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UK Gov't May Track All Facebook Traffic

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the posted-before-curfew dept.

Privacy 204

Jack Spine writes "The UK government, which is becoming increasingly Orwellian, has said that it is considering snooping on all social networking traffic including Facebook, MySpace, and bebo. This supposedly anti-terrorist measure may be proposed as part of the Intercept Modernisation Programme according to minister Vernon Coaker, and is exactly the sort of deep packet inspection web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned about last week. The measure would get around the inconvenience for the government of not being able to snoop on all UK web traffic."

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What if Facebook forced encryption? (5, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#27245919)

What if Facebook and other sites enforced encryption? Sure, it would slow things down and increase their cost, but if they did, it would be "chic" to encrypt, and a generation of users would start demanding end-to-end encryption everywhere.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27245983)

Hell, what if they just offered encryption? To be fair, it would cost facebook a not-inconsequential amount of CPU time (with repercussions for power consumption and heat production) to implement, even if they needed no additional hardware (heh heh)

You just don't use CPUs for that kind of scale (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246037)

They'd have to go for hardware encryption/decryption.

 

Hey, it's another one of these! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246151)

What's one of these, you ask? An AC post that mentions NIGGERS of course! Post your nigger jokes here!

Q: Why do niggers keep chickens in their back yards? A: To teach their kids how to walk!

Watch the easily offended start frothing at the mouth. Really, I think taking racial differences so damned seriously is part of the problem, not the solution. So make a joke. Laugh. Realize we're not so different after all and use humor to deal with our differences because it sure is better than using conflict to deal with our differences. And then get pissed off anyway and mod me down, you know you wanna :).

Re:You just don't use CPUs for that kind of scale (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246705)

They'd have to go for hardware encryption/decryption.

What kind of scale? I said offer it. It's not clear what percentage of facebook's membership would use https:/// [https] if they didn't offer any links and you had to alter the URL manually (oh, the humanity!) If their front-end servers had CPU to spare (e.g. the front-end was I/O bound) they might be able to serve the actual demand without any additional hardware.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246279)

Hell, what if they just offered encryption?

What's the point of encrypting data that you are uploading to a social networking site for public consumption? And how effective would it really be at keeping the Government out anyway? What's to stop them getting a subpoena to pull the data directly off Facebook's servers?

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (4, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246389)

Content on Facebook (and any other social networking site with privacy controls) isn't for public consumption - it's for consumption by those whom you've marked as friends.

Encryption would prevent packet sniffing, and as Facebook is owned and operated in the US, I don't see how the UK government could subpoena the data successfully*. That whole jurisdiction thing - ya know.

*Unless they have servers located in the UK. With 200m or so users, they probably do Of course, Facebook could just threaten to block UK users, posting the contact info of various government officials so you can complain to them for forcing FB into such a situation. Facebook is easily large enough for that kind of stunt to actually work.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246711)

Content on Facebook (and any other social networking site with privacy controls) isn't for public consumption

At a job interview (relatively high clearance required) my potential employer presented me with, among other things, questions about blog posts I had written. The odd thing? I never mentioned the account and I had never published any articles from it. They were just sitting on a well-known company's server in draft mode.

People have no idea how much is being collected and how many companies have been compromised, knowingly or not.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (1, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246839)

Content on Facebook (and any other social networking site with privacy controls) isn't for public consumption - it's for consumption by those whom you've marked as friends

If it's shared among your 5,000 closest friends, I'd call that pretty public. :p

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247493)

If it's shared among your 5,000 closest friends, I'd call that pretty public.

5,000 closest friends? Even if I included all of my friends and acquaintences, and maybe also all of my enemies, I still might not reach 5,000. And I've lived in numerous locations on both sides of the Atlantic in the last 5 decades.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27247083)

You assume Facebook cares about your privacy. If they aren't being singled out they won't care.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (5, Informative)

cdhgee (620445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247197)

Facebook already does offer encryption - https://www.facebook.com/ [facebook.com] . Sure, not everything works 100% perfectly, and it sometimes reverts to plain http, but with the use of enforced https through NoScript in Firefox, 98% of the stuff on Facebook can be made to work reliably over HTTPS.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (1)

rillopy (650792) | more than 5 years ago | (#27245995)

The U.K. snooping is probably going to be done with Facebook's support, knowledge, and help...

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246407)

The U.K. snooping is probably going to be done with Facebook's support, knowledge, and help...

