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Message encryption a 'problem' – UK home secretary (bbc.co.uk)
308 points by luxpir on Aug 1, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 267 comments



> When pressed on what kind of metadata she wanted, she replied: “I’m having those conversations in private.”

Well I would like to know who she's having those conversations with, when she's having them, and how long they last. I think it's important that she share this information with us. So that we can catch criminals.


Unfortunately you cant. They have already exempted themselves from any type of monitoring. Only the proletariat can be spied on or forced to account for themselves.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/new...


This is very true. There is class antagonism behind the surface.


Exactly this. I often hear such things from politicians who sound like they don't understand the topic, and it's usual at a point of "weakness" for civil liberties such as after terorism events. I assume it's just a form of lobbying, but I wonder if it's from other clueless people (police chiefs/unions who just want the job to be easier) or elite security services who make a conscious decision to trade public good for their own interests (ignoring the claim that they do good themselves...).


"You will not be safe until there is a complete information asymmetry between government and governed."

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2961


It is important that the medium she is using to make these conversation build meta-data around these conversations. And then uses AI and machine learning to detect potentially harmful content and inform the authorities.


And if she's nothing to hide then she's nothing to fear of them being made known, right?


My viewpoint when talking about security is please sign this form and your bank can send your bank statements on the back of a postcard in full view of everyone.

For your convenience we will include your PIN number and card number in full on all correspondence.


What does this mean?


Not much. Your bank access credentials will be visible to multiple government workers. They're all trustworthy so nothing will change. On top of it they'll be able to catch any ...-ists who use banking for their illegal activities.


Also, this is beyond ridiculous. Have fun having those "private conversations" on a backdoor-riddled machine.


I'll be Librebooting my X200 shortly, the webcam and mic are coming out too.


Noone is interested in listening at your heavy breathing and watching your extactic face while you are getting entertained with adult material on your TP.


savagery detection unit is redlining


Ye, I should have re-read myself and opted for cancelling the previous comment. sorry. :\



they won't be private for long


Who decrypts the decrypters?


Are you law enforcement with a warrant?


The Home Secretary is a proxy for the security services. Not the police, I'm referring to MI5. It doesn't seem to matter who holds the job, they've been pushing this for decades.

MI5 have no interest in things like warrants or courts and a rather murky history in Northern Ireland.


I'm not sure of the relevance of this to jstanley's argument, nor my rebuttal.


I think GP's point is the warrant isn't needed. I guess whether it is relevant to your comment depends on whether your point is that a warrant is required despite their authority, or that you are simply pointing out that those in authority have a default duty/right to an individual's private conversations.


> I think GP's point is the warrant isn't needed.

GP?

> Whether [...] you are simply pointing out that those in authority have a default duty/right to an individual's private conversations

Certainly not. Whether they do ought to should be decided by society and its representatives via the legislature.


GP = grandparent.


If you remove the technological protections, the communications become accessible not only to law enforcement but also to malicious people - cryptography doesn't care if you have a warrant or not.

A particular communications channel either is secure from anyone or it's vulnerable to everyone. If UK home secretary argues that we shouldn't be allowed to use secure channels, then that does imply that all such communications will be vulnerable to all kinds of criminals as well.


> will be vulnerable to all kinds of criminals as well.

But legal authorities would never abuse their power (without you even knowing about it, unlike in other cases of abuse).


The superficial solution to this is not to outlaw cryptography completely, but to require those who make cryptography available to keep master keys and/or logs.

I know that these are not a real solution as they can be leaked or abused, but it's best that we don't pretend not to hear this argument. We should make clear that these are insufficient and that there's nothing wrong with private communications truly remaining private.


> The superficial solution to this is not to outlaw cryptography completely, but to require those who make cryptography available to keep master keys and/or logs.

The infrastructure keeping those keys then becomes an irresistible target to compromise. The government has already lost critical data such as the application data for most/all Classified personnel in the military and contractors. If that kind of data cannot be kept safe then you can be sure that a legally centralized infrastructure to keep keys will be attacked, and likely compromised at some point.


> The superficial solution to this is not to outlaw cryptography completely, but to require those who make cryptography available to keep master keys and/or logs.

Completely or not completely, so to outlaw the strong crypto without a backdoor and put privacy activists who create such tools behind bars? I see where the UK is headed.


> but it's best that we don't pretend not to hear this argument

not "best", even if "reasonable, yet complicit". Best would be neutering these governmental bodies who are so accustomed to forking us whenever we roll over.


This is the argument raised by security experts in http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/97690/MIT-CSAI... , which I'm not qualified to disagree with. It seems strong! Even if it were technically possible, I expect there's also a strong argument along the lines of asserting our right to privacy.


But if she has nothing to hide, why should it matter if he's law enforcement or not? After all, there's no harm in being spied on, is there?


Is the home secretary using that argument?

We ought to use strong arguments. This thread's arguments aren't strong.


She wants to institute pervasive spying (targeted spying can be achieved by individually planting hardware backdoors, or simply recording the suspect entering their password).

But pointing out the harms of pervasive spying is a weak argument, because she didn't deny (or even address) those harms?


> She wants to institute pervasive spying (targeted spying can be achieved by individually planting hardware backdoors, or simply recording the suspect entering their password).

I can see targetted spying is possible today. It sounds like she wants targeted spying to be cheaper, and restricted by the judicial system.

> But pointing out the harms of pervasive spying is a weak argument, because she didn't deny (or even address) those harms?

The argument I replied to wasn't pointing out the harms of pervasive spying. Nor was your argument.

"If she wants law enforcement to be able to see other's metadata, she should expose her metadata" is weak. We needn't waste time with that.

There are stronger arguments, such as asserting our right to privacy, or perhaps that it isn't technically possible without critically compromising encryption for everybody.


I don't know if you're being deliberately obtuse, but I'll humour you:

> It sounds like she wants targeted spying to be cheaper, and restricted by the judicial system.

The cheaper that spying is, the more spying gets done - this has been repeatedly shown in many countries, even supposedly free ones, so lets not pretend this will result in the government saving a few bucks on security. It will result in (continued) data collection on a massive scale, the kind that is increasingly being hampered by encryption. Does 'Snowden' ring a bell?

> ..wasn't pointing out the harms of pervasive spying.. ..she should expose her metadata..

While I agree that the argument "if she thinks it's okay she should let folks spy on her" is weak (it's always possible to find someone crazy/sold-out enough to do whatever is being pushed), that's not actually the argument, except in the most literal reading.

The argument is twofold. First, pointing out that there are harms and she's aware of them, despite not addressing them, because she refuses to disclose her communications. Second, that the spying will be used asymmetrically - you, dear citizen, will have all your communications recorded, stored indefinitely, and subject to discovery when some prosecutor or large corporation decides to do away with you. But try and find out which corporations are sponsoring which politicians, who owns them, and what kind of deals those politicians are making in your name, and you'll meet a stone wall of silence - just like in the TTIP negotiations.

But the OP put it more concisely and humorously.

> There are stronger arguments, such as asserting our right to privacy

I don't think this is a stronger argument. In fact, I don't think this is an argument at all. First of all, it's circular - the law shouldn't strip us of our right to privacy, because the law gives us the right to privacy. Second, it won't convince anyone, it's just pointing out the status quo - sure we have a right to privacy, but so what? What harm will come of losing it?


> First, pointing out that there are harms and she's aware of them, despite not addressing them, because she refuses to disclose her communications.

Though I'm skeptical of how much a 3m42s interview can be said to represent the entirety of her views, I'd say she alludes to the harms by referring to such access as "warranted". That is, authorisation is restricted [because of the costs of unrestricted access].

> Second, that the spying will be used asymmetrically - you, dear citizen, will have all your communications recorded, stored indefinitely, and subject to discovery when some prosecutor or large corporation decides to do away with you.

This law would apply to politicians too, right? If they're suspected of a crime, a warrant could be issued for their communication details.

> But try and find out which corporations are sponsoring which politicians, who owns them, and what kind of deals those politicians are making in your name, and you'll meet a stone wall of silence - just like in the TTIP negotiations.

As mentioned, if those are crimes I expect them to be investigated similarly.

> I don't think this is a stronger argument. In fact, I don't think this is an argument at all.

Sorry yes, my single sentence wasn't the entirety of the argument. I was referring to arguments that rely on the benefits of privacy, rather than defeating a strawman (my, as you say, literal reading of top-level comment).


> If they're suspected of a crime, a warrant could be issued for their communication details.

What warrant? How naive are you, there wouldn't be such a thing.



Have a read of this, I'd imagine the UK might want to tighten up their airport security a touch before encryption becomes a major issue:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/31/pipe-bomber-...


There is a growing misconception that it is the role of the government to "keep their citizens safe".

Although that it is often the intention of legislation to prevent behaviour which may lead to unsafe situations. For example, making it illegal to drink and drive. You can arrest someone for breaking the law, but never can you arrest someone right up to the point of breaking the law. For example, You cannot arrest someone for being drunk and having their car keys in their pocket, or even being asleep in the car while drunk.

This is the problem with the government demanding to read all communications... the idea that they have the right in order to prevent you committing a crime. Its not only impossible to prevent someone committing a crime (anyone can snap and do truly horrible things without prior communique), its insane to think that you can arrest someone for pre-crime.

