back to article European Court of Human Rights declares backdoored encryption is illegal

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that laws requiring crippled encryption and extensive data retention violate the European Convention on Human Rights – a decision that may derail European data surveillance legislation known as Chat Control. The court issued a decision on Tuesday stating that "the contested …

  1. DS999 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Well good thing the UK had Brexit

    They will be able to continue their attempt to go down this path without those Euro do gooders raining on their parade!

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

      Just in case...

      The ECHR is a part of the Council of Europe.

      The CoE is not the EU. They are two unrelated things, and they do very different things.

      The UK withdrew from the EU, but is still within the CoE.

      So the UK is still, in theory, bound by ECHR decisions.

      Yes, there are a whole lot of supernational institutions in this continent, they each have their own partially overlapping set of adhering countries, and their nomenclature is extremely confusing.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

        The ECHR is the one that the Tories are currently declaring that they can ignore in their vain attempt to send a couple of hundred people (at most) to Rwanda.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

          I suspect that the Rwanda story is just a facade. There were Tory MPs trying to get the UK out of the ECHR before government ministers even knew where Rwanda is (or what a small boat is, for that matter).

          The European Convention on Human Rights stands between the man and woman in the street and what the Conservative Party wants to do to them. That's why they want to get rid the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act. There's that old saying that 'the way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it' that feels very apt.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tory MPs trying to get the UK out of the ECHR

            How about those Tory MPs who don't like the ECHR put a provision in place to allow people to opt out of it's protections. Then they can sign up and show us all how much better off they are without this meddling legislation.

            Yeah, funnily enough it's always someone else's human rights that should be ignored.

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

            There's that old saying that 'the way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it' that feels very apt.

            Except the problem is determining if people are actually refugees, or just economic migrants and thus illegal. Especially given most of the UK's 'refugees' are fleeing from an extremely oppressive France. If they are genuine refugees, there's no reason why they couldn't apply for asylum or refugee status in any of the EU countries they've passed through on the way to France or in France itself. Then if they are determined to be illegal, we should be able to deport them back to country of origin, or entry.

            1. Necrohamster Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              Britain doesn't like to be reminded of it, but it invaded and colonised plenty of countries over the years. Think of this as the universe's way of giving something back to you.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                Britain doesn't like to be reminded of it, but it invaded and colonised plenty of countries over the years.

                The Italians, French, Dutch, Scandanavians also did the same to us. Where's our reparations? I'm still puzzled why France can't police it's borders, or so may people are desperate enough to risk their lives escaping France for the UK.

                1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  And assorted North Africans, AKA Barbary Coast pirates.

                2. Necrohamster Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Ah, whataboutism...

                  Unfortunately for the purpose your argument, the crimes of others don't excuse your own crimes.

                  I suggest you write a strongly-worded letter to the French ambassador.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    The old French Letter trick!!

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    That cuts both ways though.

                    Just as the colonizers crimes can't be excused neither can the colonized.

                    Perhaps the only real crime in international politics is not being strong enough to protect yourself.

                    1. Necrohamster Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      "Just as the colonizers crimes can't be excused neither can the colonized."

                      Not true. Any fight to remove a coloniser is a valid one.

                      Of course a coloniser will claim otherwise, but you don't get to take over a country and act surprised when the population fights back.

                      I notice you use the American spelling of the word "colonise". Are you American, and if so, do you see the American Revolutionaries who defeated the British as criminals or heroes?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        > Any fight to remove a coloniser is a valid one.

                        Good. The Russian Federation will be reduced to the Duchy of Muscovy again and 190 ethic groups will finally be allowed to rule themselves autonomously. Let's start with Ukraine.

                        1. Necrohamster Silver badge
                          FAIL

                          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                          I wholeheartedly support the right of the good citizens of the Duchy of Muscovy to take up arms against their oppressors.

                          Wait, what's that? The Duchy of Muscovy hasn't existed since the Middle Ages, so the AC's comment is pointless apart from being a reminder that not all colonisers can be fought off successfully?

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                            The point is that colonization does not necessarily involve boats. The biggest colonizer of history by sqm is not Britain, France, Spain or Portugal. It's Russia. With relentless expansion Eastwards and Southwards and subjugation of more than 190 different ethic groups. Most of the time through brutal oppression. Know your history.

                            Incidentally, it is mainly from these vassal ethnic groups, maintained in poor economic conditions, that Russia mans its armed forces (well know groups include Buryats, Dagestanis, Kazakhs, etc).

                            1. Necrohamster Silver badge
                              FAIL

                              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                              "The point is that colonization does not necessarily involve boats. "

                              Well if that was the point you were trying to make, you failed pretty badly. Have a lie down and try again tomorrow.

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                                In contrast to Spain, Portugal, Britain and France, Russia hasn't freed all it's colonies. Yet.

                                The fall of USSR was a first step in the right direction though. Oddly, it would seem that former Warsaw Pact countries such as Poland and Romania, or other vassals states such as the Baltic nations haven't kept good relations with their former colonizers. I wonder why. Do you know why they are so ungrateful ?

                                1. Necrohamster Silver badge

                                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                                  Why do you persist with whataboutism? If you want to have a discussion with yourself on the demerits of Russian colonisation you can feel free to start a new thread.

                                  Scroll back up to my comment about Britain's colonial past and ask yourself why you're rambling about other colonial powers.

                                  1. Anonymous Coward
                                    Anonymous Coward

                                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                                    Why are you now pulling the whataboutism card? You started with a very generic statement "Not true. Any fight to remove a coloniser is a valid one." Why can't other commenters agree with your statement using specific examples? Besides, there are plenty of comments involving Russia under this article. Yourself have commented on Americans, French and Irish.

                                    > If you want to have a discussion with yourself on the demerits of Russian colonisation you can feel free to start a new thread.

                                    I apologize. I had no idea that having 285 public posts granted you the right to decide which topics were allowed or disallowed as a response to your own posts.

                                    Finally, I allowed myself to develop a point you seemed to disagree upon regarding whether colonization must be oversea of can also involve terrestrial invasions. Not sure what your point was.

                                    In any case, I hope we agree that, to the possible exception of India, British decolonization happened in a remarkably peaceful way in most cases. Which, is not the case of all colonizing powers.

                                    Take... hm... Russia for example ;-) .

                            2. john.w

                              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                              Genghis Khan was a bit of an expansionist and the Romans did a bit of conquering and what did they ever do for us.

                            3. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                              You forgot the Durka Durkastanis

                    2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      -- Perhaps the only real crime in international politics is not being strong enough to protect yourself. --

                      Whilst I agree with that sentiment I think the real crime is constantly kicking yourself in the fork (to paraphrase Nobby Knobs), however, so many seem determined to continue to do so.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  I am under the impression that part of the allure of Britain is the fact that many of these people know some English, and it's not as widely used in mainland Europe. But maybe I'm wrong.

                  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    It's common enough in other countries and you'll hear it used in kitchens and elsewhere. The big draws are the diaspora and the availability of paid (however poorly) work.

                    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      Could the lack of legislation requiring residents to carry ID have anything to do with it?

                      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        The freedom enjoyed by us Brits to walk our streets without ID is indeed a two edged sword!

                        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

                          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                          I don't object to a government ID. I do object to the requirement to carry it around at all times (as here in DE, and strictly, my passport also).

                          Now I need a new passport, I have to decide whose rules to break; DE says I have to carry it, UK says I have to post it home... the days of wandering into the consulate to get it replaced are sadly gone.

                          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                            I believe home office recommendations in cases where local laws may be different, is to claim the passport stolen, and then get a new one that way

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                              And for that you'd need a crime reference number, making a false police report is in itself a crime and if you commit a crime in a country you're not a citizen of, you're likely to get deported.

                          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                            No, you don't need to carry a passport with you at all times, but you do need ID: need to get mine renewed. Or, are you talking about your British passport? Before I had both I never carried it but did need it as ID as the residence permit doesn't count.

                      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        Germany is full of undocumented workers and, like most countries, it doesn't have the resources to run enough checks on them or their employees. But I do agree that the scale is probably greater in the UK, the home of "don't ask questions" regulation.

                        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                          Germany is full of undocumented workers and, like most countries, it doesn't have the resources to run enough checks on them or their employees. But I do agree that the scale is probably greater in the UK, the home of "don't ask questions" regulation.

                          I think this is one aspect to the problem, and also where there's an IT angle. Along with a bunch of technofetishism. Undocumented workers are more easily exploited and there have been plenty of cases of this ranging from sex trafficking to being treated as effectively slave labour by gangmasters, or in criminal enterprises like cannabis growing. Documentation offers some protections, although it won't stop criminals trying to exploit them, even if it's just via tax evasion by paying cash in hand. But if they're working legally, they're contributing and it's better for the economy than ones that aren't, can't, or are part of the black/grey econonmy. IT can help track the legal activity and P&L, but much harder to track the illegal. I think there are some ways to try to do this, ie assumptions about typical business staffing levels or profitability. So a restaurant or takeaway with a lot of covers or deliveries a week needs X staff. If they're doing it with a lot fewer registered employees than a typical business of that type, then they're either remarkably efficient.. or doing something illegal, either by employment or maybe money laundering.

                          Personally, I don't see why 'illegal immigrants' shouldn't be working, after all if they're paying their own way, there's less economic impact. Sure, it may depress wages or create more competition for jobs, but the jobs are getting done, taxes are being paid. If migrants can't earn money legally, it obviously also increases the risk that they'll try to make money illegally.

                          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                            up until ~12 years ago, any asylum seeker would expect to spend 3 months at most in processing limbo.

                            The UK has _FEWER_ asylum seekers than ever (it was 5 times higher in the 1990s) and yet the processing time has gone out to over 2 years - this is deliberate policy, not resource stress

                            Coming in by boat doesn't make one an "Illegal migrant" - especially as all other paths to claim asylum have been blocked, the portcullus dropped and drawbridge raised

                            The vast majority of actual "illegal migrants" simply fly in and legally walk through immigration queues before disappearing into the shadow economy

                    2. Citizen of Nowhere

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      As the UK was 19th out of 28 in the EU+UK for the number of asylum applications received per capita in 2022 the whole "big draw" thing is of course... a load of shite. The UK is not a particularly popular place for asylum seekers to seek asylum.

                  2. Aladdin Sane

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    English is the lingua franca of the world.

                  3. katrinab Silver badge
                    Meh

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Is their an "allure of Britain"? The number of refugees we receive is about the same as the EU average. Germany is the country they most want to go to.

                  4. Necrohamster Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Well they're damn sure not coming for the weather or the food

                    1. Citizen of Nowhere

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      Or the friendly welcome.

                4. mark l 2 Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Its a few thousand that attempt to cross the channel a year in small boats, which compared to the number of actual legal immigrants we have had since Brexit when the numbers were supposed to fall is a drop in the ocean.

                  Its just the Tories can make out that a handful of people in a boat is a massive problem that only they can deal with by ripping up every ones human rights, so we can spend millions to send refugees off to an African nation 1000s of miles away with a recent history of genocide.

                  1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    If the Tories wanted to frighten the boats away all they need to do is ship all the illegals picked up to a tin sheds on one of our remote islands, no international treaty needed.

                    No one leaving France is a refugee, they've already bypassed a dozen perfectly safe countries getting there.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      Hate to tell you this Jelliedboot but you're wrong.

                      Here's a handy little guide to the Geneva convention debunking exactly what you're claiming:

                      https://fullfact.org/immigration/refugees-first-safe-country/

                      Maybe try climbing out of the Daily Heil comments cesspit, log off Gab, Parler, give Fashbook a rest for a few days and delete Xitler's app from your phone, go outside, have a walk in the countryside and then bang a couple of bricks either side of your head to knock some sense into it?

                      1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        Hi there anonymous. I just opened your link and it doesn't disbunk "should seek refuge in the first safe country they come to." it says " Refugees can legitimately make a claim for asylum in the UK after passing through other “safe” countries."

                  2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    The stupid Rwanda plan is only there as we are prevented from removing illegal arrivals directly to their port of departure.

                    1. Necrohamster Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      The stupid Rwanda plan is only there because our halfwit politicians looked to Australia (another faraway place we used to send so-called criminals and undesirables) and noticed that the Papua New Guinea refugee offshoring thing seemed to be working out pretty well for the Aussies.

