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Submission + - UK Prime Minister seeks to resurrect the zombie of compulsory key escrow

Dr_Barnowl writes: The BBC Reports that UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has vowed to introduce a "comprehensive piece of legislation" aimed at there being "no piece of communication" .. "which we cannot read", in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

The only logical means by which this could occur would be by the introduction of compulsory key escrow, and the banning of forms of encryption which do not use it. While the UK already essentially has a legal means to demand your encryption keys (and imprison you indefinitely if you don't comply), this would fall short if you have a credible reason for not having the key any more (such as using an OTR plugin for your chosen chat program).

The US tried a similar tack with Clipper in the 90s.

As we all know, terrorists with any technical chops are unlikely to be affected, given the vast amount of freely available military-grade crypto now available, and the use of boring old cold war tradecraft.

Ironically, France used to ban the use of strong cryptography but has largely liberalized it's regime since 2011.

Submission + - Eric Schmidt urges regulation of mini-drones

Dr_Barnowl writes: The BBC reports that the CEO of Google thinks that drones should be regulated. Drones are certainly a hot topic, with appearances on both side of the divide in Cory Doctorow's novel Homeland — with the authorities using them to distribute riot gas, and the noble hackers using them to post the video of them doing it. Is Eric really concerned over how the public will use drones against each other, or is he more concerned that they might eat into Google's pie somehow?

Submission + - UK Government - "Pay a £20 fee to acquit yourself of file-sharing (maybe)" (

Dr_Barnowl writes: The BBC reports that the UK government plans to introduce a £20 fee if you wish to appeal against an allegation of copyright infringement, within 20 days of your accusation. Note that this doesn't guarantee acquittal, as only "excuses" covered in the Digital Economy Act will be valid even for consideration. This scheme could be in place as early as 2014, so John Smith, General Secretary of the Musicians' Union says "We urge ISPs to begin building their systems now and to work constructively with rights holders, Ofcom and government to get notice-sending up and running as soon as possible,". What are the thoughts of Slashdot?

Submission + - EU Proposes HFT Transaction Tax (

Dr_Barnowl writes: The BBC reports that the UK opposes a proposed new tax on transactions with at least one end Europe. Why is this "News for Nerds"? The proposal includes tax on derivatives, an instrument the High Frequency Trading stories we've been chowing down on recently. With the proposed tax being 0.1% or 0.01% for derivatives, the story highlights the sheer volumes involved — it's speculated that the tax would earn some €57B a year ($78B), around 80% of it from the City of London. A transaction tax like this is something frequently proposed in Slashdot HFT discussions. The UK says that it will veto the tax "unless it was imposed globally" — should the USA follow suit and impose a similar levy targeted at the trading desks of the NYSE?

Submission + - Blogger humilates town councillors into resigning. (

Dr_Barnowl writes: In an occurence first postulated in sci-fi and lampooned by stick figures, it would see that a blogger has actually been responsible for the mass resignation of elected officials (a British town council), largely by calling them "jackasses" and Nazis.

What's next? The desposition of the president with "your mom" smacktalk?

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"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977