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Canadian Telcos Secretly Supporting Internet Surveillance Legislation

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Canada 79

An anonymous reader writes "Canada's proposed Internet surveillance was back in the news last week after speculation grew that government intends to keep the bill in legislative limbo until it dies on the order paper. This morning, Michael Geist reports that nearly all of the major Canadian telecom and cable companies have been secretly working with the government for months on the Internet surveillance bill. The secret group has been given access to a 17-page outline (PDF) of planned regulations and raised questions of surveillance of social networks and cloud computing facilities."

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Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillance (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080139)

If you think the telcos and ISP's in your country are the exception, you're kidding yourself.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080157)

Nothing new - governments have always monitored "the media," the Internet is the new media.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (3, Insightful)

fearlezz (594718) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080417)

the Internet is not just the new "media". It is also a channel for private communication.
Up to a few years back, private peer-to-peer communication (paper letters) was really private. (At least in The Netherlands we have strict laws on secrecy of correspondence.) Nowadays, chats, emails and everything else is being monitored.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080801)

Said it before: do unto them what they do unto you.
(from Holland, greets!)

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080839)

It is also a channel for private communication.

Yes! But people are refusing to use it as such.

Tools to make it suitable for private communication have been available for 15 years or so, yet people not only refuse to use them, they actively go the OTHER direction - moving more and more of their private communication onto services designed explicitly to make it NOT private. Using facebook, google mail, and other such things for what could actually be private if they cared.

End to end encryption is the only way to ensure privacy. It is available in everything from instant messaging to email, yet I bet not one person in thousands uses it.

That's why privacy on the internet is dead. Nobody acted to save it when it was clear the direction was towards ever more government and commercial monitoring.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

neonKow (1239288) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148595)

The only reason people are moving in that direction is that it's already built into the legislation. If the law said that governments could open your snail mail without a warrant, people are not going to start suddenly encrypting their letters to each other.

The same thing is happening now: the law allows governments to obtain relatively private correspondences with relatively little probable cause. People haven't started caring less about their privacy; the governments are simply better at disguising the purpose and reach of introduced legislation.

And don't think that you are protecting yourself by not using social media. Do you really think it matters that you don't post your information online if most of your friends and family do because they don't know any better? Fixing the laws or keeping these sorts of things in TFA from becoming law are the only way to reverse the trend.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080989)

And I don't get it. People in western democratic countries didn't tolerate the government opening their regular paper mail for monitoring purposes except during time of war. Now we just quietly accept that it is happening? Worse, we accept that it happening without even requiring a judicial warrant for each and every bit of it?

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

freeweaver (2548146) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080489)

Your right they have. But if you take a look at what always happens after they implement that surveillance, you might understand why many, many people do not want it.

every single government in history has turned on the people it governs. Your casual attitude implies that you and your government are the exception. I hope your not that nieve.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081787)

It goes in cycles - McCarthy / JE Hoover were a high point, somewhere between Nixon and Clinton was a low, I hope we've topped out after more than a decade of "war on terror" - only time will tell.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080467)

In many countries, the telcos are SOEs [wikipedia.org] . In the USA, given our dislike for big government, they are privately owned (nod, wink). Which actually plays into the government's hand quite well. Given our Constitutional restrictions on warrantless searches and our right to be secure from government (but not private) surveillance, having a private entity do the data collection as an agent of the government sidesteps this little annoyance neatly. But in countries where there is no such restriction on the governments' snooping, they just run the network themselves.

At least you folks know where you stand when you pick up a phone. Us Americans can only wonder.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080569)

What do you think CISPA is about? It even gives the telocs legal immunity for doing it.

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN. It is unacceptable.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080589)

>>>having a private entity do the data collection as an agent of the government sidesteps this little annoyance

Not quite. You can still sue the private telephone company for sharing your private data w/o your permission. That's why CISPA in in Congress now..... to eliminate your ability to sue them. (Only Netscape/Mozilla is opposing this; the other companies support its passage.)

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082333)

You are a few years too late. A FISA reform [wikipedia.org] bill, passed in 2007, grants telecoms immunity from civil suits for just such cases. Initially, Obama campaigned against immunity, but switched [nytimes.com] positions on it.

Personally, I can't really blame him for backing down. In this country, if you confront the shadow government or its minions, you get a limo ride through Dealey Plaza.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080591)

Why do they do this? I don't understand what's in it for the Telco/ISP.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080909)

Money. The telcos / cable companies have competing businesses.

