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Total Phone and Email Database Proposed In UK

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the pan-opti-net-icon dept.

Privacy 434

mishmash writes "The Times of London is reporting a proposal for a massive government database holding details of all phone calls, emails, and time spent on the Internet. This is to be justified as being 'part of the fight against crime and terrorism.' Quoting: 'Internet service providers and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.' If you want to write to representatives to let them know your views, contact details are available at Write to Them." UK telecoms are already required to keep records of phone calls and text messages for 12 months, accessible by subpoena; the requirement is already slated to expand to records of Internet usage, emails, and VoIP. This new proposal aims to centralize all that information in a single database in the Home Office.

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Not gonna move to the UK any time soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469582)

The subject line says it all.

Seriously, what is wrong with the United Kingdom?! (5, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469856)

Being a U.S.-centric site, a lot of vitriol gets directed towards the US government around here (and so it should in relation to many laws and policies relating to "terrorism" and "security").

But what on earth is going on in the UK? Security cameras literally everywhere, compulsory DNA databases, laws permitting detention without charge or trial for long periods of time, that insane proposal for a law to allow laws to be made and abolished by regulation (i.e. without a vote in parliament), and this obsession with centralising government control over information, particularly insofar as it relates to the movements and communications of private citizens. The list goes on and on.

Britain stood virtually alone against fascism in World War Two, and was a bastion against the totalitarian Soviet bloc during the Cold War. Before then the UK resisted the power of the Catholic church, eliminated any real power for its despotic monarchs, and even briefly pioneered the field of total republican independence from hereditory rule, later embraced by some more celebrated republics. Before any of that you managed to write the Magna Carta, perhaps the greatest document on the rights of the individual in human history.

Why did you even bother, only to willingly turn yourselves into a bureaucractic authoritarian state? Sure, you're not murdering millions of your citizens in gas chambers, but you're only a hop, skip and a jump away from East Germany under the Stasi - total state surveillance and the tyranny of a huge, opaque executive government where faceless "officials" control the lives of citizens.

Wake up, before it's too late.

Re:Seriously, what is wrong with the United Kingdo (5, Insightful)

denton420 (1235028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469990)

This is the first comment I read. I do not need to go any further before saying that you are not only right, but have put forth the truth in such an eloquent manner.

History does repeat itself, or so they say.
1700-1900 is NOT that long of a time span at all in the grand scheme of things. Now consider all of the world changing events we saw in just two hundred years. The change saw are almost unimaginable by even the most creative of minds. What will another 200 years and scarce resources bring?

I do not think even the most intellectual of us can fathom what the world will look like in a hundred years. If it comes down to it, the police state WILL be enforced if deemed necessary, and it will all be already in place ready to go...

We think we are so different from those before us, but are you so naive to think that they did not feel the same way about their previous generations?

It really is time to get up and do something if you live in the UK. This kind of stuff makes me feel good to be in the US... for once.

Re:Seriously, what is wrong with the United Kingdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470004)

Vendetta

Re:Seriously, what is wrong with the United Kingdo (5, Insightful)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470036)

It sounds like that we are moving to the state of "Pre-crime" where we will be charged with suspicious activity even when no crime has yet been committed.

All they need now is some curfews and laws against private gatherings.

You forgot to mention the sheep.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470184)

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Publicly condemn the EU for its decision to compulsorily introduce the electronic identification of sheep after 2010"

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/sheepEID

Is all of this all down to the British Government or is it coming from the EU?

How long before the British Government is just a puppet and everything is run from Brussels?

Re:You forgot to mention the sheep.... (5, Informative)

777a (826468) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470344)

Is all of this all down to the British Government or is it coming from the EU?
Unfortunately it's both from the UK and EU.

Watching Sky news (one of the two main news stations) earlier today they referred to the data retention law as an EU law, but that isn't entirely correct.

When the UK was president of the EU it brought in Europe wide data retention laws. It was shortly after 7/7 and managed to get enough votes to be passed.

When an EU law is passed the member states implement it in their own way (all member states are required their phone companies / ISP's to log phone / internet data for at least 6 months, some do longer).

So while this is technically an EU law, it was brought into Europe by predominantly by the UK.

