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UK Government To Monitor All Internet Use

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the foil-hats-aren't-going-to-cut-it dept.

Privacy 446

nk497 writes "The UK government has further detailed plans to track all communications — mobile phone calls, text messages, email and browser sessions — in the fight against terrorism, pedophiles and organized crime. The government said it's not looking to see what you're saying, just to whom and when and how. Contrary to previous plans to keep it all in a massive database, it will now let ISPs and telecoms firms store the data themselves, and access it when it feels it needs it." And to clarify this, Barence writes "The UK Government has dropped plans to create a massive database of all internet communications, following stern criticism from privacy advocates. Instead the Government wants ISPs and mobile phone companies to retain details of mobile phone calls, emails and internet sites visited. As with the original scheme, the actual content of the phone calls and messages won't be recorded, just the dates, duration and location/IP address of messages sent. The security services would then have to apply to the ISP or telecoms company to have the data released. The new proposals would also require ISPs to retain details of communications that originated in other countries but passed over the UK's network, such as instant messages."

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Porn Database (5, Funny)

notarockstar1979 (1521239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27730973)

The UK is just putting together the biggest porn database in the history of the world to provide a search engine along with relevant advertising to bring in some extra cash.

Foolish thought. Not enough space for that. (1)

kdawson (3715) (1344097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731513)

The government said it's not looking to see what you're saying, just to whom and when and how.

Not for the time being, at least. Do you have any idea how impossible of a job this is? Not even the Inner Party could take on such a job at this instant in time. This is going to require the concerted efforts of the ENTIRE populace. A terabyte hard disk drive for every man, woman, and child.

No, comrade, it may be a year or two before the United Kingdom can raise the funds required to bolster foreign economies by spending trillions of pounds to create such datacenters. And imagine all the PhD computer scientists, mathematicians, and programmers needed to organize this data.

Britain, your heyday will soon arrive.

Like the old saying (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27730977)

Nothing can go wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...

1984 (5, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27730995)

Ok I guess Orwell was about 25 years off

Re:1984 (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731021)

Ok I guess Orwell was about 25 years off

The irony is that it was written by a Brit.
     

Re:1984 (4, Insightful)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731139)

The irony is that it was written by a Brit.

I hope we can stay away from the temptations to localize this behavior to one country. Let's face it, it is going on pretty much everywhere now. It's just a matter of degree and how much information about it has been leaked out to the public.

Re:1984 (5, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731203)

Not all that ironic; he was in the best position to see where Britain was heading. Since then, many other British writers described the future Britain as fascist. All these people simply observed certain trends and extended them to their logical conclusion.

Re:1984 (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731327)

What I don't get is why mostly conservatives support this kind of thing. They don't trust the gov't to monitor banks, to manage trade, to run healthcare, etc. YET they trust it to snoop fairly?

Re:1984 (2, Informative)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731383)

conservatives != neocon

Re:1984 (2, Interesting)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731419)

Because what we call Conservatives is in reality an massive amount of people with differing views about things. Some are libertarians some are facist ... the conservative parties try to cater to all of them which creates these crazy policies and contradictions.

Re:1984 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731319)

Poor Orwell he must be turning in his grave. This reminds me I read V for Vendetta again.

Good news for the Royal Mail (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731049)

So now the only method of sending data without leaving a trace is the British Postal Service. Providing they don't loose you mail of course...

Re:Good news for the Royal Mail (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731107)

So now the only method of sending data without leaving a trace is the British Postal Service.

Maybe the e-snoop plan is a ploy by the postal service to boost revenues. Very clever, those Brits.
         

Re:Good news for the Royal Mail (4, Funny)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731155)

Please, as anyone who does sorting in RM will tell you, losing stuff is damned rare.

Most mail that doesn't reach its destination is because the public is apparently too damn stupid to write a proper address.

Hell, just last week I had two letters to Dublin, United Kingdom; three to West Germany and a couple of dozen with no town or city...

Never mind the people who just make up post codes.

Re:Good news for the Royal Mail (5, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731309)

I'm sorry, but if I want to write my address as "1337 Drive, Leetown, HAX X0R" simply because it sounds a lot cooler than "123 Main Steet, Liverpool", I bloody well will and it's your job to make sure it gets there!

