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The UK is coming for your forums and comments sections
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The UK is coming for your forums and comments sections

edited July 11 in News

“Politicians pretending to save people from the rich and powerful, but doing things that only help them become even more rich and powerful” is nothing new, but I'm loving what some of them are coming up with these days.

In the latest instance, if you have a website with any user-generated content which is accessible in the UK, which would apply to social media websites but also forums or blogs with comment sections, requires that you, the operator, provide Ofcom with a detailed report of the risks posed by illegal content and what compliance mechanisms you have in place, and also implement age gating/verification mechanisms to determine how many children are accessing your website and the risks that your website poses to them.

Say goodbye to small websites, and say hello to even more centralization! Facebook's usage has been in decline, and I can only imagine this is making the Zucc extremely happy. But I'm sure there'd be some folks coming out of the woodwork to tell me how I'm a pedophile for not liking this law that is clearly aimed at “protecting the children.”

The end is nigh.

https://webdevlaw.uk/2022/07/11/your-compliance-obligations-under-the-uks-online-safety-bill/

Thanked by 2that_guy Chuck
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Comments

  • no one is going to comply with this

    Thanked by 1JasonM
  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate

    My website has a realtime chat feature.
    The chat group only exists in peer-to-peer fashion with no centralized server.
    Each message is encrypted end-to-end using a group key that only participants could compute.
    There's no way for me, the website operator, to know who is chatting and what they are talking about, as none of this information comes across my server.
    UK government will find nothing if they seize my website.

  • @yoursunny said:
    There's no way for me, the website operator, to know who is chatting and what they are talking about, as none of this information comes across my server.
    UK government will find nothing if they seize my website.

    They can surely try to cause you legal trouble, which is all that they need. Also, there’s talk about banning E2E encryption in the UK.

    Thanked by 1that_guy
  • tjntjn Member

    Good article - if the laws pass, it'll be horrendous - but as @Abdussamad said, I don't think anyone will comply. It's virtually impossible.

    @stevewatson301 said:
    They can surely try to cause you legal trouble, which is all that they need.

    They could, but would they really?
    It's like GDPR, not all websites are compliant and very few businesses' have been held accountable.

    @stevewatson301 said:
    Also, there’s talk about banning E2E encryption in the UK.

    Sure, but they'll never really be able to do it - they'll realistically only be able to get Apple/Google/Meta to comply.

  • szymonpszymonp Member

    Oh no
    Anyways

  • edited July 11

    I wouldn't worry overly. We have difficulty organising a piss-up in a brewery these days, or in the case of the met police noticing a single pissup under our noses when there are 17 of the buggers some of which we are effectively running door security for…

    Thanked by 2tjn ralf
  • that_guythat_guy Member
    edited July 11

    OMG, lately a lot of countries turned very german. I suspected all these new anti-internet laws would emerge 20 years ago. But it mostly didn't happen back then. So I was relived and optimistic. Turnes out, I just underestimated how slow boomers in power are understanding change, and what it means for their power.

    Maybe we'll soon have multiple Internets. A totally commercial, centralized, spied upon, censored one per region (US, EU, RU, CN etc.), with a few monopolistic platforms and clouds where the masses get their daily dose of propaganda, their two minute hate and their bland corporate entertainment. Like today, but worse.
    And the international, anonymous darknet that resembles the late 90s internet. Not just drugs, CP and fake hitmen, but also normal homemade noncommercial websites with normal harmless content that is too "controversial" for the bigbrothernet. Like uncensored discussions, humor, science, education, philosophy. And hackers will always try to find ways into the firewalled foreign clearnets to read the forbidden news of the enemy, and spread the word on the darknet.
    I'm counting on the fine hosters here to secretly support the darknet (rather: brightnet) then.
    Years later, as an old man I will sometimes use an ancient offline linux notebook that I hide from the police to read an old offline version of Wikipedia, read the forbidden books, listen to the forbidden music, and watch old standup comedy. Having local storage, local content and an offline device is 3 serious crimes. Then one night they'll kick in the door of my secret hidden basement room, and take me away because I trusted one person that I shouldn't have trusted. The next day I'm sentenced to death by the popular daily witch-hunt poll on the metaverse. And I'll be glad to finally escape that human hell.

    The cyberpunks were right all along! They didn't have tinfoil hats, just working brains.

    “Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.”
    H.L. Mencken

  • ArkasArkas Member

    Ahhh. More political B.S. It's not like the UK doesn't have enough problems, bureaucratic politicians create more. I will continue ignoring them.

    Thanked by 2jar that_guy
  • jarjar Member, Patron Provider
    edited July 11

    From the people who brought you arrests for subjective interpretations of social media posts...

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @stevewatson301 said: Say goodbye to small websites,

    Why?

    I could care less what the UK says.

    Heck, I send cookies and don't warn people.

    Yeah. I'm that kind of menace. Don't mess with me, you limey bastards, or I might just have a mind to collect a little personal information and not tell anyone about it. I'm not joking. I'll do it.

  • The UK has gone to shit ever since @Nekki left LET

    image

  • emgemg Member

    I ranted about this issue in another thread, so I won't repeat it here.

