David Cameron Still Wants to Ban Encryption

July 05, 2015 — Crypto For Liberty Team

On Monday (29th June 2015) David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, reaffirmed his position that he wishes to impose a ban on "Strong Encryption" — encryption that cannot be broken by the authorities, such as end-to-end encryption. The position of David Cameron, and the intention that backs it, is diametrically opposed to the right to bear encryption tools that out manifesto supports.

Of course, the proposals by Parliament come attached to the notions of preventing terrorism. However, it has yet to be shown that the authorities of any recent terror attacks around the world were actually stifled by the perpetrators using strong encryption tools to communicate and plan their attacks. Furthermore, quite to the contrary, a number of terrorism incidents of late; the Charlie Hebdo shooting and the Murder of Lee Rigby, for example; were known to authorities prior to their crimes. Strong cryptography is not the problem.

Lumped in amongst the few violent criminals who hide behind encryption and anonymity tools, there exist Journalists, Journalists' sources, Activists as well as Normal people who just want to protect their communications from people they don't want knowing their business. Be that their own governments, the owners of the services they are using, malicious hackers, identity thieves, advertising agencies and data aggregaters. And this is by far not an exhaustive list of non-criminal users and uses.

It must be noted that Western democracies that push anti-encryption proposals do so because "they want to protect us from terrorists," yet they do so taking away from the population the tools they need to protect themselves. Crypto For Liberty believes that if the fear for terrosism causes our Governments to turn into totalitarian overprotective entities, the terrorists will have already won.