And in other news (1)

KingPin27 (1290730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731053)

And in other news hundreds of people dressed up as Guy Fawkes have been seen marching angrily up to parliament...

Re:And in other news (1)

AlHunt (982887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731313)

>And in other news hundreds of people dressed up as Guy Fawkes

And, the "New American Tea Party" in the US - http://newamericanteaparty.com/ [newamericanteaparty.com]
And Americans stocking up on guns and ammo: http://www.ocala.com/article/20090426/ARTICLES/904261015/1001/NEWS01?Title=Ammo-scarce-after-many-stock-up/ [ocala.com]

What could possibly be wrong with this picture?

Re:And in other news (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731371)

And Americans stocking up on guns and ammo:

That would end if people didn't believe that Obama and the Democratic leadership were itching to infringe on their 2nd amendment rights. Most sportsman are extremely annoyed by the run on ammo and firearms because it's driving up prices for everybody -- but it isn't going to end until some sanity comes out of Washington.

Re:And in other news (1)

an unsound mind (1419599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731493)

I thought sanity had left Washington ages ago.

Re:And in other news (1)

KingPin27 (1290730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731597)

Sanity left Washington... Was it ever really there?

you set the precedent..... (0, Flamebait)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731055)

Who would have thought that willingly giving up one right would have set the precedent for the Government taking away other rights? When will our brothers and sisters across the pond wake up from this horrible nightmare?

Re:you set the precedent..... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731401)

Who would have thought that willingly giving up one right would have set the precedent for the Government taking away other rights?

Any particular right you have in mind there? I can't quite see your argument here. There's been a gradual erosion of civil liberties throughout the last decade or so, but I can't think of a single major breakthrough that led to all of the rest.

Re:you set the precedent..... (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731623)

That's because enabling corruption started more like 30 years ago [wikipedia.org] in a variety of forms.

USA-style solution: (4, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731057)

{sarcasm} It's cheaper to just waterboard the suspect rather than save all that data {/sarcasm}

Re:USA-style solution: (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731129)

Laugh all you want but here in the US our Government can't compel us to turn over an encryption key and detain American citizens for 45 (or is it 90 now?) days without charges. And we still have our guns ;)

Re:USA-style solution: (4, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731335)

"And we still have our guns ;)"

Yeah, how's that working out for you?

Re:USA-style solution: (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731341)

But once we've declared you an "enemy combatant"...

Re:USA-style solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731405)

And just so the OP Brit doesn't get TOO smug, remind him that we have an actual on-record "Bill of Rights" enshrined in our very constitution.

One wonders why on Earth the British left that little detail out of their government, seeing as how they got such a good start with the Magna Carta and all.

Ah, well, I guess being old isn't the same as being smart -- but that's always been true, hasn't it?

Re:USA-style solution: (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731429)

Laugh all you want but here in the US our Government can't compel us to turn over an encryption key and detain American citizens for 45 (or is it 90 now?)

So what? 90% of what they want to know is who you communicate with and how often. Encryption won't help you much there.

Re:USA-style solution: (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731523)

Laugh all you want but here in the US our Government can't compel us to turn over an encryption key and detain American citizens for 45 (or is it 90 now?) days without charges.

The US can't torture prisoners either. Oh wait...

Your argument assumes the government is constrained by the laws it passes. Given that its happy to exceed those constraints at will, and is not held accountable even after the fact, even after a change in administration, its a pretty false sense of security.

And we still have our guns ;)

They will be worthless until the revolution comes. And even during a revolution you'll be relying on the military fragmenting (both to weaken the state and to arm your side). That will be far more important than your personal small arms. To put it bluntly, if the military doesn't fragment it won't be much of a revolution. (And you'll need to pray NATO/UN allies... etc, etc doesn't send additional forces to bolster the state side.)

And if you pull that gun out by yourself before the revolution you are just a criminal shooting at the police. That will just compound your problems... and you won't get much public sympathy either.

More false security.

Counterproductive (3, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731063)

When will governments figure out that pushing big brother tactics on their constituents doesnt help them find the badguys in fact all it does is make the law abiding masses paranoid and pushes the ones they are after further underground into darknets, and other more nefarious methods.

