New Statesman teams up with New Republic

The two historic left-leaning weeklies announce groundbreaking partnership.

The New Statesman has embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with the weekly US magazine The New Republic. From this week, both magazines will be sharing some of each other's best content with their own audiences, ensuring that our great mix of commentary, analysis and cultural criticism is read on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The tie-up marks a unique partnership between two magazines with a shared history and purpose: to bring the best progressive thought, debate and reporting to as wide an audience as possible.

The New Statesman was founded in 1913, and the New Republic a year later. A century on, both are now in a strong position in both print and online. In 2012, the New Republic was bought by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, who rejuvenated the title and relaunched an innovative website; meanwhile, the New Statesman has grown both its print subscription figures and its website traffic (by 70 per cent) in the last year.

Every week, we'll be bringing you three pieces from the New Republic - and vice versa. We hope you enjoy reading even more thought-provoking, intelligent writing. 

“Our relationship with the New Statesman is a perfect fit – its sensibility, readership, topical focus, and belief in the importance of both politics and culture all echo that of The New Republic,” said Frank Foer, editor of The New Republic.

Helen Lewis, deputy editor of New Statesman, added: "The New Statesman and New Republic were founded within a year of each another, and have a shared mission - to bring thought-provoking, intelligent political and cultural writing to the widest possible audience. Here's to a new Special Relationship!"

About the New Statesman

Irreverent, beautifully written and witty, the New Statesman is the essential read for bright thinkers everywhere. It is Britain’s leading, best written and most authoritative weekly political, cultural and current affairs magazine. The magazine’s award-winning team of editors and contributors seek to engage readers with great writing, arresting photography, intelligent analysis, bold campaigns and trenchant argument. 

For a century, our mission has been to provide readers with a rigorous examination of political culture as well as to amuse and entertain. Our provocative and acclaimed reports, columns and essays explore the issues that lead our national conversation, from politics to economics, the arts or the environment. The magazine is celebrated for its progressive politics, boldness, independence and skepticism. Subscribe today.

About The New Republic

Tailored for smart, curious, socially aware readers, The New Republic covers politics, culture and big ideas from an unbiased and thought-provoking perspective. Well-known for its century-old tradition of providing context and analysis beyond the daily headlines, The New Republic has been reimagined for the 21st century with fresh and compelling design across print, digital, and mobile devices.  If you like timely journalism that sparks important conversations, you'll love rediscovering The New Republic. Subscribe today.

 

New Statesman and New Republic.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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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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