IEEE Statement on Strong Encryption vs. Backdoors

The IEEE came out in favor of strong encryption:

IEEE supports the use of unfettered strong encryption to protect confidentiality and integrity of data and communications. We oppose efforts by governments to restrict the use of strong encryption and/or to mandate exceptional access mechanisms such as "backdoors" or "key escrow schemes" in order to facilitate government access to encrypted data. Governments have legitimate law enforcement and national security interests. IEEE believes that mandating the intentional creation of backdoors or escrow schemes -- no matter how well intentioned -- does not serve those interests well and will lead to the creation of vulnerabilities that would result in unforeseen effects as well as some predictable negative consequences

The full statement is here.

Posted on June 27, 2018 at 6:44 AM • 39 Comments

Comments

yet another BruceJune 27, 2018 7:28 AM

I am very happy to see this. I don't think you can count on big institutions like the IEEE to always come to the correct decision no matter how clear the issues may seem. Who knows? One day the IEEE might actually embrace open access journals.

LisaJune 27, 2018 8:13 AM

In other news, the IEEE also came out in opposition to beating confessions out of suspects by government entities, which is an age old practice used by many states as a backdoor to bypass suspects' encrypted (non-cleartext) brains.

The IEEE believes that mandating beating out confessions, no matter how well intentioned, would lead to the creation of vulnerabilities in societies which would result in them becoming totalitarian police state with loss of individual rights and liberties.


Wes ReynoldsJune 27, 2018 8:43 AM

Great to see!

I wish we'd had this support from the IEEE in the First Crypto Wars back in the 90s, but it's really nice this time 'round.

echoJune 27, 2018 9:06 AM

I hate to say that by contrast too many UK based NGOs across a range of fields (especially those relating to discrimination) are largely silent or captured by the system. Position statements are sadly just position statements with little to no governance behind them or policy backfill. What is especially distressing is while they weren't there the first time their support was needed they are also absent the second time around which is puzzling given the various reports I have read which specifically highlight this issue as needing action. What they also fail to understand is the issue of legal authority and social consent in English law. By remaining absent from the dicussion they are essentially confering authority on the same old faces and the courts by default assume consent which may not necessarily exist.

Tric or Teat?June 27, 2018 9:07 AM

"IEEE believes that mandating the intentional creation of backdoors"

Does the IEEE believe that there is such a thing as an unintentional backdoor? How would the unintentional creation of a backdoor differ from a straightforward and old fashioned "vulnerability"? Would it make any difference if one called it a "mandated bug" rather than a "backdoor"? The statement by the IEEE seems to suggest a great deal but I'm not sure that it says a anything at all.

lahdfgljhJune 27, 2018 10:09 AM

@Tric or Teat?

"mandating the intentional creation of backdoors"

This phrase has multiple concepts in it:

1. mandated vs optional
2. intended vs accidental
3. creating vs naturally occurring
4. backdoor (exceptional usage) vs front door (normal usage) -or-
backdoor (bug) vs front door (correct behavior)

In context, I'd say this phrase is really meant to be a summary of everything above it, in one neat phrase, so that the results listed afterward can apply to all of it... Of course wordsmiths can always carve out tortured definitions if they really want lies and dishonesty...

Security SamJune 27, 2018 11:18 AM

The Clipper chic would have a fit
While the ubiquitous IEEE insists
On advancing the world's technology
For the benefit of all humanity.

Protocol PeteJune 27, 2018 11:34 AM

If building hashing protocols
be sure to make them weak
so prying eyes can see with ease
whatever they care to peek
If hiding data on your drives
I don't mean to give a scare
but agencies are reading it
by means of your firmware
So care as able, rant and rave
throw howls up at the moon
They'll do it either way you know
and no one is immune

Bauke Jan DoumaJune 27, 2018 11:42 AM

The IEEE could have sufficed to state: A truly democratic and thus transparent government has no business lying to its people and/or keeping the truth from them. Hence backdoors are out.

@Protocol PeteJune 27, 2018 11:52 AM

In our brave new digital society
Our privacy is the first casualty
Thus, let go the old mentality
And face the new harsh reality.

