On Wednesday, the government announced its internet safety strategy – a plan to make Britain the best country in the world in terms of online safety.
Unfortunate, then, that the minister in charge of announcing this policy – the Secretary of State for Culture Karen Bradley – doesn’t really seem to understand what, and indeed where, the internet is.
For when asked about the plan, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday morning:
“It’s about how we make the internet the safest place to be online.”
Oh, Karen. Kazza. Someone tell her that Internet, Tech, Digital and Cyberspace aren’t the four continents on her map of Online.
Bradley isn’t alone in the cabinet – the safest place to have no clue about the internet – in her lack of tech literacy. Here are some other painful examples your mole has collected over the past few months:
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. I was a clown in a politician suit.
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.