The role of the government is to pass laws. The role of the police and the justice system is to enforce these laws. It is not their job to spy on all their citizens for events which historically kill fractions of a percent compared to something as trivial as car accidents.


I happened to catch a Radio 4 documentary [0] on Sunday about the government's "Prevent" strategy, which aims to find evidence of extremism in places such as schools and "nip terrorism in the bud". It featured several worrying stories (including a school calling the police because a boy was talking about a toy gun he'd been given as a present [1]).

The most worrying part was when they interviewed a senior police officer and he actually said words to the effect of:

"We are operating in a pre-criminal space."

And went on to attempt to justify retaining people's data when they have intervened in this way.

So they are now actually talking openly about pre-crime, and using people's children against them.

[0] http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08yp16m

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/27/bedfordshire...


The PREVENT strategy could have been useful. But schools over-report (because that's the safest thing to do when you're compelled to report) and there doesn't seem to be sensible triage in place to filter out over-zealous referrals.

Here's an example of what the PREVENT agenda should be about: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2016/9.html

or this case: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Fam/2016/3171.html


> The PREVENT strategy could have been useful.

No, it couldn't have been. It's a mistake to believe that any prevention strategy will work on a large scale, and the reason is you'll always get too many false positives like that [1].

It's not just an issue with schools being too eager to report. It will happen in any scenario, including inside intelligence agencies if you force them to go after any "remotely potential terrorist". There will be thousands and thousands of false positives.

[1] - https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/03/data_mining_f...


> thousands and thousands of false positives.

Or, for Iraqis from 2003-2007, one truly egregious one.


I have no problem, in principle, with the prevent strategy. If impressionable children are at risk of being brainwashed into a dangerous ideology, then the state should step in, just as it does with any other form of abuse.

Hasn't "pre-crime" always been a part of policing, in the form of intelligence gathering and crime prevention?

My main concern is schools, and (increasingly) the police acting irrationally and disproportionately.


I feel it is the government that are brainwashing impressionable children with dangerous ideology and I'd prefer it if the stepped out.


That's an interesting counter-argument, thanks.

But I still don't think I agree with you. The problem here is that it's left up to police to decide what is a "dangerous ideology". It's not something that you can decide in advance and make objective criteria for. The potential for police to abuse these powers (either through corruption or simply being over-zealous) is enormous. This is how you end up with a Green Party politician being added to the register of "Domestic Extremists", to give one of many examples.


How do you feel about the banning of toy weapons - including water pistols, plastic swords, bows & arrows, rubber knives?

(Personally I think it's a fine idea, but many of my thoughts are easily taken out of context.)


Next they take your car.

Why? Cars kills way more people than guns. Often not because of a need to get from a to b but because of reckless driving just for the fun of it. So - you could argue - you should not only need to have a drivers permit but a driving permit for your actual trips.

Ok. Maybe cars should be banned. Or at least restricted to people with a legitimate reason like politicians and doctors.

But do you think it will end there? If we give up cars then air traffic would be a natural next step...

You see?

This is why I defend the right to have guns, the right to modify cars, have real crypto, say almost[0] anything you want. Because it is a cheap insurance against a society that we really really want to avoid. Because the majority of people who have been killed have been killed by their own or a neigbouring country - not by their neigbours who happened to have a personal gun.

[0]: including: "I belive the person behind reitanqilds account is stupid"

Not including: "Hi guys! Lets start a fundraiser to kill <anyone>"


> Next they take your car.

But cars are useful and, on average safer, for many / the majority of people that use them. Guns are, on average, not so useful / safe. Note that I'm averaging this across the planet, not just across one small (5% of global population) country with a lot of strong opinions on the matter.

> Why? Cars kills way more people than guns.

I know it's a pithy aphorism, but in the same way that guns don't kill people, cars don't kill people either. It's a matter of mitigating the risk of misuse of one or the other (or both). And, as I say, cars have a very important benefit for a lot of people. Guns ... less so.

In any case you've missed my point.

We don't have toys that we hand out to toddlers and < 10yo's that encourage the emulation of lethal activities by means of turning a vehicle into a weapon -- but we do with plastic facsimiles of weapons. I was asking should we be discouraging the latter.

You turn that into a 'if the kiddies don't have plastic semi-automatic weapons, then we'll have to give up private transport, and then we won't be able to use commercial airlines'.

Aside: there's sufficient natural experiments out there that demonstrate the benefits of gun control compared to, say, the USA's approach. While I respect your preferences here, it's difficult to make a compelling argument.


> Guns are, on average, not so useful / safe.

To be fair, I don't think many people are killed by toy guns. One thing I'll never forget from the land of Orwell is this from 15 years ago (virtually to the day, ironically enough):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2168430.stm

    Three 12-year-old children were arrested
    by five police officers who then fingerprinted
    them and took DNA samples, after the youngsters
    were seen playing with a toy gun.


And equally, that wasn't my point -- I am not suggesting toy guns are responsible for many deaths (though there are stories of people using fake guns and being shot by the police 'in good faith').

It's the normalising of 'playing with guns' by handing over toy guns to children that I suspect is something a healthier society could happily eschew without losing much in the way of civil liberties.

In Australia accurate replicas are illegal IIRC - toy weapons are necessarily brightly coloured, to reduce the risk of being mistaken as a real weapon.


I actually somewhat agree when it comes to toy guns.

At the same time: if we go down this path then we should also ban action movies and descritions of war in literature (I grew up without tv and just read about it as a kid an I was as obsessed with war and fight against the Germans (i.e. nazis) as anyone where I came from.)

To borrow a phrase from you: it's the normalization of criminalization of things tuat worry me.


> We don't have toys that we hand out to toddlers and < 10yo's that encourage the emulation of lethal activities by means of turning a vehicle into a weapon

You obviously never played with your toy cars properly as a child...


>But cars are useful and, on average safer, for many / the majority of people that use them. Guns are, on average, not so useful / safe. Note that I'm averaging this across the planet, not just across one small (5% of global population) country with a lot of strong opinions on the matter.

Do you have the numbers to back that up?


> Do you have the numbers to back that up?

Seriously?

Do you mean car .vs. gun, or gun harm/death differentials between countries with (broadly) different attitudes towards gun ownership and use?

The latter is pretty easy to find numbers. Wikipedia [1] (sort by last column) for countries by fire-arm death, or [2] estimated number of guns (ownership) per capita. Comparing gun deaths around the world, humanosphere[3] has some nice stats (from 2016-06) dispelling the 'other countries without so many guns just use knives' argument. Actually, that article has some hugely sobering comparisons with some highly risky parts of the planet. CBS posted an article in 2016-02 [4] comparing gun deaths in the USA with other countries - quoting a study published in the AMA earlier in the year.

If you mean the former - that's a trickier thing to evaluate. Less people have access to a gun than a car, for starters, and most people use a car much more often than they use a gun. Cars are designed to transport people and goods - guns are designed to cause damage - so defining 'accidental use' of both is an interesting question. A bit of quick googling comes up with some numbers, suggesting guns are now - in absolute terms - the cause of death for more USA citizens than cars ... but naturally there's some dispute about how those numbers are determined, and some strong interest in not comparing those stats to other countries.

On the other hand, if you think gun ownership should be legal, popular, loosely regulated, and enshrined in law, then you're probably well prepared to disregard any argument to the contrary. Any 'but people die from car accidents' rebuttal <sic> is pretty disingenuous.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-r... [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estimated_number_of_guns_per_c... [3] http://www.humanosphere.org/science/2016/06/visualizing-gun-... [4] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-u-s-gun-deaths-compare-to-ot...


>If you mean the former - that's a trickier thing to evaluate. Less people have access to a gun than a car, for starters, and most people use a car much more often than they use a gun. Cars are designed to transport people and goods - guns are designed to cause damage - so defining 'accidental use' of both is an interesting question. A bit of quick googling comes up with some numbers, suggesting guns are now - in absolute terms - the cause of death for more USA citizens than cars ... but naturally there's some dispute about how those numbers are determined, and some strong interest in not comparing those stats to other countries.

I'm interested in both car accidents vs gun accidents and car accidents vs all gun related deaths, especially in countries with sane gun (e.g. well thought out, not let's ban everything) regulation that aren't the US.

Here's some stats that I've found just now:

Switzerland: gun related deaths per 100k people: 3.01, with 3.3 being the traffic accidents number.[1][2]

Czech Republic: gun related: 1.8, traffic accidents: 6.1.[3][2]

1 - http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/switzerland

2 - http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/czech-republic

3 -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-r...


> ... especially in countries with sane gun (e.g. well thought out, not let's ban everything) regulation that aren't the US.

Sanity is in the eye of the permit-holder, I suspect.

Most countries seem to rarely change their gun laws, having inherited them from various historical events (or fears of possible events).

In Australia we had a major gun law change back in the 1990's in response to a lunatic shooting several dozen people - but I don't know offhand of any other societies that have successfully re-considered their laws and attitudes towards gun ownership.


> There is a growing misconception that it is the role of the government to "keep their citizens safe".

What misconception? This is the basis of the social contract between society and its government, to safeguard the natural rights of society, the foremost of which (Life, among Life, Liberty, Property/Pursuit of happiness) is the safety and security of members of society. Read up on Locke and Rousseau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

> The role of the government is to pass laws

This is a tautology. Legislation is but a means in which some forms of government (excepting, for instance, dictatorships) act to secure the natural rights of society. Legislation is not a goal in and of itself for government.

