UK To Demand Backdooring Else Prison [Crypto In Devices, Email And More]

grarpamp grarpamp at
Tue Nov 10 15:54:30 PST 2015

Buried in the 300 pages of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill (aka
the Snooper's Charter), published on Wednesday, is something called a
"technical capability notice" (Section 189). Despite its
neutral-sounding name, this gives the UK's home secretary almost
unlimited power to impose "an obligation on any relevant
operators"—any obligation—subject to the requirement that "the
Secretary of State considers it is reasonable to do so."

There is also the proviso that "it is (and remains) practicable for
those relevant operators to comply with those requirements," which
probably rules out breaking end-to-end encryption, but would still
allow the home secretary to demand that companies add backdoors to
their software and equipment.

That's bad enough, but George Danezis, an associate professor in
security and privacy engineering at University College London, points
out that the Snooper's Charter is actually much, much worse.

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