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UK Web Snooping Plan Invades Privacy, Despite Claims To the Contrary

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you're-doing-a-wrong-thing-badly dept.

Privacy 65

sweetpea86 writes with a snippet from this story at TechWorld:"The UK government's proposal to separate communications data from content, as part of new plans to allow intelligence services to monitor all internet activity, is infeasible according to a panel of technology experts. Speaking at the 'Scrambling for Safety' conference in London, Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, said that the distinction between traffic data as being harmless and content as being sensitive is becoming less and less relevant. 'Now that people are living more and more of their lives online, the pattern of who you communicate with and in what order gives away pretty well everything,' he said. 'This means that, in data protection terms, traffic data is now very often going to be specially sensitive data.'"

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obviously (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754641)

It's the tecchies' fault. In the '90s they formed a plethora of ISPs, small and independent. Then they became greedy businessmen, saw the pound/dollar signs in their eyes and allowed themselves to be bought up and consolidated, leaving only a few independent providers (e.g. the strongly anti-censorship AAISP). These corporations, most with government contracts, are happy to kowtow and wouldn't dare raise too much of a fuss.

Had they remained the independent, revolutionary force that initially brought the Internet to the masses - oh, original Demon, where have you gone? - the ISP Association wouldn't be the neutered, useless fuck that it is, and would repeatedly lobby against and refuse to implement stupid legislation.

Re:obviously (5, Insightful)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754685)

the problem is that the ISP's aren't powerful ENOUGH imo.
They don't *want* to snoop, it slows their networks down to have to log everything, it involves major monetary investment to do so.
It's the government's who are vulnerable to Lobbying from the powerful rich corporations and groups like the *IAA who lobby for this crap. It's the governments who ignore the cries of the people about it.
Had the ISPs remained independent they'd have even LESS clout than they do now. The UK still has quite a few ISPs and there's less of a monopoly on areas than in the US, but companies aren't officially allowed to Lobby the government. I say officially because, frankly, theres been quite a few Cash for X scandals in the last decade or two. The most recent being Cash for Dinner with the PM scandal. So the UK Government will listen to those with power and money (Look at how they cosied up to Murdoch before the Phone Tapping Scandal, he barely needed to *pay* them anything to get them to do what he wanted)

It's not the ISPs fault that the government looks after itself before it looks after the people. It doesn't represent the people. It doesn't represent the corporations. It just looks to save itself, and at the moment that comes from listening to those with the cash.

Re:obviously (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754861)

the problem is that the ISP's aren't powerful ENOUGH imo.
They don't *want* to snoop

w0w :} ye ye .... let me make some basic math on how much it will cost my ISP to store my traffic , for lets say 6 months .....
So.... i'm having FO to my home ...i'm limited at 100Mbps upload and 100Mbps download ...i'm from Europe, so i'm downloading/uploading
torrents non stop (its legal so why not xD ) so , mu avrg traffic is around 40Mbps (combined up + down) ...its more but let's say its 40 ....
So how much space will they have to seperate only for my traffic ? THey may only sniff parts of the traffic (for exmaple mail and web) .... but I can
use VPN , or Proxy ...or whatever , just to force them to store all my taffic ...then again , I can connect VPN inside an running VPN runnel...
just for the fun ...soo .....they'll be able to store my encrypted traffic ? why? Total waste of space :]
So in the end they'll need to invset huge amounts of money to get HDDs to store the info , huge amounts for new server witch to do the actual work ....
oh ...more switches , so they can connect the servers ....and what to ISPs get ? Nothing ....so they have to double their investment, and I can still
protect my traffic ...so what's the point ??? To sniff me ?They'll never be able to do it :) So GL to the governments and the stupid ppl running them
witch think that they can control or monitor the internet ... u can monitor the stupid user ....every1 who wants to hide from u , will do it ..so , what's
the point ? Waste money ?!

Re:obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754883)

the problem is that the ISP's aren't powerful ENOUGH imo.
They don't *want* to snoop, it slows their networks down to have to log everything, it involves major monetary investment to do so.