Allowing the data to be stored by the government is a new, UK only law.

Re:Seriously, what is wrong with the United Kingdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470238)


>Wake up, before it's too late

dude - it's too late.

It's too late. We can't win. They've gotten too powerful. - Abbie Hoffman's 1989 Suicide Note

despair can kill you, or they'll kill you if you get in the way...

But that is not new: it's always been true, throughout history. So, smile pretty for the cameras and encrypt your data.

Mr. Orwell! (4, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469586)

Mr.Orwell! A telephone call for Mr.Orwell ....

Re:Mr. Orwell! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469648)

Mr. Orwell can be reached at 1-BIG-BRO-THER. That's 1-984-BRO-THER.

Re:Mr. Orwell! (3, Funny)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469900)

Actually, under this proposal Mr Orwell can be reached by calling pretty much anyone, thanks to the OMNI-CALL system operated by MiniLove.

Simply dial any random number and deliver your message to whoever answers. Give it a little while and the relevant catchwords will be identified and stored in the central database for easy retrieval by unaccountable government drones. 'Correctional' officers will then be dispatched to visit you and 'correct' your views on certain matters.

Re:Mr. Orwell! (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469732)

Hello? Hello?

Is that you, Airstrip One?

Re:Mr. Orwell! (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469880)

Mr.Orwell! A telephone call for Mr.Orwell ....

no no no - in this situation, there is no need to page anyone.

if the Men In Charge(tm) want you, they'll come get you. in person. sometimes they may even forget to knock before entering.

its part of the new super-service our tax dollars have been paying for.

Remember, Remember the 5th of whenever! (5, Interesting)

Morromist (1207276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470040)

Nobody seems to hate the concept of terrorism as much as the Brits -

I would like to see us have an Osama Bin ladin day where we burn his effigy to fireworks and general celebration
- and Guy fawkes never actually carried out the gunpowder plot
AND nobody seems to forget the bloody goverment reprisals that have taken place under the guidance of the old Kings and Queens, mostly due to religious differences. here I name but a few:

The rampage of Bloody Bonner during the reign of Queen Mary I

The Bloody Assizes of Judge Jeffreys in the reign of King James II

The repression in Scotland against the highlanders after the first Jacobite rebellions which some historians have called genocide

The Peterloo Massacre in 1819

Have the English forgot all of these thousands of government killings and yet still remember Guy Fawkes who did not manage to kill a single person?
If I were British I would be considerably more afraid of my government than any terrorist.

Re:Remember, Remember the 5th of whenever! (5, Insightful)

deepershade (994429) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470208)

If I were British I would be considerably more afraid of my government than any terrorist. Believe me. I am. And when we raise our concerns, they ignore us and do what they want anyway. Learn this, we are no longer a democracy (rule of the majority), we're a totalitarianistic state. The vote is just something they 'allow' us to have because it appeases the masses. And please don't mod this down unless you actually live in the UK. I WISH this were a flamebait or a troll. I really do.

Re:Remember, Remember the 5th of whenever! (2, Informative)

deepershade (994429) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470242)

Replied for clarity (forgot to properly close tags and to line return)

If I were British I would be considerably more afraid of my government than any terrorist.

Believe me. I am. And when we raise our concerns, they ignore us and do what they want anyway. Learn this, we are no longer a democracy (rule of the majority), we're a totalitarianistic state. The vote is just something they 'allow' us to have because it appeases the masses. And please don't mod this down unless you actually live in the UK. I WISH this were a flamebait or a troll. I really do.

Re:Remember, Remember the 5th of whenever! (5, Interesting)

Zemran (3101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470368)

The vote is just something they 'allow' us to have because it appeases the masses.

Why do people go on about the vote as if it makes a difference? In China they have had elections for decades and nothing has changed. The party puts forward a few suits to chose between and the people choose a puppet to stand in front of them. In Britain we get to choose between 3 suits and in the US they get to choose between 2... It is a long time since we have been any different to China or Russia.

Russia and China are moving in one direction and becoming more free. The UK and the US are moving in the other direction. Russia has closed its gulags and the US has opened its own...