                      Not so much for the refugees though...

                      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        The difference is that the Australians were able to get away with it under international law because the refugees were intercepted BEFORE setting foot on Australian shores and _kept_ off Australian soil

                        Even so it hasn't worked out that well for Australia's international standing and there's the small issue of their 501 deportee policy exporting some of their worst criminals to places ill-equipped to deal with them (Australia has had a _serious_ narcogang problem for over 50 years and it's now the entire Pacific's problem)

                    2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      -- directly to their port of departure --

                      or anywhere else until the lawyer's fees run out.

                5. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Puzzling indeed.

                  > The Italians, French, Dutch, Scandanavians also did the same to us. Where's our reparations? I'm still puzzled why France can't police it's borders, or so may people are desperate enough to risk their lives escaping France for the UK.

                  Wow. Such a big mystery, only MENSAs can crack!

                  Spoiler alert: maybe some migrants stop in France (wink wink, mainly French speaking migrants) while others cross the channel (wink wink: English speaking ones). Not many Nigerians in France, most Algerians, Malian and Senegalese in France. After all, it's probably an advantage to speak the language of the country in which you plan to apply for a job.

                  You're welcome.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: Puzzling indeed.

                    Not many Nigerians in France, most Algerians, Malian and Senegalese in France. After all, it's probably an advantage to speak the language of the country in which you plan to apply for a job.

                    Again, you demonstrate your ignorance of history. The UK and France had long colonial interests in Africa, going as far as in 1966 and Nigeria's coup, counter coup and civil war ending up with the UK and Russia supporting Nigeria, and France & Israel supporting the 'Independent' Republic of Biafra. But you probably thought Jello Biafra was some sort of dessert. Then there's the Congo, which had a lot of French speakers, probably because very few people speak Walloon... And it's not like many French speakers can speak English anyway. Especially Parisians.

                    It still can't explain why France can't secure it's borders, or why it breaks International Maritime Law by letting unsafe and overloaded boats set sail from it's shores.. Even to the point of escorting them out to the middle of the English Channel. Somehow, I suspect the number of illegal migrants that don't make it out of French waters is very well publicised however.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Puzzling indeed.

                      > It still can't explain why France can't secure it's borders,

                      Somehow, even people who "demonstrate their ignorance of history" have vaguely heard about the Schengen Agreement which "led to the creation of Europe's Schengen Area, in which internal border checks have largely been abolished".

                      That was back in 1985, in case you're interested. By now, most people in this forum have adjusted to the reality that France does not have an immigration officer hidden between the rocks every 100m in the Southern Alps at the border between Italy and France. Just saying.

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Re: Puzzling indeed.

                        That was back in 1985, in case you're interested. By now, most people in this forum have adjusted to the reality that France does not have an immigration officer hidden between the rocks every 100m in the Southern Alps at the border between Italy and France. Just saying.

                        France does, however have immigration officers and international borders. It does also have legal obligations under conventions like UNCLOS, SOLAS, or just preventing human trafficking. France is content to allow human traffickers to operate from their shores, endangering the lives of the migrants who pay them for passage on unseaworthy and illegal boats. But whilst in France, illegal immigrants are France's problem, once they're dumped across the border, they're our problem. If they survive to make it to the border.

                        Although it’s certainly true that crossing the Channel without authorisation isn’t a legal way to enter the UK, Article 31 of the UN Refugee Convention states that refugees cannot be penalised for entering the country illegally to claim asylum if they are “coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened”

                        From your interpreter of interpretations. How is their life or freedom in France being threatened? Other than by being in France illegally..

                        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

                          Re: Puzzling indeed.

                          France has, on multiple occasions, offered to let the UK build a migrant processing centre in France. Such a facility would provide a safe and legal route for claiming asylum in the the UK and as such would destroy the business of the people traffickers overnight.

                          The UK has always declined the offer.

                          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                            Re: Puzzling indeed.

                            Such a facility would provide a safe and legal route for claiming asylum in the the UK and as such would destroy the business of the people traffickers overnight

                            Such facilities already exist. Asylum seekers can do this at embassies or consulates in many places in the EU, where they'd already be in a safe country. The legal routes already exist, the probablem is France's inability to prevent the illegal routes. But then it has no real incentive to do this because if they let illegal immigrants leave and help them into UK waters, they're now our problem. We're already giving France millions to patrol their beaches and meet their legal obligations, but they're either unwilling or incapable of protecting their own borders.

                    2. Necrohamster Silver badge

                      Re: Puzzling indeed.

                      "...It still can't explain why France can't secure it's borders"

                      France can secure its borders just fine, but the problem for the UK is that France (as a country or at a governmental level) doesn't really like you.

                      There's no incentive to help now that the UK's outside the EU. Your problems are not their problems...whether we're talking about migration, trade or whatever.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Puzzling indeed.

                        France keeps dismantling Calais refugee camps and has even made it illegal to help migrants (food distribution included) to the outrage of local NGOs. But you know, every migrant believes they will eventually make it. No matter how many hurdles they have to overcome.

                        As long as some folks think its OK to have 5 coups per year in African countries (to get "free" from the evil colonizers), there will always be a portion of educated and less educated people to look for alternatives abroad. So the same butt-hurt crackpots promoting Russia and China kicking France and Britain out of Africa in this forum will also rant all year long against uncontrolled immigration. Go figure.

                        1. Necrohamster Silver badge

                          Re: Puzzling indeed.

                          "So the same butt-hurt crackpots promoting Russia and China kicking France and Britain out of Africa in this forum will also rant all year long against uncontrolled immigration"

                          Pray tell, name some names. I'm curious to see who you're referring to AC.

                  2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                    Re: Puzzling indeed.

                    Let me check the decision tree:

                    branch 1 - stop in country where I have to learn a language in addition to my broken English

                    branch 2 - cross some often dangerous water where many have died

                    guess my choice

                6. Roj Blake Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  In 2022, France received 115,078 applications for asylum, compared to 89,146 for the UK.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. MrDamage Silver badge

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                >> Britain doesn't like to be reminded of it, but it invaded and colonised plenty of countries over the years.

                I preferto think of Britain as the greatest exporter of Independence Days.

                1. Necrohamster Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Wikipedia: List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom

                  "This list is incomplete. You can help by expanding this list." :D

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              Economic migration is legal, in case you hadn't noticed. The vast majority of immigration into this country is, in fact, legal and for economic reasons.

              But I know your posting history and can assume only you're a Mail / GB News / Express subscriber.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                Legal with a visa, illegal without.

                1. Necrohamster Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Not strictly true. Irish citizens (who are also EU citizens) don't need a visa to enter the UK, nor do they need to apply to the "EU Settlement Scheme"

              2. Necrohamster Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                "But I know your posting history and can assume only you're a Mail / GB News / Express subscriber."

                If that's directed at me, I can only say you haven't analysed my post history very well

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Nope, it was directed at Jellied Eel!

                  1. Necrohamster Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    lol fair enough. My apologies.

                    Carry on!

                2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  If that's directed at me, I can only say you haven't analysed my post history very well

                  No, it's directed at me because this particular AC isn't very anonymous and is a stalker that's followed me from another discussion forum. I've suggested a few times that they create a pseudonym to make things a little easier for others to follow along, and also reported the problem to El Reg.

                  As for migration though, if someone enters the country via unofficial channels, then they're by definition illegal and could be deported back to whence they came. Namely France. France of course wouldn't like this and prefers to pass their problems across the channel to us. We're bribing them to secure their borders, but France seems unable to do this. Even though France and the EU keep wibbling about our responsibility to police their borders between NI and Eire. Politics is weird like this.

                  But it leads to other weirdness. My partner is a foreigner and an EU national. If she wanted to live here, it's a slow, laborious and expensive process to go the legal route. Alternatively, if she got a small boat and sailed across the channel, it would probably be quicker and easier, plus if we married or just had a kid, it would strengthen her case to remain here. If I bought the boat, I'd probably end up in jail for human trafficking or something, but we amuse ourselves working out what her grounds for asylum or refugee status could be.

                  1. Woodnag

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Shirley if you got married it wouldn't "strengthen her case to remain here" but give her a right to do so, after the proof of valid relationship tests?

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      Shirley if you got married it wouldn't "strengthen her case to remain here" but give her a right to do so, after the proof of valid relationship tests?

                      You would think that. But a valid marriage certificate and/or birth certificate can short-cut a lot of that process. Plus there are other oddities, like the financial stability tests to be her sponsor. At the moment, I don't pay myself enough salary to meet that criteria because I don't need to. Going the illegal route would just need a lawyer to defend our right to family life etc. But there are other perverse conditions. So take the recent 'acid' attacker. Media took a while to identify the suspect. They'd been convicted of sex offences. Because they're a sex offender, they'd be at risk if they were deported to somewhere that takes sex offences rather more seriously than we do. So the strange situation where coming to the UK and raping someone could help you avoid being deported.

                      What a wonderful world we live in.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    We are legion

                    Come on JE... there are quite a few ACs here who've noticed your "posting history" and don't get their news feed from RT.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: We are legion

                      Come on JE... there are quite a few ACs here who've noticed your "posting history" and don't get their news feed from RT.

                      Yep, that's possible. But every one that piles on demonstrates the way AC's can be abused by trolls..

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: We are legion

                        I'm confused, do you think anonymous people who disagree with you are trolls? Because that's what I'm getting from your "can be abused by trolls" line. (I'm not any of the Anonymous people who've previously posted in this thread)

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: We are legion

                      Yup, and some of us are pretty sure Jellied Jackboot has a few sock accounts too.

                  3. Martin-73 Silver badge

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Unofficial channels are all that's available when the 'official channels' are shut down by a government that is, in itself, illegal

                  4. RegGuy1 Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    As for migration though, if someone enters the country via unofficial channels, then they're by definition illegal and could be deported back to whence they came. Namely France.

                    Hmm. Imagine I'm in France, and someone has come over on a small boat from the UK. I don't want any of that British scum here and so I choose to send them back. How does that work? How will the British react?

                    You seem to be totally incapable of viewing the world from anybody's point of view other than the UK's. That also seems to be a trait of those who voted leave. We are now a 'third country' -- I assume you are aware of that, and leavers (you may in fact be one) seem to think this is punishment.

                    Punishment makes me roar with laughter, because I thought they needed us more than we needed them. And it turns out that wasn't true. Who knew?

                  5. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Apart from I doubt any sensible EU national would be partnered with you willingly if they weren't also a raging xenophobe (which opens up a whole slew of other questions, including why such an undesirable is allowed into the UK now we 'control are boarders'), you're utterly wrong about the speed with which an asylum claim is processed and you also conveniently ignore the utterly shocking way the UK treats refugees but if you want to impress your imaginary girlfriend (I bet we wouldn't know her, she comes from a different country) book her a fortnight all inclusive on the Bibby Stockholm or a long stay in Rwanda.

                    Still I expect you voted for brexit so, you reap what you sow.

                  6. Filippo Silver badge

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    >Even though France and the EU keep wibbling about our responsibility to police their borders between NI and Eire. Politics is weird like this.

                    I don't think it's that weird. France doesn't have very much reason to deal with this problem. Nations don't really do favors to other nations, nor do they feel gratitude, or shame over hypocrisy. They just don't work that way.

                    That's why we have formal international agreements. Well, used to, anyway. You can no longer complain to the European Council, nor can you threaten to veto EU initiatives that benefit France, nor can you elect EU parliament members that could mess with France's agenda. You'll have to find some other lever.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                More Sputnik, TASS, RT, KCNA, GB 'news', OANN, Newsmax and various conspiracy theory and right wing scare mongering

            3. Charlie Clark Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              You're missing the point, which is expressed differntly elsewhere along the lines of "if you want to know how civilised somewhere is, look at how it treats the poor". The UK did not like being forced to give prisoners their right to vote back.

