Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Meet PRISM's English Little Brother: Socmint

timothy posted about a year ago | from the do-you-know-winston-smith-in-real-life dept.

United Kingdom 76

An anonymous reader writes with a story at Ars Technica, according to which "For the past two years, a secretive unit in the Metropolitan Police has been developing the tools for blanket surveillance of the public's social media conversations. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere. ... Surveillance operations often require a ministerial sign-off or permission from a superior, but it is unclear whether targeting of public social media data requires the same level of oversight, as head of research at Privacy International Eric King points out."

cancel ×

76 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So it's not really the same then... (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44121311)

Because all it does is just scrape public data, whilst Prism targets private data, which is kind of a fundamental difference.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (3, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#44121425)

Yeah.

Basically anything they are doing there, I could do and not get into trouble (so long as you stick to the DPA, etc., and there's no evidence to suggest they don't). Hell, Google already do it too, and just about any number of web crawlers.

That's a whole different ball game to "monitoring my conversations" when it comes to doing so by looking into the private records of my account, rather than what you can already find on Google.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44123885)

The problem is that it is the long predicted end-game of the mass adoption of social media where everything gets put online. It borders on pre-crime, where the police actively look for people who seem like they might commit and offence.

You also have to remember that many members of the police force are scum and will abuse this as much as possible. We already know they like to dig for dirt on people they don't like. It's becoming standard practice to throw in a few dubious but terrifying child porn charges based on the contents of a suspect's browser cache if they are not cooperating to the police's satisfaction. Now everything you ever said or posted can and will be used against you, out of context and even after you deleted it.

It's somewhat like the Stasi. They had a file on everyone, spies everywhere potentially monitoring anything and everything being said or written for deviant behaviour. The effects were chilling.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

DeVilla (4563) | about a year ago | (#44136525)

It's somewhat like the Stasi.
.
.
.
The effects were chilling.

Oh wait! I just just had a brilliant idea to help reverse Global Warming!

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1, Flamebait)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#44125369)

No you can't, your logic is broken. First, you don't have the time required to do this. Second, you are not getting paid with other people's money to do this. Lastly, you are not using this data in an official capacity even if you had the time to gather it.

The UK's shit stinks just as much as the US's. I think the difference is really that in the US we are pretty vocal about it on US sites like /.. For all we know in the US, the UK may have the same movements that we just don't see in the US.

I scoff at anyone in the UK thinking they are so much better off than the US in terms of corruption and tyranny. I saw how the military treated people and declared martial law without much dissent during the Olympics. Yeah yeah, I know.. "it's for the children" and "war on terror" and all that nonsense. Most of you don't stand up for yourselves just like most Americans won't stand up for themselves. It's easier to point fingers and wave to the other side trying to convince yourself that it's all sunshine and rainbows where you are standing.

Apologies if the bluntness causes offense, but it's the shortest distance to the point.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44137203)

I saw how the military treated people and declared martial law without much dissent during the Olympics.

There wasn't much dissent because it didn't happen*. The UK military forces were there because the private security firm contracted to provide security personnel fucked up and couldn't provide the personnel it promised.

*I googled to check if something happened that I missed and didn't find anything.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121525)

It's still shitty.

The only thing on Twitter that I find interesting enough to comment on is the ramblings of my local member of parliament. When he's being juvenile, such as when he says "it wasn't me it was the guy before me lol", I call him juvenile because that's what he is. I tell him I voted for him and I've made a big mistake. I tell him to stop posing for the cameras and to get on with the job he's paid to do. I tell him his government sucks and he should be ashamed of his and their actions.

I now know I'm on The List and that limits my other activities on the internet too. It's shitty.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44121585)

It's still shitty.

The only thing on Twitter that I find interesting enough to comment on is the ramblings of my local member of parliament. When he's being juvenile, such as when he says "it wasn't me it was the guy before me lol", I call him juvenile because that's what he is. I tell him I voted for him and I've made a big mistake. I tell him to stop posing for the cameras and to get on with the job he's paid to do. I tell him his government sucks and he should be ashamed of his and their actions.

