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UK Proposing Real-Time Monitoring of All Communications

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-day-to-bury-bad-news dept.

Security 145

An anonymous reader writes "In response to a plans to introduce real time monitoring of all UK Internet communications, a petition has been set up in opposition." Previously covered here, El Reg chimes in with a bit of conspiracy theorizing and further analysis: "It would appear that the story is being managed: the government is looking to make sure that CCDP is an old news story well ahead of the Queen's Speech to Parliament on 9 May. Sundays — especially Sunday April the 1st — are good days to have potentially unpopular news reach the population at large."

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Brilliant! (5, Funny)

defnoz (1128875) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557593)

An e-petition! Brilliant! Since their inception a few years ago they have revolutionised democracy!

Re:Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557641)

They allow the government to precisely target which sections of the population to ignore.

Re:Brilliant! (5, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557701)

They allow the government to precisely target which sections of the population to ignore.

You mean "all of them except the big contributors to my slush fund"?

Re:Brilliant! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557711)

"And what are you going to do about it? Vote Labour? Hahahahahaha" - AC predicts the response from the Conservative leadership.

Re:Brilliant! (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557727)

No! We're going to vote Lib De... oh wait.

Re:Brilliant! (2)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558979)

well in Scotland we voted a resounding SNP majority and then in 2014 we are going to vote for independence
especially after cash fort access moron [url=http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/4704-the-cruddas-story-anonymity-and-bbc-scotlands-political-news-agenda]Peter Crud-Arse[/url] [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17574289]said[/url] [url=http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/scotland/scottish-independence-peter-cruddas-tape-reveals-pm-was-advised-to-be-seen-to-be-pro-union-1-2209162]the tories[/url] support for the union , and this on top of Scottish tory leader ruth "dumbass" davidson said that if Scotland voted FOR the union [url=http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/4650-ruth-davidson-asked-to-show-respect-and-clarify-budget-cut-remarks]we'd have our budget cut by 1500 per person![/url]
thus i can only assume that Crud-Arse is right as the utter idiocy spouted from tory politicians about Scotland is a gift to independence minded people

I have spoken to some peeps in the SNP parliamentary party and gladly this will NOT be something that we will have to worry about in an independent Scotland,

Re:Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558181)

An e-petition against having my email monitored, but to sign it I have to give the government my name and email address. As far as I can tell, they don't want a Facebook password though. Yet.

Re:Brilliant! (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558277)

As far as I can tell, they don't want a Facebook password though. Yet.

Don't worry, they've already got it.

Re:Brilliant! (3, Funny)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558341)

I said something similar to my MP yesterday whilst using writetothem.com. It too forces you to give up your email address.

"I sincerely hope I can trust you with my email address", my letter started.

Justin Tomlinson (MP) is actually one of the good ones, even for a Tory. He turns up for meetings, doesn't claim for first class travel, always votes.

Wait, I'm praising an MP for doing his job. Ignore me, I must be ill.

Some do (4, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558677)

Like the American political system, there are good guys and bad guys. However, they do not split along party lines. As an old lefty it annoys me that I have to approve strongly of people like Tomlinson, David Davis, John Bercow and Geoffrey Bacon (all Conservatives) while maintaining a deep loathing for most of the Labour leadership. But that's real life: people's standards of behaviour and their expressed opinions are often at variance.

Re:Brilliant! (2)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558355)

I signed the petition.

I'm willing to put my head above the parapet. I hope you will be too.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558587)

Yep, already done.

BBC Q and A session (5, Informative)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557619)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17590363 [bbc.co.uk]

What do critics say?

Nick Pickles, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, called the move "an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran". Conservative MP Dominic Raab said it was "a plan to privatise Big Brother surveillance" which "fundamentally changes the nature of the relationship between the state and the citizen" and turns every individual "into a suspect". Fellow Tory David Davis warned that until now anyone wishing to monitor communications had been required to gain permission from a magistrate, but the planned changes would remove that protection.

What do internet service providers say?

Trefor Davies, a board member at the UK's Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), told the BBC that the technological challenge of collating and storing such vast levels of data would be huge. Although a large amount of data about us is already collected for billing and other purposes - such as who we call and when - ISPs do not currently store detailed data on what websites we visit, or details about the emails we send. Mr Davies said: "The email stuff isn't straight forward, and neither is the web. Those aren't bits of information that traditionally we keep. We don't keep backups of deleted emails. Think of all the spam people get," Mr Davies added. "We delete it, but under the new rules would we be allowed to?"

Yeah right... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557799)

The problem they have for someone running their own TLS enabled mail server and reading their email via imaps or ssh is that this warrantless interception will not work. So it's basically for petty nanny state style spying on peoples private, everyday business.

That is, it's useless for it's stated purpose and useful for arseholes in local government (who we know will eventually have access) to harrass taxpayers. Naturally government will sell access to private concerns.

No justification for it whatsoever.

Re:Yeah right... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558033)

Easy, they just ban the encryption altogether. You have nothing to hide right? Easy cheap solutions, remember? Make the sheep pay for their own surveillance/persecution is the best way, it does not cost anything! They are doing it to themselves, muhahahaha!