In a few years we will be different to Russia and China again when they become the representatives or the free world.

government and terrorists (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470266)

If I were British I would be considerably more afraid of my government than any terrorist.

I'm American and I fear our government more than any other terrorists. This is backwards, government is supposed to fear citizens, not citizens fear government.

Falcon

Useless information (3, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469588)

What on earth is this going to be good for?

Re:Useless information (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469654)

Datamining. Mapping social connections. Movement profiles.

Re:Useless information (4, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469658)

Stopping terrorists...

Re:Useless information (5, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469684)

Huh? Isn't it obvious; so they can lose the entire database in the post.

Re:Useless information (4, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469718)

Stock prices for data brokering companies, goverment contractors (HP, EDS), and server manufacturers. Seems more like an attempt to breath life into the UK IT industry to win votes in the home counties rather than anything practical.

Sending all that information to the database system is going to generate just as much traffic as spam generates. How on earth are they going to differentiate between spam with forged E-mail addresses and real E-mail, when they won't have access to the actual message contents?

Don't forget... (0, Offtopic)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469794)

Marx was from London.

If you don't understand what it's good for, well, you're just a prole.

Re:Don't forget... (4, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470024)

Carl Marx wasn't a fascist he was a communist. Please don't confuse the the two, as the red scare really makes communism look worse than it is.

Re:Useless information (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469966)

I don't know if you are aware or not of a little thing called twitter. They proved without a doubt that seemingly mundane and otherwise disinteresting that one finds in everyday conversation is worth a lot. So this database is, in other words, one big giant socialized twitter.

Socialism is evil. Just say no to socialized twitter!! It's a government cash grab and an affront to the free market!!

Sounds Like A Reasonable Proposal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469624)

But how about a much cheaper and effective method of keeping the UK safe from Teh Terrorists:

1. Stop supporting Israeli terrorism

2. Stop acting the lapdog to the United States rampaging through the Middle East in an effort to secure oil resources and pipelines and wacky Christian end of world judegement day type crazyness.

More like... (1)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469764)

...an inconvenient truth

Well... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469906)

yes, Al Gore is a socialist, but that doesn't have much to do with this.

Al Gore is a socialist (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470324)

No he's not, Al Gore's family is a big holder of stocks in Oxidental Petroleum Company [corpwatch.org] , Oxy.

Falcon

Re:More like... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470050)

More like Ron Paul than Al Gore.

Not a Ron Paul fan on the wacky right wing social agenda but he is one of the few US politicians willing to speak out against the pro-Israeli terror lobby AIPAC and the sickening role of the US propping up the un-monitored Israeli WMD and nuclear arsenals.

Re:Sounds Like A Reasonable Proposal (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469926)

Go play with a dog. :)

This is brilliant! (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469632)

When doing something that is both unpopular and demonstrably ineffective, the obvious solution is to do more of it. Those clever Brits! A perfect model for the future of U.S. legislation!

Re:This is brilliant! (1)

barndoor101 (1289328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469726)

Now all we need is a PATRIOT act of our own and were set.

Re:This is brilliant! (1, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469916)

who needs a patriot act when you have camera's everywhere and anti gun laws that don't stop gun crime.

now the only two armed groups in the Uk are the military and the criminals.

At least the USA take s a long time to go to totalitarian regime. of course we will be a lot more through when it goes. Fortunately there is always the vast canadian wilderness to hide out in.

Re:This is brilliant! (1)

barndoor101 (1289328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470338)

ah, and here i was being naive thinking that anti-muder laws stopped all murder. fyi, there are specialist police armed units, who have considerably more training than your average street cop (and by training i mean in the police force, not in high school). when things like virginia tech and columbine happen, i dont think *any* american can lecture another country about gun control.

awesome (2)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469640)

enjoy reading my encrypted traffic and voip phone calls.

Re:awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469676)

Encryption Keys please.

Re:awesome (5, Insightful)

letsief (1053922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469720)

Often the fact that you communicated with a certain individual is suspicious enough, especially if encryption was used. You don't necessarily need to know what was said to learn a lot of useful information.