I now know I'm on The List and that limits my other activities on the internet too. It's shitty.

now this is just comparable to the police reading the newspaper and you posting readers letters to the newspaper - and if you're already on the list why bother with anon? besides, if you were on a list it would be as long as the thames.

headline is misleading. it would be more interesting to know if GB is spying on chinese turbine production capabilities by intercepting communications and passing them on to their domestic manufacturers - that would be more akin to PRISM.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44121811)

Exactly. What this system is is basically automation of day to day work which you get in any industry, I wouldn't expect the police to be any different.

If they can reasonably use publicly posted information to solve crimes or even prevent them before they happen then they're going to need to do that anyway and I'd rather they have a system that automates and pulls out the important parts and hence only need a few officers to review than than have hundreds of officers expensively wasting time reading absolutely everything they can.

This isn't to say there shouldn't be safe guards, they need to make sure the system is fit for purpose and is focussing on the important things, and it needs to be limited to public information unlike prism, but all in all if there is information out there publicly that can solve crimes then that's kind of exactly what the police are meant to do - find information to assist in solving and preventing crimes and if they can do that more efficiently than reading everything and anything then great.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121989)

"I now know I'm on The List and that limits my other activities on the internet too. It's shitty."

Fucking ridiculous. Is this something you need to feel in order to satisfy your victim complex or something?

Tweeting a bunch of crap to a politician makes you part of the Background Noise...it doesnt make you some serious threat that anyone is going to waste time and resources on.

Get over yourself, youre not really all that important.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121641)

Hence the "little brother".
It certainly has space to get bigger, though.
That is the main concern.

Oversight of oversight of oversight. Unless there is constant transparency and equality amongst access, the system is open to abuse.
In fact, wasn't there that project for people to spy on others through CCTV to report dodgy behaviours?

Re:So it's not really the same then... (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#44121697)

Because all it does is just scrape public data

Even some of the staunchest "don't post in public that which you don't want to be public" proponents tend to draw lines.

Remember this thing?
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/03/31/0145218/man-creates-creepy-stalking-app [slashdot.org]
http://apple.slashdot.org/story/12/04/02/1432257/worlds-creepiest-iphone-app-pulled-after-outcry [slashdot.org]
( tl;dr: App that combined public foursquare and facebook data so you could quickly find out more details about a person in a given location, like, say, how hot they are. )

Or similarly (not directly public):
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/04/28/1719247/gps-maker-tomtom-submits-your-speed-data-to-police [slashdot.org]
( tl;dr: Drivers supplied data (opt-in) to TomTom, who in turn sold aggregated data to the public, one business member of which generated reports about congestion, speeds, etc. and sold that on to the police. )

Turns out that some of those proponents really mean that 'public' means anybody who they deem to be part of that 'public'. Which may exclude creeps, stalkers, and government (entities).

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44122427)

They're not so much crossing a privacy line than a decency line, although the actions are just as deplorable.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122943)

So reading what you publicly post is indecent and deplorable? I guess I am guilty... I just read this post.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44124025)

The point is about 1000 miles from your current location.

9000 extremists, maybe 100 on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121821)

From the article:
"On June 26, The Guardian reported that the very same unit had a "secret database" that had labelled some 9,000 individuals—many from political groups—as "domestic extremists." It adds to the growing number of questionable surveillance tactics used by the police. What is particularly troublesome is that these abuses occurred even with the apparent existence of proper legislation and oversight—something the snooping of social media data currently does not have."

If they're watching 9000 extremists, then probably Slashdot accounts for a good 100 of those. Watch what you say. MET has a history of plotting against its critics.

Re:9000 extremists, maybe 100 on slashdot (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44121963)

I don't live in London so I can't say I'm scared in the slightest. In fact, even if I did live in London I can't say I'd be scared in the slightest.

Re:So it's not really the same then... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#44122475)

This is about as invasive as reading the letters pages in all the newspapers.

The Netherlands. (3, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44121325)

I wonder what kind of spying methods the Netherlands use. We were the best of the world in tapping telephone conversations for a very long time. But our government has a good reputation for fucking up IT projects in catastrophic ways, so I'm curious how they fare in the "spying on your own people" business.

Re:The Netherlands. (3, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | about a year ago | (#44121391)

Outsourcing to GB and USA?

