In the name of keeping us safe they're making us powerless and helpless before the powerful
However the country had no formal free speech guarantee until the Human Rights Act 1998. The public and press retain an authoritarian streak; the Tory press are generally quite happy to support Internet censorship because it won't affect them and in fact affects their competition.
The UK has a lot of aspects which are "authoritarian on paper, liberal in practice, don't worry about the lack of formal guarantees, we don't do that here because we're British". Until we do do that here and nobody is held accountable.
> How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.
> I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to [the politicians asking for more power]. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.
The situation is always more complex, but still, had "child abuse" to that list and it fits almost too perfectly.
At the end of the day, we demand solutions, and when the leadership says "for that I need more power" we're all too eager to give it to them. Because we don't really care, we're complacent, we just don't want to be interrupted in our relatively pleasant little lives so we agree to give them whatever they say they need to stop it. Of course, it doesn't actually stop the bad things from happening, but little by little it erodes our control and freedom, and we are not getting them back.
For context the government is also proposing:
- Voter ID for voter disenfranchisement (Elections Bill)
- To rig elections in favour of the Conservatives and stifle opposition (Elections Bill)
- All but banning protests (Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill)
There is multi-pronged attack underway which is in no way hyperbole.
I will not engage in a debate on voter id right now because of this (but thanks for attacking the weakest part of my post, using a throwaway :)
And that this could potentially unfairly affect the results of elections, which is exactly the problem that voter ID is supposed to prevent
But I'm more inclined to suspect postal fraud. There was talk of students voting twice but whether that was a big thing is unknown. But clearly there has been some level of election fraud going on.
I was once encouraged by a canvasser to vote in my home town and where I was studying because 'they'll never know'.
Isn't this a chicken and egg problem? Without voter ID we don't know whether fraud has taken place or not.
> there are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK who have the right to vote but cannot get ID
That is a wider problem that should be fixed. Agreed that in the current state it would cause friction for people to vote.
No, they keep a track of who has turned up to vote, if you are putting extra votes in or voting in someone else's name then either the number of votes and number of voters wont tally or you'll start seeing a significant number of people who have voted twice, once from the genuine voter and once the person who was fraudulently voting in someone else's name.
The politics is odd; voters don't want mandatory ID cards, but they seem comfortable with legally requiring ID to rent or buy a house, have a job, have a bank account, and now voting.
That said, it's interesting to consider what a good idea would look like, if we imagine a world where age verification does become an inevitable strict requirement.
Is it practical to do this cryptographically on the web, with something technically similar to today's client certificates? Age verification certificate authorities who verify your age, and then issue a private key & certificate pair that says just "the holder is 18+" (and nothing else) such that you then provide this seamlessly to websites as you browse? Without exposing a consistent certificate id that can be used to track you?
That would allow the minimum verification but no more, without leaking personal data or creating any other UX impact.
Such systems are still vulnerable to children actively stealing such certificates from verified adults of course, but so is every other manual verification scheme I've seen proposed, and at least it requires a fair degree of technical acumen to steal.
Again, the UK plan here is a bad idea, but perhaps if this is a likely direction of future legislation then it would be good to get ahead of it with some kind of privacy-preserving alternative, instead of falling into easy but terrible fixes later.
That one is easy to imagine (and is already deployed for some other use-cases in Brazil). People will be required by the government to have a client certificate, in order to interact with government services.
You just slowly increase the scope of both which people are required and for what. If you increasing it slowly enough, most people won't even notice or status-quo-bias it into being "business as usual".
This is being worked on by various governments to my knowledge, and it will all be backed by ID-apps on your Google or Apple smartphone which won't be mandatory, but neither is there a clear answer to how people without (those) smartphones or no wish to install government apps are supposed to do certain things. The Dutch government is experimenting with one at the moment.
Link in Dutch, including cheerful dystopic animated video: https://www.rvig.nl/digitale-identiteit/digitaal-identiteits...
A website should be able to specify a list of access conditions, such as (is not from Iran, Syria, North Korea or Cuba) and ((comes from the US and is over 21) or (does not come from the US and is over 18)). Instead of requiring the user to give them enough personal data to verify those assertions, it could just ask their certificate authority and receive a true/false answer, without receiving a reason why this answer is true or false.
Such a system could also provide seamless CAPTCHAs and abuse prevention mechanisms. Let's say every website would receive a random (but cryptographically signed) string on each visit. The CA would log what user received what string. As long as the user behaved properly, they wouldn't be identifiable to the website owner. However, a court could force the CA to hand over the information of an abusive user for whom a certain string was generated. Website owners could also ask the CA to never let a user with a given string onto their website again, still without knowing a single thing about that user.
This doesn't preserve privacy though: now your verification authority necessarily hears about every website you visit that wants verification, and can trace your every move.
