back to article Paxo trashes privacy, social media and fake news at Infosec 2017

"Why is Jeremy Paxman at Infosec?” more than one person wondered, as Newsnight's former rottweiler-in-chief took the stage to deliver the morning's keynote. It's safe to say Paxo wasn't brought on for his tech knowledge. Asked about Theresa May's stance on end-to-end encryption, he said: "I have no idea what that question …

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Big Brother

"I am prepared to trust the security forces."

Until they come knocking at your door at 4 am in the morning because of something you said on the internet that the current govenment doesn't like...

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Re: "I am prepared to trust the security forces."

This is precisely the problem - we might (might) trust them at the moment but we don't want to hand them the tools that would make life intolerable if it turns out that trust was misplaced - the same tools that might allow people we wouldn't trust to manoeuvre into a position of control.

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Re: "I am prepared to trust the security forces."

I suggest watching V for Vendetta and exactly what happened to the TV anchor there (one the better Stephen Fry's roles).

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Re: "I am prepared to trust the security forces."

Or something like Buttle/Tuttle/whatever. And then before said mistake has been noticed/rectified they're bound to find something of interest to them to not make it a wasted visit and keep those arrest/convictoin stats up.

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Re: "I am prepared to trust the security forces."

Until they come knocking at your door at 4 am in the morning because of something you said on the internet that the current govenment doesn't like...

Until the day comes that the UK LEA suddenly turn into the Stasi, SS or FSB, yes, I'm entirely happy that they're out there trying to catch spies and terrorists. If they were showing any signs of goostestepping tendencies I'd be more concerned; but... they're not. So. It follows that your comment is fatuous bullshit, d'you see?

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Re: "I am prepared to trust the security forces."

If you've ever worked in Government of LEA, you'd soon realise that cock-ups happen alot...and its not uncommon to arrest, or even raid the wrong addresses and take people into custody and then go...."Yeah Sorry wrong John Smith, search warrant was wrong, you need to claim a new front door from your insurance".

I heard a great one from an LEA where they raided the wrong address when someone nearby had compromised a home WiFi connection....Nice.

Geographic based Policing in the age of the Internet is a joke....For everything else there's ACTION - FRAUD xD

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Mind slip

"Asked about Theresa May's stance on end-to-end encryption, he said: "I have no idea what that question means. I wish I understood cryptography." "

For a moment, I read 'he' as 'she'.

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K
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""Do you think anyone is really interested in your sex lives"

I bet the whole audience thought "Nope.... But I am interested in a lot of other peoples".

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LDS
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Re: ""Do you think anyone is really interested in your sex lives"

And it's always been a powerful blackmailing technique when someone sex life didn't match the public facing persona.... not that I like hypocrites, but blackmailers are a bigger danger.

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Re: Mind slip

Yeah, but don't you just wish that a politician, ANY politician, would be so honest as to say "I don't know", instead of a) bulshitting, b) attacking the questioner, c) change the subject, d) trot out whatever bit of propganda they had come emit regardless?

(Thumbs up to Paxo as well as the OP)

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"Personally I am prejudiced on this question on security and privacy, what is it you are all doing that you are so concerned about?"

Minding my own business?

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huh?

//On the role of the surveillance state, he said: "Personally I am prejudiced on this question on security and privacy, what is it you are all doing that you are so concerned about? Do you think anyone is really interested in your sex lives? They are not! I can't understand this.//

I am disappointed, but not surprised that he can only see privacy for normal people as being about their bedroom antics.

But I'm stunned he thinks noone is interested in that. He must have a Ron Burgundy-like memory of the news. Revenge porn, various stories about emails, videos or images escaping into the wild, gossip columns and the Paparazzi for the rich & famous - nope, no interest in any of that.

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What is this?

Rather than lowering the voting age to 16, he believes we should cap the voting age at 70 – as that demographic contributes least to society.