For example, as I posted in the "Who's Pirating Game of Thrones?" thread, it costs a Canadian with Shaw about a grand to watch HBO in HD after taxes, fees, DVR rental, service upgrades, etc. It might be cheaper in other markets, but you have to remember that you can't trust what Bell or Rogers say on their website.

Pay-Per-View the latest release for $5.95 (plus the required minimum service levels, a box to support the service, etc)! Netflix is cheaper? Well, we're the content licencer for that show in Canada so we won't let Netflix show it up here. Sorry, did I say $5.95?

Now they can see if someone is getting the shows for free and turn them in to the regulatory agency / Crown prosecutors without any oversight, warrants, or anything else. You pay the telco / cableco their protection racket money and you don't get sent to prison for five years.

100% of the costs on this service will be simply added onto the monthly bills of every ISP, cell phone, and land-line in the country, and that's if you're lucky. It'll likely end up being double the actual cost. Moreover, the PC party will be able to say "see, it's not costing taxpayers a penny, the whole thing is set up so that the offenders pay for everything."

Man, this post is incoherent.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081065)

Mmmm..encryption...yea....you like that isps..you like that encryption..yeah...

What's going to get fun is when they start banning encrypted communication :)

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081199)

its not banned, it just tells us you are a terrorist ;)

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082705)

All my professional email is encrypted automatically by way of my BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Additionally, S/MIME and/or PKI can be used on an as-needed basis. If the authorities come bursting through my door the server is running on encrypted drives which I can remotely force into shutdown state. The only use I have for speed-dial. I have nothing to hide per se except the highly sensitive research information, to which the government has no right to access, produced by my organization.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | about 2 years ago | (#40090073)

I didn't say it was banned.

I said when.

Re:Telcos in *every* country supporting surveillan (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081069)

Simple reason - whomever gets to monitor private information wins. By helping make the winner, telcos become the winner's friend. Who cares if privacy goes out the window?

Not so secret anymore.... (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080161)

Not so secret anymore....

If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080179)

...to monitor communications, seize property, or perform searches before "the internet", should there not be a mechanism to do the same with communications on the internet (email, web sites, social media, etc.)? Or is something about the internet fundamentally different that means "the government" shouldn't be able to monitor it? If so, why? How does this reconcile with the rule of law and the social contract in democratic societies?

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080221)

Unprecedented power and access. The world has never EVER seen anything like we are seeing now in terms of surveillance

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080305)

Actually, in times of war gone by, ALL transoceanic mail was subject to opening and reading. Nevermind communication monitoring across the iron curtain during the cold war.

What's new is that we have this low cost, high bandwidth communication medium that everybody is using.

In the past, you were restricted from broadcasting your ideas past the local pub - and even there, people would listen and repeat to the local authorities things they overheard.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

freeweaver (2548146) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080451)

Well, if the occasional letter can give away as much information about my habits as all of my internet dealings from my past preasant and future... I'll eat my house.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081763)

You still have the option to hand carry your paycheck to the bank, stand in line to deposit it, write out all your correspondence long hand and wait a week or more for a reply, go to a friend's house to talk... all these things are still possible, it's just that in the past there wasn't an alternative.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082725)

You still have the option to hand carry your paycheck to the bank, stand in line to deposit it, write out all your correspondence long hand and wait a week or more for a reply, go to a friend's house to talk... all these things are still possible, it's just that in the past there wasn't an alternative.

At my last employer there was no paper cheque option to receive my wages. An electronic record was created between my employer and my bank and implicitly available to the government upon presentation of a warrant to the bank. When I travel by car I sometimes go off the grid by using only cash which has been withdrawn over a period of time most of which was spent locally to mask the small amount held back each time to find my travels. I carry a credit card in that situation in the event I need to leave a bread crumb because there is something potentially amiss.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080463)

That's fantastic. Mail.

It doesn't hold a candle to being personally tracked and monitored with GPS, cellular triangulation, CCTV and biometrics. All of your purchases are tracked and a profile is being continually built around the actions you take electronically or otherwise.

To argue that the opening of intercontinental mail is akin to any of this is utter folly.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080547)

Times of war? HAH. Times of peace too. My wife used to get mail from her family in South America that had obviously been opened and taped shut. Utter outrage.

It was her country's government that was doing it. How could you tell? If the CIA did it they would at least make a half-hearted attempt to seal the envelope back up using something similar to the original glue!

