back to article David Cameron: I'm off to the US to get my bro Barack to ban crypto – report

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is hoping to gain the support of US President Barack Obama in his campaign-year crusade to outlaw encrypted communications his spies can't break, sources claim. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Conservative Cameron would like to see left-leaning Obama publicly criticize major US …

  1. PleebSmash
    Mushroom

    ya right

    In the off-chance that Cameron could somehow convince our Silicon Valley friendly Obama to back his stupid plan to weaken encryption, and somehow get the result passed by a Republican-controlled Congress, the tech community will go to war.

    Make Cameron retire plz Brits so we don't have to laugh, cry and spit at this nonsense.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ya right

      It's pretty much a given that he's out. The question is which omnicidal moron we install in his place.

      Yes, it does have to be an omnicidal moron I'm afraid. Whoops, Apocalypse was a documentary.

      1. K Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: ya right

        Got to love British politics, our choices are

        A) Get raped in taxes by Labour

        B) Have our freedoms stripped by Conservatives

        ....

        Either way we're being robbed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ya right

          Except that now they're listening to the other side and Labour are adding a bit of B to attract former tories while the Conservatives are adding a bit of A to attract disaffected Labour voters.

          Meanwhile, experts wonder why the Labour+Conservative share of the vote is at an all-time low.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ya right

          Sadly not so,

          Miliband voted for DRIPA and told his lackeys to vote it in. But good luck in removing our 1.4 Trillion debt without raising taxes as Tories just keep giving their mates tax cuts and you will only pay privately (Thus paying anyway)

          I would not assume Cameron is going, it is not clear cut as he can outspend Labour and the others as he raised the spending limits so he could (He also changed the electoral register system to be in his favour - You do actually read the voter registration stuff that comes through the door?)

          Cameron is up there with Putin in being dodgy, and he may well stick around and this will become in some way actual law.

          Be very afraid. (Or make sure you vote)

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ya right

          I think you will find that all the ministers responsible for spying both Labour and Conservative have been bastards.

        4. Chris Parsons

          Re: ya right

          @K - don't forget that Jackboots Smith was every bit as keen to remove our freedoms as that cretin May. If I remember correctly, returning our stolen freedoms was something that nice Mr Cameron was going to do when he gained power. They're all shites, that is what is so depressing, there is no-one with integrity or vision.

      2. rh587 Silver badge

        Re: ya right

        "It's pretty much a given that he's out. The question is which omnicidal moron we install in his place."

        A given? Is it? Lots of people seem to complaining about Cameron, but they're not all clamouring to vote for Milliband either. Realistically, if it's another coalition it's going to be Dave or Ed in as the senior partner, and I wouldn't stake money on it being Ed.

        All depends - at the end of the day - on how successfully the SNP split the Labour vote, UKIP split the Tory vote and what happens with the disaffected LibDem vote.

    2. MrXavia

      We will try!

      Not sure what good it will do though...

      BUT if anyone in IT votes for Cameron this time round? they need a cattle prod up the butt!

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: We will try!

        *I* voted for Cameron last time.

        In my defence, I didn't know I was. I cast my ballot for Lib Dems, who promptly sold me down the river to a party which I despise and whose members will largely go to to Hades for their love of money and lack of love for their fellow man.

        The Lib Dems are off my list for the rest of my life for their treachery.

        I'd like to vote Labour, but we no longer have a Labour party, just a pale blue imitiaion of Tories - thanks for that, Tony. (And enjoy your Save The Children award. I hope it came with money...?)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We will try!

          The Lib Dems are off my list

          The Labour are off my list

          The Cameronians are off my list

          The Funny bloke is off my list

          And yet... one of them will "represent" me

          1. Babbit55

            Re: We will try!

            I am actually seriously considering voting Green, they are the only party that doesn't seem completely bonkers and out of touch!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Unhappy

              Re: We will try!

              "they are the only party that doesn't seem completely bonkers and out of touch!"

              Apart from the fact you could, without any doubt apply the following:

              Petrol & Diesel will go up.

              Gas and Electric will go up.

              We will have blackouts due to "investment" in "green" energy over gas, coal and nuclear power.

              More congestion charges will come into force throughout the country.

              Increased council tax bill as we subsidise more empty buses and trains going to places people don't want to go to....

              And on and on...

              It's a sad state of affairs when Lord Sutch would of made the most sensible choice.

              1. Chris Parsons

                Re: We will try!

                The problem with the Greens is that they don't seem to realise that energy, especially electricity, has to come from somewhere, and we use rather a lot of it. They don't want coal, they don't want oil, they don't want gas, they don't want nuclear, but they do want electricity.And so do I.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: We will try!

              @Babbit55, You are joking I hope. They are the ones that would see us on a very limited electricity supply - only when the wind blows - so there would be no need for crypto as no one could run a computer.

              1. Babbit55

                Re: We will try!

                I highly doubt that they would limit the elec and gas usage and cause blackouts, that is ridiculous. Though I honestly have little clue who to actually vote for as they are all out of touch, and it is a sad state of affairs when the closest parties to even consider are still very out of touch

          2. CommanderGalaxian

            Re: We will try!

