Senseless UK encryption debate threatens to roar back to life

Our politicians are once again poised to push through anti-encryption laws, with work starting as soon as the general election is over.

In the wake of the Manchester bombing The Sun reported a Government minister as saying: “we will do this as soon as we can after the election, as long as we get back in. The level of threat clearly proves there is no more time to waste now.”

It’s a similar argument to the one put forward by Home Secretary Amber Rudd following the Westminster attack earlier this year, that if only the security services could break WhatsApp’s encryption…

And the same as former Prime Minister David Cameron made back in 2015.

A senseless argument

Sadly, as The Memo pointed out earlier this week, our politicians seem to lack a basic digital literacy on the topic of encryption.

As numerous security experts, the creator of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, and even the Government’s digital minister Matt Hancock have all argued, encryption is essential.

If you weaken encryption, or put in backdoors, that puts everyone at risk.

That’s because encryption, in basic terms, is like a super-secure lock that keeps its users safe, and building a backdoor (even if it’s secret for now) eventually puts everyone at risk — this video has a much more detailed explanation.

Clearly the minister who spoke to The Sun has learnt nothing from WannaCry — the ransomware that just this month held dozens of NHS hospitals hostage — which exploited such a backdoor known only to the NSA.

The post Senseless UK encryption debate threatens to roar back to life appeared first on The Memo.

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