Re:Yeah right... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558159)

TLS and imaps is based on certificates and most western governments have the ability to create their own certificates for any site. MIM would be perfectly plausible since most browsers and email clients will not complain when a certificate is changed to a new valid one.

SSH is different however since the client starts screaming about changed fingerprints when someone tries to MIM the connection (though they could possibly force the SSH server provider to hand over their private keys and apply a MIM attack anyway).

For most TLS and SSL based connections, MIM for the gov is easy as they only need a box with a wildcard cert, for SSH interception it is not as easy as they actually have to do some work to intercept the traffic.

Re:BBC Q and A session (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557813)

Mr Davies said: "The email stuff isn't straight forward, and neither is the web. Those aren't bits of information that traditionally we keep. We don't keep backups of deleted emails. Think of all the spam people get," Mr Davies added. "We delete it, but under the new rules would we be allowed to?"

I honestly don't know how politics is in the UK, but in America I think the costs associated with forcing ISPs to save the entire internet in its every iteration would result in quite a lot of ISPs lobbying against shit like this.

Now, if it were up to the ISP's discretion as to what they want to save (Hello the bullshit that will be July 1st) or if the government subsidized a load of their costs, I can see ISPs going for it, but just saying "spend a shitton of money OR ELSE" legislation seems unlikely to survive.

Re:BBC Q and A session (4, Interesting)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557933)

I honestly don't know how politics is in the UK, but in America I think the costs associated with forcing ISPs to save the entire internet in its every iteration would result in quite a lot of ISPs lobbying against shit like this.

You'd do well to assume that things are relatively similar here. Margins in the ISP business are thin.

Now, if it were up to the ISP's discretion as to what they want to save (Hello the bullshit that will be July 1st) or if the government subsidized a load of their costs, I can see ISPs going for it, but just saying "spend a shitton of money OR ELSE" legislation seems unlikely to survive.

Right now, it's mainly a kite that's being flown by the spooks. They'll run into problems over funding it and from the privacy advocates too. (There was a Tory blathering on about how unacceptable it was on the radio this morning; I turned it off because he sounded like an annoying git, even if he had a point on this matter. Wanting to punch someone in the face before starting your morning commute isn't healthy!)

Of course, if this does get implemented (a sad day if it comes to pass) then it becomes important for all spam headers to be sent on as well, including all the stuff that a responsible ISP would normally filter. Ideally, it should all go to the same Exchange server that all their internal messages are hosted on. After all, Exchange is an enterprise-ready solution! ;-)

Re:BBC Q and A session (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557957)

I honestly don't know how politics is in the UK, but in America I think the costs associated with forcing ISPs to save the entire internet in its every iteration would result in quite a lot of ISPs lobbying against shit like this.

Hint: Look at what Phorm, the Home Office and British Telecom were conspiring, whereby the costs of DPI kit would be subsidised via a commercial advertising partner.

Re:BBC Q and A session (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558439)

Now, if it were up to the ISP's discretion as to what they want to save (Hello the bullshit that will be July 1st) or if the government subsidized a load of their costs, I can see ISPs going for it

You're describing basically the situation as it is now. Most of the UK's ISPs adhere to a voluntary code of conduct where they keep logs of web requests for 3 days and email "traffic information" for 3 months, and will reveal it with a court order. They do this because the government offered to pay their reasonable expenses in implementing the system. If the government were offering to pay for this extension of the monitoring, then the ISPs would mostly be quite happy with it. But something tells me that in today's "austerity" climate, they are not going to be paying out on even the same scale they did last time, never mind the fact that what they're asking for this time is likely to be 10 times as expensive.

Nah it's simpler than that (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558039)

You require people by law to retain all comm for N years on their own machines at their own expense. You require them by law to install a tool which indexes and reports the info back to the command center. You make versions available for Windows and Mac.

Then you just imprison anyone who doesn't comply (terrorists). Problem solved.

Re:Nah it's simpler than that (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558497)

You require people by law to retain all comm for N years on their own machines at their own expense. You require them by law to install a tool which indexes and reports the info back to the command center. You make versions available for Windows and Mac.

Then you just imprison anyone who doesn't comply (terrorists). Problem solved.

What about linux? ;) You are now a terrorist if you have linux or some other operating system.

Re:Nah it's simpler than that (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558945)

Of course they're all terrorists. Have you ever bumped in to one of these GNU/Linux types?

http://stallman.org/rms-bw.jpeg [stallman.org]

Where's McCarthy when we need him?

Re:BBC Q and A session (4, Insightful)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558143)

What does the general population say?

Read "All comments" on there. Filter the highest first, then the lowest first. The modding is unual on there - I had a +17 (insightful!!!) yesterday, but I can't even find my post today (clearing history is not always a good idea).

People get it. The majority understand exactly what's happening. They have read some history and know the Stasi quotes, the American interment, the whole shitbag.

The UK goverment has been a real twat over the past few weeks. Taxing the elderly more, taxing warm food, letting the rich off tax, phone hacking(!!) scandal, petrol panic buying, cash for policies and more. We've all had enough of it.

I'll leaving you with one quote from our delightful Prime Minister. He said this last week after helping his rich elite besties over dinner:

"I live in a little flat, a very nice flat, actually, above number 11 Downing Street up there. But what I get up to in there, that's private."

