I’m Pure Evil, It Seems.

- - posted in Ancient Archives

Yet another stupid law appears on the horizon and threatens to make me a criminal for protecting my privacy and property with decent software. Thanks to Linux.org.uk for highlighting this.

If this law passes I can get two to ten years in prison for wearing one of my t-shirts through customs. Prison for wearing a shirt with a small Perl program on it.

On a professional level, this law would make systems administration even more legally difficult than it is now: email = export. I could go to prison for doing my job properly.

Where are these proposals coming from? MPs are usually utterly clueless regarding technology issues, which means they’ll vote for laws like these, but I doubt that they spend any time worrying about these issues. Does the DTI really want to generate more work for itself chasing silly crimes like using ? The similarity between many of the new IT regulations proposed and passed in the UK and laws proposed and passed in the USA is remarkable. The USA’s encryption laws were proposed by the FBI, NSA and CIA, and they focus on opening up communication for evesdropping by government agencies.

It’s as if the government was banning door and window locks, curtains and bank PIN numbers in order to aid its security services. Do we want a panopticon?

If you live in the UK, please contact your MP and complain about this stupidity. If you don’t live in the UK, try to avoid this happening in your country so the sensible people in the US and UK have somewhere to move to :-)