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Germany Implements Sweeping Data Retention Policies

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the bad-day-for-leaving-people-alone dept.

Privacy 210

G'Quann writes "Starting next year, all communication providers in Germany will have to store all connection data for six months. This includes not only phone calls but also IP addresses and e-mail headers. There had been a lot of protest against the new law, but it was ignored by the government. Quoting: 'The content of the communications is not stored. The bill had been heavily criticized. Privacy [advocates] had organized demonstrations against the bill in all major German cities at the beginning of this week. In October there had already been a large demonstration with thousands of participants in Germany's capital Berlin. All opposition parties voted against the bill. Several members of the opposition and several hundred private protesters announced a constitutional complaint.'"

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At least they saw it coming (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301985)

Before we in the U.S. get to patting ourselves on the back for not being this bad, consider the story [slashdot.org] just two posts down that discusses how this is probably already being done here with no one's knowledge or consent. I say "probably" because no one really knows. No laws passed, no protests staged (hard to protest something you don't even know about), just government silently doing whatever it wants after slapping a "national security" label on it.

It's not right in Germany, and it's not right here. The difference is that at least in Germany, this type of gross invasion of privacy happened on the public record and they can react and do something about it now.

Of course, we in the U.S. can do something about it too, but most people won't get worked up over what government might be doing without it being proven true, and our government is mercilessly exploiting that fact right now by keeping everything secret and implying that anyone who thinks otherwise is some kind of kooky conspiracy theorist (while they spy on them to make sure they don't get too far out of line).

Re:At least they saw it coming (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302137)

Hmm.
 
The people who see this coming are a minority. I don't think Germany is special in this way. Governments all over the world are doing this quitely and slowly, so almost nobody will notice the difference or will do anything, because the difference is so small.
 
Germany just introduced fingerprints in their id cards. Very few people think that this is a bad idea.
 
20 (maybe less) years and we are in 1984.

Re:At least they saw it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303295)

20 (maybe less) years and we are in 1984.

Im confused, its 2007 isn't it?

The dark night of fascism (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302361)

The dark night of fascism is always falling in America, but it always manages to actually land in Europe.

Re:At least they saw it coming (-1, Troll)

dmeranda (120061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302537)

Translated into non-liberal speak for the rest of us:

"Before we in the U.S. get to patting ourselves on the back for not being this bad,...

Before any non-liberal lurking on /. might get to discussing how bad the Germans are,

consider the story just two posts down

lets divert negative attention back on the U.S. where it belongs by cherrypicking a reference to a different story

that discusses how this is probably already being done here with no one's knowledge or consent.

which can further the liberal agenda of bashing the U.S. by inventing hypothetical FUD based on hearsay

I say "probably" because no one really knows.

It's just as likely as the Bush administration's torture being done to those illegal space aliens in Area 51 (I meant "undocumented space workers").

No laws passed, no protests staged (hard to protest something you don't even know about),

although the Bushies are covering it all up, so take my word for it

just government silently doing whatever it wants after slapping a "national security" label on it.

And we all know it's possible to prove any conspiracy theory intended to show how evil the U.S. is because the only two words we ever take out of context are "national security".

It's not right in Germany, and it's not right here.

Again, let's keep this discussion about a German event focused on the U.S. Kay?

The difference is that at least in Germany, this type of gross invasion of privacy happened on the public record and they can react and do something about it now.

Now for the real punch. The U.S. is even more evil because it hasn't passed a law requiring invasion of privacy.

Of course, we in the U.S.

Of course, we liberals stuck in the U.S. amist all those crazy Bushbots

can do something about it too,

should protest and generally blame the U.S. for anything

but most people won't get worked up over what government might be doing without it being proven true,

we don't know why most people don't believe wild theories which have no factual basis, I mean, if it shows the U.S. is evil why do they want proof?

and our government is mercilessly exploiting that fact right now

they never show mercy or restraint, all they do is all-out starve and exploit children and harm the planet!

by keeping everything secret and implying that anyone who thinks otherwise is some kind of kooky conspiracy theorist

by having the nerve to call conspiracy theorists "conspiracy theorists". I mean, that's like calling terroists "terrorists". Remember too, it's "undocumented worker", not "illegal alien".