Private.

What a fucking twat.

Twat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558361)

I would have used a slightly stronger word to descirbe the people who employ physical force against me as a business model -- perhaps "oppressors" would fit.

Where to move to? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557631)

Time to move... but to where?

Re:Where to move to? (1)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557693)

SEALAND!!

Oh...wait...

Re:Where to move to? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557731)

Nope. Time to protest just before the Queen's Speech. Make sure this is headline news.

Re:Where to move to? (1)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557739)

I'm confused.

Why are they pretending they can't and aren't doing all this already?

Re:Where to move to? (3, Insightful)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557881)

I'm confused.

Why are they pretending they can't and aren't doing all this already?

Because to do it in secret means they have peoples' information.

But to be able to act upon it systematically, they must publicly admit that they do it. Hence, "We're going to start doing [foo]".

They can also pick up Governmental Power-Up Bonuses from it because the citizens will become too intimidated to dissent once they've implemented it openly.

Re:Where to move to? (3, Insightful)

mSparks43 (757109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557969)

They can also pick up Governmental Power-Up Bonuses from it because the citizens will become too intimidated to dissent once they've implemented it openly.

If that is what they were thinking I reckon they will get something of a shock. There is no better way to militarise subversives than to actually threaten them.

Re:Where to move to? (3, Insightful)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558091)

Kidding me? The Empire's been suppressing dissenters and subversives for centuries. Where do you think the Punk movement came from? You take the poorest people who are on the dole, you get them to network together to become an astroturf movement [wikipedia.org] . As proof, you make the trappings of the movement thoroughly degrading and abusive (just like the more official representatives of The System are). And you bribe the more knowing and corrupt people within the scene to report dissidents back to you, at which point they "coincidentally" get arrested for whatever forms of vice or minor crimes they partake of with your agents. Deep cover can be had on the cheap, when everyone involved is on welfare to start with.

At that point, good luck forming a subversive network when you never know who's a sell-out. Sort of like the cloak-and-dagger sell-out kids planted within the Occupy movement, that have been spotted on YouTube.

Re:Where to move to? (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557891)

Why are they pretending they can't and aren't doing all this already?

The answer to your question read literally, is because all governments are terrified of the People - and rightly so.

But at this point, they evidently feel that they've managed enough bluff and bluster and control to turn the screws on them, with only negligible resistance.

Re:Where to move to? (2)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558089)

Typical Marxist strategy is to have so many rules, regulations, by-laws and other bits of legislation that at any time someone is always breaking something. Then they can drag any opponent through the courts, give them a criminal record as well as confiscate their property.

Look up the lyrics to "The Ostrich" by Steppenwolf.

Re:Where to move to? (2)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558293)

Typical Marxist strategy is to have so many rules, regulations, by-laws and other bits of legislation that at any time someone is always breaking something. Then they can drag any opponent through the courts, give them a criminal record as well as confiscate their property.

Look up the lyrics to "The Ostrich" by Steppenwolf.

Not sure why this counts as Marxist, I am fairly sure Marx did not come up with this as a good way of running society.

It does sound very similar to the UK legal system though as we do have a series of law saying the many things we cannot do, but no bill of rights to say the things we can do.

Indeed... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558755)

Marx wanted the State to "wither away". He believed that if people were sufficiently educated and brought up to understand the idea of community, there would be no need for a State. Take away the "educated" and the "community" and you have the US Republican far right.

However, in reality this is all a bit paranoid. Most of this is the Praetorian Guard of MI5, the Home Office and the Met panicking about how they can protect themselves and their political masters from the London mobs, of any creed or colour you care to mention. Understandable, really. If you had to live in London on the average national income, I imagine you would be beside yourself with fury much of the time. Get outside our rather nasty three main conurbations and things are very different.

Re:Where to move to? (4, Interesting)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557783)

Time to move... but to where?

Stay right where you are, and start a social movement. Governments aren't land masses; they can only exist by the consent of the governed. If things get bad enough, joining such a group would become a no-brainer and you'd have de facto government reform by a collective choice from all the citizenry. They'd just pick a form of government, select their political representatives, start making policy and wait for support for the old regime to fall away entirely.

It's more or less what BitCoin is doing to the old dominate-through-control-of-the-money-supply regime.

The People always have a choice - that's just the nature of politics. The problem has only been that the choices the People have been making have been in support of the old guard.

Posit: The War for Independence never ended, they just quit shooting. Britain started using bribery on public officials and began to chip away at the society that had formed, until the Union was indistinguishable from the tyranny that it left. The point was to get them to stop making their argument for individual sovereignty; if they'd kept making it, it would have spread back to England where large swaths of the folks there would have been demanding it. Britain would have lost a lot more than a few colonies, because it was a very sound idea. Valid ideas are always a threat to tyrants, and sometimes the best way to stop people from making their argument for them is to let them think they've already won.

Your concept about running out of continents to go off and colonize is quite right. It's time to stop running. The only other alternative is to just roll over, close your eyes and er... "think of England".

Re:Where to move to? (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558135)

It's more or less what BitCoin is doing to the old dominate-through-control-of-the-money-supply regime.