              Back to refugees, I have no doubt that, at some point, European legislation will be updated to allow for more stricter definitions – and the EU already has two classes of refugees based on the way it classifies Ukrainians. It's arguable that this is closer to the spirit of the law as it was drafted after WW II. However, the law is law and it's the courts job to enforce it and politicians to respect it, even if they intend to change it. But even after such a change, the handling of migrants will still require bilateral agreements to reduce trafficking and process returns. Numbers crossing from France tend to decrease when relations with France are better. I wonder why that is?

              What could be done immediately would be to improve the crackdowns on illegal employment and thus exploitation of migrants.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                There were and as far as I know still are regular raids of the type of businesses which employ undocumented immigrants.

                This whole immigrant 'crisis' is a confection of the UK government designed to distract from the very real problems successive governments have caused by underfunding, shifting the blame for the results of many of their policies onto a minority group.

                Ironically the kind of border controls and anti immigrant sentiment that's been created now means that there is a shortage of staff for low paid jobs and that in itself has made Britain more attractive to people who want to try and enter without the correct paperwork, the most amusing irony is that the people who emigrate to Britain with all the correct paperwork, permits and visas are now far more likely to be the managers of the drooling idiots who voted to reduce the numbers of immigrants.

              2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                -- "if you want to know how civilised somewhere is, look at how it treats the poor". --

                and then look at how it treats those who pay for the poor, and remember Spock "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              >Except the problem is determining if people are actually refugees, or just economic migrants and thus illegal.

              The good news - and you'll really like this - with the latest Rwanda treaty is that anyone sent there that fails processing is immediately returned to one country and only one country - the UK.

              So, if they are all "economic migrants" then they'll get a few weeks holiday in Rwanda at great expense before they are returned here, but if they are genuine asylum seekers they get to stay in Rwanda - unless they commit a serious crime, in which case they are also deported to the UK.

              1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                The elephant in the room, of course, is that the Rwandan government has basically said that they will only take refugees from the UK as long as we are complying with international law, which we will not be doing, despite the number of pieces of legislation Fishy Rishi can come up with stating the opposite. They'll keep the several hundred million quid we've wasted on this harebrained scheme, and send the first batch of "illegals" right back.

                Meanwhile, the whole point of the thing is to allow the far-right shambles that is the current UK government to thump some tubs to retain the populist vote. Sadly for them, the polls currently show that only about 25% of people are actually that stupid. It's just a shame that Keir Starmer is turning out to be a bit of a wet flannel, so the next government will likely be quite shit as well.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Meanwhile, the whole point of the thing is to allow the far-right shambles that is the current UK government to thump some tubs to retain the populist vote. Sadly for them, the polls currently show that only about 25% of people are actually that stupid.

                  It's easier if you just expect that a lot of people really are that stupid, especially when they're being misinformed by the left, right and probably centre.

                  Main problem is a very simple and practical one. For every X thousand new people, we need classroom spaces, doctors, teachers, housing, bins emptied and all the other assorted social & support services. Our population has been increased by say, 10m, but those services haven't kept up. To provide those services, we need taxes. If the ratio between economically active & tax paying people and inactive goes down.. Then there's a gap between funds available and cost of services. So taxes have to be raised, which is always unpopular and is also inflationary. But inflation is also the problem. So we allowed skools & hospitals to be built under PFI deals. Those deals are usually indexed, so go up in line with inflation. Then policies like energy and tobacco duty keep increasng inflation, and the problem gets worse.

                  If migrants really are contributing to the economy, ie generate more revenue than the services they consume, then it isn't really a problem other than making sure service provision increases in line with population. If migrants just consume resource, then it's an obvious problem. But then migration has pretty much become weaponised. Our enemies know the UK and EU has an immigration problem, so they make it worse. Next up, dealing with 1m+ very real refugees who may be forced to flee Gaza. The US isn't going to take them, neither it seems is most of the Middle East. Israel isn't going to pay to support and settle those migrants, so we will probably have to.

                  But that also gets back to the topic in hand. The majority of those refugees have been bombed out of their homes and livelihoods and just want somewhere safe to live. A minority will be the real terrorists who may seek revenge or retaliation against us, Jews living in the UK or Israeli interests. So additional resources needed to monitor for those threats, which might include being further radicalised by (anti) social media.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    You still need to work on your economics skills... JE. Arguably, it depends on the age pyramid; however, in most economics theories, immigration is a good thing for growth and for wealth. In countries with a fertility rate below 2.1, it is necessary. Russia will lose even more power because of its dismal age pyramid. Same for China which, famously, "will grow old before it gets rich". Everybody knows that.

                    AI and robotics might change the economics theories slightly, but not significantly. Not all jobs are easy to automate. So be grateful for immigration. People who reach the shores of Dover have had the energy to try to get a better life. This energy will be useful. Just as the Sassenach and the Wealas made England. It's not like you can't find Englishmen abroad. Right?

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      Russia will lose even more power because of its dismal age pyramid. Same for China which, famously, "will grow old before it gets rich". Everybody knows that.

                      Perhaps, but Ukraine is losing that battle far faster. Their population's shrunk to maybe 25% of what it was in 1991. They're planning to shrink it further and faster by mobilisation. A lot of their 'fighting age' population fled the country, so gives the EU the challenge of what to do if/when Ukraine tries to conscript them and summon them back home. This also includes all the Ukrainian women that have fled. Equality suggests they should be included in the mobilisation, because after all, women can do everything a man can. That's always been an unpopular idea because it's women who keep replenishing the base of your pyramid.. Except they won't be doing that in Ukraine.

                      Then, when the conflct ends, how many Ukrainians will return? A lot don't want or expect to, yet Ukraine will need to repopulate. Then again, this could be a solution to Europe's migration crisis, ie they go to Ukraine, get reconstructing and get land grants. Except of course Ukraine's nationalists will absolutely hate that idea, even though integration is a core EU principle..

                      But again you demonstrate your lack of economic understanding. Every newborn requires pre- and post-natal care, schools, hospitals, bedrooms etc. Again if parents can afford this and pay taxes to cover the costs, it isn't a problem. But we have this wicked little problem that currently the easiest way to get a bigger house is to drop more children. If one or both parents are working, they'll struggle to afford a bigger home and support a bigger family.

                      1. Patrician

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        >But we have this wicked little problem that currently the easiest way to get a bigger house is to drop more children.

                        That is total BS and nothing more than Daily Mail propaganda.

                        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                          That is total BS and nothing more than Daily Mail propaganda.

                          Really? Councils don't have a legal obligation to provide housing, especially to those considered vulnerable, like newborns?

                          Again it's pretty much the definition of a wicked problem. We've made some attempts to reduce housing or benefit entitlements, but we still have to deal with the moral and ethical minefield that comes with it. China tried with it's 1-child rule, that didn't really work and was of course roundly criticised. Political figures like BoJo's dad, the Attenburghs, or just this lot-

                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_Matters#Patrons

                          have always been big into eugenics, even though they don't practice it themselves.

                  2. RegGuy1 Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Re: Britain filling up. I recently looked at the census numbers for 2001 and 2021. Just the raw population counts by age, nothing too detailed. In 2001 I found that the total number of people aged 65+ was around 9m (plus or minus a few thousand). I then got the equivalent numbers for 2021. Guess what, it wasn't just immigrants coming here. There were 12m crinklies. An increase of a third over twenty years! I presume each of these 12m demand that the UK government pays their pension, based on their NI contributions. The fact that their NI contributions are meant to cover pensions and the NHS, perhaps increasingly for another 30 years, seems not to concern them. They've paid their fees -- give me my god-damned pension!

                    I get the impression many of them are unaware that not a single penny of their NI goes to pay their pension. Not a penny. Their pension is fully paid by current taxpayers. And now, because of this general ignorance, our politicians are too feeble to demand these crinklies pay more tax to support the services they use, and instead shafts the younger population by suggesting they should now prepare to retire at 71.

                    Immigrants are not causing problems for this country. It's the pig-ignorant pensioners -- many of whom voted for brexit. I can only presume (by looking at polling breakdown by age) that the current 25% Tory voter support comes from this group. Still, I suppose blaming immigrants is more fun, and keeps your older racist happy.

                    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      I get the impression many of them are unaware that not a single penny of their NI goes to pay their pension. Not a penny. Their pension is fully paid by current taxpayers. And now, because of this general ignorance, our politicians are too feeble to demand these crinklies pay more tax to support the services they use, and instead shafts the younger population by suggesting they should now prepare to retire at 71.

                      Immigrants are not causing problems for this country. It's the pig-ignorant pensioners

                      Err.. right. So we pay pensioners out of our taxes. Then you expect pensioners to pay more tax. Round and round the wooden dollars go. But the theory went that employee and employee tax and NI would fund retirement. In practice, there's that demographic timebomb and it doesn't. Various governments have kicked the can down the road and made the problems worse. Everything that can be taxed is being taxed, and cost of living has been rising as a consequence. Which then means wages and benefits have to be increased, and inflation rises. Or, people look at their private pension statements and notice fees are reducing their pension savings faster than their pensions are increasing. So maybe people start investing more, if they can, and this happens-

                      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-68285833

                      UK economy fell into recession after people cut spending

                      Who could possibly have predicted that would happen after a couple of decades of insane economic policy? So there's a demographic time bomb. We need more people working to prop up the collapsing tax base. Ok, we get more people but a lot don't work. Or the only work is minimum wage stuff that needs to be propped up with benefits, so rather than the work raising the tax base, it increases public spending. Or we sometimes get the wrong kinds of immigrants. Young men looking to get into the watch business, but with a novel approach to obtaining stock and now ended up costing a lot of money for trials and jail.

                      Other than a few 'bloody foreigners, taking our jobs' idiots, I doubt anyone really cares as long as public money coming in is higher than public money going out, but it isn't. This is a huge problem for everyone. Tories are, as usual planning to make the problem worse by suggesting tax cuts, and cuts in public services. Labour's planning much the same, although they're probably going to raise taxes and increase public spending. Neither stands a chance of working. The only real solution is to get serious about cutting the cost of living, but governments have very few policy levers they can use to achieve this. Plus it'd mean 'deflation', which is a dirty word. Stuff getting cheaper? What a horrible idea!

                      But then if the cost of living falls, people can spend more, save more, there's less demand for wage increases that fuel inflation, and benefit costs can fall. If that happens, then maybe we can afford to support more genuine refugees and asylum seekers. Problem is current and future governments are locked into the idea of garbage like 'Net Zero' which are just guaranteed to make inflation and the cost of living higher.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        > Everything that can be taxed is being taxed, and cost of living has been rising as a consequence.

                        Nope. Figures ( Main public sector current receipts as a share of gross domestic product in the United Kingdom from 2000/01 to 2022/23) show that, as a share of GDP, income and corporate taxes have been remarkable stable over the past two decades (granted, VAT has increased though). NI has increased (which should tell you that the population is aging and that, therefore, addition of migrant workforce is actually a good thing as it spreads the burden of maintaining it over more contributors). The recent increase in cost of living is mostly unrelated to taxes (post-covid adjustments, Brexit, Chinese economy meltdown) and inflation is actually on the way down everywhere except in Russia and a few other places (even in Turkey!!!).

                        > Which then means wages and benefits have to be increased, and inflation rises.

                        Nope. This is unrelated. Wages will only catch up with inflation if and when the employment market is tight. Again, adding migrant workforce avoids your runaway-inflation scenario.

                        The rest is just unreadable Swiss-cheese-cerebrum level rant <praying Saint Dymphna>.

                        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                          NI has increased (which should tell you that the population is aging and that, therefore, addition of migrant workforce is actually a good thing as it spreads the burden of maintaining it over more contributors).

                          NI increases tell you nothing about an aging population, only that the government has increased NICs to try and increase revenues. If migrant's wages were a factor, then NICs wouldn't need to be raised. More people in employment, more taxes raised, cost of public services is covered and there's no need to increase taxes unless you're increasing public spendiing faster than you're earning. Again it also assumes that low paid jobs are a net contributor to public funds. If they're not, and living costs have to be supported by housing or other benefits, then they're just increasing the deficit. Then, again, there's also the impact on public services as population increases. More people, more skools & hospitals. One of those simple, but cold equations.