Re:The Netherlands. (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44121935)

You laugh, but the director of the Dutch secret service recently admitted to gathering intel on a large scale "so they'll have something valuable to trade with their counterparts abroad". Apparently you need to give up the goods on your own citizens in order to play the spy game on an international level.

Re:The Netherlands. (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44123879)

Actually I thought that too. We are in bed with them anyway and deep too, so why not?

Re:The Netherlands. (2)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44121401)

Who knows, maybe a cup to their ear against the wall in the room next to you? but I guess unlike us here in the UK you wouldn't name it so that it sounds like a new brand of shoe freshener for people with smelly feet at least.

Re:The Netherlands. (1)

Njovich (553857) | about a year ago | (#44121523)

Maybe Netherlands just needed to tap more telephone conversations because they didn't have something like Prism?

Re:The Netherlands. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#44121753)

Or they just admitted to more taps than other governments.

Or they inflated the number of taps to scare people.

Unless there's a 'Dutch Snowden' willing to blow open that can of worms, any guess goes.

That's good news :) (2)

jopsen (885607) | about a year ago | (#44123809)

But our government has a good reputation for fucking up IT projects in catastrophic ways

I feel the same way... I live in Denmark where the public sector also has a good reputation for "fucking up IT projects in catastrophic ways".

So when it comes to the government spying on me, I feel fairly safe, knowing that at least my government doesn't have the competence to do so :)
Seriously, we have law specifying that ISPs must log every 20th TCP/IP session, just IP addresses and timestamp.
Everything is stored at the ISPs and they may only release it on court order. Cost 200 million USD to establish, 20 million USD to maintain every year.

Yet, when asked a couple of years after the law as enacted, the police says they haven't used the logs yet, nor do they have any IT system capable of reading the logs. Because all ISPs writes logs in their own format :)
So fear not, your governments ability to fuckup large IT project most likely also extents to the intelligence services.

Re:That's good news :) (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44123911)

I really do hope so indeed! They fucked up every other recent and not so recent IT project they started so far. Some of them even have to be redone from start, so I have good hopes.

Re:The Netherlands. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44124643)

The current law's are :

TAP, - the govenrment must be able to listen in into any mailbox or internet connection through the TIIT protocol (ipsec based tunneling)
http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/bestanden/documenten-en-publicaties/regelingen/2012/02/08/tiit-v1-2-0-transport-of-intercepted-ip-traffic/c-documents-and-settings-nsenff-ad-000-desktop-tiit-v1-2-0-2011-09-2.pdf
http://cryptome.org/espy/TIIT-Questions.pdf

CIOT, any ISP/hoster must (daily) upload a total dump of the name(s), adress, email-adresses, ip-adress(es), phone number(s) of any of their customers
The data is pgp encrypted ftp-uploaded to the CIOT (part of the ministry of justice), where it's used to create a sort of 'adressbook' / searchable database.

Retention law, every ISP/hoster must keep logs of 6 months (or a year for gsm location data) of every mail sent, etc.
https://www.bof.nl/2011/06/07/eu-privacy-watchdog-data-retention-directive-unlawful/
https://www.bof.nl/2010/11/18/bits-of-freedom-strikes-again-dutch-government-cancels-national-database-on-bank-data/
https://www.bof.nl/2011/07/14/dutch-senate-disappointed-with-data-retention-directive-evaluation/

The ministry of justice coorperated with Leaseweb (the bigest hoster) to implement a 'child porn filter' to match any uploaded data agains't a database of known
childporn images hashes collected by the KLPD (which is now using MS photo-dna instead of md5 hashes).
http://webwereld.nl/beveiliging/58136-leaseweb-wil-nieuwe-pilot-voor-filteren-kinderporno

Banks must report any 'suspicious transactions' (and require a valid goverment supplied id) :
http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/integriteit-financiele-markten/aanpak-witwassen-en-financieren-van-terrorisme/meldplicht-ongebruikelijke-transacties

Symbolon / Argo II (in progres)
They now also want to make it legal for the goverment to hack into others systems (especially if they're abroad)
https://www.bof.nl/2013/05/02/dutch-hacking-proposal-puts-citizens-at-risk/

