7 February 2015

Cameron wants to outlaw encrypted messaging

David Cameron’s desire, however impractical, to outlaw the citizen’s use of end-to end encryption to enable the security services to view every private communication is a an assault on freedom.

Events in Paris on 7 January 2015 were truly horrific. Two marginalised and alienated people - armed with guns and a Muslim-inspired fascist ideology - went on a rampage of murder in the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine. France and the world were rightly outraged.

In Britain, cashing in the terror, David Cameron took his chance to push for a ban on end-to-end encryption, even though the terrorists in France never used encryption. End-to-end encryption is the means by which you encrypt a message on your own computer and send the message to someone else who decrypts it on his or hers. GCHQ and the NSA can’t read the data either in transit or from the internet giants’ servers. Apple’s new iphone and several messaging apps do the same thing.

In fact, you can get a small file which enables end-to-end text encryption here.

In his speech Cameron asked, “...in our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?” Well, yes we do. It is not just a matter of a fundamental right of people to be able to talk and write to one another without the security services reading and listening, but we know full well that state snooping of private correspondence is used to impede legitimate political activity by ordinary people.

Cameron and his government are a far greater threat to freedom than a handful of fanatical killers in Paris.

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