                          Then there's the effect of being a high wage/tax/cost of living country. Government wants inward investment and someone to create new jobs to generate new tax revenue. We're a high cost country, so why would anyone invest here? Due to the cost of living and taxes, wage costs are high. Due to energy policy and other overheads, general cost of doing business here is high. The only benefit is we allow businesses to operate here, but pretend to operate here and avoid paying taxes on business activities generated here. See FaceMelta, AlphaGoo, Apple, Amazon etc for more info. Because they can avoid taxes, government has to tax other things, ie us, so wages increase, inflation increases..

                          The recent increase in cost of living is mostly unrelated to taxes (post-covid adjustments, Brexit, Chinese economy meltdown) and inflation is actually on the way down everywhere except in Russia and a few other places (even in Turkey!!!

                          Nope. See-

                          https://www.theguardian.com/business/2024/feb/14/uk-inflation-which-goods-and-services-have-changed-most-in-price

                          Showing inflation still running rampant. And it'd be even worse if the ONS factored 'shrinkflation' into their basket of goods. But the Grauniad also highlights one of my favorite taxes-

                          Tobacco 16.1%

                          After a couple of rounds of hyperinflation due to increasing duty on tobacco, tobacco's cost is now at a point where it moved the cost of the typical RPI basket of goods by (from memory) 0.2% on it's own. So now anything that was given an RPI+ cost increase is also more expensive. So our energy costs, costs of PFI schools and hospitals etc etc are now more expensive due to government sin taxes. On both sides of that one, the government(s) didn't seem to understand the effect of simple compound interest. It's a rather surreal situation where the cost of your 'renewables', or teaching kids has increased by a lot, all because of tobacco price increases. There's a budget coming up soon, but I rather doubt the Chancellor will halve tobacco duty, even though it would have an immediate and direct impact on inflation as currently calculated and applied to indexed contracts. The current Chancellor is, after all Jeremy Hunt.

                    2. DJO Silver badge

                      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                      Their pension is fully paid by current taxpayers

                      And for the 40 or so years they were "current" taxpayers they were financing the "current" pensioners out of their tax. As pTerry was oft to remark, "What goes around, comes around".

                      Just because successive governments are too short sighted to provide long term financing for pensions is no reason for screwing around with pensions. They've already increased the retirement age and will continue to do so, the current crop of people new to work will probably have to work until they are over 70 before they can retire.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                        And all that value generated by the economy keeps getting sucked into unproductive housing, locked in and cannot be used to improve our society.

                        I see the older generation are the ones benefiting from this as well. So the young have to work longer, the old sit on their arses, reaping the benefit of their 40 year NI contributions, AND enjoying an ever-increasing house value. That seems wrong to me, and only a government can do something about it.

                        This older generation are the direct result of the Second World War. All those randy guys coming home ...

                        Someone has described these 'boomers' as like a python swallowing a pig. We have perhaps another 30 years to wait before it is fully digested, and society can then move forward. Until then there are just too many of the buggers, and they have too much political power, to do anything about it.

                        1. DJO Silver badge

                          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                          an ever-increasing house value

                          And in a few words you have the reason for a fucked up and unbalanced economy.

                          When I was but a sprog an average house would cost 3 to 4 times the average annual wage which was affordable by most people in full time employment. Wage rises and house price (and rent) increases were roughly in step.

                          Then came Thatcher who deregulated housing, sold off almost all the state owned housing and forbade local councils from building replacement housing, a magic combination guaranteed to send housing costs through the roof to the point now that it is impossible for one person on a reasonable wage to buy a house.

                          Back then housing would account for at most 25% of one persons income, now for many people it's over 50% each for a couple. This is not a sustainable economic model, either they step up house building to post-war levels or there will be a market crash when nobody can afford the ludicrously inflated prices any more.

                          Government schemes to make housing more affordable are all doomed to fail and end up with the opposite effect - for example - if the government give people a grant or allowance to help with a first buy, all that happens is the vendors increase the prices by the same amount but when the scheme ends they do not lower prices so all such schemes manage is to ratchet prices ever higher.

                  3. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    I find it ironic you wobble on about refugees and asylum seekers being 'radicalised by social media' when you've blatantly obviously been radicalised by social media.

                  4. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    There is a major problem, and it's not an easy one to overcome TLDR: I don't have an answer

                    The biggest issue is the fact that everybody is lumped together, the government need to be able to work out the difference between economic migrants and refugees. There is a big difference.

            5. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              I agree with a part of that, but human rights don’t stand in the way of this. It’s not actually a legal issue.

              Only a small fraction of refugees and economic migrants even reach the UK, most apply for asylum or settle long before they get to the UK. Just a quick glance at which European country has taken in the most refugees coming from Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan etc. shows that the UK is pretty far down on the list of reached (or even desired) destinations.

              The challenge is a political one, not a legal one. By far the majority of asylum applications in the UK are granted. That is because, for instance, those people can prove that they were an interpreter or fixer for the UK armed forces and are now at risk because of that cooperation because the Taliban doesn’t take kindly to them.

              Despite what some politicians claim, it’s not illegal to cross the English Channel, whether on a ferry or a small boat. As long as one reports to the authorities that they have entered and, in the case of an asylum application, apply for asylum upon arrival.

              Eradicating the unusual and dangerous way to cross the channel is pretty easy. The UK government could open application centres just outside Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The political challenge is that the ruling party doesn’t want it because they promised the impossible, fewer than 100,000 entrants a year. That’s why the government have effectively made the channel crossing the only legal route to apply for asylum combined with various discouragement activities on top of the perilous journey to make people think twice about hoping to apply for asylum in the UK.

              As for economic migrants that don’t use the normal economic migrant route but stay without a work permit. Most of them arrive legally by plane and overstay their visa. Because of the dominant language in the UK and its cracking bureaucratic infrastructure where it’s easy to deliberately keep slipping between cracks I suspect that the UK will always be more attractive than, let’s say, Denmark. As long as HMRC, the NHS, DWP, and the local council all use a different number to know who they are dealing with I expect that to stay that way.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                "Despite what some politicians claim, it’s not illegal to cross the English Channel, whether on a ferry or a small boat. As long as one reports to the authorities that they have entered and, in the case of an asylum application, apply for asylum upon arrival."

                Ssssh!!! You'll destroy the Sky News/GB News "Boat People" narrative

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  "Ssssh!!! You'll destroy the Sky News/GB News "Boat People" narrative"

                  Plkeasse, can we show a little respect here, GBeebies.

                2. BartyFartsLast

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Random anecdote:

                  I went to school with a Vietnamese 'boat person', one of the best friends I had because he was subjected to all sorts of nasty racist taunting by the same gang of thickheaded bullies who used to bully me and one or two others, he and his family moved away after a couple of years when they finally got a permanent place to live, I remember being very upset.

                  The 'leader' of the gang of bullies was arrested a few years ago, he was still running a gang and had a machine gun under his bed and various other firearms as well as a significant stash of cash and illegal drugs, funny old world eh...

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    Indeed. A leopard doesn't change its spots.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                    I knew a family of them, they came over in the 1970's for a better life when the economy tanked.

                    A more hard working family you will never meet, they ran a mobile Chinese takeaway and got 4 girls through private school off the back of it. Genuinely lovely people.

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

            6. rg287 Silver badge

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              It would be much easier to do that if we hadn't (for instance) closed the Afghanistan scheme and stopped letting people fly in. Then we wouldn't be having to sift people in Dover or Calais.

              We could also take up the French on their offer to let us open a processing centre in Calais - but that was declined and hushed up in the press because it suits the Government's narrative to have boats crossing the Channel.

              In the long run, our treatment of Afghan and Iraqi aides and interpreters is likely to cost British lives in future conflicts - why would locals help our troops (even for money) if they knew they were going to be abandoned afterwards. Not looking after those who have supported us is a very stupid Foreign Policy and Defence decision.

            7. Pete Sdev Bronze badge

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              there's no reason why they couldn't apply for asylum or refugee status in any of the EU countries they've passed through on

              Because stopping at the first country is always a good idea, just ask the Frank family.

            8. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              Except the problem is determining if people are actually refugees, or just economic migrants and thus illegal.

              A few things:

              1) The "problem" is that the system for processing asylum claims (and thus making that determination) is what our government is not doing properly, wasting hundreds of millions of pounds imprisoning asylum claimants in "processing centres", or putting them in hotels whilst simultaneously not allowing them to work, or receive benefits beyond a very small stipend for living expenses (despite what shouty gammons like to claim). The backlog of claims is huge, and making decisions on them is where the money should be being spent. It is already illegal to house or employee someone whose residency status cannot be proven, so the quantum immigrant who simultaneously comes here to take our jobs and live off benefits does not exist.

              2) No person is illegal; there is no such thing as "untermenchen". To suggest otherwise is pretty much spot on the definition of fascism.

              3) until we were forced out of the EU by corrupt politicians and their useful idiots, we could return asylum claimants to the first EU country they entered under the Dublin convention. Leaving the EU entailed leaving its conventions. Bad luck. File this under "consequences".

              4) The UN convention on refugees states that people can claim asylum in the country of their choice, not the country of someone else's choice. The lack of safe and legal routes to claim asylum in the UK, or ability to make a claim from a safe third country means that, except for refugees from countries the government decides to take them from, for political purposes, the only way to legitimately claim asylum in the UK is to arrive here "illegally".

              5) Almost all other countries around us take more refugees and asylum claimants than we do. We don't even take our fair share.

              6) We are a nation of immigrants, you melt.

              7) Perhaps if we treated all humans with respect and dignity and recognised that many have legitimate reasons for wanting to come here, such as reuniting with immediate family, rather than promoting hate and "othering" of desperate and vulnerable human beings, we wouldn't be such a nasty, insular, and downright arrogant nation.

            9. katrinab Silver badge
              Megaphone

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              Nope, that is an EU law. We are no longer in the EU, so that doesn't apply.

              Refugees are not obliged to seek refuge in the first safe country they arrive in. However, within the EU, they are required to seek refuge in the first EU country they arrive in.

            10. notmyopinion
              Headmaster

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              I'm pretty sure there are almost no French refugees coming to the UK.

              Perhaps you meant fleeing *through* France?

          3. rg287 Silver badge

            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

            I suspect that the Rwanda story is just a facade. There were Tory MPs trying to get the UK out of the ECHR before government ministers even knew where Rwanda is (or what a small boat is, for that matter).

            The Rwanda Policy was never intended to send a single person to Rwanda. It was designed to fail. But in the process, it would give the government room to undermine and discredit the legitimacy of our domestic courts, the Human Rights Act and - by extension - the ECHR.

            Every minister has access to well-qualified solicitors and barristers to advise on these matters.

            * They knew that the Rwanda policy would be challenged in court, and they would lose.

            * They did it anyway. Even though they're the government and could change the law to fit their policy, but prefer to fight and lose in court.

            Why? So that they could whinge about "lefty judges" and "activist lawyers", further undermining the rule of law and the separation of government and judiciary.

            We started along this path with the Article 50 case. The law was clear - you needed an Act of Parliament to declare Art. 50. But the Government chose to fight the case, lose, and then have their client papers run seditious1 headlines like "Enemies of the People", painting high court judges as somehow being bad and placing their personal security at risk23 when all they were doing was interpreting the law as passed by our (sovereign) Parliament.

            And it's not even like it was difficult - Daddy Pig introduced a Bill and ran it through Parliament in record time. But in the process, they'd publicly criticised and undermined the legitimacy of the High Court and the judiciary in general.

            1 Some might think that a government can't commit sedition - which generally means inciting rebellion against the authority of a state. However, if we consider the slightly broader interpretation ..."excitement of discontent against the government, or of resistance to lawful authority." Then clearly it's possible for ministers or a government to commit sedition against the broader constitutional basis and lawful authority of the state, or against those institutions (like the judiciary) who serve as a check-and-balance against executive power. Parliament can't commit sedition, since they are in fact sovereign and have the right to change our constitutional make-up. But the Government can.

            2 Thousands spent on judges' security amid growing hostility

            3Lord Chief Justice says he sought police protection in wake of Daily Mail ‘enemies of the people’ front page

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

              Spot on, what our corrupt government is up to is eroding the separation of the three pillars of government: legislature (them), judiciary (the courts) and the executive (policing).