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080243)

The thing is they have the ability to monitor now. It called going thru judicial channels and obtaining a warrant or subpoena. TThat is easy e.ough with friendly courts at least here in the US. Bills like this erode what little oversight there is is to the gove freely knowing about your proclivities for donkey porn and your google search to find out how many peanuts in your shit are too many.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080929)

What they really forget is this:

The Constitution is not what "We, the People" can do. It is what allows the government to exist.

Once they start passing unconstitutional crap like this, there is no longer a legitimate government, and no reason to not burn down Parliament.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080289)

old media dynamics allowed for anonymity.. the internet doesn't.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081249)

-blink-

It doesn't?

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080369)

This goes to something Orin Kerr calls the "Equilibrium Adjustment" theory of constitutional law. In short, if technological or other changes have altered the balance between government power and civil rights, the Supreme Court could find ways to adjust the balance.

http://volokh.com/2012/05/21/final-version-of-defending-equilibrium-adjustment/ [volokh.com]

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080527)

Otherwise known as the "What Amendment process?" theory of constitutional law.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (3, Interesting)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080389)

As wbr1 said, in democratic societies, there was no legal mechanism to do such seizure outside of a specific accusation.

However, it's more than that. There has been no practical mechanism to monitor all communications. Even if you could gather and record all of the phone calls of all of the people, you couldn't use it. Someone would have to sit down and listen through every conversation you wanted to find out about. You had to target specific groups.

Modern technology means that you can gather every email anyone ever read into an indexed searchable archive. You can then, at your leisure, make connections and links between different people. You want to "persuade" someone to cooperate? Find a crime his grandparent committed and then threaten to lock the grandparent away for the rest of their life if your target doesn't do what you want. Want to blackmail someone? Go look through everything that everyone else ever said about them, even if it wasn't sent to your mark.

The internet is different simply because it is possible to monitor it. The whole thing. That has never happened before.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080403)

There is, it's called getting a god damned warrant. It already works! There is zero need for any new legislation or law enforcement capability whatsoever.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080439)

Of course. Nothing's changed from the "old paper based world" except that governments are NOT following the same rules. The old world had protections like judge-issued warrants to keep the people secure in their homes, persons, and effects.

NOW the governments are just side-stepping the judges/warrants process and going direct to searching us. Our homes are still secure (unless you have natural milk in the fridge), but not our persons or our effects (data).

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080495)

Exactly.

Imagine the reaction if this was surveillance of your old fashioned communications media.

This is exactly the same as having your email and telephone calls censored and monitored.

It boggles the mind that the man on the street isn't screaming bloody murder over this. It is completely unacceptable.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080521)

The only thing really different is the complexity of trying to observe the net. Sadly it comes down to the fact that governments just can not stand the idea of people communicating. If the public was aware of the goings on in various governments around the world we would likely be in a state of perpetual revolution. Not only would the truth set people free it would tend to drive them barking mad and in rage as well.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080539)

So if there was a way to violate your rights previously, it should be OK to violate your rights futher in other ways? Brilliant thinking Watson. It's not about "the internet", it's about whether it violates rights.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082161)

I have no problem with law enforcement monitoring specific people (or email addresses or Facebook accounts or whatever) on the internet IF they have a warrant to do so. I have a problem with laws that allow/require internet surveillance of people without a warrant.

Just because its now done "on the internet" doesn't mean that it should be possible to carry out surveillance without a warrant.

Re:If there is a lawful mechanism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082519)

Really simple. There is a vast difference between a court which we'll pretend is not a rubber-stamp lapdog granting an order allowing the government to try to get data and having said government require the providers of technology and communications to deliberately weaken their systems to guarantee the government's ability to do so whenever they want. This is why (in the US) that CALEA was such a putrid, horrible idea back in the 90s.

Please note that these mandates to allow snooping never include a mandate to allow it only when duly authorized. Modern cryptography, even in he 90s, could do that--but there are no protections. There isn't even a mandate for proper logging of all such requests, and certainly no provision for oversight of the procedures.

Cell phones and tablets could be made to not log every damned thing, but you have to work at it if you want that. With some relatively simple changes, even things like OnStar could become pretty privacy-friendly, but there's no push for that. Hell, RIM might be the victim of failing to be the cool kids these days, but the also have the best mobile privacy and security bar none and they can't catch a break from the government-friendly corporate media. Even these new driverless cars COULD be designed in a privacy friendly way, but does anybody want to bet that somehow the cops will be able to ask such a vehicle where it's been and when, and that there will be no effective safeguards for that information?

