David Cameron plans banning secured communications?

The timing for a showdown is “perfect”, though I suspect this is more a case of a politician not understanding the technical or political implications of what he’s saying, or simply ignoring them in order to make rhetoric.

WhatsApp and Snapchat could be banned if the Conservatives win the next UK election

Here is an old piece quoting Caspar Bowden debunking David Cameron’s rhetoric:

Net surveillance ‘fatally flawed’


"Cameron, speaking in Paris – in comments quoted by The Independent – said: “In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which…we cannot read?”

Err… YES!

They banned Napster to stop ‘illegal’ music downloads too . How did that work out?

Decentralised solutions will offer no option of banning. The state should get over it and figure out how to deal with that new reality.

When they realise the true extent of what it means to their system of institutional violence, it will be too late for them. A world without borders and thought controls is coming, whether they like it or not.


Does that mean that French will be banned in the UK?

The idea to ban encrypted comms is completely nonsensical and has no chance of succeeding.

Soon we will have to gag children until they can string together words and sentences, its all pure garbage. Free speech is only a dream in the UK so far …


I started a #DavidCameronLogic hashtag about this on twitter which got a bit of attention last night. Please join in with your own variations or retweet.

If this ban goes ahead, what are the implications for Maidsafe? Will they try to include that in the ban?

Nice rebuttal by Cory Doctorow: What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry | Boing Boing


This ban won’t go ahead, it’s a stupid and impossible idea on every level. Politically, economically, legally, practically. It can’t be enforced, it won’t be effective against terrorism, any back-doors will be discovered by other unsavoury parties, it’s against EU directives and the universal declaration of human rights. If you want to ban all secure communications on the internet it’ll also ruin your economy.

He could perhaps try making it a reality, but somewhere along the line it’ll blow up in his face big-time. This guy is either completely clueless or just trying to score some votes of clueless and fearful citizens.


Yes that’s it!

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Obviously, they don’t teach what Secure Communication is at Eaton.

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This is why safe net had to be open source and distributed. It doesn’t matter what laws they come up with.


And this is the guy who only a few years ago was talking about making government transparent. It was just rhetoric of course. Along the way to outlawing banking and electronic commerce which depend on secure communications he is saying (loud and clear as we know) “do we really want to have a lapses in our ability to spy on our own people.” A few years ago I heard a crack I thought came out of the UK where they were saying cyber war would be worse than nuclear war. It was incredible. Could these people really think their not being richer or more powerful than others was worse than hot annihilation? Then I realized they might be spooked about dark AI and other such things.

I remember something about RSA coming out with an encryption scheme that was in theory not breakable
regardless of the compute power etc. That may be old news of course and I suspect that such schemes were at the time and possibly still are not always practical or convenient. It might have been something obvious to the RSA people and just done to make a point. Regardless, policy clowns went crazy and started trying to classify and gag and do all kinds of other nonsense when the RSA people beautifully just dumped it to the public domain. Wonderful how freeing not having to be selfish can be when trying to wash you hands of clowns. SAFE has to launch first and shut their mouths. Imagine that they wouldn’t be able to silence people like Assange, how tragic. Wouldn’t the world rather hear what Assange has to say than politicians like Brown?

Cameron Homomorphic Encryption Brain!



You have a bug (ouput) but that pretty much sums it up.

And let’s not forget that they want to ban encryption only for the sheeple.
The government would continue using it as they do now. For your protection.