              Policing has already been corrupted by undue influence from the Home Secretary taking direct involvement in policing decisions, and the election of politicians as PCCs. That, and immunity from prosecution of historic crimes for friendly paramilitaries (the "Troubles Act").

              They want to take control of the courts, if they manage that, what we essentially have is a dictatorship, where one branch controls the other two. An elected dictatorship is still a dictatorship (hello Adolf).

              I mean, if you can't see the parallels, then it's really time to actually study some early-mid 20th century German political history. Specifically, the state "othering" of easy targets, the rise of the SA and SS, the demonisation of the judiciary; all we're missing at this point is the outlawing of unfriendly political parties (as "terrorist organisations"), Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire.

              1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                Oh, and before some wag comes up with "Godwin!", I'd like to point out that Godwin's Law only applies when there isn't a valid comparison to the Nazis. When there are clear parallels to the actions of National Socialists in their rise to power, it's probably not only appropriate to point them out, but, I'd argue, required.

                1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                  Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

                  Absolutely agreed, Be careful who you point it out ABOUT mind you, or you could have some ranty person in the media accusing you of all sorts

        2. katrinab Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

          The ECHR was founded by their hero Winston Churchill.

          1. rg287 Silver badge

            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

            The ECHR was founded by their hero Winston Churchill.

            I think there are some in the current Westminster Conservative Party who consider Churchill and Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe (who drafted most of it at Churchill's behest) to be woke, lefty melts.

            Especially Maxwell-Fyfe - as a prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials he is the absolute epitome of a woke, activist lefty lawyer!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

          They're not going to have chance to ignore it before *they* are sent to electoral Rwanda.

          1. Patrician

            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

            Hopefully

      2. Binraider Silver badge

        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

        Indeed, and there are a bunch of muppets that have gotten far too much influence now talking about leaving the CoE because they can't run their internment camps and exfiltration programs the way they want to.

        If anyone is in any doubt to the dangers that these morons are pushing for in the name of "taking back control" and "claims on sides of buses" then this should be it.

        GB News watchers will be GB News watchers though.

      3. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

        All this.

        But we must also remember of course that our erstwhile Justice Secretary Dominic Raab is extremely keen to scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw us from the ECHR.

        Brexit was the first step in that - not in a practical sense, but in the social aspect of "tAkInG bAcK oUr SoVeReIgNtY" and moving the media and Overton Window in a direction where it would even be plausible.

        The matter has then been wrapped up in the small boats "crisis" (of the government's own making) because the measure of a person is how they treat those they perceive to be below them - and as we all know, an awful lot of people are horrible human beings without a shred of empathy (see also: certain strains of evangelical/fundy Christians who consider getting-to-church/being-seen-in-church to be more important than being the good samaritan. More bible study required!).

        Those people will wilfully throw away their own rights (as they did with legal aid) to "get one over" on the issue over the day, never stopping to realise that it could be them. And they don't have £50+k for a barrister either!

      4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

        Note that the Council of Europe owns the ECHR.

        Whereas the European Council is a different organisation and part of the European Union. Not to be confused with the Council of the European Union (which is more commonly called the Council of Ministers)

        Confused yet?

    2. Necrohamster Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

      I look forward to tens of replies to your comment from people who don't know the difference between:

      the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

      and

      the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

        To be fair, they could have come up with a better name for the court, to avoid the obvious confusion, because most people abbreviate both as ECHR and rely on the reading comprehension of the reader to disambiguate them. Sadly, it seems many people's critical analysis skills are lacking, and they get confused, or the person writing about one or the other doesn't take sufficient care to make sure their usage is unambiguous. I've only seen "ECtHR" come into relatively common usage in more recent years.

        1. Necrohamster Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

          I guess the acronyms for the Court and the Convention are different in each of the 24 official EU languages, so there are 48 chances to confuse someone (English-speakers in this case)

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

            Oui, je suppose que c'est vrai.

    3. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

      I was one of the upvotes, guessing the downvotes were from those who didn't see the icon :)

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Well good thing the UK had Brexit

        Well some of the downvotes were probably from people who don't get sarcasm even with the icon, and some were probably because I assumed this was an "EU" thing versus an "ECHR" thing, the latter of which the UK is still a part of (though it sounds like there are some idiots trying to pull them out of that too, to allow them to do very right wingy borderline fascist things the ECHR won't let them)

  2. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    "EU governments will now have no choice but to remove the destruction of secure encryption from their position on this proposal"

    That seems unreasonably optimistic to me. No government is going to abandon such a long soughtafter goal - the urge to monitor all the things, all the time is far too deeply ingrained. If this finding cannot be overturned or kicked into the long grass, it will be worked around or just plain ignored.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think the stress in the judgement may be

      "the security services’ direct access to the data stored WITHOUT ADEQUATE SAFEGUARDS AGAINST ABUSE and the requirement to decrypt encrypted communications, as applied to end-to-end encrypted communications, cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society"

      The ECHR includes exceptions eg "interests of national security" and "territorial integrity or public safety" under Right of Expression

      1. jmch Silver badge

        "the requirement to decrypt encrypted communications, as applied to end-to-end encrypted communications, cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society"

        This part of the ruling, though, is absolute (before even considering technically impossibility of having only the 'good guys' able to decrypt e2e encrypted comms and not the 'bad guys' (and further, before even considering the moral and social impossibility of knowing who are the 'good guys' and 'bad guys'))

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        "the security services’ direct access to the data stored WITHOUT ADEQUATE SAFEGUARDS AGAINST ABUSE and the requirement to decrypt encrypted communications, as applied to end-to-end encrypted communications, cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society"

        But this is something of an impossible expectation. I think it's about balancing the needs of security with safeguarding against future abuse. The EncrChat thing showed how lawful (or unlawful) interception allowed a lot of serious & organised criminals to be taken off the streets. Criminals use communications systems to do very bad things, it's in the interests of the public to prevent those bad things from happening. LEAs and the security and intelligence services are necessary to safeguard our democratic societies.

        But it's also true that these powers can be abused. We might be able to vaguely trust our current government, but what about the next one, or the one after? See Germany, and why they tend to be paranoid about this sort of thing, especially after living through Hollorith databasing and classification, and then the STASI. But then Germany's also in the process of 'cracking down' on 'right wing extremists' and their main opposition party. There are seriously disturbed far-right groups that get arrested in Germany (and the UK) but the definitions of 'far right' seem to be blurring as ideology pushes some people further to the left.

        The UK now has the ability to fine or jail people who publish 'misinformation', even when past 'misinformation' has turned out to be correct. Sure, you may be released from jail if it turns out you were right, but it's slim consolation when your life may have already been destroyed by being jailed for disagreeing with official policy. Some of that hasn't yet been enacted, and certainly hasn't been tested against other legislation like SLAPP-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_lawsuit_against_public_participation

        Strategic lawsuits against public participation (also known as SLAPP suits or intimidation lawsuits), or strategic litigation against public participation, are lawsuits intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

        But we're living in interesting times. Ukraine has a far-right problem, which has been described as 'misinformation'. Ukraine is currently losing it's conflict. Russia has stated that one of it's objectives is 'de-nazification'. So assuming neo-nazis actually do exist, Ukraine loses, and those neo-nazis flee Ukraine to avoid prosecution or persecution, where are they likely to end up? Countries like Germany or places like Scandanavia, that already have pretty extreme far-right and neo-Nazi problems? But this is something security services need to monitor given those groups have already been responsible for extremely violent attacks.

        1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

          The EncrChat thing showed how lawful (or unlawful) interception allowed a lot of serious & organised criminals to be taken off the streets.

          EncroChat shows how it is still possible to take criminals off the streets without backdooring everyone's right to private communication, hidden from government.

          It is hard, expensive, and limited - which is exactly what the 99.999% of people who are perfectly innocent demand, and expect.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is an interesting thread on Mastodon about whether this ruling also covers client side scanning and the UK's Online Safety Act. British internet lawyer Neil Brown seems to think it may not.

      1. Necrohamster Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Something like legislation never stopped the spooks.

        Britain gets the US to do the dirty work and pass along the required info, and vice versa.

    3. Dr Dan Holdsworth
      FAIL

      The goal of monitoring everyone is apparently so attractive to the American government that they have huge data warehouses that store harvested encrypted comms in the rather vain hope that at some point in the near-enough-to-be-useful future they will happen upon a magical encryption decryption tool that will enable them to break these communications and do something useful with the data.

      In the mean time, it isn't their money that they are wasting, but merely that of the American citizenry so they continue to store petabytes of useless garbage.

      All in all, this is basically really rather silly. Most criminal enterprises require the participants to actually do something, whether this be sell small packets of dubious powder or wave guns at bank clerks and so on. Modern interception can tell who is talking to whom for the most part (criminals have yet to be brave enough to encrypt their messaging and stick it on Usenet for all to see, but not see who it is intended for) and thus knowing that at least a few in a network are known wrong 'uns would lead one to the strong suspicion that the entire network is mostly criminal and all members ought to be briefly scrutinised.

      Of course this does fall flat if a few bank robbers are also part of an internet knitting club and are covertly exchanging patterns, but then that's what policing is supposed to sort out.

      1. Aladdin Sane

        That's why they're investing in quantum.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Perhaps not so useless.

        Part of the Logjam/WeakDH findings, for example, was that the widespread use of a handful of "weak" finite-field DH groups for TLS key exchange meant a large corpus of captured encrypted data was becoming accessible for targeted decryption. So there are real-world cases where improvements in attacks make some of that stored data available.

        Similarly, the current plausible risk to encryption from QC is not real-time decryption of data in transit — that looks far too expensive even into the foreseeable future, even assuming we see major advancement in QEC and scaling. What does start to become feasible with such advancement is targeted decryption (of session keys encrypted with RSA, finite-field DH, and ECC DH) for specific previously-recorded messages deemed to be of particular interest. So the DHS decides it's interested in messages exchanged between parties X and Y around timestamp Z, the NSA pulls just those from the corpus, breaks the asymmetric keys (with this hypothetical big-enough-to-be-useful QC), gets the session key, and decrypts just those messages.

        Or consider ROBOT/MARVIN: If you've sniffed a bunch of traffic that used a particular RSA pair for Kx, and then you find updated Bleichenbacher attacks work against the server and it's still using that same key pair, then you can derive the private key and go back and decrypt (the session keys for, and then the data of) those stored messages. And similarly for other improved attacks.

        While bulk decryption of those vast corpora of data sniffed by various state agencies may well never be possible, targeted decryption just might be. There are still significant obstacles: QC isn't there yet (at least according to published research, and no, I don't believe the NSA or other agencies are that far ahead of the private sector), and while "attacks get better" is a general truism, it's not something you can count on in any specific case. But data hording has been useful to the spooks in the past, and will almost certainly be useful in the future.

        Which is not to say I approve of it. I'm just noting the economics of the practice are not, from the governments' points of view, as irrational as you suggest.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Most European countries have strong constitutional protection of citizens privacy, which is why the courts continually block any such laws.

      Doesn't stop the snooping, of course, but it does limit its scope and potential use in court cases, which law enforcement types tend to approve because they don't have the resources to snoop on everyone all the time, though the NSA might disagree. Much better to use standard techniques and get court orders when you know who you want to snoop on.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        But getting court orders is such a drag! Even from rubber-stamping courts like FISC. LEOs want to know now, not after they get some judge to sign whatever they submit.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          But getting court orders is such a drag! Even from rubber-stamping courts like FISC. LEOs want to know now, not after they get some judge to sign whatever they submit.

          But there are also cases where they're very time sensitive. Kid goes missing, friends or family say she'd been chatting with someone online and gone to meet a 'friend'. How quickly can LEOs find out if that's true, and if they really were a friend? AFAIK there are ways to fast-track these requests, but I also know from past meetings with ICO and LEOs when RIPA was being conceived that there are privacy and legal issues around this. It's always that difficult balancing act between privacy and safety.

  3. Empire of the Pussycat

    Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

      Indeed! A really bad headline would be "Euro Court Protects Everybody".

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

      It's not just the Daily Fail, others are at it as well-

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68300969

      Brianna Ghey's mother Esther says Online Safety Act does not go far enough

      "The [Online Safety Act] is not going to protect children and young people from seeing that kind of horrible content because I don't think that would be deemed as harmful."