Solve all problems...June 27, 2018 1:05 PM

@PeaceHead

Well, let's say, hypothetically (of course) that a criminal might build (or merely steal) something that can destroy the entire earth. Therefore all criminal activity must be outlawed (yes, again!)... And we must make it so that all such outlawed activity could never possibly ever happen for the rest of eternity, no matter the cost to humanity or society... right?

Look, there's only one real solution: in our world, the only way to guarantee that certain criminal activity can never happen for the rest of eternity, is to eliminate humanity itself... since the cost to humanity doesn't matter, right? Then there's no possibility of there being any "terrorist" (i.e. a special "terrifying" kind of criminal) ever again.

Or... maybe wiping out humanity is too high of a price? Maybe just wiping out your country's ability to compete on a global market is ok instead? Maybe just wiping out democratic principles and freedom is ok instead? What kind of a world do you really want to live in?

Think through your solutions all the way to their logical end.

BobJune 27, 2018 3:09 PM

@Bruce

Im starting to think that we are winning the second crypto war, and im rarely optimistic, what do you think?

AlJune 27, 2018 3:24 PM

Defrrt serzw dcvpiy bidzmx ...

The above is, if it was for real, speaking in code, and if someone knew the code, they would understand what I'm saying.

Encryption is just another way to speak in code.

As far as I can tell, that is protected speech under the 1st Amendment. I think the government has to amend the 1st amendment to say that speech won't be abridged so long as the speech is understandable by the government.

Absent that, I think attempts to make speech understandable by the government through a mandated backdoor is unconstitutional in the U.S.

ATJune 27, 2018 4:30 PM

The IEEE has become a bloated bureaucracy whose main goal, like any bureaucracy, is survival. It is hard to take any of their "technical" positions seriously, even if they are right.

PeaceHeadJune 27, 2018 5:49 PM

@ the other person trying to aggitate me with ad absurdum arguments.
Look, nuclear weapons already exist. I do not advocate nor support their usage nor development.
Next topic.

I took a deeper look at the IEEE file. Bruce's footnote (#11) helps to clarify.
It's not all about "backdoors". There are always other techniques besides implementing backdoors.
Everyone's so afraid of backdoors, but that's not what the FBI used in many instances and they don't need them anyhow. Firmware updates via Apple aren't backdoors either. However who do you trust more, Apple or the FBI?

That pretty much determines the type of forum responses we'll see.
Personally, I know that the FBI fights terrorism. Apple, not so much. I know that the FBI saves lives. Apple, not so much. I know the FBI is motivated by Justice; Apple is motivated by profits.

New topic for those who require an escape plan from tyranny:

Step 1) Remember this stuff... http://www.backbonesecurity.com/Database1050Applications.aspx
Step 2) Don't drink the poison other people invite you to drink (from "The Four Agreements" book)

May Peacefulness Prevail Within All Realms of Existence.
"Peacehead" is a tune by Moby on the album Early Underground

Solve all problems...June 27, 2018 8:13 PM

@Peacehead

Since backdoors aren't needed anyhow, why is anyone arguing for mandating them? It doesn't matter if anyone's unduly "afraid" of them or not, if they're not needed, and many industry experts say they're bad, then let's not bother mandating them just in case they're right.

I actually don't trust either Apple or the FBI that much. Both are motivated by self preservation, budgets and money, and expansion of power or market share.... more than they are motivated by protecting my interests and well being. Claiming either one is completely altruistic I think is a bit naive... If the FBI were so good, they wouldn't trump up charges to completely quash certain people that had dared to cross them... And they wouldn't be arguing that they need "unneeded anyhow" backdoors either!

AlJune 27, 2018 11:07 PM

@Peacehead
In the case of Apple, don't they want to make a phone that people want to buy? So, if they thought that sales would be boosted by including a backdoor, then they could include the "feature".

I think in a market where both phones, one with a backdoor and one without were available, that sales of the phone with the backdoor would perform poorly, to the point where it isn't worthwhile to make the phone.

