After an unsuccessful attempt to annul the Law of Gravity, UK prime minister David Cameron is now trying something easy, something he believes he can accomplish: Pass a law banning all apps and messaging services that use end-to-end encryption.
That sounds doable, right? Because no one will continue to use Tor, anonymous proxies, PGP, custom encryption algorithms or the dark net after David Cameron passes his new legislation.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers laugh so hard they cry.
Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.
Zach Miners leaves his mailbox open:
The U.K. may ban online messaging services that offer encryption such as WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage, under surveillance plans laid out by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Services that allow people to communicate without providing access to their messages pose a serious challenge to law enforcement efforts to combat terrorism and other crimes, Cameron said Monday. MORE
John E. Dunn tries the impossible:
It seems unlikely that Cameron is suggesting that apps used by millions...would be outlawed, as if such a thing would even be possible. His target is more likely the app makers themselves, especially Facebook's WhatsApp, which only weeks ago started using...end-to-end encryption technology.
Future legislation could force firms to open their encryption technology to official inspection, something that on past evidence many would not feel comfortable doing. MORE
Nicholas Watt, Rowena Mason and Ian Traynor set up a "no go" area:
The prime minister outlined his plans...in the wake of the Paris attacks. He promised to ensure there would be..."no no-go areas" on the net where terrorists can hide.
The intervention by the prime minister was given short shrift by Nick Clegg, who criticised Cameron for standing up for freedom of expression by attending the rally in Paris on Sunday before advocating limits to freedom. MORE
Then, David Meyer describes the meaning of futile:
[Cameron] has already said that he wants to bring back the Communications Data Bill, a.k.a. the "Snooper's Charter," if his party wins the upcoming general election in May.
[It] is hard to see the British government succeeding in stopping the use of [end-to-end encryption] tools. [Systems] such as PGP don't even have a centralized company behind the curtains. Monitoring the communications of someone using the anonymized browsing tool Tor...is difficult. Would online anonymity also be banned? MORE
Across the pond, David Kravets encounters the same silly:
[In the United States,] Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey are urging industry to give the US government backdoor access to their encrypted wares. The response, at least publicly, was an overwhelming no.
"People have a right to privacy," Apple Chief Tim Cook told PBS News in September.
Holder said encryption "emboldens" criminals. MORE
Then Tom Warren calls London to order stuffing:
Cameron's comments also follow similar calls from Mayor of London Boris Johnson over the weekend. "I'm not particularly interested in this civil liberties stuff when it comes to these people's emails and mobile phone conversations," said Johnson during a recent interview. MORE
Meanwhile, Jacob Appelbaum feels vulnerable:
The UK wants to ban end-to-end cryptography and leave us all vulnerable. MORE
You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and Stephen Glasskeys, who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites…so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or email@example.com. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.