This is a reaction the takedown of the Bredo-lab by Fox-IT in coorporation with the KLPD, where they hacked other systems to do it, and
found out that they were not allowed to hack systems (of innicent bystanders or criminals), so they now want to make legal what they are allready doing illegaly.
The AIVD (the dutch secret service) is allready legally allowed to hack systems. The AIVD is also legally allowed to request any data they think necessary, but as far as I known they've never used this to collect large datasets. The AIVD is kind of dumb. Fox-IT was started by a former AIVD guy to do their hacking for them.
Fox-IT is also the sponser of OHM2013.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BredoLab_botnet

Re:The Netherlands. (1)

tsa (15680) | about a year ago | (#44128629)

That's a beautiful list. Thanks!

Don't you mean IngSocmint? (5, Insightful)

SomePoorSchmuck (183775) | about a year ago | (#44121365)

As I said of Western governments many years ago, "WE read 1984 and took it as a warning. THEY read 1984 and took it as a blueprint."

Re:Don't you mean IngSocmint? (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about a year ago | (#44121833)

Grrr I was literally just about to make the same joke!!!

SocMints? (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44121885)

Sounds like after dinner mints that go well with Victory Coffee.

Re:SocMints? (1)

mike260 (224212) | about a year ago | (#44124633)

SocMint: Plusfresh post-eat. Holeful. Buy.

Re:SocMints? (1)

SomePoorSchmuck (183775) | about a year ago | (#44125453)

SocMint: Plusfresh post-eat. Holeful. Buy.

Scarily, I can hear that exact phrase sounding actually rather good coming from that Orbit gum gal [brandinsightblog.com]

Re:Don't you mean IngSocmint? (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44121945)

Whereas in the east the govs. simply toss you in prison. Yeah, strait to the point. That's the way to go.

Re:Don't you mean IngSocmint? (1)

jalopezp (2622345) | about a year ago | (#44121987)

You mean we read the blueprints and didn't take them seriously?

Re:Don't you mean IngSocmint? (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | about a year ago | (#44128933)

It's like they are not even trying to hide it anymore.

I'm a WhistleBlower (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121381)

I'm blowing the whistle on Facebook. I work for Facebook and support systems that also scour posts and collects personal information and trends. It is my understanding that this data, which is in the 1000's of TB's, is sold to governments and capitalist entities. I complained once, but they told me I was doing my country and the community great favors by what I was doing. Then my cat disappeared that night. Like I sai

Re:I'm a WhistleBlower (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122011)

It's worse than that. I have come into ownership of secret information about a classified NSA program known by the code name Magellan. The system is said to scour the whole Internet and present a simple user interface for searching this gigantic database, allowing the NSA to instantly conduct searches for information that used to be private and known only through word of mouth. This is only the first generation of this technology. The corporation Digital Research, heavily connected to the military-industrial complex, is working on a next-generation version called Alta Vista that will include a translation component called Babel Fish that will allow non-English content to be retrieved through English search queries, and the CIA has a classified program called Dog Pile that can tie the different systems together.

It's really scary. You don't want to step into this world. Just getting a whiff of Dog Pile disgusts me. If anyone reading this has a position in Dog Pile, please tell us everything you can about what it's like.

Captcha: "seminal". THE NSA IS IN MY BALLS!

Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44121403)

Even reading the article, I'm still not clear on wtf the "Metropolitan Police" referred to are. Is that the London police? Sydney? Some other city?

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44121441)

It's okay, you can be forgiven for not having heard of them, it's not like they're the oldest police force in the world or anything:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Police_Service [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (4, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | about a year ago | (#44121621)

Oldest and most corrupt?

They have been so many scandals since my birth, that naming them all would take too long, so I'll name the ones that are current in my mind.

Currently they are investigating themselves for a victim smear campain. Last year 50 were suspended for corruption. They've been labled as "institutionalised racists" in the past. They've murdered people like Ian Tomlinson and Jean Charles de Menezes in recent years. They've sold out to the national press, more than once.

'ello, 'ello, 'ello, what a 'orrible lot we are.

