If you live in the UK and are active in the privacy space, you’ve probably heard of the Online Safety Act by now. If you haven’t, I’d look it up as other people do a much better job than me at explaining the implications of this bill.
Anyhow, the TLDR of it is we’d lose functional encryption if this law was passed. That cannot happen. Encryption is not just important for privacy but it is fundamental to security. Any backdoor is a risk, even if the people with the backdoor have good intentions.
So, what can you do? Not a whole lot, unless you’re an MP. You can write to your MP or write to the House of Lords and demand they cease the passing of this bill.
It doesn’t have long left, ending on September 15 and every time someone signs it it sends a message to the government. If it can reach 10,000 signatures before the deadline, then we can get a response as well.
Realistically, the petition is unlikely to have much of an impact on the government, however if we make our stance clear then we have taken a stand to protect privacy.
The law sucks, but thankfully the government made a (kind of) u-turn. Still, fuck the home office.
Indeed, the Bill already stated that the regulator Ofcom would only ask tech firms to access messages once “feasible technology” had been developed which would specifically only target child abuse content and not break encryption.
source: the BBC
Apparently companies can be tasked with developing the technology, but I really don’t know what that means because you can’t invent laws based on tech that simply doesn’t exist. It’s like legally requiring Apple to build a teleportation machine.
At the end of the day encryption is maths, and as of my knowledge, maths does not have “good guys” and “bad guys”.
Mark the date, guys. All the problem of the internet are solved!
Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said the bill was a “game-changing” piece of legislation. “Today, this government is taking an enormous step forward in our mission to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online,” she said.