> This is the problem with the government... the idea that [the government should try] to prevent you [from] committing a crime

See natural right #2 - the right to liberty, which in context means the right to act as you please until you actually cross the line by committing a crime. The right to liberty is not mutually exclusive to the right to life; legitimate governments act to secure both in tandem.


Why do you think this social contract persists to this day, or if it ever did? Locke and Rousseau were theorisers. Do you really think governments, least of all the UK government, is founded on the ideas of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? Even those which claim to be in some way like the US seem to be doing nothing toward these principles. So I think GP's point stands. What relevance does this social contract have when we see it is violated all the time?

>act to secure the natural rights of society.

This is obviously not the case, as evidenced by the fact that governments act against securing rights we previously held, for example censorship and invasion of privacy.

>See natural right #2 - the right to liberty

Natural rights are a funny thing - everyone claims they exist yet I see no evidence that they do (or even should), they change depending on who you ask, and various countries have their own ideas of what they mean. What you call "legitimate" is wholly based on your own opinion of it. Proudhon (whom you must be familiar with) particularly took issue with the right of property in the French republican constitution of his day. He noted that it is unlike the rights of equality and justice, too.

I'm all for theorising and implementing policy based on our philosophical investigation, but it's not clear to me that the investigation is valid, and that it has been implemented to a sufficient degree. To say our governments are based on the ideas of freedom put forth by Locke is as farcical as saying the Soviet Union was based on the ideas put forward on Socialism by Marx in his criticism of political economy.


> What relevance does this social contract have when we see it is violated all the time?

You cannot understand the notion of natural rights without understanding why they are fundamentally theologically based rights.

That doesn't necessarily mean religious theology - which is where it was rooted from ("that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" etc.). In an atheistic context, these rights can also be made unalienable by a firm societal devotion to humanism, or even just belief in the liberating power of free markets.

> What you call "legitimate" is wholly based on your own opinion of it.

Not by my opinion, but by my beliefs, and by the common beliefs of the rest of the society of which I am a part. Opinion and faith are different concepts. To have an opinion is to make a subjective judgement; to have faith is to optimistically take a risk on a productive course of action in the absence of evidence or guarantee.

What relevance does the social contract have? Society's collective faith defines our common ethics. The social contract does not only bind our government in its treatment of us; it binds us in how we treat each other, because our culture is not narrowly limited to our political beliefs but rather defines how we treat each other. Yes, it is rather laissez-faire, but it still firmly binds us to treat each other with mutual respect for our lives, our freedom, and the fruits of our labor. To reject the social contract is to be an anarchist.

> "Today I say: As long as the gate is closed, as long as this scar of a wall is permitted to stand, it is not the German question alone that remains open, but the question of freedom for all mankind... ... after these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor. ... We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. ... General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! ... As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: "This wall will fall. Beliefs become reality." Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom."

President Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987


>these rights can also be made unalienable by a firm societal devotion to humanism

This seems fair enough, I can understand this, but only from the point of view that if you want rights at all then you need to start somewhere, and there is no position I can see that does not involve some kind of hand wavy "that's just the way that it is", not that I am faulting you on that, but it's how I see the idea, anyway.

>the liberating power of free markets.

Heh, I needed a good laugh today :)

"We cry shame on the feudal baron who forbade the peasant to turn a clod of earth unless he surrendered to his lord a fourth of his crop. We call those the barbarous times. But if the forms have changed, the relations have remained the same, and the worker is forced, under the name of free contract, to accept feudal obligations. For, turn where he will, he can find no better conditions. Everything has become private property, and he must accept, or die of hunger." -- Peter Kropotkin in The Conquest of Bread.

>The social contract does not only bind our government in its treatment of us; it binds us in how we treat each other, because our culture is not narrowly limited to our political beliefs but rather defines how we treat each other.

I'd rather have the social contract detached from government; if it must be attached then I view it as illegitimate, as illegitimate as I view the state which does not seek consent of the governed. It is material conditions that give rise to new concepts of rights, morality, justice and freedom. As Marx said, the Communist views the current bourgeois institutions of rights and morality as a facade, and behind those lurk even more bourgeois prejudices.

>To reject the social contract is to be an anarchist.

I would say, it is to be a certain kind of anarchist. The contracts we have today carry the threat of force to legitimise them; however there are contracts between friends which do not. This kind of contract is in my opinion possible at a larger scale in a stateless anarchist (non-proprietarian) society.

>Yes, it is rather laissez-faire, but it still firmly binds us to treat each other with mutual respect for our lives, our freedom, and the fruits of our labor.

Kropotkin wrote that this is exactly not the case, lamenting how the worker must surrender one third to the capitalist and middleman and one third to the state in the form of tax. The material conditions that influence the creation of these social contracts will also influence the creation of our interactions between each other.

I am no defender of the Soviet Union, but to me it is entirely possible for the USSR's conception of rights and freedoms to be just as valid as those of the US. The wall was a short sighted and silly idea in my opinion. And yet I feel as though behind Raegan lurked his own prejudices as to what rights should prevail, even if his intentions may be noble and in desire of freedom (which I don't believe so much).

It is interesting to me to see the difference between what is moral, what should be legislated, and indeed whether there is any morality and legislation at all (i.e Stirnerist egoism),


The Right to Liberty, which we will secure for you by taking away as much of it as possible.


Rights aren't natural, they aren't inherent, they are assigned (or granted) by a given constitutional context. In some systems there are rights that do not exist in other systems, even very fundamental ones.

Governments are extending their mandate and they are curtailing/"ungranting" certain other rights (principally, the uncodified "right to privacy"). Insofar as Parliament is sovereign in the UK and is the ultimate source of all rights, this is within their remit and requires no exceptional super-majority or constitutional amendment process.

Whether this is desirable or otherwise is quite another matter.


While that may be true, it's not the philosophical basis of our current system of government. The concept of natural law is, though. And in general, the majority of people seem to believe in rights under that definition (albeit more likely due to religious beliefs than having read Enlightenment philosophers).


Philosophy is codified nowhere. Simply the fact that people can operate under a presumed ”philosophy” while, as you admit, the reality of the matter is quite distinct, would seem to confirm that whatever prevalent philosophy may from time to time exist is irrelevant.


But this stuff actually is codified. It's essentially the basis of our legal system. When it's working "correctly", it's working along these lines.


> Right's aren't natural, they aren't inherent, they are assigned (or granted) by a given constitutional context.

Wrong. A government violating your natural rights is not the same thing as those rights not existing. There is nothing immoral or unethical about a government which does not safeguard non-existent rights, it is the act of violation which violates the social contract and makes the government illegitimate.


I'm sorry, but you are absolutely misinformed. If I am a citizen of a country that does not, for example, recognise the right to vote then there is no higher authority I can go to in an attempt to obtain redress, both because there is no higher authority, and because the vote is not a right in this legal system. No rights have been violated, they are simply not extant in this system.


I think you misunderstand fundamentally, GP is saying that no matter the position of the current government there are absolute inalienable rights which is a common position to take (outlined in the founding of the US, for example) and that there is indeed a higher authority than government, morality/religion/philosophy/humanism. Some consider, e.g. the UN declaration of human rights to enumerate rights which can be violated by governments even though you cannot go to the UN for redress.

You are considering a 'right' to be defined as 'a thing the particular current government allows you to do' which is a great technical legal definition in service of blind unquestioning obedience to the powerful and is a nice clean enunciation of the universally rejected philosophical principle "might is right" but is actually the exact opposite of what most people mean when they refer to rights. The law (even highest law of the land) and its enforcers can violate your rights and you can defend your rights by refusing to obey unjust law, for example. The whole point of saying a right exists is to define what it means for a government to be evil or oppressive; to deny natural rights. To say rights are defined by what the government permits is to say no government can ever be evil or oppressive, and that it justifies itself by its power and nothing more, an idea we rejected hundreds of years ago as a race when we moved past the divine right of kings.


Thank you for your explanation but I do not misunderstand. ”Natural Rights” is just a concept political philosophers came up with to suggest there should be some minimal set of identical rights in all legal systems. It is a suggestion, not a source of law.

Case in point: in a thread broadly pertaining to the law in the UK you bring up the US Constitution, and its enunciation of rights in the first batch of amendments (otherwise known as the Bill Of Rights). No such analogue exists in UK law because (despite being a constitutional monarchy) the UK has no explicit written constitution (at least not a single specific document whose amendment or modification requires special supermajority in parliament).

The US Constitution's Bill of Rights famously proclaims US citizens' rights to bear arms. No analogue exists in UK law. What is a natural rights proponent to make of that? That the UK has implemented less of the natural rights than the US has? That bearing arms is not a natural right? That the US allows rights that are not natural rights? These would all be spurious conclusions because rights need not map across legal systems and certainly do not ”inherit” from one golden standard of ”natural rights”.

I think it is easy for us technologically-inclined people to think of various legal systems as differing implementations of a ”natural rights specification”, and come away with a feeling that there are various levels of correctness or preferrability. That's the wrong mindset, though. A better one would be that each legal system is a formal system built up from different and sometimes incompatible axioms, so that some support some theorems and others don't (but support other theorems).


>For example, You cannot arrest someone for being drunk and having their car keys in their pocket, or even being asleep in the car while drunk.

An aside, but this is not true.