So, Apple's job is to make money for its shareholders. So, they'll take a position that supports that.

Meanwhile, I think the government's attempted requirement for backdoors needs to pass legal muster. And I think a 1st amendment argument can be made against that.

meJune 28, 2018 2:11 AM

@Bob
> Im starting to think that we are winning the second crypto war, and im rarely optimistic, what do you think?

i'm not bruce but... i'm not so sure... so far we have:
- x2 backdoors in juniper firewall / vpn (enterprise grade ntetwrok stuff, not the home modem type, the "nation modem type")
- backdoor in Dual_EC_DRBG ("random" number generator)
- backdoor in rsa: see yubikey + estonian id cards (they were certified "good" by two different entities)

surely they are failing to make it legal to place backdoors but this is not preventing them to place them anyway.

RonKJune 28, 2018 3:45 AM

@PeaceHead

> I know the FBI is motivated by Justice

I suspect that you're motivated by trying to get people to give themselves concussions with their palms... Still, we do have Poe's Law....

Bauke Jan DoumaJune 28, 2018 5:33 AM

@PeaceHead

"Personally, I know that the FBI fights terrorism. Apple, not so much. I know that the FBI saves lives. Apple, not so much. I know the FBI is motivated by Justice; Apple is motivated by profits. "

1. I don't know what 'personally' means in this context. Has you own personal life ever been saved by the FBI? Or are you FBI? Please elucidate.

2. if you've ever heard of COINTELPRO then you'll realize how redneck your glorification of the ugly and despicable FBI sounds.

3. I think you're a fake PeaceHead.

AnselmJune 28, 2018 9:19 AM

The FBI is a huge organisation and it is reasonable to assume that most of its employees are motivated by “justice” and other factors (like power) to varying degrees. Similarly, Apple is a huge organisation – albeit not quite as huge as the FBI – and it is reasonable to assume that most of its employees are motivated by “profits” and other factors (such as the fun of making cool stuff) to varying degrees.

The main difference between Apple and the FBI is that technically, Apple can go bankrupt if they annoy their customers to a point where they no longer want to buy Apple's products. The FBI is in no such danger whatsoever. So if you're an Apple customer, Apple depends on your continuing goodwill but the FBI doesn't. It therefore makes more sense for you to trust Apple to do what is good for you than to trust the FBI to do what is good for you.

Clive RobinsonJune 28, 2018 12:56 PM

@ Solve all problems,

Since backdoors aren't needed anyhow, why is anyone arguing for mandating them?

Because whilst software and the devices it runs tend to haemorrhage information due to poor design and very little engineering, that's not the game plan.

As I've pointed out in the past if you use a one time code or cipher correctly it can not be backdoored or cracked, the authorities would be stymied/thwated. Thus the game plane is to "acclimatize society".

That is if they get lawfall backdoors society comes to accept them and the loss of privacy becomes normalized. Then pushing to make all civil communications privacy in effect a criminal offence becomes "easy".

Their game plane is "death by a thousand cuts" none is fatale but in aggregate the death is both very slow and very painful...

Clive RobinsonJune 28, 2018 3:06 PM

@ Al,

I think in a market where both phones, one with a backdoor and one without were available, that sales of the phone with the backdoor would perform poorly, to the point where it isn't worthwhile to make the phone.

Unfortunatly that is not likely to be the case.

The reason is an old one that goes back to the old "safety of speed" argument back when selling cars prior to lemon laws and other safety legislation,

    A car salesman knows that what a man looks for in a car is "ego stroking" performance of "virility power and speed" but will use the excuse of safety features to quell objections from his wife...

So as the phone manufacturer knows that the idea of privacy features are very very low if not bottom on the features list of by far the majority of their customers. To ensure "back doors sell" all they have to do is remove one or more of the more desirable features from the phone without a backdoor and put them in the phone with the backdoor. The privacy phone because it lacks those couple of features that most want will not sell to anyone other than what they see as "privacy geeks"...

After all why after all the abusing Facebook has done to it's users, why do you think they are still in business? The same with Google/Alphabet, Microsoft and frankly nearly every other Silicon Valley "Big Corporate"...