Possibly. If not, it probably won't take much pressure to make them cave in. They'll be shamed into doing it by a claim that doing otherwise would be unpatriotic or would support the evil terrorists. Or they'll be threatened into doing it by a law that requires it, and won't have the courage to respond to that by refusing to service users in the UK. Some form of manipulative pressure will be used. Most people respond to pressure this way because it appears to relieve the pressure. What they don't know is that anytime you cave in to pressure, the relief is quite temporary -- by doing so, you teach others that this is the way to "reach" you and you invite more of the same. Bullies are cowards but they won't appear that way if you are even more cowardly than they are and are unwilling to take a risk to stand up to them.

Incidentally, I salute the accuracy of the summary:

The measure would get around the inconvenience for the government of not being able to snoop on all UK web traffic.

If that doesn't describe the freedom-destroying mentality, few things can. It never seems to occur to that mentality that the loss of freedom and privacy might be just the sort of destruction that our enemies wish to visit upon us. It makes sense, since they know they stand no real chance of winning a conventional military battle against the very-well-armed Western nations. If they're "street-wise" at all, and to avoid hubris you should always assume that your enemy is, then they have probably realized that they only need to attack us a few times and we will do all of the rest of the work of destroying what is good about our civilization on our own. It will, of course, be in the name of safety and security. When all of this started, I bet the terrorists never imagined it would be so easy -- just scare us a bit and we'll give up all of the things that we used to fight for. This, by the way, is why physical armaments cannot be your only source of strength. If they are, your enemy will merely attack you on a different front. All of this is quite predictable and easy to understand.

Perhaps the USA and the UK aren't so different after all.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (2, Interesting)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246789)

@causality: "Perhaps the USA and the UK aren't so different after all."

Nope. We get our common law system from them, and since WWII (really, since the Cold War, but who's counting?) GB has been "Airstrip 1" to the US in all but name. The only real cultural difference between GB and the US is GB doesn't have as strong a sense of privacy and individualism as we do, so they seem to think nothing of handing over their freedom so that Big Brother can "...save us from the wrath of the Viking Hordes!" (Read your medieval history.)

As all naysayers regarding civil liberty chant; "What good is your freedom if you're dead?" seems to be the prevailing wisdom in Europe. Can't fault them too much, poor bastards, they have a legacy of subservience, caving, and generally attempting to wheel and deal their way out of disaster.

I'm frequently amazed, however, at how little regard the average EU citizen has for recent history. Every time something like Al Quaeda comes along they try to send a diplomat to "work it out" and they come home like Chamberlain waving a piece paper and yell "Peace in our time!"

Then Al Qaueda bombs one of their train stations.

What's that about???

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246943)

Perhaps the USA and the UK aren't so different after all.

Well, it seems that our system has more checks and balances than the UK does. We have 50 individual sovereign states that are still willing to flip Washington off [cnet.com] every now and then. We have the Supreme Court which has shot down or at least severely constrained many attempts by the Executive and Legislature to violate our founding documents. The Upper House of our Legislature isn't toothless and actually has the power to stop legislation. We also (yeah I couldn't resist) have guns ;)

I'm hard pressed to think of what checks and balances remain under the British system. The House of Lords was defanged a long time ago and if the Monarchy ever refused Royal Assent I'm sure that would be end of it as an institution. Hopefully our friends across the pond will wake up before it's too late.....

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247327)

Perhaps the USA and the UK aren't so different after all.

Well, it seems that our system has more checks and balances than the UK does. We have 50 individual sovereign states that are still willing to flip Washington off [cnet.com] every now and then. We have the Supreme Court which has shot down or at least severely constrained many attempts by the Executive and Legislature to violate our founding documents. The Upper House of our Legislature isn't toothless and actually has the power to stop legislation. We also (yeah I couldn't resist) have guns ;)

I'm hard pressed to think of what checks and balances remain under the British system. The House of Lords was defanged a long time ago and if the Monarchy ever refused Royal Assent I'm sure that would be end of it as an institution. Hopefully our friends across the pond will wake up before it's too late.....

Those checks and balances are largely useless if most of the population honestly believes in the "safety is more important than freedom" type of fear-mongering. Pragmatically, this means only that those who would like to transform the USA into a totalitarian state just need to be more patient. Or they just need to remain underground.

What do I mean by underground? Look at how long the warrantless-wiretapping was going on, illegally, before it was exposed. Then look at how the Bush administration retroactively granted the telcos immunity from prosecution for assisting this illegal program (if that isn't a violation of "no ex post facto" then it should be). So, how many such illegal activities are happening right now that we don't know about?

