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UK Plans More Spying On Internet Users Under 'Terrorism' Pretext

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-a-reason-as-any dept.

Privacy 189

Wowsers writes "In vogue with other countries cracking down on freedom and democracy on the internet as discussed in Slashdot recently, the UK is joining in with plans to track all phone calls, text messages, email traffic and websites visited online, all to be stored in vast databases under new government anti-terror plans. As reported in The Telegraph, security services will have access to information about who has been communicating with each other on social networking sites such as Facebook, direct messages between subscribers on Twitter would also be stored, as well as communications between players in online video games. The scheme is a revised version of a plan drawn up by the ex-Labour government which would have created a central database of all the information. The idea was later dropped in favor of requiring communications providers to store the details at the taxpayers' expense."

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189 comments

Finally! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091145)

1984 is here! 27 years too late, but it's here.

Re:Finally! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091163)

And ow we even have to pay for the noose they're putting around our necks: "requiring communications providers to store the details at the taxpayers' expense."

Re:Finally! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091579)

Either the state foots the bill, where you'll pay for it through taxes of the provider has to pay for it and raise the end user prices. Either way, you're the sorry bastard who'll have to pay for it.

Re:Finally! (5, Funny)

eneville (745111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091663)

1984 was about the Thought Police. I don't see any thought on facebook or twitter.

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091849)

It's well-policed

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39092025)

The governments of this world must be stopped at any cost.

Trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Maciel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091149)

GreatBunzinni [slashdot.org], real name Rui Maciel, has been using anonymous posts [slashdot.org] to accuse almost 20 accounts of being employed by a PR firm to astroturf Slashdot, without any evidence. Using multiple puppet accounts, he mods up these anonymous posts while modding down the target accounts in order to censor their viewpoints off of Slashdot. GreatBunzinni accidentally outed himself [slashdot.org] as the anonymous troll who has been posting these accusations to every Slashdot story. For example, he wrote the same post almost verbatim, first using his logged-in account [slashdot.org] followed by an anonymous post [slashdot.org] days later. Note the use of the same script and wording.

It turns out GreatBunzinni is actually a 31-year-old C++/Java programmer from Almada, Portugal named Rui Maciel, with a civil engineering degree from Instituto Superior Técnico and a hobby working with electronics. He runs Kubuntu and is active on the KDE mailing list. Rui Maciel has accounts at OSNews, Launchpad, ProgrammersHeaven, the Ubuntu forums, and of course Slashdot. While trolling Slashdot, he listens to rock music like Motorhead, Fu Manchu, and Iron Maiden, but lately he's been on a big Jimi Hendrix kick, with some Bootsy Collins on the side (as you might have guessed, he has a Last.fm account). He's also a fan of strategy games like Vega Strike and Transport Tycoon.

Most of the users Rui targets have done nothing more than commit the sin of praising competitors to Google or other Linux-based products at some point in the past. Some of them are subscribers who often get the first post, since subscribers see stories earlier than non-subscribers. After one of Rui's accusations is posted as a reply, the original post receives a surge of "Troll" and "Overrated" moderations from his puppet accounts, while the accusatory post gets modded up. Often, additional anonymous posters suddenly pop up to give support, which also receive upmods. At the same time, accused users who defend themselves are modded down as "Offtopic."

Rui Maciel's contact information
Email: greatbunzinni@gmail.com [mailto], greatbunzinni@engineer.com [mailto], or rui.maciel@gmail.com [mailto]
IM: greatbunzinni@jabber.org [jabber] (the same Jabber account currently listed on his Slashdot account)
Blog: http://rui_maciel.users.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
Programming projects: http://www.programmersheaven.com/user/GreatBunzinni/contributions [programmersheaven.com]

Known puppet accounts used by Rui Maciel
Galestar [slashdot.org]
NicknameOne [slashdot.org]
Nicknamename [slashdot.org]
Nerdfest [slashdot.org]
Toonol [slashdot.org]
anonymov [slashdot.org]
chrb [slashdot.org]
flurp [slashdot.org]
forkfail [slashdot.org]
psiclops [slashdot.org]

tl;dr: An Ubuntu fan named Rui Maciel is actively trolling Slashdot with multiple moderator accounts in an attempt to filter dissenting opinions off the site.

Re:Trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Mac (4, Funny)

anotherzeb (837807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091171)

With this kind of information, are you applying for a job that might be created by the surveillance system described in tfa?

Re:Trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Mac (2)

Undead Waffle (1447615) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091203)

So he likes KDE, Iron Maiden, and Jimi Hendrix? And he tries to weed out astroturfers? Sounds like a pretty awesome dude.