            What you need is for the SNP to stand some candidates south of the border.

          3. BongoJoe

            Re: We will try!

            The party I vote for is Plaid Cymru as if we ignore all the fables that seem to surround Plaid (cue the downvoters...) they actually stand for a lot of what people here are asking about.

            If one watches Question Time and sees that rare occurance of a politician talking sense then, evens offered, it will be Elfyn Llwyd.

            There's two problems with Plaid, unfortunately. First is that they have no influence or interests outside of the principality and, secondly, outside of the Welsh heartlands (I am looking at you South Wales) they're wiped off the map by Labour voters who have voted Labour because they've always voted Labour and shall ever more do so even when Labour were in their lot didn't improve.

            Out of all the parties from all over the UK this lot are by far the least worst but, alas, they will never have any say in things unless South Wales gives them a few seats and there's another hung parliament.

        2. birchanger_toper

          Re: We will try!

          @Bloodbeastterror - rarely have I read a post I've agreed with so strongly.

        3. Dr Paul Taylor

          Re: We will try!

          > who promptly sold me down the river to a party which I despise

          > The Lib Dems are off my list for the rest of my life for their treachery.

          Wrong. Gordon Brown had to go. The Lib Dems were in the Coalition to rein in the wild animals of the Tory party, which they have done pretty successfully.

          The problem is that the British electorate does not understand what a "coalition" means.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Terminator

            Re: We will try!

            If we want to blame a politician who gave us somebody else when we voted for them, we can bring this back to Tony. He insisted, repeatedly, that the warnings that "vote Blair get Brown" were entirely unfounded because there was no chance he would step down before the following election.

            Five minutes in, he's gone and we've got Brown and things rapidly go so badly to shit that we vote in GlaDoS to stop Brown. Worried that GlaDoS might flood the country with neurotoxin we vote in a coalition, effectively attaching a "morality core" to stop GlaDoS from flooding the country with neurotoxin.

            Now, with an election looming, GlaDoS is reminding us that, if voted in without a morality core after the election, GlaDoS is still going to flood the country with neurotoxin. So let's not do that, mmkay?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ya right

      Alas, we don't have the equivalent of the 22nd Amendment in the UK that would restrict a Prime Minister to two terms of office.

      So, we could have Cameron for quite a few more years. Or, heaven forbid, Ed Milliband or Nigel Farage.

    4. g e

      However I must say

      That I'm at least minded to vote this year - I never really think there's anything to vote FOR in the UK as they're all largely feckless, backhander-trousering, mendacious, self-serving, manipulative bastards.

      That Cameron twunt, though, he's in a league of his own to the extent I feel the need to vote.

      Against him.

      1. Graham Marsden

        Try Vote for Policies

        Instead of voting for a face or a coloured ribbon, try looking at the policies you support and the ones you disagree with to decide how to vote: http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

        1. Jonathan Richards 1

          Re: Try Vote for Policies

          Yes, what he said. If everyone took the time to read the manifestos, we'd have a chance of electing MPs that do the most of what we want them to do. The trouble is that the path from my vote, through MP selection, party infighting and leadership selection, to Her Majesty inviting some individual to form a government, is opaque at best.

          On a related topic, all the pictures at the top of El Reg articles are too big, but *this* one is shockingly unpleasant :(

          1. nuked

            Re: Try Vote for Policies

            Any what, exactly, has a manifesto to do with the decisions that those elected to power actually end up taking. A general election is simply a measure of who can sell the biggest story to a gullible population.

        2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Try Vote for Policies

          That's all very well, but it's the policies they don't tell you about and the policies they fail to implement that really matter. The glossy magazine is just for elections.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    David Cameron

    <inbetweeners>Cryptowanker</inbetweeners>

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: David Cameron

      Wow, that arrived with the accent and sneer and everything. +1

  3. IT Hack

    A request

    Please can we keep politicians away from talking about technology please? All they end up doing is embarrassing themselves, panic the moronics in our society and generally fuck things up.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: A request

      I think that's their plan. They panic the moronics, bugger things up as you say and then insist on staying on to solve the problems that they caused and then the aforementioned moronics vote them back in again because of imminent $THREAT.

      Rinse, repeat, retire to the speaking circuit in the US and profit.

      You make it sound ever so random when in fact it's a well crafted plan.

      1. Roger Kynaston

        Re: A request

        if [ ! $THREAT ]

        then

        let $THREAT = 1

        else

        let $THREAT = 1

        fi

      2. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: A request

        I recommend to all thinking people this book:

        The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein.

        If you get to the end without your blood boiling you haven't read it properly.

        1. dogged

          Re: A request

          Naomi Klein is not exactly well-known for her ability to research or present something she didn't explicitly decide to prove before writing the damn book.

          Also, only a passing acquaintance with the facts of any matter.

          It's easy to be cynical about politicians selling you their agenda. You just have to be equally cynical about journalists who make money from lecture tours.

          1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

            Re: A request

            Naomi Klein is not exactly well-known for her ability to research or present something she didn't explicitly decide to prove before writing the damn book.