It would lag everything, gamers should complain LOUDLY unless they want their latency times to skyrocket!

Objecting to the right things (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754975)

it slows their networks down to have to log everything

It would lag everything, gamers should complain LOUDLY

That is highly unlikely. They would probably be taking a copy of the data at some critical part of the network and then everything else would happen on some secondary out-of-band network. The kind of hardware they'd be using to do that is also used by, for example, high frequency traders, who literally win or lose millions by being milliseconds faster than the other guy.

It would, however, almost certainly cost a staggering amount of money to buy the hardware to implement all of this, and the people warning about inability to fully separate content technically even if the politicians/lawyers say that will happen do have a valid point.

Re:obviously (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755425)

once an isp becomes big enough they want to snoop. because they own the cable too. because they own(ed) your landline too and want to bill you for skype. and they want to bill you for your xbox-data separately. why? because they're dicks. they also want to bend over backwards to the government for snooping. again why? well, to please them. that's one thing, so they don't cut your monopolistic areas up, then there's another thing which is essentially billing the government for snooping.

Re:obviously (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754757)

The small ISPs did not become big ISPs, the incumbent telecoms and cable companies became big ISPs. There are still a lot of small ISPs, but they account for under 10% of the market between them. Virgin Media and BT control almost all of the physical infrastructure, and along with a handful of other big companies (e.g. Sky) also control the majority of the customer-facing side. Even if you go with AAISP, they're still using BT's network, so there's little they can do if BT starts snooping on the backbone.

Re:obviously (3, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755005)

It's worth pointing out for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know much about how UK ISPs work:

The incumbent telco, British Telecom, set up their own broadband network and also sold their DSL product at a wholesale rate to ISPs. There was quite a lot of fuss from ISPs about this, as the incumbent effectively had an advantage over them - the incumbent owned the infrastructure so could do what they liked with it, up to and including unceremoniously yanking customers broadband.

The upshot is that British Telecom was split into two companies: Wholesale (BT Openreach) and retail (the company you buy your telephone line and broadband from). Openreach own and run the infrastructure, retail effectively just packages and resells it. You or I cannot approach BT Openreach under any circumstances. They won't investigate issues, they won't talk about new or existing lines, they won't do anything unless you're a company that has a contract with them. They will politely point you in the direction of a retailer.

Anyone can set up an ISP and contract BT Openreach. Optionally, they can put their own equipment in the telephone exchanges though this is generally limited to the larger of the (still pretty small) alternative ISPs. But even if they put their own equipment in the telephone exchange, actually running the copper between telephone exchange and customer is contracted out to BT Openreach.

The telephone line rental is totally separate from the broadband, and many of the smaller ISPs won't contract Openreach for the line rental itself or any telephone calls that run over it - they'll only deal with the broadband. Which means it's quite possible to be in a position that your ISP is blaming your telephone provider for your broadband being down; your telephone provider is blaming your ISP. Lots of people I know won't even consider buying broadband unless they can get the phone line from the same company for exactly this reason.

Re:obviously (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755185)

Optionally, they can put their own equipment in the telephone exchanges though this is generally limited to the larger of the (still pretty small) alternative ISPs

This is only true on exchanges with local loop unbundling. I'm not sure what percentage of exchanges now support LLU, but it's based on consumer demand (which is silly, because consumers don't demand it) and my mother's exchange only got it very recently.

The telephone line rental is totally separate from the broadband

And, worse, BT does not offer naked DSL, so unless you are on an LLU exchange and using an LLU supplier then you get to pay BT £14.60/month for a phone line that you might not use. If you don't use the landline then it's almost impossible for ADSL ISPs to compete with Virgin in areas with cable. Virgin will sell you a 30Mb/s connection for £22.50/month. Subtract the line rental from this and ISPs have to charge under £7.90/month for the Internet access to offer the same price. If you do use the phone line, they need to charge £13.80/month to be competitive. Given the BT OpenReach charges for backbone traffic, It's basically impossible for ISPs to offer these prices without very low bandwidth caps.