I think, there is a much more fundamental flaw in the reasoning here and another layer to the onion which underlies the whole argument; the war on “terror” is a complete misnomer and doomed to fail, the whole argument skewed and framed by govt.
Firstly, the “terrorists” are only a symptom of something else - an idea, ideology or “meme” that is being “communicated” by various methods in society. It isn’t very effective to try to continuously treat the symptoms, rather than the cause of the underlying disease. It is also ridiculous therefore to expect to win a war against bad ideas spreading, by stemming 1 particular means of communication – all means of communication would have to be stopped and eventually “thought-crime” would become a reality.
The particular bad meme we are dealing with that creates the terrorists derives from an interpretation of the Q’ran. The argument is basically framed by govts and religious leaders, around the idea that this particularly toxic interpretation is a travesty of the “true” message of the book, a mis-reading.
The truth of the matter is that the terrorists’ interpretation is just as valid and probably much more so (on balance reading the text) than the moderates’ viewpoint.
You could argue this till the cows come home, but the basic incontrovertible truth is that these books (Bible etc inc) contain both good and bad ideas, self-contradictory things….and they can literally be interpreted any which way you want.
THIS….I think is the underlying, fundamental issue – I mean, what are the “fundamentalists”, fundamentalist about? - the fundamentals of their religion….as they see it. Their position is unquestionably reasonable – (If you grant the books are somehow magic or contain ultimate truths). It could be said that the terrorists are just more devout Muslims just as easily as misguided ones.
We are fighting a bad meme, so we should be looking at how to stop the bad meme spreading – you can only do this with good memes, not force. To frame the fight as a war on “terrorism” is to cut serpents from Medusa – they just grow more martyred heads.
It seems clear to me that given the situation we now have with all the harm being caused, where we have a handful of books, which can mean anything to anybody being ascribed magic powers – it is a recipe for disaster.
I would further say that I do not primarily blame the terrorists, I blame the books, I blame the Imams and I blame the “knowledgeable” moderates primarily. You may ask why the last group and I would say because they give legitimacy to the books as a source of “truth”, the same books the terrorists get their “truth” from – they therefore are culpable. I say “knowledgeablet” meaning that they see the harm being done and are intelligent enough to see the books can be interpreted in alternative ways – I need make no ideological claims or enter into any existential arguments here – I am just making what I think is a rational argument.
I would go further to say that I believe it is morally incumbent on all decent people who understand the issues to question why they believe what they believe – are they good reasons….good enough reasons for this? I think those that do not care much about these things, don’t really believe but call themselves Christian or Muslim and don’t even THINK ABOUT WHY and ignore the consequences of continuing the madness are as culpable if not more so than the terrorists. The terrorists have been brain-washed by the Imams….they are victims too as I see it.
And……why do you think Govts frame the issue this way? They don’t want to chuck the baby out with the bath water do they? They want you religious and ignorant and controllable and easy to mobilize under a moral crusade or Jihad….take your pick, it oscillates throughout history - bad guys just cottoned on to this and decided to do things old style biblical….anyway….meh….this Charlie Hebdo thing really been pissing me off all week….

David Cameron sounds like the UK version of Stephen Harper. We should get Harper, Cameron and Obama in a room together and unleash the hounds.

Yup…“In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which…we cannot read?”

It’s happened – this is literally Newspeak and could have been taken straight from Orwell’s “1984” – the reasoning behind the slogan

“Freedom is Slavery”

My above post covers both

“Ignorance is Strength” and “War is Peace”

……(swigs Victory Gin as tobacco falls from loosely packed Victory cigarette…)

I moved 17 posts to a new topic: Violent tendencies in Christian and Muslim Religions

The Safe network is a decentralized app. So similar in that respect to bittorrent. It doesn’t hook to any central server. So shutting it down is next to impossible. It sends and receives through what appears as common UDP - so this can’t be shut down or blocked either - at least not without effectively shutting down the internet itself.


I’m just thinking about this US/EU TTIP trade agreement thing and if this could possibly be another attack vector. I’m not technical, but is it at all feasible to ring-fence the US/EU internet infrastructure? What I’m also thinking is that this trade agreement will basically (as far as I understand it) enable corporations to sue Govts.
eg- Tobacco industry successfully sued govt for loss of profits due to introduction of plain packaging.
Is it not foreseeable that pressure will be applied and at some point in the future the govt will be saying to us that it has to “introduce something” to avoid the taxpayer having to fork out billions in costs. I can probably think of a few scenarios.
All I’m saying is that there may be other ways to attack us other than on security grounds. Is all this un feasible and I can stop worrying?