Bells, baubles, whistles and glitz sell, security just does not sell in comparison, because it's grey featurless and can just get in the way...

PeaceHeadJune 28, 2018 4:44 PM

*sigh*

I've been trying to preach to the "devil's choir" I guess.

But for any earnest people still with a glimmer of effort to understand me better instead of ridicule and ad absurdum and non-sequitor commentary, I have two decent links for you to consider in your quest:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/811R5otaH3L._SL1500_.jpg
https://fbi.gov

If you're totally afraid to click the second one, I wouldn't be surprised. You might feel reluctant. However, some forms of knowledge can't be acquired via pessimism and speculation; I don't think the information portrayed is hoax.

There's a third more heartfelt honorable and statistics-oriented site, but I don't feel comfortable sharing it with those whom seem to have already made up their minds that the FBI never saves lives, never prevents catastrophes, never struggles, isn't motivated by Justice. I used to often read a particular publication from a particular human rights organization partnered with the FBI but it does nobody any justice to talk about that here. It would fall upon mostly deaf ears perhaps.

No, I'm not a member of the FBI. I link to them on my webpage for other intellectuals and freethinkers to take a look. For those who comprehend my personality, the full set of links makes sense.

I've been wronged by the criminal element dozens too many times. It's made me jaded towards those who are hostile and more sympathetic towards problem-solvers, especially those who don't reject science nor ethics.

I also read a book, I think it was written by Robert Baer, I can't remember for sure, it was so long ago. But it had a deep section about when the FBI was doing significant efforts to maintain national security.

For what it's worth, I had an impressive and fun and friendly anonymous friend who talked of a loved one who they said was in the FBI. And regular everyday conversations made me start to consider that it's not fair to stigmatise people because they work behind the scenes. The person mentioned (not by name) was described to me as being very worried and concerned about the future of USA due to occupations experiences and insights. This was years before the 2014-2016 falling of America, but I feel that my friend mentioning this to me foreshadowed what I feel has happened.

Anyways, 6-degrees of separation and all that. It wouldn't take much for somebody to be related to somebody or friends with somebody who knows somebody else.

But so what? Intimacy is not a requirement for empathy.

I'm not convinced that to be pro-cryptostego mandates being anti-law enforcement. In fact, I think if the burden was shifted away from crypto and more into stego, like a domain transform in the hard sciences, I think some of the thorny issues of what's acceptable compromise and what isn't would be resolved by virtue of the technical differences between behavioral stego and behavioral crypto. Then the data would follow.

I apologize for rubbing people the wrong way sometimes.
But it just seems like sometimes the forks in the road are lightyears wide.
A lot of us have lots in common in good ways. But where our modus operandi's diverge, the implied gaps might be vast.

Nevertheless, I respect the IEEE for it's technical achievements. I think they might be out of their element trying to persuade potential tyrants to play nicely with the masses. Sociopaths aren't typically inclined to play fair. Law enforcement specialists might be inclined to explain just exactly how and why. Forensic science is not a joke.

My dad wanted me to consider going into forensic science. Maybe he was right. He knew that I don't like standing for other people's bull**** especially when i t causes some of us real harms.

But I ended up getting knocked on my a** several times over by the harshness of modern life, some sociopaths attacking me, and my dad passed away prematurely. Soon after he died, my mom threatened to murder me and she was serious. All of a sudden the stuff I had read about female murderers from forensic articles seemed not just academic just like every other epiphany. I got away from my crazy mom right away. I know what she's capable of. She cares more about toxic uranium glassware than the sanctity of life.

So there's a highly abbreviated slice of my life story, very much incomplete.
But they say people are more motivated by emoting than by facts. You get what you pay for. hehehe

Anyways no more personal anecdotes from me. It's not really secure. Except in terms of the sociology of tipping one's hand and conceding. Not everything is a battle. Some struggles can only be one by beating the filthy sword back into a plowshare and tilling the soil.