Re:Trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Mac (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091349)

Great as an example why the law is a bad idea.

Sadly, it also serves as an example against getting irate about it. Yes, you get a ton of information about a person. No, nobody gives half a shit about it.

Re:Trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091373)

Aaaaand the ISP's can make a fortune while trolling the system, lots of users setting up randomised conenctions to sites all over the government, random emails to every person in government, random generated skype and IM's to people who let it "run in the background"....
After the ISPs send in the bill for 300 yotabytes of storage +management costs for the storage for the first 3 months and the government (which is paying for it....) has it's fit, what then?

Effectively the government has created an infinite money pool for ISP's. And while some of them are undoubtedly getting pressured to do this they have about 0 technical understanding of what's involved.

Re:Trolling campaign by GreatBunzinni, aka Rui Mac (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091719)

Then the UK government ministers get onto google and search for 300+ yotabyte management, end up on /. reading posts about why its a stupid idea. I don't see how Fecebook message tracking will get anywhere. Half of this fee is stupid. Fecebook DON'T DELETE messages, they're simply marked as deleted. Just pay a small fee to Fecebook to access the message steam. Job done. Stupid idea, the government wouldn't ever go for that.

BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (5, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091151)

Thinkpol report alarmwise, unveiling doubleplusungood possibility of Inparty ideodeviates. Goldstein connects possibility uneliminated. BB declared speechwise in VicPalace Ingsoc traitors must be detected and rehabed nodelay:

"Comrades, how will Ingsoc continuelive victorywise? Ingsoc will continuelive victorywise by vaporizing decay within Inparty core. Inparty exampleserve Outparty and prolemass and must causewise continuebe goodthink. Ignorance is strength, Comrades, unforget."

Re:BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091215)

Your phraseology suggests that you think it's ebil commies behind this, but it's not. It's the right wing this time. Control is the goal of the rich sociopaths who rule the world, from up front and behind the scenes.

Re:BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091281)

And you the think teh ebil commies aren't controlled by their own group of rich sociopaths who rule the Proletariat, from up front and behind the scenes? cf Eurasia. It's sociopaths all the way down.

Re:BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091411)

Big Brother's regime is not right- or left- wing. That's (part of) the point of the book. It doesn't even matter, it's just a dictatorship.

Re:BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091795)

Your phraseology suggests that you have not, in fact read 1984. Don't worry - this is something that you have in common with most people who quote it.

Re:BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (1)

rmstar (114746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39092057)

Your phraseology suggests that you have not, in fact read 1984. Don't worry - this is something that you have in common with most people who quote it.

That's true. It is also a pretty hard book to read. I started and put it down at some point because I found it awful. Years later I read a text by Asimov saying that, while interesting, it is not very good as a work of fiction. I was relieved, I must say.

(I am trying to remember where Asimov wrote that, so yes, citation needed and pending).

Re:BB: "Inparty must continuebe goodthink!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39092179)

You're an ignoramus, sir. Look up the definition of that word someday. The mirror it holds up to the image of your life might prove beneficial.

So..... (5, Insightful)

anotherzeb (837807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091153)

ISPs and mobile phone companies will have to allow various civil servants access to their logs. I didn't notice anything about the access only being at the ISP's premises (some civil servants have been known to do things like leave laptops containing confidential data on trains) or with judicial oversight, both of which are worrying points. I would suggest using encrypted email, but sender and recipient would still be known and you can get 2 years at Her Maj's pleasure for forgetting your password when it's required.

Well I'm safe... (5, Funny)

naota-kun (705771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091161)

Good luck chronicling all my drunken ramblings on cocktail napkins. Every scandalous thing I've ever put to form is blotted and smeared with spirits. Even I can't decipher the subversion.

How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091167)

Are we so terrorized by terrorism that we are willing to put up with anything to avoid it? How far do we want to go to prevent terrorism. Should we just accept that sometimes it's going to happen despite our best efforts? It sucks if you happen to be a victim but terrorism can never do enough take down a country unless it overreacts and spends itself to death trying to counter it.

I'm not saying we should do nothing to fight terrorism but how far should we go?

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091211)

Are we so terrorized by terrorism that we are willing to put up with anything to avoid it? How far do we want to go to prevent terrorism. Should we just accept that sometimes it's going to happen despite our best efforts? It sucks if you happen to be a victim but terrorism can never do enough take down a country unless it overreacts and spends itself to death trying to counter it.

I'm not saying we should do nothing to fight terrorism but how far should we go?

What if terrorism is made to take our human rights away?

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091893)

I don't believe it was "made" for it, but it sure as hell is being milked for all its worth by the people in power.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091261)

American here.

