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UK about to go mental with Internet laws

by on08 May 2017

End to encryption and a porn licence

The UK government is planning to enact a daft batch of Internet reform which will require people to register at the post office if they want to access porn sites.

Other plans involve the death of end-to-end encryption and carry out mass surveillance in near-real time.

First there is a plan to clamp down on unrestricted adult content by slapping viewers with a £15 charge before they are allowed to watch any X-rated clips.

New regulations could force viewers to register their age by inputting credit card details, mobile numbers or by going to the post office and showing their ID in person.

Like most insane censorship laws they aim to “protect children.” The laws are already part of the The Digital Economy Act finally receiving Royal Assent, but no one appears to have noticed yet.

Meanwhile a draft copy of the government's technical capability notices regulations was sent to the Open Rights Group (ORG) last night. They insist that telecoms firms to provide 'communications and secondary data' about individuals 'in near real time', and to make sure they can monitor one in every ten thousand customers at once.

This data would be given under warrant, for both targeted and bulk surveillance.

Telcos must have the capability to 'remove electronic protection applied by or on behalf of the telecommunications operator to the communications or data, or to permit the person to whom the warrant is addressed to remove such electronic protection'.

The plans are said to be up for consultation, but it involves the spy agencies and half a dozen phone companies rather than the great unwashed.

ORG executive director Jim Killock warned that the powers could be directed at companies like WhatsApp to limit their encryption.

The regulations would make the demands that home secretary Amber Rudd made to attack end-to-end encryption a reality. But if the powers are exercised, this will be done in secret.

Of course, it is unlikely that this would pass through the European Human Rights court but with a bit of luck the UK will be out of that soon.

Last modified on 08 May 2017
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