UK Government Planning to Ban Encryption, Spy on All Communications in Real Time

Friday, May 5, 2017
By Paul Martin

A leaked document reveals the UK government has drawn up yet further, disturbingly dystopian draft bulk surveillance powers, which would give authorities carte blanche to monitor citizens’ live communications, and effectively illegalize encryption. A cybersecurity expert told Sputnik this has terrifying implications not merely for internet privacy.

The draft, produced by private consultation, was leaked to the Open Rights Group. It details rules that would fall under Section 267(3)(i) of the Investigatory Powers Act.

The rules would compel all communications companies — including phone networks and ISPs — to provide real-time access to any named individual’s full content within a single working day, as well as any “secondary data” related to that individual, including encrypted content.

This means UK organizations will be precluded from introducing true end-to-end encryption of user data, and legally required to introduce backdoors to their systems, so authorities can monitor any and all communications. Such ease of access was demanded by Home Secretary Amber Rudd in the wake of the March 22 Westminster terrorist attack.

In addition, communication firms would be required to facilitate bulk surveillance by introducing systems capable of providing real-time interception of 1 in 10,000 customers — in essence, the government would be capable of spying on 6,500 individuals simultaneously.

“[Communications companies must] provide and maintain the capability to disclose, where practicable, the content of communications or secondary data in an intelligible form and to remove electronic protection applied by or on behalf of the telecommunications operator to the communications or data,” the document states.

The Rest…HERE

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