The upshot is that British Telecom was split into two companies

Not quite. BT OpenReach and BT Retail are both divisions of BT. The only constraint imposed by Ofcom is that BT OpenReach must provide access to third parties at the same price that it provides access to BT Retail. This does not, however, have to be at a rate that would allow BT Retail to be profitable. As long as BT Retail is just about breaking even, after the savings it makes sharing a lot of things like payroll with the rest of BT, it satisfies the regulators. And while OpenReach is raking in the cash, there is no incentive for BT to change this structure. Unfortunately, Virgin Media is upgrading its network, but not expanding it, so OpenReach retains a monopoly in all of the areas where Virgin hasn't got a presence.

Re:obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39755023)

Honestly ISPA isn't amused at all. James Blessing from ISPA went on the BBC the other night to explain the downsides of the proposed legislation. It is very amusing.

The BBC News segment [youtube.com]

Seems they learned... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754701)

...from the Google creeps.

--
Fuck Sundar Pichai in the ass!

Trade-off (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754709)

There is always this trade-off: do we want more privacy, accepting increased risks of criminal/terrorist acticity, or are we willing to trade off some privacy to get more security. This choice is political and should be democratically decided. Whether this applies to the internet or in other contexts actually makes little difference, so the trade-off isn't new either. The difference is that just in the present more dangerous climate, more voters are willing to accept some loss of privacy.

Re:Trade-off (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754725)

do we want more privacy, accepting increased risks of criminal/terrorist acticity, or are we willing to trade off some privacy to get more security.

The first one. Whatever the ignorant masses think, the latter two will just make it easier for an oppressive government to abuse its citizens.

Re:Trade-off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754769)

But... we're not talking about North Korea, Iran or the Soviet Union here. The UK has a long history of democracy. It is unreasonable to take the slightest piece of monitoring or censorship as an indication of totalitarianism.

Re:Trade-off (3, Interesting)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754807)

Take a look at history and human nature. There have been many corrupt governments. Do you think the UK's is somehow immune? Do you think that a government is made up of perfect individuals who could do no wrong (individually or as a group)? Few people plan for their government to abuse them, my friend. It's a slow process, but it's what happens when you let the government slowly take away the rights of the people.

Humans need as much privacy as possible. It's also very useful to keep the government at bay. You seem to think we should take everyone's privacy away because some people are criminals.

Re:Trade-off (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755489)

Score:-1, now it's proven beyond doubt, moderators don't recognise sarcasm.

Re:Trade-off (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754765)

do we want more privacy, accepting increased risks of criminal/terrorist acticity, or are we willing to trade off some privacy to get more security. This choice is political and should be democratically decided. Whether this applies to the internet or in other contexts actually

The problem is, we've not seen any real evidence that sacrificing privacy actually does result in increased security. Terrorists can easily use off-the-shelf tools like anonymous remailers, Tor and encryption and so the intelligence services don't get any information about who they're talking to or what they're saying even if they record and analyse 100% of UK Internet traffic. If a terrorist makes an encrypted SMTPS connection to a server in, say, China, that mail server makes (after a random delay) another encrypted connection to a mail server in, for example, Brazil, and then another terrorist collects the mail from the server in Brazil via IMAPS, then what can you learn? Very little unless you can monitor the entire Internet, and the Chinese probably don't want you to monitor their part any more than you want them to monitor yours.

Most counterterrorism operations get their intelligence from far more traditional sources.

Re:Trade-off (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754963)

Why all the mailservers? Post an encrypted message on Usenet and you can't even track who they are sending it to.

Post some nice wallpapers in a wallpaper group. Put your message inside. Best post images each and every day.

As you made the wallpapers yourself, they have no way of comparing it to what already exists.

Re:Trade-off (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754997)

Sure, and there are lots of even more clever ways of doing it. My point is that even without really trying - just with having two mail accounts, in a fairly generic configuration, in different countries you get a chain that gives the intelligence services nothing. The terrorists don't even need to be vaguely clever to do that, they just have to not use hotmail (actually, depending on intelligence sharing, using hotmail might also work - all that the UK side would know was that they both connected to the same US-based server farm as a million or so other people). If you post some nonsense in every Slashdot article with an easily recognisable heading (e.g. buy cheap viagra!) and then an encrypted message and someone else posts a reply using a similar scheme on an unrelated - but also high-traffic - messaging board, also in code, then no one will notice. On Slashdot, the post will be moderated down so most people won't even see it. People who do see it will just assume it's another spam bot.

