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Hand's off encription

 

Dear Home Secretary,

 

I write to express my utter dismay and disbelief at your insane and dangerous proposal to ban/subvert/cripple Internet encryption technology. This is a completely irresponsible move on the part of the Government and the ‘Five Eyes’ countries.

 

Here are just a few reasons why this is an appalling bad idea:

  1. Breaking encryption would destroy the basis for trust and security that is essential between e-commerce counterparties and a whole host of web applications such as e-banking, journalism, medical records and so on.
  2. Any kind of ‘master key’ or ‘back door’ approach would instantly become a target for hackers and once compromised (as it inevitably would be) fraud, chaos and loss on an unprecedented scale would likely ensue.
  3. The Government has an appalling record for data security breaches.
  4. Open Source encryption libraries could not possibly be back-doored securely, since their source code is freely available. Indeed, it is this very feature which makes them trustworthy solutions.
  5. Contrary to your authoritarian assertion that citizens don’t need it, we insist on our absolute right to secure, private Internet transactions that are free from government surveillance.
  6. Even if the Government attempts to outlaw or otherwise subvert encryption, determined and sophisticated users including terrorists will doubtless find ways to circumvent these measures. The cost to freedom and security far outweighs any potential (and likely transient) benefits.

 

How can you possibly ignore the advice of security experts that even if technically feasible (which I hope it proves not to be) this is a dangerously flawed proposal? It is an oppressive Orwellian surveillance measure that no thoughtful, responsible person could possibly support.

 

I strongly urge you to abandon this assault on freedom, privacy and security. Whilst I would appreciate an acknowledgement of receipt of this message, please do not insult my intelligence by writing back with justifications.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Adrian Price


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