It’s a bit like realising the country is run by your mum trying to use iMessage for the first time. “Why has it turned blue?” Her Majesty’s Government cries in unison, scrunching its eyes up and holding the nation’s security a metre away from its face.
Yes, this is the horrifying reality of Britain’s counter-terrorism response being in the hands of people who type “www.” into the search bar and bestow iPlayer with an unnecessary “the”.
As government ministers express concerns about encryption – asking WhatsApp to let them in, among other misguided endeavours – following the attack on Westminster last week, they have revealed a worrying lack of any form of technological literacy.
Here are the most terrible bits, which your mole found by surfing the web on doubleyew doubleyew doubleyew dot google dot com:
Home Secretary, Amber Rudd
“The best people who understand the technology, who understand the necessary hashtags to stop this stuff ever being put up, not just taken down, but ever being put up in the first place are going to be them.”
Watch out, all you hashtag-happy potential perpetrators of atrocities. If you tweet #iamaterrorist then the government will come down on you LIKE A TONNE OF TETRIS BRICKS.
“We don’t want to go into the cloud”
“If I was talking to Tim Cook, I would say to him, this is something completely different, we’re not saying open up, we don’t want to go into the cloud, we don’t want to do all sorts of things like that.”
The Home Secretary definitely thinks that there is a big, fluffy, probably cumulonimbus cloud in the sky where lots of men in thick-framed glasses and polo necks sit around, typing content and data and stuff on their computer machines.
Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson
“New systems and algorithms”
“They need to develop new systems and algorithms to detect this stuff and remove it.”
Fire up the algorithms, boys! Don’t spare the horses!
“Good men do nothing, and that’s what’s happening here”
“Evil flourishes when good men do nothing, and that’s what’s happening here.”
First they came for the YouTube stars, and I did not speak out – because I was not a YouTube star.
Security minister, Ben Wallace
“The web is an international worldwide phenomenon”
“We need to explore what we can do within the realms of the web. The web is an international worldwide phenomenon, and businesses and servers are based all over the world.”
Wait, what? The world wide web is both international and worldwide, you say? Is it global and transnational and intercontinental too? Maybe he got technology confused with tautology.