Open email to John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the House of Commons Department of Culture Media and Sport Committee



I can’t believe we are going through the “let’s monitor the internet” saga yet again.

No one wants to believe this, but there are no credible resources consistent with a tolerable society that can prevent a determined terrorist from…

a)      Sending and receiving encrypted messages over any telecom circuit

b)      Carrying out a suicide mission with guns and/or bombs

Meantime plenty of contractors will eagerly take money from gullible governments when pretending to do the impossible.

As one IT writer reminded me today:  “May I remind the honourable gentleman of the column I wrote some years ago about how bt would end up owning the uk Internet, how vpns would be banned unless licensed to businesses, all in the name of national security”

Of course BT will encourage Cameron and his gullible advisers to think that if only they were able to control the entire UK internet they could prevent terrorist misuse.

Sadly, and with perverse irony, my good friend of over 30 years, Steve Gold, who was made famous as one of the two hackers that exposed the shortcomings in BT security back in 1985 when they hacked the Duke of Edinburgh’s email account, died last night.

Steve’s actions in exposing the shortcomings in both BT and legislation, lead directly to the 1990 computer misuse act. Steve was a complete realist and all round voice of reason. We badly need his sanity right now.


William Poel