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Apr 12, 2001
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The British Government is reportedly preparing a publicity attack on end-to-end encryption in an effort to mobilize public opinion against the technology by framing it as a child safety issue, with its main aim being to derail Facebook's plan to end-to-end encrypt its Messenger platform.

s960_2MS_Home_Office_sign_960x640.jpeg

According to Rolling Stone, the Home Office has hired the M&C Saatchi advertising agency to plan the campaign, which will include a media blitz with TV ads, campaigning efforts from UK charities and law enforcement agencies, calls to action for the public to contact tech companies directly, and multiple real-world stunts, some of which have been designed to make the public "uneasy."
According to documents reviewed by Rolling Stone, one the activities considered as part of the publicity offensive is a striking stunt — placing an adult and child (both actors) in a glass box, with the adult looking "knowingly" at the child as the glass fades to black. Multiple sources confirmed the campaign was due to start this month, with privacy groups already planning a counter-campaign.
The anti-encryption stance from the UK government isn't new, but its latest effort is focused on the argument that improved encryption would hamper efforts to tackle child exploitation online. "We have engaged M&C Saatchi to bring together the many organizations who share our concerns about the impact end-to-end encryption would have on our ability to keep children safe," a Home Office spokesperson told Rolling Stone.

In a presentation produced by the UK government to recruit potential not-for-profit coalition partners, one slide notes that "most of the public have never heard" of end-to-end encryption, which means "people can be easily swayed" on the issue. Tellingly, the slide also notes that the campaign "must not start a privacy vs safety debate."

The UK government has allocated £534,000 ($730,500) of public funds for the campaign, according to a letter sent from the Home Office in response to a freedom of information request.

Facebook, recently rebranded to "Meta," has already delayed plans to use end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram messages until at least 2023, a year later than previously planned. Meta said the delay was to give it extra time to coordinate with experts in the field of combating online abuse while also protecting user privacy.

Messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage all use end-to-end encryption that prevents communications between sender and recipient from being accessed by anyone else, including the service providers. Security experts have long argued that weakening encrypted systems for such platforms would mean weakening security for everyone.

Both Meta and Apple have long fought against anti-encryption legislation and attempts to weaken platform and device encryption. In 2019, Meta successfully challenged a court order to force it to decrypt Facebook Messenger calls. The order was the result of an investigation into the MS-13 gang's activities on Facebook Messenger in California.

Apple's most public battle against the US government came in 2016, after Apple was ordered to help the FBI unlock the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino.

Apple opposed the order and claimed that it would set a "dangerous precedent" with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption. Apple ultimately held its ground and the U.S. government backed off after finding an alternate way to access the device, but Apple has continually had to deal with further law enforcement efforts to combat encryption.

Article Link: UK Government Readies Anti-Encryption Publicity Campaign to 'Keep Children Safe' Online
 
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nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,403
4,126
Tennessee
Maybe it's time for the other side to start a publicity campaign to explain what can happen without end to end encryption. Plenty of examples to draw from ranging from government corruption to personal corruption. That would effectively create the privacy vs safety debate they're trying to avoid with this campaign. And it's a good debate to have and no real solution, likely, that makes everyone happy.
 

insoft.uk

macrumors regular
Mar 15, 2018
130
94
Criminals will just use one of the many third party encryption apps, one could even continue to use messenger or SMS and just send the text pre-encrypted, it’s a wast of time and effort by the government the only people that will lose out is the public as the government will be able to spy on them and that’s their real goal not the criminals that’s a smoke screen
 

bbplayer5

macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2007
3,104
1,029


The British Government is reportedly preparing a publicity attack on end-to-end encryption in an effort to mobilize public opinion against the technology by framing it as a child safety issue, with its main aim being to derail Facebook's plan to end-to-end encrypt its Messenger platform.

s960_2MS_Home_Office_sign_960x640.jpeg

According to Rolling Stone, the Home Office has hired the M&C Saatchi advertising agency to plan the campaign, which will include a media blitz with TV ads, campaigning efforts from UK charities and law enforcement agencies, calls to action for the public to contact tech companies directly, and multiple real-world stunts, some of which have been designed to make the public "uneasy."
The anti-encryption stance from the UK government isn't new, but its latest effort is focused on the argument that improved encryption would hamper efforts to tackle child exploitation online. "We have engaged M&C Saatchi to bring together the many organizations who share our concerns about the impact end-to-end encryption would have on our ability to keep children safe," a Home Office spokesperson told Rolling Stone.

In a presentation produced by the UK government to recruit potential not-for-profit coalition partners, one slide notes that "most of the public have never heard" of end-to-end encryption, which means "people can be easily swayed" on the issue. Tellingly, the slide also notes that the campaign "must not start a privacy vs safety debate."

The UK government has allocated £534,000 ($730,500) of public funds for the campaign, according to a letter sent from the Home Office in response to a freedom of information request.

Facebook, recently rebranded to "Meta," has already delayed plans to use end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram messages until at least 2023, a year later than previously planned. Meta said the delay was to give it extra time to coordinate with experts in the field of combating online abuse while also protecting user privacy.

Messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage all use end-to-end encryption that prevents communications between sender and recipient from being accessed by anyone else, including the service providers. Security experts have long argued that weakening encrypted systems for such platforms would mean weakening security for everyone.

Both Meta and Apple have long fought against anti-encryption legislation and attempts to weaken platform and device encryption. In 2019, Meta successfully challenged a court order to force it to decrypt Facebook Messenger calls. The order was the result of an investigation into the MS-13 gang's activities on Facebook Messenger in California.