(while they spy on them to make sure they don't get too far out of line).

I've got to go, I just spotted some black helicopters.

Re:At least they saw it coming (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302693)

Dude, employees coming to congress and saying this is happening is not equivalent to some nut bag who believes in space aliens giving him an anal probe. The evidence is there for the taking, but it is locked up behind national security claims that no one seems to have the balls to break open and shine the light of day on to see if they are valid. So excuse folks who believe that trust but verify is not a bad way of approaching matters with the government. And oh, black helicopters are your side's boogey man, not his...

Re:At least they saw it coming (5, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302825)

Dude, employees coming to congress and saying this is happening is not equivalent to some nut bag who believes in space aliens giving him an anal probe.

When did I say it was?

I'm referring to things such as the practice of extraordinary rendition, torture by waterboarding, silently monitoring all Internet traffic, etc. Stuff that the administration in charge keeps waving their hand at us and telling us, "There's nothing to worry about."

There's an unprecedented level of government secrecy in the U.S. now, secrecy about stuff that has little or nothing to do with national security. Well, secrecy except when it comes to disclosing the names of CIA personnel who happen to be involved with your political enemies. That's what makes me so nervous, it's secrecy for political reasons, not secrecy for security reasons.

It's kind of ironic that all of this is done in the name of protecting me from terrorists. I'm more afraid of my own government today than I've ever been of terrorists. And frankly, I feel that the government that has spent so much time, money, and effort, breaking laws whenever convenient, to protect me from terrorism has made us more vulnerable than ever.

Re:At least they saw it coming (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303007)

I was not (and did not) reply to your post. I was replying to the troll in between your post and mine. Read it and what I said in my original post will make a lot more sense to you.

Re:At least they saw it coming (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303405)

Ah, you're right, it does make more sense now. I was wondering how you got aliens out of my post.

Nice reply.

Heh, Bushbots. I'll have to remember that one.

Re:At least they saw it coming (3, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302879)

The difference is that at least in Germany, this type of gross invasion of privacy happened on the public record and they can react and do something about it now.
Yeah. That's the thing. This is happening everywhere in western "democracies". The problem is... where totalitarian dictatorships went wrong in the past, is that they try and shut people up. That causes trouble. There's really no need to to quieten and remove dissidents. No-one really cares.

People get all het up about changes to Facebook, what's on Reality TV, the price of gas, road traffic enforcement -- but stuff like this, stuff that really matters. Meh, forget it, nobody cares...

Are people already brainwashed? It's really impossible to imagine The American / French / Russian / etc revolution happening now. What happened? Seriously, how did this happen?

Re:At least they saw it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303451)

It's mostly Rupert Murdoch's fault. People believe stuff they see, especially the older generation. Having a TV in every home is basically mind control.

Re:At least they saw it coming (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302907)

Persecution complex, anyone?

Re:At least they saw it coming (3, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303275)

I see you were modded (-1 Truth)

Of course we saw it coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302739)

The difference is that at least in Germany, this type of gross invasion of privacy happened on the public record and they can react and do something about it now.

i doubt that. seriously, we have many sheeple here in germany who will vote for CSU, CDU, SPD (grand colation parties in charge of the country and responsible for this law) again over some issue like speed limit on german highways. ppl demonstrated against it, but mainstream media widely ignores them. the only thing one can do now to abolish this law is go to the german surpreme court and several thousand germans have chosen to do so. but today, it's a fact: the law is there.

if it will ever be to bad, german constitution has a rather odd article in it: 20 (4) says that as ultima ratio resistance against ppl who try to abolish the constitution is justified. catch-22 here: ppl who will do that are in currently charge of the country.

posting anonymous b/c of being german, obviousy. also, captcha is "against".

Re:At least they saw it coming (1)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302823)

You'd probably get pretty pissed if you heard about the patriot act. ;)

possible solution (0, Offtopic)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302921)

for several years, as a solution to an account of mine being marked as spam by my university because a colleague got his pc infected, I've used movie quotes in every email header.

