back to article New UK Home Sec invokes infosec nerd rage by calling for an end to end-to-end encryption

Priti Patel has declared war on encryption safeguards, demanding they be torn up for the convenience of police workers. Patel, the social conservative appointed Home Secretary by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week, used this morning's Daily Telegraph to call for end-to-end encryption to be broken with backdoors …

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  1. Ordinary Donkey

    It's only a change of organ grinder. The tune is always the same.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      If you made Nelson Mandela home secretary he would be demanding apartheid within a week.

    2. AMBxx Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      She's only been there for 10 minutes. There's a civil servant somewhere who hands the same file to every new home secretary.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Although Pritti Vacant was calling for hunting immigrants with hounds before she joined the home office

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          She is now calling for it to be a mandated, government-funded hunting.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "[...] Pritti Vacant was calling for hunting immigrants with hounds before she joined the home office"

          IIRC - in her campaigning for Leave she said she wanted to replace immigrants from the EU with more from the Indian subcontinent. The latter being "more entitled".

          Popcorn time when that finally sinks in for Brexiters who blamed the EU for immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.

          1. MonkeyCee

            Brexit

            "Popcorn time when that finally sinks in for Brexiters who blamed the EU for immigrants from the Indian subcontinent."

            I've heard from a number of British people of south east asian descent that they very much voted for brexit because of the EU making immigration from India and Pakistan harder. I recall it being a story before the referendum.

            It's not news that leave voters have contradictory views. So do remain voters. It was a yes no on a complex issue, expecting any consistency within either camp is bonkers. I voted remain, I think the EU has many many problems, but I think they can be fixed, but from within. I think being in the largest trade bloc in the world is a good thing for the UK's soft power and economic gain.

            But if we barely teach english in the schools, let alone french, german or spanish, and make university the be all of qualifications, of course there are going to be pissed off that they can't get a job because some continental prick who paid less than 6k for a degree can work for less than they can after picking up 35k of student loans. Or never made it through university, because god forbid we have trade schools and polytechs.

            The UK will always need immigration, or massive wage reform. Minimum wage of 25-30 per hour might do it, free tertiary education, high consumption taxes and UBI or integration of industry and education aiming for 100% employment. Those are all pretty drastic, and would wreck the fortunes of a few too many party donors for that to happen. So got to get that cheap labour in.

            1. streaky

              Re: Brexit

              Our EU membership causes a situation where we need to have an immigration system that is unfair and racist - leaving the EU is an opportunity to put together an immigration system that is fair and not racist. That's not contradictory and it is a fact.

              As for fixing the EU's problems from within they've had 40 years and laughed in the face of everybody who has tried - including Emmanuel Macron, the saviour of the EU. They won't change in another 400 years unless somebody leaves it who is bankrolling it and even then it's a crap-shoot. Delusional is the most polite word I can use to describe ideas like that.

              1. hammarbtyp

                Re: Brexit

                Our EU membership causes a situation where we need to have an immigration system that is unfair and racist - leaving the EU is an opportunity to put together an immigration system that is fair and not racist. That's not contradictory and it is a fact.

                EU membership gives you freedom of movement not immigration. The important part of the equation which is often missed off by brexiters is that the right is reciprocal. I have the right to live, work, and study in any of the EU countries, an opportunity that I and many others have taken up. While many little englanders cannot get it around their head why anyone would want to leave this sceptetred isle (until retirement, when for some reason they all bugger off to Spain), in many large projects the ability to utilize the intellectual capital of the entire EU is invaluable. You will not find any immigration agreement that will come close to that level of benefit

                As for fixing the EU's problems from within they've had 40 years and laughed in the face of everybody who has tried - including Emmanuel Macron, the saviour of the EU. They won't change in another 400 years unless somebody leaves it who is bankrolling it and even then it's a crap-shoot. Delusional is the most polite word I can use to describe ideas like that.

                Maybe we should solve our own problems before we get on our high horse and claim we are better than others. I often talk to my German colleagues and they do not have the issues with the EU as again they have not had the years of dis-information campaign that we have been exposed to here, led initially by our Joker in chief, Boris himself

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Brexit

                It's not racist to remove immigration controls for your near neighbours. Ireland and the common travel area is an obvious example.

                No one tries to stop people in the US moving between New York and California. I can't believe that people here think that we are better off having such controls in Europe. Isn't it a great thing that Europe is our home and we don't need permission to move around it? Do you prefer to be stuck on this island?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Brexit

                  "No one tries to stop people in the US moving between New York and California."