Really, the least? So the previous 52 years of contribution (and probably continuing due to the rising retirement age and lack of money) do not count toward anything, they no longer matter? We are done with them, chuck um on the scrap heap? They have contributed already they have earned the right to have a say. They have what is know as experience.

Geeze I'm a long way off this yet but do people really think that way?

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Re: What is this?

it's a slippery slope only giving voting rights to those who by some arbitrary measure have "earned it"

can't find work? working minimum wage? work in marketing? attend art college?

i dunno where the line is drawn as to "doesn't contribute"

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Re: What is this?

"They have what is know as experience."

They're also the leading demographic for having what is known as dementia.

But in all seriousness, there's usually at least some level of cognitive decline in everyone over the age of 60 (see El Presidente for a shining example). Older people do generally vote 'stupider' - they are consistently shown to be more racist, more frightened, and less informed and empathetic about the world in general (which is not surprising, since older generations are on aggregate less educated than younger generations, simply from the periodic increases in education leaving age), and more likely to vote based on stupid things ("I could never vote for Corbyn because he doesn't wear a proper suit and didn't sing the national anthem properly").

They also vote consistently and firmly in their own interests at the expense of literally everyone else, which has severely warped social policy in ways which are definitely economically harmful (there is no sensible reason for the triple-lock in the UK, for example. Pensions should not be guaranteed to rise every year in real terms, at the same time that more people are reaching pension age and living longer, when pensioners have become one of the the most asset-rich age groups). At the start of the current campaign, the Tories actually proudly announced that the state pension was nearly level with the median wage. Any sensible economist will tell you that this is economically suicidal; pensioners should be spending more than their income or else you get significant deflationary pressure (this is what's been happening to Japan for 30 years). Yet political parties will not act to stop this, since if they do (i.e., May's dementia tax proposal) they risk alienating the most active voting population.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not agreeing with Paxo or saying that some Logan's Run approach to politics where the aged are extracted from society en masse is the best solution, but it's not completely mad to say that something probably does need to be done to curb the Grey Vote's disproportionate electoral power.

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Re: What is this?

Well if they vote Tory they haven't voted in their own interests - the Tories announced ending the triple lock, introducing the dementia tax, and means testing winter fuel allowance. If the Tories get a majority the NHS will end up a shadow of its former self (link).

I supposed we should be cheered by this mass act of selflessness.

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Re: What is this?

"But in all seriousness, there's usually at least some level of cognitive decline in everyone over the age of 60"

The sort of decline that leads to stereotyping? I guess from your thinking abilities you must be, say 110 by your own standards.

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Re: What is this?

Young people lack the experience to vote smartly. Old people have that experience.

Young people have better education, but does that mean they're smarter?

Old people do run the risks of dementia, but people diagnosed with such issues can be removed from the electoral roll.

The age of retirement is increasing meaning that people work longer, and there have been suggestings that people should work until 70, even later, and indeed there are some who continue working well past their 70th birthday. Perhaps you could argue that when you retire you lose the vote: That might seem reasonable save when people retire, they're at the mercy of those who can vote. Hate to be retired when someone decides to abandon the national pension payments and stop all payments - the young would probably agree as they've not paid in, but those who have...

So the argument is not so staight forwards. Perhaps adapting the old system of property owners being able to vote, but change it to tax paying workers... only that would exclude people who should have the vote (someone taking a career break to raise a family, for example).

Nope - not as simple as stating 'over 70's shouldn't vote'.

Naselus: You talk of old people voting 'stupid', but you do not qualify that with what you consider 'old', nor how you define their voting as 'stupid'. I do hope you didn't use the claims from the Brexit vote* as the claims that older people voted leave and younger voted stay is very misleading as it was at best a staw poll of a small number of people, most just around London, with a few stretching to a couple of other cities - there was no exit poll from which to draw meaningful statistics on the voting pattern.

