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WhatsApp, Snapchat and iMessage could be banned if Tories win the GE watch

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    (Original post by limetang)
    How do you ban encryption?
    Afaik they're not proposing to ban encryption.

    It seems like there's a hell of a lot of disinformation going around about this bill, and conspiracy theorists are having a field day telling people that the govenrment is planning to install microphones in everyones houses and ban encryption

    I wish everyone would just calm down, take a deep breath, and address the actual proposal that has been made, rather than just made up proposals
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Afaik they're not proposing to ban encryption.

    It seems like there's a hell of a lot of disinformation going around about this bill, and conspiracy theorists are having a field day telling people that the govenrment is planning to install microphones in everyones houses and ban encryption

    I wish everyone would just calm down, take a deep breath, and address the actual proposal that has been made, rather than just made up proposals
    Well true, his wish is to ban specific messaging services precisely because they use encrypted messages. So unless you are willing to ban all forms of encrypted information transfer I don't see what this actually helps, and if you are attempting to ban it all I don't really see how you can do it.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Calm down, no-one is suggesting they tap everyone's phone in the hope they might catch a criminal.

    All we are suggesting is that they should be able to tap a phone if they have reasonable suspicion of criminality and obtain a warrant (do you understand the difference between tapping everyone's phones, and tapping some phones pursuant to a warrant? Can you wrap your head around that?)

    Ergo, we are saying the same principle should apply to other technologies.

    Do you disagree with that principle?
    But that's not what Cameron is proposing here! He's saying that a back-door into any software should be created so that the government can keep tabs on us (in essence). Which is tantamount to tapping every phone, there or thereabouts.

    I can wrap my head around that just fine, and I agree with your point about the police being able to tap a criminals' phone if there is just cause, but you should hold your tongue before condescending others if you can't wrap your head around the above.

    They can already tap a phone. What he is proposing is tapping everyones' phone (with comparison to the actual situation of creating back-doors into software).
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    (Original post by Drunk Punx)
    But that's not what Cameron is proposing here! He's saying that a back-door into any software should be created so that the government can keep tabs on us (in essence)
    It's not because they would still need a warrant to access the information. The reason this is arising is because, for example, snapchat deletes its data. The government is not asking for a permanent tap, but merely that snapchat will retain its data so that if and when the government does need to look and it has a warrant, it is able to do so.

    There's a similar principle with Whatsapp and encryption. If they don't have some kind of backdoor, then it essentially puts whatsapp beyond their surveillance capabilities. It would be the equivalent of a citizen being permitted to have an untappable phone line. Again, the government is not asking for warrantless surveillance powers, they would still need a warrant as always
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    (Original post by limetang)
    Well true, his wish is to ban specific messaging services precisely because they use encrypted messages.
    Could you link to where the Prime Minister said he wanted to ban these services?

    What was actually proposed was that they would have a backdoor to allow the police and security services to access data if and when they have a warrant.

    Some journalists became hysterical and started hyperventilating, and said that if these services refused they would be banned. But I can't see why they would refuse, and I'm unaware of any proposed bans as of yet (maybe you can point me to the quote where the PM said he woudl ban them?)
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Could you link to where the Prime Minister said he wanted to ban these services?

    What was actually proposed was that they would have a backdoor to allow the police and security services to access data if and when they have a warrant.

    Some journalists became hysterical and started hyperventilating, and said that if these services refused they would be banned. But I can't see why they would refuse, and I'm unaware of any proposed bans as of yet (maybe you can point me to the quote where the PM said he woudl ban them?)
    Okay, so tell me how that is any different to removing the encryption. The proposal by your own admission gives them access to otherwise encrypted information, and my point is this: If they're going to try and force that, in order to be in any way effective at fighting terrorism they would have to via some mechanism be able to either access all encrypted information in it's decrypted form or ban it entirely. And you can't practically implement any of these practices, which brings me back to the point of: what issue does it solve?

    If the idea is to help protect against terrorism then I can't see how on earth you can hope to do that, when there is no way yet conceived that can stop two people from sending information to each other in a form which the state can't read.
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    (Original post by Drunk Punx)
    Unfortunately the "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" argument
    You were the one who raised the "They want to see what me and my missus do". Are you claiming they actually do care about you having sex with your girlfriend/wife? Do you seriously believe that's what they're after?

    That's a completely different situation. What you're implying here is that the government shouldn't be able to process evidence in criminal cases (an absurd path to take, and I'm sure you agree with that judgement of it) for fear of infringing their rights.
    \

    But you just said that privacy absolute. The government has no actual evidence of criminal wrongdoing on their part, merely some intelligence and the intuition of long-serving police investigators.

