Opinion: A Dangerous Proposition

And for once, not my opinion, but Cory Doctorow over on Boing Boing, which I simply had to highlight: 'What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry.'

An essential item, from the very opening 'David Cameron says there should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read."'

I give you Doctorow's logical summary of the PM's programme.

 This, then, is what David Cameron is proposing:

  • All Britons' communications must be easy for criminals, voyeurs and foreign spies to intercept
  • Any firms within reach of the UK government must be banned from producing secure software
  • All major code repositories, such as Github and Sourceforge, must be blocked
  • Search engines must not answer queries about web-pages that carry secure software
  • Virtually all academic security work in the UK must cease -- security research must only take place in proprietary research environments where there is no onus to publish one's findings, such as industry R&D and the security services
  • All packets in and out of the country, and within the country, must be subject to Chinese-style deep-packet inspection and any packets that appear to originate from secure software must be dropped
  • Existing walled gardens (like Ios and games consoles) must be ordered to ban their users from installing secure software
  • Anyone visiting the country from abroad must have their smartphones held at the border until they leave
  • Proprietary operating system vendors (Microsoft and Apple) must be ordered to redesign their operating systems as walled gardens that only allow users to run software from an app store, which will not sell or give secure software to Britons
  • Free/open source operating systems -- that power the energy, banking, ecommerce, and infrastructure sectors -- must be banned outright.

Still more depressing, Cameron is my PM. Lord save us from self-righteous idiots. RC

Image Credit: Creative Commons / Mr. Physics