Let's assume they're telling the truth, that it is to fight terrorism and not free speech.
Let's also ignore the issue that terrorism is a blanket term for crimes committed to incite fear as opposed to simply being crimes.

The Internet is vast. There is so much information out there that any preventative measures seems utterly impossible. I mean, seriously, I can understand the information could be useful after the fact, but how do they know where to focus before the fact? Do they have a supercomputer to actively monitor every little thing on the Internet? How do they decide what is a red flag and what isn't? Won't those attempting to commit criminal acts just use code? Without knowing who is doing what, how do they know what code for which to look?

I think it'd be a better idea to look at the socio-economic problems leading to people willing to commit crimes (fear-incited or not) in the first place.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091503)

American here.

Let's assume they're telling the truth, that it is to fight terrorism and not free speech.
Let's also ignore the issue that terrorism is a blanket term for crimes committed to incite fear as opposed to simply being crimes.

The Internet is vast. There is so much information out there that any preventative measures seems utterly impossible. I mean, seriously, I can understand the information could be useful after the fact, but how do they know where to focus before the fact? Do they have a supercomputer to actively monitor every little thing on the Internet? How do they decide what is a red flag and what isn't? Won't those attempting to commit criminal acts just use code? Without knowing who is doing what, how do they know what code for which to look?

I think it'd be a better idea to look at the socio-economic problems leading to people willing to commit crimes (fear-incited or not) in the first place.

All your points are logical and right on target. Excellent summation.

However, none of those things are important or relevant to politicians. Only the possibility to increase their (and therefor the government's) power, and remove power (and wealth, which could be argued is the same thing in many ways) from regular citizens.

The problem that citizens of Western countries are facing, as they all seem to be headed in the same general direction of reducing citizen's privacy & freedom, is a common one...that of government that's gotten too large, powerful, and centralized...and therefor more corrupt and tyrannical.

Government is like fire, and should be treated very much the same, and for nearly identical reasons. Both are extremely useful, but at the same time extremely destructive, dangerous, swift-spreading, and hard to control, particularly the larger either grows. Both governments and fire, once either has grown to a certain size, becomes impossible for the ones who started it to control and morphs from a useful force for good and champion for freedom and the Rule of Law, to a force for tyranny, evil, and the capricious rule of men.

Strat

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091807)

Do they have a supercomputer to actively monitor every little thing on the Internet?

Yes. "Siri do you hear anything that might be a terrorist plot?". Once they're on a trail, a human can home in on the details. Been that way for decades with electronic eavesdropping.

I think it'd be a better idea to look at the socio-economic problems leading to people willing to commit crimes

*cough* or crimes committed in the name of religion.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091307)

Fighting terrorism is merely an excuse. It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that treating the symptoms isn't going to cure the illness.

Call it for what it is. A ploy to pass undesirable laws in an effort to assimilate even more power in the government institutions. First, the new system is there to fight "terrorists". Then "child molesters". Then "pirates". Then all "criminals". Then "thought criminals".

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091323)

If fighting terrorism involves violating people's rights, then I'd rather we not fight terrorism.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091367)

This isn't about fighting terrorism. its about control.

Orwell was an optimist.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (5, Interesting)

Znork (31774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091381)

If fighting terrorism involves violating people's rights I suspect we're going to breed a lot more terrorists.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091957)

If fighting terrorism involves violating people's rights, then I'd rather we not fight terrorism.

Why not fight the actual terrorism, rather than the population oriented one defined by govt? From the beginning of the war on terror, followed by the rise of the surveillance state I wondered about this massive clamp down on everybody when there's likely only a few actual terrorists in the world. It's like trying to shoot a fly with an elephant gun, right? That's actually the point: to deter anyone from the masses from even contemplating challenging authority. It's collective punishment on a massive scale, but that's not really the point. See, it's not terrorism if the govt does it, there are no repercussions or punishment either. If it was politicians wouldn't feel confident about invading other nations, implementing torture policies, or brutalizing it's citizens. Until then they'll never have to take responsibility for their actions whatsoever.

I thought it interesting Robert Anton Wilson saying the US govt's first response to any crisis situation is to suspend civil liberties.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091361)

Unfortunately I think the only thing that will save us is a "privacy 9/11". Something like the census data getting leaked, or maybe an MI5 database being posted as a torrent. Something so epic it can counteract everything else.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091429)

Well, let's just say that SANE countries like Canada, Australia, and Germany have felt no need to go to the INSANE measures imposed by the UK and US governments on it's people.

Israel needs the security and surveillance because it literally has bombers and shooters in it's midsts.

We don't.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091513)

Israel needs the security and surveillance because it literally has bombers and shooters in it's midsts.