It might be tempting to look at the UK and think we're so much better off. That's your ego talking because it wants to feel like a part of something greater than itself, namely, the national ego. But let's say that you are correct, that the USA really is better off than the UK. We're certainly walking down the same path. So, perhaps the UK is a little ahead of us and has already travelled farther down that path. That means that If we don't change soon, the UK is merely providing a vision of our immediate future. How about if we travel a completely different path that doesn't lead to the same destination before we make comparisons? I prefer not to be on a sinking ship at all. I like that much better than wondering whether the ship I'm on is sinking more slowly than the adjacent ships.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (2, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246649)

"Sure, it would slow things down and increase their cost, but if they did, it would be "chic" to encrypt"

From what I can tell, kids hate pretty much every change facebook ever makes. Sure, it's uncool to not use facebook nowadays, but loving everything about facebook is probably even less cool. Everyone knows it's a site run by suits.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (1)

antispam_ben (591349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247579)

I swear I thought the idea of these sites was to have your info publicly available so you could amass more and more online "friends." After all, isn't that the most important thing for teens, to be "popular?"

I really don't see how encryption could do anything but hurt a social networking site.

Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (1)

mrphoton (1349555) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247827)

google mail offers this already, it is just a tick box in the options page.

Track my giant, wagging, blue penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27245927)

Track my giant, wagging, blue penis you British cocksuckers.

-That Blue Creep from that Shitty Movie

Who cares (1, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27245931)

It's social networking. The information is already public.
It's like snooping data on the way to being published anyway.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27245997)

Well, yeah, but no. What goes on Facebook is public, but the real problem here is the expansion of the government (in this case, the UK) into areas that they do not belong for reasons that are, arguably, pretty stupid.

Additionally, some parts of Facebook are "private." IM conversations between friends, and the messages that pass between people on Facebook are two things I can think of. Those are not available to the general public (at least not via normal means).

But, again, the growth of the government into citizens private lives is the more important issue. Aren't any of the UK citizens concerned?

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246217)

Yeah, I better clarify.
I didn't for one moment want to downplay the threat of mass surveillance and totalitarianism in the UK right now.

BUT, it's facebook. My expectation of privacy on the medium would be lower than unencrypted email.
Which is already very low.

Re:Who cares (1)

M-RES (653754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246603)

But FB contains 'privacy settings' allowing you to set varying levels for different items/data/movies/images you post. You can allow them to be viewed publicly by anyone, or just by your 'circle' of friends (including people not on your friends list who are merely 'friends of your friends'), or just by people directly on your friends list, or by you alone.

So what you post on FB isn't necessarily any more public than the files you hold on your local machine connected to the tubes. If you proactively restrict access to those files, then it's an invasion of your privacy for the govt to snoop.

Re:Who cares (4, Interesting)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246469)

As a UK Citizen, yes I am, and yes I do write the letters to the MPs to complain. The government we've had for the last 12 years, near enough, has overseen a huge erosion in the English Civil Liberties. Hell, it's architected them. It's been expanding for as long as it's been in power, pushing politically correct agendas, and trying to tag and barcode the populace on the sly (but these days, it's not on the sly; they just tag on "to counter terrorism", and leave it at that). And what really bugs me is that I lived through the 70s and 80s when the IRA were very active. Bombings weren't too uncommon, and we got through it as a populace. We were still free.
These days, there's been one real attack (and at the time, the UK was actually taking military action in the Middle East, as it is still doing), and the NuLabour overlords take that as affirmation that they can barcode, DNA tag, and record every single thing you do (attempts to monitor phone traffic, email, network, have mandatory trackers in your cars, they already have sensors in the waste bins you put your rubbish in to be collected by the bin men to record what you dispose of, CCTV that's used to spot people who take their kids to a school that they may not be in the official catchment area of, and other completely outrageous examples of totalitarianism that would have Orwell penning new chapters in 1984 over).
Actually, the register [theregister.co.uk] has a nice little snippet from our current overlords. I suspect they're ever so slightly slanting what was said, but hey, it says what a lot of us think anyway..

Re:Who cares (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246703)

"As a UK Citizen, yes I am, and yes I do write the letters to the MPs to complain"

Made a big difference have you?