    How are you distinguishing their situation from yours?

    What I'm saying is that this action (the back-door scenario) by the government openly assumes everyone to be a criminal.
    How does it? If the government was saying it was going to gather and store everything, then you would have a point. But they're not, so you don't.

    Quite. And I agree with you. However, that's not what Cameron wants to do with this plan of his; he wants to access peoples' private information (via these apps) wherever they go, whenever he wants to
    You've been misinformed. The proposal would still require the government to obtain a warrant.

    So how is that different from any other situation we've discussed?
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    (Original post by limetang)
    Okay, so tell me how that is any different to removing the encryption. The proposal by your own admission gives them access to otherwise encrypted information, and my point is this: If they're going to try and force that, in order to be in any way effective at fighting terrorism they would have to via some mechanism be able to either access all encrypted information in it's decrypted form or ban it entirely. And you can't practically implement any of these practices, which brings me back to the point of: what issue does it solve?
    Again, the proposal has nothing to do with all forms of encryption, it is very specifically about online messaging services that for one reason (Snapchat deletes its data) or another (Whatsapp employs end to end encryption) makes it very hard for the government to obtain this data even if they do have a warrant.

    Now, do you believe that encrypted data should be inviolable even if the government has a warrant? And if you don't believe it should be inviolable if the government has a warrant, do you agree that we should assess what technical solutions might be available in particular circumstances like that of Whatsapp (for example, a standing backdoor that allows the government to access particular data when and only when it has a warrant)

    when there is no way yet conceived that can stop two people from sending information to each other in a form which the state can't read.
    I think it's important to know that the proposal has been widely misreported. Hyperventilating journalists have started screeching about the government wanting to ban all encryption, when it is not that at all, and specifically relates to particular types of online services like Snapchat and Whatsapp

    Do you think it would be worthwhile for you to go and read about the actual terms of the proposal, and then come back and we can debate it?
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Again, the proposal has nothing to do with all forms of encryption, it is very specifically about online messaging services that for one reason (Snapchat deletes its data) or another (Whatsapp employs end to end encryption) makes it very hard for the government to obtain this data even if they do have a warrant.

    Now, do you believe that encrypted data should be inviolable even if the government has a warrant? And if you don't believe it should be inviolable if the government has a warrant, do you agree that we should assess what technical solutions might be available in particular circumstances like that of Whatsapp (for example, a standing backdoor that allows the government to access particular data when and only when it has a warrant)



    I think it's important to know that the proposal has been widely misreported. Hyperventilating journalists have started screeching about the government wanting to ban all encryption, when it is not that at all, and specifically relates to particular types of online services like Snapchat and Whatsapp

    Do you think it would be worthwhile for you to go and read about the actual terms of the proposal, and then come back and we can debate it?
    I'm aware. What I'm asking is what the point of all this is. If it is to combat terrorism then how does it practically do that when the avenues for private communications to take place exist, and when these plans don't do anything to prevent that.
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    (Original post by Reluire)
    Source

    Another interesting and seemingly controversial announcement from the Conservatives. I can't think this will do much to help them with the youth vote. However, are the Tories right to say that messaging services that encrypt their data should be banned for the good of safety in society, or is this just another sign that the UK is becoming a nanny state?
    Connotations of Orwell's 1984 or what! I highly doubt that they will enforce this if re-elected, remember all of Cameron's promises about the NHS etc before he got elected in the first place haha? He lies a lot. Even if he were to enforce this rule, I'm sure extremists attempting to plan terrorist attacks (the purpose of this law I've heard from BBC News) would find other methods. It would be simply impossible for the Gov. to track every single message from every single user of technology in the UK.

    Let's hope he's not re-elected anyway, lol. Conservatives have done enough damage for the past 5ish years to our country...
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    (Original post by limetang)
    I'm aware. What I'm asking is what the point of all this is. If it is to combat terrorism then how does it practically do that when the avenues for private communications to take place exist, and when these plans don't do anything to prevent that.
    Ahh. Okay, well you'd think that terrorists, being these seditious masterminds, would only ever use the most secure forms of communication. They would never make mistakes, they would always use PGP and strong encryption, and so on.

    In fact, many terrorists are less than brilliant. In fact, a lot of them are plain stupid (though stupid people can still do incredible damage with a Kalashnikov or suicide vest). In many cases terrorists have used less secure forms of communication even though their vulnerability to the security services is in the public domain.

    For example, prior to 9/11, the hijackers and Al-Qaeda made phone calls over international landlines, even though it was totally vulnerable to NSA interception and in fact the NSA learned enormous amounts from intercepting the calls to an from a safehouse in Yemen.