We don't.

Really?, I bet you I could go to certain parts of the UK, throw a stone, hit at least one or two.
(actually, I couldn't, as a white face, I'd be in deep shit even walking the streets there..)
In the past, the UK had the 'Irish' problem, I could have done the same in certain pubs in London, but, again, they were 'no-go' if you weren't Irish (republican variety).
The Irish terrorists (of both religious/political persuasions) and their guns haven't magically disappeared from the UK mainland, the Muslims are building up their stockpiles, the right wing nutjobs probably have theirs (though the police keep busting them).

Note: I'm not in favour of this surveillance BS.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (2)

rikkards (98006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091851)

No , Canada not at all. Except for that stupid bill that has been pulled back for modification after the upswell of people freaking out about it. Unfortunately it will probably come back the same (if not worse) but with bigger loopholes that aren't as evident.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (4, Insightful)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091527)

Average Joe isn't frightened at all, certainly not to this extent. Unfortunately there are morons in the civil service who need to justify their jobs and departments at Whitehall that need to protect their budgets so make cleverly worded proposals to members of the Cabinet who then propose such nonsense in the name of the "war on terror". I'm still trying to work out who we have to fear now the Islamic Fundalmentalist Bin Laden is no longer here and the gobshyte clerics such as Abu Hamsa and his mate Qtada are regarded as a bit of a joke by Average Joe.

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091793)

> It sucks if you happen to be a victim but terrorism can never do enough take down a country unless it overreacts and spends itself to death trying to counter it. ... which is exactly what terrorists were aiming at. IOW, this news entry means: "terrorists win."

It is not about fear of terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091961)

It is about various governemental agency grabbing power, bypassing every check and balance. For a governement a citizen is a potentially unruly seed of chaos. The perfect "governement" has all the power to put all its citizen in place, and keep that power. What the citizen think about this is secondary. Worst, all those nice tech advance we have ? They make for an easier power grab, and putting the citizen in place. Those who think that a revolution will be possible in the future, in case the gvt grab too much power, are deluding themselves. I forsee a bleak future.

Re:It is not about fear of terrorism (1)

joebagodonuts (561066) | more than 2 years ago | (#39092219)

... Worst, all those nice tech advance we have ? They make for an easier power grab, and putting the citizen in place. Those who think that a revolution will be possible in the future, in case the gvt grab too much power, are deluding themselves. I forsee a bleak future.

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Re:How far do we go to fight terrorism? (4, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091989)

Why are the British, who fought Hitler and the Nazis, and then the red communism menace, so hell bent on emulating and surpassing, the spy on our own people methodologies of both evils? The boogeyman (aka 'terrorist') is winning and he/they don't even have to do a damn thing...

Dont they all do this? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091187)

I mean, which country does not do such stuff (or, does not have it planned for the immediate future)?

Re:Dont they all do this? (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091251)

Yes, the Netherlands also had plans in that direction. I don't know how much of them were implemented eventually though.

Re:Dont they all do this? (1)

St.Creed (853824) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091365)

All of them.

Telco providers have been required to store call logs for ages (limited to a one year period).

ISPs now are required to store all data traffic and emails for a period of 6 months. They need to be able to produce requested information the same day, making storage quite costly. Guess why internet traffic prices have been going up...

Re:Dont they all do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39092017)

Was this pre- 9/11? I've followed the news quite closely, but I don't remember anything like this being proposed in a serious manner.

Re:Dont they all do this? (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091805)

Fortunately for the UK, we have an active resistance group that goes by the initials EDS. Their typical modus operandi for thwarting this kind of attack on our freedoms is to bribe or mislead civil servants to be awarded the contract for delivering the system, and then to delay and delay, while pushing the budget up, until another government takes power. The new government then blames the cost overruns on the previous one and cancels the project.

Bad news for all (3, Insightful)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091191)

The UK government has shown time and time again that this is going to be a bad thing. For one, they've had so many data breaches in the last few years (lost DVLA disks, tax details, NHS disks, god knows what else) that a single monolithic data source is just asking for trouble. Secondly, we've had plenty of cases in recent years of jumped up local officials and magistrates using "anti-terror" laws (which were no-doubt passed in good faith) to track people who put their bins out on the wrong week, or don't keep their allotments tidy, or any number of other petty nonsense.

And finally, I'd like to point out to any smug-feeling non-Brits reading this that it's bad for you too. If your communications pass through UK -based servers, odds are you're going to be logged and tracked too. And you don't even have the satisfaction of having voted for this rubbish!

balls to it (1)

t0m5k1 (1820628) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091253)

glad i left UK

slowly among the corrupt western gov.'s what they class as freedom & democracy is being turned into autocratic control sold under the guise of 'needed protection/control for your own safety'

screw them & their absurd laws i am not a terrorist so don't assume i am & then expect me to prove i am not!