In the end the only thing this will be used for successfully is kowtowing to corporate interests and eroding the rights of citizens.

Re:Counterproductive (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731239)

And that's different than everything else the UK and US governments do?

Re:Counterproductive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731245)

When will governments figure out that pushing big brother tactics on their constituents doesnt help them find the badguys

You say that like they don't already know it.

It's not really about finding the badguys, it's about turning everyone into a badguy.

Re:Counterproductive (3, Insightful)

Calmaveth (1353713) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731259)

Organized Criminals and terrorists will just start using payphones and traditional mail (post).

Re:Counterproductive (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731271)

In the end the only thing this will be used for successfully is kowtowing to corporate interests and eroding the rights of citizens.

Kowtowing is the primary goal. Eroding rights makes it easier to kowtow later.

Surely you do not think this was done for the benefit of the people?

Oh, you did? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Re:Counterproductive (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731293)

None of that is "counterproductive", unfortunately. As a politician, you don't get graded on finding the bad guys. You get graded on looking like you are finding the bad guys. The more paranoid the masses are, the happier they will be to have you looking like you are finding the bad guys. The further underground the bad guys are, the greater the emergency powers you will need to go after them.

If big brother tactics weren't pragmatically useful(albeit not for their stated purposes) they wouldn't be nearly so popular.

Re:Counterproductive (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731397)

doesnt help them find the badguys in fact all it does is make the law abiding masses paranoid

Except that they will never find that out, because the masses don't care, and it doesn't matter if laws are effective or not.

n the end the only thing this will be used for successfully is kowtowing to corporate interests and eroding the rights of citizens.

Which is all that matters to them.

Re:Counterproductive (5, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731603)

Where did you get the idea that this has anything to do with catching the bay guys? ^^
And why do people always equate politicians not doing what you expected with them being stupid?
I don't think they are stupid. It just looks that way, because their actions are so completely counterproductive of what they say are their goals.
Well, every person that has lived trough the change in tone before and after an election, should know not to believe one word of that. ;)

So... if they are lying, and if they are not stupid, then why do they do this?
Simple: Everything people do, because someone has someone has something to gain from it.
Find that one, and you got your reason.

But I guess we all knew this before. :)

Encryption (2, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731071)

Problem ( mostly ) solved.

Re:Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731131)

Problem ( mostly ) solved.

Problem NOT solved since stance of UK government is : Anonymity online masks criminal identities

source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8020039.stm

Re:Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731369)

I didn't know they could decrypt encrypted traffic after it had been sent.

Re:Encryption (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731525)

They can't but they can log it and beat the keys out of you later.

Re:Encryption (2, Insightful)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731205)

If they're telling the truth, and not monitoring the data itself, just the endpoints.. then what good does encrypting do?

Re:Encryption (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731315)

Which part of "We're not looking inside the packets*, just where they're going to" escaped you...?

[*] Yet.

If you want safety, add a bit of extra information to the JPG files on your innocent-looking blog.

V for Vendetta? (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731085)

Yeah, yeah. I've heard the movie and book don't mesh but the overall theme is still the same: Complete access to what anyone and everyone is doing, thinking or writing.

On a related note, the following quote from Sneakers isn't too far off either:

There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!

Re:V for Vendetta? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731287)

A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!

How do you control information without bullets? "Hmm, I see you have some information there.... [cocks gun]" ;) Even in the movie the bad guys used guns....

That's probably my favorite geek movie :)

At least its for the Children!!! (5, Funny)

hemp (36945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731089)

Well, I am not going to feel safe until *everyone* is in jail. That is the only way to make sure there is not a criminal free somewheres.

Re:At least its for the Children!!! (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731187)

Well, I am not going to feel safe until *everyone* is in jail.

I agree. Let's start with every member of the British Parliament and American Congress. I could even make a think of the children [wikipedia.org] argument to justify it.

Re:At least its for the Children!!! (1)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731577)

Of course, the jail they are creating is open-air, and will be as large as the UK itself.

