Cameron’s encryption, huggable toasters (Wired UK)

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David Cameron wants to break encryption

Encryption, the government would have you believe, poses a threat to us all. It creates a “safe place” in which those that would do us harm are able to operate. Earlier this year David Cameron caused alarm when he appeared to suggest the government wanted to ban encryption. “Do we want to allow a means of communication between people which we cannot read?” he asked rhetorically.

This week triumphant media reports declared a u-turn — the prime minister was in favour of encryption after all. That is a gross misrepresentation. As one cryptography expert told me this week, Cameron doesn’t want to ban encryption, he wants to break it.

The government is foolhardy to think it can negotiate encryption backdoors with companies such as Apple or Facebook. As Phil Zimmermann, the man who invented the PGP email standard, said: you can’t have strong encryption when a government uses wiretaps to undermine it.

Cameron’s position on encryption doesn’t add up and it is time he stopped playing politics with our fundamental right to privacy.

James Temperton

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Our favourite WIRED articles this week  

The politics of encryption

No communication is safe from the ambition of government spies, but the prime minister has delivered mixed messages on encryption. Here’s what the government is really up to.

The end is nigh for Adobe Flash

Mozilla has blocked all versions of Adobe Flash in its Firefox browser, dealing another major blow to the much-maligned platform.

UK’s ancient underground terrain built in Minecraft

London’s underbelly and ancient underground faults are all now viewable in scientifically accurate Minecraft form.

This toaster wants a hug (or it won’t make you breakfast)

Meet the toaster that won’t function unless you’re prepared to give it a hug.

Satoru Iwata: Nintendo’s late legend, in his own words

With the passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, the gaming world mourns the loss of one of its most ardent supporters.

Large Hadron Collider finds elusive new particle after 50 years

The pentaquark, theorised but never spotted, has the potential to help scientists better understand how protons and neutrons are formed.

How to resurrect extinct rhinos? Launch a crowdfunding campaign

Three extinct black rhino species could one day be resurrected, now a crowdfunding campaign to sequence the animal’s genome has reached its target.

Apple Pay causes confusion on London transport

Transport for London has warned people using Apple Pay on London’s transport network to use the system properly or risk being overcharged for their journey.

Torrent site proxies now banned in UK

The list of piracy websites UK users are blocked from directly accessing was quietly expanded over the weekend.

First Pluto fly-by image reveals 3,300m ice mountains

“This system is amazing,” said Alan Stern, principal investigator on Nasa’s New Horizon mission. The first flyby image of Pluto has revealed a beautiful, active world with 3,300-metre-high mountains of frozen water.

Five articles we enjoyed this week

  • New pill will let people with celiac disease eat gluten-filled meals of their dreams (Popular Science)
  • Ancient owl vomit may show ‘dramatic’ human impact on ecosystem (Science Magazine)
  • Twitter account recreates MH17 crash as it happened (The Verge)
  • Science of screaming: acoustics that trigger our fear centre identified (The Guardian)
  • Explore this map of 13 centuries’ worth of English metaphors (Smithsonian Magazine) 



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Elsewhere in the WIRED world Podcast 226

A mini ice age and Pluto flyby. Listen now or subscribe on iTunes.

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17 July 2015 | 3:43 pm – Source:


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