                  Thats because one is stupidity hell on the east coast and the other is stupidity hell on the west coast. As long as they don't stop in the middle, the rest of us don't care.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Civil servants have completed the brainwashing course in record time, probably because there isn't much brain to wash.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          No no. They won't wash her brain. It will to too costly to find it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Priti Patels Brain

            I am wondering whether that is just plain sexist, racist, or simply too moronic for words...

            One notes the up ticks it receives from the allegedly intelligent people who lurk here.

            Perhaps they are all certified [Microsoft tekkies].

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: Priti Patels Brain

              Oh shut up, even women and non-whites can be morons.

              There was a (black) guy on LBC recently complaining about how the "diverse" cabinet isn't a good thing.

              He said "what does it matter if you're beaten up by someone of your ethnicity or someone white. You're still beaten up."

              His point was that as soon as these deplorables support racist policies, people will say "well, they can't be racist, they are minorities themselves".

              Similarly, anyone who criticises them will automatically be called racist.

              Congratulations for falling into that last category.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Priti Patels Brain

                There's a nice bit in Ruthann Robson's Cecile where the narrator - a lesbian raising a son with her eponymous partner, back when that was rather less common in the US - somewhat acidly points out that being a woman doesn't automatically make someone her ally. It's a lesson that some people seem to have trouble grasping.

                I dare say any reasonably-experienced adult (and most children) will have encountered fools and villains from their own demographics, however partitioned. No group is free of them. The struggle for equality is not assisted by pretending otherwise. Indeed, as you suggested, it's rather the opposite. Women and people of color have just as much a right to be idiots, and to be called out for their idiocy, as white men do.

            2. GruntyMcPugh

              Re: Priti Patels Brain

              @AC 'Pretty Vacant' is sexist or racist is it?

              I thought her full name was 'Disgraced Priti Patel' as that was in the headlines some years back. You are aware who she is, right? Supporter of the death penalty, and the one who lied about her wherabouts to her seniors, whilst having secret meetings with the Israeli Government? She's pro-Zionist, and and voted against same sex marriage. Now she's on the wrong side of the fence wrt encyrption.

            3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

              Re: Priti Patels Brain

              It's not sexist, racist, or moronic, to point out that someone is an idiot. If they rise to a position of authority and demonstrate that idiocy publicly, then it's pretty much fair game to take the piss out of them for it too.

              Just to be perfectly clear: she's a fucking idiot, and it has nothing to do with her race or gender, and furthermore, pointing out that she is an idiot has nothing to suggest about the poster's level of intelligence. Bitching about it suggests something about yours though.

            4. hammarbtyp

              Re: Priti Patels Brain

              Personally I am a equal opportunity insulter.

        2. CrazyOldCatMan

          there isn't much brain to wash

          To use the old phrase:

          "The concept blew her mind. It was a very, very small explosion".

      3. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

        There's a civil servant somewhere

        What do you mean, "somewhere"? We know exactly who he is, don't we? His name is Bernard Woolley, he normally gets policy proposals and draft laws from Sir Humphrey Appleby over port in the club and puts them in the Minister's dispatch box the same evening...

        That's the technique. As for the subject matter, in the words of SIr Humphrey himself, "It's always a victory of the heartless over the mindless." And he himself was never afraid of snooping as civil servants have developed extra layers of protection: "He who would keep a secret must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep."

        Damn, that documentary was utterly - and timelessly - brilliant...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          I propose a new British tradition where whoever is in the two roles are always named Bernard Woolley and Humphrey Appleby whatever their real names, rather like "M" or "Q"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            MQ, isn't that an IBM communication technology?

            1. Efer Brick

              just don't Rabbit on about it

      4. Claverhouse Silver badge

        “Private Secretary: Thank you. A kind thought, but sadly erroneous."

        Ernie Bevin. Foreign Secretary. 1945.

    3. Jason Bloomberg
      Big Brother

      I am convinced it's something they put in the tea.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      It's only a change of organ grindermonkey. The tune organ grinder is always the same.

      Home Secs are quickly brainwashed by the Home Office into doing what they're told.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Avé! Duci Novo, Similis Duci Seneci!

      2. Dr Dan Holdsworth
        Thumb Down

        The Home Office has the reputation of being something analogous to the tar-pit of the Civil Service, where the terminally thick are sent to languish until retirement if they cannot be sacked. Thus we have this repeated series of attempts to make the laws of humans triumph over the laws of physics and mathematics.