Re:awesome (2, Insightful)

i_b_don (1049110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470002)

which is actually the interesting part... The more a government pushes monitoring the internet, the more people people will use things like "freenet" for pirating and just a big "FU" to the government. As the use of a "freenet" type of thing increases, the less suspicious encrypted traffic becomes becuase it will be so much more common.

I predict that it'll be a funny side effect of trying to do complete citizen monitoring is that you'll be LESS able to monitor the people the government claims it's trying to monitor. (insert spooky voice: "the terrorists" :que dramatic music)

This is of course, is all bullshit. With the exponentially rising number of bits that are being shoved around the internet these days, it would be trivially easy to hide terrorist instructions in on a bit torrent DL, a usenet post, a youtube video, or a flickr picture. And if you're a really creative terrorist you can even use encryption!

This is all a load of shit and I for one can't believe the UK is actually surpassing the US the "2008 Most Fucked Up Government" award. Have you guys seen what's been happening to the republican assholes who've been running our government? You should do the same with the ruling party over there, except in both cases I think we really should get out the tar and feathers and give them a proper going away party. (BTW, any democrats who are supporting this bullshit in the US should also be tossed out on their asses! I'm not partisan when it comes to spying on your own fucking citizens!)

d

Re:awesome (5, Funny)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469738)

Every month or two I make it a point to send a few long emails encrypted with PGP and with suggestive subject lines like "Schematics for trigger device" and "The Revolution Starts Now" to my Gmail or Hotmail account. The message content is just pasted Chuck Norris jokes, so if someone decides to spend some time and energy breaking the encryption at least they'll have something to read.

Re:awesome (2, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470132)

You'll be sorry when they send Chuck to Gitmo!

Re:awesome (2, Interesting)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470146)

You're going to give the crypto people a real headache as they try to figure out the concealed meaning in the formatting/wording of your jokes.

Not only that, wait 'till someone who wants to move up the ladder starts making up bullshit! It's happened in state-run crime labs before.

Re:awesome (5, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469780)

enjoy reading my encrypted traffic and voip phone calls.
Don't forget that in the UK, you must hand over encryption keys on demand or face jail time. This has been the law for some time over there.

Re:awesome (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469914)

Are these security policies causing any one to immigrate? We keep getting these scary stories on /., but do they scare the British public? Homeland Security wishes it had so much power.

Re:awesome (3, Informative)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470006)

The number of British nationals emigrating every year to Australia, New Zealand France, Spain and many other countries runs to anywhere between 200K and 700K [telegraph.co.uk] . Mainly due to increasing crime, increasing taxation, declining standard of living and being treated as second class citizens.

Re:awesome (1)

TDRighteo (712858) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470270)

Of course, Australia has precisely the same requirement with encryption keys. It's not such an uncommon law.

Re:awesome (2, Interesting)

AReilly (9339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469918)

enjoy reading my encrypted traffic and voip phone calls.
Don't forget that in the UK, you must hand over encryption keys on demand or face jail time. This has been the law for some time over there.
And how does that work out for them for https or other common SSL connections like smtp+tls, or imaps, where the keys are generated per-session and then thrown away?

Re:awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470084)

So use protocls with perfect forward security [wikipedia.org] . Obviously not applicable to email or protecting your pr0n HDD partition.



On a more paranoid note, I wonder about the legality of rigging your machine to wipe its encryption keys if its case is opened or it loses UPS power without an authorizing password. It would suck to accidentally lose your email archives by tripping on your power cord, but if you cared enough....

Re:awesome (3, Funny)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470110)

enjoy reading my encrypted traffic and voip phone calls.
Don't forget that in the UK, you must hand over encryption keys on demand or face jail time. This has been the law for some time over there.
What encryption key? I happen to send arbitrary data to all my friends.

Re:awesome (1)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469862)

Enjoy the extra attention you'll get from the authorities outside of just simple data-snooping. Haven't you heard? If you've done nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide. You're encrypting everything, so you must have something to hide. If you're making life difficult for the authorities... they'll make life difficult for you.

Re:awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469908)

With all this talk of encryption and privacy and what-have-you...why doesn't slashdot have https access?

Fail (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469672)

If the British Government had any balls, they'd build their own version of the Great Firewall and log everything that goes through a node on their national infrastructure.

