An enjoyable take by The Register on the UK’s Online Safety Bill. I was particularly interested by the link to Veilid, a new secure peer-to-peer network for apps which is like the offspring of IPFS and Tor.

Many others have made the point about how much government ministers like the end-to-end encryption of their own WhatsApp communications. But they’d also like to break into, well… everyone else’s.

The official madness over data security is particularly bad in the UK. The British state is a world class incompetent at protecting its own data. In the past couple of weeks alone, we have seen the hacking of the Electoral Commission, the state body in charge of elections, the mass exposure of birth, marriage and death data, and the bulk release of confidential personnel information of a number of police forces, most notably the Police Service Northern Ireland. This was immediately picked up by terrorists who like killing police. It doesn't get worse than that.

This same state is, of course, the one demanding that to “protect children,” it should get access to whatever encrypted citizen communication it likes via the Online Safety Bill, which is now rumored to be going through British Parliament in October. This is akin to giving an alcoholic uncle the keys to every booze shop in town to “protect children”: you will find Uncle in a drunken coma with the doors wide open and the stock disappearing by the vanload.


It is just stupidity stacked on incompetence balanced on political Dunning Krugerism, and the advent of Veilid drowns the lot in a tidal wave of foetid futility. What can a government do about a framework? What can it do about open source?


The only way to outlaw encryption is to outlaw encryption. Anything less will fail, as it is always possible in software to create kits of parts, all legal by themselves, that can be linked together to provide encryption with no single entity to legislate against. Our industry is fully aware of this. Criminals know it too. Ordinary people will learn it as well, if they have to. This information is free to everyone – except the politicians, it seems. For them, reality is far too expensive.

Source: Last rites for UK’s ridiculous Online Safety Bill | The Register