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Home Secretary calls for an end to encryption

Home Secretary calls for an end to encryption

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has called for backdoors in encryption protocols, using the tragedy in Westminster last week to relaunch the Conservative government's plans to effectively kill the concept of communications privacy.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has spoken out against strong cryptography, following reports that the person responsible for four deaths in Westminster last week sent a message via the popular WhatsApp chat service shortly before his attack, claiming she will enlist the help of people 'who understand the necessary hashtags.'

Strong end-to-end encryption is a cornerstone of the modern internet. From usernames and passwords to your banking details, search history, and - yes - even your porn habits, end-to-end encryption ensures that the data you send and receive is kept both private and is not molested during transit. It's also the bane of governmental security services, preventing them from monitoring communications protected in this manner - unless, of course, they encourage the use of known-broken algorithms, block the exportation of strong ciphers, insert backdoors where the data is stored, or just take control of the endpoints and client devices directly.

End-to-end chat applications, meanwhile, pose a bigger problem for the security services. Where your encrypted connection to most email servers, for example, stops being encrypted the minute it hits the server, applications like Signal and WhatsApp use end-to-end encryption: a message is encrypted on the sending device to a key known only by the receiving device, meaning the message cannot be read, monitored, or modified en route - even on Signal or WhatsApp's own servers. In the wake of last Wednesday's tragedy in Westminster and the claims that the attacker responsible used Facebook-owned WhatsApp - a service also used by over a billion people a month who did not carry out any attacks on Wednesday - Home Secretary Amber Rudd is calling for the effective abolition of such protections.

'We need to make sure that organisations like WhatsApp, and there are plenty of others like that, don't provide a secret place for terrorists to communicate with each other,' Rudd told the BBC during an interview this weekend. 'It used to be that people would steam open envelopes or just listen in on phones when they wanted to find out what people were doing, legally, through [court-issued] warrantry. But in this situation we need to make sure that our intelligence services have the ability to get into situations like encrypted WhatsApp.'

Embarrassingly, Rudd also stated that she would employ the assistance of 'the best people who understand the technology, who understand the necessary hashtags to stop this stuff ever being put up, not just taken down, but ever being put up in the first place are going to be them.' At present, it's unclear whether her use of 'hashtags' - content-specific tags used on social media services like Twitter to classify posts and link related topics, named for the presence of a hash symbol at the start - is the result of a deep lack of any technical knowledge or a misguided attempt to appear in-touch with the nation's youth.

Privacy campaigners are, naturally, displeased with Rudd's apparent knee-jerk reaction to Wednesday's tragedy and seeming attempt to push through anti-privacy legislation the government has been after for years. 'It is right that technology companies should help the police and intelligence agencies with investigations into specific crimes or terrorist activity, where possible. This help should be requested through warrants and the process should be properly regulated and monitored,' claimed Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock following the interviews. 'However, compelling companies to put backdoors into encrypted services would make millions of ordinary people less secure online. We all rely on encryption to protect our ability to communicate, shop and bank safely.'

While Rudd has suggested that any such compelled backdoor would be highly secure and accessible only by the security services in cases of court-approved warrantry, the truth is that it is impossible to secure backdoors against malicious use. Government agencies are frequently the target of attacks from those would would seek to use such access themselves, and earlier this month WikiLeaks published thousands of top secret documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) including details of how the agency already gets around end-to-end encryption (to whit: by attacking the sending or receiving device directly and capturing the messages before they are encrypted or after they are decrypted, neither of which requires a backdoor in the encryption itself.)

In 2015, then-Prime Minister David Cameron launched a similar attack on strong cryptography off the back of an attack on French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo that left twelve people dead. At the time, Cameron voluntarily described his proposed law as 'very intrusive,' claiming it would deny terrorists 'safe spaces' to communicate while conveniently ignoring that it would also deny every other person in the world a similarly safe means of private communication. 'Do we allow terrorists safer spaces for them to talk to each other? I say no, we don’t – and we should legislate accordingly,' Cameron said at the time. 'The powers that I believe we need, whether on communications data [metadata] or on the content of communications, I feel very comfortable these are absolutely right for a modern, liberal democracy.'

Rudd has not yet indicated plans to introduce legislation along the lines of that mooted by Cameron.