      But defining harmful is a wicked problem to do at the (nanny) state level..

      "The way they have been created, it's based on the [gambling model]," she said. "It's [about] having that constant gratification from people.

      "When I was young, it was so much easier to parent. Now the introduction of smart phones and the access to the online world, social media, it's just made everything 10 times more difficult."

      She said smartphone companies have a "moral responsibility" to protect young people from the dangers of the internet, and should not just be focused on profit.

      Sadly, parents also have the same moral and legal responsibility. Kids spending too much time on their phones? Take them off them. Kids surfing stuff you'd rather they didn't? Explain to them why they shouldn't, or take their phones off them. What is really needed are smartphone companies, ie mostly Apple and Android to create parent/child relationships between devices so that parents can monitor what their children are up to. But too many parents seem to want to push parental responsibilities onto the State, or innocent SPs. Or too many parents are just irresponsible and don't know how to, or want to parent properly. So we end up with tragedies like this.

      She told the BBC's Breakfast programme that it was "not feasible" to expect parents to be able to work full time, raise children and run a home, while also requiring them to be on top of the latest technology.

      Tough. It's the responsibility of the parent to do this, legally and morally. If parents don't understand what their kids are doing with their phones... maybe, just maybe don't let them have them, or at least monitor them a bit more carefully. There's no way an SP is going to be able to correlate mobile data with any mood or behaviour changes in a kid, but parents can and should be able to do this.

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

        "What is really needed are smartphone companies, ie mostly Apple and Android to create parent/child relationships between devices so that parents can monitor what their children are up to. "

        Don't know about Apple, but Android / Google already have a (free) family link app that allows parents to control, among other things, times between which a phone can/cannot be used, maximum amount of use per day (both for the whole phone and for individual apps), and what apps can/cannot be used (including blocking the installation of other apps). I use it and it works pretty well. The only big thing missing is the ability to block individual sites / domains (for example even if youtube app is blocked, youtube.com can be accessed on a browser). I'm considering a 3rd party app for that (any suggestions, by the way?)

        Plus the implied privacy loss of Google knowing the relationship between users (including other family members since multiple adults and multiple children can be registered to the same family).

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          The only big thing missing is the ability to block individual sites / domains (for example even if youtube app is blocked, youtube.com can be accessed on a browser). I'm considering a 3rd party app for that (any suggestions, by the way?)

          But how granular can you make this? Problem seems to lie with a lot of anti-social media and message boards. I have no idea how easy it to be able to monitor that for all the forms of grooming that may occur there. My partner and I use Whatsapp to message her kids, and I'm in the strange position where I get my mobile IT support from her 8yr old sometimes. For us, it's about setting boundaries for the kids and explain why we're doing this, then if they're behaving responsibly, extending those boundaries. But it's hard to balance giving them privacy to grow on their own with being able to protect them.

          Two things we're absolutely sure of though is we can't rely on the State, or especially the SPs to do this for us.

      2. jmch Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

        "it was "not feasible" to expect parents to be able to work full time, raise children and run a home, while also requiring them to be on top of the latest technology."

        "maybe, just maybe don't let them have them, or at least monitor them a bit more carefully"

        While I totally agree with the "monitor them a bit more carefully", I'm also sympathetic to the original complaint. For many especially working class families, it is no longer possible to live on single paycheck, and you have parents working long hours or multiple jobs just to make rent and have food on the table. And kids having phones is a peace-of-mind issue to parents, even though they typically might not have a tenth of the understanding of technology that their kids have. So sure, the parents have to do their bit.... but where it fails is the government intervention to nanny-state the whole population instead of the government improving everyone's standard of living enough to allow the parents enough quality time with their kids to be able to parent effectively.

        1. Necrohamster Silver badge

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          I'm sympathetic to what Esther Ghey has endured, but once you have a child your primary role in life is educating and protecting them.

          It's not the phone companies' responsibility.

          It's not the social media companies' responsibility.

          It's not the government's responsibility (except where they need to intervene for the child's immediate safety)

          It's the parent's responsibility. And yes, life is hard, we all need to work, and time is in finite supply, Again I understand the lady's speaking from grief, but the government should not have to regulate aspects of *every* family's life to make someone's role as a parent easier.

          And by 'educating' I don't just mean teaching them to count or read. Teach them to recognise dangerous situations. Teach them how to make good decisions and to think critically. Teach them that it's ok to ask for help. I suppose you could say that these things come under the category of 'protecting' too.

          I don't believe in monitoring a child's communication (either with software or "hand over your phone, it's time for a check"). It sends the message that you don't trust them, and can damage your relationship (or drive a child away). Of course, some people will be ok with this...

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

            I don't believe in monitoring a child's communication (either with software or "hand over your phone, it's time for a check"). It sends the message that you don't trust them, and can damage your relationship (or drive a child away). Of course, some people will be ok with this...

            Agree with the rest, but don't entirely agree with this part. I think it's explaining why you're doing this. There are sadly people out there who might want to hurt or abuse the kids, so I think it's something we have to do. For example my partner and I play some online games with her kids. Sometimes, people and messages pop up that get the creep sense tingling. Common one is messages like "I'm 12!" and then saying stuff that a 12yr old probably wouldn't. Kids do often seem to ask that question, but so do the creeps. But it gives us an opportunity to talk about online safety either with our own kids, or others.

            It's been interesting to see the number of familes that do play together, and somewhat reassuring that there are responsible adults online who'll look out for kids, even when they're not their own. But sadly I guess 'family friendly' games also attract the creeps.

            1. Excused Boots Bronze badge

              Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

              Both of my daughters are adults now, well, my youngest will be in a month’s time, but when they first had iPads or phones etc. I did look into ‘parental control’ software and did implement one or two of them.

              But, more importantly, I understood how poor and useless most of them are, so sat them down and explained to them along the lines of ‘you now have access to almost all the collective knowledge of the human race’, which is good. Except, you are going to stumble across some stuff which is ‘unusual’, ‘doesn’t seem right’, ‘disturbing’, ‘makes you uncomfortable’. When this happens, and it will, just come and ask myself or mum, and you absolutely will not be in any sort of trouble for doing so! The vast majority of humans are perfectly fine, just a tiny minority who want to spoil it for everyone else - alas not much we can do about it, except educate you to be aware of it. The person messaging you who claims to be 17 years old, might be, or they might be 57 years old, how would you know? Trust your instincts, and if in doubt, as me or Mum what they think!

              However we may have done slightly too good a job, my eldest daughter started getting sent some ‘dick pics’ when she was about 15. And she decided to reply and wind the person up, culminating with the post ‘if that picture is what I think it is, you might want to see a doctor as my cat has a bigger one than that’! Oddly enough, no further contact!

              Please don’t demand a technological solution to what is actually an educational problem.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

                Please don’t demand a technological solution to what is actually an educational problem.

                I'm not. The people demanding an expansion of the Online Safety Act to require SPs to limit 'harrm', are however. Flipside to that problem is existing technological solutions don't seem that great, and we have a society where it's easier to expect the nanny state to fix the problem than educate ourselves.

          2. Patrician

            Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

            This so much;

            I fully understand that Esther Ghey is grieving, and what she's asking for is coming from that grief and from a lack of understanding of the technology she asking to be legislated against. And that lack of understanding shows the problem in her household; I suspect Briana was left pretty much alone with her phone. If the news reports I've read are correct, and that the dark net was accessed by at least one of the killers, as most of us will be aware, legislating against that would be like punching fog.

            One more thing that she needs to consider at some point, is that those images that were seen on the dark net didn't create the sociopath, the killers were already those.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

              I fully understand that Esther Ghey is grieving, and what she's asking for is coming from that grief and from a lack of understanding of the technology she asking to be legislated against. And that lack of understanding shows the problem in her household; I suspect Briana was left pretty much alone with her phone.

              I think this is where dispationate and objective review is needed, not populist campaigns by pro-censorship groups like the Bbc who want kids (and adults) protected from 'harm'.. Which is pretty much impossible to define. Especially as Briana was the victim, and probably did nothing wrong.

              So how Briana used her phone or general online or social profile, which also apparently extended offline, school bullying. So what we could learn from those interactions, and what danger signals may have been missed. Some won't be easy to fix, ie kids can be cruel, bullying happens, especially to people kids view as different. This seems like mostly an educational challenge to solve, not a technical one. Charities and other groups exist to support victims, and alert authorities if necessary.

              More challenging are her murderers. Most of the that seemed to happen offline, other than messages. Jenkinson apparently fantasised about murder, but this morbid obsession went unnoticed. She apparently accessed stuff via the dark web and Tor, so proposals to make SPs responsible won't really work given they're encrypted.. Unless the intent behind this campaign is to make encrytion illegal, which opens up a huge can of worms. It seems to me that most of the problems were non-technical, ie a failure for society to notice that Jenkinson was seriously disturbed and attempting to turn her fantasies into reality. Communications might help, ie showing just how disturbed she was, or was becoming.. But that could have been done with a regular interception warrant.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          .. but where it fails is the government intervention to nanny-state the whole population instead of the government improving everyone's standard of living enough to allow the parents enough quality time with their kids to be able to parent effectively.

          Totally agree. Plus modern parenting has maybe gone a bit too far. Apparently it's bad to tell your kids 'No'. Which is true, because I think it's always better to explain why you're telling them 'No'. But sometimes it's necessary. If not, we end up with people who take no responsibility for their own actions, and have a rather strange sense of entitlement. I sometimes watch police videos with officers struggling to deal with 'adults'. Get out of the vehicle 'No'. Get out of the vehicle.. 'No'.. You can't tell me what to do!

          It's like dealing with a 3yr old having a temper tantrum. I was raised to know that LEO's are one of the few people that can tell you what to do, especially if they've uttered the magic words "You are under arrest". In which case you're in their custody and they can order you around. It must be very frustrating for officers to deal with people that haven't been taught this basic concept.

        3. Cav Bronze badge

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          "having phones is a peace-of-mind issue to parents,"

          But they don't have to have smart, internet capable phones. We gave our pre-teen a dumb phone simply capable of making calls and receiving texts. That's all they need for the peace-of-mind requirement. It's also cheaper for said working class families working those extra jobs.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

        >" maybe, just maybe don't let them have them, or at least monitor them a bit more carefully."

        Which is what Esther Ghey said in the article you linked to:

        "Since the trial, she has been calling for smartphones to be banned for children under 16 and has started a petition, which now has more than 90,000 signatures"

        Did you not read that or chose not to say that you did agree in part with her comments?

        1. Necrohamster Silver badge

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          Which is what Esther Ghey said in the article you linked to:

          "Since the trial, she has been calling for smartphones to be banned for children under 16 and has started a petition, which now has more than 90,000 signatures"

          If teens want a phone, they'll find a way to get one and there's nothing you can do about it. Same goes for drinking, smoking, etc.

          Also from the article:

          Ms Ghey told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'm all for free speech but some of the comments I've seen on social media posts and some of the articles… they're just hateful comments.

          If someone says "I'm all for x, but y", they are not actually all for the thing they claim to be. See also "I'm not racist, but [ insert racist thing here]".

        2. Patrician

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          Not *letting* them have a smart phone is not the same thing at all as calling them to be banned for under 16's.

      4. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

        What is really needed are smartphone companies, ie mostly Apple and Android to create parent/child relationships between devices so that parents can monitor what their children are up to.

        To a point. And with a carefully restriction on "monitoring". For instance, should a parent be able to see that their child has been looking up support websites for domestic or child abuse? Is it good that they can see their child didn't actually hang out with their friends in the park after school, but was still at the school (talking to a child services bod about how daddy hits mummy, mummy threw boiling water at daddy, about how their older step brother sometimes comes into their room after dark and touches them).

        Now, good opsec might see them do this on school machines, not a personal device. But there are limits. My wife has worked on Women's Aid websites and they invariably have a special keybinding so you can smash Esc three times and it opens google in the tab. They also avoid setting cookies and do stuff to clear the browsing history.

        Of course that doesn't apply to you or me because we're good parents and just want to make sure our kids aren't getting bullied. But I'd suggest the answer there is to cultivate a relationship where they show/tell us this stuff voluntarily.