That way you can call it what it is.
Instead, the ISPs are being pulled into doing the dirty work, which means the gov't gets shielded from some of the heat.

Re:Fail (2, Interesting)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470260)

Political Lesson 101:
1. A totalitarian government spends its money and employs its people to build a Great Firewall. Expenses: $100 million. It Works.

2. A democratic government takes people's money, gives it to a few chosen private contractors to build a monitoring station that can intercept ten million telephone calls a day, and will work for first few hours before its database becomes full. Expenses: $1215 million. It never works. After a year and spending 10x times the budget, the government blames the contractors, the contractors blame the MPs, and the people vote out the party and a new party comes into power. The new party is approached by a private contractor who proposes monitoring emails....

There should be a law which states that for each camera in public, there should be a camera in each MPs house. After all they are public servants!
 

Time to buy stock in storage providers.. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469682)

... or storage consultants, IT consultants, IT services.... Does anyone have an idea how much data this database would have to hold? From the data I'm guessing at (1 MB per 1 minute call, 1 million calls a day for the UK), that's 1 TB a day being generated. They'll need an ungodly amount of storage, processing power and bandwidth to house this just for phone data. Email can easily double that data. Did anybody think this through properly? Is this actually gonna fly? Or is this just gonna make IBM and HP filthy rich, while some sysadmins get to poke around real data for "testing purposes"?

Re:Time to buy stock in storage providers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469748)

365TB is nothing to scoff at, but that's probably not an issue.

Re:Time to buy stock in storage providers.. (2, Informative)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469788)

phone calls are only what like 8khz effective sample rate? thats about all thats worth capturing at least....

You can store a phone call in WAY less than 128kbps per second, which is what 1MB/min amounts to.

Re:Time to buy stock in storage providers.. (3, Informative)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470396)

8Khz sample rate at 8-bit/sample = 64Kbps

If you record the audio in each direction as a different stream, then you get 128Kbps.

Re:Time to buy stock in storage providers.. (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470070)

How many people live in the UK? 1 Million? I didn't think so. How many phone calls does your family make on average? How about the place you work at? Just the records of who made what phone call to who would be in the multi-terabytes per day for the whole country.

This has been proposed in many different forms in different many places (ranging from small companies to governments) and it is shut down just because it is too expensive to maintain. You're talking about storage, I'm talking about bandwidth, how many pipes do you need and how big do they need to be to catch-up every day on the continuous stream of data. Think about stock exchanges, that's the type of infrastructure you would need. Now multiply that by the ratio of companies on the stock exchange against the citizens in the country.

Who exactly is proposing this? (5, Insightful)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469686)

The article says it is being proposed by Home Office "officials", yet the only person from the home office mentioned by name seems to be clearly against the proposal. I have a feeling that this was just something discussed, maybe brought up in a meeting in the Home Office, but has never been actually proposed officially. In fact, the article seems to confirm this, as evidenced by the line

Home Office officials have discussed the option of the national database with telecommunications companies and ISPs as part of preparations for a data communications Bill to be in Novemberâ(TM)s Queenâ(TM)s Speech. But the plan has not been sent to ministers yet.
Of course things like this will be discussed amongst government officials, and talking to the telecoms to find out the technical feasibility would be something done early in the process. I would start to be concerned if this was officially proposed, and then really concerned if it was accepted and enacted.

Re:Who exactly is proposing this? (5, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469800)

Damn facts...getting in the way of a good rant....fuckers

Re:Who exactly is proposing this? (2, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470034)

the only person from the home office mentioned by name seems to be clearly against the proposal.

There's nobody from the Home Office mentioned by name in the article. If you are referring to Jonathan Bamford, the assistant Information Commissioner, then the ICO is an independent public body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice. If you are referring to David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, then he is part of the shadow government, i.e. he is the opposition party's counterpart to the Home Secretary.

Heh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469690)

In soviet UK, database injects you?

Premature? (4, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469702)

If you want to write to representatives to let them know your views, contact details are available at Write to Them.