64 Comments

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Mr_Mistoffelees 27th March 2017, 11:10 Quote
Post removed.

I have some mental health issues, yesterday was not a good day and I said some things online that I am not happy about today.
Gareth Halfacree 27th March 2017, 11:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mistoffelees
Post removed.
Reply removed.
liratheal 27th March 2017, 11:22 Quote
Yet another demonstration of someone trying to meddle in things they don't understand.

I suspect anything brought into play would miraculously exclude politicians another weasel-y types.
rmallen 27th March 2017, 11:24 Quote
I'm comfortable with the government having unfettered access to all of my communication just as long as I have access to all theirs, after all we foot the bill for their activities and they are all allegedly done with our best interests at heart
Broadwater06 27th March 2017, 11:48 Quote
Once again, another MP butted on the subject she doesn't know. And neither a lot of people. It sounded good on the TV programme when she was talking tough and no doubt a lot of people would be applauding her stance. Pah, we don't need experts.

That's the crux of the problem, we have MPs meddling in things and passing laws on subject of computing and web, and they call out the IT dept for the flimsiest reasons.
lacuna 27th March 2017, 12:10 Quote
How would it even be possible to monitor every message? There are billions sent everyday. Even a pretty clever filter algorithm would surely flag thousands of false positives.
Corky42 27th March 2017, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mistoffelees
We don't need an end to encryption, we need the security services to have the means to decrypt messages sent and received by potential terrorists.

If you know a way to do that without it also effecting innocent people I'm all ears, in fact i reckon you could make a lot of money if you knew how to decrypt messages sent and received by potential terrorists while preventing access to it from miscreants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mistoffelees
Forget privacy concerns, terrorists need to be prevented from committing mas murder.

I'd be more worried about the billions of financial transactions carried out across the world each day.

In other news Amber Rudd is calling for a ban on all vehicles that exceed 5mph, knives, and pointed sticks. :p
IanW 27th March 2017, 12:20 Quote
As I've said both here and elsewhere when this subject comes up,
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
One agency's backdoor is the ENTIRE 1337 h4xx0r community's catflap!
Anfield 27th March 2017, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mistoffelees
We don't need an end to encryption, we need the security services to have the means to decrypt messages sent and received by potential terrorists.

IF someone was capable of achieving the second without the former they would be swimming in Bill Gates money.
Corky42 27th March 2017, 12:39 Quote
Maybe someone should show MP's how to send encrypted messages using nothing more than a few sheets of A4 and a pencil, having said that if we did they'd probably call for a ban on stationary.
liratheal 27th March 2017, 13:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Maybe someone should show MP's how to send encrypted messages using nothing more than a few sheets of A4 and a pencil, having said that if we did they'd probably call for a ban on stationary.

You'd probably lose them before you got to the demonstration. They have that mentality where IT is all strange and magic, thus, must be feared and regulated as strictly as possible.
Nexxo 27th March 2017, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Mistoffelees
Forget privacy concerns, terrorists need to be prevented from committing mas murder.

Er, wut? The last serious terrorist incident was 12 years ago. And this was a nutter in a car with a knife, not an ISIS sleeper cell detonating a dirty bomb in the heart of the City.

Seems to the intelligence services are doing spectacularly well already. Let's not get hysterical.
FatalSyntaxError 27th March 2017, 14:29 Quote
This is what happens when you have people that don't understand the sector they are in charge of.

Amber Rudd has a degree in History, how that makes her even remotely qualified to be in charge of policing, national security, internal affairs, and immigration and citizenship for the UK is beyond me. The people in this position should have experience in the areas the role oversees just like any other job.

You don't hire a cleaner to be the lead surgeon in a A&E department. To be home secretary you should either be in the police, in a national security agency, or immigration. And for any field you don't have direct experience in, you refer to experts from that field to build your policy's etc on. I.E if the home secretary was a former police officer, they'd talk to a expert in immigration and citizenship before saying anything about immigration policy let alone propose changes.

Another example is George Osborne, another history graduate who was in charge of the 5th largest economy in the world. Is it any surprise that his solution to the credit crisis was start taxing baked goods and cut spending on benefits to the poorest in our society instead of taxing the rich more proportionately or getting large corporations to pay fair taxes.

