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The Guardian reports that the UK government will not require Ofcom to enforce the restrictions on End to End Encryption (ETEE) until two conditions are met:

the government has said the regulator would intervene only if scanning content was “technically feasible” and if the process met minimum standards of privacy and accuracy.

The technically feasible requirement has been mentioned widely, including the guardian article linked within the text written at the time this requirement was announced. Also "technically feasible" is not, as far as I am aware, a generally recognised quantifiable measure, so an exact threshold may not be expected.

I have not heard the privacy and accuracy requirement reported on previously. Privacy as a property of communication systems and accuracy as a property of classification systems have been the subject of academic research for many years, and there are multiple objective methods to quantify them. An example for accuracy would be the ROC curve, for privacy one could see this paper (or avoiding the paywall). The use of the phrase "minimum standards" would seem to indicate some form of objective metric by which these are measured and a specified threshold that they must meet. Have these details been provided? If not, to what is this phrase referring?

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  • "the phrase "minimum standards" would seem to indicate some form of objective metric by which these are measured and a specified threshold that they must meet" Not necessarily. One can just say "minimum standard" and not mean anything in particular by it, just some unspecified threshold that should be observed. But it may be arbitrarily low. Unless it was actually specified somewhere. Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 12:21
  • Note that opponents of the law have been argueing that the combination of end-to-end encryption and scanning content is impossible on principle. It is not a question of someone needsing to actually write it up or technically feasible, there is a fundamental contradiction on a purely logical level. So one could say that the government here choses not to try to enforce something that can't be achieved.
    – quarague
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 13:37

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