UK prime minister Cameron demands backdoors into messaging apps or he’ll ban them

“David Cameron, the British Prime minister, is one-upping his Western allies when it comes to anti-encryption propaganda,” David Kravets reports for Ars Technica. “Ahead of national elections in May, Cameron said that if re-elected, he would seek to ban encrypted online messaging apps unless the UK government is given backdoors.”

“He said the Paris attacks, including the one last week on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, underscored the need for greater access,” Kravets reports. “‘The attacks in Paris demonstrated the scale of the threat that we face and the need to have robust powers through our intelligence and security agencies in order to keep our people safe,’ Cameron said.”

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because unencrypted online messaging apps prevented the wholesale slaughter at Charlie Hebdo at the hands of Islamic terrorists. Oh, wait. Well, unencrypted online messaging apps did prevent the Boston Marathon bombings by Islamic terrorists. Uh… Logic is not on David Cameron’s side here.

“Apple began making its latest mobile phones encrypted by default, and Google did the same with the Nexus 6, a move that likely prevents authorities from physically accessing contents directly from these phones’ hardware, even with a warrant,” Kravets reports. “Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey are urging industry to give the US government backdoor access to their encrypted wares. The response, at least publicly, was an overwhelming no. ‘People have a right to privacy,’ Apple Chief Tim Cook told PBS News in September.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Vote out the likes of any fear mongers who espouse Big Brother-esque surveillance doctrine.

Cameron Big Brother

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan, March 30, 1961

Visit the Apple-backed today.


    1. Not fear, just cruising for votes. The man has no idea about how the internet works, how security works, etc, he just wants votes and if he gets them, he will happily take your freedoms away.

      1. Just out of curiosity, what false flag operation? Are you suggesting that the Charlie Hebdo attackers weren’t real terrorists, but tools of the French government, the CIA, or the International Jewish Conspiracy. I know that many of you think that the only terrorists out there are employed by the Obama Administration, but I’d like to see some proof.

        1. If you are awake and follow Apple news then you know many stories on mainstream news are bought and paid for. Do you think mainstream doesn’t employ this practice elsewhere? And once you realize that much of mainstream is make-believe news then your mind can open to other possibilities – even the real truth.

          On alternative media there have been rumors of a small nuke attack beginning in the December time frame. Christmas came and went and there wasn’t an attack. Then the date of the rumored attack got pushed into January.

          I’m sure the agencies were working overtime to thwart this. So, plan B and there is now a relatively small attack (20 or so dead compared to over 100,000) and the world, including the majority of Muslims are outraged. Because of the massacre I think the chances of a nuclear attack have dramatically decreased.

          All the above is speculation on my part (thinking outside the box), but if Hebdo was a false flag than there has to be a reason.

      2. Exactly Alexander. So here’s the wisdom of good old Ben Franklin again:

        “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

        Bravo Ben!

          1. France has been talking about lifting sanctions against Russia because they are also affected . They also have been going against Israel interest . Netanyahu himself told “Recognition of a Palestinian state by France would be a grave mistake,”. So it is better to terrorize France to control it and keep it as another lapdog for USA and Israel . There is much more at stake here . It is a global confrontation in the making.

            1. Yes, I believe radical Islam is unbridled hate and evil and individuals controlling and manipulating the minds and aspirations of these young muslims are the Adolph Hitlers and Joseph Goebbels of this generation.

          2. For the benefit of those who didn’t follow up Alexander’s link, it was not the French Government, the CIA, **or** the Jewish Conspiracy, but rather **all three.** One bit of evidence for this is that the “terrorists” can’t have been Muslims because they spoke excellent French. (I had supposed that might have been because they were born in Paris and lived there almost their entire lives.) This is right up there with the 9/11 deniers’ belief that all the hundreds of people who saw an airliner cross a busy highway before hitting the Pentagon were lying, because it was really a cruise missile.

            Clearly, you aren’t going to be worried about terrorists if you don’t believe that any of them actually exist outside the Federal government. Given that premise, it is reasonable to be more scared of legal searches than of illegal acts by private individuals. If you don’t accept the premise that the police and prosecutors are really interested in preventing and punishing crime, it is not surprising when you want to deny them the tools for doing their job that the Founding Fathers specifically granted them.