Re:Who cares (2, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246829)

-1 Troll

I appreciated the poster's response, and I'm glad he cares about what his government is doing. The problem is, not enough people do care about things bigger than, "OMG!!!11! WHO'S WINNING AMERICAN IDOL!!11!!" There are so many more important things to be involved with in this world and the snarky kind of comment that you just made is not necessary, not appreciated, and pretty much shows what's wrong with the way our world is currently being run (where only a few people have power because everybody else says "I really can't do anything so why should I try?").

Re:Who cares (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246583)

Doesn't anyone pay attention to history? Just 20 years ago, the Berlin wall fell, freeing East Germany from the dark days of communist rule. Just 20 years ago in East Germany, ordinary citizens were under the watchful eyes of their neighbours, who were encouraged by the secret police to spy on their neighbours. Somehow, the UK and the US seem keen to tighten their control of their citizens, just like in the communist block during the cold war.

Re:Who cares (1)

AxeTheMax (1163705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247369)

Well, till 20 years or so ago, the ideological enemy over in totalitarian Eastern Europe kept this lot over in the west honest. It was necessary to be different.

Now, the only ideological enemy is the Taliban, and you have to admit the UK and US governments show no interest at all in making women wear the veil.

Re:Who cares (4, Informative)

seaton carew (593626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246783)

Concerned? Nah, not really.

The current incumbents are so fekking incapable they would struggle to work out which end of a USB stick goes where. The chances of them implementing *any* form of large scale IT system is zero. Zip . Nada. Not gonna happen.

They'll be out of office in a year or so anyway.

not really (2, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246073)

The information may be posted publicly but there is an expatiation of privacy, as evident by the filters that you can set up.

Re:Who cares (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246135)

I care. I care because they're wasting my tax money in order to spy on me for no reason.

Re:Who cares (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246561)

Actually, it's more likely they're going to waste your tax money to spy on Americans for no reason, because it's bad form for the U.S. government to spy on its own, and England is one of the United States' closest allies.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27247535)

That was exactly the point of the Echelon network. Each country spies all other countries, except it's own. Country A sends a list of search words to country B. Country B then spies on country A, and reports the result back to country A. perfect work-around for laws that get in the way.
But this is no longer needed because countries now ignore there own law, or change them retroactively.

Re:Who cares (2, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246849)

Forced to choose, I'd rather they wasted my taxes by (not) spying on me incompetently than used them more "efficiently" to track me and every other damn person in the UK in the name of counter-terrorism.

Of course, the terrorists have already won- because the UK government's actions were exactly what all terrorists want, to disrupt and alter the behaviour of an entire nation on the basis of a small number of attacks. Remember that the next time you vote.

This assumes that the government didn't *want* to do this anyway, whereas it was more likely a convenient excuse that exposed their underlying control freak authoritarian mentality.

It's been said (by I forget who) that despite the Labour party leadership's political swing away from their early radical left-wing roots in favour of what I'd consider centre-right politics (*) and the post-Thatcherite free-market consensus, their underlying modus operandi and mentality is still essentially Marxist. In a lot of ways, the modern Labour party has the worst of both worlds.

(*) By post-WWII British standards; they're probably still commies by US standards, along with anyone to the left of Genghis Khan :-/

Re:Who cares (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247371)

You have it right there. The reason is so that they can take your tax money.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246313)

Of course, Facebook is mostly harmless (er, so to speak). Also, information published there should have no expectation of privacy.

However, it displays the nature of government in general - and the nature of the current UK government in particular. More observation, more regulation, more taxation, less freedom.

Since the UK has essentially made illegal the photographing of the police doing its thing, I believe it is now a de-facto police state. If you can't gather hard evidence on their wrongdoing (what is better than an image or a video?) the police are effectively unfettered.

Generally, governments do a better job of monitoring and taxing their citizens than they do providing them with services such as healthcare (maybe drifting off-topic - but illustrates the nature of the beast - see stories elsewhere about the further breakdown of the UK public healthcare system).

You can't photograph the cops in the UK?? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247339)

"Since the UK has essentially made illegal the photographing of the police doing its thing, I believe it is now a de-facto police state. If you can't gather hard evidence on their wrongdoing (what is better than an image or a video?) the police are effectively unfettered."

When and why did this happen?

I know in the US, if the cops see you filming them, they will often try to harass you, but, I've never heard that it was downright illegal to photograph the police in action in a western nation like the US or UK??

Details please?

