Revealed: UK Gov’t Plans Publicity Blitz to Undermine Chat Privacy
The UK government is set to launch a multi-pronged publicity attack on end-to-end encryption, Rolling Stone has learned. One key objective: mobilizing public opinion against Facebook’s decision to encrypt its Messenger app.
The Home Office has hired the M&C Saatchi advertising agency – a spin-off of Saatchi and Saatchi, which made the “Labour Isn’t Working” election posters, among the most famous in UK political history – to plan the campaign, using public funds.
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.
“We have engaged M&C Saatchi to bring together the many organisations who share our concerns about the impact end-to-end encryption would have on our ability to keep children safe,” a Home Office spokesperson said in a statement.
They already know that what they’re asking for — backdoors into end-to-end encryption — is impossible without making everyone less secure online, but to hell with that, let’s spaff more money up the wall (this is Boris Johnson we’re talking about, after all, he’s rather good at that) to attempt emotional manipulation of the public so they’ll force the techies to do what we want anyway.
Frankly, that money would be better spent getting the security services doing a better job of stopping paedophiles before they can harm children. As it is, this has nothing to do with protecting children and everything to do with making it easier to monitor all the people and groups the Conservatives don’t like. You know, human rights campaigners, environmental activists, Labour, The Guardian, Channel 4 News and all the other ‘threats’ to the UK…