And I'm thankful for science when it bolsters communal and individual stability rather than destabilizing societies via technological excess. I'm certainly not an absolutist.

May Peace Prevail Within All REalms of Existence.

echoJune 28, 2018 5:46 PM

@Clive

This is also known by the term "legal drift" (and also related to "deep law" which makes for a very different topic).

I suspect the "too big to fail" organisations with deep pockets who can afford to patent software (mostly in the US but nonethless its influecne is felt abroad as much as the EU's GDPR) can on a "nudge and a wink" make sure their survellience friendly platforms are the only ones which contain "bling attractive to the masses" and "must have features" because alternatives have been retired due to "forced obsolescence".

Speaking of which doing a spell check using Google followed straight before posting a comment in here is likely a good way of some algorithm in a murky basement going "Aha!"

Jon (fD)June 28, 2018 6:30 PM

@Peacehead et. al.

A friend of mine some years ago asked the FBI for a copy of his file. This is a perfectly lawful thing to do - it's the right of anyone, if you fill out and submit the right forms.

So he did, and the FBI said they didn't have a file on him.

A couple years later, he did it again, and this time the FBI sent him a copy of his file. It had one entry on it - "Requested a copy of his file".

---

And Apple doesn't carry guns, command SWAT teams, and have the power to arrest, incarcerate, and charge with criminal offenses. Civil offenses, yes, criminal no.

That's why I trust Apple (and their pursuit of the almighty dollar) over the FBI (and their pursuit of (often overblown or even imaginary) terrorists). I can choose not to use Apple products. I cannot choose 'not to use' the FBI. I can choose not to give Apple a dollar. I have no influence whatsoever if the FBI decides I'm a terrorist.

Jon (fD)

PS - Yeah, technically I can 'choose not to use' the FBI by leaving the USA, leaving me at the mercy of the CIA, which I don't think is much of an improvement. See 'black sites', 'rendition', &c. J.

Trust No. 1June 28, 2018 10:15 PM

Get a single narrowly-focused warrant from a "non-incentivised" judge.
And practice law enforcement with morals, which means no parallel construction, mass-surveillance, and secret courts.

And then I wake up...

After all, data is power®
And, to extend from @Bruce, unchecked power is toxic.

Clive RobinsonJune 29, 2018 1:48 AM

@ Anselm,

The FBI is a huge organisation and it is reasonable to assume that most of its employees are motivated by “justice” and other factors (like power) to varying degrees.

Err I would assume that whilst the idea of "justice" might have got some FBI droods into the recruitment process. Once in staying in and career progression would almost certainly become the number one and two FBI employee priorities...

Which means they are easy to manipulate by their seniors, who are far from interested in real justice, just the "Play Acting" for political reasons. Which means it is way way easier to "create faux criminals" rather than put in the effort to "catch real criminals". Further there is nothing like the career progression of a few high profile cases of political expedient "Justice seen to be done, rather than actually done". Of which we have seen sufficient to know that when some idiot in the bureau decides you are guilty they will find something to charge you with and if you fail to pleed guilty to something or they get caught faking evidence they will "double down" with even more ludicrous charges, and if they don't stick they will try something even more stupid... Have a look at Marcy Wheeler's blog about Marcus Hutchinson / Malwaretech, it should make your eyes open up a little bit wider...

Sancho_PJune 29, 2018 3:37 AM

@AI, re Defrrt serzw dcvpiy bidzmx ...

Your “... to make speech understandable by the government“
is the real problem.
What is clear to the average person seems to be out of their scope.
See cryptowars.

vas pupJune 29, 2018 8:24 AM

@all related to vulnerabilities (kind of):
New nerve gas detector built with Legos and a smartphone:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180627160459.htm
“Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have designed a way to sense dangerous chemicals using, in part, a simple rig consisting of a smartphone and a box made from Lego bricks, which could help first responders and scientists in the field identify deadly and difficult-to-detect nerve agents such as VX and sarin. The new methodology described in a paper published Wednesday in the open-access journal ACS Central Science combines a chemical sensor with photography to detect and identify different nerve agents -- odorless, tasteless chemical weapons that can cause severe illness and death, sometimes within minutes.”
My take: every federal/government building, airport, rail hub you name it should have such detector by default.

