‘Cameron incapable of responding to terrorist threat in real way’

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron. (Reuters / Toby Melville)
David Cameron wants to leave no safe space for terrorists to communicate, but attacking encryption major tech companies use leaves no safe space for ordinary people, making them more vulnerable, says Loz Kaye, former leader of the Pirate Party in the UK.

David Cameron has attacked advanced encryption methods used by some major tech companies, suggesting they are sophisticated enough to lock out British intelligence from accessing private conversations without the right code. Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter are just some of the companies encoding their users' private messages with so-called strong encryption.

RT:How willing do you think these firms will be to drop their encryption methods?

Loz Kaye: Firms like Apple for example have been very clear that they are committed to strong encryption because after all that’s what users want. So it’s very unclear what exactly it is that the British government is suggesting. They’ve talked about the cooperation with social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, but are they really suggesting that they are going to ban Apple products, for example, in the UK? Would people visiting the UK from overseas and have to leave their smartphones at the airport? Obviously, this is completely ill-thought-out. It’s just more bluster from David Cameron who seems actually incapable of responding to the terrorist threat in a real way that is going to make any difference. Certainly the tech companies won’t want to play ball and they will start to see that British Isles as a place which is anti-internet, anti-tech and not a place to do business.

RT:David Cameron insists the intelligence should be restricted to reading the conversations of potential terrorists. Isn't terror prevention a worthy reason to surrender some privacy?

READ MORE: No encryption? How very rude

LK: Again and again, we’ve heard this tale that the security services are lacking capability. But for anyone who has followed Snowden’s revelations knows that this is not the case. Listen, the reason why these ill-thought-out proposals are so terrifying is actually because they leave us more vulnerable. David Cameron has talked about leaving no safe spaces for terrorists to communicate. But if we attack encryption there are no safe spaces for any of us to communicate and that makes us more vulnerable. Let me spell it out what that means: It means that the likes of (ISIS?) or the Syrian Electronic Army could is just as capable of intercepting our communications that would potentially give them intelligence for devastating lethal attacks on British soil. This is not making us safer; it leaves us vulnerable. That’s not what I want. Is that really what David Cameron wants, because he has not thought it through.

RT:Some smaller companies have already promised to wrap up their British operations in the wake of Cameron's remarks. But the bigger firms can't afford to lose a market that big, can they?

LK: I think absolutely not. He’s making us look deeply foolish in a place where we are not able to have a thriving tech industry. We can already see how that’s damaging us. Look at Brazil, for example. They’ve said they are going to have a fiber optical cable under sea going direct to Portugal to bypass the US and of course the UK. That’s a $185 million worth of business, so we’ve seen quite the reverse, actually we are going to be left behind. But the real point here is that David Cameron’s priorities are completely wrong; he is actually hoodwinking the British public while suggesting this will make us safer. He wants to spend £2.5 billion on a snooper’s charter but also he is not even willing to commit 2 percent of our GDP to defense. So actually he plays that he is strong but he is in fact weak on defense and weak on this issue. And I think that’s extraordinary that he is being allowed to get away with it.

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