They could absolutely issue you with a wide selection of certificates you could use to independently verify yourself though, preserving privacy all round. A certificate for "comes from the US", a certificate for "is over 21". Come up with a big list of criteria, issue a true or false certificate for each, and then you can provide the combination required to satisfy whatever a website needs to confirm from you.
You need an expiry for some though. "You're over 18" is permanently true. "You're under 18" is clearly not, but it's easy enough to set an expiry date. Meanwhile "You're an American citizen" isn't necessarily permanent, but becomes invalid unpredictably. You could publish revocations or just require occasional revalidation though.
Afaik they already force the presence of monitoring software on phones of Ughyurs...
These are of course for generally downloading content, rather than interactive content.
But it's too easy to propose non solutions to non problems, or where there are problems blame the wrong people and do nothing to address the actual source of the problem.
Maybe. Just maybe, leaving your children dumped at computer screens is a bad idea. Also raising them without any social defences, yes, perhaps that's part of the problem?
Predators and morally harmful content exist everywhere, and there is plenty of both in the government might I add. So using force to ruin the Internet for everyone in the UK and introducing more time wasting paperwork will just make the world worse.
Meanwhile, the kids who were vulnerable to online exploitation will fall to predators elsewhere or languish in generally miserable lives anyway.
The government can't make up for your parental failings. We should stop letting it think it can.
It is such a tailwind for them.
Every piece of regulation you have to comply with gives them an edge over the competition.
Implementing cookie banners or an age verification system costs you the same if you have 1000 users or 1000 million users.
So on a per user basis, these annoyances are a million times cheaper to master for the giants than for a startup.
Incompetence is common in the public sector and it's really the only thing stopping this sort of thing from happening. Political support for this is mostly unanimous among the local parties and the larger European sphere.
Every party will complain for votes and then proceed to re-implement it with a different blame figure.
This can be fixed with a VPN.
Welcome to the new internet.
Although the government is remarkably cheap to buy by SV standards: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson...
In reality ("IRL") everything we do is tied to who we are. Our very faces identify us instantly to everyone we interact with.
There is no privacy of the kind people associate with the internet IRL. It's nothing more than an unhealthy vice that leads to people living unauthentic split lives with multiple incongruent personas. Those who exist solely on the internet and that which lives solely IRL.
By making the internet an extension of reality with the same social dynamics instead of treating it as an alternate reality/fantasy world we'll start to integrate our online behaviour/activities with our offline selves.
The end result being that many of the problems we associate with the internet cease to exist. No more anonymous trolls, less disinformation/fewer manipulative botnets shaping public discourse, less aggressive behaviour in online games...
Above all else: accountability.
It strikes me that the same people who want transparency of organisational behaviour (government, corp) seem to be the same people who themselves want their own behaviour to be kept secret.
This assumption was tested extensively by several platforms, and it failed miserably all the way. You can still witness it yourself, on Facebook, where almost everybody posts under their own name and photo - and yet trolling, brigading, mass reporting, flamewars, and all other continue in force. Even worse, you'll find plenty of bot accounts on places like Twitter, with perfectly fine name and picture, while insightful and dissenting content is delivered by anonymous, or ironically branded, accounts.
The correct solution is to stop trying to shoehorn our preconceived notions from offline life to online activities - and to reminding individual users that power is in their hands. The solution to Eternal September is to teach and integrate newcomers - and sometimes to also gatekeep - rather than trying to become a campus police of sorts. The much different nature - the vastly larger scale - of the internet makes it entirely unsuitable to govern by offline intuition.
>It's nothing more than an unhealthy vice
Poster's morality is subjective and geographically constrained. Definitely doesn't scale in relevance to a global network.
>people living unauthentic split lives with multiple incongruent personas
This is already the state of a person living in a consumer society. Adopting personas plucked from lifestyle marketing, just long enough to consume products (socially/publicly), before discarding said personas.
Social media personas in their very congruence are synthetic and inauthentic, because they're built as audience pleasing product.
People’s pre-social media compartmentalized internet personas are the closest humanity has come to authenticity.
>extension of reality with the same social dynamics
All social dynamics are historically contingent, so why is it axiomatic that they should apply to the internet, rather than have its own new and organic social dynamics or netiquette.
>The end result being that many of the problems we associate with the internet cease to exist.
Those problems almost immediately became magnitudes worse in the facebook/twitter age of RL ID.
Who are these platforms to hold anyone accountable? What a colossal double standard. The users may be held accountable, but the platforms make their own rules. The platform which has the power to authenticate you has power over you. We’re better off with our own weak IDs.
Lack of anonymity breeds fear and intimidation if you step out of line. It causes self-censorship for fear of reprisals if you don't adhere to acceptable policy.
You see such intimidation and self-censoring from the people of Communist China who don't speak up due to actors overseas who will intimidate them.
This whole thing is the death of the UK internet access freedoms.