Below is the email I sent to the UK Home Office on 16 May 2017, in response to the consultation into the UK Government’s draft technical capability notices. For more information, check out the information made available by the Open Rights Group (tap here).
These “Technical Capability Notices” seek to weaken the UK public’s access to encryption technologies which would, I believe, put the liberty and security of every UK citizen at risk.
To the UK Home Office,
To undermine the privacy and security of the communications of UK citizens not only undermines our rights and freedoms, but also introduces an ever increasing risk to our security and our society going forward. To do so, would be negligent in the extreme.
The UK government should listen to those in the field who understand how modern technology and encryption works. People like Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web. People like 14 of the world’s pre-eminent cryptographers and computer scientists who, in 2015, authored a paper concluding that that British government cannot demand special access to encrypted communications without putting the world’s most confidential data and critical infrastructure in danger. See:
Undermining encryption would be entirely counterproductive in terms of safeguarding the critical infrastructure of the UK. It would also come at a cost to the economy and would, in this interconnected global world, ultimately prove unworkable. There will always be ways by which those who seek to do us harm may access encrypted channels of communication, outwith the jurisdiction of the UK government.
The current path that the UK government is taking towards ever more authoritarian practices of mass surveillance, the undermining of privacy and the attempted weakening of encryption are extremely concerning and totally unacceptable.