longevity, I'm betting he knows more secrets than anyone else on this planet.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        michael, 2 Aug 2017 @ 11:16am

        Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

        Saying that the queen has no power is like saying that Bezos or Gates or Soros or Murdoch has no power.

        Money is power, and the queen has shitloads of it, which gives her SHITLOADS of power. And that's ignoring her gigantic microphone that she can use at any time (although she generally chooses not to).

        You're being more than a little disingenuous.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Aug 2017 @ 3:51am

          Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

          As are you, "almost no power" isn't close to no power. Try again.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:53am

      Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

      Without a 2nd Amendment

      Are you implying that UK citizens should use “Second Amendment remedies” against politicians with whom they disagree?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:12pm

        Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

        lol - would they use them here or there?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

          “Second Amendment remedies” is a dogwhistle phrase for “shooting people”. The phrase has more meaning in the US, obviously, but the underlying implication still matters regardless of the country.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

            Heh, heh! No, the "dog whistle" got Stephen T Stone to expose as Constitution-hating LIBERAL! Mere mention of 2nd Amendment is call for violence, eh? CLASSIC KNEE-JERK RESPONSE OF AMERICA-HATING LIBERAL. It's the acid test for believing in the basis of America -- gov't a servant OF the people, not dangerous serfs unarmed so can be herded -- and you failed! You hate the ability of people to defend themselves from either ordinary or gov't criminals.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 11:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Mere mention of 2nd Amendment is call for violence, eh?

              The Second Amendment guarantees US citizens the right to bear arms (i.e., own a gun). Any mention of that amendment carries an immediate association with guns. Therefore, any mention of the Second Amendment that does not have to do with passing gun control laws must be associated with gun violence.

              Last year, Donald Trump said “Second Amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton’s agenda if she were elected president. Nobody with any ounce of sense believed that he was referring to the National Rifle Association; his wording was as close to a publicly broadcasted threat on a politician’s life that I have ever seen or heard from a US political campaign. And this is not even the first time a Republican politician has used this type of phrasing to describe gun violence—Sharron Angle repeatedly brought up the idea of “Second Amendment remedies” during her 2010 campaign for the US Senate.

              Given the wording of the subject line in the original comment, that poster obviously believes in and endorses the idea of people inflicting violence upon government officials under the guise of “protecting the rights of citizens” or some other, similar reasoning. The reference to the Second Amendment—which anti-gun control activists generally believe acts as a “check” against a tyrannical government—makes that belief clear.

              But carrying such a “remedy” would not accomplish the goal of “protecting” anyone. The killing of a politician would only serve to drive them further into secrecy and behind closed doors—out of concerns for safety, at first, but then because it is easier to “get things done” without worrying about all those bothersome citizens getting in the way. And that does not even get into how politicians might feel the need to further militarize the police in the wake of “a threat to democracy” or try to infringe upon the right of peaceful protesting as “a precautionary safety measure”.

              I believe in the Constitutional right of a US citizen to legally own a firearm. I do not, however, believe that right entitles a US citizen to inflict any kind of violence upon any government official and justify said violence with the excuse of “I was protecting my rights from a government threat”. That belief would have to extend to police officers, and I cannot, do not, and will not believe in justifying the murder of police officers with anti-government rhetoric.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 3 Aug 2017 @ 12:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: That's for the serfs of the monarchy to endure. Without a 2nd Amendment, that's all they can do, endure.

              "Mere mention of 2nd Amendment is call for violence, eh?"

              The second amendment demands access to weapons. What other use for weapons are you suggesting, other than violence or the threat thereof?

              Instead of ranting in capital letters, maybe use your words to explain yourself so we don't have to assume you're a lunatic supporting deadly violence, huh?

              "It's the acid test for believing in the basis of America"

              You're not talking about Americans, and frankly many people in the world want to avoid being anything like some of your citizens.

              "You hate the ability of people to defend themselves from either ordinary or gov't criminals."

              Yes, because you're doing so well at that with your increase police shootings and gun fetish meaning that you're far more likely to be killed by a fellow citizens than government agents anyway.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 7:30am

    this fucking woman hasn't come out with a sensible statement or sensible comment since she took office in the UK! all shes doing is the same as here, removing as much privacy and freedom from ordinary people as possible, as quick as possible so that the government, politicians, rich and famous can screw everyone else with the people never finding out! terrorism prevention and investigation is the furthest most thing from hers and every other government officials mind!! spying on as many ordinary people all the time is the main agenda!!

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  • icon
    Gwiz (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:11am

    Who uses WhatsApp because it is end-to-end encrypted, rather than because it is an incredibly user-friendly and cheap way of staying in touch with friends and family?

      This isn't an either/or situation. Real people want security AND ease of use.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:13am

    More moral hypocrisy from the Turnabout Tories.