Re:balls to it (2)

the monolith (1174927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091341)

I left the UK when the government changed the laws against my personal interests some years ago, and was joined in exile by some friends for the same reasons.

Ended up in Jamaica (a quiet part)
Where did you settle?

Re:balls to it (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091445)

against my personal interests [...] Ended up in Jamaica

Hm, I wonder what those interests were. ;)

Re:balls to it (2)

the monolith (1174927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091511)

Competitive target pistol shooting. Now teach scuba diving in clear and warm waters, but used to program realtime embedded systems (nitty gritty stuf, sod database programming!)

Only works against file sharing (5, Insightful)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091271)

These plans are great in theory, but in practice, they will never be able to enforce access to all the data they are really after. The terrorists will use intermediates and encryption to make it impossible to yield any practical data out of this ginormous heap of raw information. It will violate privacy, cost an insane amount of money and have no significant positive effect on whatever statistical figure they want to improve upon. A few stupid punters will have their day in court for being so stupid that they get caught for petty crimes, but that's all this enforcement will ever yield. Unless they plan to use it to end file-sharing. Maybe that's the hidden agenda?

Re:Only works against file sharing (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091375)

Hidden? Ok, they've been trying to hide it but far from well.

It may not be the immediate interest of the governments, but I'm quite sure these laws and regulations didn't spring from the mind of a politician. At least I'd deem it quite unlikely that they had that idea themselves.

So cui bono?

Re:Only works against file sharing (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091463)

They're not after data anymore. Terrorists aren't that stupid and learned about cryptography too. The thing intelligence agencies do theses days is map relationships so they can get a view of terrorist networks and cells.

After that, it's all down to what you consider to be a terrorist...

Laundering for the GCHQ? (3, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091273)

The GCHQ never liked been seen in open court, the press or having its "listening post" ability over every aspect of the UK's telecom infrastructure become too well known.
So they hope a Communications Capabilities Development Programme can make the links in open court based on info that the GCHQ "found" and then flagged?
Your interest in politics was not a flaged but your friend had a friend who said something on twitter or downloaded something and they "stumbled" back to you?
The GCHQ tried "sigint NEW Systems" back in the late 1990's, the Government Telecommunications Advisory Centre, Government Technical Assistance Centre (criminals used codes) ect.
Strange that all this is now so direct and in the open? Everything you do is now can be tracked if your flagged, months of logs can be "opened" and real time use spied on for a long time with very little legal oversight in the USA, UK, Australia....
Why would anyone of interest use the web in any way worth logging anymore?
Back to family, cult, faith, school, tribe, gang, compatriots, business associates - MI6 will be detected long before they can plant a fresh face or bribe their way to something of use.
Why is the UK is giving away generations of hidden signals intelligence excellence for some short term "communications industry" links and PR that they are doing something?

Re:Laundering for the GCHQ? (3, Insightful)

Sabriel (134364) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091745)

My theory? Because corporate sociopaths don't give a crap about national defence. They have no loyalty to king nor country, no sense of patriotism or empathy, and they've accumulated enough power from their corporate divide-and-plunder schemes that they have moved onto their inevitable target: the nations that birthed them.

Data-mining, open-cut style, benefits corporate profiteering more than anything else. Big business knows your teenage daughter is pregnant before you do (google: Target data mining babies). And I daresay it's a lot easier to fight a foreign terrorist than it is to tackle wealthy "pillars of the community" who have the ear (and dirty laundry) of your civilian leaders - if they're not part of the hierarchy themselves.

government is the terrorist (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091277)

If you are just talking body count "legitimate" governments are responsible for more deaths than any other source. If you are just talking fear and misery well "legitimate" governments probably win there to. They may not be going after you but that is just because you haven't made the right person mad.

People are talking about how Idiocracy was a documentary but if you watch it again Brazil [imdb.com] is.

News Flash! Britain sinks under server farms (3, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091283)

Just in from the North Sea. Britain has finally sunk under the weight of the vast server farms storing every malicious keystroke of the beleaguered populace. This was the final stroke as the cost of analysis of the vast data store had finally exceeded GDP. It is expected that any terrorists perished with everyone else.

Re:News Flash! Britain sinks under server farms (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091351)

This is the Telegraph, take the story with a pinch of salt. I don't think that even the UK government is mad enough to try this.

Parts of it don't make sense anyway. For example why log Twitter private communications when Twitter already logs them anyway. They can just demand Twitter hands the data over, no need to duplicate it at enormous expense.

