On Monday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to essentially ban end-to-end internet encryption and to grant British intelligence access to any part of the web they choose if his Conservative party is re-elected in May.
Cue Twitter to mock, protest, and express absolute incredulity at the clueless politician:
Politicians: The kind of people who think they can ban math.
— InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity) January 13, 2015
Can you imagine the number of times David Cameron used and relied on end-to-end encryption during the day he suggested it be outlawed?
— Jeff Waugh (@jdub) January 13, 2015
— Stuart Gibson (@stuartgibson) January 13, 2015
— Cathal Garvey (@onetruecathal) January 13, 2015
Which of the City banks has called Cameron and calmly informed him that banning encryption makes ecommerce an impossibility?
— Mark Pesce (@mpesce) January 13, 2015
— Caspar Bowden (@CasparBowden) January 13, 2015
Cameron seems to think that end-to-end encryption is a nefarious tool only used by “terrorists”, either ignorant of the fact that the post-internet world runs on encryption – every international transaction his banker friends makes relies on such protocols – or appealing to the implied ignorance of the British public. With an election looming, the latter seems most likely.