Its been successful, everyone I mail expects this, and on the rare occasions that they have received emails from me not using this format I've got confirmation mails asking if it was really me.

Possibly this wouldn't work for eveyone, but I suggest it, since it works for me.

really stupid OP ? (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303237)

PGP, man. also, who mods stuff like this up ?

Re:At least they saw it coming (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303063)

I say "probably" because no one really knows. No laws passed, no protests staged (hard to protest something you don't even know about), just government silently doing whatever it wants after slapping a "national security" label on it.

In other words, "groundless speculation."

The Bush administration doesn't have a really good record of keeping such programs under wrap. Why would this be any different?

Envelope information is fair game (2, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303095)

Before we in the U.S. get to patting ourselves on the back for not being this bad

It was ruled long ago by the American courts, that the information on the envelope of a letter is not subject to privacy expectations and can be examined by the police without a warrant.

Germany's surveilance of the e-mail headers and connection's IPs is no different — fair game, as long as the contents is not looked at.

It's not right in Germany, and it's not right here.

It's been "right" here and there for decades — possibly, centuries. I can not even find any links quickly, which means, it is certainly a pre-Internet thing...

logical fallacy (2, Insightful)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303211)

It's been "right" here and there for decades -- possibly, centuries.
same thing could be said about slavery some hundred years ago. only because something is law, it isn't automagically right.

Re:logical fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303449)

And abortion - as long as were off topic

Re:Envelope information is fair game (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303691)

It was ruled long ago by the American courts, that the information on the envelope of a letter is not subject to privacy expectations and can be examined by the police without a warrant.
Could there be a slight difference in proportionality between "being allowed to examine the information on the envelope of a letter without a warrant" and "requiring the information on the envelope of every single letter to be recorded and kept available for six months"?

Re:At least they saw it coming (1)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303293)

but most people won't get worked up over what government might be doing without it being proven true

Most people won't get worked up over what government might be doing even with it being proven true. That's been shown many times already.

Re:At least they saw it coming (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303463)

First they ban security sweeps and security checks on software, now then allow spying on the public. I think someone is too big of a fan of the U.S. Fire the asshole that did allow this laws going to congress.

On a other note, Iceland has similar laws already. We have been trying to fire the asshole how did make the for years now. With no luck sadly.

Re:At least they saw it coming (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303523)

It's the JEWS, stupid. The JEWS need to silence their critics - in other words - anybody who tells the TRUTH about the stranglehold that the Jews have over their white 'cattle'... The internet gives us all a chance to tell the truth about our Jewish masters, and they don't want that...
Watch 'One Third of the Holocaust' for a start, and then remind yourself that everything you've ever read or seen in the media, and every book that you've ever read, was controlled by JEWS.

Oh, and I forgot: they call themselves 'God's chosen people'. How very modest.
And they sexually mutilate all of their male children - because 'God told them to do it'.
Now, since 'God' doesn't exist, who was the first sick fucker who decided one day, thousands of years ago, "I want to cut that newborn baby's penis up a bit, and suck it"? A JEW. And WHO allowed him to commit these atrocities, on a daily basis, to their OWN CHILDREN? Other JEWS.

Fascism Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302007)

This is fascism.

Re:Fascism Anyone? (3, Insightful)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302129)

No, this is a state sponsored invasion of privacy of orwellian scope. Fascism is an authoritarian system of government involving a dictator and heavy on the censorship and public executions.

Re:Fascism Anyone? (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302235)

Please make a better attempt at understanding '1984'.

Re:Fascism Anyone? (5, Informative)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303315)

Truly. The real thesis of 1984 is not the constant supervision of the people, but the twisting of thought by language. The concept of Newspeak is quite interesting because it erodes people's perceptions of something that is intrinsically bad, but twists it to seem, if not completely opposite, but neutral to the communication at hand.

The constant vigilance of Big Brother was only to ensure that those who even hinted at seeing past Newspeak and the overall deception were properly dealt with.

Re:Fascism Anyone? (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302993)

> > "This is fascism."

> "No, this is a state sponsored invasion of privacy of orwellian scope."

No, this is a signal to invest in hard drive and tape storage manufacturers and distributors! To teh MOON!