These things are the difference between due process with proper oversight and a snooping, monitoring, oppressive police state. It's the difference between police accessing your cloud-based backups that you didn't encrypt properly and them having to come to you with a warrant. In the latter case, you would know what happened. The cops don't want you to know what happened.

Governments may have the ability and occasionally even the need to spy and snoop, but we should be under NO obligation to assist them in any way. To be otherwise is to betray what it means to be a free people.

Slashdot's double standard (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080203)

Slashdot on government: "How dare governments track everything we do! This is outrageous!"

Slashdot on Google: "Eh, whatever. I willingly let them index my browsing history, search history, email, voice mail, text messages, online purchases, and even archive my mom's passwords on her unencrypted WiFi. How dare the government investigate them for privacy violations."

Re:Slashdot's double standard (2)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080309)

The fundamental difference being that you can choose not to use Google's services and thereby avoid their "monitoring" but you can't avoid wholesale government monitoring of the internet unless you stop using it altogether (which is getting increasingly difficult to do as more and more government & private services move primarily online).

Telcos are usually content distributors (4, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080301)

Nearly all the major ISPs in Canada are also supplying traditional content. Some are even creators of that content. They are the last companies that want to see the internet become a pipe.

All of these companies need to be forced to separate their old business from the new business with the understanding that the new company's goal is to be the best pipe possible and not to try propping up their old business models. Otherwise the interests of these companies is in direct conflict with the interests of a modern Canadian population. Check out the rates and services of 3rd world Caribbean countries and it is mind boggling. Jamaica offers 6Mbs unlimited cellular Internet for $40 US a month. The sell a D-Link router for you to have Wi-Fi for all the devices in your house. Canadian companies get all wound up about tethering your smart phone to a laptop because you might actually use some data that way.

Their arguments keep going on and on about how they need to spend so many billions on infrastructure and these high rates are justified to pay for that. I guess we need the Jamaicans to come up and show us how to do it right.

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080643)

But Comcast says THEY paid for the cable channels (about 50 cents per channel) and therefore the shows belong to them, and should not be distributed online. Is comcast wrong? In what way?

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081021)

Agreed. Maybe you should write a letter to the Emporor of Canada and get him to sort it out. Oh, wait...

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082769)

Agreed. Maybe you should write a letter to the Emporor of Canada and get him to sort it out. Oh, wait...

But the Emperor of Canada has no clothes. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/nude-stephen-harper-painting-causes-a-stir/article2437175/

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081207)

"hey are the last companies that want to see the internet become a pipe."

As opposed to a big truck?

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (2)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081283)

Let's see, Canada has roughly 12x the population of Jamaica, but roughly 1000x the land mass, roughly 1/83rd of the population density. Let's look to Jamaica for insight on Canadian infrastructure costs. Yeah...

It's the same reason Canadian electric companies are paying around 8x the rate they charge (.55/kWh vs .07/kWh) for people using wind/solar arrays to ease the load on the power grid. Sure they can run wires everywhere, but when the demands of any area exceed the tolerances of the sub-stations, they have to make extremely costly upgrades to every substation between that area and the power source(s). In the case of the internet, the sources and destinations of data are spread thinly over a ~10,000,000 sq km area.

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081597)

In the case of the internet, the sources and destinations of data are spread thinly over a ~10,000,000 sq km area.

Well, no.

The population is not even remotely close to evenly distributed. In fact, if you look at a map [nrcan.gc.ca] it's fairly clear that it's not necessary to provide wireless service to the vast majority of that land area. Put differently -- yes, Canada is really big but most of it is virtually uninhabited. For the most part, the white areas on that map have no meaningful mobile phone coverage.

Claiming that Canada's low population density is somehow an excuse for extremely high mobile phone rates is a very simplistic excuse. When you consider the area where anyone would actually consider providing coverage, the effective population density is probably not significantly lower than most other developed countries (although 30 seconds of googling couldn't provide me with hard numbers on this, ymmv).

Re:Telcos are usually content distributors (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083269)

I'm OK not having a good signal in Upper Bum Wash Manitoba when I am prospecting for mosquito resistant rock. But to support my Jamaica example it is a mountainous country with most of its population in a few spots. The north coast is pretty empty outside the resorts. The parish of Trelawny has a population of around 73,000 and is pretty big. Good modern coverage for all but the jungliest bits. Keep in mind that this is a country where they don't even seem to build overpasses (four lane highway and then red light, four lane highway, red light).