            Unfortunately, this.

        2. Preston Munchensonton
          Flame

          Re: A request

          "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein"

          It would help if people understood what capitalism means. Let me help you:

          Laissez-faire Capitalism != Crony Capitalism

          Manipulating government interference and regulation should never be confused for individual freedom to associate and trade. This is possibly the most common mistake made by people anywhere in the world. How anyone can so badly confuse the two is beyond comprehension.

          Don't bother reading such trash. It's meant for the feeble-minded simpletons.

  4. Oliver Mayes

    Next up, putting locks on your doors to be banned as it may hinder the police when they urgently need to search your house without a warrant. After all, only a terrorist would have something to hide behind a locked door.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Putting locks on your doors to be banned

      Careful there! Someone might latch onto this and try to get it passed into law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Putting locks on your doors to be banned

        Think of all the crimes that would be solved if the Police were allowed to search everyone's homes at will.

        1. DrGoon

          Re: Putting locks on your doors to be banned

          It could also be extended to save taxpayer money on having police stations. Depending on who had the best bacon butties and cups of tea (British donut and coffee equivalents) a "private" home could be selected as the day's squad room.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      It is banned, just indirectly

      Have you tried to install an average (not top of the line) European lock in the UK to replace the POS that any beginner Eastern European crim can pick with a toenail? Show the cylinder from your "High Security" Yale/Masterlock/etc lock to someone on the other side of the channel. They will laugh their arse off hysterically.

      I tried last week - I put a reasonably up-to-date German cylinder from a well known manufacturer. The model is sold widely on Amazon and used on the continent where it is considered minimal security (it barely gets past basic insurance reqs). It is combination of cuts and coded dimples - half way between a classic lock and a modern fully blown Euro Plus.

      Well, the result was that I was peasantly surprised by finding that NOT A SINGLE key cutting service in the UK can cut keys for it. I will now have to cut keys for it in the local supermarket next time I am on the continent. So you choice for lock in the UK is either a POS which can be picked in under 15 seconds by a beginner Moscow/Sofia/Bucharest/Kiev burglar or a fully blown Euro Plus series coded lock which costs an arm and a leg and a prosthetic. It is quite interesting that you are also "encouraged" to disclose the latter on your insurance (and you know very well who has real time access to the insurance database).

      Now, I wonder why this is the case... Historical examples come to mind. Stalin had all of the following banned for the general population:

      1. Carrying and possession offensive weapons of any kind.

      2. High security locks.

      3. Encryption of any shape or form.

      Hmm... Interesting similarities here...

      1. OldBiddie

        Re: It is banned, just indirectly

        Won't they just break in through your window instead?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is banned, just indirectly

          No need. If they're euro cylinders (UPVC door locks) then you can just bump them or snap them. Can be done in under a minute.

          1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

            Re: It is banned, just indirectly

            you can just bump them or snap them

            Some of the newer Eu entry cylinder have one or more pins which are shallow drilled making them fairly bump resistant. Not sure if the one I have is one of these (I would not be surprised).

            In any case, what I find interesting is that the police and HMG keeps promoting b***cks in terms of trivial anti-crime measures (like the "Did you spy on your neighbour" aka Neighborhood Watch) and or CCTV schemes while being vehemently against even minimal measures that can provide a private individual with improved anti-crime protection.

            1. Encryption of personal sensitive data.

            2. Higher security locks, personal safes, etc.

            3. Security of key online data.

            Curious minds wonder you know... Curious minds also remember exactly where did owning any of these technical artefacts got you in Stalin days too...

            Curious minds also wonder why what they promote has secondary use (CCTV) for the purposes of mass surveilance and/or making people acustomed to being under mass surveilance (watch & co). Curious minds also remember that Stalin loved that too...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is banned, just indirectly

        That's more a case of them being uncommon due to the dim skinflint UK public not wanting to spend more than £20 on a lock, plus the fact those keys are proprietary.

        My Euro cylinders are high security, but the keys are very unusual. They have magnets in them. so you aren't going to find a booth that will cut a key from a blank, it's a different process.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It is banned, just indirectly

        I fitted some very high security locks which I bought overseas. They are superior to the UK-market locks in every respect.

        But UK home insurers insist on locks with a BS kitemark stamped on them, so I had to fit some crappy UK locks as well!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is banned, just indirectly

          You can get decent British locks, just search for anti-bump anti-snap.

          They are around £35 - £45 depending on the lock dimensions.

    3. CommanderGalaxian

      >"Next up, putting locks on your doors to be banned as it may hinder the police when they urgently need to search your house without a warrant."

      Hint: there's a reason why all locks made to BSI standards are trivial to "pick" without leaving a trace of damage. Google for "bump key".

  5. adnim Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Terrorist are naughty

    they break the law and do illegal things.

    Has it crossed the mind of gov that new laws of restriction and banning are NOT going to be abided by law breakers. Only the law abiding follow laws, only the innocent will suffer.

    Terrorist One: "its illegal to do that!"

    Terrorisrt two: "OK I best stop, wouldn't want to break any laws"

    Country is run by the fucking clueless. And I mean totally fucking clueless.

