ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Could encryption actually get banned?

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Could encryption actually get banned? If David Cameron has his way then yes.  You see the prime minister this week has pledged to allow security services full access to all of our data in the name of national security.  His thinking goes along the lines of if the security services can read any, and all, data then terrorists can’t send encrypted messages to one another without getting spotted. This means apps like WhatsApp, which is used millions across the world, would immediately have to change the way they work.

Just a couple of problems here though.

1. For this to work there would have to be “back doors” into every piece of software so that security services can read the data.  It would only be a matter of time before hackers discover these and start using them for their own benefits.

2. More and more people and businesses are storing data online using encrypted services.  If you take away all the encryption the data (personal and business) would be exposed.  Imagine trying to bank online without encryption? Not going to happen.

3. How would you actually enforce this?  To be covered by any new UK legislation you would need service providers to actually setup their business headquarters in the UK.  The only way around this is for an EU or world agreement on encryption.  This again is not going to happen.

I do agree with David Cameron that something needs to happen to help the security services protect people but banning encryption is not the answer.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Cisco, Windows, OS X and Linux based IT Support to small businesses throughout Scotland.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

2 thoughts on “Could encryption actually get banned?

  1. Lets face it realistically, once quantum computing is commonplace, then encryption is moot anyway. From a politicians point of view, the only people they want to have secrets are themselves.

    Another great example of the UK getting exactly the government it deserves.

  2. Hi Chris,

    A good short intor to the problems. There is a very good article here on BoingBoing:
    Cameron’s “anti-terrorist” proposal for secure web comms would mean “all academic security work in the UK must cease”

    It seems odd that because about 20 people were killed by psychopaths that this is being used as an excuse for this moronic legislation – whereas 100s or 1000s of people murdered by regimes in other parts of the world produce no response whatsoever and are ignored.

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