What stops the ISPs ignoring the government? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731103)

It's not clear if the government is planning to legislate to force ISPs and phone companies to keep this data, or if they just 'advise'.

If the latter, then I imagine there'll be the few ISPs that stand up and say "no" and market themselves on that very fact.

Re:What stops the ISPs ignoring the government? (4, Informative)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731615)

Don't worry, the UK government has strong-armed, scared and bullied the EU into traffic data retention legislation.

That EU regulation is now used as an 'excuse' by the same British government to tell the ISP's and Telco's to retain the data.

As usual the tabloids will blame Europe.

The EU regulation does only specify some minimum requirements like 6 months retention but the UK government will no doubt go for the maximum of 24 months, that was the minimum they wanted of Europe with unlimited as an option.

Alternate solution (-1, Troll)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731113)

This is not meant as a troll. I'm just trying to broaden the discussion:

If the UK evicted its Muslim immigrants, and gave up trying to occupy Northern Ireland, wouldn't that lower the threat level enough for these measures to be easily repealed?

The point being: maybe if your threat level for terrorism is so high that you feel the urge to be a police state, a country should consider removing the motivations for terrorism.

Re:Alternate solution (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731179)

That wouldn't be profitable enough. Unless some company came up with a proprietary way to ship tonnes of people off the island and win a governmental contract so they can bribe I mean contribute to the politicians coffers.

Re:Alternate solution (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731285)

If the UK evicted its Muslim immigrants, and gave up trying to occupy Northern Ireland, wouldn't that lower the threat level enough for these measures to be easily repealed?

Because evicting an ethnic slice of the population is not likely to cause civil unrest...

Re:Alternate solution (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731511)

But the civil unrest will only last until everyone of group foo is gone. At worst other bleeding hearts groups will only have the public attention for about 6 to 12 months afterwords.

Re:Alternate solution (2, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731425)

I feel you are so deluded that your question is serious.

First Northern Ireland, a majority of the population wants the be part of the UK a plebiscite could be held and nothing changes.

Second, why in the world would you think evicting British Muslims would stop religious fanatics to continue spreading their terror in Europe (yes the UK is part of Europe)?

With such a thought pattern I'm surprised you managed to log on.

Re:Alternate solution (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731457)

If the UK evicted its Muslim immigrants, and gave up trying to occupy Northern Ireland, wouldn't that lower the threat level enough for these measures to be easily repealed?

No. First, the Muslim terrorists we've had problems with mostly weren't immigrants, they were born in Britain. Second, the north of Ireland isn't a significant terrorist threat any more, since most of the terrorists are now in the regional government; a couple of splinter factions have taken to shooting people again lately, but for practical purposes they're almost beneath contempt. Third, if you think for one moment this is really about terrorism then I've got a tower in Paris to sell you.

Re:Alternate solution (4, Informative)

gclef (96311) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731465)

The devil is always in the details.

1) what do you do with the 1.6 million muslims [bbc.co.uk] (most of whom are peaceful & law-abiding) who are presently living in the UK (many of whom are not first-generation)? If you just throw them out, won't that make the previously peaceful ones very angry with you?

2) what do you do with the 53% of all residents of Northern Ireland [bbc.co.uk] who are protestant (and therefore want to stay where they are)? If you just evict them, doesn't that risk starting yet *another* war in that region?

Re:Alternate solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731565)

and gave up trying to occupy Northern Ireland

You think trying to evict a million people (many of whom are convicted/released terrorists) from their houses where their families have lived (some for centuries) and put them somewhere else will *decrease* terrorism? "Not meant as a troll" indeed...

Re:Alternate solution (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731613)

Ya know, I can't find a thing to disagree with there. If you let your country be taken over by foreign interests, the enemies of those foreign interests become YOUR enemies as well, and voila, terrorism.

Tho considering the death toll is a lot higher from ordinary household and auto accidents, maybe it's time to just ban people. Problem solved! :/

So they want to be Big Brother (3, Insightful)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731123)

But in the most incompetent way possible. Letting the ISP's store the data? So you're telling me that tracking the communications of the worlds most dangerous terrorists is so incredibly important that it can potentially be left in the hands of a 20 year old intern charged with swapping the backups tapes? Hyperbole of course, but come on, if you (the UK gov) aren't storing the data, do you really know it will be available when you need it?