You mean, it will be used by organised crime, totally unworkable on a large scale, and ignored by anyone with any influence?

Re:Where to move to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558675)

It's more or less what BitCoin is doing to the old dominate-through-control-of-the-money-supply regime.

I'm speechless. You're delusional.

I have a proposal (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557633)

Of-course this proposal concerns all those, who are concerned about the real-time communications of everybody.

The proposal is this: all of those, who are so concerned about the real time communications and all other forms of communications and thoughts and actions of other people, the concerned need to be protected.

The proposal is to protect those, who are so afraid and are looking for protection, because obviously, there will never be enough done, in their eyes, to protect them. Clearly real time monitoring of all communications is not enough. Eventually everybody will have to have devices built into them, that can monitor everybody's real-time activities, and eventually read their real time thoughts with the long term goal of projecting thoughts in real time into everybody, so that nobody could ever even think something that the concerned individuals would be afraid of.

So the proposal is to protect these poor souls from the rest of us by isolating them into a well guarded facility, where they could really have real time monitoring of all communications that are internal to that facility and monitor each other (I suppose they are paranoid enough to want to do that).

For those, who believe it is not enough protection, they should be isolated within that facility from the rest in well suited, very well protected rooms (and they should have extra set of locks they could use from the inside), and all of them need to be given all sorts of weapons they need to keep safe as well.

I believe it is at the point right now, where those, who believe they are in need of protection and will not stop until everybody is a mechanised food processor without any original thoughts, that these people need to get the protection they so desire so that the rest of us can carry on, having terrible thoughts and killing each other they way we do - left, right and centre.

Re:I have a proposal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558263)

I believe it is at the point right now, where those, who believe they are in need of protection and will not stop until everybody is a mechanised food processor without any original thoughts, that these people need to get the protection they so desire so that the rest of us can carry on, having terrible thoughts and killing each other they way we do - left, right and centre.

Well, it's an inevitable result of the notion of private property - where people jealously guard their bits of plastic and consider everyone who might want to share it a competitor - that people will become scared of other men, afraid of losing what soulless trinkets they have. This applies whether your property is defined capitalistically or by the worst excesses of Stalinism.

The solution, of course, is to share. Make friends of your neighbours, and the random guy half way across the world. There's nothing inherent about man to stop them doing this, except that they can be moulded to think otherwise.

Re:I have a proposal (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558295)

That's begging the question. You are assuming you are right and thus you are giving a solution that solves a non-existing problem.

Almost everybody has private property, everybody has something that they own, but very few people are looking monitor everybody's communications.

Your argument is nonsense, it's much more likely that somebody is standing to make a huge pile of money selling a solution to this non-existing problem, so somebody is going to make a killing either by selling a solution to this monitoring problem OR they are just looking for companies to come out with handouts to the politicians who are proposing this, so politicians are expecting companies to fight to prevent this from happening and politicians are expecting a nice chunk of cash from companies to stop this proposal.

Re:I have a proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558791)

Of-course this proposal concerns all those, who are concerned about the real-time communications of everybody.

Oh, nobody's actually concerned. The people who came up with the idea were probably laughing all the way as they wrote it down on paper. They were probably on drugs (and still are)

Airstrip One (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557639)

Coming to a pub near you!

Orwillian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557649)

1984 anyone?

Re:Orwillian? (0)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557665)

1984 anyone?

I am gonna right a new book called 2084 - a future projection - and just cut and paste what roman_mir just said :) and step 5:profit

Of-course this proposal concerns all those, who are concerned about the real-time communications of everybody.

The proposal is this: all of those, who are so concerned about the real time communications and all other forms of communications and thoughts and actions of other people, the concerned need to be protected.

The proposal is to protect those, who are so afraid and are looking for protection, because obviously, there will never be enough done, in their eyes, to protect them. Clearly real time monitoring of all communications is not enough. Eventually everybody will have to have devices built into them, that can monitor everybody's real-time activities, and eventually read their real time thoughts with the long term goal of projecting thoughts in real time into everybody, so that nobody could ever even think something that the concerned individuals would be afraid of.

"So the proposal is to protect these poor souls from the rest of us by isolating them into a well guarded facility, where they could really have real time monitoring of all communications that are internal to that facility and monitor each other (I suppose they are paranoid enough to want to do that).

For those, who believe it is not enough protection, they should be isolated within that facility from the rest in well suited, very well protected rooms (and they should have extra set of locks they could use from the inside), and all of them need to be given all sorts of weapons they need to keep safe as well.

I believe it is at the point right now, where those, who believe they are in need of protection and will not stop until everybody is a mechanised food processor without any original thoughts, that these people need to get the protection they so desire so that the rest of us can carry on, having terrible thoughts and killing each other they way we do - left, right and centre."
Roman_mir

Re:Orwillian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557735)

People could compare it with 1984 and see how the concept of spelling and the construction a coherent sentence disappeared in the intervening years.

Re:Orwillian? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558139)

In roman_mir's defence, English is not his first language. I doubt Orwell would have written particularly coherently in Russian...

Re:Orwillian? (3, Funny)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558185)

I am gonna right a new book called 2084

Please extend my sympathies to your future editor.

