The definition of democracy and fundamental rights have changed over time. Each passing day, the governments are working hard to turn their respective countries into military states. The United Kingdom, with its latest Investigatory Powers Act, is soon going to make NSA and other US law enforcement organizations look like second-rate agencies. These developments are a gross violation of privacy in the name of national security and the only way to save one’s fundamental rights is through wide scale adoption of decentralized technologies.
The mass surveillance practices of GCHQ, FBI, NSA and other 3 or 4 letter organizations is well known. But with the Investigatory Powers Act, the British government is taking it to a new level that involves seeking backdoors into encrypted communications platforms from its creators. These requirements demanded by the recently approved IP Act is a cause of concern for both individuals and technology companies.
According to reports, section 217 of the Investigatory Powers Act requires Internet Service Providers, telecom operators, and other communications providers to inform the government before launching any new product or service into the market. Once the information is submitted, the UK governmental agencies can demand technical changes to be made to the offering.
These changes may include, “obligations relating to the removal by a relevant operator of electronic protection applied by or on behalf of that operator to any communications or data.”
The above paragraph states that the government can effectively undermine the security of the whole platform, making its users target to not only government surveillance, but also hackers and other malicious software. These laws are currently applicable to platforms either operating or having its infrastructure setup within the United Kingdom. Now that the United Kingdom has done it, there is no guarantee that some other country won’t follow the same footsteps.
Increased intrusion has made high standards of encryption over distributed systems a necessity for private, confidential communication and financial transactions. Blockchain-based decentralized computing platforms may come of help here as they are not bound to one specific geographical location. With the infrastructure spread across the world, on which every “byte” is encrypted, makes distributed computing over blockchain platforms an ideal solution to ensure that people continue to enjoy their right to privacy.
On the other hand, the government’s move is a serious threat to the country’s technology sector as well. A combination of Brexit and Investigatory Powers Act effectively cripples the nation by taking away whatever advantages it had in the financial and technology fronts. It is just a matter of time before the customers lose trust in anything originating from London or its neighborhood.
Ref: The Register | Image: Shutterstock