Apple's most public battle against the US government came in 2016, after Apple was ordered to help the FBI unlock the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December 2015 attacks in San Bernardino.

Apple opposed the order and claimed that it would set a "dangerous precedent" with serious implications for the future of smartphone encryption. Apple ultimately held its ground and the U.S. government backed off after finding an alternate way to access the device, but Apple has continually had to deal with further law enforcement efforts to combat encryption.

Article Link: UK Government Readies Anti-Encryption Publicity Campaign to 'Keep Children Safe' Online
Dont worry guys, I am SURE they will keep this to children’s devices. I totally trust the government lol..
 

bbplayer5

macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2007
3,104
1,029
Criminals will just use one of the many third party encryption apps, one could even continue to use messenger or SMS and just send the text pre-encrypted, it’s a wast of time and effort by the government the only people that will lose out is the public as the government will be able to spy on them and that’s their real goal not the criminals that’s a smoke screen
Just wait until they arrest you for typing encrypted messages. Good times.
 

DominikHoffmann

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2007
255
158
Commonwealth of Virginia
In an era, where our liberty is fast being eroded by all sorts of government edicts, executive actions, mandates, censorship, etc., do we really believe that we need the government to be able to look at our private communication Have we learned nothing from the Edward Snowden treasure trove?

I sure hope that the public in the U.K. is informed enough to vigorously oppose the current effort.
 

Unsupported

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2020
643
702
a land far, far away...
Not surprising when you consider the UK invented modern political propaganda during WWI. Even Adolf Hitler admired how effective the UK's propaganda was, which lead him to copy the techniques during his Nazi regime.

I hereby invoke Godwin's Law!

Anyway, you're wrong about the origins of "political propaganda":
Political propaganda is about as old as the written language, and examples appear around the world in humanity’s earliest civilizations. The 5th century BCE Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great is carved into a rockface in Iran, like an ancient billboard. Cicero and Livy produced pieces many historians now consider as precursors to propaganda, and many examples of pro-Roman propaganda have been found across the Empire in inscription, statue, and other forms.
 

zeezun

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2020
65
241
coming from the most corrupt and morally bankrupt 🇬🇧 govt ever lol. creepy bojo the 🤡 can't sort out number 10 numerous lawbreaking parties. wasting tax payers pounds on dodgy and North Korea-like campaigns 😡
 

Saturnine

macrumors 65816
Oct 23, 2005
1,354
1,953
Manchester, UK
It’s a frigging disgrace and something I am actively campaigning against.

This is preying on people’s feelings and fears regarding the safety of their children in order to push through legislation giving a government ever more power and control. It’s fundamentally morally wrong. When a Government resorts to that, you can sure it’s because it has no valid argument beyond its own self-interest.

This should be about education. As parents, know who your children are speaking to and how. Educate people about the importance of encryption and how it protects. Teach people how to recognise extremism and other damaging behaviour and report it. God forbid we live in a world where Governments are unable to read any conversation we ever have!

But this isn’t about the safety of children. This is about the Government using underhanded tactics to sway public opinion. This is their attempt to make “encryption” seem seedy and underhanded. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, right? After all, only terrorists and paedophiles use encryption don’t they?
 

PhilMacbook

macrumors regular
Mar 16, 2018
185
219
Britain
Didn't Number 10 just tell staff to clean their phones with regards to upcoming investigations? I would think Boris would be in favour of encryption or indeed anything that would prevent him getting into trouble.

As for the advertising campaign, the government's Covid adverts have been shameful, coercive propaganda peddling a narrative the government clearly didn't sign up to in their own lives. Throwing millions of pounds of taxpayer money down the drain in adverts may constitute doing something but it does not constitute doing something effective.
 

phalseHUD

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2011
272
331
Digital Sprawl
The current UK government is rotten to its absolute core. It all starts with the Leader and they say turd flows down… There is no opposition either, most of our MPs seem hellbent and desperate to give away the hard won freedoms that previous generations fought and died for. Those men will be turning in their graves…

Throughout this whole Covid drama we’ve had MPs - not to mention other relatively high profile people - flout the rules that they were party to creating, voting for and administering. Some, like Nadhim Zarhawi and Michael Gove specifically, have outright lied saying they had no plans to bring in vaccine passports during interviews, then voting to bring them in. Everyone surely now knows that vaccine passports specifically, are completely and utterly pointless, in that both jabbed and unjabbed can transmit the Covid. Look at the countries with high uptake of the vaccines and their case numbers! Then there is Doris and his parties, not to mention his wife!

This will likely just be another example of one rule for us plebs and another rule for our so-called representatives. As others have pointed out, it’s happened before where these MPs and ministers have used unofficial channels, like WhatsApp, as @GaymerAdam mentioned.

The hypocrisy stinks! The sooner we replace them all, the better.
 

laptech

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2013
1,568
1,953
Earth
The problem for tech companies that use end to end encryption on their messaging platforms is that for the past number of years the UK authourities have had a number of investigations running involving child related crimes and one of the things that has come out of these investigations is the amount of people involved using messaging systems that use end to end encryption to prevent law enforcement from checking messages, thereby thwarting law enforcement into taking action against those people.

Many have heard the term 'Guns are not the problem, it's the people that use them'. Well defenders of end to end encryption use the same, 'end to end encryption is not the problem, it's the people that use it'.

UK law enforcement want end to end encryption removed because it will enable them to catch people involved in child related crimes who use end to end encryption devices to message one another so they can evade the police.
 
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