I don't know... (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558807)

Jeffrey Archer made a lot of money for his publishers despite the cost of the editorial team and the proofreaders. As did "Andy McNab". A nice big cheque to keep your mouth shut as to who really wrote what removes any need for other people to feel sympathetic.

Responding to myself (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558839)

I should add, in fairness, that both Archer and McNab had the ideas; I'm not suggesting for a moment that their books were ghostwritten. They weren't. (according to a publisher I used to know). And I used to work with a Cambridge First in English who really could not spell - his writing was basically just the shape of the words. He wrote quite successful detective novels in his spare time. His publisher never complained. Successful writing is usually a collaboration.

Re:Orwillian? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558101)

They are starting to compare smartphones to Orwells telescreen, except that now the proles csn afford them.

Re:Orwillian? (1)

Rurouni_Jaden (846065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39559001)

I was thinking more V for Vendetta.

Beyond privacy (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557719)

Western countries have an interesting dilemma, how do you reconcile an open world with any form of control. The issue is this, people have gained an unprecedented amount of freedom to travel and communicate. Take the recent French shootings, the terrorist had traveled all over the world with ease at a very low cost. This simply wouldn't have been possible a century ago and even 50 years ago it would have been costly. Mean time, during all those travels he was in constant contact with the rest of the world in an instant.

It means that those who wish to do wrong have far more capacity to do so then before.

There is a relatively new BBC program "Angels and Saints" that takes a look at benefit fraud. It is an odd program for the BBC as it shows a very negative picture of immigrants. (BBC is rather liberal usually) A lot of the criminals in it are immigrants, either permanent or temporary, using the ease of travel and communication to create multiple identities. The way to combat is to link all the different administations together and run matches across them to see that a person with the same parameters is getting benefits in multiple places. PRIVACY!

There are three solutions:

  • No benefits, since someone might abuse it, nobody gets it.
  • You accept that in a permissive society, there will be abusers but that is a price you are willing to pay.
  • You introduce measures to allow investigators to detect abusers at the cost of privacy to everyone.

Pick one. All of them are electoral suicide. The first would just lead to a hellish world in which out of control capitalism would be warm fuzzy memory. The second survives right up until the moment the tax man comes around (and gosh, won't it be hard to collect all the needed taxes to pay for all the abusers if the taxman has no investigative powers)

And three... well that is what this article is about and it doesn't seem to popular.

Greece has run with the number 2 option and it didn't and doesn't work. They have been on the dole for generations and the rest of Europe has grown tired of feeding their relaxed nature to tax collection.

How do you run a modern country western country anyway? Note that in EVERY single god game, taxes just show up by magic. Not a single game I ever played ever had the population lying about their income. Imagine Civilization with a Greek setting, build a granary, food production mysteriously drops while some fat cats get richer. Would be rather hard to win the game right?

Re:Beyond privacy (4, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557775)

(BBC is rather liberal usually)

Except when it comes to the drug war, the monarchy, police powers, free speech...

Re:Beyond privacy (4, Insightful)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558035)

The BBC's approach to neutrality is generally to take the status quo, incumbent position or majority view, whichever exists in this order, and to present it with counterpoints. This inevitably gives a perception of bias in whichever areas you're most opposed to the prevailing position, but you try coming up with a fairer way than that to discuss things. Of course they don't do a perfect job but it's hard to think of any of their peers that even comes close.

Re:Beyond privacy (4, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557805)

Bit of a false dichotomy going on here. There is a lot of continuum between "no benefits after the first person steals a twinkie" and "removing benefits from proven abusers," between "lie on your tax forms with impunity" and permitting certain abuses to the extent that attacking them has negative cost-benefit ratio, and between "allowing investigators to invade anyone's privacy at a whim" and "not allowing investigators to do anything."

The way to properly run a modern western country is, as usual, a compromise between privacy and the need to investigate fraud and crime. Between social safety nets and not rewarding failure. Between openness and fighting abusers.

Anyone who claims to have a simple answer to a question so vast either a lying charlatan or a fool for believing such an obvious lie.

Re:Beyond privacy (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557851)

>with "any" form of control

Here is your problem buddy. You pose absolute question, all or none. How about a grain of common sense?

That's the part that has been missing from Western democracy for ages, and you just noticed the attack on privacy?

Have you followed the American election at all? (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558243)

The west is ruled by democracy and for the UK and the US at least that has resulted in a two party system (oh okay, the brits got the liberals) who seem to be fighting each other as if there are only absolutes.

Anyway, what is common sense? We can't even agree on a common sense maximum speed limit, how do you agree on a common sense level of privacy? Or is what you really mean "My sense"?

Another poster above also talks about common sense as if that is so simple. The moment it affects YOU, common sense goes out of the window. It might seem common sense to have medical aid freely available for all so doctors first question is not a for bank statement showing you can afford to have your wounds taken care off. Right up until the moment YOUR taxes go up.

Just follow the elections in any country and then talk to me about common sense.