    Trying to enforce their supposed standards on pornography and other communications, claiming that no-one cares...<i>except their paymasters in Big Business.</i> Then, suddenly, it matters.

    This dissonance needs to die in a fire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      "Trying to enforce their supposed standards"

      Name a single party in ANY NATION that is not trying to enforce their standards.

      The dissonance is with you as well! Laws are only 1 thing, a set of rules established by those with the power to establish them controlling how others live.

      It does not matter if the rules are called moral, humanist, secularist, scientific, or religious. It's all the same!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 8:51am

    Dear building construction companies

    Please stop offering door locks on both the residential and commercial buildings you construct. It's not that the government is trying to weaken locks. It's simply that people don't want locks.

    Thank you for your cooperation, which will make it unnecessary to legislate the removal or weakening of locks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 9:03am

    Math Don't Play

    "Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security." [emphasis added]

    Complex people almost always prefer that security be as close as possible to the imaginary ideals of perfect and unbreakable.

    Math you, Amber!

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  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 11:19am

    I still want to know how often anyone has stopped anything because they were intercepting non-encrypted communications. The certainly miss things with known actors and already intercepted communications. Then they can tell us what they really missed for realsies in encrypted information which they decrypted later, which even maybe kinda sorta might have helped had it not been encrypted when someone bothered to analyze it.

    Still waiting on this...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 11:36am

    End to END??

    Excuse me as Iv been around computers to long..

    END TO END tends to have a big problem if you wish to be PUBLIC.. To Broadcast to the world.
    Create a msg that only 1 person can see, and every one has to GOTO THEM to see it..
    Which means, its no longer on the net..

    BASIC KEYS,
    have a problem. If everyone has the Keys, ANYONE can open the data..

    90% of the attacks (that I have read about) DIDNT ENCRYPT ANYTHING, and used OLD cellphones..WHICH we can listen to ANYTIME WE WANT..

    purveyors of far-Right extremism:
    Big words..
    KKK, Religious Zealots around the world, from ISIS to Catholics.. And i wont get into BAD/BLACK propaganda(look it up) that says 1 thing and is a BLATANT LIE..

    I still have a Governor, that believes the Black propaganda of HEMP/MJ from the 60's..

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  • icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 12:11pm

    Wordy

    The purveyors of far-Right extremism pump out their brand of hate across the globe, without ever leaving home.

    Um.. here in the UK, we usually just call them "The Government"...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2017 @ 2:38pm

    In An era where most people shop online,book flights
    online and use apps to communicate encryption is more important than ever.
    I Think this idea that ordinary people don,t need
    encryption comes from the intelligence services who have great influence on uk politicians especially the present uk government.
    People who use online banking may not care about encryption but they,ll care if their account is hacked ,they cant use credit cards or they lose
    money from their accounts due to lack of encryption.
    Many of the people involved in recent terrorist
    attacks in the uk were well known to the intelligence services but they were not seen as being
    a threat to the public.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Aug 2017 @ 2:58pm

    Not just stupid but dangerously stupid

    Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security.

    Strawman.

    No-one knowledgeable in the field is likely to claim that 'perfect, unbreakable security' is possible, rather the goal is to get as close to that as possible and always strive to make it better, not worse.

    So this is not about asking the companies to break encryption or create so called “back doors”.

    Flat out lie.

    When you've got people arguing that companies need to be able to decrypt communications that is absolutely "'asking the companies to break encryption or create so called 'back doors'". Encryption that can be bypassed at a whim by those other that the sender and recipient is broken encryption, lying about it doesn't change this fact.

    Who uses WhatsApp because it is end-to-end encrypted, rather than because it is an incredibly user-friendly and cheap way of staying in touch with friends and family?

    False Dichotomy.

    As several others have pointed out these are not mutually exclusive, I imagine plenty of people use it for it's user-friendly interface and because it's secure. Even if that were not the case whether or not a company should offer working encryption is up to the company and customers, not the government and it's agencies.

    Companies are constantly making trade-offs between security and “usability”, and it is here where our experts believe opportunities may lie.

    In which case your 'experts' need to be fired immediately, as they're not only idiots they're dangerous idiots. As you yourself noted people seem to enjoy Whatsapp just fine, with it's ease-of-use and robust security, so the 'trade-off' you're proposing is for them to make their product worse simply in order to make your lives slightly easier.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    stosh, 2 Aug 2017 @ 4:10pm

    I agree to give up encryption, if they are willing to do their online banking on unsecured wi-fi networks. People would be able to directly recoup their taxes wasted paying these nimrods.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    NaBUru38 (profile), 3 Aug 2017 @ 10:28am

    Let customers decide if they want encryption or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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