    We need a government that isn't blind to the fucking obvious

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Terrorist are naughty

      > We need a government that isn't blind to the fucking obvious

      But governments are made up of politicians, whose entire agenda revolves around hiding the fucking obvious.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Terrorist are naughty

        > whose entire agenda revolves around hiding the fucking obvious

        Facesitting is forbidden in the UK!

    2. fishman

      Re: Terrorist are naughty

      <<<<Has it crossed the mind of gov that new laws of restriction and banning are NOT going to be abided by law breakers. Only the law abiding follow laws, only the innocent will suffer.>>>>

      Of course, in their minds anyone who uses crypto will then be a terrorist.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Angel is next

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yeah, we should definitely ban codenames, how on earth will we know who people are talking about else

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        russian apples, little girl, seven seas, mute

      2. dogged

        the significant owl hoots in the night

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          but only the fox will reply

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We should also...

    Ban the teaching of multiplication, prime numbers and Boolean algebra - especially the xor function - in schools...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We should also...

      Send them to Atlanta Public Schools...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: We should also...

      "Ban teaching "

      Fixed.

      Keep 'em ignorant, keep 'em in their place.

      More they do this, the more email traffic I'm moving to Protonmail.ch

      1. cmannett85

        Re: We should also...

        "...I'm moving to Protonmail.ch"

        Good luck. I registered for an invite months ago - haven't heard anything back.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: We should also...

          Already have one.....

          It took a couple of months to come through, registered a long time ago though.

  8. Tom 64
    Coat

    Basically he's declaring war on private conversation

    ... What's next, a government mandated microphone in every pub bog and living room around the country?

    Oh wait, they can already pwn smartphones and listen in, I'll get my coat.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Basically he's declaring war on private conversation

      >... What's next, a government mandated microphone in every pub bog and living room around the country?

      Following the deaths in the last couple of decades of some older gentlemen with a cavalier attitude to the law and regulations, we keep meaning to sit the retired pub landlord down with a microphone for a week to record the oral history and anecdotes, before he too shuffles of the mortal coil. It lead me to thinking, if only there was a way to wire a pub for sound but with a mathematically-enforced 100-year embargo on the recordings.

      I'm not a mathematician, but I'm not aware of any way of accomplishing that.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Basically he's declaring war on private conversation

        "a mathematically-enforced 100-year embargo on the recordings.

        I'm not a mathematician, but I'm not aware of any way of accomplishing that."

        You could always encrypt the data and not store the key, then spend the next 100 years trying to break it.

  9. jake Silver badge

    Whatever.

    I know how to use strong encryption. I rarely do.

    I almost never use TehIntraWebTubes for anything that I wouldn't shout from the rooftops. Anybody who does has obviously missed a few clues.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Whatever.

      Thank you for your interesting slice-of-life posting.

      Your point being?

      1. dogged

        Re: Whatever.

        His point is that it doesn't affect him and therefore it is neither a) important nor b) news.

        See also his response to any new technology or development as reported on the Reg.

        Here's a link, try it - clicky

        1. jake Silver badge

          @dogged (was: Re: Whatever.)

          Again, my point is that I know how to use tools properly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever.

        Jake doesn't normally have a point, he just likes to show off his lack of tech knowledge, a bit like those self-deprecating MPs who used to stand up in parliament for a debate about the Internet and guffaw that "I don't really know much about these things, I have to get my 7yo to program my VCR, haw haw haw".

        It's a game he plays, pretending that he has been there, done that but also seems to have forgotten this and unlearnt that.

        1. jake Silver badge

          @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Re: Whatever.)

          "Jake doesn't normally have a point, he just likes to show off his lack of tech knowledge"

          Instead of going all ad hominem in my direction, how about addressing my point?

          And that's "jake", not "Jake". Computers are quite literal. Are you?

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

            Come on jake, I'm sure you've not got any need for Unicode but even grep does case insensitive.

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

            I think jake's point might have been that he doesn't see the point of encrypted communications because he never knows if the message recipient or their computer is trustworthy. Maybe he just works on the basis that there may be security holes in the encryption that he is not aware of.

            Disc encryption is different in that you don't have to trust a second party. It is good practice, for the sake of client relations, should your laptop be stolen or lost.

            I said might.... it is also possible he was just being a bit jake... he doesn't see why anyone would wear a wristwatch because our computers have clocks, yet his good lady wife is a keen horse rider.

            1. Brian Morrison

              Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

              It's not the encryption that's the weak link. If your data is somewhere that it is accessible then it is vulnerable no matter what you do and the protections of the protocol used to access it are useless unless they are known only by you.

              If you manage to store data in a form where it really can't be decrypted or the protections bypassed then it's clear that you really have something to hide and you will be threatened badly by the players in the game if they deem it important enough.

              Standing up to the power that a state can command is really difficult, it's almost certainly not worth it if you need to be able to set foot in most Western countries.

          3. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

            >And that's "jake", not "Jake". Computers are quite literal. Are you?

