“All citizens will be required to hand over all passwords to the government, effective immediately,” announced UK prime minister Theresa May on Monday. “This is a necessary move to protect national security and prevent terrorism. Citizens who refuse to comply will face prison.”
In light of the multiple terrorist attacks on the UK this year, it’s clear why such a move might be justified. The government simply needs the passwords of its 65 million citizens, and from there finding the terrorists among hundreds of millions of online accounts should be trivial, as they’d obviously not make any attempt to hide their activity.
“Normal citizens should have nothing to hide,” representatives from the UK Home Office told reporters. “And citizens are obviously willing to entrust the government with all their online passwords, not just social media but banking and other sensitive accounts, for the sake of national security.” The reps cited the broad success of the surveillance program in the United States in actually catching any terrorists at all when justifying the new measures.
Current rumors hold that the government plans to outsource handling of account passwords to the U.S. based companies Equifax Inc. and Adobe Systems, who have recently demonstrated their strong commitment to secure IT practices. At press time, May was reportedly considering a new law to require GPS trackers to be carried by every citizen as well.