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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"Noting to fear, nothing to hide right?"

Actually, I think that the generally recognised phrase is "nothing to hide, nothing to fear". Puts a different emphasis on things, doesn't it.

"I fear criminals, so I hide my bank details.

I fear burglars so I hide my travel plans.

I fear pedophiles so encrypt family photos.

I fear political corruption so I hide my voting intentions

I fear embarrassment and ridicule so I hide private conversations with my wife."

Alright, but personally speaking I'd like all the terrorists, criminals, burglars, paedophiles, politically corrupt and nosy parkers rounded up and slung into jail for a long time before their repugnant activities impinge on my own life. I'd fear them all a whole lot less knowing that they're all getting a right rigorous buggering every day behind bars courtesy of the nastiest slags going. Ok, so maybe that's a bit excessive in the case of the nosy parkers.

Your use of encryption does nothing to stop a criminal robbing your bank or stealing your credit cards, or stop a burglar breaking into your house and beating you up because you happen to be there, or stop a paedophile preying on your children when they walk to school, or stop politicians being corrupt, or stop a terrorist blowing you up on an underground train. Their use of encryption makes it easier for them to get away with it. What does stop those things happening is law enforcement.

So will this approach by the UK government help law enforcement? Who knows. Probably not much, and probably not enough.

A population and its government must use every means possible to keep pushing back against those who would exploit, kill and abuse them. What is guaranteed is that if we stop doing that, or we completely prevent our law enforcement agencies doing it for us, then the criminals, burglars, terrorists, paedophiles and corrupt will pay heed. They will be rubbing their hands with glee. And they will, quicker than you can blink, be giving you real reason to be afraid.

So give the politicians a break. You're worrying about comparatively minor intrusions into your use of technology. They're worrying about preventing people like you being killed, maimed, abused or exploited by some properly nasty baddies who really couldn't give a flying fuck for your privacy. And it's clearly getting harder for governments to do that job. No thanks to those companies that make heaps of money providing internet services and pushing profitable adverts to baddies and goodies alike. It'd be nice if they lent us all a hand.

There is of course far more to law enforcement than trawling through internet traffic (though the prior warning potentially gained could presumably be life saving). But do you honestly think that a democratically elected politician with less than four months before an election would risk vote-losing adverse publicity unless they thought that the alternative was worse? Now that might be something to really worry about.

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