            As users of written English, we have conventions to make communication clearer. One convention is the capitalisation of proper nouns. It makes text easier for us to parse. One assumes that one would only break from this convention if there was good reason to do so. Can't think what it could be, though.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

              "One convention is the capitalisation of proper nouns"

              Yes but in this case it was because I know Jake always gets highly agitated about the capitalisation and it is amusing to see him publicly display his tantrum as it helps newer readers to understand the sort of person he is and the legitimacy you can attribute to his posts.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: @AC "11 mins" whatever that means, ElReg (was:Whatever.)

                " know Jake always gets highly agitated about the capitalisation"

                Actually, AC"3 days" (whatever that means, ElReg), I find it highly amusing that folks like you don't actually understand how computers work.

                I'm not agitated, I'm amused. But it would seem that the folks down-voting me in this thread seem to be quite agitated for one reason or another ... and yet most of the thumbs-down cowards don't seem to actually have the cojones to comment directly to my on-topic post ;-)

      3. jake Silver badge

        @DAM (was: Re: Whatever.)

        My point being, I know how to use tools properly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatever.

      "I know how to use strong encryption. I rarely do."

      Very first search on this site for 'jake' and 'encryption':

      "The laptops are all the same model, and I implement whole disk encryption. "

      "Yes, my data is encrypted. It's also stored on air-gapped media, in several diverse locations. Not paranoid, just an old habit leftover from..."

      You are so full of contradictory and nonsensical shit.

  10. 45RPM Silver badge

    But, as has been said many times before, a back door for the security services is a back door for hackers, once they've worked out the key (and they will work out the key). The keys will then be shared and then anyone of nefarious intent will be able to read anyone's messages.

    David Cameron, Barak Obama and all politicians (who are, of course, all well intentioned and would never do anything illegal) will use these insecure by design services - and we'll be able to read anything that they commit to the Internet - be it email or encrypted message.

    The Terrorists, on the other hand, will go deeper underground and use bespoke secure by design services for all their plottings.

    So how is this plan of Cameron's anything other than an own goal? Especially since he'll piss everyone off and render himself, and his party, unelectable. Alternatively, he'll be a massive hypocrite and use the now outlawed services himself, until news of this is broken in the Encryptgate Scandal, he'll piss everyone off and render himself, and his party, unelectable.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Political parties have been pissing various people off for decades, or even millenia if we go back to the Greeks.

      That has never made them unelectable, unfortunately.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        That's not entirely true. After all, look what happened to the Liberal Party. The trouble is that whenever a party makes itself unelectable they immediately find themselves usurped by another bunch of (potentially even bigger) wankers.

        The Liberals by Labour, the Tories (maybe) by UKIP. It was ever thus.

  11. auburnman

    'James Comey went as far as to describe encrypted communications as "something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."'

    Perhaps the companies being discussed would care to sue the FBI for slander? They've got the legal muscle from the patent wars, and this could be a rare case where public opinion would be likely to be behind the corporate monoliths. If they did get a backdown from the G-Men, it would send a strong message to the politicians determined to go down this road.

    As an aside, shouldn't Cameron be sucking up to the corporate monoliths and their big coffers in an election year?* It's not like the oil companies or banks are going to have a lot of funds in 2015, I'm surprised he's still going after the internet mob.

    *In terms of typical behaviour, not the right thing to do

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need more work

    In relation to the information gathering and increased powers to look at, and into, data.

    The guys who did the Charlie Hebdo attack were known to the security services, now taking my conspiracy head off I can only assume the reason they were no longer watched was because the services had other stuff to do.

    To avoid this happening in future we are going to give the security services much more other stuff to do.

  13. Big_Ted

    No problem Mr Cameron

    I am more than happy to have weak encryption as the standard allowed.

    But only if it is the standard that is used by all, that includes governments, banks, other businesses, the mitary etc etc.

    After all people who demand strong encryption must be hiding something and quite possible breaking the law. So I am willing to have the same standard as used by the government and yourself or that you lower yours down to what you expect me to have.

  14. ukgnome
    Flame

    Utterly pointless

    Doesn't this smell unconstitutional? Isn't this against human rights?

    Whatever next? banning slang, talking, double seats on busses, congregations, gyms, clubs. pubs.

    Fuck I could go on, you have never needed encrypted messaging to plan an attack. You can actually meet and discuss in person, or over the fucking phone. Hell, for all we know (pass me my tin foil hat) some commentards on here could be using code words to assist the ne'er-do-wells in carrying out some explosive mischief. This sort of bullshit posturing is pointless and actually detracts from sensible anti-terrorism. And why does this fucking clown want to ban something? Yep, that's right. He wants to ban something because less that 1% of people want to blow up shit and kill people.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Utterly pointless

      >Hell, for all we know (pass me my tin foil hat) some commentards on here could be using code words to assist the ne'er-do-wells in carrying out some explosive mischief.

      A manfrommars1 has been, but the GCHQ staffer assigned to monitoring his messages has broken down in tears.

      And then there is that online video game Grand Theft Auto in which I saw a player's avatar jump jump duck jump duck duck duck duck duck jump head-but lampost jump duck fall-over jump... clearly some sort of code.

