Brexit deal references Netscape browser, indicating copy and paste from old documents
Computer software created in 1994 is referred to in the agreement's section on data encryption
If you were writing a 2,000 page document, you'd probably be inclined to copy and paste a bit of some other shit to pad it out.
If said document was the basis for a trading relationship between the world's fifth largest economy and its largest (if you count the EU as one obvs) you'd probably think again.
The references on page 921 of the trade deal mention software that would now be incredibly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Namely, Netscape browser and Mozilla Mail.
Just in case you forget what Netscape Communicator 4.0 looked like ... pic.twitter.com/573xNdN3ZH
— Prof B Buchanan OBE (@billatnapier) December 26, 2020
News site Hackaday said: "It's clear that something is amiss in the drafting of this treaty, and we'd go so far as to venture the opinion that a tired civil servant simply cut-and-pasted from a late-1990s security document."
Others have suggested the words come from a 2008 EU security text.
Bill Buchanan, a cryptography expert at Edinburgh Napier University, told the BBC: "I believe this looks like a standard copy-and-paste of old standards, and with little understanding of the technical details.
"The text is full of acronyms, and it perhaps needs more of a lay person's explanation to define the requirements."
After a trade deal was agreed between the UK and EU at the eleventh hour, announced formally on Christmas eve, it received unanimous approval from the remaining 27 member states' ambassadors.
Parliament is due to vote on the agreement on Wednesday, it is expected to pass comfortably, and come into effect from January 1.