Nearby the Domincan Republic is in the same boat. Most of its population is concentrated in one place and the rest is pretty hilly. Pretty good coverage. This is impressive in a country that has trouble keeping the lights on. The power in DR is only somewhat reliable shortly before an election. (Outside the resorts). These are not modern countries in so many ways. Yet they manage to have a competitive, cheap, and reliable cell system. If you look at their plans they don't have all these complicated 3 year contracts, with incomprehensible (for comparison) weekend and minutes, friends and family, a-la-carte feature nightmares that could only come from the mind of an MBA who actually hates their customers. The majority of people in these two countries are on some version of pay as you go. I would say the only oddity in Jamaica is the high cost of the phones but that is probably due to tariffs and other taxes.

Minimally Canada needs to simply ban the larger telcos from being able to buy out any other company as so far this seems to have been the anti competition pattern. Twist CRTC into preventing competition, if that fails and new company becomes pain in the ass, sit on it, and if that doesn't work, eat it. That is really what they need the billions for.

Lastly as for the vastness of Canada, I suspect it doesn't take much to provide two moose and a raccoon with 3G. Push the old crap equipment into the boondocks as you upgrade the downtown core to 4G or LTE.

As for the companies spying I suspect that this is to allow for the argument that then they can shut down the competition to their TV services really quickly if they already have established a precedent of spying on customer transmissions.

Correction... (1)

freeweaver (2548146) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080329)

"Telco's everywhere are secretly supporting internet surveillance".

All countries are interconnected. All western countries are looking to pass legislation to mandate surveillance. As such all people, everywhere, are being surveilled.

This isn't acceptable any more.

This really needs to STOP! (1)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080373)

One minute the U.S. is trying to pass internet surveillance legislation. The next it is Britain. Then Australia jumps on the bandwaggon. Now its Canada. ------- The people lobbying for this BS need to be fought decisively. Otherwise we can forget the "free" internet as we know it today.

Re:This really needs to STOP! (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080481)

One minute the U.S. is trying to pass internet surveillance legislation. The next it is Britain. Then Australia jumps on the bandwaggon. Now its Canada. ------- The people lobbying for this BS need to be fought decisively. Otherwise we can forget the "free" internet as we know it today.

What was the saying? "Soap Box... Ballot Box... Ammo Box."

You are using the Soap Box now. In some countries, the Pirate Party is gaining headway (Australia even has rumors of trying to elect Julian Assange to parliament) that would be the Ballot Box in use. For examples of the Ammo Box try a search for "Arab Spring".

The world is changing. Fighting is going on. Some of us are just at different stages of the fight.

Seems like a good thing (3, Interesting)

mar.kolya (2448710) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080383)

This surveillance will be mostly used to catch people downloading movies from torrent. No, it won't be used to catch people looking for child porn - media industry (which is owned by same people as telcos) is not interested in catching them, they are after 'pirates'. So, all 'pirates' go to jails (like half of the country), nobody subscribes to the internet anymore, telcos die, PROFIT. Also, this would probably kill movie industry as well because most of their clients that go to the cinema and pay real cash (i.e. youth) will be in jails. Piracy would be eliminated because there is nothing to pirate anymore. Isn't this great? The next reasonable move would be to make all those jailed 'pirates' work on uranium mines. This will solve Canadian carbon emission problems as well. Great future is coming, cannot wait!

Re:Seems like a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40084979)

"Great future is coming, cannot wait!"

Let's say that actually happens! You're either the one behind the bars, or you're the one being taxed to death to keep the other 50% of the popluation behind bars.

Why don't we secure the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080399)

It bothers me that so many years after snooping became both commonplace and well-known that most forms of communication on the Internet are still completely transparent to anyone who cares to listen.

I would think the Slashdot audience would be the ones who would help provide a solution to this problem, by building an internet communications architecture that was very secure by default. Instead we sit and watch as governments and critics around the world argue over just how far they should go, given that realistically very little stands in the way of them going as far as they want, technically speaking.

The way things are going, in a few years every communication you make is probably going to be stored in a big database somewhere, people will still be complaining about it, but still nothing will have been done to actually put any real solution in place by design.