Jeremy Hunt studied PPE at university. Why on earth is he the health secretary, he has no clue to the challenges the NHS faces. He just wants to save money by crippling the NHS.

The crap Amber Rudd is spouting is endemic of a larger problem. Our politicians just don't have the qualifications to be in/doing the jobs they are in.
Corky42 27th March 2017, 14:32 Quote
What's happened to the guys phone anyhow, don't the SS have it? If so wouldn't it easier to unlock the phone and read what the message said rather than summon the heads of tech companies and demand they do something.
perplekks45 27th March 2017, 14:33 Quote
Sometimes I just want to bang my head against the wall...

It seems to me politicians all over the western world found a new hobby in lobbying against privacy for the sake of it. There is no rhyme or reason to it.
Cheapskate 27th March 2017, 15:31 Quote
#dumb as a stump

100% what FatalSyntaxError said.
adam_bagpuss 27th March 2017, 15:41 Quote
banning encryption is like nuking a city to kill 1 person, you get the person you want but everyone else suffers in the process.

if anything like this were to even remotely pass law kiss goodbye to your identity, your bank account your pension, your business etc etc

meanwhile in terrorist land they are still using encryption because lets face it im not sure breaking that law is at the top of their concerns. alternatively they go old school and the only people who get shafted are me and you
wolfticket 27th March 2017, 22:35 Quote
Lone man drives car into group for people and stabs police officer to death:
BLAME WHATSAPP BECAUSE HE USED WHATSAPP AND IVE HEARD OF WHATSAPP, MY KID USES IT.
So, let's make all communications nice and easy to break into for security forces but not the similarly or better equipped bad forces, oh no. How?... Er...

...Er, wait, didn't the man in question lock his accommodation so it was difficult for us to get in and search?
Did his accommodation not have an unlocked back door marked "security forces only"?
No?
We should all have one to keep us all safe. It was probably Yale's fault.
Nexxo 27th March 2017, 22:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalSyntaxError
The crap Amber Rudd is spouting is endemic of a larger problem. Our politicians just don't have the qualifications to be in/doing the jobs they are in.

Thing is, politicians are in the business of just saying and doing things their voters want them to say and do. Recursive dumbness is dumbness squared.
Wwhat 28th March 2017, 00:55 Quote
Lately female politicians are not being the best advertisement for women in politics are they? And it's a crying shame.
This woman was assigned by T. May herself, so no wonder she has such views, and she, like always, once worked for JPMorgan, it seems like these days every cabinet member all over the planet either worked for JPmorgan or Goldman-Sach at some point. I'm sure it's all coincidence..

It's funny too, you'd think people in the big finance circles would insist on encryption so they and their pals can hide their foul machinations. But I guess it doesn't matter anymore if the people find out "whitewashed for murderous cartels and terrorist? No problem" "also for slave traders and holders? Not really a problem either."
Corky42 28th March 2017, 07:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Thing is, politicians are in the business of just saying and doing things their voters want them to say and do. Recursive dumbness is dumbness squared.

It doesn't help that most people don't seem to know what encryption is whereas they know what knives and cars are, saying you want to ban knives and cars because the attacker used those would be a stupid thing to say but saying you want to ban something most people don't understand seems perfectly OK.

Pcmji Lhya qf pxvi <That apparently needs to be banned even though i used this web site to encrypt it, here's the key if anyone is interested in what it says (pqlfrunvxinmdjh)
Wwhat 28th March 2017, 09:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalSyntaxError
This is what happens when you have people that don't understand the sector they are in charge of.

Amber Rudd has a degree in History, how that makes her even remotely qualified to be in charge of policing, national security, internal affairs, and immigration and citizenship for the UK is beyond me. ...

I have to disagree there, I think of the various degrees a person could have history is one that is actually very fitting for such a position.
And I'd hate to think what you'd get if there were degrees in 'home secretary' since then you'd get an ugly kind of stagnation and elitism worse than what you see now.
I think her unsuitability lies elsewhere, and it's not her history degree. I'm sure there are people who also have a history degree that would be much better for the job, but of course not liked by May.
FatalSyntaxError 28th March 2017, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
I have to disagree there, I think of the various degrees a person could have history is one that is actually very fitting for such a position.
And I'd hate to think what you'd get if there were degrees in 'home secretary' since then you'd get an ugly kind of stagnation and elitism worse than what you see now.
I think her unsuitability lies elsewhere, and it's not her history degree. I'm sure there are people who also have a history degree that would be much better for the job, but of course not liked by May.