      And did you really think that the 'typos' in Reg articles are accidental?

  15. -tim
    Facepalm

    Even the spooks don't want things that easy.

    I propose we rename ROT13 the David Cameron Cypher.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Mr Cameron

    I hear you're off to America for a few days. Why not take the opporttunity to visit the beautiful city of Dallas while you're there, I'm sure everybody here would rather you come home on you shield as well.

    best wishes

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dear Mr Cameron

      Following moiety's revelation that Cameron is a terrorist as defined by the Terrorism Act 2000 -

      http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2410209

      - can we prevent him from returning to the UK?

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: Dear Mr Cameron @AC

      You probably want to to tone that kind of talk down as it's insensitive and disrespectful to say the least. If not an outright death threat against Cameron! Moron

      1. moiety

        Re: Dear Mr Cameron @AC

        Nah, relax - Cameron could simply legislate the bullets away.

      2. Swarthy Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Dear Mr Cameron @Dan Paul

        Eh?! Dallas wouldn't be a death threat, nor even would inviting him to travel to (what's left of) Detroit. Requesting someone to do something is not a threat; it is not a threat if I ask you to use the joke alert icon in the future. A threat would have to be .. you know... threatening.

        1. Dan Paul

          Re: Dear Mr Cameron @Dan Paul

          The comment about "inviting him to Dallas" is inferring the same thing that happened to JFK should happen to Cameron and he knows that. That is no "joke".

          1. Swarthy Silver badge

            Re: Dear Mr Cameron @Dan Paul

            But wishing someone ill is not a threat. A threat consists of saying that you will cause ill to befall them. Wishing that someone would get assassinated is a bit rude, I will agree, but is no more a threat than "May you fall through an open manhole". By your logic, telling someone to "fuck off" may be considered sexual assault.

          2. Bloodbeastterror

            Re: Dear Mr Cameron @Dan Paul

            "The comment about "inviting him to Dallas" is inferring the same thing"

            No, it isn't, it's implying it. Language matters.

            But I agree with the sentiment. I too read the Dallas comment as an implied desire to see Cameron shot. And though I have no respect for the man I certainly don't wish him ill.

  17. moiety

    I think that the pie-faced prong-pulling pillock has pretty well shot down his chances of being re-elected.

    This can't possibly get passed into law because it will break the infrastructure for everyone. It wouldn't do any good because there are a billion ways of surreptitiously passing messages.

    Also, people need a 'safe space' to stay psychologically healthy.

    Finally, who do these cheeky twats think they are? My email belongs jointly to me and whoever I send it to. It does not -and I can't stress this enough- belong to the government, spook agencies, or anyone else. Attempts to take it by force is rape of a sort and I, at least, intend to resist.

    1. ScaredyCat
      Black Helicopters

      Fat Dave

      "I think that the pie-faced prong-pulling pillock has pretty well shot down his chances of being re-elected."

      Unfortunately Theresa May is desperate to take his place and, sadly, she knows as much as Dave and has the same attitude. I suspect she might even be egging him on a bit.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This coming from a man that doesn't know what LOL means, and obviously has no idea of what the consequences of his actions will have on data privacy.

    Lets just scrap all on-line banking and all on-line commerce as well while we're at it :(

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Loads of lolly?

  19. Andy Johnson

    Compensation

    I assume that if the government bans encryption, and somebody steals my banking details that the government would refund me any monies lost..

    No?... Thought not...

  20. 0laf Silver badge

    Shiny thing make it all better - unless it's Dave Cameron's face.

    But he's not the only one, I was a Information Security conference where a Scottish politician said within her keynote "Security, well it just gets in the way doesn't it?".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think a shiner or two would improve his face.

  21. moiety

    A thought occurs - the UK has been taking Big Media's cash for a while now, and among the stupid laws there ought to be something we can use. Do you reckon we could jointly (all 60m of us) sue the gov. for unauthorised use of our intellectual property?

    1. moiety

      ....then if we use 'RIAA maths' we could buy the entire universe for cash the day after the settlement and still have enough left for a kebab on the way home.

  22. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The Project for a New Oceanian Century

    Does anyone have the totally unwarrented feeling that he had a big folder in his desk and was just waiting and hoping for someone's cat to fall downstairs?

    Totally unwarranted, I am sure.

    1. regadpellagru

      Re: The Project for a New Oceanian Century

      "Does anyone have the totally unwarrented feeling that he had a big folder in his desk and was just waiting and hoping for someone's cat to fall downstairs?

      Totally unwarranted, I am sure."

      Yep, obviously, he just needed the opportunity, which is appaling at best from a gov. leader. I'm happy someone else's prime minister is a bigger clown than mine ...

  23. sysconfig

    Obama will certainly give Cameron all his support as far as implementing such nonsensical laws *in the UK* are concerned. Why? Makes it easier for him to snoop in areas where the UK don't grant the US of A pretty much unhindered access already. The UK could render itself into a gigantic wiretap for all things concerning the EU. Everybody, except from the US of A, loses.