As for the old being asset rich... are you surprised? They've been working for 50+ years and built said assets. Of cause they'll be asset rich. The state then seeks to strip those assets from them to pay for what those old people have already paid for while they were working (retirement, elderly care etc). The youth are lucky if they inherrit anything as a result, but they then get to build up their own assets. Or that's the theory.

*this is the only time I've heard claims that old people voted 'stupidly'. Mostly they're accused of voting as they've always voted, but by then they've learned that polticians lie, and if they bother to vote, they'll go with what they know, not what they're being told. Voting with self interest is the norm, and is not age dependent so that's a non-argument. Especially when you understand the importance of the women's vote over the years and how political parties courted that vote.

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Unhappy

"I supposed we should be cheered by this mass act of selflessness."

But you do have to wonder how many will remember what they did tomorrow.

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Re: What is this?

"but it's not completely mad to say that something probably does need to be done to curb the Grey Vote's disproportionate electoral power."

Good idea, wouldn't want to risk ending up with a political system where the majority view prevails....

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Re: What is this?

It's the typical statist viewpoint - humans are only significant as economic units...

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Re: What is this?

"...attend art college?" Now there's an idea.

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Re: "I supposed we should be cheered by this mass act of selflessness."

"But you do have to wonder how many will remember what they did tomorrow."

I have no doubt that in a few years time it'll be hard to find anyone who'll admit to voting Leave if that's what you mean.

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Facepalm

Re: "I supposed we should be cheered by this mass act of selflessness."

But you do have to wonder how many will remember what they did tomorrow.

I can never remember what I did tomorrow. It's bad enough remembering yesterday or last week.

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Vic
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Megaphone

Re: What is this?

i dunno where the line is drawn as to "doesn't contribute"

Did Starship Troopers teach us nothing?

Service Guarantees Citizenship.

Vic.

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Childcatcher

Re: What is this?

Service Guarantees Citizenship.

I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this! While Heinlein did not subscribe to every political system he described (he wrote fiction, after all), he certainly did well to make the point that citizenship ought to imply citizens have skin in the game. Under current systems of Democracy, those who vote are the only people who count. Those who can but don't vote, don't count by their own choice.

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Re: What is this?

Since Paxman only has 3 years before he's 70, he might have a more pertinent view on what that means.

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Re: What is this?

Just as an aside, during the run up to the recent election, the number of volunteers over the age of 70 working on the various activities was about 4-5 times higher than the number under the age of 30.

In addition, although there are many elderly people that are struggling to get by, there are more than a few that are actually contributing more to society generally than their grandchildren.

#justsaying

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Re: Naselus

Blatantly ageist poster condemns elders as racist...

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Anonymous Coward

"Rather than lowering the voting age to 16, he believes we should cap the voting age at 70 – as that demographic contributes least to society."

Yeah, sod the contributions you made for 50+ years before that, you and your needs no longer count. Why should you have a say in how the world is run for your grandkids, how your pension and healthcare operate, how your property is managed and taxed, etc.?

Wow.

"I am prepared to trust the security forces. I think they by and large do a brilliant job. And I think they are kept under reasonable supervision."

You're prepared to trust them but admit they're only trustworthy if they have the right babysitters? Plus, who watches the watchers?

"I'm not allowed on Facebook by my kids"

Shame. I'd love to see him commenting on some politicians' pages the way he used to address them on TV. Put him on Twitter too for a proper head-to-head with Trump.

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Piers Morgan personally explained to Paxman how he illegally listened to Sven-Goran Eriksson's phone calls in order to spy on his sex life. Paxman told the Leveson hearings this. Yet he produces this pile of turds.

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Dunno, mate

Seriously, who hires a speaker to give a keynote talk at an IT conference where they answer every question with "dunno, mate" and "why are you so concerned?"

It would be like a speaker at a conference on Burglar Alarms, Safes, and Locksmithing saying "I dunno why you're so concerned about burglary - the Police do a great job".

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WTF?

Paxo, I have a right to a private life and secrets. Sod off!