Re:News Flash! Britain sinks under server farms (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091535)

This is the Telegraph, take the story with a pinch of salt. I don't think that even the UK government is mad enough to try this.

Looks at GCHQ listening post 20 miles away.....Yes, yes they are.

Theresa May is the problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091299)

Like Jacqui Smith before her, a weak woman. She's shown the exact same pattern of fear, and the exact same capitulation to MI5/6/SOCA/London Police Chief Constable (who also heads anti-terror) as the person before her.

They talk all sorts of imaginary scenarios that may 'happen' as a result of failure to monitor everyone, and she can see her career up in smoke if they campaign against her they way the police have campaigned on other issues.

Similar things happened to the background check reforms, for people who deal with children. The police PR men went out on a PR campaign, and said that if the vetting procedure was removed then pedos would kill your children and it would be the home secretaries fault. So she toned down the changes to the vetting procedure to allow *some* vetting.

Labour of course will accuse Tories of *.*, they'll join in with any criticism of the Tories because that's all that pillock Milliband ever does. So the police can rely on the support of Labour no matter what they want to do, how outrageous the civil liberties violation or how many human rights are violated. Milliband will be there to join in the chorus of criticism.

The fix is to remove the police campaign abilities. They shouldn't be able to campaign as to how laws SHOULD be, since they have to enforce them AS THEY ARE. It's too tempting for seniors police and spys to extend their mandate by using their position to campaign for new laws.

Re:Theresa May is the problem (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091451)

In politics, like programming, all problems can be solved by introducing another level of indirection.

Crime commissioner system 'designed by politicians for politicians'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9696000/9696474.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Forty-one Police and Crime Commissioners will be elected later this year in areas outside London. Commissioners in the biggest force areas will receive salaries of more than £100,000. Their job includes setting priorities for their police force, overseeing its budget and hiring the chief constable.

The former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, who is seeking to become Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in Humberside, said that the role would bring more accountability to strategic planning.

--

I won't post links to the many articles on this topic.

Re:Theresa May is the problem (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091455)

The fix is to remove the police campaign abilities

100% agree, but Theresa May (alone) isn't "the problem" - she's just Home Secretary. I can't remember in my lifetime ANY Home Secretaries that have given a shit about civil liberties. Either they're weak-willed and cave into ACPO as you said, or they're strong willed and think up the Orwellian ideas themselves (think David Blunkett, Michael Howard). There's no such thing as a good Home Secretary.

Re:Theresa May is the problem (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091815)

Labour of course will accuse Tories of *.*, they'll join in with any criticism of the Tories because that's all that pillock Milliband ever does.

Really? I thought he mostly blamed the Liberal Democrats for allowing the Tories to do things. He rarely has the balls to accuse the Tories of anything directly...

Re:Theresa May is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39092077)

The best part is when the Tories do something he agrees with; he calls for the minister in charge to be sacked for it *cough* Ken Clark *cough*

Blah-blah-bureaucrats - what fancy ideas.... (4, Interesting)

Gimbal (2474818) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091317)

The story could be summarized, roughly, as so: Bureaucrats continue a new iteration of an old legacy in developing a further exaggerated sense of state control, in response to a perceived sense of national threat - this time, endeavoring to revoke some of the citizen's newer liberties, in endeavoring to develop (and substitute, therewith) a notion of "State-owned personal privacy" (TM)

(DNRTA)

I'd like to believe that the pragmatic arguments against it will be enough. I'm not familiar with the UK's own governmental charters, so I cannot argue more to the principles of the matter. I'm sure that the Open Rights Group might be able to chime in on the matter, though. Cheers to them.

The cost to tax payers (3, Interesting)

Dark$ide (732508) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091401)

I don't care if they store all of my email, they're going to get fucking bored reading them.

What I care more about is the amount of tax pounds my lovely Con-Dem Gov't is going to pay to Crapita or HP/EDS to build some half baked IT system to store this stuff. The record of big IT projects in the UK is piss poor. They've wasted £11bn (£11,000,000,000) on the National Health Service project for IT and currently don't have anything to show for that wastage.

Re:The cost to tax payers (4, Interesting)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091459)

It sure will cost a lot, but think of it as a good investment for when peop*** terrorists take to the street like in Greece.

Re:The cost to tax payers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091915)

The Greeks are essentially demonstrating against a debtor who wants to let go of like 31 billon euro of their debt and even throw in more money, aid in bridging a dry spot. That such a debtor has some conditions - like that repayment on the other part of the debt be made as agreed - is very natural, and the overall deal offered is extremely kind.

It really does not makes sense to demonstrate against that now. The Greeks simply won't get the deal if no improvment to their country's stability and no repayment can ever happen.