First, best solution to this.... (3, Insightful)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302059)

&nbsp:

One Word:

Crapflood.

Good, Second Best Solution... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302901)

is to use Freenet at http://freenetproject.org/ [freenetproject.org] . It's an anonymous p2p application.

I used to think that Freenet really wasn't that useful, but it's becoming clear that it's necessary as an insurance policy against censorship.

If you think about any law that has been created with regard to the internet, was it to protect and promote it or was it to try to censor and control? What's nice is Freenet was lacking in 'useful' content since the Internet was free enough for the 'wierd' things to be readily available. However, with a crackdown in many countries (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/7047336.stm), including Italy (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/27/1137253) there will likely me more and more people who have use and need of Freenet, and thus increasingly more things to do and see.

Defeat it by.. (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302083)

Flood the internet with grabage

Oh, wait, spammers, worms and bots are already doing this.

Re:Defeat it by.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303229)

Article talks about "IP addresses and e-mail headers", so I propose that anyone emailing Germany include a special "X-Nazis-Archive-This: Ja, Mein Führer!" header.

Spoofing? (2, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302089)

What if you use an exploit that takes only 1 packet, and spoof the IP addresses? If they try and trace the "hacking" back to one of these IPs, do they get into serious trouble since "of course it is you"?

Re:Spoofing? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302171)

why bother spoofing an IP from your own machine when there's a nice botnet called storm that could in principle, do the work for you?

Germany is officially off my list (4, Funny)

jhfry (829244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302095)

... of countries to escape to when things continue to get worse here in the US!

Maybe somewhere in the Swiss Alps?

Re:Germany is officially off my list (2, Insightful)

What the Frag (951841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302187)

> Maybe somewhere in the Swiss Alps?

As being German: Definitely yes. Island may be an other option to consider

If the current politics remain, Germany is going to be a police and surveillance state in near future...

History (3, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302297)

If the current politics remain, Germany is going to be a police and surveillance state in near future...

You would think that the German people would look back on their own history and say "Never again!"

Re:History (2)

EntropyXP (956792) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302473)

You would think that the German people would look back on their own history and say "Never again!"

If America did that with the Japanese Concentration camps then maybe we wouldn't have Guantanamo. Someone posted above about how it "may" be that the US Government is already doing this (except in greater detail) but they are doing so in secret.

So my question is; what's worse? Being led to fascism secretly or openly?

*This comment will hurt my karma*

Re:History (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303467)

I doubt it. I bet the opposite.

Re:History (1)

What the Frag (951841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302543)

> You would think that the German people would look back on their own history and say "Never again!"

You'll laugh, well maybe: I really don't think so.

I believe the majority of people wouldn't notice this until it's too late. People are beein threatened by something like terrorists (we havn't had a terrorist attack yet but according to some politicians, there is a **IMMENSE DANGER OF TERRORIST ATTACK HERE!!**), just to make an example. The problem is: Most people really believe that.

Situations like that have been written in history a lot of times. Not just in Germany, but last incident like that in Germany was not that far away.

Well I really think there is only one option to wake them up: hurt them. They must feel the pain to notice that something is wrong.
And believe me, at the time they do - it will be too late.

Living in Germany you should know better than that (4, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303249)

>> Maybe somewhere in the Swiss Alps?
>As being German: Definitely yes. Island may be an other option to consider
>If the current politics remain, Germany is going to be a police and
>surveillance state in near future...

Living in Germany you should know better than that.

