Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Anti-capitalist? Too simple. Occupy can be the catalyst for a radical rethink (Guardian)

Capitalism has many guises, writes Ha-Joon Chang. Pigeonholing protesters will only allow those who are against reform to avoid the issue.

2. Europe must not allow Rome to burn (Financial Times)

This may turn out to be the last chance to put out the fire, says Martin Wolf.

3. Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Europe must choose (Times) (£)

There are more risks for the EU as a 'beautiful' integrated system like Apple than as an untidy alliance like Microsoft, writes Daniel Finkelstein.

4. Assad will only go if his own tanks turn against him (Independent)

Predictions of the Syrian leader's imminent demise are hopelessly optimistic, warns Robert Fisk.

5. Ed Miliband needs to strike a blow, not a pose over industrial action (Daily Mirror)

Industrial action is a big test of Miliband's argument that the major divide in Britain is between the 99 per cent and the 1 per cent, says Kevin Maguire.

6. The markets distrust democracy. Just ask the masters of Beijing and Moscow (Guardian)

Why is the democratic world faring so much worse in this crisis than its authoritarian rivals? It's the austerity, stupid, writes Jonathan Freedland.

7. Money alone will not rescue the euro (Financial Times)

The ECB can backstop political agreement, not substitute for it, says an FT leader.

8. We should celebrate the death of PFI (Daily Telegraph)

Its toxic legacy of debt proves there is a better way to improve Britain's infrastructure, says Jesse Norman.

9. Political elite with a contempt for voters (Daily Mail)

Political leaders continue to show breathtaking disregard for the right of individual eurozone states, says a Daily Mail leader.

10. This is not the Margaret Thatcher I knew (Daily Telegraph)

It'll take more than the talents of Meryl Streep to capture the essence of this political giant, writes Norman Tebbit.

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The problems with ending encryption to fight terrorism

Forcing tech firms to create a "backdoor" to access messages would be a gift to cyber-hackers.

The UK has endured its worst terrorist atrocity since 7 July 2005 and the threat level has been raised to "critical" for the first time in a decade. Though election campaigning has been suspended, the debate over potential new powers has already begun.

Today's Sun reports that the Conservatives will seek to force technology companies to hand over encrypted messages to the police and security services. The new Technical Capability Notices were proposed by Amber Rudd following the Westminster terrorist attack and a month-long consultation closed last week. A Tory minister told the Sun: "We will do this as soon as we can after the election, as long as we get back in. The level of threat clearly proves there is no more time to waste now. The social media companies have been laughing in our faces for too long."

Put that way, the plan sounds reasonable (orders would be approved by the home secretary and a senior judge). But there are irrefutable problems. Encryption means tech firms such as WhatsApp and Apple can't simply "hand over" suspect messages - they can't access them at all. The technology is designed precisely so that conversations are genuinely private (unless a suspect's device is obtained or hacked into). Were companies to create an encryption "backdoor", as the government proposes, they would also create new opportunities for criminals and cyberhackers (as in the case of the recent NHS attack).

Ian Levy, the technical director of the National Cyber Security, told the New Statesman's Will Dunn earlier this year: "Nobody in this organisation or our parent organisation will ever ask for a 'back door' in a large-scale encryption system, because it's dumb."

But there is a more profound problem: once created, a technology cannot be uninvented. Should large tech firms end encryption, terrorists will merely turn to other, lesser-known platforms. The only means of barring UK citizens from using the service would be a Chinese-style "great firewall", cutting Britain off from the rest of the internet. In 2015, before entering the cabinet, Brexit Secretary David Davis warned of ending encryption: "Such a move would have had devastating consequences for all financial transactions and online commerce, not to mention the security of all personal data. Its consequences for the City do not bear thinking about."

Labour's manifesto pledged to "provide our security agencies with the resources and the powers they need to protect our country and keep us all safe." But added: "We will also ensure that such powers do not weaken our individual rights or civil liberties". The Liberal Democrats have vowed to "oppose Conservative attempts to undermine encryption."

But with a large Conservative majority inevitable, according to polls, ministers will be confident of winning parliamentary support for the plan. Only a rebellion led by Davis-esque liberals is likely to stop them.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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