They should have thrown out their incompetent government before. Now it is clearly too late to demonstrate and perhaps even mostly too late to punish those responsible. The only reasonable thing to do now seems to be to address the damage, to me, but they instead vent their anger for months, and cannot let go of the wealth they were falsely told they had.

Role play and punning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091431)

Given the fact that I always use "sensitive" words in my chats with my friends, just because that's what we consider to be fun (we don't intent to blow anyone, up or any other way), I expect myself to see the inside of a prison some time in the future just based on my comments. And I also expect, if the judicial system doesn't get totalitarian-ised, to sue the hell out of them as soon as this happens, and buy myself half of England and a few patches of Wales with taxpayer money. Then we'll see who sidesteps due process.

'preventing terrorism' rather than saving lives (3, Insightful)

danielt998 (1348307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091439)

It seems odd to me that the UK's priorities are 'preventing terrorism' rather than saving lives. Not many people die from terrorism a year and this would prevent very few of them.(Let's be generous and say one a year) Are there not other things on which they could spend the money that would save more lives than this. I don't see how deaths from terrorism are any more serious than accidental deaths. Building HS2", for example will probably save more lives than this as a by-product by decreasing the number of car journeys, which are far more dangerous than rail ones. Why do people give terrorism 'special powers'. In what way is a death because of terrorism any more serious than a car death? Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Re:'preventing terrorism' rather than saving lives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091583)

It exploits our tribal mentality, them vs us etc.

I thought this sounded familiar (4, Informative)

Dulcise (840718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091457)

"The scheme is a revised version of a plan drawn up by the Labour government which would have created a central database of all the information.
The idea of a central database was later dropped in favour of a scheme requiring communications providers to store the details at the taxpayers’ expense.
But the whole idea was cancelled amid severe criticisms of the number of public bodies which could access the data, which as well as the security services, included local councils and quangos, totalling 653 public sector organisations.
Labour shelved the project - known as the Intercept Modernisation Programme - in November 2009 after a consultation showed it had little public support."

So it's just the same plan probably being pushed for by the same security service lobbyists for a second time, this time with more success because "the Olympics".

the land of opening your envelop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091477)

are you surprised that the "land of opening envelops" will spy after people over the internet?

every envelope that left and went into uk was opened and copied at some point in the recent history, which happened for years.

many stories about encryption tells that uk will not let the people there have there life.

what do you expect? privacy from UK? really? be thankful you have democracy, well sort off.

Re:the land of opening your envelop (1)

ConaxConax (1886430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091799)

It's interesting you say this, the last two letters that I sent from the UK to my friend in the USA arrived opened. I do not know if it was the UK or US governments, but it is something I should really look at.

No Supprise Here at All (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091541)

The merry UK is today fighting tooth-n-nail to retain its reputation as most Fasist country on Earth. On close heels is 'ObamAmerica' which is planning to has a TSA agent shadowing 24/7/365-6 EVERY USA citizen, even to the extent of nightly sleep-overs.

Why?

In Obama's mind, citizens, especially USA citizens, are the enemy, quite simple. A TSA shadow ensurse that termination of the USA citizen will be accomplished at the right moment to soothe the fires of Obama's lust. TSA employees already have 24/7/365-6 shadows for themselves who are ready and programmed to terminate their 'object' at a monemts notice.

Lovely.

Talk about 'marriage', Obama's ObamAmerica makes Hitler's Germany looks like a kindergarten.

Shutting everybody up ... (3, Interesting)

boorack (1345877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091573)

... brought to you by your lovely government. You may think of it as of some kind of conspiracy theory but we are here. Degradation of our freedom of speech is directly linked with degradation of our (western) economic system and in my opinion this is just the beginning as long-term economic deterioration shows no signs of slowing down.

Governments (and their corporate sponsors) always wanted to shut down or marginalize independent media that show the world as it is, not as government + corporate oligarchy wants us to see. But freedom of speech was too deeply embedded in our culture and social costs associated with such moves tended to be too high compared to potential gains. Everything changed last year. Since Arab Spring and subsequent Occupy protests spreading like a wildfire, traditional media losing credibility caught again and again (thanks to blatant lies & omissions) and deteriorating economy pushing more and more people onto streets, our ruling class realized that time is running out.