    You really have to wonder where Cameron got this idea from that encryption is a bad thing worth banning. You'd think that a Prime Minister would have several industry experts as advisers, or spend some tax funds on getting expert advice to validate ideas before blurting them out to world & dog and making himself look like a Norbert.

    Either he thinks he knows better, or he didn't understand what the advisers were saying, or he is so desperate and grasping for straws because his campaign advisers see a very gloomy future for his political career in general and the next general election in particular.

    Either way, it contributes sod all to national security. $TERRORIST doesn't exactly abide by the law and is unlikely to communicate online in the UK while plotting. It's wrong (and dangerous!) to assume that $TERRORIST is stupid. Otherwise you'd have to assume that all politicians, police, three-or-four-letter agencies are even more stupid, since they haven't been able to prevent any terrorist attacks, even with extended snooping powers introduced since 9/11.

    $TERRORIST wins. They managed to send politicians in the western world into a frenzy which led to a huge impact on privacy over the last decade. (Although the number of terrorism victims is likely much lower than the number of fatal car accidents, road safety has not received much attention. If you want to win votes, fix the bloody potholes in the country already!)

    Any online comms outside of the UK would still be able to use encryption legally, anyway. There's absolutely no single reason why outlawing encryption would be a good idea. (But maybe the US of A have initially planted that idea within Tory ranks... because they win.)

    1. Bob Wheeler
      Big Brother

      Slippery slope - the point of no return? @sysconfig

      "Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn't possible to read? No. We must not," he said.

      @sysconfig. totaly agree with your main point.

      The question is, what is he's end goal here? It certainly is not a practicle responce to what ever the perceived problem is.

      It seems to me that he's been reading that govenment approved maunal "1984" again.

      If he get's his wish, that is exactly what we, the people will get: Big Brother.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slippery slope - the point of no return? @sysconfig

        I don't know who advises Davros Cameraclown, but the guy who advised the last ill informed 'cyberwanker' (thanks to commentard who posted this earlier) was your typical PhD 'I have letters and therefore know everything' kind of blind bullshitter.

        We'rrrrrrre Dooooomed.

  24. Crisp Silver badge

    I can't wait until Cameron bans Cryptography

    And when he does, I'll be sat outside Number 10 borrowing his WiFi.

    1. moiety

      Re: I can't wait until Cameron bans Cryptography

      Make sure you surf for some face-sitting porn while you're using his IP address. Also some weapons specs and military training methods.

  25. theloon
    Coat

    Another in the endless series of brilliantly unworkable policies

    Another show and tell of the level of clue Cameron and friends have. The topic is irrelevant, their level of real world clue is always low. Economic, transportation, security....an endless list.

  26. Chozo

    Wait for it...

    any civilian found using 512 bit or above encryption keys will be considered a terrorist

  27. Gerrit Hoekstra
    FAIL

    UNIMPLEMENTABLE!

    Another unimplementable idea from politicians with zero insight into basic information theory and technology, nor an appreciation of burdening tax payers:

    How to you determine that something is encrypted?

    How do you monitor all traffic?

    Who pays for this crap idea? Well, we know the answer to that one.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: UNIMPLEMENTABLE!

      I think the concept of running services on non-assigned ports hasn't occurred to him - unless they plan to DPI the entire national infrastructure and search through the identifying crypto headers.

  28. Chris G Silver badge

    Dim Dave

    Does this moron think he is still in his school debating society?

    One would hope that even a low level politician would try to think things through even a little bit before spouting off in public, let alone traipsing off to bother the head of another country with it.

    Dave is the leader of the country for christ's sake, hasn't he got sufficient cojones to do the job himself in his own country.

    Obama has publicly stated that he would address privacy concerns and although he has done nothing meaningful in that respect, he is hardly likely to publicly support the head of a foreign state in bringing in totatlitarian surveillance measures.

    It all smacks of ' My gang isn't very big, can your gang help us?

    I aways despised Tony B liar and thought he was the worst PM the UK had ever had! And then Dim Dave!

    All I can say is it's a shame some of the other sperm couldn't swim faster.

  29. Bob Wheeler
    Joke

    MP's IT Training?

    http://www.gocomics.com/shoe/2002/05/12

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: MP's IT Training?

      I hope this link works when I post it. Dilbert says it best.

      https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=dilbert+etch-a-sketch&biw=1366&bih=663&tbm=isch&imgil=Ad1lSsP5eJze8M%253A%253BwPR6pS6h-05uvM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fpics.livejournal.com%25252Fallah_sulu%25252Fpic%25252F0002f3h8%25252Fg13&source=iu&pf=m&fir=Ad1lSsP5eJze8M%253A%252CwPR6pS6h-05uvM%252C_&usg=__iS8QCGdvIja9lfFm130ztK0LTEM%3D&ved=0CDcQyjc&ei=QOC3VP7FJYKvUYWJg6AN#imgdii=_&imgrc=Ad1lSsP5eJze8M%253A%3BwPR6pS6h-05uvM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fic.pics.livejournal.com%252Fallah_sulu%252F659446%252F12800%252F12800_600.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fpics.livejournal.com%252Fallah_sulu%252Fpic%252F0002f3h8%252Fg13%3B596%3B199

      1. xslogic

        Re: MP's IT Training? @Bloodbeastterror

        A slightly better link: (And a little shorter)

        http://dilbert.com/strip/1995-04-03

  30. Bladeforce

    Hmm Cameron...

