David Cameron is clueless
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Jan. 13th, 2015 | 11:49 pm
There should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read", he said.
(I assume that's paraphrasing by the beeb)
He appears to be seriously proposing banning strong encryption. That'd be the "S" in "HTTPS" amongst other things.
On a technical level, this stuff is all-or-nothing. You can't keep any back door for use by the "good guys". If it's there, the bad guys will find it, and use it.
People (and corporations) generally prefer it if the "financial transaction" part of their e-commerce is not vulnerable to crooks like the ones that have been knocking over US retail chains' credit card processing operations on a regular basis for the last couple of years.
Those crooks had to actually do a bit of work for most of those breaches, but without strong encryption, they could just set up in a convenient point in the network and pick up credit card details (or anything else of interest) as they go by.
In short: if enacted, this would kill the entire e-commerce industry.
Assuming they could enforce it, that is - which I doubt, because that would likely require disconnecting the entire country from the internet and destroying all the computers that implement such encryption. Which would be approximately everything that can browse the web, including the pocket computers that people still insist on calling "phones", large numbers of modern televisions, and likely a whole bunch of other computers-in-disguise.
And that's just the *first* objection I could articulate semi-coherently at this time of night.