From a Slashdot comment on the story “Big Six UK ISPs Capitulate To Music Industry“:
BBC News April 2nd 2010
ISPs have detected a massive spike in encrypted activity on the internet. Indecipherable “SSL” packets have increased in volume massively in recent months. This trend is seen as “disturbing” in the words of one child protection group.
Protests from expats living in Russia, China and Iran is more muted relative to earlier episodes. One comment received from an expat in Iran states “We used to get bothered by all this, but frankly, it’s so much better over here that we really don’t care anymore.”
“There could be anything being sent in these encrypted streams. Anything at all, and we have no way of knowing it”, said Angela Termagantine, spokesperson for Protecting the Innocent. “There’s little doubt that lurid, disgusting and atrocious images of naked children are being transmitted in these clandestine packets of information. Something Must Be Done.”
Police spokesman Robert Peeler warned the public that very sinister developments have given us cause to believe that a vast network of Terrorists are transmitting plans to bring terror and mayhem to Britain’s streets. “It is likely that this flood of inscruitible data is the precursor to an outright Terrorist assault, if not an invasion , on British citizens.” Police believe that ssl may be a code word for terrorist cells, possibly referring to a passage, or passages from the Koran. Peeler added, “We are working with leaders in the Muslim community to reach young people and other members of the community in an effort to identify the sources of these sinister “ssl” packets.”
When news broke of the recent surge and its potentially sinister meaning, traffic at Tabloid News and Gossip sites spiked as millions of Britons swarmed to read titillating speculation about what may be concealed in the encrypted traffic. “People love this stuff, right.” said editor of the Scandal on Sunday Andy Tartuffe. “I mean, you throw in a bit of nookie, bit of scandel, bit of how’s your father, people go right for it, know wha’ I mean? ” When it was suggested his publication by be sensationalizing the potential content of the traffic surge he retorted, ” Look, it’s all porn right! There’s dirty buggers out there doing dirty deeds and my readers what to hear all about it.” “Especially the kiddie stuff, right. Get’s ’em right rilled up! Big seller.” he added as he drove away in his BMW with an unidentified young woman.
The Home Office has dismissed protests from network and computer professionals that SSL is a much used and needed protocol on the internet, and has moved ahead with plans to outlaw encrypted data on British networks. “We have to stop this sort of thing”, said the Home Office Minister, “Saying that it has legitimate uses, or that only a small fraction of the transmitted material may be illegal is frankly a load of rubbish. If you have nothing to hide, you have no reason to be using these services. Any sensible person can see that.”
In addition to banning SSL traffic and previous legislation mandating the handover of encryption keys, the government plans to have monitoring software installed on all internet connected devices in the country. “When you think about it, it’s a small price to pay for the safety of you and your children.” said the Prime Minister this afternoon. “We have overwhelming public support on this”, he added, citing private party telephone polls.
Someone else responded immediately with:
It’s scary when one can barely tell satire from real world events. It’s too real.
Yes, it is scary.