Re: Here we go again. The 'Claire Perry Test'
>Perry test : failed. Yet again, minister, this time one holding one of the great offices of state, hopelessly out of their depth when talking about something even slightly technological.
I think you've missed the point. Government is mostly about keeping the media managers happy while building up business contacts and accumulating favours owed to you by those with the real money. That's why you get the same messages coming out of governments of all stripes. They no longer believe in different things, they just try to keep a couple of USP's so that people will vote for them.
I doubt she's stupid, she just has the impossible job of saying two contradictory things so that she can sound as if the government is doing something. Techies know that "no place for a "terrorist to hide" is exactly the same as "no place for anything to be private" but surely we also know that the the government is never going to come out and say that. Even if the sensible newspapers agreed with us about the defeat of encryption there would be howls of outrage, calls to ditch the "powerless, lame-duck government" and to "do something!" from those who never have to justify their words or work through the issues. It would be lapped up by those (probably the majority) of people who read newspapers not to be informed, but to confirm their own pre-existing viewpoint.
Therefore, the requirement is for completely safe righteous indignation. So WhatsApp is picked because (a) its trivial, (b) there is no chance of actually having to achieve anything with it and (c) it isn't anti-Islamic to attack WhatsApp, so you don't get labelled "racist" by the soundbite media.
Should we dig a little deeper? Was Khalid Masood a "terrorist"? Did he make any demands? Was he using fear to advance a political agenda? The government's own definition states:
"the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political,
religious or ideological cause." (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/228856/7052.pdf)
He was certainly murderous, but was he doing any of the above? The police have already said that he was working alone, so unless he has a one-man religion or political or ideological group, he wasn't a terrorist and his communication is irrelevant. So we get canned statements which sound vaguely relevant but don't require any action. "All sound and fury, signifying nothing."
That doesn't mean the government action is harmless, but we do need to not be under the illusion that it has anything to do with Khalid Masood.