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44121725)

I agree they've got a lot to answer for but "most corrupt" is pushing it a bit given that in some countries you can outright pay officers to arrest people or get arrested on made up charges and have to pay a bribe to be released.

It's also a rather big force as it has the best part of 50,000 staff which is more than Sweden and Norway put together have to police their entire countries and given that you're bound to have some bad eggs, but yes, they could certainly do better.

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122865)

So the statement "you can outright pay officers to arrest people or get arrested on made up charges" does not apply to the police in the UK?

Google "Ian Puddick" for an eye-opener on that score.

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44130049)

It's about the only example and even then much of it seems to blend paranoid conspiracy with actual fact. Again there's no doubt there was wrongdoing but his complaints on the issue seem to have descended from justified to paranoid delusion.

What I was referring to is a real actual problem that happens multiple times every single day with some police forces and even if all his claims were true it doesn't come close to that level of corruption.

Re: Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44121919)

Yeah, it's not as if the term "Metropolitan Police" could refer to any large city's police force...

Re: Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44122049)

When one is more famous than any other it's usually quite normal to assume it's the most famous one being referred to if there's ambiguity.

It's like when someone bitched the other week when an article said "The Queen" saying "Which Queen?". Which fucking Queen do you think? It's not exactly rocket science just as when an article says the "FBI" and talks about crime I don't scream "What has this got to do with the Federation of British industries?" or ask why Nashville School of the Arts has been engaged in spying on people's private data stored at Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft with Prism.

No point wasting bytes and summary space explaining every single god damn acronym and name in full detail just to spoon feed the lazy few with poor world knowledge who rather than simply Google it prefer to expend greater effort informing the rest of us as to how ignorant they are of the world.

If the UK bit in the summary wasn't enough of a clue that it may be the met in the UK and not some other country then anyone getting confused is too far gone stupid to help in the slightest anyway.

Re: Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (2)

stiggle (649614) | about a year ago | (#44122431)

The title says they're "English" and there is only one English Metropolitan Police - aka "The Met"

Re: Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#44123023)

Good point.

The program really should have been called "IngSocMint." Doubleplusgood bellyfeel.

Re: Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

betterprimate (2679747) | about a year ago | (#44129949)

Great point.

... from a snarky invalid.

Re: Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131583)

Aka. The Gestapo.

We did it first (1)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about a year ago | (#44126497)

Because we invented police forces, it made sense for us to call our force the Metropolitian, because as the first, it couldn't be confused with anyone else. It's the same with stamps; we still don't put any country identity on our stamps, just the queen's head. Just remember: 'The English the English the English are best,I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest' and 'It's not that they're wicked or naturally bad It's just that they're foreign that makes them so mad The English are all that a nation should be And the pride of the English are Chipper and me' for the song properly sung see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vh-wEXvdW8 Enjoy!

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44124593)

It's okay, you can be forgiven for not having heard of them, it's not like they're the oldest police force in the world or anything:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Police_Service [wikipedia.org]

"The Metropolitan Police Service was founded in 1829, under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829, and at that time, merged with the River Thames Marine Police Force, which had been formed in 1798. In 1837, it also incorporated the Bow Street Horse Patrol that had been organised in 1805"

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year ago | (#44121729)

You've probably heard of "Scotland Yard", which is a nickname for the Metropolitan Police.

Re:Who are the "Metropolitan Police"? (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44122473)

Not really - they're normally referred to as 'The Met'. Scotland Yard, or simply 'The Yard', is their HQ.

you put it out there (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44121419)

This is why I'm not and never have been on Facebook and don't use a real name elsewhere. How stupid are people? Oh gee, I put something out in the public and now people are looking at it. Seriously? Don't use Facebook.

Re:you put it out there (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44121431)

This is why I'm not and never have been on Facebook and don't use a real name elsewhere. How stupid are people?

Apparently, stupid enough to believe that this project only sniffs public data, and also stupid enough to believe that by avoiding Facebook, they've avoided being tracked.

Re:you put it out there (2)

liamevo (1358257) | about a year ago | (#44121605)

We have "tempora" for the none public data.

Re:you put it out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44121925)

By avoiding Facebook, you are, at the very least, not putting your information on a fucking silver platter for them. Only imbeciles use Facebook.

