The Investigatory Powers Bill gets really real

UPDATE (20/11/2016): Too late. The most invasive and dangerous bill in the history of modern British politics, and the most invasive mass surveillance framework in the history of democratic states  has been approved to become law. As with all policies crafted out of blunt fear, it will make people far less safe.

“We do have to worry about a UK Donald Trump. If we do end up with one, and that is not impossible, we have created the tools for repression.” — Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Strasburger

Of course, this concern predates the eventuality of a total kakistocracy situation, such as what’s happening in the United States right now. The UK has had various examples of abuse of already existing surveillance powers in its own recent history.

Many people argue that there are no technical solutions to bad policy when it comes to privacy and mass surveillance. I would agree with that. Technical solutions are often clumsy, buggy, time-consuming and are difficult to scale. But when political avenues have been closed — as they have with the passing of this Investigatory Powers Bill, then technological solutions are what we’ve got left to work with. You can’t wait for the law to have your human rights. Sometimes you just have to exercise your rights until the law recognizes them.


The British government is at war with its citizens, and using the Tory government’s new Snoopers’ Charter as its weapon. There is virtually no opposition to it. In spite of Liberty’s campaign work on the IPBill, its former director, embattled Labour Peer Shami Chakrabarti, has been utterly quiet on the topic, as has the vast majority of her party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. The SNP and Liberal Democrats form what is essentially the opposition on this issue. You need to stop what you’re doing and pay attention to the…


Where it’s at…

Passed by the House of Lords (with amendments to protect the wealthy classes)


Technical patches for bad policy

An interesting project, but I don’t think we’ll crowdfund our way out of this one.


Criminalising knowledge of how to apply maths in technology…

✓ researching encryption
✓ publishing encryption guides
✓ teaching use of encryption
✓ possessing encrypted OS on USB
✓ encrypting websites