            I note that Alexander is specifically suggesting that the US and Israel are trying to provoke France into joining their cabal against Mother Russia. After all, we know that Mr. Putin and all his KGB comrades completely reformed after 1990 and that the current Russian intelligence services would never invade anyone’s privacy because they are so committed to the defense of human rights for all humanity.

            1. I am not in favor of Putin and Co. They are not saints. I prefer a multipolar world where there is much more balance. And where the terrorists are not fabricated for those that benefit from staging “attacks” to justify keeping the war business.

          3. Derek, be very careful with “it is a conspiracy”. Because someone takes advantage of a horrible event does not imply they did it. Next thing we know is that those beheaders we see are really CIA operatives….

            Now I know that the reality if far more unbelievable than any Hollywood script, but that too does not mean that “Paris” did not really happen. I know you didn’t say that, but for some words like “mmm, was this really the action of extremists?” means “These were NOT the actions of extremists but of the government”.

            I guess that the answer to all our questions, also those about the oddities surrounding 9/11, lies in an open government that understands it works for the people. A government that understands that the truth, in the end, will be an easier solution than the endles lying.

            Paris happened as we have seen, though I must say that the CNN coverage of it all was very poor in some respects, the Dutch and French coverage was much better. Images on CNN were shaky, stories unclear….

            1. I have nothing to do with any ‘conspiracy’ hypothesis slinging regarding the Paris murders. We know form 9/11 that there are certain people in the USA who act as all out psychopaths, screwing over We The People in order to get into foreign wars. I state this because we know for certain at this time that incendiary devices brought down all three buildings in NYC, not anything else. But that’s where I stop because I know of no actual facts regarding the other conspiracy hypotheses.

              That’s about it for me.

              As to the loony hypotheses coming out about the Paris murders, again, I seen nothing indicating any false flags operations. I see a nest of nutjobs perpetrating the murders. I see a HYPERsensitive religion willing to justify murder for the sake of someone else’s sense of humor. Really sick stuff for real. Speak out world. Freedom of speech forever and about everything.

  1. No amount of wide-net superdupersnooping is going to prevent these acts of psychopaths – they were already watching these guys – they were just too busy gawking at the rest of our sex lives to focus on the criminals.

  2. and the leaders never seem to figure out – or allow themselves to admit – that these threats ultimately stem from long standing foreign (imperialistic) policies that their (and our) nation(s) have been pursuing for a very long time.

    i am in no way excusing islamic terrorism, but there are reasons it arises other than somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning.

    great britain is neck deep in problems stemming from their imperial aspirations in the near and middle east over the past 150 years and more.

    so we get to pay the price with the loss of our freedoms and civil liberties, degree by degree. all in the name of national security.

    the terrorists win and we may eventually become the very kind of nation we used to go to war to destroy.

    it is a sad state of affairs.

    1. Perhaps you’d like to elaborate on some specific “imperial” policies that caused these nut balls to kill people. Cause I’ve got no idea WTF you’re talking about. And I suspect neither do you.

      1. So if the Iranian army showed up and took over your city with tanks or sent a drone to kill a criminal, but killed the surrounding 20 people as well what would you and your neighbors do?

        If you still have no idea WTF we’re talking about, then you cannot be helped.

      2. As a Brit I could spend a great deal of time explaining the many ways in which we sought Imperial advantage at the expense of stable Middle Eastern politics (and we weren’t the only ones), but instead I urge you to explore histories of “The Great Game”

      3. try reading some history, there are deep historical roots that led to many of todays problems in that area.

        consider how the british imperial powers betrayed the arabs after using them to counter the turks in world war 1.

        t.e. lawrence has a few interesting insights to offer on that score.

        and consider how, in the near east, the french and british carved out nations to suit their own imperial ends, ignoring ethnic religious and cultural divisions within the nations they cobbled together for their own convenience.

        iraq is a very good example of that, it took that total tyrant saddam hussein to keep a lid on the kurds, sunnis and shiites. with him gone they are at one another’s throats, with a little help from their “friends”

        the hopefully temporary success of al qaeda and isil in that area is rooted in the long standing sunni shiite antipathy. much of the leadership of those groups is made up of former officers and leaders of saddam husseins baathist party armed forces

        like i say i have no support for those people, but there are reasons these problems exist and they go way, way back.

        and if you don’t have a good understanding of the history of these divisions, you won’t solve the problem.

        paul bremner, donald rumsfeld and paul wolfowitz have proved that well enough.

