That's right: the Brexit deal recommends using Netscape

That's right: the Brexit deal recommends using Netscape

In the agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union, obsolete software and vulnerable encryption systems are returning, perhaps due to a copy-paste of old regulations

Netscape Navigator The section dedicated to encryption technology of the latest agreement on Brexit between the European Union and the UK refers to “modern software packages” citing Outlook, Mozilla Mail and Netscape Communicator 4.X. As long as we talk about the Microsoft e-mail service everything fits, while the doubts montanoc with the other two names, since both the software mentioned have been inactive for at least a decade0.

Netscape, born in 1994, was the first graphical browser, the most popular of the early nineties, but ceased its functions in 2008 and the last release of Netscape Communicator dates back to 1997, a year before the company of the same name was bought by America On Line.

Just in case you forget what Netscape Communicator 4.0 looked like…

- Prof B Buchanan OBE (@billatnapier) December 26, 2020

The documentation of the new Brexit agreement also suggests the use of 1024-bit RSA encryption and the Sha-1 hashing algorithm. For the layman it is enough to know that these are obsolete systems and remarkably vulnerable to modern cyber attacks.

"It is clear that something is wrong with the drafting of this treatise and we come to the point of venturing the opinion that a tired civil servant simply cut and pasted a security document from the late 1990s ”, the Hackaday website speculated by analyzing the information on page 932 of the 1,256-page agreement for the UK's exit from the EU.

Extract from the Brexit agreement (image: Hackaday) On the net, several users have speculated that the legislators have copied and pasted the text of a 2008 European law. Bill Buchanan, a cryptographer at Edinburgh Napier University, tweeted that the text looks like a collage of memories from the past, joking that perhaps “someday we will build a digital world fit for the 21st century“. The agreement was unanimously approved but it seems that no one is bothered to verify that the content regarding the technological aspect was up to date.

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Brexit Europe Internet globalData.fldTopic = "Brexit, Europe, Internet"

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