Re:Beyond privacy (1)

SystemicPlural (1405625) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557963)

This is a straw man argument. You present the solutions as if there are no other options. The real problem with No 3 is that it fundamentally changes democratic freedoms in a way that makes it very easy to slip into a dictatorship. When those with the reigns of power have the ability to silence its critics then it is only a matter of time before they are abused. I agree that this is a hard problem to solve, but if your number 3 is the route to follow then a further step is needed. In order to maintain democratic freedom the powers granted to the state to monitor it's citizens then the same power needs to be granted to the citizens to monitor and change the state. If the state needs to monitor us to such a degree without needing to go through the courts then we should be able to monitor the agents of government to the same degree.

Re:Beyond privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558209)

On monday morning a man shot seven people in Oakland and there's no witch-hunt. Yet a man does the same in Toulouse and there is a witch-hunt as a result. Do murderous bastards not just decide to go kill some people then look for a reason rather than the reason being the true motivation? Or are there ideas that are so powerful they can compell any man whatever his morals to commit barbaric acts? If this is the case then what can be done to guard against such a malevolent force? Surely it's a losing battle right from the off if ideas exist that are so compelling that individuals must submit their will to them. Who could possibly be trusted to censor against such ideas without themselves becoming corrupted by them? Or maybe there are no such ideas and the witch-hunt is a horrid excuse for indulging in prejudices and bigotries that would not be tolerated usually.

And re the god games thing. What is winning for a modern country anyway? Are societies supposed to have a point to them then? According to who? Build the most nukes or maybe get the highest GDP. How about the goal being to have as much leisure time as possible, to be as happy as possible and to have and to cause (outside your country as well as inside) as little suffering as possible?

I'll not bother responding to your main point as other posters have done that better than I could.

Re:Beyond privacy (2)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#39559199)

Complain as you like about the BBC but count yourself lucky, their news coverage is better than most of the cruft here in the US. Their world news is far outstrips most if not all US new sources, and the coverage of the US is by far more in depth and less editorialized than our new sources. About the only place they lack is in their local US coverage but then I wouldn't expect them to cover that which is why I get my local paper.

this is a GOOD thing! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557733)

The steady march towards the end of privacy has been going on for decades. But rejoice citizens; this is a GOOD thing!
If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear, and if you do have something to hide then maybe this will make you think twice about doing it.
I'm probably the only person on here who'll be FOR this. I used to be very in favor of privacy, but then I took responsibility with my life and grew up. In order to move from a type-0 to type-1 society, we MUST give up privacy and secrecy.

Re:this is a GOOD thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558189)

Funny, I read this book warning about a "type-1" society.

This is part one. (5, Insightful)

naich (781425) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557767)

This is part one of the process of introducing a draconian and unpopular new law. First you come up with something completely over the top and unacceptable. Then, over a few months you water it down here and there, chopping little bits, amending others, until you end up with something that is draconian and unpopular. But it'll be accepted because it's not as bad as the original plan which, by then, will be falsely seen as the alternative. It's a flaw in human logical thought that has been exploited by politicians since they first crawled out of the sewer.

Re:This is part one. (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557943)

Yes for generations the political class where told not to harm the mastery of quality info - from pre ww2 Soviet embassy codes, ww2 German codes, post ww2 global SIGINT.
Just let it flow and plan. No court, media, books, public spy ring trials- just sell the world cheap information technology and enjoy been one of the best with breaking, sorting and understanding.
Now the old problem of "we can use this in court" seems to have finally won over in the UK.
People will slowly feel they live in some 1960's Warsaw Pact fantasy- the gov is listening and people are getting arrested.
Then 1970's Warsaw Pact reality- the gov is listening, work is not keeping pace with the basics of life and people are getting arrested.
Finally mass arrests and the need to seek out networks of protesters... SIGINT will be useless then.

Re:This is part one. (1)

aiht (1017790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39557967)

This is part one of the process of introducing a draconian and unpopular new law. First you come up with something completely over the top and unacceptable. Then, over a few months you water it down here and there, chopping little bits, amending others, until you end up with something that is draconian and unpopular. But it'll be accepted because it's not as bad as the original plan which, by then, will be falsely seen as the alternative. It's a flaw in human logical thought that has been exploited by politicians since they first crawled out of the sewer.

Politicians crawled out of the sewer? When did that happen? I guess the poor lawyers are on their own now.

Re:This is part one. (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558363)

Politicians crawled out of the sewer? When did that happen?

When the UK stopped paying for the politicians second homes unless they actually lived in them? They stopped renting them out and moved out of the sewers then I think :)

Re:This is part one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558751)

Added my name to the petition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557781)

Well, I signed the petition. Put down my name and address as was required.

This may well label me as a possible seditionist in the government's eyes but it's important that I get my opinion out some way.
At least I can still post anonymously on sla---ROUTE TO CLIENT LOST---

Fear, fear and fear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557885)

I'd be in a constant state of fear if I knew that every time I wanted to simply read some material relating to alternative political views about distant and not so distant places and mentally keep up and refresh my skills from the times of the service, I would be logged in some system producing a probabilistic estimate of my level of radicalization resulting an automatic denial of employment. I would be feel the same for others even if I wasn't the one wanting to read the alternative political viewpoints.
  Today, security services are often consulted about applicants for responsible positions. Maybe in the glorious world of tomorrow the security services provide a report for any position just because it is doable.

Re:Fear, fear and fear (2)

scsirob (246572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558183)

You do know what the people behind this kind of legislation would say when you are in this state of mind?