Don't worry. In two months from now someone will the surveilance will cost money and jobs and eventually eliminate 15% of the positions for human investigators at the federal german BKA, thus costing more jobs. An uproar will shake the nation. Some guy at some obscure bureau of the Interior Ministry will also notice that this law makes their recent pet project, the German Federal Trojan (TM) officialy 65% superfluos. Another big no-no. Some other intellectual will publically notice that all info about all Germans is either available at StudiVZ (Germanys Facebook/MySpace), Amazon.de Marketplace or Ebay Germany anyway - which is allready completely scanned and archived (backups included) by the German IRS - and we know everything worth knowing about everybody allready. 10-15 different factions and public bodies of interest groups will have allready filed 20 complaints to the Federal Constitutional Court and the country will be plaqued by a lengthy debate that will have Secretary of the Interior Schäuble eventually drive his wheelchair off a cliff in frustration. Just before the current coalition of two big parties ends it's legislature there will be a watered down full-compromise version of the law with 8500 exception rules and modifications delivered on 2000+ pages in three big-ass Leitz file-covers, German style. Two months after the federal vote and three months into the new law someone in the EU Gouverment Headquarters will notice that this law breaks somewhere between 23 and 65 terms of union contracts, the British will wine that the Germans are now also attempting to take over the EU lead in surveilance, directly competing the UKs last big resort of excellence. Eventually the then new German gouverment will be bitch-slapped into revising its 10kg online surveilance law into a new draft as not to be fined by Brussels for a kazillion Euros.

Bottom line: No need to worry yet. Even by the most optimistic projections I wouldn't expect this law to gain any tracktion before 2015.

Re:Germany is officially off my list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302499)

I won't recommend that. Since the *right* party is trying to create some anti terror laws there could be the possibilty that such a law could be created here too.

There is a possibility that the traffic is already monitored with a facility similar to this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onyx_(interception_system) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Germany is officially off my list (2, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302507)

The worst thing is that Germany was the best country in Privacy International's recent report.
http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd%5B347%5D=x-347-545223/ [privacyinternational.org]

Re:Germany is officially off my list (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302583)

Damn. Slashdot borked the URL.

HavenCo (1)

Lumenary7204 (706407) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302099)

Places like HavenCo [wikipedia.org] are looking better all the time...

I almost posted this in the AT&T spying commen (2, Interesting)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302145)

but it seemed marginally more appropriate here:

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
        - Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

Re:I almost posted this in the AT&T spying com (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302213)

On the Internet, they came first for Zimmerman and PGP, and I didn't speak up because nobody could figure out how to integrate it into an email client anyway;
And then they came for the warez d00dz, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a pirate;
And then they came for Napster, and I didn't speak up because I had .torrents;
And then they came for my traffic, and by that time Request timed out.

IP addresses? (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302159)

Yeah, sure. Whatever. If you're on a P2P network, or even just downloading a linux distro you're probably connected to hundreds of ips which have absolutely nothing with you to do. Good luck on mining that unmanagable mess.

IP Allocation, not connection (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302455)

If you read the article, it seems like they are required to save the IP you are assigned, and when. Not the IPs you connect to, but the one you got via DHCP.

So, a few orders of magnitudes less data.

Am I the only one who doesn't care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302181)

Just wondering ...

Re:Am I the only one who doesn't care? (2, Insightful)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302243)

The quote at the bottom of the page says:
The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings
Eerily appropriate?

Re:Am I the only one who doesn't care? (2, Insightful)

nautsch (1186995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302253)

you will care, when you have to login to the outside of your house. And when it will be tracked where you go. ... ALWAYS!

you fail 1T?! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302257)

towels on the fllor be fun. It used a GAY NIIGER represents the and I probably distribution. As something done 7000 users of

R.I.P secrecy of telecommunications 1949-2007. (1)

Joruus (845017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302269)

As of now most people in Germany dont even know what happened today.
The Mainstream Media totally scrapped that Subject and whats best, alot of the Politicans dont know it either.

But at least there is a bit hope, nearly 10000 people fined a complaint of unconstitutionality.

Blackmail material. (5, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302305)

In the early days (first 30 years) of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover made heavy use of his "special investigators" to gather dirt on members of congress, the President, and probably parts of the judiciary. This blackmail material was carefully saved for use to protect both himself and advance his power. He also used this against other such noteable figures as Martin Luther King whom he blackmailed with secretly recorded audio of his marital infidelity. Ironically some people regard this as King's fault not Hoover's. It also set the precedent for branches of the government spying on one-another.

The simple fact of the matter is that once you give someone the ability to spy on you they will use it, for themselves. This story and the one two posts down about the NSA make perfect sense. The best way to keep yourself and your party on top is to have all the information, all the secrets that you can about your opponents. That way anyone who might challenge your power could be cowed by threats to expose their, or their childrens' embarrassing secrets.