Re:Why don't we secure the internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080887)

I would think the Slashdot audience would be the ones who would help provide a solution to this problem,

Well, fellow AC, they have. They're not perfect, not as far as you would wish, but they exist.... and nobody uses them.

People don't care, because it's abstract. Very few people have much capacity for grasping abstract concepts.

The way things are going, in a few years every communication you make is probably going to be stored in a big database somewhere,

In a few years? It's already happening now. Probably has been for several years at least.

WORSE IS BEING SECRETLY CANADIAN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080475)

Because if you are, you don't want to be !!

Who, after all, WANTS to be canadian, I ask you !! NO ONE !! That's who.

Let us look at them, now:

Rich Little
Bill Shatner
Alan 'sick of the night' Thicke
Those kids in the hall again
Everyone in Toronto (hate the french)
Everyone in Montreal (hate the canadians)
That guy from Lexx
and the countless others who just want to be anything but canadian, only they can't so they are secretly canadian !!

OT: Rollover to play ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080541)

You guys really need to fucking stop with the rollover-to-play ads. I've always read slashdot on my browser that doesn't have an ad-blocking plug-in because I like you guys and if something were to come up that interested me (e.g., ThinkGeek stuff), I'd be down to help you out and see if there's something I wanted to buy. Until such time as you fix this, though, you're going in my browser for interesting but junky sites. It seems like another sign of your demise, though hopefully it's just a fuck-up.

Michael Geist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080741)

Quit posting crap from Michael Geist. He is a left-wing "academic" that has never held a real job in his entire life. He's just anti-business, nothing more.

Re:Michael Geist (4, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080893)

I guess unlike you, some Slashdot users actually think teaching *is* a real job. Go back to your Santorum rallies if you want to talk to someone who thinks a college education makes you "elitist".

Re:Michael Geist (1)

Bahamut_Omega (811064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40082379)

Methinks an anonymous Conservative coward. Shall we be seeing the disintegration of the tories by law or a physical rending? There are left wingers who would gladly see the PM get what is coming to him in the form of punishment. Crimes against humanity could likely be levied against Harper and cabinet in respect to the G20/G8 meetings.

I've heard that a few people would love to see Harper and company literally hanging for what they have done to the country. Personally I'd prefer Harper to stand before Madame Guillotine for her loving embrace if we cannot see him hanging from the Peace Tower.

The cat vs. mouse game continues (2)

Tool Man (9826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40080823)

While not surprising that it happens, it is vital that it be exposed for the power grab that it is. The problem is that the new forms of communication lack even the weak forms of protection afforded to old modes. For instance, telephone wiretaps require warrants, and postal mail is illegal to intercept by default as well. Compare that with the internet, where there are no legal prohibitions against snarfing the whole works, and great compulsion to do so.

There are multiple answers, of course, to make this process as difficult as possible. Social cohesion helps, as shown by the misery that the #TellVicEverything Twitter meme caused for Vic Toews' (Wullerton spit here) staffers. Encrypt everything, whether it needs it or not, and let the bastards sort out themselves what's important to them. Improved peer to peer protocols and the like could help blend traffic together, and make it harder to tell where the useful metadata is too, which email and other headers keep plaintext now. If you can't even tell who is communicating with whom, the challenge of where to serve the lawsuits makes it much more difficult to proceed. Finally, those who care the most about privacy, including the criminals themselves, will find off-line ways to communicate. The real bogey-men aren't dumb enough to throw everything out on the net to be archived, they'll go back to old, tried and true spycraft techniques.

Re:The cat vs. mouse game continues (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081213)

Encrypting everything isn't that easy. There needs to be a key exchange and some way to verify that they key you have been provided hasn't been tampered with. Verisign provides this type of service. So, If I were a government that had large amounts of resources, what would I do? I would get the Verisign key so I can create my own 'verified' keys. Then I just man-in-the-middle that crap out of everything and no one is the wiser.

Unfortunately, most (all?) encrytion schemes rely on some level of trust somewhere along the line. Who can you trust?

Re:The cat vs. mouse game continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081303)

That's what public key encryption is for. I can generate a public key, and my friend Bob generates one. When we exchange our keys, all we have to do is verify that it came from the other person. We call each other and read out a hash. Then I know this is Bob's key, and he knows mine is mine. This works EVEN IF there's a MITM intercepting our phone call.

Thereafter, we can communicate privately using these keys, and snooping the connection doesn't help you.

