[This article was written by Gareth Llewellyn]
In Feburary I wrote to my MP Rob Wilson about David Cameron’s comments regarding encryption. Some months later I received a reply from James Brokenshire who at the time was(and possibly still is) the Immigration and Security Minister;
Whilst it is probably just a throwaway comment Mr Brokenshire states that there aren’t “currentlyany plans to outlaw encryption”, one wonders if such plans have been discussed?
While there are currently no plans to outlaw online encryption, as the Prime Minister made clear, terrorists and serious criminals use internet-based communications to plan, direct and – increasingly – execute their plots.
Obviously it’d be impossible for the Government to discuss encryption without bringing up terrorists, extremists and paedophiles (of course MPs will likely be exempt from the Snoopers Charter);
The Government believes that communications service providers have a responsibility to prevent their networks from being used to plot attacks. There is a clear role for industry to ensure that the internet does not become a safe haven for terrorists, extremists and paedophiles.
Mr Brokenshire reiterates that businesses in other countries can be held accountable to UK laws, the implications of this for the UK seems to be lost on the Government (e.g. China ordering a UK website to remove images of Tiananmen Square);
Last year, the Government introduced emergency legislation to put beyond doubt that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 applies to companies based overseas that deliver services in this country.
It’s quite likely that the Communications Data Bill will be placed before the House of Commons soon and the same old claims about how the Police and Security Services are being hampered by peoples use of crypto whilst not having these new laws will come out of the wood work.
Now would be a good time to support entities such as Brass Horn Communications and theOpen Rights Group to help protect yourself from surveillance and co-ordinate an opposition to the passing of these laws.