The point I'm trying to make there is not you need a relevant degree but rather you need relevant understanding/experience.

I have a friend who has A levels in philosophy, psychology and public services and if I was ever trapped in a house fire or something similar I'd want him to be apart of the team working to save me, not because of his formal education but because he spent several years being a firefighter.

I'm a biochemist by education, I having a deep working knowledge of several diseases and their treatments. I know the exact mode of action are site of action for several major medicines but no one should come to me for medical advice because I'm not a doctor. I have no understanding or experience in translating my knowledge into an actionable and effective treatment for a patient who is as far removed from my ideal lab models as could be possible.

Sure there are probably people with history degree's who would be great for that position but most likely they've worked in one of those fields directly and so have a working knowledge of the sector and its challenges.
FatalSyntaxError 28th March 2017, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Thing is, politicians are in the business of just saying and doing things their voters want them to say and do. Recursive dumbness is dumbness squared.

This is true, and perhaps points a wider flaw in society in terms of understanding how local politicians effect the national scene.

I'm personally of the opinion that we should elect local politicians who then vote on our behalf to elect a national government who will best serve the whole population.

I.E I vote for a local politician Y who will stand on my behalf for things like encouraging an environment where engineering is competative. so companies 1 and 2 who are big employers locally can afford to compete on a global stage while keeping their production in the country. This politician then votes for person X who is an economics expert who understands how to balance a competitive market for the employer to a market that also protects the worker while not negatively impacting other sectors for the sole gain of one.

As opposed to currently where I vote for politician A who stands for protecting engineering and manufacturing who then gets into a position where they are in charge of national policy. They then skew and favour policy changes which benefit engineering and manufacture but does so at the expense of another sector e.g finance.

By no means is this a really fleshed out idea, there are a few obvious flaws, but I think something along that kind of line would be far better instead of a single party that favour one socio-economic group of the population over another.
wolfticket 28th March 2017, 18:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalSyntaxError
...

I'm personally of the opinion that we should elect local politicians who then vote on our behalf to elect a national government who will best serve the whole population.

...
Unless you were being rhetorical and it went over my head, isn't this technically what we do already?
FatalSyntaxError 28th March 2017, 19:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfticket
Unless you were being rhetorical and it went over my head, isn't this technically what we do already?

We currently directly vote in the national government every 4 years. We say we want this party who have put forward these people for several roles.

What I'm saying is we vote locally for out local politician who then goes on to vote for XYZ experts into those same roles. These experts don't have to be affiliated with any one party and ideally would be independent of any party.

Again my suggestion isn't a completely worked out solution just an alternative style that correctly implemented I believe would serve us better.

Ultimately its about getting people who are actual experts/have significant experience and a proven track record of good results into positions such as home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer etc etc. Maybe then we can avoid these knee jerk reactions and responses that are so often detrimental to the masses.
Dennis1234567 30th March 2017, 12:49 Quote
As a person with a long term employment history with Edgeware Road station i have to ask a simple question.

At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.
Anfield 30th March 2017, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.

If the ban would actually provide safety and if the ban was technically feasible and if the ban was enforceable no one would disagree.

But none of those three criteria will be met.
Broadwater06 30th March 2017, 13:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
As a person with a long term employment history with Edgeware Road station i have to ask a simple question.

At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.

Then it open doors for malware writers to exploit non-secure messaging and harvest personal information, spam and identity theft.
mrlongbeard 30th March 2017, 13:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
As a person with a long term employment history with Edgeware Road station i have to ask a simple question.

At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.

We'd best ban pen and paper then
Dennis1234567 30th March 2017, 14:32 Quote
Until Whatsapp type messengers stop supplying part of a bombers toolkit banning them is the only way forward.

