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Sarah Jamie Lewis
+ Your AuthorsArchive @SarahJamieLewis Executive Director @OpenPriv. Cryptography and Privacy Researcher. @cwtch_im icyt7rvdsdci42h6si2ibtwucdmjrlcb2ezkecuagtquiiflbkxf2cqd Jun. 30, 2021 1 min read

The UK Government published new "Online Safety" guidance featuring bangers like "let everyone spy on your children to keep them safe" and "only blue checks should be allowed cryptography" 

"There are many reasons why people might need anonymous accounts - mostly for their own safety - but it's very important you don't let such people encrypt things, that could be harmful"

"Not all harms are illegal, but it's very important you make sure that no one can carry out this arbitrary subset of legal behaviour on your platform to, otherwise you will be held legally liable for the legal 'harms' that are occurring on your platform"

"use automated censorship tech to keep your users safe, but in order to not limit freedom of expression be sure to allow a little harm, as a treat"

"The best way to manage anonymous accounts is to know who your users are"

The UK governments believes that those most at risk shouldn't have access to privacy enhancing technologies or even a right to privacy in general. The government will soon move on from simply "suggesting" this guidance onto legally requiring online platforms to enforce it.

It's all incredibly fucked up - and one of the reasons @OpenPriv is working on @cwtch_im - because we are going to need more surveillance resisting technology that is truly decentralized, with no place in the middle to "switch off" the anonymity or encryption.

The trend has been painfully clear for a while - and isn't limited to the UK. The EU, Canada, USA, Australia, India and others have all been slow crawling a campaign to place restrictions on what kinds of math regular people should be allowed access to.

You can follow @SarahJamieLewis.


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