AnselmJune 29, 2018 9:06 AM

@Clive: I don't disagree with you that it's likely that many if not most members of the FBI are not exclusively motivated by the advancement of capital-J Justice.

I can only reiterate that while you can fairly effectively decide that you don't want to have anything to do with Apple, ever, if you're in the US you can't decide you don't want to have anything to do with the FBI. If you ignore Apple, they will ignore you personally. But unlike Apple, if the FBI becomes interested in you they have the very real wherewithal to make your existence a living hell (possibly for the noblest of reasons, “Brazil”-style, but it sucks to be caught in the crosshairs even so) and if they're interested enough they won't stop doing so.

Remember that, officially, the likes of Paul Manafort don't get into trouble for whatever it was that caused the FBI to become interested in them to begin with, they get into trouble for lying to the FBI, because FBI agents are trained to be clever at making you contradict yourself in official statements. Ken White, who is a former federal prosecutor and runs the “Popehat” legal blog, has some very instructive things to say about dealing with the FBI, which essentially amount to keeping your own mouth very much shut and letting your attorney do the talking.

CallMeLateForSupperJune 29, 2018 10:17 AM

@PeaceHead

TL;DR
I am interested in what you (and others) have to say. But I will not wade through a meandering post on the mere hope that, when it ends, I will grok intent and meaning. Life is too short.

Clive RobinsonJune 29, 2018 3:34 PM

@ Anselm,

Ken White, who is a former federal prosecutor and runs the “Popehat” legal blog, has some very instructive things to say about dealing with the FBI, which essentially amount to keeping your own mouth very much shut and letting your attorney do the talking.

In the US it's actually way way worse than "keeping your own mouth very much shut" so doing is actually a crime in it's self. There is a convoluted process involved with getting yourself to the point you can actually keep your mouth shut.

Worse still is that "letting your attorney do the talking" is in many cases just as bad if not worse. You need a specialised attorney who has played the game many times, and there are darn few of those.

Put simply invoking you right not to self incriminate is way more complicated than any spell thought up on the twisted mind of gothic noir stories...

The jist of it is you have to say that you are not represented and thus require not just representation but specific representation for guidence and hand over your chosen representatives details immediately, othereise you are steping into a real world of hurt, that will destroy both your mental status and any modest wealth you might have... Which of course is the whole point of the process known as "Rights Striping"...

echoJune 29, 2018 4:22 PM

@Clive

By chance while looking through media links to kill time I discovred this example of an establishment (Grey hair and suit? Check.) and respected (Doctor? Check.) state lackey (Shown DWP documents? Check) being given a buy off. (A gong with a factory gate price of £10? Check.) The UK state at the departmental and cabinet level declined to comment on the allegation. Corruption UK stylee.

https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwps-fitness-for-work-reviewer-handed-cbe-after-refusing-to-speak-out-on-benefit-deaths-evidence/
An occupational health expert has been recognised with a high-ranking honour just weeks after refusing to say if he was shown vital documents linking the government’s “fitness for work” test with the deaths of benefit claimants.

PeaceHeadJune 29, 2018 5:28 PM

@Jon (fD): Ha, made me smile.

What you said about the dossier ("the file") reminds me of Windows Vista, 8, 10, etc. When you turn off a certain system log, it logs that you turned of the log. When you turn on the log, it logs that you turned it on. It logs TONS of nonsensically irrelevant stuff and of course none of that incessant logging makes the system any more resilient or stable.

In fact, in the field doing real types of computational work, all that logging incessantly causes a severe drop in resource availability. In Vista, it was so bad that the hard drives were being constantly thrashed with the system logging and tweaking itself. The main solution was to just turn off all that logging and other logs and (pre)fetching too. But it was hard to accomplish because even though the options to turn stuff off was there, the system wouldn't boot if certain non-essential services were turned off.