Nearly twenty countries have already come to that conclusion
Broadwater06 30th March 2017, 14:51 Quote
Terrorism and people dying existed before encryption. You might want to look up the list of countries that banned VoLP and Whatsapp, and decide whether anti-terrorism is their main motivation.
Broadwater06 30th March 2017, 14:54 Quote
And China, one of the countries banned Whatsapp still suffered terrorist attacks.
Corky42 30th March 2017, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

I don't want them to stop, however it certainly raises the question of why the government, and yourself, are being so hyperbolic when your chance of dying from a terrorist attack in the UK is 1 in 17 million, you've got more chance of dying from taking a selfie than a terrorist attack so why aren't you and politicians calling for a ban on those?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.

If you can point me to a single terrorist attack that would have been prevented by doing so i might consider the validity of banning end-to-end encryption for billions of law abiding citizens in an attempt to catch a single bad guy, whom BTW would simply move to another way of communicating covertly the moment the messaging software is no longer secure, most likely they'd use ISIS's own encrypted chat app and I'm not sure how you'd go about banning that, even if you managed to ban it what's to stop them using a pen and paper or even one of the many websites that demonstrate how encryption works.
Gareth Halfacree 30th March 2017, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
[...] or even one of the many websites that demonstrate how encryption works.
Remember GCHQ's Cryptotoy? Even the spooks themselves are encouraging people to learn about cryptography!
Anfield 30th March 2017, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
Until Whatsapp type messengers stop supplying part of a bombers toolkit banning them is the only way forward.

No more effective than banning red crayons to stop them from being used to write death threats.
RedFlames 30th March 2017, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
No more effective than banning red crayons to stop them from being used to write death threats.

Do people not use letters cut from newspapers any more?
Anfield 30th March 2017, 20:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Do people not use letters cut from newspapers any more?

The point was simply that there are tons of different ways to write something, so banning one specific way to write wouldn't achieve squat.
wolfticket 30th March 2017, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
As a person with a long term employment history with Edgeware Road station i have to ask a simple question.

At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.
Dying in such a manner is awful. However, there is on average over one pedestrian road death per week in London alone.

Generally terrorism works because of the fear induces, not the relative physical danger it poses to an individual. It's kinda in the name.
If in response to it you start disproportionately eroding basic freedoms in the name of security then we all lose.

There is a indeed a point at which I want my country to stop efforts to protect us from danger at all costs and I think one should be able to have an adult discussion about that without unnecessary appeal to fear/emotion.
Nexxo 30th March 2017, 21:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
As a person with a long term employment history with Edgeware Road station i have to ask a simple question.

At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

As a clinician working in trauma, I wonder if the country can put a bit more effort into reducing drink-driving and reducing death by dangerous driving. And ban motorcycles. Seriously, they're death on two wheels.

In fact, as a clinician being painfully aware of how the most destructive and expensive to treat physical and mental illnesses in the NHS are directly related to childhood experience, I wonder when the country can put a bit more effort into raising children in an environment free from poverty, deprivation, abuse and neglect and parental crime and drug/alcohol abuse.

Just sayin'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.

To stop my child dying in a messy and traumatic way I'd chop up live puppies and kittens if I had to. I'd put them in a blender and hit the "purée" button without a second thought.

The problem with such emotivist argument is that it appeals to emotion, not moral reasoning.
theshadow2001 30th March 2017, 21:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis1234567
As a person with a long term employment history with Edgeware Road station i have to ask a simple question.

At what point do you want your country to stop in their efforts to stop one of your family ending up under a pile of bodies screaming for their mother or father.

To stop my ten year old ending up on an exploding train i would ban end to end encryption for messaging software in a heartbeat.
Its more likely that your kid will need to use end to end encryption than be inside an exploding train.
Wwhat 31st March 2017, 00:30 Quote
Interesting to note that one of the reasons leading politicians were against the EU for many years is that the EU enforces certain basic human rights. So now that that's out of the way Britain can get even more Orwellian and can get rid of pesky things like a right on privacy for the general population. But hey, it's a decision made by the British population to get to this point and I can only assume it's what they want.
RedFlames 31st March 2017, 01:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wwhat
Interesting to note that one of the reasons leading politicians were against the EU for many years is that the EU enforces certain basic human rights. So now that that's out of the way Britain can get even more Orwellian and can get rid of pesky things like a right on privacy for the general population. But hey, it's a decision made by the British population to get to this point and I can only assume it's what they want.