Efforts to shut everybody up went into turbo mode last year - SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, tens of bigger or smaller initiatives in various countries. Sadly, I expect that this year will be even worse. I expect further economic deterioration as most of world economy is dying under crushing debt with no chances of discharging it (thanks to our corrupt politicians and their sponsors), let alone paying it off (we don't have enough natural resources to pay it off!). Ongoing financial "world-war" Jim Rickards writes about in his excelent book makes things even worse. What we desperately need is a round of healthy (if possible - orderly) defaults that will clean up most of this debt (odious or not) and let the economy restart. Iceland took this route and now they have real, healthy recovery with good prospects in the future. Note how silent our corporate media are about Iceland. Greece on the other hand is being fucked the same latin american style used in 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Once again corporate media blatantly lie about this urgent 'need of austerity' and 'Greeks fault' but when you look at it closer - it's good old, well tested latino scenario which turned up to be fraud long time ago. Thanks to banksters and their stooges (that is, politicians) few years from now Greece will become a regular 3-rd world country.

My sad feeling is that in order to keep current (broken) system running our ruling elites will block any possibilities to resolve this situation and will cover up all frauds and crimes of themselves and their friends. Economic situation will slowly deteriorate until must of us reach 3-rd world conditions and our ruling elites will treat us with Radio-Yerevan-style propaganda backed by cooked economic numbers to show how wonderfully great our economy is, completely ignoring reality for 99% of citizens. All voices of dissent will be silenced, marginalized, blatantly censored or marked as "terrorists" and held in jail.

Welcome to 'iron fist' phase every civilization comes through before it dies (yet it's still not too late to overturn this).

Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091641)

FTA:

But the security services have now won a battle to have the scheme revived because of their concern over the ability of terrorists to avoid conventional surveillance through modern technology.

Terrorists aren't making jokes about blowing up airports or destroying LA on twitter. Security services have demonstated an inability to decipher humour, I think encryption is way beyond them.

WARNING - DAILY TELEGRAPH! (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091701)

WARNING - This article may contain high levels of sensationalism, speculation and just plain fabrication. The Daily Telegraph is a far-right tabloid aimed at people who think that "darkies and poofs" are destroying the country.

Re:WARNING - DAILY TELEGRAPH! (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091905)

...and yet, the previous Government wanted a central database, the security services keep demanding this data and the current Government wouldn't know what a human right was if they sat in Liverpool Crown Court listening to the current trial of alleged child molesters.

This would represent an excessive intrusion, it does hark back to the information gathering activities of the Stasi and I don't trust this or future Governments with this level of information. They've proven - repeatedly - unable to use it proportionately and appropriately.

Cameron said he'd wind back Big Brother. Right. (2)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091773)

The platform on which Cameron and his coalition were elected included "winding back Big Brother" and the steady reduction of civil liberties under Labor. Predictably, that is now all forgotten.

Re:Cameron said he'd wind back Big Brother. Right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091819)

This is EXACTLY why we need to make it a severe criminal offence to not follow the manifesto that they pledged before the election.

Won't happen for long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091781)

Let's just say that this will be rulled illegal in the EU, Germany is already fighting the EU data retention directive. This will be next on the list.

What happened to: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39091845)

Innocent, until pro....

Hang on, is he word "innocent" still in the dictionary?

If they want data... (2)

Pembers (250842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091853)

...let's give them data. I foresee a Thunderbird plugin that randomly sends email to random addresses, to give the government more chaff to sort through. Or you could set up a virtual machine and let it become part of a botnet. Last time I checked, it wasn't illegal to allow someone else to use your computer for spamming...

Re:If they want data... (1)

MLCT (1148749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39092037)

That is the way all of this will ultimately be defeated if it ever becomes a reality. I would be interested in the scaling laws of progress in data storage vs data transmission vs data processing. Unless the power of the last one always scales more than the other two then deluges will always win.

Re:If they want data... (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39092137)

that'd be kinga legitimizing what they're doing, and turn it into a game. a game only 0.5% of the population would play, too.not to mention how trivial it would be to distinguish the faked stuff from the real stuff. "false sense of security" ring a bell? what a terrible, terrible idea. no, instead face the predators of the real world in the real world, not with thunderbird plugins. just a thought.

So the terrorists win afterall (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091899)

With a minuscule investment of resources, they were able to completely destroy the "free world's" way of life. They could not have ever done it via direct hostilities, but instead used the back door and got us to do it to ourselves. ( with our power hungry governments help.. )

Social engineering at its best. ( or worst i guess..)

*sigh*

To all you who thought (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39091929)

the Torries would be any better than New Labour.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Well, let's start (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#39092001)

...by charging all these government bozos that suggest this stuff with Terrorism against humanity. They threaten the fundamental human right to privacy. They are the real terrorists.

Anti terror vs policing (1)

aggles (775392) | more than 2 years ago | (#39092065)

If there is no provision in the law to make all non-terrorist discovered evidence non-admissible, then it is not about terrorism, but creating a police state.
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