Re:You can't photograph the cops in the UK?? (1)

AxeTheMax (1163705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247489)

You can (since last year I believe) be prosecuted for collecting information about police officers, soldiers, et.c. if the information could be used for terrorism, and it's up to you to show that it was not intended for that purpose. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/philipjohnston/4632459/Why-cant-we-take-pictures-of-policemen.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Who cares (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246553)

private messages? Who you look at? etc

Google (1)

the cleaner (1641) | more than 5 years ago | (#27245953)

They could always ask Google. Thanks to Google, whatever is in the Internet, stays in the Internet.

Re:Google (1)

xenolion (1371363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246029)

we no longer need time capsules as long as we have Google. Why are people shocked about a government searching threw this data? you post it you want someone to notices it.

Re:Google (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246261)

Why are people shocked about a government searching threw this data?

Well, just how far did they throw it?

stupid (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27245969)

Besides being intrusive its not going to be very useful. I mean, how many terrorists are going to schedule their next bombing as a Facebook event and then say this is an open even you can also invite friends.

Re:stupid (5, Funny)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246091)

Join my group! [facebook.com]

naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246227)

You obviously haven't considered what various national security agencies have; data mining the communications between people, spotting patterns and supposedly making obvious connections that weren't there before.

The problem is that this could be easily abused to track and find out stuff about anyone, not just the government's convenient excuse, terrorists. Given the automation of tedious work and ready access to such information, how difficult do you think it would be for a hostile government to find out that someone supported the opposition (even just through the pattern of pages they'd viewed) or were homosexual, etc.?

Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246011)

Terrorists? On MySpace? What, are they going to attack the train stations in their horned-rim glasses, striped shirts, excessive mascara, and tight girl pants? Unless they have the Perspective Gun (HHGTTG) that won't do a lot of damage. Really, even if they have razorblades they're just going to use them on themselves.

And Facebook. I can see it now...
11:15am - Jihad has been called! We are all so very excited, yes-m.
11:27am - is feeling very blue (they left to go get mcdonald's without me)
11:52am - Achmed didn't bring all the parts to build the bomb. We're watching House instead
12:56pm - Cutty really is a bitch! We must issue fatwa on her.
02:45pm - took nap. Unemployment called, they say I get free dollars. woo woo!
05:17pm - Achmed returns with rest of parts to build bomb, but comcast triple play package more fun
08:59pm - Got call from head of cell. Wants to know about bomb. What bomb? We lost bomb.
11:36pm - Go to bed. Really loving these american TV dinners.

Or not. Seriously -- we're just going to encrypt the crap out of everything in a few more years anyway, and the UK and other governments and piss off. Or we'll go back to having pseudonyms and fake identities online and only our friends will know the truth. *shrug* Terrorists... christ. I wish they would come and blow something up, just so we had the reminder they weren't entirely a figment of our imagination. In another 10 years, nobody will believe 09/11 happened because of all this screaming by politicians about 'teh terrorists' will have gotten so old people will start subconsciously rejecting anything to do with it.

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246145)

Well, you know, it's one way to kill Facebook.

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246297)

05:17pm - Achmed returns with rest of parts to build bomb, but comcast triple play package more fun, when it works
05:30pm - Comcast down again. Fifth time today. Achmed suggests using bomb on them instead.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246957)

No, it's *Ahmed*.

PS. I kill you.

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (1)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247019)

Sorry, all the Ahmeds I have known have been Ahmed, but this one is in fact Achmed [youtube.com] . Must be the American spelling.

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246979)

"Or we'll go back to having pseudonyms and fake identities online and only our friends will know the truth."

You mean you stopped doing this for some reason!?!?!?!

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247131)

We need a new slang designed for this kind of snooping. From now on I'll call a party a jihad, I'll try to bomb girls, I'll get martyred out of booze and I'll stop lol'ing and replace that with Allah Akbar'ing...

You wanted Myspace ? You have to take all of it!

Re:Wow, you're even bigger liars than us yankees. (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247323)

"11:36pm - Go to bed. Really loving these american TV dinners."

Hah! We've already won. All bow your head to "the other white meat!!!"

Wow (1)

overzero (1358049) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246065)

It's not often that I feel genuinely sorry for people who perform invasions of privacy. What's next? Having to read through YouTube comments? One of the glaring, non-ethical problems with Big Brother-esque surveillance is that total voyeurism just isn't as interesting as it sounds.

