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Cameron’s pledge to ban encryption tools

The twisted logic of a regime which is not fit for purpose was once again demonstrated when David Cameron pledged that he would outlaw computer and mobile applications which allow users to encrypt private data, suggesting that by doing so he would be making the Internet a safer place!

Most people will have something on their handheld devices or on their computers which they believe should remain private. It could be sensitive commercial or financial data, cherished and intimate family photos, a personal diary, correspondence to a loved one. We all have the right to both hold that data securely and if we wish to encrypt it in case we lose a device or it falls into the wrong hands or our devices are compromised by hacking or malware attacks.

Cameron told a gathering of his party in Nottingham on Monday (12th) that a pledge would be made in the Conservative Party manifesto to ban tools which allow such encryption.

The UK government has always had the power, “in extremis,” to read personal post and eavesdrop on electronic chatter but he said ….”The question remains, are we going to allow a means of communication where it simply isn’t possible to [intercept],” Cameron continued. “And my answer to that is: no, we must not. The first duty of any government is to keep our country and our people safe.”

Keeping “safe” by stripping the very tools which provide personal security from our computers and handhelds is a bizarre twist of reasoning. A ban is unlikely to stop the terrorists, who are ostensibly the reason why Cameron wants an end to end-to-end encryption. If encryption is outlawed, only the outlaws will use it.