"According to Alabama state law, Hand was deemed to be in “constructive possession” of the vehicle, and although he wasn’t driving and the vehicle was parked, the keys being in the car was the determinant that triggered the arrest.""

https://www.tidesports.com/dashawn-hand-sleeping-car-not-dri...


from the article. "Hand was parked in a near-campus parking lot, sitting in the driver’s seat with the headlights on and the vehicle cranked, but was asleep with the car in park."

"The vehicle cranked" is the key there.. he is shown to be operating the vehicle while under the influence.. If he was asleep in the car without it being on, I doubt they would have a case.


That was just the first one that came up. Critically, it's however the authorities (and it seems to depend on the state) define "operating" the vehicle.

But more to my point, you can still be arrested for DUI while not literally driving/sleeping in the backseat. Given the number of law firm search results that pop up, I'm guessing it's often a way people fight DUIs. So maybe these don't stick.


ok ok, perhaps this was a bad example of being in a situation which is legal but illegal adjacent, because it seems in some cases it is illegal to sleep in your car while drunk, or even being near your car while drunk. but the crux of my argument remains valid. in those cases you've broken the law (past tense) because in this case those scenarios are considered a breach of the law.

My point remains that the role of government is to pass laws, and the role of law enforcement is to enforce those laws by capturing people who break the law. NOT to arrest people who "might" break the law, because that group contains everyone.


let's not find out. don't sleep in your car while drunk. there, problem solved! ;-D


>can't arrest someone for being drunk and having their car keys in their pocket

yes you can, at least in Florida. i had to recently take a driving class to avoid points on my license, and one of the points the instructor really impressed on that class was that IF you're in the parking lot in your car, (asleep or awake, doesn't matter) AND a police officer stops you AND gives you a sobriety test AND your BAC is over the limit, you're getting cited for sure.

be responsible and get an uber or a lyft or a taxi or any of the other options available to you.


Unfortunately, there's a misconception underlying this one that there are 'good people' and 'bad people', and the role of Government is to protect the former from the latter. This of course flies in the face of the reality that crime is committed by otherwise ordinary people under extraordinary circumstances.

Under this rhetoric - widely subscribed to by the right wing and tabloid press, it seems a logical step that the role of Government should be to impede 'bad people' as much as possible - "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" is an obvious corollary from this position too.


I find this comment particularly interesting. I have a suspicion that believing in good and bad people is a product of fairytales and religion. I've never quite understood why authoritarianism, religion and the right seem to go together, maybe this is part of puzzle.


I don't think religion etc. is to blame personally, it's a simple extension of believing that I am good, and I am like her, and she is good, and we are not like them. We never see ourselves as the people who could tip over the edge.


Fairytales and religion wouldn't be so popular if people didn't already have an innate desire to believe in good and bad people.


Then again, people wouldn't have an innate desire to believe in good and bad people if fairytales and religion weren't already so popular.


In the UK* it is an offence to be "drunk in charge of a vehicle" so you absolutely can be arrested and charged for being asleep whilst drunk in a vehicle. You'll be having to defend yourself in court as to whether it was likely that would could have driven it drunk.

In the same way reading communications can be perfectly legal and is often helpful in establishing conspiracy cases. Accepting that Governments can legally intercept communications with some form of due process shouldn't be viewed as going after "pre-crime". It has always been the case before now that legal interception powers also enable illegal Government (or indeed non-state) snooping, that should be dealt with by robust interventions by an independent judiciary.

* Road Traffic Law is one of the relatively few criminal areas that is UK wide


OK, so I have decided that my example of not having the intention to commit the crime is a bad one as it has been flagged up by everyone regarding how in the UK you can indeed be arrested for this.

heres my solution to the situation in the UK. If you are EVER planning on sleeping it off in the car, get a breathalyzer locking cabinet for your keys.

http://www.alcolockgb.com/

this way you can prove unambiguously that you are unable to operate the vehicle even if you wake up and are over the limit... there.. problem solved. Now lets get back on track about the right to read all communications.

even if they backdoor all chat messages, you can still use your own encryption within that channel. Everyone can do this using free open source software and even custom keyboards in android (I don't use iPhone so I don't know about them).

What happened to good old fashioned spycraft following people around and occasionally plutonium pelleting someone in the leg with an umbrella.


well I'll be damned...

What is the legal definition of being in charge?

There is no legal definition for the term "in charge" so each case will depend on its exact circumstances and facts. Generally, a Defendant is "in charge" if he was the owner/in possession of the vehicle or had recently driven it. He is not in charge if it is being driven by another person or is "a great distance" from the vehicle.

Matters are more complicated where a person is sitting in the vehicle or "otherwise involved with it". In charge can include attempting to gain entry to the vehicle and failing, having keys to the vehicle, having intention to take control of the vehicle or even "being near the vehicle".

This opens a WHOLE can of worms for me as I do live in the UK.. and I regularly get drunk and sleep in my campervan. According to this particular interpretation, all campervan owners who get drunk and sleep in the van can be arrested. Im thinking that due to there is no legal definition of "in charge" that this could definitely be argued in court.


Like everything in UK law it is interpretation (of a police officer and a judge and your defense) and any given circumstance. If you sleep in the back of a camper van with the key in the glove box and the doors locked a police officer would be hard pushed to convict you of attempting to drive. Don't freak out just yet. Now go out of the vehicle and stand still for a while on a dark night. You are now loitering with intent (to burglarize perhaps). Now put a reflective jacket on over your dark hoodie; you are now absolved of suspicion. Get back in the camper van and have a peaceful 40. Just about anything is illegal with the wrong attitude. In the UK, my experience has been to just talk to the police and be honest, they're usually quite smart.


The times I have been over the safe driving limit in the UK, I have always climbed on the backseats to sleep, so that there could be no confusion about intent. I was once woken up by a policeman, told him I felt I was over the limit and decided to sleep in the car, and he told me "well done" and was on his way.

I think it is all about presentation (and how you speak to the police)


The legislation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/5

While you can reasonably be deemed "in charge" of your camper van, if you're seen climbing into the living area with the clear intention of bedding down for the night, or are knocked awake by the police and then breathalysed, you would have a very good argument that there was no likelihood of your driving the vehicle, and therefore you would have a defence against the charge.

If, on the other hand, you climbed into the drivers seat and started the engine so you could turn on the heaters and put the radio on for a bit while you had your evening cocoa, you'd have a rather more difficult hill to climb.

If you make a habit of sleeping somewhere other than a recognised camp site, it would probably be worth your while keeping a couple of those £2 disposable breathalysers from Halfords in the glove box. Not only will it prevent you from accidentally driving while still over the limit the next day, but if you are challenged by the police while you're still drunk, it allows you to demonstrate that you have the means on hand to ensure that you won't be driving before you're fit to do so.


> or example, You cannot arrest someone for being drunk and having their car keys in their pocket, or even being asleep in the car while drunk.

Yes you can. In the UK (since we're discussing the UK, that's important), the offense is being in charge of a motor vehicle whilst incapacitated by drink or drugs. Incapacitated is defined as being over the limit defined in law (80mg in England/Wales and 50mg in Scotland - don't cross the border after a drink!).

Mere possession of the keys or being inside the vehicle [alone] or sitting in the driving seat is treated exactly the same as driving drunk. Some pubs will offer a 'hold your keys' service where you put the keys behind the bar and come back the next day to collect the keys and car when you're below the limit for driving.


actually, funnily enough in the UK you can be arrested for being "drunk in charge of a motor vehicle" even if you aren't in the driver's seat. That can apparently include sleeping one off in the back seat of your car.


Amusingly, here in the UK, we also have the crime of "drunk in charge of a carriage" which has been used to prosecute people for being drunk with all manner of things from bicycles to horses.


"Wanton or Furious riding" is also an offence.


Note this is English law (not the nonexistent UK law); this is a simple application of the mischief rule (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mischief_rule).


as I mentioned in an above reply.. what about campervans?


I'm no legal expert but I think when they're parked up in an appropriate place (private land, layby, that kind of thing) they're considered a temporary residence? Who knows with our convoluted english common law!


It's very much still a vehicle, but there's a statutory defence to Drunk in Charge if you can demonstrate that there was no likelihood of driving while you were over the limit. Having a bed in the back and being parked in a suitable place to spend the night should be more than enough to demonstrate that unless you're seen to be climbing into the drivers seat.

In the UK, this may be your own private domicile, but you can still be harrassed.


> This is the problem with the government demanding to read all communications... the idea that they have the right in order to prevent you committing a crime. Its not only impossible to prevent someone committing a crime (anyone can snap and do truly horrible things without prior communique), its insane to think that you can arrest someone for pre-crime.

This is exactly what Bruce Schneier saw with his "data mining for terrorists" essay more than a decade ago. Trying to prevent terrorist attacks is impossible if you rely on data mining alone, because of all the false positives it can create, making it useless in actually preventing real attacks.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/03/data_mining_f...


> You can arrest someone for breaking the law, but never can you arrest someone right up to the point of breaking the law.

Attempted murder is criminalized, but that's a weak counterpoint.

Criminal conspiracy, however, is exactly the crime you're claiming can't exist.


While I agree with you in general, the following point is incorrect:

>>or even being asleep in the car while drunk.

If the keys are in the ignition, you are DUI.[0]

Even sleeping in the car is also considered a DUI in some states[1]. Beware!