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

warren.oates (925589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246291)

There's a Jules Feiffer play, later a movie, Little Murders [imdb.com] in which an FBI agent is reading one of the character's mail. This character starts sending letters to himself for the FBI agent to read, chiding him for invading other people's privacy and so on. Eventually, the FBI agent commits suicide.

Re:Wow (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247089)

Yeah, that's realistic. :D

Hmmm... you mean the CIA doesn't run it now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246095)

I thought facebook was an intelligence gathering operation run by the CIA. If you think about it's the ultimate associative database that spy agencies would drool over.

I hate facebook.

Re:Hmmm... you mean the CIA doesn't run it now? (5, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247099)

I thought facebook was an intelligence gathering operation run by the CIA.

It might be good for gathering stupid, but hardly intelligence.

Re:Hmmm... you mean the CIA doesn't run it now? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247731)

It must be really disappointing when the 6 billion of us that like your life-affirming level of paranoia end up surviving each day.

Re:Hmmm... you mean the CIA doesn't run it now? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247771)

Damn it. Lack, not like.

You are forgetting something. (4, Insightful)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246127)

Any form of communication might be used for nefarious purposes.
touch, sight, taste, smell. These could all be used to transfer information. Unless you plug into our brains directly you might miss something. Just give up.

Western society has forgotten what it means to stand up to oppressive leadership. We would rather stay comfortable and placated with our modern opiate.

Break the chains that bind you. Turn off your TV's, read books they don't want you to read, think for yourself.

One of the users on this board has a sig that is very significant:
There are 4 boxes to be used in the defence of liberty: Soap, Jury, Ballot, and Ammo. Use in that order.

I am a non-violent person (as are most of us). I believe more can be resolved with intelligent, logical discussion then could ever be resolved with violence, but I also believe that when the system is broken you cannot work within it.

Re:You are forgetting something. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246347)

We would rather stay comfortable and placated with our modern opiate.

Says the person posting on /.

Yeah, I agree with what you said, but it just had to be pointed out ;)

Re:You are forgetting something. (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246371)

hehe, I did say _we_.

Re:You are forgetting something. (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247611)

Any form of communication might be used for nefarious purposes. touch, sight, taste, smell.

What does "bomb X tomorrow?" taste like?

Just be honest (2, Interesting)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246129)

Why won't the government just come out and say - "We want to see your private data"? I mean seriously, they're going to monitor traffic to stop terrorism. Maybe if they were this upfront about their operations, I can actually respect the fact that they were honest, but they actually think we're stupid enough to believe Al Queda has a Facebook group? WOW.

Public Info. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246161)

If the information can be accessed by the public then I don't see a problem here... freedom of information man. Although when I want to crawl all of UK's public websites, please don't bitch at me.

Apologies for my last status update, UK government (4, Funny)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246167)

...I didn't mean to imply that the food I had during my recent visit to your country was really that bland. :P

Re:Apologies for my last status update, UK governm (3, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247037)

You take that back! We have some of the finest Indian cuisine in the world.

Re:Apologies for my last status update, UK governm (1)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247365)

I wouldn't describe foods like eel pie as bland so much as mildly frightening...

I say, (2, Funny)

Todd Fisher (680265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246247)

It appears Reginald Thornwallop hurled a goat at young master Convington. Alert the Queen at once!

This isn't really new. (1, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246285)

The UK Police already routinely scan YouTube, MySpace, Bebo and Facebook for "criminal" activity.

While Facebook stuff is already public, and you're utterly retarded if you post anything genuinely incriminating on it, there is still a danger -- now and in the future -- that the definition of "incriminating" may change.

The way The People's Republic of (formerly Great) Britain is going, it's only a question of time before your opinions (such as mine expressed here) will get you a visit from the State Secret Police.

Even if you are foolish enough to believe that Brown-shirt and his Jackboots, Smith and Straw, are not genuinely evil, the fact remains that the UK is now so controlled and monitored, that in the event of a dictator choosing to seize power, the UK population would be unable to fight back (the fact that much of the population is fat and drunk only helps the State cause).

There absolutely must be politicians in the UK who realize that all they need to do is pull the draw-string and the country is sealed up, and at their total mercy. All the pieces of the puzzle are there. It could happen any day. It is already too late.

Re:This isn't really new. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246429)

the fact remains that the UK is now so controlled and monitored, that in the event of a dictator choosing to seize power, the UK population would be unable to fight back

And whose fault is that? The idiots in Government passing the stupid policies or the population that has allowed (even encouraged in some instances) them to do so?