Re:you put it out there (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44122835)

By avoiding Facebook, you are, at the very least, not putting your information on a fucking silver platter for them. Only imbeciles use Facebook.

Imbeciles.... and subversive dissenters looking to poison the well with disinformation.

Re:you put it out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44123785)

This is an outrageous violation of my terms of use, because I tweeted that stuff for the purpose of improve my ad targeting, not to provide intell to LE! When I tweeted my afternoon plans, I just wanted the system to start showing me ads for guns and ski masks.

At least it's an appropriate name (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | about a year ago | (#44121931)

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a staff of 17 officers in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) has been scanning the public's tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook profiles, and anything else UK citizens post in the public online sphere.

I agree, that does seem extreme...

"oversight" ha ha ha (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44122143)

There's only one group responsible for oversight, and we're doing a pretty lousy job of it.

Footnote (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122239)

This is almost a non-story compared to Tempora [wikipedia.org] .

National Domestic Extremism Unit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44122317)

National. Domestic. Extremism. Unit.
*facepalm*
You can't make this stuff up.
Can you imagine the receptionist?

Receptionist: Welcome to the National Domestic Extremism Unit! Please hold!
AC: Okay. (20 minutes later)
Receptionist: Hello, how may I help you today?
AC: Hi I was wondering if you had any spare SCUD missiles? Last ones we've seen so far were lost somewhere in the Middle East.
Receptionist: I'm sorry, you must have the wrong department. We're providing monitoring services, you'll have to talk to MI6 about that.
AC: Ah, I guess I misunderstood. You see I thought that you must have been some sort of aging vestigial extension of Stasi with a name like that. May I be transferred to the operator?
Receptionist: Of course, let me see, wait, Stasi!? It said somewhere in my book that I should be aware of that name. Hold please while I try to find these digital surveillance protocols...
AC: Wait, I'd like to report a critical incident!
Reception: Oh dear, critical incidents take precedent over everything else! Please describe.
AC: I'd like to report a critical incident of a group that identifies itself as an extremist group.
Reception: Okay, continue.
AC: You see, there is this organization that commits espionage on our daily behavior and has even included the word extremism in its own title!
Reception: This is serious! What could it possibly be?
AC: The National Domestic Extremism Unit.
Reception: Of course, this will be recorded immediately. Who.. Wait.. Uhh..
AC: *hears tremendous explosion of contradiction on the other end of the line*
AC: See, I was right! That just proves how dangerous they really are! I say we should smoke out all of these extremism units in our fair city, whether they be National or Domestic.

Re:National Domestic Extremism Unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44124133)

Just as bad as the "Serious Organised Crimes Agency"...

Re:National Domestic Extremism Unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44126395)

Just as bad as the "Serious Organised Crimes Agency". What are you complaining about? It is a matter of public record that they have commited quite a few serious crimes.

Socmint (1)

ChrisGoodwin (24375) | about a year ago | (#44122571)

Doubleplus ungood.

"Socmint"? (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#44123445)

...are...do my feet really stink that badly?

I do the best I can... :'(

A rose is (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#44125227)

Somebody needs to work with the British to help them improve their naming of sinister police-state infrastructure. "SOCMINT" just doesn't have the James Bond supervillain police-state cachet of "PRISM" or even "ESCHELON".

If the program's name doesn't strike fear into peoples' hearts, how do they expect to people to properly cower? They've got a lot of catching up to do if they're going to achieve the US government's level of soul-crushing totalitarianism (though they do get extra points for implementing a smothering level of surveillance). We know they've got the talent to implement a fascistic corporate feudalism, but one has to wonder if they have the will, what with wimpy names like SOCMINT.

They lost out on a great opportunity.

naw - that's not the English way (1)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about a year ago | (#44126521)

We call it GCHQ - not National Security Agency. Being British is all about understatement; it lets us creep up on you... ;)

Public Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44127287)

Is public ya know, so no real surprise, shock or anything else here is needed since its all legal and you put it there.. Sure, its not good that a *government* is recording all public data as even if you do publish you should have 'reasonable expectations' of privacy from your government, but you put it there so not much you can really do about it.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>