Quite some time ago Gonzales announced that the Justice Department would begin extensive investigations into the world of Pornography, legal pornography. He candidly admitted that they were not breaking the law nor did he expect to find that Playboy was in violation of some statute. He only said that he wanted to keep track of 'them'.

Forget finding criminals, the Mafia isn't real. It's all always about power. You think Bin Laden and Mullah Muhammed Omar are dumb enough to be googling "Bomb" no they're using trusted couriers and decentralized structures that don't rely on the use of easily traced e-mails. It's all of us and our elected representatives who are the target here.

Re:Blackmail material. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302409)

"Forget finding criminals, the Mafia isn't real."

Convince Italy and I'll agree with that statement. :)

Re:Blackmail material. (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302853)

He also used this against other such noteable figures as Martin Luther King whom he blackmailed with secretly recorded audio of his marital infidelity. Ironically some people regard this as King's fault not Hoover's.

Well, a point can be made that all leaders are responsible for living a moral life. At least moral by their own standards - they would not be ashamed to admit it - and possibly confirming to society in all the areas which are not related to their agenda. Otherwise their mission gets lost in the scandal and all their supporters hard work, financial support and sometimes even imprisonment and torture goes to waste. Bill Clinton screwed more than hundred million voters when he received oral sex from Monica. As a result, we had to put up with 8 years of G.W.Bush and an unnecessary war. Likewise, MLK should have put his moral authority in jeopardy.

Re:Blackmail material. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303355)

What happens when only one side needs to lead a moral life? Especially if evidence can be fabricated?

Future Projections... ? (4, Interesting)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302341)

2007...

Step 1. Encrypt all outbound traffic (hushmail, https, sftp, ssh, etc).
Step 2. Use TOR to anonymize all your source/destinations
Step 3. Simultaneously run encrypted torrent traffic (say 25% of all your bandwidth) to increase volumes of crap they have to sort through, making their costs increase.
Step 4. Where possible borrow your neighbours unencrypted WiFi/WiMax connections to do your real encrypted/anonymous surfing.

2009... 100Gigabit Ethernet is standardized & sold to carrier backbones. 10G Ethernet becomes cheap & FTTH becomes more affordable. The crappiest computer you can buy now is a quad core with a combined core speed of 10Gigahertz speed.
------------
2010... Their retort: Use Quantum computing to break your encryption. Buy kilometers of underground bases and install thousands of rows of racks filled with multi-terabyte hard drives to store it all.
------------
2011... You upgrade your computer with a quantum chip and use unbreakable encryption.
----------
2012... They are *$(*#ed and you WIN! All Internet is now encrypted and unbreakable and everyone has multi-terabyte hard drives and multi-hundred Megabit or gigabit speeds to home.

Re:Future Projections... ? (-1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302363)

Why do people think the 'government' won't by quantum computers to decrypt messages.

Re:Future Projections... ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302439)

----------
2013... Encryption is outlawed. Worldwide.
----------
2014... You are *$(*#ed and you LOSE! All encrypters is now jailed.

Re:Future Projections... ? (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302935)

How can they prove you are using encryption and are just in fact, not transmitting garbage for fun? ;-)

apparently, they dont need to: see guantanamo (nt) (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303155)

no text

Re:Future Projections... ? (3, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302789)

You forgot the key date:

2008/9 - When it becomes a felony to use any encryption that does not have a back door for the NSA (or RIAA... whichever comes first).

Re:Future Projections... ? (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303123)

2008/8 - Users begin switching from encryption to sending lots of plain text [wikipedia.org] .
2008/9 - When it becomes a felony to use any encryption that does not have a back door for the NSA (or RIAA... whichever comes first).

Re:Future Projections... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302797)

Why do you need a separate, encrypted version of every different protocol? Why not just put an encryption layer directly on top of IP so any traffic, whether ftp or http, would get encrypted?

Re:Future Projections... ? (1)

Jessta (666101) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302857)

oh, you mean like IPv6?
Yeah, apparently nobody sees a reason to upgrade to it.

Re:Future Projections... ? (0)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303283)

No, he means SSL.