[0] http://caselaw.findlaw.com/co-supreme-court/1006683.html

[1] http://blogs.findlaw.com/blotter/2015/07/how-to-sleep-it-off...


In the UK being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle is a crime. 'In charge of' includes for example being near the vehicle with the keys in your possession and certainly includes being asleep in the vehicle. If charged with this crime you are required to prove (to a balance of probabilities standard i.e. about 50:50) that you were not going to try to drive it until you were sober. NB I don't necessarily agree with the legal situation in the UK I'm merely stating the reality.


Well driving while drank is pre-crime too.


Exactly. It's just trying to prevent you from breaking motor vehicle laws like driving down the wrong side of the road.


I think outlawing conspiracy to commit a crime is the (potentially) reasonable way governments have bridged the gap and enforced prevention.


I feel like the people who understand encryption and privacy advocates (myself included) are not engaging enough (or maybe effectively enough) with the public in communicating the concerns around trying to 'backdoor' encryption or giving up more of our privacy.

While I think these political statements are often ridiculous, they actually have widespread public support, if my cohort of friends and family are anything to go by.

Do we have people who are better communicators? I don't think even Cory Doctorow's posts/talks are aimed at the non-technical audience.


I've read so many arguments advocating strong encryption, all of which I agree with, and many of them are simplified as best we techies can - check out some of Troy Hunt's posts. But even avoiding the tech aspect completely, there is one thing the government simply refuses to accept.

Banning strong encryption will not stop people using it.

It will stop the 'good' and generally innocent populace using it and severely infringe on their right to privacy, but the 'bad' people will just fork an open-source messaging system that uses E2E encryption and start using that.

As commented in the article, strong encryption cannot be 'de-invented' now it's out in the open. Each and every one of these government statements is a drastically oversimplified knee-jerk reaction to the problem. Bet they think they can get tech companies to implement RFC 3514 to stop hackers.


I think the strongest argument for an American audience who is unfamiliar with technology is that encryption should be included under second amendment rights.

"Guns don't hurt people, people hurt people", "blaming the manufacturer for the actions of the operator", "even if we ban them, bad guys will still use them", etc.

If the right to bear arms is defined as the right to protection against totalitarian government I would think that encryption falls into that bucket.

Maybe we should get the NRA involved in this argument...


Strong crypto used to be considered 'arms'; export was forbidden under ITAR: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Traffic_in_Arms_...

If one accepts that part of the intent of the Second Amendment was to allow citizens to defend themselves against a tyrannical government (but please, let's not start the usual argument about asymmetric warfare), strong encryption capabilities would certainly be an important component of that in the modern era.

But that's just my stance, as someone who likes guns and crypto.


As predicted by Randall Munroe some years ago: https://xkcd.com/504/


Granted, guns have serial numbers and there is a list of registered owners. My argument falls apart there.


In most of the US, no registration or license is required to legally own a gun, and the Federal government is barred from attempting to create a registry.


They literally can't even use computers to match weapons to owners. It's all on paper.


Legal guns have serial numbers and legal gun owners are registered. My grandpa has a house full of guns with no official registration.

I wouldn't look to that as an example of a well-functioning regulation system.


> It will stop the 'good' and generally innocent populace using it and severely infringe on their right to privacy, but the 'bad' people will just fork an open-source messaging system that uses E2E encryption and start using that.

And that would be the point of the ban - anyone using E2E is bad therefore, gov attacks them.


People smart enough to do this are also smart enough to anonymise their online identity. Banning it will just push the determined further beyond the reach of the security services. Services will either become peer-to-peer (and therefore un-interceptible) or use servers hosted in countries where our governments have no sway. The politicians want the playground to be supervised, but they're going to wind up with no-one in it.

Rather than the dragnet approach favoured by the NSA and an increasing number of politicians, security services need to properly investigate targetted individuals. The panopticon approach is never going to work.


The government can legislate the pipes. It's possible to DOS strong encryption at the ISP level. Look at China...


Yep, look at China and see how it only affects common people. Anybody with a minimum of knowledge is able to open a VPN out of the country.


> or maybe effectively enough

I'm not sure it is that, or if there is a way to communicate with some of the governments implementing these laws.

Take Australia, recently. The government came out in favour of weakening encryption, after consultation with security and privacy experts, as well as some economics experts and the like.

The thing was though, the usual man who advised them, and has in past similar investigations before creating laws to do with technology, advised them that it was a terrible idea.

He was then dismissed, and a series of other experts were called in, until the government were able to get an expert who saw things their way.

If the decision has already been made, how is anybody supposed to influence it?


I like to take the backdoor argument to its logical conclusion - if we're not going to allow terrorists to hide by encryption, why should we allow them to hide by speaking in private? It's about time construction companies and car manufacturers stopped giving terrorists a place to hide - make always-on microphones mandatory in all homes and cars. Don't worry - they'll need a warrant to access the recordings!


All private homes.

Government homes and offices are special. The general public is not allowed to know what goes on behind their doors.

Seriously, don't give the government ideas :( I am of the opinion that our current PM would gladly shove cameras up people's *sses if she thought it could catch terrorists.


Thing is, the best vessel for that might be pop culture - Cory Doctorows books convey the issues of surveilance state to the general public way better than any kind of preaching does.

The issue, I think, is that mostly the issues are focusing on fringe activities which aren't approved by most of society (sexting, "hiding things") instead of taking lessons from history of our socialist countries and other widespread abuses of governmental power. We already had surveilance society and it sucked even for people who didn't do anything wrong - we need to repeat those lessons more. Especially since it seems that history in schools seems to be failing at that.


There is too much complacency and faith in our democracy in the UK. No one really believes a despot will get into power, despite it happening in recent history to similar european countries.


I found the John Oliver episode about Snowden to be very good at conveying the ideas of privacy. Just mention that the govt can decrypt your dick pics and sexting if these laws pass.


You know this argument might well work for Theresa May.


"You mean GCHQ can see running through wheat field pics? Let's ... let's just take a step back, shall we?"


"But oh no, they would never do that ... they would only use this technology for productive purposes ... like catching bad guys".


I don't want to see Theresa May's dick pics.


i think the problem is it's a highly technical, mathematical and social problem that isn't easily explained. well, the technical part is even comparatively simple. but the negative implications are usually harder to communicate. the "slippery slope" argument only gets one so far and non-criminals usually can't imagine how it would negatively affect them. "only metadata" doesn't sound too bad!

the opponents of full encryption though have it quite easy by name-dropping the FUD buzzwords - i.e. security and terrorism. and anyway, it's only metadata!


I think the problem isn't that the ideas/reasons for privacy aren't being communicated. It's that a lot of people are seriously worried they will be a victim of a terrorist attack (and the government tells them this invasion of privacy will protect them from that) and when they hear the other side's arguments they are happy to fall back on the 'I've got nothing to hide' argument. Honestly it's a nice mindset to be in so I understand why it's hard to convince them otherwise.


Let them read George Orwell "1984"


I tried to be as non-technical as possible when I wrote this as an introduction to what cryptography is all about.

http://coding2learn.org/blog/2017/06/11/dear-theresa/

The problem is that the subject is inherently complex, and abstractions and analogies can only go so far.


That's pretty good, but for the people I'm thinking of, including Theresa May, that's about 10X too long. I like the last 5 points. It reminded me of Cory Doctorow's 'and now you've got two problems'.

Sadly we need something that is not much more than a paragraph. Maybe something that would fit in a tweet. Something that competes with 'people want to blow you up, surrender your privacy so we can catch them'.


Oh god, I despair of this country. After a decade of conservative I have never been so disillusioned. I feel like I am stuck in a rut or like, I don't belong here. It is a horrible feeling. Deep down I know that the government is stuck in 1740 and by the time that millennials walk the halls of power, their parents will have signed away all their rights.

The very last thing I love is my country, that is for sure.


> by the time that millennials walk the halls of power, their parents will have signed away all their rights.

I don't think this is a generational thing. Governments have always been trying to spy on their citizens since governments have existed. Back in the 1700s, John Wallis and the Rossignols were routinely reading diplomatic letters. Before the invention of the internet, the "Special Investigations Unit" of the Post Office was routinely opening people's letters and copying them to MI5. Even Snowden's revelations simply show that the government continues to pry into everyone's private lives - only the scale of the abuse has been magnified.

When so-called "millennials" walk the halls of power, they'll try to spy on their citizens too. Their bogeyman might not be terrorism - that was their parents' bogeyman, and their grandparents' were Communists, their great-grandparents' were Fifth Columnists, etc...

It's not clear how to make the situation any better when both major parties in the UK are committed authoritarians whose security policies are dictated by MI5 and GCHQ. The public, "millennials" or not, in the UK seemed quite unmoved by the Snowden revelations, and seem happy for the panopticon to continue.


I am in the same boat. I am staying at the moment because of my work situation and my family, but I have an inevitable sense that should either of those situations change, particularly the former, I'll be actively looking to move out. The war on reasoning and facts is too intense, and even though I'm largely sheltered from it where I live and work (almost everyone I know has similar views to me on these matters), it's becoming too much to bear. I do love my country, and it has a lot to give the World, which makes it all the more painful to see it go through such a transformation.