If only the EU weren't gearing up to do the same thing...
Corky42 31st March 2017, 07:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
In fact, as a clinician being painfully aware of how the most destructive and expensive to treat physical and mental illnesses in the NHS are directly related to childhood experience, I wonder when the country can put a bit more effort into raising children in an environment free from poverty, deprivation, abuse and neglect and parental crime and drug/alcohol abuse.

Just think where we'd be if we put just some of the estimated £64 billion we've spent on our war on terror into ^^that^^
David 31st March 2017, 08:16 Quote
Continuing on that wildly off topic theme...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
And ban motorcycles. Seriously, they're death on two wheels.
Nope. A ban is not the answer.

Darwin FTMFW!
Corky42 31st March 2017, 09:26 Quote
Looks like the heads of those tech companies that got called to the headmasters office have agreed to "ensure terrorists do not have a voice online" yet made no mention of encryption, although Amber Rudd said she plans to return to the issue of encryption "through further, separate discussions"

Maybe Mrs Rudd should be chasing up the Whitehall lawyers who after 18 months still can't come up with a legally robust definition of what constitutes extremist material before she tells companies they must do more.
Nexxo 31st March 2017, 14:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Just think where we'd be if we put just some of the estimated £64 billion we've spent on our war on terror into ^^that^^

Ironically we'd have not only a healthier population, but also fewer terrorists.

Even more ironically, spend all the money that is spent on the "war on drugs" on child mental health and wellbeing, and we'd end up with much fewer drug users and drug-related crime.
Harlequin 31st March 2017, 15:21 Quote
I wonder how terrorists communicated before the advent of WhatsApp - you know , dead drops , cb radio, pen and paper...............
FatalSyntaxError 31st March 2017, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Ironically we'd have not only a healthier population, but also fewer terrorists.

Even more ironically, spend all the money that is spent on the "war on drugs" on child mental health and wellbeing, and we'd end up with much fewer drug users and drug-related crime.

How much better off would our entire health care system be if the spent the 40 billion they've allocated to renewing our trident nuclear 'deterrent ' system into our NHS.

I think we've long since passed the point where the system we're trying to manage are far too large and complex for humans to really see the bigger picture and make course corrections.

Its abundantly obvious to you and others in your field where money should be being spent because you have a working and in depth knowledge of the sub system you work in. The issue lies in carrying this knowledge and information up the rank/communication systems to the people who set budgets on a national scale.

Its often becomes a 'that guy said his thing was important' louder than the other guy at the upper levels and the nuance and understanding is lost along the way.
Yadda 31st March 2017, 16:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Continuing on that wildly off topic theme...

Nope. A ban is not the answer.

Darwin FTMFW!

:D

There's an argument that owning a 150mph+ motorbike and riding it every day should be made law.
Nexxo 31st March 2017, 17:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalSyntaxError
How much better off would our entire health care system be if the spent the 40 billion they've allocated to renewing our trident nuclear 'deterrent ' system into our NHS.

I think we've long since passed the point where the system we're trying to manage are far too large and complex for humans to really see the bigger picture and make course corrections.

Its abundantly obvious to you and others in your field where money should be being spent because you have a working and in depth knowledge of the sub system you work in. The issue lies in carrying this knowledge and information up the rank/communication systems to the people who set budgets on a national scale.

Its often becomes a 'that guy said his thing was important' louder than the other guy at the upper levels and the nuance and understanding is lost along the way.

The basic problem is that science and politics don't mix well. The general public often wants things that feel 'right' but have no scientific evidence base. Politicians can then painstakingly educate the public or just ride the populist tiger into office (in the belief that if you keep feeding it, it won't turn around and eat you --which of course eventually it always does).

There is no scientific evidence that says the death penalty or tougher prisons reduce crime. Quite the contrary, in fact. Similarly outlawing drugs does not reduce drug use or drug-related crime. Advocating abstinence does not reduce teenage pregnancy, and sex education does not increase it. Raising people with religious values does not make them more moral or well-adjusted. Children raised by gay or mixed-race couples do not grow up any less well-adjusted than other children.