        Once more the same points will have to be made: strong encryption methods exist already in the wild and people know what they are and how to use time. Unbreakable encryption such as one-time pads also exist, and people know that these are unbreakable if used correctly (and thanks to innumerable Cold War spy dramas, everybody knows how to use one-time pads; the clue is in the name).

        So, if you try to insert holes into encryption products, people will simply layer more encryption over the top of the leaky product and defeat you.

    5. Sanctimonious Prick
      Happy

      Monkey Organs

      hehe... there was a question on The Chase Australia last night about this.

      The contestant thought it was quite "morbid." He thought 'organ' referred to parts inside the body :D

    6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      "It's only a change of organ grinder."

      What makes you think she's the "organ grinder"

      AFAIK the cabal behind this (as they have been for at least the last 10 Home Secs) has not changed.

      Same people.

      Same vision.

      Same lies.

      1. Ken Shabby
        Trollface

        Re: "It's only a change of organ grinder."

        Same flies.

    7. David Shaw

      Cheltenham, carry on doing what you are good at - but read some sense from time to time too

      According to the Daily Telegraph "5VEY met in London on Tuesday to discuss plans to give law enforcement agencies (= spooks, who rarely share anything with the police, really hardly anything) to give "lawful access" (=more overcollection) to encrypted emails, text messages and voice communications" ....there will be a joint communique

      5VEY claim it is because Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple, Slurp/Google are increasingly using encryption on their platforms...

      ...did anyone not notice that the widespread increase in platform encryption came AFTER the Snowden revelation of widespread overcollection by 5VEY (and their multitude of tier partner agencies)...it is an effect

      so, for some rational discussion, we head off to https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2019/07/aclu_on_the_gch.html

      I suspect a bit of typing by the 6th Division, 77th Brigade of Disinformation on all of these online platforms, so let's get to US academia, Jon Callas at Vanguard, part One of a Four part takedown of this particular GCHQ proposal. Cheltenham, carry on doing what you are good at - but read some sense from time to time too - ta muchly

      https://www.davisvanguard.org/2019/07/the-ghost-user-ploy-to-break-encryption-wont-work/

      David

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Cheltenham, carry on doing what you are good at - but read some sense from time to time too

        No, but the Facebook-proposed end-run by capturing every message after having been decrypted for viewing will work...and if they've learned something from microsoft, they'll have hard-coded the ip address for itsourdatanow.nsa.gov into the application.

  2. Shardik
    FAIL

    Jba'g Fbzrobql Guvax Bs Gur Puvyqera!

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge
    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Pnershy abj, lbh pna trg neerfgrq sbe gung!

    3. Long John Brass
      Paris Hilton

      Summoning Cthulu won't help you know.

      He's already employed by MI5

      /Paris Icon Cuz, she is the only eldritch horror icon we have!

      1. Tigra 07
        Paris Hilton

        RE: Long John Brass

        Paris has her own tentacles...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Hes already employed by MI5"

        No. Old Bat Wings is believed to be subservient to the Black Chamber, by the Black Chamber. In reality, it's the other way around, and has been for decades. The enthronement of the King in Orange in the White House is only the latest move in an aeons-long game.

        As for the UK, you don't have to worry about Farage replacing Johnson any time soon. Nyarlathotep has plans for them both, and they involve a tzompantli.

        (Yes, I've been reading Charlie Stross' Laundry novels. Why do you ask?)

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: "Hes already employed by MI5"

          How depressing is it that the successful arrival of a demon seems soooo much better than what we currently have?

        2. hplasm
          Thumb Up

          Re: "Hes already employed by MI5"

          "the King in Orange in the White House"

          +10 internets for you Sir/Madam/Other!!

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Summoning Cthulhu always helps.

        Ok, admittedly, it might not help humans, but if you willingly surrender your sanity as food for the Great Old Ones, I'm sure you'll come to see the benefits of an eternal servitude...

  3. Sykowasp

    You can't have a fascist police state with the plebs having encrypted communications.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      >You can't have a fascist police state with the plebs having encrypted communications.

      You also can't have one if your state encrypted communication has fatal flaws....

      1. Kabukiwookie

        Gun trumps paper.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Didn't know he had a paper.

        2. Spanners Silver badge
          Big Brother

          @Kabukiwookie

          Are you implying that he is literate?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sadly many within XR WANT a police state dictatorship to "drive through climate saving changes in the face of public intransigence"

      Thats REALLY scary......

  4. Fonant
    Big Brother

    Jub arrqf frpher pbzzhavpngvbaf naljnl. Ncneg sebz sbe onaxvat. Be ohfvarff. Be cevingr pbairefngvbaf.

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