    Additionally, the threat we face these days are often from young people who have been radicalised online. Young people who use apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat. And there are cases reported in the media where whatsapp has been used for communication between Islamists and for radicalisation.

    Brass tacks, Whatsapp is a major channel for communication. That means it is important the security services and police be able to access it when and if they have proper authorisation in the form of a warrant. That seems reasonable, no?
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    (Original post by limetang)
    I'm aware. What I'm asking is what the point of all this is. If it is to combat terrorism then how does it practically do that when the avenues for private communications to take place exist, and when these plans don't do anything to prevent that.
    Can I offer another example? My brother works (not in this country, in another developed country where I'm from originally) for a national law enforcement agency with counterterrorism and organised crime responsibilities.

    His agency has used tools like one which gives them access to a mobile phone, not just the texts and phone calls, but they can remotely switch on its camera or the microphone without the owner knowing. Now, some civil liberties advocates would freak out at this, saying this means they want to listen to everything everyone does.

    No, they don't. They need access to sophisticated tools which they use in very prescribed circumstances, always under the authority of a judicial warrant and only then after lawyers in his organisation have signed off on it as being consistent with all that country's human rights obligations.

    I believe these tools are necessary, not for a dragnet or a broad sweep, but they need and should have access to them, when they need them
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    I was trying to dial down the rhetoric (and remember, you started this by calling me pernicious),

    (Original post by AntisthenesDogger)
    Perhaps. Or maybe we may mediate a benificial adoption of each others haecceity via tempered debate.]
    This is like when you play scrabble and someone puts down a word with a massive score, you call BS, dictionary time......touche...but you're still thinking BS regardless. Or when I use an online thesaurus to find a clever nickname for a pokemon...
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    (Original post by joey11223)
    This is like when you play scrabble and someone puts down a word with a massive score, you call BS, dictionary time......touche...but you're still thinking BS regardless
    Antisthenes and I have engaged in a rather more gentlemanly exchange of views on PM. We still disagree, but we've sheathed our daggers
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    Ahh, I didn't realise this Cameron proposal was an election policy, I thought it was urgent security legislation that was to be laid before parliament (particularly given parliament is not that busy at the moment).

    In that case, what the hell is he doing? It shouldn't be politicised in this way
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Ahh. Okay, well you'd think that terrorists, being these seditious masterminds, would only ever use the most secure forms of communication. They would never make mistakes, they would always use PGP and strong encryption, and so on.

    In fact, many terrorists are less than brilliant. In fact, a lot of them are plain stupid (though stupid people can still do incredible damage with a Kalashnikov or suicide vest). In many cases terrorists have used less secure forms of communication even though their vulnerability to the security services is in the public domain.

    For example, prior to 9/11, the hijackers and Al-Qaeda made phone calls over international landlines, even though it was totally vulnerable to NSA interception and in fact the NSA learned enormous amounts from intercepting the calls to an from a safehouse in Yemen.

    Additionally, the threat we face these days are often from young people who have been radicalised online. Young people who use apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat. And there are cases reported in the media where whatsapp has been used for communication between Islamists and for radicalisation.

    Brass tacks, Whatsapp is a major channel for communication. That means it is important the security services and police be able to access it when and if they have proper authorisation in the form of a warrant. That seems reasonable, no?
    It's a fair point, perhaps I'm just thinking that if I were to commit a crime like this I'd try to do it in such a way that meant it would be very very difficult for any law enforcement organisation to figure out what it is I was doing.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    I wish everyone would just calm down, take a deep breath, and address the actual proposal that has been made, rather than just made up proposals
    Why exactly should we take it at face value? We're not talking about the most trustworthy of people.
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    (Original post by n00)
    Why exactly should we take it at face value? We're not talking about the most trustworthy of people.
    I agree.

    I thought the PM had proposed this as an urgent piece of legislation that was to be laid before the House of Commons. Now that I've realised it's merely an election policy that would be implemented in 2016, that suggests it's just political calculation and rhetoric

    I yield to the criticism of this legislation
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    I agree.

    I thought the PM had proposed this as an urgent piece of legislation that was to be laid before the House of Commons. Now that I've realised it's merely an election policy that would be implemented in 2016, that suggests it's just political calculation and rhetoric

    I yield to the criticism of this legislation
    It's a good concession on your part. Your argument has poignancy though I'll admit. The fault is though as has been said the politicisation of it mostly.

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    (Original post by young_guns)
    If there is encryption the government cannot crack, then there is information that can't be made available even with a court ruling.

    And again, who has proposed to ban all encryption? You're arguing against a strawman
    It can with the key.

    I thought an all out ban on whatsapp and other encrypted services is proposed?
 
 
 
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