Easy to spot (1, Funny)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731125)

Example of an intercepted IM conversation:
AC1: I'm thinking to get a new car next week
AC2: Sweet, what colour are you getting?
AC1: Dude? "colour"?
AC2: I didn't put that 'u' there...

Great (5, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731143)

I'm honestly sure who I trust less to securely maintain a database containing large amounts my of private data. The government have consistently proven themselves incapable of managing large scale IT projects, or of taking privacy seriously. On the other hand, I don't trust my ISP either - will they be prevented from outsourcing any part of the chain involved in collecting and storing this data, for example, or is my data going to be available for $1 in Delhi anytime soon? It's a lose-lose situation.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731375)

I imagine the only way to end up with some privacy is to buy your MP's or PM's browsing history, and have The Daily Mail run it on page 1.

Re:Great (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731387)

I don't trust my ISP either...is my data going to be available for $1 in Delhi anytime soon?

Why not, your job is ;-P
     

Re:Great (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731531)

I love how they phrase it that the law will "let" ISPs store the data, too. They're passing a law that's going to make extensive long-term data storage mandatory, and it's the companies who get to pay for it. Isn't the government generous?

McLuhan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731161)

If the medium is the message, then we're screwed!

In other news.... (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731183)

Tor recently recieved an accidental DDos

You know, these stories don't shock me anymore. (4, Insightful)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731191)

I no longer have any hope for Great Britain.

The country that spawned the magna carta is on an irreversible spiral into a police state.

They will continue to erode the rights of people in the name of "terrorism" and "child pornography."

And the general populace seems happy to let it happen.

Re:You know, these stories don't shock me anymore. (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731329)

And the Labour Party seems happy to let it happen.

Fixed that for you. I know lots of people in the UK that are aghast at what's happening.

Re:You know, these stories don't shock me anymore. (0, Flamebait)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731547)

Then how does the Labour party stay in power??

Yeah, we have the same problem here, only we call them Democrats... and the problem really is the socialist entitlement system which keeps people voting against their own best interests. "He who robs Peter to pay Paul is assured of Paul's vote."

Re:You know, these stories don't shock me anymore. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731671)

Then how does the Labour party stay in power??

Because more than 50% of the population either work for the government or collect benefits of some kind, and they only need 22% of the votes to get a majority in parliament.

Re:You know, these stories don't shock me anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731497)

Every government expands in power and revenue over time. Some expand more quickly than others, but in the end, no amount of power and revenue is enough for the business of government. At the top of the power pyramid, it doesn't even matter whether you "succeed" or "fail"; what matters is that the money passes through your hands, and the power falls under your control. As long as the money keeps flowing, the business of government will enjoy success.

Am I implying that all the spying, all the blatant attacks on privacy, all the surveillance is all just an excuse to tax, borrow, and spend? You're damn right I am, and if you look at the financial history of just about any government, you will understand that money is the objective.

How does it even work? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731213)

Let's talk about IM. I run an XMPP server which a few of my friends use. Everyone that connects to it used TLS. If they did enough traffic analysis, they might just about be able to tell who I was talking to, but are they really expecting ISPs to correlate every packet anyone sends to that machine (which is not located on their network) and communicate this data to all other UK ISPs so that they can try to work out who I am talking to? And what happens when I talk to someone using a busy server like jabber.org or gmail.com? They see some encrypted packets going from my machine to that server (well, they don't, because my server is outside the UK, but let's pretend that they do). Then, a second or so later, they see a few million packets going out to various other people. Are they just expecting Google to turn over their logs, or do they expect the ISPs to magically work out who I am talking to be analysing every packet going everywhere?

The same applies to email. My mail server is set up to use TLS, and so most of the time they can't do deep packet inspection to learn the destination, all they know is that my machine has delivered a mail to the recipient's mail server, and that a lot of people later on have checked their mail on that machine.

It seems that this will only stop terrorists who are stupid enough to use their ISP's mail servers, which surely isn't a huge number.