    In some sense, this is a repeat of something we have already seen in the UK. Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), a person can be compelled by lawful authority to decrypt their data. If the person refuses to decrypt the data, they could serve up to two years in prison. Some people are faced with the Hobson's Choice of serving two years in prison for refusal, versus more time in prison if the decrypted data results in a conviction for a crime with a longer sentence. RIPA became law in the year 2000.

    It reminds me of cases in the USA where innocent people agree to plead guilty and accept a shorter prison sentence rather than risk being wrongfully convicted and sent away for very long prison terms.

    Do a web search for "UK RIPA". Here is one article to get you started:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000

  • @stevewatson301 said:
    I'm a pedophile

    Oof

    Thanked by 1stevewatson301
  • FranciscoFrancisco Member, Top Host, Host Rep

    @raindog308 said:
    Heck, I send cookies and don't warn people.

    Amongst other things…

    Francisco

    Thanked by 1raindog308
  • hostdarehostdare Member, Patron Provider
    edited July 12

    When UK keeps financial fraudsters of other countries happily and not release them to their respective countries ,nobody will respect their law .

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @emg said: It reminds me of cases in the USA where innocent people agree to plead guilty and accept a shorter prison sentence rather than risk being wrongfully convicted and sent away for very long prison terms.

    Plea bargains are common in nearly all common-law countries and probably non non-common-law as well. There's nothing special about the US in this regard. Your point is valid but pretty rare.

    Funny, I was just explaining Prisoner's Dilemma to someone today.

    Thanked by 2Arkas emg
  • yoursunnyyoursunny Member, IPv6 Advocate

    @emg said:
    Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), a person can be compelled by lawful authority to decrypt their data. If the person refuses to decrypt the data, they could serve up to two years in prison. Some people are faced with the Hobson's Choice of serving two years in prison for refusal, versus more time in prison if the decrypted data results in a conviction for a crime with a longer sentence. RIPA became law in the year 2000.

    What if the person doesn't have the key to decrypt data?
    I can make a group crypto system where decryption is possible only when at least M group members approve to decrypt the data.
    As long as fewer than M members reside in UK, the UK government cannot decrypt the data.

    Thanked by 1jsg
  • aiden1aiden1 Member

    @yoursunny said: What if the person doesn't have the key to decrypt data?

    Then you get punished same as a refusal

  • ArkasArkas Member

    @raindog308 said: Funny, I was just explaining Prisoner's Dilemma to someone today.

    I've spent hours and hours analyzing this. If people followed it, the justice system would be in BIG trouble.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @Arkas said: I've spent hours and hours analyzing this.

    Hours? I played it in school once and did it for others once. It is nonoperative among friends and family because people trust each other. It is very interesting among thieves or strangers. Or even better, people you just know a little.

    Thanked by 1Arkas
  • MaouniqueMaounique Member
    edited July 12

    I would not decrypt anything no matter what. After 2 years of trying maybe they could decrypt it (who knows what will happen in 2 years) and find nothing wrong. I would use that to repeal the law.
    On the other hand, I have the right to privacy, unless they have serious evidence to convince a judge I am hiding something illegal, that won't fly.
    On the third hand(!), I have plausible deniability, not only that I have a neurological condition since I had meningitis at 16 months and I am prone to forgetting things, but also different keys decrypt different things, steganography works so all my crypto wallet keys are safe. They can be destroyed (that is why I have back-ups in many places) but cannot be revealed.

    The dark net is really the solution. They will have to infiltrate that and even then there are ways to stay safe. If you do this by the book and never get lazy/careless, you can be safe by employing multiple layers of privacy protection.

    Also, the blockchain technology can ensure safe and fair encrypted storage exchange. The so called boomers are slow to understand things but even slower to adapt once they do. They have no chance, I am a smarter mouse than any of them.

    Thanked by 1that_guy
  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @Maounique said: After 2 years of trying maybe they could decrypt it (who knows what will happen in 2 years) and find nothing wrong. I would use that to repeal the law.

    You would fail. It's Britain.

    In the US this is still at the appellate level. There have been several Federal and state Supreme Courts that have ruled that forcing someone to disclose the key violates the Fifth Amendment (right against self-incrimination).

    There are a variety of legal subtleties: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_disclosure_law#United_States

  • jsgjsg Member, Resident Benchmarker

    As hard as they may try the brit politsters will never even come close to the Monthy Python original.

    Note to self: get rid of all UK servers and do not buy anything anymore in that country!

    Thanked by 1Chuck
  • JasonMJasonM Member

    same here. no one cares of such laws. billions of sites. Only the large one like amazon, facebook, techcrunch will abide to such laws.

    It's been 10 years, my sites don't even have a privacy policy, oh, forget about cookie policy, and they are running extremely well in EU, Germany and UK. Neither the users care if they see a cookie banner or not!

  • @raindog308 said: You would fail. It's Britain.

    I never mentioned self-incriminating stuff. I also do not mean to repeal the law within the legal framework but in the court of the public opinion.

  • coldcold Member

    we don't care, we are EU, we don't give a shit about the Queen's wishes

    Thanked by 2yoursunny Maounique
  • ArkasArkas Member

    @cold said: we don't care, we are EU, we don't give a shit about the Queen's wishes

    You do know that the Queen is not involved directly in politics right?

  • coldcold Member

    I know she is "not" directly involved, as Putin isn't in the Ukraine war

  • ArkasArkas Member

    I have no idea what you mean.

  • coldcold Member

    I don't understand the question.

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