I've seen this process at work in health care. We had a focus group meeting involving a good few hundred members of the public, where we asked them where they would like the cancer budget spent. Why, childhood cancers first, of course! We then showed them scientific evidence-based statistics that childhood cancers already have the highest cure rates of all cancers (by a huge margin --we're talking 80% or so) and are also already the best funded. So, knowing that, where would you like more money spent? Why, childhood cancers, of course!...

I could go on. But the general public has its prejudices, and likes to see them confirmed in government policy. So that is what politicians tend to do. And that is why we make so little progress, unless politicians are prepared to listen to the experts (yeah, those again) and educate the public --even if it means telling it stuff it doesn't want to hear.
B1GBUD 31st March 2017, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadda
:D

There's an argument that owning a 150mph+ motorbike and riding it every day should be made law.

Just make it the law that you have to have pass your bike test and ride it on the roads before you're allowed a car.... simples
RedFlames 31st March 2017, 18:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Just make it the law that you have to have pass your bike test and ride it on the roads before you're allowed a car.... simples

That'd be me allowed nowhere near a car in that case [balance problems means I can't ride a bike].


...that said I can't drive either, and it's probably for the best that it stays that way.
Mattakadeimos 31st March 2017, 18:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42

Pcmji Lhya qf pxvi <That apparently needs to be banned even though i used this web site to encrypt it, here's the key if anyone is interested in what it says (pqlfrunvxinmdjh)

Yes, totally. All of them are, they get the job from who they know, not what they know.
VipersGratitude 31st March 2017, 18:44 Quote
Shaka, when the walls fell
Yadda 31st March 2017, 20:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Just make it the law that you have to have pass your bike test and ride it on the roads before you're allowed a car.... simples

Can't argue with that.
FatalSyntaxError 31st March 2017, 20:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
The basic problem is that science and politics don't mix well. The general public often wants things that feel 'right' but have no scientific evidence base. Politicians can then painstakingly educate the public or just ride the populist tiger into office (in the belief that if you keep feeding it, it won't turn around and eat you --which of course eventually it always does).

There is no scientific evidence that says the death penalty or tougher prisons reduce crime. Quite the contrary, in fact. Similarly outlawing drugs does not reduce drug use or drug-related crime. Advocating abstinence does not reduce teenage pregnancy, and sex education does not increase it. Raising people with religious values does not make them more moral or well-adjusted. Children raised by gay or mixed-race couples do not grow up any less well-adjusted than other children.

I've seen this process at work in health care. We had a focus group meeting involving a good few hundred members of the public, where we asked them where they would like the cancer budget spent. Why, childhood cancers first, of course! We then showed them scientific evidence-based statistics that childhood cancers already have the highest cure rates of all cancers (by a huge margin --we're talking 80% or so) and are also already the best funded. So, knowing that, where would you like more money spent? Why, childhood cancers, of course!...

I could go on. But the general public has its prejudices, and likes to see them confirmed in government policy. So that is what politicians tend to do. And that is why we make so little progress, unless politicians are prepared to listen to the experts (yeah, those again) and educate the public --even if it means telling it stuff it doesn't want to hear.

I understand where you're coming from there, its the same thing in science. What the public think and the actual realities are often two complete different things. Using your cancer funding example, i often hear "We have cures for cancer but the big pharma companies don't want to release them so they can make more money. They don't seem to understand the difference between cancer and having an infection. Because they both come under the umbrella term of disease, they think that one is equally as easy to cure and the other.

Cancer is a very complex disease that involves several, in normal conditions, high regulated systems breaking down. Often these are simultaneous failures so its not as easy as "hit protein X with drug Y" and boom problem solved.

Ultimately, I think this general ignorance in the public comes from a failure of our education system. I think we should spend far more time focusing on teaching the 'scientific method' and critical thinking then specifics like Romans called healing temples asclepions.

Its human nature to default to anecdotal evidence rather than a logical argument simply because it often makes intuitive sense. The problem is that this way of reasoning is is filled with all sorts of biases like the post hoc fallacy.

The only way around it is to educate from the start to not believe or trust in anecdotal evidence and to use the 'scientific method'
Cthippo 31st March 2017, 21:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo

I could go on. But the general public has its prejudices, and likes to see them confirmed in government policy. So that is what politicians tend to do. And that is why we make so little progress, unless politicians are prepared to listen to the experts (yeah, those again) and educate the public --even if it means telling it stuff it doesn't want to hear.