It is happening simultaneously almost everywhere. Different countries are at different stages, but it doesn't look like anywhere is a safe haven. Having lived in several countries over the years, the grass is rarely greener as a whole - some parts are, and they may matter more to you, but the western world is mostly on par on everything.

Where did you think of going?


Germany or Holland are contenders. While they may not have a perfect political climate, almost anywhere in the Western world is an improvement on the UK.


Germany isn't far behind on their monitoring stuff. Not sure about Holland


Iceland, if I can learn the language to a sufficient degree.


By the time you reach they point where it is very clear you should leave it will be too late. Prepare now by selecting a country and starting the long immigration process, it's not an option you have to exercise.


not as if the same thing is happening in France, Germany or the EU is it?

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/02/28/german_french_minis...

sadly it seems as if all security services in nearly all developed countries want this sort of thing, and the UK is simply a few months ahead here



the Parliament doesn't have any ability to legislate to stop it

the governments of the member states (essentially the Council) want it, so it will happen


Surely it can be stopped by the courts though? They've helped force the UK back slightly on mass surveillance already [0]. I'm sure a challenge will be brought on the basis of freedom of expression (Article 10 ECHR) if any governments move to ban encryption. I mean it's an incredibly obvious impediment to free expression. I know personally if encryption goes I will be self-censoring a hell of a lot more (particularly when it comes to texting more extreme jokes for example).

Of course, with the UK leaving the EU and potentially tearing up the Human Rights Act it might not matter but as for the EU having power to stop this in EU member states I think the courts are the most likely solution.

[0] https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3245181-C-203-15-amp...


Heck, see Malone v. the United Kingdom (ECtHR; 1984), which formed some precedence on the ability to legally do mass surveillance. This isn't new.


Oh god, I despair of this country. After a decade of conservative I have never been so disillusioned. I feel like I am stuck in a rut or like, I don't belong here. It is a horrible feeling. Deep down I know that the government is stuck in 1740 and by the time that millennials walk the halls of power, their parents will have signed away all their rights. The very last thing I love is my country, that is for sure.

Careful now, that sounds alarmingly subversive. You might be a pre-terrorist, and we need to see all your files, have your private encryption keys, and monitor all your communications. You know, because terrorism.

Of course, if you'd join the Tories, we can make things easier for you....


"We are under attack day and night from people who do not share our liberal values....". In order to combat that threat, lets remove those liberal values.


> by the time that millennials walk the halls of power, their parents will have signed away all their rights.

It's not as though 'millennials' are so big on rights, take a look at Twitter to see how happy people are to suppress e.g. free speech as long as they're the ones who get to do the suppressing.


This might just reflect on one of the more sinister aspects of democracy. You live life expecting eventually "your people" will take over some day. That generations prior were monolithic and wrong, and that since your own peers share your mindset it must mean people your age are just wiser.

Eventually, you realize that you were just in the intellectual minority of a generation that was majority unintellectual. Like every generation pretty much ever. We have just become extremely effective in isolating ourselves from exposure to the real "average". But even online, there is a vast difference between the ignorance of certain sects of Facebook or the comments on a yahoo news story and the trolls on 4chan - the later are still "our" people. Even if they want to abuse their intellectual leanings, they still grew up with that mindset. The average Facebook post or comment on a Fox News or CNN story reflects the broader, more general mindset much better.

And the outlook isn't good. For any generation.


IQ qualification for the privilege to vote.


It isn't IQ. It is environmental culture during childhood development. If you grow up in a family that values intellectualism you will probably be intellectual, curious, logical, and skeptical. If you grow up in a family that is hostile to intellectualism, you are more likely to be ignorant and manipulated by emotional falsities as well.

The problem is more kids are growing up anti-intellectual than intellectual. IQ has nothing to do with that, intellectuals uplifted civilization from effectively universal anti-intellectualism (at least in Europe) in the 16th century to where we are now.

We have the most intellectuals ever now, but that doesn't mean we are close to a majority, and that also means as long as anti-intellectualism is prevalent you need systems of rule by minority (in various forms) to see progress happen.


Agreed. Those semi regular approached by Work to relocate perhaps shoudln't be dismissed out of hand. Would love to leave the country until all this brexit shit washes over


Iktf. The Brexit shit won't wash away, not in our lifetimes. I'm looking at France or Switzerland. This Bizarro country can't be the best that humanity can do.


You realise that Switzerland isn't in the EU...right?


Can't speak for OP but a lot of people's problem with Brexit isn't just the fact we won't be in the EU anymore but the things that come along with that. There's a lot of stuff our government wants to do that the EU has prevented until now. There's also the 'extreme' element in society feeling they can be more open now (racism, hate crimes, etc.).


You can still move to Switzerland as an EU citizen.

https://www.ch.ch/en/working-switzerland-eu-efta


ah more security cluelessness from the UK Government.

The frustrating piece is that they're ignoring their own internal experts on this. The people running the National Cyber Security Centre are very bright and have stated that they think backdoors are a bad idea

from http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/05/problems-end...

"Ian Levy, the technical director of the National Cyber Security, told the New Statesman's Will Dunn earlier this year: "Nobody in this organisation or our parent organisation will ever ask for a 'back door' in a large-scale encryption system, because it's dumb." "


The UK government has a habit of ignoring its own experts, to the degree of firing them if they give advice the government don't like. Drug policy is another area that suffers from this approach.


I was just about to mention this. For anyone interested Professor David Nutt[0] was fired from his role as the government's chief drug advisor after claiming ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/oct/30/drugs-advis...


The comments from Alan Johnson, then Home Secretary, are rather telling:

> He was asked to go because he cannot be both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy. [...] As for his comments about horse riding being more dangerous than ecstasy, which you quote with such reverence, it is of course a political rather than a scientific point.[0]

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/nov/02/drug-policy...


>> he cannot be both a government adviser and a campaigner against government policy

It's hard to believe he can say that with a straight face. Is he supposed to advise on topics he understands that the government doesn't or is he supposed to be a 'yes man'?


The mental gymnastics there is quite astonishing

> it doesn't actually help clarify the very real public health issues associated with drugs to make distracting comparisons in this way.

Almost like he's managed to put his head up his rectum and it doesn't seems distracting for him to have it there.


I've seen plenty of debates with nut-jobs like an anti-vaxxer or climate sceptic facing off against an MD or climatologist respectively on television, with a journalist as a moderator to make sure it's on a level that's understandable by the audience and to make sure it doesn't degrade to name calling.

Why can't the same thing be organized for politicians implementing policy? Let them face the concerns of the experts right in front of the public, the public has the right to be concerned if it's evident that politicians don't know what they're doing and aren't consulting people who do know.

Invite a computer engineer or something with any sort of experience in the field of network security to comment the Home Secretary's statements and ask her questions, maybe even through the journalist, and I'm happy.


This isn't cluelesness, it's maliciousness.


As was circulated recently on HN, this basically stems from the government thinking computers are appliances.

"Hey! Your device creates and sends packages, could it just not create and send packages of this type? We'll even help with the quality control if you can't do it yourself! All we need is a backdoor!"

How is this not the same as messing with people's mail?

"Hey, you know this pen, paper and stamp thing? Can you just make the pen not write these kinds of letters, that terrorists usually writes? Ok, but can't we have a human (in lieu of AI) read through people's mail to make sure these types of letters aren't sent around with the intent to provoke violence? If you can't do it, we'll gladly send some agents to help you with quality control!"


The tale of The Orwellian Kingdom continues...

No really. I've written about this before, but I sincerely refuse to believe that the government are doing this out of ignorance anymore.

There's been too many people telling them how it actually is, but they persist.

That leads me to conclude that either they're severely mentally dysfunctional, or there's another reason for doing this. PR maybe? Votes? Something more sinister?


GCHQ are the only reason the UK are able to maintain their grip over the world economy. If it weren't for the UK's massive spy industry, it'd just be another irrelevant European state.

(Yes, I know: Londons' Finance Industry is a big reason for the UK's reach around the world - well, I happen to believe that GCHQ and The City work hand in hand to maintain that power.)


Totally agree. These two are all that keeps the UK at the big boy table. And all the UK establishment care about is staying at the big boy table, whatever the cost.


It's maliciousness, not cluelessness.

An analogy: humans have developed neo-cortex. The neo-cortex now wants to run everything, often to the chagrin and pain of the rest of the body (e.g. fad diets).


Power and control.


they continue to do the same with other legal systems like cannabis law and speed traps with poor visibility that do more harm than good.


Let's be devil's advocate for a second. The UK's speed cameras are brightly coloured, so there is an intention for them not to be traps - that is, they would prefer road users didn't speed. You cannot seriously argue that they are trying to sneakily catch people.

If you get caught speeding by a speed trap which wasn't so visible, it is still your own fault and no-one else's. Either you are in control of your own vehicle's speed, in which case you are to blame, or you are not in control of it - which is even worse.

Speed, or do not. Just don't go crying about it and blaming others when you get caught.


your reply seems very accusatory. I'm not suggesting that there shouldn't be a speed limit, or that people who speed aren't culpable for their actions. I'm talking about the fairly well-known incidence of cameras on sharp bends or that are hard to see at the bottom of hills (or worse yet, police pulled up on ramps on the side of the road) where people who are speeding will see them and slam on their brakes. This is well known to cause an increase in traffic accidents and yet the practices I mentioned continues.