I don't think he knows session layers from application and presentation layers.

I don't think anyone here does.

maybe like ... (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303425)

... this [wikipedia.org] ?

Good Timeline - Also add Freenet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303017)

I'd also add 'Freenet', since it's a one stop shop for anonymous information. The thing is a lot of people go there looking for stuff, but if you're hosting a bandwidth heavy website (such as one of the many *chan image boards, music, books, etc.) why not also host it there for free?

Re:Future Projections... ? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303215)

Why not just wait until there is a large enough cloud of wifi routers and just go under the radar with real p2p?

Re:Future Projections... ? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303385)

2011... You upgrade your computer with a quantum chip and use unbreakable encryption. ---------- 2012... They are *$(*#ed and you WIN! All Internet is now encrypted and unbreakable and everyone has multi-terabyte hard drives and multi-hundred Megabit or gigabit speeds to home.

Nothing is unbreakable. If a human created it, it has weakness. This may sound fatalistic, but it's the sad reality. It's an arms race for sure, and winning may involve keeping something secret for a determined finite amount of time, but in the end if there's a trace left, it can be solved.

Same old shit (3, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302403)

You vote some party into power, and they ignore you for 4 years and do whatever they please.

Um. (2, Insightful)

neimon (713907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302437)

So. Like. They have a law? That admits what they expect? And defines what they're allowed to do? And there's a limit to what they can do? And it can help identify evildoers? But after 6 months, the data goes away? And we're thinking that's scary? Sounds like goddamned paradise to me. Here, they just drag you off and you disappear and *no carrier*

Hm, I just wondered... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302479)

What about UDP packets? Do ISPs have to track every single one of them or are they ignored? Better make sure they have to record every single update packet my online games cause just so dem terrists cannot hide their communications in UDP!

Re:Hm, I just wondered... (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303159)

Or ICMP packets? That will be *really* useful.

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302501)

Nazi Fascist Thinking - Bug Everybody.

Silly, that just means anybody who would cause trouble resorts to off-line communication.

Remember that place called 'Reality' - ya, people can talk there too.

Not everything. (1)

LuckyStarr (12445) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302577)

They are required to save every location of every cell phone call made for six months.

Investigator: "You can't deny it. I know exactly whom you met in the forest 3 months ago."

Thats scary.

At least they are upfront (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302699)

At least German Govmnt is (i hope) being upfront about it, it looks like they are. Much better then the ISP's just voluntarily keeping all traffic including content and handing it over to the government no questions asked. But in the US carnivore has been around doing something similar with Email header info's etc... for along time and in and out of the courts etc.

The German Government is Pissed (3, Informative)

The Breeze (140484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302705)

They see the United States slowing turning to a Nazi-like state and they're determined to defend their intellectual property by returning to Nazism first.

Why is it so hard for some otherwise reasonable people to understand that in a society where everything and everyone is tracable, sooner or later those in power can spank down a few annoying people and everyone will get the idea that if they speak out, they could be next?

IP address tracking: means your ISP IP address (3, Informative)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302809)

Just to be clear on one point: the IP address tracking mentioned in articles on this subject is the IP address allocated by your ISP, not the IP addresses you connect to. Which is bad enough, and on the basis of existing laws there was a ruling that ISPs aren't allowed to retain your IP connection history for privacy reasons.

Personally I've alway assumed IP addresses are inherently traceable, so in a practical sense this doesn't make any difference to me (except that no doubt I'll end up paying for the extra costs incurred by my ISP). It's the other stuff I find more worrying - and completely asinine at the same time, because anyone with anything to hide (including teh terrorists) will know how to work round them anyway.

Re:IP address tracking: means your ISP IP address (1)

rekoil (168689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303137)

Good, I just posted in the related firehose story how logging every connection from each user would likely cause a huge data-storage issue - ISPs that do Netflow accounting (such as the one I work for) only keep the data long enough to do realtime traffic analysis and still have to store it on big disks if they want to hold onto it for a day, much less six months.

Re:IP address tracking: means your ISP IP address (2, Funny)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303363)

Time to invest in storage companies, nyet komrade?