While I think Write To Them is a fine service and encourage people to use it more, I can't help but feel this is a little premature. This is just another hare-brained idea by the Home Office that MPs haven't even seen yet. Why don't we wait until they actually have a copy of the bill before bombarding them with complaints about it? Otherwise we run the risk of looking like paranoid kooks for protesting a bill that nobody has read because it doesn't even exist yet.

Re:Premature? (5, Insightful)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469808)

Pre-bill political wrangling is a proven tactic. If you get a lot of people to complain about the concept, the bill will never come to fruition.

In fact, if you can get enough people to write in fearing some sort of massive problem, any bill that can be seen to have the slightest association with that fear, no matter how much the original fear was inflated, will never come to pass.

Re:Premature? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469814)

Its worth pointing out that if these people really do want such a database, writing letters to them isn't going to do much to stop it from happening:

"Mr Prime Minister sir, we were going to start collecting data on everyone, but Mrs. Bugglesby from 3593 Pettycoat lane wrote us a letter....and well, we're just going to call the whole thing off."

Re:Premature? (2, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469902)

I guess you shouldn't vote either. Or do anything. How about you just curl up in the corner and die, since you make no difference? No individual can. I propose mass suicide.

Re:Premature? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470086)

You ignored the point. This sort of action by the government, if they actually do it, indicates they DON'T CARE what the people think, regardless of how many letters you write, how you vote, how loudly you scream about it in public.

You tried to be funny suggesting people do nothing, while i was suggesting people do way more than writing letters.

Re:Premature? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470220)

You have a point -- though I was being sarcastic and actually DO want people to vote. But I feel compelled to point out that your "DON'T CARE" part is a bit 1-dimensional. They still care -- They still need some rudimentary voter support, even if it's not a majority. It isn't called politics for nothing. Even the antichrist Dubya "cares".

Re:Premature? (2, Informative)

Benaiah (851593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470158)

Obviously you haven't worked with bureaucracy. All it takes is letters to get a council to not approve building plans. Enough people complain about anything and the councils change their plans. After all they are YOUR MPs. They have to read all of the letters that you send you and they usually respond, via proxy.

Re:Premature? (5, Insightful)

ewe2 (47163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469826)

Because history shows that a negative public reaction will make them think twice. The whole point of this "leak" is to test that public opinion, and allows MPs to avoid thorny questions. Frankly, being called a paranoid kook is preferable to being on a database.

Re:Premature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469994)

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Re:Premature? (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470062)

Frankly, being called a paranoid kook is preferable to being on a database.

Perhaps I didn't make my point clear; looking like a paranoid kook isn't an alternative to being on a database, it makes it more likely, as MPs are less inclined to take complaints from kooks seriously. You don't think they get swamped with people writing to them about all kinds of craziness? In order to sound credible, you need to have specific, grounded, demonstrable fears. Which is quite difficult when neither you nor your MP have even had an opportunity to read the bill.

Is this even legal issue? (1, Offtopic)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469710)

Telecom companies have always handed over such statistical data. It has been done under the patriot act for some time.

Many people assume that this is illegal, but it really isn't. The only privacy issue would be over listening to the actual calls. All such statistical data is public knowledge. This database would only take it a small step further.

Re:Is this even legal issue? (3, Interesting)

Pepebuho (167300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469772)

I do not think they are talking about statistical data in here. They mean the content of everything and that is A BAD THING(TM).

Re:Is this even legal issue? (1)

cammoblammo (774120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469846)

When did the Brits pass the Patriot Act? I know America's running the country, but the Poms at least like to think they run it themselves.

Things they might find out... (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469724)

Slashdotters spend more than 24hrs per week on Slashdot. Slashdotters have the lowest amount of social connections of any other group Slashdotters often times obfuscate their traffic and messages after hearing the first two.

Sure! (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469730)

Why not? After all their current, obtrusive, all-seeing camera system works so good at stopping major crimes, errr, I mean, illegal dog poop [cnet.com] .

Now more than ever (4, Interesting)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469752)

"Western civilization isn't possible without relational databases." -- Bruce Lindsay, IBM fellow. I always loved that quote.

UK? It's starting to sound like the USSK... (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469766)

...I wonder if the Empress Elizabeth II gives a crap about her government running all over her subjects.