Re:Trade-off (3, Interesting)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754875)

Privacy and security are almost never a zero sum game. In this case, reducing privacy isn't going to help find more 'criminal/terrorist activity'; It will just cause them to use Freenet, TOR, steganography, for comunication etc. instead and result in making it even harder to track real criminal activity.

Secondly, common people are really really bad at making these risk-reward trade-offs (for instance, many people have a fear of flying, but a more rational reaction would be to have a fear of travelling to get a flight as you're more likely to get killed in a car/bus on the way to your flight, than actually flying; you may tell your children to 'never talk to strangers', but in fact that would put them in a far worse position if they ever got lost -- the huge majority of people are not evil! etc.) - we'd be better off delegating to a panel of economists and statisticians to determine the outcome.

Re:Trade-off (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755039)

Privacy and security are almost never a zero sum game. In this case, reducing privacy isn't going to help find more 'criminal/terrorist activity'; It will just cause them to use Freenet, TOR, steganography, for comunication etc. instead and result in making it even harder to track real criminal activity.

The trouble with this argument -- and I write this as someone who is a strong believer in privacy -- is that it assumes all bad guys are smart. Many bad guys don't come from the genius pool, as we can tell from the ways they eventually get caught and the number of times someone has slipped through all this security theatre but then failed to cause any real damage anyway. If anything, the fact that so many bad guys don't seem to be that smart has been doing more to protect us than anything else lately.

I don't like this particular idea because I think the cost to individual privacy and the risk of subsequent government abuse are too high a price to pay. But if we're going to have an intelligent debate about it, we should consider that high level government people have gone on the record in the UK (recent example [bbc.co.uk] ) to say that the analogous phone contact information is widely used in tracking down the perpetrators of serious crimes and ultimately bringing them to justice. If we take them at their word, there is "a case to answer" here and a genuine debate to be had.

Terrorists don't win (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754921)

Terrorists don't win you know, and despite occasionally killing some people they don't pose a long term threat to any free society. Al Qaeda didn't take over Egypt, the Egyptian military did.

On the other hand military and security forces take over their own countries all the time. Right now South Ossetia had an election, it voted for a candidate, the interim government struck down the elections, barred the winner from standing, and now they voted 54% for the Russian backed former KGB chief, the other opponent was also a Russian backed candidate. Nice huh, they wanted freedom and now they have a KGB stooge.

You can say "it could never happen here", but it happens literally EVERYWHERE.

The biggest threat to democratic freedom was, is and always will be, their own internal security forces, not some nutty Pakistanis with a bag of fertilizer. It's always the man with the medals and ego who think he knows best.

Re:Terrorists don't win (0)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755035)

Mod this up

Re:Trade-off (3, Insightful)

devitto (230479) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754923)

You do not know what you are talking about. Privacy ___IS___ security. Privacy breaches are security breaches. Giving away your privacy does not make you more secure, and giving away the privacy of others doesn't either. As
Terrorism is not about blowing things up, it's about scaring people.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

If Benjamin Franklin got this in 1775 - why don't people today?

Re:Trade-off (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755217)

If Benjamin Franklin got this in 1775 - why don't people today?

Because most people in the West remember 9/11 and similar events in other countries close to home, but don't remember McCarthyism and the Holocaust.

Because we prefer to dwell on the successes of the Arab Spring and the liberation of Libya where our armed forces helped, rather than considering the brutal suppression of popular opposition to the state in places like Iran and Syria.

It's a case of "It would never happen to me!" when it comes to privacy, but "Fear the bogeyman!" when it comes to security. Unfortunately, with a political class full of so-called leaders who are themselves terrified that the next big one will happen on their watch, it suits their purposes to perpetuate this kind of mindset, hence all the security theatre and making terrorism the root password to the legal system.