        On the flip side, I know one single mother who has constant two-way tracking between her phone and her (young adult) daughter's so they both know the other is okay. People have different needs, but it's basically a trope in InfoSec social media of "No, I will not help you hack your kid's phone. Have you tried talking to them?".

        On this topic, I strongly recommend Consent of the Networked, (Buy Used for just £2.65!)which is a decade old and talks about a bunch of dead sites and platforms - but has many relevant discussions on platform design and safety considerations which never go out of date. Like that time some Techbros at Google thought it would be really convenient to connect everyone's accounts so that they could see all their services and contacts in one place. And hey, wouldn't it be great if your contacts were all suggested and linked together too? Cue domestic abuse victims suddenly having their new account details connected to their old ones, identifying their new identities and locations to their estranged abusers/stalkers. Really helpful.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          On this topic, I strongly recommend Consent of the Networked, (Buy Used for just £2.65!)which is a decade old and talks about a bunch of dead sites and platforms - but has many relevant discussions on platform design and safety considerations which never go out of date.

          Cheers for that. Since dating a single mom, it's something I've been forced to think about in more than just the abstract. Also the concept of 'responsible adult'.. On that one, any time anyone asks which of us that is, I point at her and am getting much better at ducking. I did however get in a small amount of trouble with a teacher after one kid explained my definition of 'loco parentis'.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

        "Brianna Ghey's mother Esther says Online Safety Act does not go far enough"

        There's an old legal maxim about this sort of thing: Hard cases make bad law.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cue Daily Heil headline "Euro Court Won't Protect Our Children"

          Victims very rarely recommend appropriate measures.

          She's going through one of the worst things imaginable. It is extremely unlikely that she can see the unintended consequences, only a laundry list of things she incorrectly blames herself for.

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Won't Protect Our Children

      Protecting children requires decisiveness. The majority agrees on the importance, but actions show immaturity and mostly wishful thinking. So, do you REALLY care? Yes/No. Once agreed on that, let's do something specific, but be smart.

      All mobile devices, for their personal nature, must be age graded. That is once bought, parents must bear legal responsibility to set up a child age on the device level. Android and iOS makers must facilitate this. Device lock screen should show the child age, so schools and police can enforce this. Non-compliant parents should be fined. In cases of juvenile delinquency devices should be confiscated.

      In the devices every app, URL and contact should be blocked except those whitelisted, or preapproved, such as Wikipedia, for example. Messengers should be by law obliged to match device age settings and block non-whitelisted contacts by default. Browsers should have adapted version to match the block method.

      It is a long way, somewhat difficult, but the only way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: > Won't Protect Our Children

        Nah, let's not do that, it's silly.

  4. SnailFerrous

    Assorted governments ask their lawyers "Does it still count if we don't tell any one we are doing it?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So, you have heard of the NSA...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find it astonishing that this spectacularly bad idea keeps showing up. If you need any help understanding why it is a bad idea, go to Amazon and search for 'TSA key'. That's what happens to protected information (say, credit card details) if that backdoor key leaks, and it will.

    Besides, I don't understand why they need more access. Don't they get enough from Microsoft already?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Don't they get enough from Microsoft already?

      Grey beard alert.

      If you genuinely think MS are the tracking problem, and not Google's snooping hand held devices, you are about 30 years out of date. How much live location data do you think Microsoft has? Enough to do a traffic map like Google can with the Android device locations?

      Try and keep up with who it's cool to hate. MS just aren't that relevant any more.....

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: re: Don't they get enough from Microsoft already?

        Try and keep up with who it's cool to hate. MS just aren't that relevant any more.....

        I think they are, they're just not mobile. Why else is that Microsoft Seach process always running in the background? And yet when we try to search for documents or stuff we know exists on our PCs, Search can't find it.

        Plus MS has always been rumored to have backdoors anyway. Or instead of expecting poor'ol ISPs to intercept and decrypt traffic in transit, it would be a lot easier and more effective to put that burden on the OS vendors instead. Especially as they're always constantly rummaging through our personal information in an effort to flog us stuff anyway. But I also hope this decision may be extended to prevent the data rapists doing this as well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: Don't they get enough from Microsoft already?

          Most people use their computers while they are moving about. Microsoft - through your laptop - might know where you live and work and some/all of your online activities while there, but Apple/Google know exactly where you've been at any time while you are carrying your phone.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: re: Don't they get enough from Microsoft already?

            Bing, although a good mile out of place, has a better idea of where my computer is than Google. Google, OTOH has a much better idea of where my phone is although as it's not welded to my ear it's very frequently not where I am.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: Don't they get enough from Microsoft already?

        How much live location data do you think Microsoft has?

        Microsoft watches what you do and store*, Google what you do online.

        * If you don't believe me, go to your corporate administrator and ask him/her/other to show you your data in Microsoft Actions. Warning: may cause sleepless nights.

    2. EricM

      Re: I find it astonishing that this spectacularly bad idea keeps showing up.

      Easy.

      Simple sounding but stupid ideas appeal to people working in governments the same way as they appeal to the general population voting for the strong but stupid guy touting thge easy path forward...

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      It gets used because it's always popular and good for some soundbites when you need to look like you're doing something.

  6. Herring`

    Problem solved

    The method for cracking encryption is known and public. Yes it would take an unfeasible amount of computing power for a ridiculous amount of time, but your message provider can explain how to decrypt messages to the security services. Job done.

    More realistically though, the actual issue seems to be not with the amount of intelligence data, but the lack of staff to do anything about it. MI5 knew about the Manchester Arena bomber months before it happened, but didn't have the resources to follow it up.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Problem solved

      "MI5 knew about the Manchester Arena bomber months before it happened, but didn't have the resources to follow it up."

      And quite a few others IIRC.

      1. jmch Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Problem solved

        The FBI also had multiple leads on many of the 21 9/11 terrorists, but didn't have the manpower to follow-up and join the dots.

        Possibly because a gigantic part of the security budget is, as part of the military-industrial complex, spent on stuff instead of on staff (including a lot of hardware and/or services form 'friendly' companies who are far better at lobbying than at providing said hardware and/or services)

        1. Necrohamster Silver badge

          Re: Problem solved

          The military had info on some of them, the FBI (and the other three-letter acronyms, most likely) also had info on some of them...plus a network of informants.

          The info stayed in the respective silos because nobody wanted to share with other agencies.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Problem solved

            Just imagine the DPIA's ;)

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Problem solved

        "MI5 knew about the Manchester Arena bomber months before it happened, but didn't have the resources to follow it up."

        And quite a few others IIRC.

        But this is part of the wicked problem. So we have crimes detected. In this case, by a crater and an assortment of body parts. Then the media cries "Why didn't you prevent this?" and there can be a bunch of retrospective investigations to discover how that might have been. On 25th of April*, I am going to detonate a small thermonuclear device and destroy the island of Rockall. In hindsight, investigators can determine that there may have been clues, or even 'actionable intelligence' that might have prevented this attrocity.

        But that would still have required data for someone, or something to work with, join the dots and determine that there is a real, credible threat. Then act on that information and prevent whatever was being planned from happening. Investigators are already expected to find very small needles in very large haystacks, and if we expect them to prevent serious crimes, they need the powers and tools to do their job. But because those are extraordinary powers, they need strong safeguards so they can't be abused, now or in the future. I'm also curious how the Bbc's latest censorship crusade might increase harm. If SP's are forced to delete harmful stuff, might this make it harder to detect and prevent real harm? That might be fixable by requiring all deleted stuff be passed to the police/security/intelligence/social services, but although it might mean more eyeballs on the problem, it might also create a bigger haystack. Or 'cancelling' someone who's already planning to do something stupid might trigger them into doing it, or doing it sooner.

        *So I was thinking of a noble cause to attach this to, and for some reason, thought of penguins. This action on behalf of the Penguin Liberation Front! Then wondered if there was an International Penguin Day, and discovered that there is. The Internet is a strange and wonderful place. Also to TPTB, this is sarcasm. I have neither the means, motive or opportunity to destroy Rockall, especially as it's sacred to El Reg.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Problem solved

          Lets be realistic - to really do what the 20:20 hindsight version of events means the security services would have to store large amounts of data about a large number of people (for a significant amount of time) because what we're really looking for is patterns of behaviour (SigInt). If all you trap is a message about a device about to be planted you're in Hollywood territory, what they want to do is trap the problem much earlier and that means long term surveilance (and since you don't know who's going to start down that road, it's surveilance of possibles, not just probables).

          Since the definition of possibles is ... shifty, then everybody that reads El Reg is probably somebody with enough knowledge to be dangerous ;)

          Choose your own position on the "if you've nothing to hide" spectrum but I tend to like to think that I still have some aspects of a private life (old fashioned as that may be).

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Problem solved

            Lets be realistic - to really do what the 20:20 hindsight version of events means the security services would have to store large amounts of data about a large number of people (for a significant amount of time) because what we're really looking for is patterns of behaviour (SigInt).

            Yup. The ever growing haystack. Usual example here-

            https://portal.linx.net/okta-login

            average hourly traffic on this day, 7.262 Tbps and that's just traffic going between UK ISPs. There'll be a lot more traffic staying within that ISP and going via transit links. But roughly 1TBps of data to intercept and archive. Some already is, ie header information, but that has very little content value, ie it wouldn't detect my insidious penguin plot because that's in the message body. Detecting that would require someone or something to decide I'm taking about glassware, not family structures or the benefits of SMRs. So at best, it may be possible to do some kind of automatic profiling, or SNA, if a hostile endpoint can be identified somehow. Which usually means after the fact because then some of that stuff is known/obvious and you can backtrack to see who else may have been involved. Still useful given it allows groups of criminals to be rounded up and potentially be charged with past crimes, or prevent future crimes.

            Choose your own position on the "if you've nothing to hide" spectrum but I tend to like to think that I still have some aspects of a private life (old fashioned as that may be).

            Yep. But I still think it's a necessary evil. Bad people use technology to do some very bad things. If we want those people caught, then our agencies need the tools to do that job, along with the safeguards. I agree on the privacy angle, but I very much doubt TPTB are interested in us. I do however find it strange that 'Big Tech' is allowed to invade our privacy much further, and with fewer restrictions than our agencies can. One's doing it in the interests of national security and protecting our safety and democracy, the other, to sell ads.

            1. Patrician

              Re: Problem solved

              >One's doing it in the interests of national security and protecting our safety and democracy, the other, to sell ads.

              The difference is that the one selling ads is always going to be doing that; but the one protecting national security can change depending on the government.

  7. jmch Silver badge
    Pint

    Three cheers...

    ...for the European Court of Human Rights!!!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Three cheers...

      Maybe we should make the "E" stand for something other than "European" to assuage the EG. How about "Essential"?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Three cheers...

        Oops. ERG.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Puzzled....Again!!

    Quote: "...the requirement to decrypt encrypted communications, as applied to end-to-end encrypted communications...."

    (1) But why do ALL discussions about "encryption", "decryption", "end-to-end encrytion" and similar...why do all these discussions ASSUME that the discussion applies to services provided by huge internet service providers? (Such as Meta, Signal, Telegram, Apple, SWIFT....)

    Another quote: "Doing so would necessarily entail weakening the encryption that keeps communication private."

    Yes.....but mostly for users of aforementioned huge internet providers.

    (2) In actual fact, NOTHING AT ALL prevents groups of users implementing their own encryption, irrespective of service providers, so that these users can "keep communication private".

    (3) So....private encryption IN ADDITION to the end-to-end encryption in, for example WhatsApp, probably provides more difficulties for snoops, and another help to "keep communication private".

    To get to the point.....this ASSUMPTION about internet service providers is being used to subcontract "privacy" to internet service providers....when people need to take personal responsibility for their own privacy!!

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Puzzled....Again!!

      I would mostly agree with this but by extension anyone who is using private encryption becomes 'of interest' so in essence they are trashing the privacy of 99.999% of people so they can see who the targets actually are

      Kind of like the idea of shooting everyone and letting $Deity sort out which are the good guys and which are the bad

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Puzzled....Again!!

        @Kevin_Johnston

        So.....just because I'm responsible for my own privacy.....I'm automatically a "person of interest". And how does that personal responsibility affect anyone else?