This warms my heart in a dark way (0, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731243)

The next time some self-righteous, left-winger from Britain attacks the US as Fascist, this can be thrown in their face. The USA PATRIOT Act was a fucking joke compared to the possibilities that this opens up.

Re:This warms my heart in a dark way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731715)

You,sir, are correct. Your comment definitely puts things into perspective.

Communist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731255)

Isn't this like the worst part of the Russian Communist regime? Everyone under the watchful eye of everyone else.

Are bombs worse? I don't know. I do know that I'll think twice about going somewhere where the wire-taping is the norm.

We all love SPAM! (2, Interesting)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731275)

If they keep a database of ALL email sent, it'll be interesting to see how many days it takes until their backup servers are overrun with billions of nigerian prince scams, fake virus alerts and phony offers to get free cash from Microsoft.

Re:We all love SPAM! (1)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731403)

Perhaps they only need to keep one copy of each mail and a list of who it went to.

Re:We all love SPAM! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731573)

on the sender side maybe, but it still lands on the inbox of every recipient, and all ISPs will be required to keep their own logs. I'm thinking here of the ISP IT guys having a discussion about their mail log server that will ressemble the Ghostbusters twinkie metaphor.

Distributed Database (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731277)

Does it really make a difference [b]who[/b] houses the information if the government can access it anytime it wishes?

I remember the same thing coming up with REAL-ID. "We're not creating a centralized database of information."

No, they're just creating a distributed database which they can access as easily as a local one.

Need someone to write a program... (2, Interesting)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731281)

Ok, someone out there needs to write a program that will randomally access web sites. It should contain a list of reprehensable sites, as well as use randomally generating site names. It should do accesses on some randomzed time schedule, not continuously. You don't want it to run often enough to significantly slow down your own browsing.

This is how you poison their database, fill it full of useless data. Go ahead, and track this!

less serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731305)

...just to whom and when and how...
...just the dates, duration and location/IP address of messages sent...

gosh, and I thought they would collect critical data.

No, honestly, don't use that kind of wording. This suggests ordinary people that this kind of data collection is less problematic than the recording the actual contents of the communication. It is part of the fundamental basic rights and liberties to communicate with other people without being observed. That mentioned, these plans can be regarded as Orwellian/fascist behaviour that the British people need to fight against.

Election Please! (1)

ShedPlant (1041034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731339)

Can we please have an election sometime soon and throw Jacqui Smith out of the Home Office? I'm sure she can get a job working for the Chinese or North Korean governments.

Ask Slashdot (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731353)

So what is a secure way to stop this tracking?

Not using your ISPs mail service seems a start but obviously not a complete answer....

NAMBLA is 2nd biggest criminal group in the world! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731365)

In response to the UK Govt's harsh stand against the three biggest groups of criminals in the world, a leading member of NAMBLA was reported to have stated, "Wow, we leap-frogged over the Mob into second place?!" "Al-Qaida!, look out, we are right behind you!"

It is one great big distributed database (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731373)

If the data is stored, in a known format, and is accessible then it constitutes one great big database.

It doesn't make it any better that it is distributed.

translucent illusion (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731389)

>> Contrary to previous plans to keep it all in a massive database, it will now let ISPs and telecoms firms store the data themselves, and access it when it feels it needs it."

Likely the only reason for this decision is that the government have probably just realised how much hardware and infrastructure they would need to buy in order to store, maintain and efficiently search all that info themselves. Consequently they have just pushed it off onto the ISPs/telcos instead.

It also gives a very translucent illusion that they care about rights to privacy even though there would be nothing stopping them accessing the data 24/7 anyway.

Of course the obvious pitfall is that the data will now be held by private companies which are (in theory at least) less secure than the government. I can't wait for the first "loss", private sale, or other misuse of data that no doubt the gov. will do everything they can to cover up from the public, yet will get caught out anyway. Its all so predictable.

   

Illegal to Photograph Cops in Britain (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731407)

It's recently been made illegal to photograph the police in the UK because the pictures might be useful to terrorists - it doesn't matter if you intend to use such pictures for terrorism, only that a terrorist might possibly want to have one of the pictures.

This new law has predictably led to such Kafkaesque situations like this story [wordpress.com] as reported by an actual constable there.