Re:Trade-off (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755025)

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

Re:Trade-off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39755075)

The only reason there is any threat of terrorist activity is because our traitorous government allowed millions of MUSLIMS into our countries...

Problem - Reaction - Solution

You're an idiot, by the way.

Equivalent in History? (2)

improfane (855034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754717)

Can anyone think of anything equivalent to this in history? Where people were under extensive surveillance? What happened?

There has to be a crunching point for things like this, society is meant to limp forward gradually. Hopefully it will get better after it gets worse...

Re:Equivalent in History? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754741)

Naughty police states post-WW2 are the obvious analogue; fishing expeditions were just as common, IIRC. The whole "we dislike you, so we will mine data for your misdeeds" thing is deeply creepy.

Re:Equivalent in History? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754775)

The first and second Red Scares have a lot of similarities.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Scare

The first one ended when Palmer predicted a large "red" terrorist action which failed to materialize. The second kind of petered out when people eventually got tired of Mcarthyism with the "have you no decency" speech by Joseph N. Welch etc. /probably slightly inaccurate huge over simplification. There is a GREAT podcast by Dan Carlin on the red scares if you want to Google it.

Re:Equivalent in History? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754919)

Don't know. But isn't the usual result of massive surveillance, laws and control that people under it, will feel less and less responsibility for themselves and others?

Re:Equivalent in History? (1)

iMactheKnife (2556934) | more than 2 years ago | (#39764695)

Can anyone think of anything equivalent to this in history? Where people were under extensive surveillance? What happened?

There has to be a crunching point for things like this, society is meant to limp forward gradually. Hopefully it will get better after it gets worse...

East Germany's GRU comes to mind. The dossiers on every private citizen made this intolerable and invasive tyranny rather resilient to civil protest.

Missing the point (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754745)

The question is not whether they look at traffic data or contents, but whether they have proper safeguards to avoid the data from leaking. The government seeing the data should not be that big a deal unless you have something to hide, in which case it is probably actually a good thing that they can see the data. So as long as all this does not leak to third parties, why does this even matter?

Re:Missing the point (5, Insightful)

NeverSuchBefore (2613927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754755)

The government seeing the data should not be that big a deal unless you have something to hide

Why not allow the government to install cameras in every room of your house? What are you hiding? You could be committing crimes in your house, after all.

Re:Missing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754819)

AC probably lives in North Korea. He finds this privacy thing a little odd.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754971)

The glorious leader and the Party provides us with everything we need: protection, self-reliance and harmony. Why would we want to undermine his authority for the sake of a minor detail like privacy?

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754911)

Being slashdot, i would say that only trolls would spew the crap about nothing to hide.

Everyone has something to hide. It needs not to be someting criminal but just something they like to keep for themselves.

Re:Missing the point (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754943)

It needs not to be someting criminal

Yet. Until the government makes it criminal.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39755945)

I go further. Let's hack these cameras. Obviously all toilet and bathrooms, including in schools, should have cameras that are open to the web anyway, so those who want to can jack off to the most secretive of human biological activities can do so. After all, what are you hiding? You think your 5yo daughter pissing is so special that she shouldn't be broadcast on the web for the delectation of sundry pedos? [This is a joke Joyce].

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754767)

The question is not whether they look at traffic data or contents, but whether they have proper safeguards to avoid the data from leaking. The government seeing the data should not be that big a deal unless you have something to hide, in which case it is probably actually a good thing that they can see the data. So as long as all this does not leak to third parties, why does this even matter?

That doesn't really make sense - exactly the same applies to "third parties" as to the Government (in any conventional sense the Government is a third party here). Why would you be less bothered about one seeing it than the others? If you have "nothing to hide" then why don't you want "third parties" to see the data?

Leakage = Traffic (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754833)

It's not whether the government will protect the data from 'leakage' as you put it, letting the government have it IS THE LEAKAGE. And yes I have something to hide: my opposition to the security forces intrusive snooping for one thing.

