Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
20th January 2021 Issue no. 541
Your industry news - first
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Encryption in danger
Leaked docs reveal the UK Home Office's secret plan to gain real-time access to our text messages and online communications and force companies like WhatsApp to break the security on its own software. "This reckless government plan will make all of us more vulnerable to attacks like the ransomware assault against the NHS." Source: OpenMedia
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has made it very clear that she thinks no one should get to use safe and secure messaging apps.2 Now she has set on the path to make her wish come true.
The other day a massive ransomware attack hit the NHS, blocking off access to patient data and endangering lives. This horrific story tells us why companies need to be able to develop security software without any backdoors that can be exploited this way.3
The Government's proposals will force tech companies and Internet providers to allow "near real time" access to all your private online communications.4
Clearly, the only information Amber Rudd believes should stay hidden is the Government's own powers! We need to make it clear that secretive laws that break our tech and strip away our privacy have no place in a democracy.
What's even more worrying is that the Home Office is not expecting to hear from the public. They planned to keep this entire process secret - including a "consultation" they didn't publicly announce, even to tech businesses!5
Because of this secrecy, we now have fewer than 10 days to get our voices on the record - we don't have a moment to lose!
The UK Home Office already has some of the most aggressive surveillance powers in the world. This is nothing more than a power grab for even more invasive powers - but if enough of us speak up we can stop this.
Strong encryption saves lives6 - Vulnerable groups will have their safety compromised if services like WhatsApp and Signal are forced to build backdoors. Lawyers will lose client confidentiality, victims of police misconduct will be spied on, journalists will be unable to protect sources, and domestic abusers could be gifted further ways to exploit tech vulnerabilities to spy on their partners.
 LEAKED Draft Statutory Powers, Source: Open Rights Group
 Investigatory Powers: 'Real-time surveillance' in draft update, Source: BBC
 NHS cyber-attack: GPs and hospitals hit by ransomware. Source: BBC
 Winning the debate on encryption?-?a 101 guide for politicians. Source: Privacy International
 Plans for extensive Government spying powers revealed in leaked report. Source: Telegraph
 Encryption saves lives. Source: Jon Camfield
 This Software Company May Be Helping People Illegally Spy On Their Spouses. Source: Forbes
17th May 2017