Indeed. "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"...

Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557901)

The point is to initially study who people are talking to, right? That can be used to determine (un)reasonable suspicion. Random thought:

What if, say, hundreds of thousands of people were to sign up to a single service. Each day they posted their messages to that service, plus some garbage, to make a nice constant number of daily "posts". Each day everyone downloaded ALL messages posted to that service. The messages are, of course, each encrypted for the intended recipient, and people never download individual public keys - only everyone's or no-one's.

When a computer has downloaded the message batch, it tries to decrypt all of them, but will only be successful with messages actually intended for the recipient.

1) Is this already used?

2) If not, is this technically feasible?

3) I am assuming that a man in authority would be able to listen to all network communications or retrieve all server content and logs. Will it be possible for them to establish who was communicating to whom?

I understand that there are other options which rely on obfuscating routing between particular destinations. This method relies on not having any routing at all - more like listening to a daily broadcast in the style of the old "numbers stations".

So the system must enforce a service user's lack of choice on what to download and whether to upload (even if you just upload garbage). Anyone reading IPs in a similar "broadcast" service's access logs (e.g. Twitter) will have a good idea who is receiving what - which I think is what this law is taking advantage of(*) - but what if the service's logs were open for all to see, law enforcement or otherwise, because the logs revealed nothing useful?

The practical questions would be concerning whether the idea scales, i.e.

1) how many messages can everyone download at regular intervals (multicast?) before there'd be a need to split the batches?

2) is it feasible to attempt (part) decryption of all these messages to identify which are for you?

(*) The proposed law isn't afaict demanding warrantless "wiretapping" (i.e. of content), but denying privacy of association. This seems to be the route the EU has tried to go down, and mirrors recent legislation in Canada.

Thoughts?

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39557921)

mod parent up - why hasn't this been done already?

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558339)

Because you can solve the same problem in the same way by using something called an "HTTP proxy server", without reducing the information contain of your download stream to 0.1%. Duh.

This is why we need politicians, because technical people's solutions are even more retarded than theirs are.

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558389)

No, you absolutely cannot. You are assuming:

(i) the connection between you and the proxy server and between the proxy server and the wider Internet cannot be monitored;

(ii) the activity of the proxy server cannot be monitored.

Now (i) will definitely be false already - and correlation of data would be sufficient to identify who is likely to be communicating. And (ii) should certainly be assumed false under this new proposal, if not already.

The whole point here is to trust no machine or wire except, to a limited extent, those in your own building.

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558055)

This is an interesting idea. ahhh for some mod points

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (1)

coofercat (719737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558695)

I've always wondered if we couldn't just build up a network of "trusted VPNs". That is, let's say I'm running a mail server and I want to send an email to a Yahoo mail account. I set up a private VPN to Yahoo, send my message, and then tear down the VPN (or leave it open for a period of time, I guess). Then, when I want to talk to someone I don't know, I can either setup an untrusted VPN, or else send in the clear, or else pause and wait for me to exchange keys with the remote and do it securely.

Originally I wondered if one could setup a home router to do such things with a group of friends. I run some websites on my broadband connection, and a few friends do the same. When I communicate with them, we could be doing it over a VPN (mesh?). Okay, so when I communicate with other people it goes back out in the clear, but at least for people I know it doesn't.

I'm starting to wonder if such a thing could be possible with a Raspberry Pi, or a Beaglebone or something + SSH + some wrappers. I suspect though that all that encryption would be too much of a workload for little machines like these, and that I'd need something more beefy for the job. I'm also pretty sure the uptake would be so pathetically small as to be pointless.

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (1)

jiriki (119865) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558723)

This has already been done:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onion_routing [wikipedia.org]

https://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org]

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558773)

No, onion routing assumes that you can trust a sufficient number of routers and routes between them, including the directory server. This is way more than simply trusting your own machine to encrypt properly.

Re:Privacy of association: an immodest proposal (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558809)

A couple of limiting factors seem to be bandwidth (do you really want to pay to download the whole world's interpersonal communications all the time?), and processing power (do you really want to pay for a computer to decrypt all said traffic all the time?).

In the old days ISTR there was a company which proposed broadcasting all of usenet as a satellite feed. Maybe broadcast might be a way to go - the bandwidth is only paid for once (by the transmitter), and you might imagine a dedicated hardware stack to catch the feed, and try the decryption so your computing device only gets to see the stuff that's for you. Another downside with 'download everything' solutions is that they might be difficult to defend against DDOS.

I'd agree with it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558031)

... but only if all data for everyone is made public to everyone else. I bet that wouldn't be popular with MPs.

Hitler would proud (4, Funny)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558037)

See the guys with the British accents *are* the bad guys.

It's mass surveillance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558085)

They *already* obtain the records of internet sites visited, phone calls made, and location.

What Theresa May is doing is requiring that the ISP's index all this stuff ready for searching in a distributed database. Once that is done, it is then a simply matter to run queries against that. The upfront cost has already been paid, it then becomes difficult to justify NOT using something that has been paid for.

Warrants are not needed under RIPA (or rather a request for info from a senior officer is renamed a 'warrant'), they just ask for it. Since there are > 3 million queries under this supposed anti-terror law, it is being misused. With the real time queries, it will be seriously abused.