On the role of the surveillance state, he said: "Personally I am prejudiced on this question on security and privacy, what is it you are all doing that you are so concerned about? Do you think anyone is really interested in your sex lives? They are not! I can't understand this."

Yes I completely agree with you Paxo, however I have a right to a private life. Screw all your intellectual crap and your "If you're not doing anything wrong, then what are you hiding?" bollocks. By way of international law, I am entitled to keep certain facets of my life private. I decide who I tell about what I like to do in the bedroom, not some faceless civil servant.

If I decide to go out and hook up with some girls for a fun night and then head back to my wife, cheating on her the issue is between me and her and no one else. No one else decides the course my life should take, that decision is between my wife and I. We may work out and get on with our lives, however with the information made public we can't reconcile and a costly legal battle ensues. I did nothing illegal, I simply did something very immoral but that's not for anyone other the pair of us to decide if we can move on from it, not some faceless civil servant or MI5 snooper.

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Re: Paxo, I have a right to a private life and secrets. Sod off!

Or let's say you're swingers, or in an Open Relationship, or Polyamorous, and the liaison was by consent. Why should the government be sniffing around and passing judgement on you? It really isn't any of their business at all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Paxo, I have a right to a private life and secrets. Sod off!

Or let's say your wife was cheating on you. Then some sleazebag from work finds out and threatens to tell you if she doesn't let him in on the fun...

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As Paxo clearly has nothing to hide I'm sure he'll be publishing all his bank details, passwords, etc. to prove that.

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I loved it when Jeremy Clarkson did exactly that and got dinged for 500 squids.

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"As Paxo clearly has nothing to hide I'm sure he'll be publishing all his bank details, passwords, etc. to prove that."

And his tax returns.

Ask any of the "I've nothing to hide" camp to tell the world full details of what they earn and most of them will shut up pronto.

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Unhappy

Very disappointing.

I suppose you shouldn't expect too much of your heroes outside of their chosen environment.

I met one of my favourite authors at a conference one time.

Man did that guy have a thirst on him.

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Unhappy

Never liked the guy

In fact I took an instant dislike to him the first time I heard him speak. Arrogant, aggressive, opinionated. Seems he's actually got worse, and we can add 'ignorant' to the list..

Desidertata:

"Avoid loud and aggressive persons, for they are vexations to the spirit".

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Windows

Re: Never liked the guy

@ Will Godfrey:

"Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story"

"Desiderata"

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Re: Never liked the guy

Then you'll like this :

http://scotsandindependent.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/paxo-stuffed.html

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Bah!

Well, you get what you paid for.

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WTF?

Whether my sex life is of any interest or not is IRRELEVANT, you twat. I insist to reserve my right to prevent you from ever finding out how interesting it is or isn't, full stop.

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Anonymous Coward

We already know

...and it's boring.

AC because I still can. ;-)

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Oh dear

- Paxo talks bollocks

- My fellow commentards talk bollocks back

- ...lage, please, and that Scicilian Lemon tonic, if yo'vec got it?

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Old age is not the issue - it is general competence

Personally, I believe that being over 70, or 16 rather than 18 is not the issue. It is a general understanding and competence. Leaving the EU 'Brexit' is a perfect example of this- there were good reasons to leave, there was good reasons to stay. There were a lot of people who wanted to leave due to the cost of the EU, British jobs, NHS, etc. - the perception that the 'EU' is an entity is sending people here to live off the state. Even the Leave Campaign's battle bus with the £350 million/NHS slogan - all of this fuels the incompetence and lack of knowledge and understanding.

What is the solution? A competency test- seems like a good idea until you think it though... How do you prove somebody to be competent in an unbiased way, and who polices that?

I do think that you should be exempted from voting under certain circumstances- prisoners, perhaps those with a mental health issue that reduces their cognitive decline? It is difficult, and to make these changes would alienate people, reducing vote share, which is what it is all about.

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