Problem is, nobody wants to do it, so in reality the internet is one massive Stasi wet dream.

Re:The cat vs. mouse game continues (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081399)

Yes, yes. That is an option if you need to communicate securely with a few people, but doesn't scale well, and is a cumbersome process.

Re:The cat vs. mouse game continues (1)

Tool Man (9826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083721)

Authentication of the parties at each end is one issue, but only one of them. What I mean is that most protocols should be encrypted by default, rather than by exception. Let us take the web for example.

  • When you make a request, your browser first telegraphs its intentions by doing a DNS lookup of the desired host.
  • Once an IP address is determined, your browser makes a request, usually in plaintext.
  • The typical, non-SSL connection trusts the domain registrars and DNS hosts that the identified address matches the actual site.
  • The user provides plaintext (usually) credentials, on the iffy chance that the site even requires any.
  • The response is also unencrypted, so the entire process is totally in the clear as a general case.

Like the AC said, it's the Stasi's wet dream. You have gone and told your ISP, the web host, and every snoopy-assed dog in between exactly what your on-line identity is, who you're talking to, what was said by each, and probably the credentials you used to log in.

Without getting into the hassles of key management for crypto, let us compare this to a simple (-ish) SSL session:

  • You have still leaked your DNS request. In the typical case, your ISP knows what hostname you're looking for in your browser request.
  • Your browser makes at least some attempt at verifying the identity of the web site. Yes, SSL has issues with knowing who to trust, but the alternative sucks donkey balls in comparison. Your common-use, current browsers will squawk for most dodgy attempts, and getting around this requires more subterfuge than the average bear.
  • Your communications with the end host are encrypted. What ever you asked for, and receive, as well as any login credentials, are hidden from prying third parties. Your ISP knows little but the hostname, unless you have installed browser certs which let them perform a MITM attack.

Not perfect, but better, yes? Now multiply this across other common protocols. Email (both ways), chat, file transfers. It's a great start.

JAVAScript Public Key Encryption Demo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40080865)

http://shop-js.sourceforge.net/crypto2.htm

Public Key Cryptography using RSA
http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2008/12/public_key_cryptography_using.php

USPS (1)

oyenamit (2474702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40081023)

That's it! From now on, the only mail you will get from me is the one that I can lick.

Re:USPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40082815)

And with that lick of the stamp and/or envelope the Government has a legal-to-obtain DNA sample. Congratulations, your private message has just been tied to you despite lack of return address or name.

Re:USPS (1)

Tool Man (9826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40083747)

Fine, get one of those little sponges from Staples. Or, if you feel like making a statement, provide whatever DNA sample moistens the stamp in a way which matches your preferred sentiment. Your typical recipient won't know, but you've told the Powers That Be just how weird you really are. It doesn't have to be yours either, if you have alternative means to acquire said sample.

Anyone else read this as Canadian Tacos ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40081291)

I guess Cmdr. Taco is not yet forgotten.

Months? Think last year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083009)

I used to work for a medium-sized telco/ISP operation. The RCMP showed up over a year ago with ideas for what they wanted to do. This bill has been in the works for a long time.

Don't listen when they say it's hard to do. They want open access on their terms; when and where they want. Think mirrored ports and a box you don't control.

No Doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083029)

Canada wants to be the Uber USSR that the UK struggles to achieve prior to the Olympic Games on the backs of its citizens who they the Excecker loves to butt-fuck regularly, as in daily. The Brit Gov loves butt-fuck activites amongst ministers ... builds character ... they The Royals say.

This is why the US Border Patrol and TSA hack/monitor/alter/fabracate TCP/IP packets from Canada Telcos to US Telcos and why Canadian citizens are regularly beaten and robbed of cash and credit/debit cards and butt-fucked at the US/Canada borders (especially those lacking of credit/debit cards or cash) by US Border Patrol and TSA 'agents' 24/7/365-6 (need to mind the leap year .. important for taxes ... and itemizaitons thingeys ... Ho .. Ho ... Ho ..).

LoL

Reverse Psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083769)

The governments and corporations of the world might have better success with marginalizing the majority of their populations if they were to do it on top of the kitchen table instead of in bed with each other.

802.11s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40083979)

802.11s, where are you when we need you? We need to develop a grass roots, public non-muthercorped internet that is actually free (as in uncensored and non-draconian and can't be draconian). Heavy handedness in the public internet will lead to private (and free) internii.

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