Perhaps a more productive tone to take on a discussion forum would be inquiry rather than indignant belittling.

edit: Also, speed cameras are brightly coloured by law, notably a law that the police themselves do not write, so you cannot in good faith argue that the warning paint is an act of temperance on the part of the police.


I'm sorry if I came across as accusatory - my use of 'you' was meant in general, rather than to the poster in particular. But, I was being accusatory to people in general who speed. I'm not sure how to point the finger of blame without being accusatory!

Take even your 'well known' examples of speed traps 'known to cause an increase in traffic accidents' (do you have a source?) - the people who were speeding and slammed on their brakes must share most, if not all, of the blame if they caused an accident as a result. Sure, they were reacting to a speed camera, but would the results have been so different had they been reacting to a real risk, like a person in the road or an unexpected obstacle? The root cause is that they were driving too fast for the road, their reactions or their vehicle.

I have no knowledge or insight into the motivations of the police, that may be an interesting discussion but it's not part of the issue that I was trying to discuss.

Speeding is such an odd law, I find it fascinating how so many people try to assign blame away from the speeders. Just last week, a relation of mine was complaining that they got a speeding ticket because they were caught driving at 77mph on a motorway, which they thought was unfair because, in their words, "77 is meant to be the leeway that police give before they stop you".

I'm no saint when driving, I just wish that speeders could take responsibility for their actions. If you get caught, don't whine about it being anyone else's fault.


And it's such a ridiculous thing, too. Going 7mph faster doesn't really net you that much in the long run. You're barely even saving minutes. Going 100 miles at 70mph takes 1 hour and 25 minutes. Going 100 miles at 77mph takes 1 hour and 18 minutes. You're saving 7 minutes, hardly worth a speeding ticket, right? And if you're going an average commute time of 25 miles, the difference between 70mph and 77mph is two minutes.

What's the point in going just a few mph above the speed limit? Just for the jollies? Sticking it to the man? Because the reason certainly isn't getting there faster.


Take even your 'well known' examples of speed traps 'known to cause an increase in traffic accidents' (do you have a source?) - the people who were speeding and slammed on their brakes must share most, if not all, of the blame if they caused an accident as a result.

What's more important, assigning / shifting blame or preventing harm?


If speeders care about preventing harm, they wouldn't be speeders.


The UK's speed cameras are brightly coloured

Not everywhere. When was the last time you were on the M25? They are brightly coloured in places where they actively want you to reduce speed (residential areas and the like), and at infamous accident hotspots. Everywhere else (mostly motorways) they are hidden, and traps.


The M25 is littered with speed camera signs, so I don't see how a driver could claim to be surprised by any of the cameras on the road. What is the excuse for being caught speeding on it? Did the driver just forget what the motorway speed limit is? The controlled speed stretches of the M25 also feature regular electronic signs showing the current speed limit in large bright lights. If you fail to see them, you probably aren't paying enough attention.

I've been using the Waze satnav app, and it gives speed camera warnings as it knows their locations. What surprised me was how few speed cameras there actually are on the M25. Lots of the overhead signs that stretch across the width of the road have speed camera signs on them, and many also have the white lines painted on the road to calibrate the camera pictures, but far fewer actually have any speed cameras.

Before I used Waze, I had assumed that there were speed cameras overhead on all these bridges, and it was perplexing to see so many drivers happily driving underneath at 80/90mph, speeds that would definitely be caught on camera.


> and many also have the white lines painted on the road to calibrate the camera pictures, but far fewer actually have any speed cameras.

I call this "underprovisioning" ;) It's a common cop tactic to have a couple points where you can just position a squad car with a radar gun, have a quick calibration and off you go... and as soon as local radio stations or apps broadcast you're there and sniping people for speeding, you take the squad car and go somewhere else.

The fixed-position cams are there to actually reduce accidents because people know where they are and/or get warned by apps, so the danger points are defused; the mobile units are just for the additional profits, in most cases (people will speed up after getting out of the cam range, and then you can bust them).


Ah, great lie of metadata. What those in power don't want us to know is that metadata is just a weasel word for incomplete data. It tells a story about you and those with whom you associate or intersect. What's worse is that incomplete data cannot tell the whole story by design. All incomplete data lies as all summaries, to some extent, do. Some would like us to believe that this incomplete data is somehow less harmful. It is not. Incomplete data can only accuse, it can never convict nor can it exculpate - it can only implicate and paint false pictures on massive scale. To filter the false positives and turn incomplete data into data, I seriously doubt that less work than traditional police work is required to process the output. It is only a benefit to those who wish to retroactively target known and presently target unknown individuals, matching a particular signature, and assassinate them unjustly. As such, at its worst, a danger to every one of us and, at its best, a lethal distraction to those who would otherwise protect us. When they say they only gather incomplete data they lie. They gather all of it - would you believe someone who tells you "just the tip and only for a second"? I wouldn't.


> "However, there is a problem in terms of the growth of end-to-end encryption. "It’s a problem for the security services and for police who are not, under the normal way, under properly warranted paths, able to access that information.”

What surprises me about this argument, is that their stance is that terrorists are accidentally starting to use encryption. So, by consequence, that in the past terrorists simply did not bother with encryption?

In that case, I wonder whether the terrorists have been triggered by the simplicity of current day cryptography, or simply by the knowledge that the governments are always listening in on everything everyone is saying.

It seems to me that someone started an arms-race, be it government or terrorists, and both are willing to cause massive amounts of collateral damage in order to keep one-upping the other.


The vast majority of terrorists are clowns who, if they happen to use encryption at all, will mess up infosec in ways that are trivial to compromise. So if the Home Secretary is saying that message encryption is a "problem" then there must be something else going on which has little to do with terrorism.


The way I see it and it have stated before is that it's about control and keeping in power. By being able to listen in on any communication and being able to track who is talking to whom, they are able to catch and suppress leakers and whistleblowers. Thereby making sure that if they themselves do anything wrong it can be covered up easily and indefinitely.


thanks for the mental image of clown-terrorists :( as if either weren't bad enough on their own.

Isn't it obvious? This has got f-all to do with terrorism. The bad guys have always hidden their communication.

What's getting the security services all riled up is that ordinary law-abiding citizens are suddenly encrypted.

And, of course, there's no way out of this. Either encryption is secure, or it's broken. If it's secure, it's secure for everyone. If it's broken, it's broken for everyone. Now we have open-source encryption methods that are trivial to implement, anyone can build a securely end-to-end encrypted communication system. [1]

The cat's out of the bag, spooks. You can't read people's mail any more. You'll have to find other ways of gathering intelligence.

[1] within reason - clown-like incompetence will always mess up. Or even just ordinary-coder levels of incompetence. But it's still harder than plaintext.


i'm not even sure about that. i think i remember the story about islamic terrorists in europe last year using plain old SMS to coordinate their attack. didn't make a difference though, their communication was only analyzed after it happened.

so for the average imbecile just using whatsapp, signal or a self-hosted service would actually make a difference, but if it'd make a difference for law enforcement is a different matter. having access to billions of messages and actually doing something with them are two different kinds of beasts.


>thanks for the mental image of clown-terrorists

Have you not seen Four Lions?


> The vast majority of terrorists are clowns.

Perhaps if you're referring to home grown Islamic terrorists. However Britain does have a problem with an experienced group of rather professional terrorists called the IRA.


And the lesson people keep refusing to learn is that the conflict in NI was ended not by military or legal action but by political action, including the establishment of human rights in law there as insurance against arbitrary state actions.

The IRA are and were very different from the Islamic terrorists, who are much less organised and more resemble isolated self-radicalised far right extremists.


Also banning encryption would have bo effect on IRA. They were super effective without it...


They were effective even with STAKEKNIFE embedded in the organisation at a high level.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stakeknife


When was the last IRA attack, Manchester 1996?



A republican bomb maker was convicted literally yesterday. This isn't ancient history.


That's interesting. Looks like he was a member of the Continuity IRA[0].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuity_Irish_Republican_Ar...


I don't know how much of this you know, but there are several "dissident" republican and loyalist terror groups that have remained active since the Good Friday Agreements. The Omagh bombing, with the biggest loss of life of any attack in the Troubles, was carried out by dissident republicans after the agreement. The last republican bombings on British soil (not in Northern Ireland) were by the Real IRA in 2001, but they've continued in Northern Ireland, including in the past few years.


I know about the IRA in general from the news & living in the UK. I hadn't realised splinter groups were still at it.

I don't tend to read the news -- so haven't heard much about Sinn Fein[0] recently, for example. Looking up SF, I've just learned they are left-wing. I'd assumed they were right-wing nationalists.

Guess the answer to how much I know about this subject is, a wee bit.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinn_F%C3%A9in



The research & library creation is illegal. That's a bit much:

'Research resulting in the creation of a library of documents providing information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism — specifically information regarding the manufacture of explosive substances, the construction of explosive devices, and tactics used by terrorist organisations.'


You missed a critical bit: "...with the intention of assisting another to commit acts of terrorism..."


My quote was the entirety of Count 1. I believe a count is a distinct offence[0].

[0]http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/count


> My quote was the entirety of Count 1.

No, it's not. It's the entirety of the first numbered point (of six) on page 1; all six of the numbered points there, as well as the paragraph leading into the numbered list and all but the last two paragraphs of page 2 address Count 1. Count 2 is addressed in the penultimate paragraph of page 2, and Count 3 is addressed in the final paragraph of page 2, which carries over onto page 3. The remainder of the document is not recounting the offenses but discussing other sentencing factors.

