from the tricking-the-press-is-so-easy dept
"We just want to ensure that terrorists do not have a safe space in which to communicate. That is the challenge, and it is a challenge that will come in front of the House.This is, of course, no different than what the FBI has been whining about in the US as well. Basically they're both demanding backdoors into encryption, so that the government can access whatever it wants. They are demanding this because they're basically ignorant of how such backdoors effectively undermine security, put more people at risk and open up that access to much more than just the government.
"We have always been able, on the authority of the home secretary, to sign a warrant and intercept a phone call, a mobile phone call or other media communications, but the question we must ask ourselves is whether, as technology develops, we are content to leave a safe space—a new means of communication—for terrorists to communicate with each other.
"My answer is no, we should not be, which means that we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on."
However, it's not just the government officials who are confused about this. It appears that reporters and supposedly respected publications can't get it right either. Business Insider -- which seems to get the little things wrong on a fairly consistent basis -- has a big story up trumpeting that the UK has made a giant "U-turn" and will no longer seek to attack encryption.
But Number 10 is now emphatically denying that Cameron is considering such a ban, telling Business Insider, "The Prime Minister did not suggest encryption should be banned."See? This is neither huge nor a U-turn. It's simply the UK government reiterating what Cameron said: that they would like to figure out ways to backdoor end-to-end encryption. Which is, you know, the same thing he's been saying for months. The real story here is that this is a really dumb idea that will make the internet less safe -- but there is no change in position by Cameron. Just a confused reporter for a publication that apparently has no reporters or editors who understand the subjects they're writing about.
"We accept and completely recognise the importance of encryption," a representative said, highlighting its use in e-commerce as an example of why it will not be outlawed. The person did reiterate, however, that the British government believes "terrorists cannot have a safe space in which to operate" online — raising the question of how it hopes to achieve this.