Re:This isn't really new. (4, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246809)

And whose fault is that? The idiots in Government passing the stupid policies or the population that has allowed (even encouraged in some instances) them to do so?

It is ultimately the people who are the problem. Not just those who voted Labour, but those who are police officers, civil servants, people who work in ISPs, those who sit and watch through security cameras, anyone involved with the E-Borders scheme, anyone in Customs and Excise, and many, many more.

"befehl ist befehl" was proven not to be a defence at Nuremberg. Anyone co-operating with these totalitarian schemes is just guilty as the oppressors that are most surely coming, if not already here.

It is too late. The E-Borders scheme controls entry and exits more surely than the Berlin Wall. The Security camera network means they know where you are while you are in the country. The internet monitoring means they watch what you are doing and know who your friends are, the phone call logging means they know what you are saying, the ability to detain you without charge for longer than anywhere only helps. The population is fat, drunk and broke, and ever more geared towards hating "immigrants", as today's BBC "have your say" only proves. The tripartite excuse of "terrorism", "paedophiles" and "knife crime" are perfect covers for any eventuality.

What more does any dictator actually need? The tools are all there, cheerfully implemented by willing members of the population. These tools will eventually be used.

We cant forget (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246383)

This is what facebook is already used for in the US. I'm sorry, and I dont meant to sound paranoid- but COME ON. Several founders of facebook have present or former positions with darpa.

Can you imagine the reports? (3, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246415)

At 15:43 terror suspect Lishmaki Alibababran tweeted "Whazup man?" to Obama Balali who proceeded to set his status to "Obama is watching 'UK today'. We believe this is part of a terrorist plot to stay informed about domestic and world news. Furthermore we may be able to use TV licensing laws against Obama as we have no record of him owning a TV license. This is further proof that piracy aids terrorism. In other news Beth Smith sent a private facebook message to Sally Tallman about Bill Wade that said: "He's soooooo hot". Sally was not impressed and replied "Stay away biatch, he's mine". Our operatives believe this may lead to violence and much bitchslapping at the Trinity school for girls on Monday morning and recommends that we send in a team of operatives.

Re:Can you imagine the reports? (2, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246715)

At 15:43 terror suspect Lishmaki Alibababran tweeted "Whazup man?" to Obama Balali who proceeded to set his status to "Obama is watching 'UK today'. We believe this is part of a terrorist plot to stay informed about domestic and world news. Furthermore we may be able to use TV licensing laws against Obama as we have no record of him owning a TV license. This is further proof that piracy aids terrorism. In other news Beth Smith sent a private facebook message to Sally Tallman about Bill Wade that said: "He's soooooo hot". Sally was not impressed and replied "Stay away biatch, he's mine". Our operatives believe this may lead to violence and much bitchslapping at the Trinity school for girls on Monday morning and recommends that we send in a team of operatives.

Sally is a lieing tramp.
Beth would never cheat on me.

Re:Can you imagine the reports? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247307)

recommends that we send in a team of operatives.

Repeat: This is a purely observational mission. Do not intervene unless targets spot the multi-spectral cameras.

Remember, remember, the 5th of November... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246485)

Just saying.

Oh come on (5, Insightful)

Peter_J_G (1503759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246517)

Hitler stopped the German people from being able to protest with the Reichstag Decree - as no-one was able to protest, Hitler was able to build the worlds most brutal totalitarian state and invaded Poland in 1939, Britain and France declared war, a generation was devastated in the hope that future generations might live without tyranny. In 1945 the allies declared victory and said never again. To protect the world from war they had to protect the citizen from the state - in 1950 the leaders of the war torn countries of Europe came together to try to prevent these horrors from ever happening again, in comes the European convention of human rights authored by Winston Churchill, and contained the fundamental protections of an individual from their own government, including, ban on torture ,no detention without charge, innocence until proven guilty, right to privacy, right to protest and freedom of speech. We in the UK have became too cosy with the idea that we have these rights anymore. I often wonder when people will wake up and realize they have had their freedoms taken away. I wondered if it would happen when they gave taking pictures of police a maximum 10 year jail sentence - nope. I wondered if it would happen when they allowed records of phone calls, web history and emails to be for police - nope, I wondered if it would happen when someone was arrested under the anti-terror act for shouting "rubbish" at a New Labour party conference - nope. Wake up.

Oh I forgot to add (1)

Peter_J_G (1503759) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246651)

Failure to hand over encryption keys carries a 2-3 year jail sentence.