There are only 3 counts (as stated at the very beginning of the document), so even if the beginning of the discussion of each count weren't explicitly marked in a parenthetical, it would be easy to see that the numbers of the six-item numbered list could not be count numbers.


All the numbered paragraphs are subject to the rider "As the Particulars of that offence make clear, with the intention of assisting another to commit acts of terrorism, you engaged in conduct in preparation for giving effect to that intention namely:"

The relevant legislation is here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/11/section/5


I don't know enough about the subject to defend my position.

Guess I'll just concede: assigning a reasonable probability of you being correct.


If we fuck up Brexit badly enough, maybe we'll see them back in action.


All foreign terrorists have lived under some repressive government and privacy is unlikely to be one of their assumption. I wouldn't be surprised if they simply used the existing tools by convenience but with the same assumption the government can access their conversation as with every other medium.

Home grown terrorists may be different, but they are already consistently detected by regular police work long before they act.


Everybody is starting to use encryption right now. That's because governments everywhere were caught spying on people, so modern software is written with a "encrypt by default" mindset.

This movement was triggered by spying. But it is also because encryption is mostly free nowadays, while a couple of decades ago it was almost too expensive to use anywhere. Thus you can also view the causality starting with technology improvement, and that all the encryption demand was there, latent, with the spying only perturbing things a little and unleashing a chain reaction.


> Ms Rudd is meeting with representatives from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and others at a counter-terrorism forum in San Francisco.

Well, these will simply be the companies whose tools we won't be using anymore. The World does certainly not depend on any US companies or the UK government's approval to securely use encryption.


It's like Rudd and Abbott are competing in which will come up with more ridiculous notion. And you'd think they would choose someone competent for bloody home secretary and shadow home secretary respectively.


For a minute there I thought you were talking about Australian prime ministers. What a coincidence!


I feel like that phrase would've been perfectly applicable to their time as PM/opposition leader though.


It doesn't help that our prime minister recently made a laughable comment about this: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/malcolm-turnbull-prime-min...


The 5 eyes are in Quorum to install similar surveillance state powers under the false guise of "Security".

Britain saved Europe, from Hitler, fought against the Russians in the cold war, then itself becomes stasi like. Total shame.


There hasn't been a competent Home Sec since ... what ... Ken Clarke perhaps? Why should they start now.


There's something deeply dysfunctional in the UK Home Office. People who've been through that mill seem to come out with a really weird myopic perspective on the world, May included.


We've known this for quite some time:

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them." --- George Orwell, 1984


The Paris attacks were coordinated over plain old encrypted SMS. Didn't see that coming.

The Australian PM thinks the laws of mathematics can be bent to those of Australia.

Now this genius.

Fact is, communications are ubiquitous now, and even if every byte was unencrypted, they won't be able to catch every crook.


Don't you mean UNencrypted SMS?


I did. Typo. Thanks.


In UK, Murdoch's "News of the World" hacks into the phones of hundreds of people and politicians continue the debate about privacy as if it doesn't matter.

In US, Russia hacks into Hillary's email server and politicians on Capitol Hill start using Whispering Systems' Signal and begin to understand why strong encryption is necessary.

Don't worry too much, someday Vladimir Putin will show to the UK government why strong encryption is a good idea.


I heard someone explaining how the phone hacking worked the other day (Steve Coogan in a great chat with Adam Buxton on YT for anyone who likes them). Two journalists would phone the target at the same time. One kept them talking, the other could be sure to get their voicemail because the line was busy. They'd try the default password of 0000 which 'nobody bothers changing' (I may have the number wrong, I'm going from memory and don't use voicemail) and frequently, it worked. So in terms of skillz it's somewhere up there with the fappening... default passwords, encryption wouldn't have prevented it.

(not that I disagree with your general point btw)


Not being able to disable the voicemail service entirely is a sore annoyance to me.


Ironically, private Whatsapp is extremely important in the UK government at the moment - it's where all the anti-PM plotting is carried out. Or so the leakers say.

I do find it interesting that UK politics has not yet been visited by the email leak fairy. I don't know what conclusions to draw from this though.


IIRC the Bataclan terrorists didn't use any crypto at all.

Using crypto makes you stand out, and doesn't really complicate traffic analysis.

Corollary: not using crypto makes it easier to look like hay in a huge hay pile, even if you're a needle.

Ad-hoc-but-disciplined plaintext comsec for small committed teams is not that difficult to establish and master, and can work very well for them.

But for the rest of us, plaintext comsec just doesn't work. And defending privacy relative to state actors, foreign and domestic, is a legitimate activity within the bounds of due process (e.g., your affairs can get searched with a legal warrant, and so on).

It's important to understand that when the State wins the crypto wars, not only does it ensure for itself access to people's data pursuant under Due Process, but also without Due Process at all. It's like making all houses and walls out of glass just so people can't hide from the police: it's insane.

And worse than that: the State winning the crypto wars does not make it easier to prevent attacks. If anything it can make mounting attacks easier for terrorists, depending on the particulars of the crypto war outcome.


1.3 bn people are using WhatsApp. If we assume that only 70% of those have encryption enabled, that's a billion people whose data is standing out, therefore no one is really standing out any longer.


The civil liberties in the UK are a big joke. It's like they are in a race with China on who will have the biggest censorship and on the control of their citizen's internet activities.


“Legislation is always an alternative.”

Yeah, sure. Because people who actually have something to hide will follow all the rules.

I wonder what they are trying to redirect the media coverage from with ideas like this.



I love the footer with the author's contact information!

> "You can reach Dave securely through encrypted messaging app Signal on: +1 (628) 400-7370"

Felt like a small little needle pointed at the UK's government.


Western identity has become so enmeshed with liberalism, progressiveness and democracy that few are willing to step out of that safety zone to question the reality on the ground while those in power continue to rehash tinpot ideas and hysteria about safety.

A similar statement from a third world official would be met with an unequivocal flood of ridicule and accusations of backwardness.

Too many value the comfort of easy judgements. This will be met with apologism, muddying the waters and sophistry.


Meanwhile people can support ISIS and advocate for attacks in plain sight and that apparently isn't a problem

So I see how "worried" they are about that


More than one of the terrorist incidents in France were arranged by simple, unencrypted SMS, and the security services couldn't catch them beforehand.

We don't need to give the security services more data. We need them to focus on better dealing with the data they currently have access to.


This is another statement that is part of a trend in many countries, and it is worrying to be sure. But I suspect that the aim of these audacious statements is not to actually ban the technology of strong end-to-end encryption. Rather, it is to force the Google, Apple, and Facebook to provide backdoors in their popular messaging platforms (e.g., WhatsApp) that can be used by law enforcement.

They don't care about someone using GnuPG to mail someone something private (because that would be impossible to legislate effectively), but they do care about the big honey-pot of always-on end-to-end encryption offered to anyone with an off-the-shelf smartphone.

The call for legislation and a ban on strong encryption is meant to put pressure on Google, Apple, and Facebook to cooperate with the Five Eyes without too much fuss, and simply let them in. I can't see it making any sense otherwise.

Whether that access is to act on signals of religious radicalisation and planned acts of terrorism or something much more encompassing (big data predictive crime analysis and other scary stuff) I don't know.


It sounds to me like she believes throwing legislation at an issue will fix it. I mean, everyone obeys the law right?


Despite countless protests from politicians, the laws of mathematics trump the laws of the land.



No, she wants more laws to arrest people no matter what.


This is absolutely horrific. The path the UK is on is terrifying. On the bright side they are quite far ahead down this road compared to other Western countries, so when the UK inevitably collapses first, other governments can learn their lesson.


I don't think it would collapse but we might see a terrible junta dictatorship there in a near future


See also: envelopes considered 'a problem' by tyrannical government.


It's only a problem if you insist on knowing everything, leave people alone to mind their own business and the problem magically disappears. We all know who the "real" terrorists are.

https://github.com/andreas-gone-wild/snackis


>extremists should not be allowed to upload content at all.

If this is what they want, then they should convict the extremists first, and then make sure they don't have internet behind bars. Until then, they are still citizens, and you have no right to treat them specially.


I wonder if the only reason we have unrestricted access to good encryption tech now is because politicians don't understand it and underestimated how inconvenient it would be for governments, and are only now realizing their error.


Now we finally have the complete comparison on how different governments try to tackle terrorism:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14827837


>Home Secretary Amber Rudd wants harmful content to be auto-blocked

What IS harmful content exactly?


It's only a problem for Orwellian / Brave New World type states.


Get rid of all government programs. Instantly a huge amount of wealth will be gained and productivity will skyrocket. It is very important to remember: nothing the government does is good. What is the minimum amount of manipulation and lies it takes to cover up a problem? This is the question every government worker ponders every day of their job. Every one of these people are lying, scheming, delusional people. They manipulate and they lie, they shuffle things around and create busy-work for disgusting twisted crab-people.


That's way too cynical and oversimplified to be considered a substantial comment.


Or for this reason, because it may be questioned whether the same simple essence can be expressed by many diverse attributes. There are, indeed, many definitions of compound things but only a single one of a simple thing, nor does it seem that its essence can be expressed except in a single way.


I think you will enjoy conversing with this user:

https://github.com/payingattention


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