Competition: Design the UK’s crypto-open-backdoor stamp of approval!


We're open!If David Cameron is re-elected as British Prime Minister in May, he plans to introduce legislation that will get rid of all that pesky security that prevents the law enforcement agencies from snooping on secure communications.

He, and his Home Secretary Theresa May, think it would be a good idea if people didn’t use secure messaging systems that use end-to-end encryption. And so they want to outlaw products and services that don’t provide a way for the UK government to sneak a peek at what you’re saying to eachother.

This - understandably - has drawn quite a lot of concern from those people of a technical bent. But that’s a debate for a whole different article…

… what I need your help with today is this.

If Cameron is re-elected, and he manages to push his plans through Parliament, it’s going to be important for people to know which products they are allowed to use and which they’re not allowed to use.

CompetitionAnd that’s where you come in.

Can you design a logo stamp for UK government-approved (in)secure messaging apps and services? I think it would save a lot of time if we could quickly tell which ones are on the side of law and order, and which are mischievously trying to keep their users’ information private.

If you can design a logo, or an acronym, or even a jingle, send it to me at

with the subject line of “Here’s what I picture when I think of David Cameron’s backdoor” and I will publish the best.

No prizes, other than the glory and adoration of the internet.

Thanks very much for taking part, and thanks to Quentyn Taylor who came up with the idea on Twitter.

Get creative!

Please note: The UK government may choose not to adopt your logo. No entries will be returned, unless you happen to have sent it to the correct email address in which case it may bounce back at you. All entries to be sent by unencrypted email, naturally.

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7 Responses

  1. John Crowther

    January 15, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

    This has brightened and lightened up my day :-)

  2. Dave - North West UK

    January 15, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    Je suis insecurity” (Gov approved security software)

  3. Coyote

    January 15, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    No entries will be returned, unless you happen to have sent it to the correct email address in which case it may bounce back at you. All entries to be sent by unencrypted email, naturally.”

    Thanks for the laugh! But why can’t we use PGP ? Anyone remember that ? Of course I know the reason but it would be ironic indeed if someone sent it encrypted. The other part though, bouncing mail, is quite funny when you consider that it would happen at the server level then and there (if it is going to)! Still, is quite funny. I’ll see if I can come up with something but seeing as how I’ve ignored the (some partially done, some just ideas for) 1 April RFCs for some years… well…

  4. Dave Howe

    January 15, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    Presumably intel would protest a “GCHQ inside” swirl? :)

  5. Paula Thomas

    January 16, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    How about the ‘Keep Calm and Carry on” poster with the slogan “Keep the back door open”.

    Or maybe: “For your safety and comfort the rear entrance is open” coming out of a flight attendant’s smiling mouth.

  6. Jeffrey Goldberg

    January 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    Big Brother Approved”

  7. Lord Groundhog

    January 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    For the slogan, how about ” Open the Door and Bend Over”?

    For Cameron, this song from Howlin’ Wolf could be his theme:

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