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Encryption Government Privacy Security The Internet United Kingdom United States IT

Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee Slams UK and US Net Plans (bbc.com) 48

The web's creator has attacked any UK plans to weaken encryption and promised to battle any moves by the Trump administration to weaken net neutrality. From a report on BBC: Sir Tim Berners-Lee was speaking to the BBC following the news that he has been given the Turing Award. It is sometimes known as the Nobel Prize of computing. Sir Tim said moves to undermine encryption would be a "bad idea" and represent a massive security breach. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said there should be no safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online. But Sir Tim said giving the authorities a key to unlock coded messages would have serious consequences. "Now I know that if you're trying to catch terrorists it's really tempting to demand to be able to break all that encryption but if you break that encryption then guess what -- so could other people and guess what -- they may end up getting better at it than you are," he said. Sir Tim also criticised moves by legislators on both sides of the Atlantic, which he sees as an assault on the privacy of web users. He attacked the UK's recent Investigatory Powers Act, which he had criticised when it went through Parliament: "The idea that all ISPs should be required to spy on citizens and hold the data for six months is appalling." In the United States he is concerned that the principle of net neutrality, which treats all internet traffic equally, could be watered down by the Trump administration and the Federal Communications Commission. "If the FCC does move to reduce net neutrality I will fight it as hard as I can," he vowed.
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Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee Slams UK and US Net Plans

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    He wants his DRM system, US wants corps to profit and UK wants to spy.

    Film @ 11, I guess.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes because giving companies the option to use DRM on their content is totally the same as the loss of all security and privacy.

  • by jarrowwx ( 775068 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2017 @04:17PM (#54173031) Homepage
    first you have to use that encryption in all your government "classified" communications, and all your banking transactions for one year. Then, at the end of the year, if you still want all encryption to have back doors, we'll consider it. But don't be surprised if the government no longer has any secrets, or indeed, any money left.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does anyone get deja vu that this is a repeat of the whole 'clipper chip' justification without the hardware...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip for the uninitiated.

  • My God! They don't have 10,000 gigabit fibre to every homeless tent!

    Welcome to the real world.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the new champion of DRM is telling us what is best for ourselves.

    It's time that he fades gracefully from public before he embarrasses his legacy further.

  • by sit1963nz ( 934837 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2017 @04:41PM (#54173189)
    So, we have a back door. It is easily proven that without backdoors various groups have been able to hack into the NSA, CIA, US Navy, etc etc etc. WITH a backdoor it will be even easier.

    So with a back door, I assume it will be up to the government to PROVE that any files, encrypted or otherwise, were not put there by some 3rd party, that the back door has not been used.

    Seems like a get out of jail free card with the use of a good lawyer.

    Oh, and please give over the source code so my defence team can see how the backdoor works so we can check if it has been used.

    Backdoor = lots of people getting off because the LEOs don't want to spill the beans about the back door, seems self defeating to me.
    • I hate to have to say this, but "The courts will save us!" is the fool's cry. It rarely works out.

      • And yet people have been getting away scot free because the LEO were unwilling to show how they caught the person.

        The secret became more valuable than the prosecution.
  • What's to stop the bad guys from just using another encryption scheme without backdoors built into it?

  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2017 @05:08PM (#54173393)
    Tim Berners-Lee won the Turing Award. So, does that mean that his responses were indistinguishable from that of a human?
  • As I posted here: [slashdot.org] Seems to me that TBL could have done a much better job phrasing the point that backdoors might be intended only for government use, but bad guys always find a way to use them to break security systems wide open.

    What is the person on the street really going to make of "they may end up getting better at it than you are"?

    He could have pointed to a physical-world analogy: the TSA 'master keys' that can open all sorts of luggage padlocks [wired.com]. For a while, only the government had them. Today, anyon

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith