Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Brands Proposed Government Data Encryption Ban ‘Moronic’

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says that there’s ‘no excuse’ to have a major web property that’s not secure and has branded Prime Minister David Cameron’s planned data encryption ban as ‘moronic’.

Services that encrypt their data, such as WhatsApp and iMessage could be banned under new government surveillance laws that would theoretically enable the government to spy on any private communications at any time.

Speaking at the IP Expo Europe, Wales argued that the PM’s comments, made earlier this year, laying out plans for a ban on all data encryption was completely unrealistic and ‘not possible in any sense of the word’.

While acknowledging that there needs to be some form of governmental access to personal data in extreme circumstances, for uses such as terrorism prevention, Wales objects to blanket access to all personal data all of the time.

According to Factor-Tech, Wales commented: “Human rights don’t go away just because you’re on the internet. We still have rights that governments need to respect.”

The Wikipedia boss says that extreme attempts by governments to access data has led to more encryption in recent years, ironically limiting the amount of data that is legally available to them.

He argues that if they government had not been so heavy handed in its attempts at data monitoring, they would still have legal access to communications concerning genuine threats that they no longer have.

Image credit: Wikipedia