People are surprised? (1)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469768)

People are surprised by this? Awwwww.... that's so cute...

Newsflash. This is what governments do. Something bad happens, and they use it as an excuse to take away rights.

English speaking countries may mock the French as much as they want, at least THOSE guys know how to have a Revolution.

Re:People are surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469896)

Replace one despot with another, kill second despot, reinstate monarchy a couple of decades later? Yes, God bless the French, they even lose a war against themselves.

NIMBY! (2, Interesting)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469790)

After the very public demonstration of the UK Government's (more specifically, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs) laughable security policy when it comes to personal data, I'm suddenly very paranoid.

e-mail database... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469824)

...will that include spam? If so it becomes quite useless: >90% of the e-mails are spam these days. Good luck doing anything with such a noise to signal level.

Re:e-mail database... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23470294)

think, genius: they KNOW who the spammers are, so they ignore 90% of the junk.

Police State (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469912)

There's a difference between keeping a record that a phone call occurred, and keeping a complete copy of the contents of that phone call (or email).

Everyone express your dissent now! (1)

terbo (307578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469924)

Because soon you won't be able to.

Laugh out Loud (1)

kjzk (1097265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469942)

I'm sure they are already doing it there and in the U.S. as well.

to understand the source of this (4, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469976)

Watch Adam Curtis's documentary, The Trap.

Here it is:

Part One [google.com]

Part Two [google.com]

Part Three [google.com]

Brilliant stuff. Really sad. But brilliant.

RS

Wow! (3, Insightful)

isotope23 (210590) | more than 6 years ago | (#23469978)

You know, stories like this make clear its a good thing the Nazis didn't win WWII. Just imagine if the Nazis had won, they might have tapped everyone's.....
er..... Nevermind....

the mother lode. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23469984)

centralize all that information in a single database in the Home Office
AKA The mother lode for spammers, phishers, advertisers, TERRORISTS, and the list goes on. If this info gets into the wrong hands, lots of people are fucked.

Oceania rectify ownlife (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470016)

If you want to write to representatives to let them know your views, contact details are available at Write to Them.
Or, as the joke goes on this side of the pond, just call your mother and tell her. They'll Know.

I don't think this is good enough (2, Funny)

joe user jr (230757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470030)

How can we be safe from criminals and terrorists while we still retain the ability to communicate face to face without full disclosure to our loyal public servants?

I regard it as not only highly desirable but a moral duty to provide the contents of all non-electronically-mediated conversations - ideally a full video or audio recording would be made available, but at the very least a transcript or precis.

I just don't know how one could claim to be an upstanding citizen without providing such.

Wake up society (1)

drsmall17 (1240792) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470064)

Better stick to encryption for everything these days. That way it wouldn't matter if it was logged in a central database or not.... They can't read it. Eventually they'll make encryption a 'terrorist tool', which in turn makes you a 'terrorist' for using it. I love their psychology mind tricks... By the way, keeping everything centralized makes for a better plan. Once the hacker community finds out where it is, it will be the race for the first team to hack the box and steal every person's confidential data that the government has been taking (stealing... double theft :) ) So once again, we have a very bright government from all angles. No my people, they want to know everything about you, and will use YOUR money to obtain it. They don't care about terrorists, they care about YOU. Wake up society; History repeats itself!

Re:Wake up society (1)

nelsonen (126144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470148)

You can't encrypt IP Addresses, or the to: in email. You can try to send it through proxies, but if they have all the traffic info, or even just a large part of it, they still can analyze what kinds of web sites you visit and who you send and receive email from.

It's called traffic analysis, and that is exactly what they want to do.

I wish I got a percentage on the disk storage they will be purchasing.

Randomize. Overflow. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470080)

When you don't surf, fire-up your trusty "robrowser" which will surf randomly, thus overflowing the guvmint's computers.

V for Vendetta (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470114)

Cue the 1812 Overture...

Re:V for Vendetta (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470130)

My thoughts exactly.

Spencer Perceval [wikipedia.org] needs to be less notable.

Maybe they are just hard up for..... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23470252)

... spam.

Considering that over 90% of all email is spam.....
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