THE UK GOVERNMENT is looking at making technology companies disable uncrackable communications, despite words to the contrary.
We were discussing this only last week when the government said that it does not want to ban encryption and had never wanted to. We didn't really go along with that, and we are not surprised to find ourselves on the other side of this dark mirror already.
What we have here is the Investigatory Powers Bill, the perennial Snoopers' Charter legislation that gets beaten down like mole hills on golf courses.
It's back, in case you missed it, and as onerous as ever. Part of it now includes rules that will prevent technology firms allowing communications that cannot have a third eye stuck in to watch what's going on.
Apple has recently used this argument in its defence, although not in the UK, but governments here and abroad do see access to communications of all sorts as a kind of anti-terrorism silver bullet, so it is likely to remain a thing.
We have The Telegraph to thank for the dropping of our bacon sandwich this morning, and it paints a grim picture of the future, warning that the powers will be introduced on 4 November.
"Companies such as Apple, Google and others will no longer be able to offer encryption so advanced that even they cannot decipher it when asked to, The Daily Telegraph can disclose," blared the report.
"Measures in the Investigatory Powers Bill will place in law a requirement on tech firms and service providers to be able to provide unencrypted communications to the police or spy agencies if requested through a warrant."
The progress of the Snoopers' Charter has often been blocked. The European High Court said in the spring that key parts of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 would not fly under local humanity laws.
The Open Rights Group, which had a role in the case, said at the time that we should expect a return this autumn with the Investigatory Powers Bill, but it added, without much confidence, that this should actually respect human rights.
We have asked the campaign group for its views on The Telegraph article and the latest reported proposals. µ
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