        1. I know the history well. Maybe I’m just dense but I fail to connect the dots from the history of centuries past to the murder of a bunch of French news satirists. I was hoping to see specific examples, which you failed to provide in your first post.

          Islamic extremism is a modern phenomenon, which only began to take off with the Iranian revolution. You could argue that the Americans had a hand in it with their support of the Shah. But I don’t see the connection between classic British imperialism and this brutal murder.

      4. The flying robot death squads for one. I hear children in Pakistan now grow up afraid of clear blue skies. There’s apparently much less death from above happening on cloudy and rainy days.

        And I’m only mentioning the flying robot death squad, because that’s just one the newest and most obviously fucked examples. Western imperialists have been killing or just fucking over innocent people in countless other ways before that, for generations. Just watch a Frontline or read a fucking newspaper for once your life.

      5. The remains of the Ottoman, British, Russian, and French empires are burning today and Northern Ireland just taking a recess it isn’t over (it’s been over 500 years and counting).

        1. And that burning has nothing to do with the fact that many of those countries are Muslim dominated. /s

          Yea, get that the arbitrary drawing of borders was a debacle. But cause and effect still hasn’t been established between imperialism and the Paris murders. Correlation does not automatically imply causation without logically connecting specific events.

          In my last post I pointed to the Iranian revolution as a specific event that ignited Islamic extremism. That was a modern event! If you’re going to propose the idea that the British imperialism of past centuries is the cause of the murders you should make an honest attempt to connect the dots. If not, then move along because no one is going to take you seriously.

          Oh crap, I almost forgot…

          Go Apple! And don’t let the buggers have access to our encrypted data!

  3. No, it didn’t prevent them. However, once perpetrated, law enforcement should have access to a path of evidence to help root out all other accomplices and obtain evidence to prosecute.

    When we get to the point where we have to beg the criminal to provide evidence, then we will have large large problem on our hands. A court order has always been enough to access physical evidence, and it should be enough to access digital evidence going in the internet etherworld.

    1. Only if you subscribe to the idea that all human knowledge and interpersonal communication is the government’s domain. That’s scary.

      The government can’t force you to disclose the contents of your own head to incriminate you. They can’t compel your spouse to testify against you, nor even ask your lawyer. Some things are just off limits.

    2. Exactly. There is a middle ground between allowing free snooping and preventing searches entirely. That middle was defined 200 years ago by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution: no unreasonable searches or seizures, no warrants issued except by a neutral magistrate responding to a showing of probable cause in a sworn affidavit, no warrantless search except under exigent circumstances certified by a judge after the fact, and no use of anything found in an illegal
      search (or the fruits thereof). If James Madison had wanted to prohibit searches entirely, he would have worded the Amendment accordingly. He had no problem with lawful searches, and neither should we. I understand that many of you don’t trust your elected government, and would rather trust your children’s safety to pedophiles and terrorists, but I respectfully dissent.

      1. If I want to keep the government out of my documents I have the right to. If you have a warrant you can have my encrypted documents, but they will be worthless. See fifth amendment…

        Your comment about pedophiles and terrorists is bullshit. Not only don’t I trust our elected government, I REALLY don’t trust the unelected government. They are the bigger problem.

    3. Then get a warrant.

      Encrypted data is made to be unencrypted by anyone authorized to do so. So get a warrant, and a court order to legally compel any person with the authorization codes to unlock the data. If that data is actually evidence in a criminal investigation, they should have no problem securing the search warrant and court orders.

      Banning encryption and creating a backdoors is clearly just for skipping search warrants. It’s a way for cops, spies, and wannabe fascists, to subvert the rule of law and right to privacy, for their own temporary convenience, or go “fishing” through innocent people private lives to find anything useful. These inconveniences are there for an important reason – they protect everyone’s freedom.

      1. Try reading the article before commenting. Modern encrypted data is specifically made so that it can NOT be unencrypted without the cooperation of the person who encrypted it (and who has no obligation to incriminate himself by providing the key). Nobody else can access it, even WITH a warrant. With the remotely-possible exception of an agency like the NSA, nobody has the computational resources necessary to crack these cyphers like Alan Turing did to Enigma. Even the NSA would take far too much time in the process to provide useful intelligence on more than a few subjects at a time.

        Again, the only person with the “authorization codes” is the subject of the investigation, and (in a democracy) he cannot be compelled to provide the codes that will incriminate himself, even with a court order. Yes, the authorities can easily secure the warrant and court orders, but they will be utterly worthless without the subject’s cooperation… which they will not get.

        What Cameron (and the corresponding officials in most Western states) is calling for is for there to be some third party who also has the ability to decrypt the data when ordered to do so by a court with jurisdiction and probable cause. Without that sort of “back door,” it will quickly become impossibly difficult to prosecute a whole range of crimes. Those include, but are not limited to, terrorism, criminal conspiracy, child pornography, and the whole range of financial offenses. We currently prosecute these by getting warrants to read mail, tap phones, seize ledgers, and such. If that data is unavailable, the criminals will never be punished. They will be left free to plot, conspire, and execute future crimes.

        Now, that may be an acceptable tradeoff for those of you who think that government snooping is a bigger danger than terrorism or child abuse. That is certainly an intellectually respectable position. What isn’t reasonable is to stick your head in the sand and pretend that there will be no social consequences if there is no longer any ability to get any useful evidence pursuant to a warrant. There will be serious consequences.

        1. Well said. I think the real discussion here is whether it’s OK to knowingly make a lock that cannot be opened, even with a court ordered demand and whether Privacy rights should extend and cover someone reasonably accused of capital crimes against other human beings.

    1. Breivik:
      “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person, as that would be a lie”
      “religion is a crutch”
      “I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.”
      “myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God.”
      “It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy…)”

  4. MDN notes that ” Logic is not on David Cameron’s side here.”

    When did politicians ever resort to logic? It is all about power and trying to control everything and everyone. Dipshits like Cameron think that if the government knows everything, they can control everything and everyone will be happy. But governments that have too much power ALWAYS abuse it.

    1. Even more illogical are the citizens. They want security 100% of the time and yet want to not yield on their own privacy and freedoms. The security vs freedom debate and raged since BEFORE the USA even was a country and will continue. My issue is the lot of you that see things in only black and white, when reality requires consistent compromise and correction.

            1. Yep.

              It’s time we stop teaching our children “anyone can be president”, when the truth is one must be well-connected to the oligarchs to have even the slightest chance of being elected president.

              Since 1980, one Bush or another (Shrub) [both Skull and Bones] has served as VP or president for 20 out of the past 35 years. And in 2004 Kerry (Skull and Bones) ran against a fellow “brother under the skin”. As the saying goes, ‘the fix is in’.

  5. Please UK don’t follow the US’s lead. We in the US let an act of terror blind us with fear and we passed the Patriot Act, and act that no true patriot would ever pass, that drastically eroded our freedoms. Don’t make the same knee jerk reaction to a tragedy that we did.

  6. Sadly, when ever these types of events occur the first step for many right wing government is to clamp down on people’s freedoms. How’s about clamping down on the “allied” governments that have state sponsor terrorism in the first place?

  7. So he wants to ban phones that use encryption?
    Methinks the horse has already bolted on that one.
    T’would mean banning and recalling millions upon millions of phones.
    Good luck with that one, pal! 😁

  8. David Cameron can say all this crap because he knows, as do his party, that they have absolutely NO chance of securing a Parliamentary majority in the upcoming election. The absolute best they can hope for would be to be the largest party and have to form another coalition. If Cameron couldn’t get a majority in 2010, when Blair and Brown had run the Tories’ main competition Labour into the toilet, he doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting one in 2015.

    So right now he can promise whatever overly draconian nonsense he likes, in the full knowledge that he will have a get out clause if anyone ever wants him to enact it.


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