Encryption Will Be an Issue in 2023

January 18, 2023

The United Kingdom is making plans to weaken encryption within its boundaries. The UK’s government claims it will become the safest place in the world to be online, but others are fearful free speech and privacy will be the ultimate victims. The Next Web explores the situation in: “Privacy Advocates Are. Aghast At UK’s Anti-Encryption Plans.” The UK’s plans are part of the Online Safety Bill currently in parliament.

Privacy advocates are most worried about end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) messenger apps, because the new measures would force Internet providers to scam private messages for illegal content. Another clause would require Internet providers to use “accredited technology” to prevent people from terrorist or child pornography.

The bill would make everything viewable and exploitable by anyone with technical knowledge, including government surveillance and bad actors. Some UK lawmakers are worried about the bill’s implications:

“The proposals have also raised the eyebrows of legal experts. In November, barrister Matthew Ryder of Matrix Chambers, who was commissioned by the Index on Censorship campaign group to analyze the bill, asserted that the proposals could breach human rights laws.

‘No communications in the UK — whether between MPs, between whistleblowers and journalists, or between a victim and a victims support charity — would be secure or private,” said Ryder. “In an era where Russia and China continue to work to undermine UK cybersecurity, we believe this could pose a critical threat to UK national security.’”

The lawmakers pointed out that it could encourage authoritarian governments to implement their own policies against E2EE.

The UK government wants to force big tech companies to create backdoors to their products and services. The US has been after big tech companies to do the same for years, especially when there is a terrorist attack or mass shooting. Governments want more information access, but big tech wants to protect their technology. No one is concerned about privacy rights.

Whitney Grace, January 18, 2023


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