Re:Illegal to Photograph Cops in Britain (2, Insightful)

Reziac (43301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731711)

So now terrorists are following tourists who take pictures of those "bobbies on bicycles, two by two" and stealing the images right out of their cameras? Why bother? Just cut the middleman and pose as a tourist yourself. And since the police presumably wear uniforms and are thus identifiable even without photos, what's the benefit?

The only benefit I can see is to police who are acting outside the law and don't want any evidence recording that.

Why not just use Phorm data? (1)

Digi421 (980341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731435)

Since pretty much all major UK ISPs will be using Phorm, all 3-letter Agencies could just use that data. Not like anyone in the UK really gives a damn about their privacy.

So, make it hard (1)

Beached (52204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731453)

If everyone started connecting to many other random other services on the network all the time, you could effectively hide in the crowds. Just make sure that the connections last long enough to be meaningful. Something like a web spider that constantly probes at a specific data rate. Throw in some sophistication with regards to data transfer, repition of connnections, etc and you may be able to hide. Also, if enough people do it, it will cost the ISP much to store the information and make it irrelivant. The trick is to make your browsing look random, which can be difficult; also you would need to filter for stuff like child porn and other stuff you definitely do not want associated with yourself.

How about another approach (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731471)

People have been complaining to England about human rights and liberties for hundreds and hundreds of years and they have a track record that shows they simply don't care.

Has all of their "big brother" work been effective though?

If people who wish to argue against these measures want to prevent or change where things are going, perhaps a new argument is in order. "It won't work" and "it doesn't work!"

Reasonable (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731483)

Sounds reasonable to me.

Escaped Nazis rename Third Reich to 'New Labour' (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731537)

Jacqui 'Jackboots' Smith is definitely a Nazi. This moron is one of the most stupid, ignorant, and illiberal people ever to assume power in the UK (with a feeble minority, it has to be said)
New Labour have done more to dismantle the fundamental fabric of British society than any previous regime. Even the Tories under Maggie 'Madcap-Psychobitch' Thatcher never did such damage to people's fundamental rights (although she was probably more evil in other ways)

What does it mean to be British?:
- The right not to have to carry papers or ID cards
- The right to privacy, and to know that it is illegal for the state to spy on me.
- The right to protest anywhere I like, without being confined to a police cordoned area to keep me away from the war criminals and terrorists who are running this country.
- The right not to be beaten to death by the police.
- The right to be able to venomously criticise all religions, without them being granted 'special rights', just because certain religions (islam, and judaism) seem to be particularly prone to particularly psychotic levels of violence, and can't accept that their behaviour and beliefs should be scrutinised by sane people.
- The right to access to good public services, unpolluted by private sector profiteers, greedy lobbyists, and corrupt public private partnerships.

New Labour have taken all of these rights, and are consequently anti-British Enemies of The People, who have granted victory to terrorists worldwide, by curtailing the rights of our people in the name of 'fighting terrorism'.
I suspect that their attack on our rights, in reality, has much more to do with protecting the status-quo, as any terrorist can just mow down a busy street in a stolen car, if they really want to kill, without resorting to elaborate bomb plots, or mixing chemicals in the basement.
Fortunately for us, most terrorists are nearly as stupid as New Labour (they'd have to be, to be infected with religion!)

Smart Change... in a Way (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731621)

Contrary to previous plans to keep it all in a massive database, it will now let ISPs and telecoms firms store the data themselves, and access it when it feels it needs it."

The way I'm reading it is that the Brit govt. realized how expensive keeping all the records would be and decided to make the ISPs and mobile phone companies take the bill. That of course will be passed down to the users.

Let me be the first to say... (1)

s31523 (926314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731629)

I Love the British government, you guys are awesome.... No, really, I do!

BOsFH Unite! (1)

tkalfigo (1448133) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731639)

What an opportune time to be a BOFH at an ISP in Britain!
/away packing bags to London

Encryption (1)

mdsharpe (1051460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27731657)

So perhaps it's time for us to start encrypting all our communications? That would negate this issue, right?

Newspeak lyrics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27731687)

Cruel, Britannia! she sank beneath the waves:
Britons has just been slaves.

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