The Real Way to stop Government Internet Snooping (1, Interesting)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246825)

Is to refuse to use the Internet for commerce. If the populace of Britian, or any "Free" country for that matter, made it clear that if their government implements draconian snooping technologies, they will stop using the Internet; well you get the picture. I personally would join that fight in the US. I certainly don't *need* the Internet; it is a convenience.

Another option.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27247657)

I'm sorry, that's like asking people not to breathe. Let me show you how unworkable that is: ask people to rigidly stick to the parking laws for a month. Although that would totally nuke the revenue of one of the filthiest types of bottom feeders apart from AIG management, nobody will.

How about helping everyone to encrypt whatever they can? At the moment, encrypted traffic is still fairly rare and thus identifies itself as of interest. The moment it happens by default it's going to be a sod to keep track of everything and they will have to go back to basics: focus resources where there is probable cause.

idiots (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27246843)

In other news, terrorist groups who aren't fucking morons have long since switched all their communication to encrypted e-mail.

Seriously, Facebook?

Re:idiots (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247601)

Hint: They aren't really after terrorists

Maybe they want to find Princess Margaret pics.. (0, Flamebait)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246961)

Jason Statham was in a film called The Bank Job, a film which was actually pretty good. In it, they break into a bank in 1970 and get into safe deposit boxes. One of the boxes has pictures of Princess Margaret in flagrante delicto.

Maybe that's what this is all about. Snooping facebook so that there aren't any nasty pics of the royals giving head.

UK Governments is in mah lolcatz... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27246969)

...snooping on teh terrorats.

Usenet (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247025)

I though all the terrorists were hiding in the high-traffic (pr0n) Usenet newsgroups. I'm soooo out of touch.

How Long? (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247079)

I've been watching these developments in UK for the last few years, and I still wonder how long British citizens are going to stand for such brazenly proposed invasions of their privacy. What kind of loons come up with this stuff? What terrorists are using Facebook to openly plan their attacks?

Re:How Long? (1)

spacefight (577141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247559)

IMHO, what is needed is a revolution, as voting isn't helping (see Obama, so much about "change") at all nowadays. The brit gov is screwing their people for so long now and nothing happened...

You Have 3 New Invites. (1)

senorpoco (1396603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247101)

Event:: Terrorist type things Network:: Everyone Where:: The Secret Rendezvous Time:: 11:15 Notes:: Bring your own bomb. Really? they are going to spy on people who add Muqutada Al Sadr as their friend.

There's a way... (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247111)

If the government wants to snoop Facebook, the pure volume of communications means they'll have to use some kind of filtering process. Take a page from the spammers' book. If enough people lard their communications with UK relatives and e-friends with buzzwords like "bomb" and "nuclear" and "nitrate", the cost to go through them and decide that they're all crap would be huge.

Time to have some fun, and invite these fascist pricks to honk on BoBo.

UK snoops bored to death (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247181)

As government jobs which don't require being shot at or handling NBC waste go, the job of Facebook snoop is pretty lousy. Most of it is content-free chatter, but at least it's chatter by people you know. Having to monitor the content-free chatter of tons of strangers must be incredibly mind-numbing.

Right, that's it... (1)

Landak (798221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247255)

I'm writing to my MP, with a long list of everything that's been reported here. It might do anything, but he'll at least respond. I'm fed up with this incompetent government being completely and utterly unable to do anything without bringing terrorism and an illiberal attitude into everything. Argh.

Not Orwellian (1)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247437)

Orwell was distinctly against this kind of activity.

What I think you mean is Stalinist.

Well, there's 1 entity that actually cares... (1)

jforest1 (966315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247487)

about what I'm doing and who my friends are.

--josh

I am fed of hearing negative stories about my gov. (1)

mrphoton (1349555) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247639)

I am fed of hearing negative stories about my government, I would like to say something positive about them namely,
We only have to put up with them of another 442 days! Whooooo. Then we can vote our un elected PM and his Stalinist chum jacqui jackboots smith out of office.

Terrorists now leaving Facebook in droves! (1)

antispam_ben (591349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27247699)

Either that or they're starting to post some wildly misleading info on their Facebook and other social networking site pages.

I remember around late 2001 or 2002, it was reported that "the terrorists" were using porn chatrooms to communicate, at least until that news was reported to the press, then they moved on to some other clandestine way to communicate.

With all the web forums, Usenet, email IRC and other Internet traffic, the government really will have to snoop everything to track terrorists.

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