None of the people whose data is indexed have a suspicion at that stage against them. This pre-criminalizes people in order to justify the surveillance.

Already the police are the bigger than the courts, bigger than the political system. It's so bad that we can't even freely discuss the details of this up-coming law. Cameron is a coward, he's backed down on every issue related to the police, he's scared of them and it shows.

Thank god we're heading in the right direction... (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558115)

No not the "English" real-time monitoring...

But us Scots wanting independence!!

The bloody referendum can't come quick enough!!!

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (2)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558199)

There's still oil. You're not getting independence.

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558201)

And don't even say you have the north sea oil to sustain you, it is not Scottish companies that run that. IN fact most likely it is French or other GLOBAL companies.

As for defence, you will still be relying on the Crown.

For money? Are you going to go back to a GOLD standard? Where will you get all the gold?

What about social benefits and healthcare and education? Are you going to charge for education? People will just tripsy off to EU universities where Educaton is FREE (but living is not :)).

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558403)

For money? Are you going to go back to a GOLD standard? Where will you get all the gold?

Gold Standard? Not a single country in the world uses that any more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_standard [wikipedia.org]

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558515)

But us Scots wanting independence!!

Can the rest of England join you please? The people left behind in London should be OK - what with all those nice velodromes and swimming pools they've been building - they could always plant potatoes in the long-jump pits. A few years ago I'd have said that we needed the money generated by the City, but these days they seem like more of a liability than an asset. Just make sure that the wall goes up while Parliament is sitting (preferably debating their next pay rise or expenses package, so they all turn up) so that you catch 'em all.

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558655)

Most Londoners would like to join the new country of Southern Scotland as well please ...they didn't vote for the current Government ...

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558965)

Most Londoners would like to join the new country of Southern Scotland as well please ...they didn't vote for the current Government ...

Nobody voted for the current government: they either voted for the Conservatives or the Lib Dems, not for a coalition which combines the social conscience of the Tories with the experience and fiscal prudence of the Lib Dems.

Re:Thank god we're heading in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558831)

Right, because you'd really be better off on Salmond?

This is the guy that overturned a local council's decision to allow a local scottish guy to refuse to sell his land to Trump for a golf course. Favouring foreign businessmen over actual Scots and areas of Scotland important to nature.

The guy that wont let 800,000 Scots vote on the future of their homeland, despite the fact they'd be subject to the effect of that future. Preventing a large percentage of the population from having a say over the future of their nation.

The guy who has said that any islands not wanting to split and instead stay with the UK shouldn't have the opportunity to do so. Forcing them to be ruled by Salmond against their will.

The guy who has allowed his consultation to support rigging that allows him to make it look like more people back him using multiple artificial anonymous responses than actually do. Giving the impression of more people supporting his plans than really are.

The fact he wanted to create his own puppet referendum overseer to oversee the referendum rather than use a third party neutral option. Opening the door for voting fraud with no one to indepdently stand up and say the referendum was won fair and square.

If you haven't noticed that the only reason Salmond wants independence is because of more power for him personally, and not for any care of the Scottish people or Scotland as a country, then you're a gullable fool.

He can't even run his referendum fair and square, with multiple attempts to try and rig it in his favour because the polls are against him, so if he can't even do that, then why the fuck would you think he'd do anything else more fairly? As soon as he's got his independence rest assured, he'll make use of that power in as authoritarian and corrupt manner as any other politician.

Fortunately most Scots realise how full of shit he is, and the polls are still riding well against him. But then, that's also why he set the date in 2014, so he can have even more time to figure out ways of rigging the vote.

April fool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558385)

The date on the article is April/01, so I hope this is just a april fool!

Lib dem position? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558395)

Does anyone know where the lib dems stand on this? Surely they wont be supporting it?

Oh yes (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558855)

Our MP will be out come the next election, and in the meantime he will seemingly support anything that keeps his ministerial salary intact.

Re:Lib dem position? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39559203)

Does anyone know where the lib dems stand on this? Surely they wont be supporting it?

Ha ha ha, oh wow!

The Lib Dems, at least at the local council level, have pioneered the use of anti-terrorism measures in tackling local council issues. The Lib Dems will happily fall behind the Tories, knowing that they'll have yet more powers to use in their war on people who burn their garden refuse or don't clean plastic before depositing it in the recycling bin.

Dummies (1)

Coppit (2441) | more than 2 years ago | (#39558555)

Everyone knows that in order to spy on every conversation there is, you just do it. You don't need any legal basis. Instead you claim your executive authority to protect the people from terrorists. If a whistleblower or leaker reveals what's going on, you tell The People about how you're listening to conversations involving The Terrorists -- being very careful to never say "only The Terrorists". That will placate the people, while you ram through the laws needed to make your actions legal, which is easy since no lawmaker wants to help terrorists. If someone mentions that you *already* had the authority to wiretap terrorists, and to even get a warrant after-the-fact, just keep repeating about how you need to move even faster to catch terrorists and need to bypass the judicial system.

1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39558701)

1984

fu3k a GOAT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39559015)

BSD style.' I8 the co8pletely before become obsessed
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