        I thought "personal responsibility" was one of the foundations of an open society! Sad that you imply otherwise!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Puzzled....Again!!

          Don't complain to Kevin, complain to your MP or whatever party. (Who will almost certainly, given that there's an election in the offing, reply with a platitude but otherwise ignore you.)

      2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Puzzled....Again!!

        Which is why we need this to become the new "normal". It would be fairly straightforward, and could be made transparently easy to use, to let everyone publish their own public key (don't call it that of course - call it a "banjimwobbit" or whatever marketing think would work best) and have every messaging or email app automatically encrypt every message sent to you with that public key and have your device transparently decrypt everything using your corresponding private key.

        It would be no more complicated than sending and receiving email or a WhatsApp message is today.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Puzzled....Again!!

          @Graham_Cobb

          Quote: "transparently easy........public key......private key....."

          Ah....PGP or similar! Problem is the "public key" bit.

          Some of us are wedded to the idea of completely random keys:

          (1) random keys (plural) for each message

          (2) multiple encryption passes for each message (see item #1)

          (3) each random key destroyed after use

          Some of us have spent a lot of computer time finding 60,000 bit plus prime numbers.

          The more determined of us have spent even more time examinining elliptical curves.

          So.....NOTHING with the word "public" ever gets in the door!

          P.S. In the chat about Diffie/Hellman.....people get really confused as between tokens and encryption keys. Interesting?

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Puzzled....Again!!

      (2) In actual fact, NOTHING AT ALL prevents groups of users implementing their own encryption, irrespective of service providers, so that these users can "keep communication private".

      Actual fact. For many years, encryption was illegal in France. I have my WMD RSA t-shirt from those days. So nothing at all prevents politicians going back to declaring any non-backdoored or official, weak encryption is illegal. Then anything an ISP can't decrypt is obviously evidence of criminal activity (a lot of MMO game traffic is encrypted) and so the participants must be hanged by their thumbs until they've coughed up their decryption keys.

      Politicians of course will be exempt. Mainly to stop miscreants compromising their devices and spoofing conversations between them and endpoints in Russia, China, DPRK etc. Well, it wouldn't stop the compromises, but it would stop politicians being thrown in jail for not being able to decrypt 'their' traffic. Unfortunately.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Puzzled....Again!!

        "Politicians of course will be exempt."

        They'll backdoor their communications anyway. One of them will hand over all their messages to a journalist who's going to ghost write their autobiography for them and then publish elsewhere whatever else they find of interest.

  9. Tubz Silver badge

    OK, don't cancel me but I voted for Brexit and still believe in it, if done properly with UKGov and EUssr discussing like adults and not two old senile woman arguing over a fence, but also believe that the UK must stay in ECHR as a check against governments overreaching the power we gave them to make decisions on our behalf.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      I have a poor opinion of Brexit, but you seem to have actually thought about the issue, and having an articulated stance that involves the difference between EU and ECHR gains you a lot of respect from me. However, I have to note that using terms like "EUssr" kinda undermines the objective of "discussing like adults".

    2. Necrohamster Silver badge

      "...EUssr..."

      Yeah I stopped reading your clearly intelligent and well-thought-out post after that.

      Even if you hadn't admitted to voting for Brexit we could've figured it out pretty quickly

    3. gryphon

      Unfortunately Douglas Adam's old comment about lizards / politicians comes to mind.

      If anyone ever wants to run for office then they should automatically be excluded from doing so.

      If AI carries on we'll end up with Asimov's idea of 'The Voter', one person deciding the entirety of the govt. from a discussion with a computer.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        If AI carries on we'll end up with Asimov's idea of 'The Voter', one person deciding the entirety of the govt. from a discussion with a computer.

        I also like Alistair Reynolds "The Prefect". That has an interesting take on democracy-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prefect

        All habitats in the glitter band represent a different format of society, all linked by the common right to vote. A giant computer network runs thousands of polls everyday to decide the general actions of the Glitter Band as a whole.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >All habitats in the glitter band represent a different format of society, all linked by the common right to vote. A giant computer network runs thousands of polls everyday to decide the general actions of the Glitter Band as a whole.

          Unfortunately Gary was found to be an unrepentant child abuser and should spend the rest of his days in prison. Since then, nobody has wanted to be in the Glitter Band...

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Cherry picker.

      1. Necrohamster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I know, right? He should have done some more thinking before voting.

        "...the UK must stay in ECHR as a check against governments overreaching the power we gave them to make decisions on our behalf."

        Translation: "...despite voting for Brexit I believe our government can't be trusted to respect our human rights without Europe's oversight."

        Quite a convincing argument.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your privacy is very important

    Trust us, we know.

    Thank you citizen, move along.

  11. trevorde Silver badge

    Backdoored encryption is great

    Until some politician's WhatsApp messages are published, eh, BoJo?

  12. Charles Ghose

    The Significance of the European Court of Human Rights' Ruling on Encryption

    The recent declaration by the European Court of Human Rights, asserting the illegality of backdoored encryption, is a crucial step towards safeguarding the fundamental rights of individuals. It marks a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against widespread government surveillance, unwarranted intrusions into personal lives, and unauthorized monitoring of private communications.

    Privacy is not just a luxury but a fundamental human right. It forms the cornerstone of individual autonomy, enabling people to freely express themselves, share thoughts, and communicate without fear of unwarranted interference. Encryption plays a pivotal role in upholding this right by providing a secure means of communication, shielding sensitive information from unauthorized access and malicious actors.

    Introducing backdoors into encrypted communications undermines this essential privacy protection. It creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited not only by governments but also by cybercriminals, endangering the security and privacy of millions of individuals worldwide. Moreover, such measures erode trust in digital platforms and weaken the integrity of online communication channels.

    Supporters of backdoors often argue for the need to combat terrorism and crime. While these are legitimate concerns, compromising encryption is not the solution. History has shown that weakening encryption tools ultimately harms law-abiding citizens more than it hinders criminals. Additionally, backdoors can be misused by authoritarian regimes to suppress dissent, target political opponents, and violate human rights on a mass scale.

    Furthermore, the right to privacy extends beyond individual liberties—it is essential for the functioning of democratic societies. Privacy fosters freedom of thought and expression, encourages innovation and creativity, and fosters a climate of trust between individuals and the institutions they interact with. Without robust privacy protections, we risk sliding into a surveillance state where citizens are constantly monitored and their every move scrutinized.

    In conclusion, the Court of Human Rights' ruling against backdoored encryption underscores the critical importance of preserving privacy in the digital age. It reaffirms the rights of individuals to secure, private communications and sets a precedent for upholding these principles globally. Encryption is not just a tool for protecting data; it is a fundamental pillar of democracy, enabling individuals to exercise their rights and freedoms without fear of unwarranted surveillance or intrusion. We must continue to defend encryption and privacy rights against any attempts to weaken them in the name of security or surveillance.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: The Significance of the European Court of Human Rights' Ruling on Encryption

      This comment brought to you by ChatGPT.

  13. scrubber
    Big Brother

    A Rolling With The Get Out Clause

    "... cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society."

    So they're going to go after democratic society.

  14. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Pointless Proclamations

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that laws requiring crippled encryption and extensive data retention violate the European Convention on Human Rights.

    So, is some pan-national organisation going to arrest, charge, and try a country, or its government, and upon conviction collect a stiff fine from them and/or put them in jail for violating the European Convention on Human Rights?

    No, I didn't think so, either.

  15. 9Rune5

    Illegal invasions

    following its illegal invasion of Ukraine

    Is that a thing?

    Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to the day when Putin is no longer in charge and I certainly don't like what happened, but 'illegal'? Someone should call the police..?

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Illegal invasions

      When the Brits and Americans do it (see invasion of Iraq in 2003) it's "legal." When Russia does it, it's "illegal." Who are they kidding?

      Basically the Americans are saying to Russia (and everyone else): "We can do whatever we like, but you CAN'T!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Illegal invasions

      Some invasions can be legal, in the sense that they are authorized by the United Nations.

      After the illegal invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1991, a coalition of more than 40 countries joined forces to free Kuwait. This invasion was legal because a legal body having jurisdiction over all stakeholders authorized it. There was no such authorization in the case of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

      1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: Illegal invasions

        I find this a dubious proposition. There's no "World Government" and the United Nations are often accused of not being inclusive and merely toeing the line of the West. The U.N. is a Cold War relic and should be abolished.

        I therefore think that the U.N. has very little credibility in these matters. Did the U.N. officially declare the invasion of Iraq in 2003 illegal? As far as I can remember they did not.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Illegal invasions

          > There's no "World Government"

          Not sure you understood the argument. Nobody claimed the United Nations is a "World Government". Such a formulation is certainly not in its statutes. The United Nations, as its name suggests is a union of nations. This is where its authority comes from. This is the right place to deal with illegal invasions such as the one of Kuwait in 1991 or that of Ukraine in 2022. First and ideally through diplomacy, then, if necessary, by leveraging its members' military power. Now if there is no retribution for any rogue or mad dictator's crimes, then there is no rule of law anymore and weak states are fair game for the most voracious. Is this what you want?

          For the record, United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 empowered states to use "all necessary means" to force Iraq out of Kuwait. The resolution was passed with the abstention of China.

          Today, with China and Russia having veto right, there is no chance to punish Russia legally for its illegal invasion. Yet rogue dictators can't be allowed to be rewarded for their actions.

          > the United Nations are often accused of not being inclusive and merely toeing the line of the West

          In which metaverse? Did you actually mean "of democracies"

          Russia and China are dictatorships which are still acting in a cold war mindset with their own pet rogue states (Syria, North Korea, Iran, etc) and nothing can get done.

          > The U.N. is a Cold War relic and should be abolished.

          This statement is wrong. The UN was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future world wars. Nothing to do with the Cold War (otherwise, the USSR would not have been granted veto power). It succeeded the post-WWI League of Nations. There will always be a need for intergovernmental bodies with the objective of arbitrating conflicts in a peaceful way. But it takes time for nations to reach a solid democratic maturity state. In the mean time, all kinds of psychos such as Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Xi and Putin can rise to power and rock the boat.

          1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

            Re: Illegal invasions

            A "union of nations" does not give it any authority or only if there's an unanimous agreement between those nations. But that implies that nations which are not part of the U.N. fall outside its jurisdiction and authority and claiming authority over them is contentious at best (and more likely illegal).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Illegal invasions

              > A "union of nations" does not give it any authority

              I'm trying to get what's so hard for you to understand. These nations grant each other authority, when they adhere to the UN charter. Just like any other union legal agreement. Like an owner association for instance.

              > But that implies that nations which are not part of the U.N. fall outside its jurisdiction and authority

              I'm not sure what your point is, but in case Wikipedia is unreachable from where you post, the vast majority of free countries and territories are part of the UN. In 2024, that include 193 member states. Only a few territories are non-members (such as Taiwan or Kosovo) and some are only "observers" (such as Palestine). Mainly due to the obstruction of some oppressing power (China, Russia or Israel respectively).

              Obviously Kuwait and Ukraine are part of the UN and have the right to call for protection from the majority of member states if they are illegally invaded by a given member.

              1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

                Re: Illegal invasions

                By not declaring the invasion of Iraq in 2003 ILLEGAL the U.N. has forfeited all credibility. Period.

  16. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Invasion

    I wonder what the ECHR's verdict would've been if this case had been brought forward against a European government? I believe they would've approved the snooping as "proportional" to "protect the innocence of children."

    I therefore think we should be grateful to the Russians for protecting our privacy.

  17. martinusher Silver badge

    Pardon my mental whiplash

    So we've got duelling agencies -- this lot think that backdoored encryption is anethematical to Human Rights but Europol thinks its essential to save the minds and souls of our children. I suppose this conundrum can be resolved by noting that it the Russians who are Bad People because they want to pry into people's communication but because we're Good People its OK for our own authorities to look into ours. (After all -- if we're not doing anything wrong we've got nothing to fear, right?)

    I think I may revert to the 1960s and the rather dangerous notion of "a plague on both your houses" -- our real enemies are those who seek to keep us safe regardless of who's side you're supposed to be on.

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