The problem is that we live in a democracy and so if politicians try to educate the public on inconvenient truths, the public will just vote in other politicians who's truths are more to their liking. :(
Nexxo 31st March 2017, 22:11 Quote
Democracy: probably the worst governmental system.*
Quote:
Originally Posted by VipersGratitude
Shaka, when the walls fell

Kiazi's children, their faces wet.



* Except for all other known systems tried.
liratheal 31st March 2017, 23:20 Quote
A person is smart, people are dumb, panic-y, animals.

But that won't ever change and the kind of person that wants to go into politics is generally a liar, and wildly ill informed about the subject matter.

Estate agents, but with luxury German cars instead of German minis.
Cthippo 2nd April 2017, 02:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
But that won't ever change and the kind of person that wants to go into politics is generally a liar, and wildly ill informed about the subject matter.

I'm not sure that's the case, or at least not all of it.

I think the very nature of modern democracy requires politicians to be liars or else they don't get to be politicians anymore. The people don't want to hear the truth, they don't want to be told "It's complicated" or "there is nothing that can be done about it, and if a politician does tell the truth they are likely to get replaced with someone who doesn't. The problem isn't so much lying politicians, it's an electorate that refuses to engage with the truth in meaningful ways.
liratheal 2nd April 2017, 07:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I'm not sure that's the case, or at least not all of it.

I think the very nature of modern democracy requires politicians to be liars or else they don't get to be politicians anymore. The people don't want to hear the truth, they don't want to be told "It's complicated" or "there is nothing that can be done about it, and if a politician does tell the truth they are likely to get replaced with someone who doesn't. The problem isn't so much lying politicians, it's an electorate that refuses to engage with the truth in meaningful ways.

It probably is unfair to tar them all with the same brush, but in recent political history I've yet to see a British politician that falls into the category of 'trying to be honest' let alone actually being honest.

I don't think it's entirely fair to say they're only playing the game, and that the electorate should demand they play a fairer game, because there's no way most politicians don't see it as 'them and us'.
Nexxo 2nd April 2017, 10:18 Quote
It takes two to tango... It's a reciprocal relationship.

As long as the electorate acts like a child looking for an ideal parent to bring hem unicorns, instead of acting like an adult who takes responsibility for making informed life choices, there will be narcissists and psychopaths who promise them unicorns (and of course there will never be any unicorns, because as all adults know, unicorns don't exist).

You can blame the narcissists and psychopaths for being narcissists and psychopaths, but you can't blame them for being voted in by gullible idiots. That one is square on the electorate.
Wwhat 2nd April 2017, 12:16 Quote
Quote:

Of course there have been attempts for a long time yes, but so far much of those attempts failed for a large part.
And don't forget that attempts are done by UK euro parliamentarians too, but that will also be gone.

Incidentally it's also 'funny' how the UK government was bitching about the EU laws, but then when the time came when they became the EU chairmen they immediately tried to introduce authoritarian crap to all of the EU, which didn't work out, but the laughable BS of politicians was nicely exposed.

However there is another European thing that people mistakenly ascribe to the EU, and that is those meetings of EU nation ministers in Brussels, where they make deals doing all kinds of unsavory things and agree to apply unwanted laws to their nations, all outside of any EU system, then when they get home and the local parliament is outraged the ministers say 'well it was agreed, what can I do? I'm not in control'. Which of course is utter bullshit and outrageous.
And unfortunately I don't think Britain leaving the EU will stop that kind of thing happening. The only difference will be that they can't blame the EU anymore. Oh and that EU parliament or courts can't block it subsequently for Britain if it's too much against the established rights since their rulings don't apply to Britain then.

Not that the EU system isn't a risk and imperfect, and is getting more and more tricky as those power-obsessed types latch onto it and warp it more and more into something of a 4th reich type of setup. But that was something Britain certainly was part of.
So yes I think the EU should be kept in check and on a tight leash, don't mistake my pro-EU sounding comments to mean I'm all for the EU running everything or that the EU is so wonderful. It's just that when I plot it against local governments I realize that they are at minimum equal and often way worse in their politics. And it seems there should be something keeping them in check too, and unfortunately the voting public doesn't seem to be the ones doing it.
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