Re:IP address tracking: means your ISP IP address (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303417)

Just want to point out that a logging like that just started in Denmark this September. Source and destinaton IP, port. each 500th packet. email sender and reciever etc. It is required for each service provider to log this for at least 6 months I believe. Of course there are a lot of loopholes where they don't need to look lige small apartment nets etc.

All I have to say is ... (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302829)

Hey Germany! How does that gaping hole in your left podal extremity feel?

attn sysadmins: strike (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21302859)

Otherwise you're complicit, and that means you're to blame.

Every sysadmin in the country, just stop working. A couple dozen do it, and that's just 12 sysadmins without a job. Several thousand do it, and the government will realise that it exists to serve the people, not vice versa.

None of this, "Oh oh but I have commitments to my family," bullcrap. We're all unemployed from time to time. Hopefully none of us would do jobs that more obviously involve the destruction of our freedoms, even if that means temporary hardship - so let's not allow us to be indirectly responsible either.

N.B. Yes, I've put my personal progress above everything in the past. I have since grown, and gone on to quit jobs over moral concerns. Yes, I enjoy my life more as a moral man than as a rich man. It's easy to make money; it's much harder to express love for the freedom of one's fellow man, and to prepare to act on that love.

Ve haf Vays of making you talk you know.... (1)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302891)

Or at least of making your ISP talk...

Becoming what you hate (1)

WebmasterNeal (1163683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302893)

It's funny how policies like this which are presumably trying to stop neo-nazi groups and terrorists ends up making the German government act like the nazis. Ends justify the means?

propaganda everywhere (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303253)

policies like this which are presumably trying to stop neo-nazi groups and terrorists
yeah. as if /anyone/ with a brain believes that bullshit.

This is great news. (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21302959)

Now some enterprising German company is going to implement secure validated email and break away from SMTP/POP3 thus rendering the legislation useless.

Email headers. How does one enshrine what a header is in law ([^: ]+): ?(.*)

Go .de

it's boosting public interest in cryptography (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303087)

That this law was passed so anti-democraticly and in public, probably helped us long-term. Many of my friends are now asking for support with hard disk and communication encryption. I even expect commercials to supply easy to use crypto devices in result. (something like PGPphone..)

What is the penalty for not complying? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303101)

If the penalty is not hundreds of millions of Euros, then it would be cheaper to ignore the law and just log everything to /dev/null.

Let them regress.. (1)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303277)

And we will expand our civil liberties! Ronpaul2008.com

EU law (3, Interesting)

emilv (847905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303353)

This law is necessary for all countries which are members of the European Union to implement, because it is a EU directive.
Germany are not the only country in EU that will pass this law. Every country in the union are obliged to have their telephone companies and ISPs keep the information for at least six years (I think Sweden are going to recuire the companies to keep the data for at least a year, but I have not followed the debate for the last months).

It is important to point out, however, that it's only the metadata that will be saved. You can see that a person have contacted another person, and probably even where this was (if it's a mobile phone), but you can't see what they have been talking about.

what's with guilt by association ? (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303531)

You can see that a person have contacted another person, and probably even where this was (if it's a mobile phone), but you can't see what they have been talking about.
ever heard of Andrej Holm [wikipedia.org] ? he and his family were (and are still) constantly snooped just b/c he used the same words as other suspects and was intellectual. ah, yeah and also:

Holm's home and office were searched, after one man he had met with was implicated in a plot to firebomb tanks at a German military base.

All connections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21303439)

The Internet bullet seems to be talking about call detail records "and the line which was used " reference not source destination pairs at the IP level? There is a *huge* difference between the two.

If this is the case many states have similiar rentention statutes on the books for ISPs already in the US.

On the Email part I'm sure all of those who live in Allied countries would be willing to help non Axis aligned citizens living in Germany with their SMTP tunneling needs until this temporary impass of sanity on the part of the German government can be averted?

Protests ignored by the government (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303519)

Well of course it was. Its for your safety.

It's Reinhard Heydrich all over again (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21303745)

So this is the new policy from a country that gave rise to the Gestapo, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and after the war the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS) or Stasi? Now even I am scared...
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