I'm also critical of the security forces ignoring Rendition and Torture laws, and suspicious of the recent MET inquiry into same. See the Parliament begins an inquiry into what is a criminal act, illegal complicity in torture and rendition. Then the MET police unit starts a criminal inquiry, thus shutting down the parliamentary one. As long as the MET says its inquiry is open then the parliamentary one cannot proceed, and can be blocked for years.

Now when you realize that the MET was given the anti-terror powers and forms the police branch of the security forces, you realize how bogus that inquiry really is. The police arm of the spooks will inquire into whether the spooks broke the law. Whitewash anyone?

I am writing from a country, I won't name it, but it has a military/civil government, and the civil elected government fears the military and won't bring them to account for past deeds. And I am so afraid of said military that I won't even name the country.

UK is not that far from the same, you'd have to be complacent not to see how powerful the police and security forces have become vs the civilian elected government.

Re:Leakage = Traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754853)

mod parent up, well said.

Re:Leakage = Traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754981)

Based on the description of the parent's country, I'm thinking it may be the United States of America.

Re:Leakage = Traffic (1)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755055)

mod him up

Re:Missing the point (5, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754857)

"The government seeing the data should not be that big a deal unless you have something to hide"

How about 'it's none of your fscking business, nor anyone else's, who I talk to' ?

How about that?

Government should exist as a way for society to collectively enforce a code of law, and to provide common services we all need. As far as I'm concerned this is way, way, way beyond its remit.

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754863)

Well we do allow government to request intercepts with a court order from a judge, and that much is status quo and I support.

But I strongly object to the prior restraint and chilling of free speech implicit in hoovering up all communications data, performing deep packet inspection and storage and access all without a court order.

That is nuts in a democracy. You'd expect that from the likes of the thankfully deposed Gadafi and his ilk, not from a democracy.

Re:Missing the point (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754965)

What do you have to hide AC?

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39760805)

The UK govenment wants to record websites visited... i.e. urls.

Since a web search encodes the search terms into the URL, they are gathering both traffic and content, to any (reasonable?) person who'd consider a list of their search terms to be 'content'.

That sounds pretty 'leaky' already.

reneging on their own pledges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754801)

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100919110641/http://programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/civil-liberties/index.html

the current government said particularly "We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason." and many fine words that evidently they now plan to shred:

The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian, and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition of freedom and fairness.

Living lives online means.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754835)

Using facebook, twitter and other websites. This isn't traffic data. How often do 'normal people' really connect to their friends' computer? Perhaps for a file transfer in skype.

technical impractical, implausible in a democracy (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754845)

1. if the UK government legislates the cost will be immense to develop the systems to scrape and deep packet inspect thousands upon thousands of protocols, and web2.0 websites.

2. much of the data is already end to end securely encrypted and can not be decrypted. it will be quite obscured who is talking to who with web2.0 applications just based on the IP address of people using eg slashdot via https.

3. there are lots of p2p protocols that are end to end securely encrypted. For example skype calls commonly go through multiple relays. seeing the IP address and an encrypted skype channel between your computer and a high bandwidth relay wont tell you who is talking to who.

4. there exist many VPN services connecting to many jurisdictions which trivially bypass the proposed intrusions.

5. its following Chinas example, which is a bad precedent, already we see Iran, Syria, pre-revolution Egypt defending their intrusion and interference with the internet drawing parallels with initiatives such as this. US, UK et al had fine words to say against such abuses in undemocratic countries and dictatorships, and yet here we have the UK proposing to do similar things to their own citizens.

6. most web mail and web 2.0 sites and applications and protocols are developed and hosted outside the UK, so the UK lacks the technical authority to capture the traffic - users who care will just VPN or use end to end encryption to freer countries. This legislation if passed will likely see less development and hosting done in the UK harming the UK economic competitiveness in the information economy.

7. what is the end game? If one credibly wants to actual capture data one has to follow China, Iran et al and outlaw encryption, outlaw VPNs, outlaw development of software without government backdoors, license software development, restrict access to compilers without a government license, impose a draconian country level firewall. This is all highly implausible and incompatible with a democracy.