I once dealt with the disk thrashing by trying to make the logs smaller in size and assigning them to a tiny RAM drive instead of to the hard drive. It made the problem bearable until I downgraded to XP (despite false claims that my hardware was incompatible with XP).

But with the FBI, I imagine that logging of people who ask for their log is to prevent criminals from repeatedly asking for their log to check and see if they are going to get caught in their crimes yet and for them to dodge the law. It makes technical sense to have some threshold at which log requests become suspicious in an important way.

But which number of time? That's difficult to say, so they probably solved that question by simplifying it: Just log every log request greater than or equal to 1. That makes it more non-discriminatory and less legally liable in terms of lawsuits against the FBI for... [etc], see what I mean?

As for the fellow who doesn't have time to "grok" my meaning.
Well, if you have the patience to have read that book with the origin of the word "grok", and if you grokked the meaning of that book and the word "grok", then you got the cajones to grok me too. capeesh? hehehehe

Some stuff just doesn't reduce. I wish I could say that my brain works "losslessly" and not "lossy". So I can only reduce what I say by a factor of about "0.6" ( reduce to about 50-60 % , just like FLAC and WAVpack ).

:-) next is the ETNORIAS

Clive RobinsonJune 30, 2018 2:45 AM

@ echo,

Corruption UK stylee

Oh I an well aware that the DWP is shall we say avoiding it's legal obligations. One case was it discriminated against peoples sex of those "invited" to attended a WCA. It was not just in practice but in the leaflet sent to everyone invited.

The leaflet has since been changed but I'm told the discrimination continues.

If the DWP and it's sub contractors can not get something as simple as not discriminating against a persons biological gender then it begs the obvious questions about not just "What else are they getting wrong?" But also "What the bias is in incorrect decisions?", "What harms are caused to the invitees?" and "What remedial steps are taken?"

But also importantly with respect to the bias "Who profits politicaly and financially?"

The DWP and UK Gov's own figures show that unemployment figures across the board have dropped very much against economic expectations, thus it's becoming clear to most who have had reason to look into their activities that beyond all doubt the UK Gov is wasting money on the WCA, and that certain political party funds get kick backs from those financially involved in maintaining what at best is "political ideology". Worse it's clear that they are going to throw even more money at "suiciding disabled persons".

But it gets worse, when they sanction an individual they cut off all money, thus the individual gets hit with debt collectors and local authorities trying to take away all the individual has including their good name. Even when a court finds against the DWP with a regularity and percentage that shows the bias, the DWP does not pay what they should. Their first argument is that as a years benifit is at the lowest level is more than double the "savings limit" that is all they will pay an individual. Then if the individual does get the money after many further months the DWP will not pay any interest on it although legally required. However those the individual who has fallen into debt with --through no fault of their own-- have no qualms about inflicting gross charges, fees, usury rates of interest and disadvantaged the individual in other ways such as making them homeless or worse.

As has been remarked befor a society should be judged not by it's successes but it's failures such as those it discriminates against and importantly why. Comparing the UK to most other northern European Countries should make the UK Government hang it's head in shame. But no, because it's what the current political encumbrants want, thus they see such shame as a badge of honour, as the incident you mention shows only to well.

echoJune 30, 2018 7:45 AM

@Clive

What you describe is a situation I am familiar with across the board. It comes in many forms but is essentially the same thing.

L Jean CampJuly 9, 2018 12:52 PM

@Wes Reynolds The IEEE USA was very active in the first crypto policy dispute. Look at the resource book by Marc Rotenberg and you will find multiple statements in there.

This is quite unusual in that it was issued by the IEEE as an entity, not the IEEE USA or any other national or regional group. This is pointed at the broader global enthusiasm for weakening systems, including Australia and the UK.

In the US, the FBI continues to make the rounds on The Hill and ask for back doors. It continues to this day. Bills still are proposed -- that is they are written and circulated -- and the professional organizations work to educate the staff before they make it onto a committee schedule.

That you are unaware of the role of professional organizations does not indicate a high level of understanding of the actual process.

This is a finding of fact by a respected international organization, one that tends to political conservatism among members.

I appreciate Bruce covering it.

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