I don’t plan on posting many of my political views on this blog but I feel this one is important enough that I can’t just sit by any be silent.
After the recent terror attacks on London, Teresa May is once again attempting to push her own political agenda that the government needs more power to police the internet in order to prevent these sorts of things happening.
Oh boy, where do I start on this one?
Teresa May wants governmental agencies to have access to everything so that there are “no hiding places for terrorists to hide”. This sounds like a good idea in principal but there are some deeper issues that make it not only irresponsible but impossible. The terrorists were already known to the police at the time of the attacks so the intelligence services would already have had access to as much information about them as was needed to complete their jobs. Let’s ignore this fact for now.
I’m sure everyone is aware of the recent our break of malware that severely impacted the NHS infrastructure in England and other institutions around the world. The underlying technology used by the malware to infiltrate systems was originally developed by the NSA and kept hidden from the world until it was released by a hacking group called The Shadow Brokers. The NSA had kept this exploit hidden so that they could leverage it for their own operations. In effect there was a backdoor written into Windows (albeit an unintended one) that could be leveraged by anyone that knew how.
Imagine if the government started to intentionally add back doors to existing technology and infrastructure to enable them to spy on whatever data may be contained. The government could access all the data at their own discretion but so could anyone else found the backdoor. A door can be opened with anyone by the key and we all know that keys can be lost, stolen or misuses.
Encryption technology is the backbone of the internet – it ensures that everything from PayPal payments website logins are secure and safe – I’m sure you will have seen the padlock in your browsers address bar.
Encryption is, for the most part, a clever application of mathematics designed to perform operations that are quick to calculate when certain parameters are known but exceedingly difficult to forcibly break if one or more are not. It’s probably impossible for most of the current technology in use have back doors added. This much is evident to anyone with some basic understanding of how the technology works. Would this mean that these technologies would no longer be usable if Teresa had her way? Would it mean that we would need to use government approved insecure variants?
This nonsense has to stop. The government needs to stop using tragedy as a hammer to try and push forward it’s own moronic agendas.
The technology should be left to the experts – the government doesn’t fall into this category.