8. I think government has not thought this through at all. Probably they are thinking that they can just record IPs like you can record phone numbers on a voice call. The internet is not like that. It is an open, global platform for applications. The communications traffic is hopelessly co-mingled with data in many applications.

9. Unfortunately the government has limited technical expertise and has blinkered and fooled by the "if we could just save one..." argument.

10. There is no cost benefit analysis. You are more likely to die by crashing your car than due to violent extremists actions. More likely to die by random lightening strike. There is a limit to the costs, erosion of freedom a democracy should be willing to inflict on itself in the name defense. If we take it too far the extremists have won.

11. We would be better off spending the money on human intelligence. One of the defense conclusions was a western intelligence failure in the middle east area

12. there appears to be no planned judicial or credible independent oversight. That is inappropriate in a democracy. In what way would it harm defense to require a court order from a judge to interfere with and deep packet inspect the internet traffic of a target of investigation.

Re:technical impractical, implausible in a democra (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39755073)

Wish I had mod points for you - a very good analysis of some of the major problems with this ludicrous proposal. Well said that (other) AC.

Re:technical impractical, implausible in a democra (1)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755079)

good post. Mod this up...

What the "Coalition" promised before elections... (4, Informative)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39754869)

Here's what the Conservative/LibDem Coalition apparently promised before they were elected: (copy-pasted from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100919110641/http://programmeforgovernment.hmg.gov.uk/civil-liberties/index.html [nationalarchives.gov.uk] ) We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion. We will introduce a Freedom Bill. We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports. We will outlaw the finger-printing of children at school without parental permission. We will extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater transparency. We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database. We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury. We will restore rights to non-violent protest. We will review libel laws to protect freedom of speech. We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism legislation. We will further regulate CCTV. We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason. We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary new criminal offences. We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights that incorporates and builds on all our obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights, ensures that these rights continue to be enshrined in British law, and protects and extends British liberties. We will seek to promote a better understanding of the true scope of these obligations and liberties.

Re:What the "Coalition" promised before elections. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754959)

We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.

We only need a good reason, how hard can it be to invent one once we have the power?

Re:What the "Coalition" promised before elections. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754979)

The problem is, they know they're not getting voted in again, so what reason do they have to follow their mandate?

Re:What the "Coalition" promised before elections. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39755081)

Here's what the Conservative/LibDem Coalition apparently promised before they were elected:

Actually this was /after/ the election. The coalition didn't exist as such until after the election. However, ISTR the Conservative Party promised quite a lot of this before the election.

Re:What the "Coalition" promised before elections. (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755199)

Rule number One:

Never believe anything a politician/political party says when they are trying to get elected.

Re:What the "Coalition" promised before elections. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#39758549)

Yet, pilot schemes running in Nottingham schools (primary and secondary) mandate the fingerprinting of children as young as 5 not only for access to class but to eat lunch! No parental permission required... hell, you don't get to find out unless your kids tell you, because the LEA isn't volunteering the information. This is all being done under the radar.

As for a Bill of Rights, we already have one of those. It was signed by William of Orange in 1688 and passed into Law in 1689. Too bad it's ignored by those in whom we are expected to place our trust, and further bastardised by those who we expect to know and enforce by decree, the Law of the Land.

I don't know about you but I feel personally fucking betrayed.

government must be prudent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754877)

government should be able to solve all these problems
must also uphold the privacy of

Learn history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754895)

Wasn't it Benjamin Franklin who once said that "Those who trade liberty for security will lose both”

Who voted for this shitstorm of a government anyway?

Sign it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39754907)

There's an e-petition in opposition here: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32400

Protest the bill like they did in Canada (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755175)

Protest like they did in Canada. Send the Ministers and your government representatives including the PM everything. For days they CCed them on every email, posted what they are doing to their members twitter accounts. After several days of having the Parliamentary mail and web servers taken to their knees the bill they were trying to introduce was 'sent to committee' (killed). People can make a difference

You don't say... (1)

ToiletBomber (2269914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39755301)

"UK Web Snooping Plan Invades Privacy" No shit, sherlock.
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