    ..you could always use whatsapp to talk to him after all you are worried people will hear what you say to each other. Oh thats right we don't get that luxury

  31. sisk Silver badge

    Constitutional Consideration

    Under the US Constitution personal freedom trumps national security. Or rather it's supposed to. It's been all bass ackwards in that regard for the last 13 years or so. Even so I don't see any case for banning crypto based on *insert alphabet soup agency here*'s ability to snoop impressing the SCOTUS, nor do I see any such law having a prayer of avoiding getting the scrutiny of the SCOTUS justices.

    Then again the current batch of SCOTUS justices have made some really quite brain-dead rulings in direct contradiction of what the Constitution says in the past so who knows.

  32. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Big Brother

    I sincerely hope that Obama tells Mr. Cameron to bark up a different tree...

    Then again, privacy and civil liberties advocates don't get a daily presidential intelligence briefing to constantly tell Obama "Gee, Mr. President, there is so much more we could tell you if you would just sign on to pressuring Apple and Google to compromise their encryption efforts."

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dave wants to ban Home Office websites

    Cyberstreetwise encourages widespread use of encryption, after all.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even worse than Tony

    At least Tony Blair had a rare attack of humility and admitted that he is completely clueless about technology!

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Even worse than Tony

      Hmm... Interesting eye-catching headline.

      I'll bet Tony's a bit of a whizz-kid with his banking software, though. Gotta keep track of those blood millions.

  35. rikerisle

    Hey US, law of the land is??

    The fucking constitution! What the hell happened to the fourth amendment? Unreasonable search and seizure? Because I don't want my car searched I'm a drug runner. Because i don't want my house searched I'm running a brothel. because I don't want my communications eavesdropped upon I'm a terrorist? Enough of this crap.

  36. xslogic

    AVS key?

    What, like this one?: http://www.revk.uk/2013/12/abs-lock-vs-3d-printer.html

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Abuse of power by the state?

    The real problem here is that the State *believes* that it has the absolute right to surveil us ... absolutely.

    This is a REALLY BIG deal. Way back 30, 40, 50 years ago, before the Internet, the Home Secretary of the time had to sign a warrant to tap phone lines or intercept your mail. Somewhere during the intervening years the State has decided that mass surveillance is the norm, i.e. that is its somehow acceptable to hover up the whole of the internet, filter it, index it, data mine it etc. "just in case" they find something to do with terrorism, crime or something "in the national interest".

    When did this come about and on who's authority? I argue that it is on no one's authority - our basic right to privacy has been "stolen" from us and we have been sleep walking in to a surveillance society ever since ...

    Subsequent rules and limitations that government attempts to put in place to allegedly control or limit powers and mollify the masses (some of the provisions in RIPA etc.) could be considered as suggesting that government understands that it doesn't have limitless powers after all or even any power to act in this manner in the first place!

    Government continues to skate around the issue with sound bites ... "think of the children", "if you have nothing to hide" .. etc. while trying to tack more and more bits of surveillance legislation on to other law making in the hope that they can continue to get away with something which is fundamentally an intrusion on our privacy and unconstitutional.

    Government then gets upset when they are "found out" (Snowden, et al) and the people come to understand the size of the state surveillance being used against them. As a result some people take up increased use of encryption to protect themselves from the government and the state.

    What the government wants is to continue increasing state sponsored surveillance bit-by-bit hoping that it can get its patchwork of legislation through unnoticed, by stealth or by misrepresentation.

    This country needs a full, frank and proper debate on surveillance by the state versus privacy of the individual to sort out the balance of power along with what the state can (or cannot) do and what the people can (or cannot) do and it needs doing by Royal Commission or a Bill of Rights. After this we can - perhaps - make some sensible, proportionate and fitting legislation ...

    I challenge Mr. Cameron to make primary legislation to give the state the power of mass surveillance that it is (already) using and to ban all forms of encryption that it cannot decode ... are you listening Mr. Cameron?

    G.

  38. OmgTheyLetMePostInTheUK

    No longer a colony... Thank God!!

    If being able to read or listen in on any and all communications is what the UK Government believes is good for the people, I am thrilled that we are no longer a colony!!

    1. jake Silver badge

      @OmgTheyLetMePostInTheUK (was:Re: No longer a colony... Thank God!!)

      Read up on "five eyes", OmgTheyLetMePostInTheUK.

      ::shrugs::

  39. Phydeaux4
    Mushroom

    Somebody call the NRA!

    Sorry, you Tory Pommie baahstid, but this infringes on my SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!

    Due to a curious WWI-era quirk, encryption is classified as a 'munition' in the US. 'Munition' means 'arms' as far as I'm concerned. And, as we all know, "The rights of the people to keep & bear arms shall NOT be infringed".

    You can have my PGP when you can pry it off my cold, dead, disk drives!!!

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