ASI Fellow's comments on PM's encryption plan feature in The Guardian

Preston Byrne, Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, was quoted in The Guardian on the problems with David Cameron's encryption plans, which could include banning messaging apps that the government does not have access to:

Preston Byrne, the chief operating officer of Eris Industries, warns that his company will be forced to leave the UK if Cameron’s comments on the technology become policy, and move to “more liberal climes such as Germany, the U.S., the People’s Republic of China, Zimbabwe, or Iraq.”

Byrne, who is also a fellow at the London-based free-market think tank ASI, told the Guardian that “secure open-source cryptography is at the core of our business… so we were able to make the decision more or less immediately.”

Eris Industries uses technology loosely based on the bitcoin cryptocurrency to build a decentralised network, with potential applications in communications, social networking and community governance. But, Byrne warns, “none of these benefits can be realised without secure cryptography, including end-to-end encryption.

“David Cameron has said this measure is designed to ‘modernise’ the law. He fails to understand the full extent of how out of date the law is. The only way you can shut down cryptographic distributed networks today is to either arrest the vast majority of (or in the case of a blockchain database, all) persons running a node and ensure that every single data store containing a copy of that application database is destroyed; or shut down the Internet.”

As a result, he tells the Guardian, “I’d be very surprised if the Conservatives stick to their guns on this.”

Read the full article here.