Liberty News

 2012: April-June

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 Offsite Article: Why Does the UK's New Internet Surveillance Plan Cost Nearly $4 Billion...


Link Here 20th June 2012  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Even the cost of setting up China's Great Firewall is reported to have cost less than $1 billion. Might it be that the scale of the nationwide monitoring system is far greater the government has so far been willing to publicly acknowledge?

See article from slate.com

 

 Offsite Article: The Communications Data Bill...


Link Here 19th June 2012  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
An interesting first look from a legal perspective. By Francis Davey, a barrister in independent practice

See article from francisdavey.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Don't let the state search my internet searches...


Link Here 18th June 2012  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Don't let the state search my internet searches The Communications Data Bill is an unnecessary government intrusion into personal privacy. By Jenny McCartney

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: This snooping bill is worthy of a surveillance state...


Link Here 17th June 2012  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May wants to monitor every personal communication we make. It's a step too far in a democratic society. By Henry Porter

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

  Child Abuse...

Police and Bangor Council take it on themselves to impose curfew on under 16s


Link Here 17th June 2012

north wales police logo Children under 16 have been banned from Bangor town centre at night. The move sees under-16s who are without an adult or parent being barred from the streets of Bangor, Gwynedd, between 9pm and 6am for six months.

North Wales Police and Gwynedd County Council took this human rights abusing step after a complaints about a few groups of children drinking alcohol on the streets and harassing residents.

Police inspector Simon Barrasford spouted:

Many people are working very hard to improve and regenerate the city centre as well as just wanting to enjoy their daily lives without being intimidated or harassed and I have no doubt dispersal orders areas will assist in that endeavour. Drinking in public has an adverse effect not only on visitors' perception but also on the quality of life of residents.

Working closely with our partners in the local authorities I'm confident that we can have a positive impact on the area.

The ban gives police (including police community support officers) powers to order groups of two or more to leave the area. Failure to comply could lead to up to three months imprisonment and or a fine of up to 2,500.

Catherine Roberts, senior community safety officer spouted inane mumbo jumbo:

The use of a dispersal order within Gwynedd is likely to be an effective means of reducing anti-social behaviour. Simply by introducing such orders is not in itself the solution as there is a great deal of hard work involved in making these orders effective, and we are fortunate to have a very good working relationship with our colleagues in North Wales Police, when dealing with such issues. Of course it does not stop there, the support of the community is essential so that any improvements are maintained in the longer term.

 

 Offsite Article: How Long Before VPNs Become Illegal?...


Link Here 16th June 2012  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
In the US file-sharers will soon be monitored on behalf of the MPAA and RIAA, and in the UK there are plans to monitor and store all Internet communications. To counter this people are turning to VPN services. How long before VPNs become illegal?

See article from torrentfreak.com

 

 Update: Snooper's Charter...

Government publishes draft bill allowing snooping on all internet and mobile communications


Link Here 15th June 2012  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Big Brothers The government has published a draft version of a bill that, if signed into law in its current form, would force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile phone network providers in Britain to install black boxes in order to collect and store information on everyone's internet and phone activity, and give the police the ability to self-authorise access to this information. However, the Home Office failed to explain whether or not companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter will be brought under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), and how they intend to deal with HTTPS encryption.

Faith in the integrity of HTTPS encryption is what makes online banking and the entire e-commerce industry possible, and Google uses it to secure its Gmail service, as do most webmail providers. The need for easy access to Gmail has been one of the Home Office's primary justifications for the Communications Bill, but technology experts are dubious as to whether it is possible to technically and lawfully break HTTPS on a nationwide scale. At this morning's Home Office briefing, Director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism Charles Farr was asked about how the black box technology would handle HTTPS encryption. His only response was: It will.

The draft Bill includes controversial measures to require network operators to acquire communications data relating to third party services -- for example, requiring an ISP to discover and record when its customers post a message on a social networking site, and to which other user of the site that message was addressed. The Bill does not specify what data ISPs are to acquire, nor provide any limits; the requirements for ISPs are to be set out in Orders made by the Home Secretary at a later date.

Writing in The Sun, Home Secretary Theresa May said:

I just don't understand why some people criticise these proposals. People have a right to privacy. But unless you are a criminal, then you've nothing to worry about from this new law. This isn't a snoopers' charter, it's a criminals' nightmare.

At a press and MP briefing at Parliament today, Julian Huppert MP said that he couldn't believe the bill could even be put before the House in its current form. David Davis MP remarked that, given that the RIPA process is already a disgrace , the Home Office should be introducing a bill that introduces warrant requirements to RIPA rather than making it even easier for the police to access citizens' communications data. He also revealed that David Maclean, the most right-wing politician the Home Office ever saw , will be chairing the committee on the bill.

Dr Gus Hosein, Executive Director of Privacy International, said: In the UK, we've historically operated under the presumption that the government has no business peering into the lives of citizens unless there is good reason to - that people are innocent until proven guilty. This legislation would reverse that presumption and fundamentally change the relationship between citizen and state, and their relationship with their internet and mobile service providers. Yet there are still big question marks over whether Facebook and Google will be brought under RIPA, and how far the government is willing to go in undermining internet security in order to fulfil its insatiable desire for data.

 

  Keep Your Passwords Strong...

A warning that iCloud back ups are readily open to surveillance once the password has been cracked


Link Here 25th May 2012

apple icloud logoPolice, or anyone with a piece of spying software called Phone Password Breaker, can download all of a device owner's data from Apple's iCloud service. This is used to back up  pictures, text messages, emails, calendar appointments, call logs, and logs of websites visited.

ElcomSoft chief executive Vladimir Katalov said:

While other [phone monitoring] methods require the presence of the actual iPhone device being analysed or at least an access to device backups, this is not the case with iCloud.

In a sense, Phone Password Breaker becomes an alternative way to get access to iOS devices. With a valid Apple ID and a password, investigators can not only retrieve backups to seized devices, but access that information in real-time while the phone is still in the hands of a suspect.

The majority of iPhone and iPad users use iCloud to back up all of their data, apps and media - with an estimated 125million people using the software as of April.

The researchers at ElcomSoft studied the communication protocol connecting iPhone users with the iCloud, and were able to figure out the right commands to retrieve data stored on the servers. Their job was made even easier as the data is received in an unencrypted format.

The only way to protect yourself is to either not back up your phone, or do local offline backups on your home computer via iTunes.

 

  Memory Thieves...

Metropolitan police swipe phone memory of all people held in custody


Link Here 22nd May 2012
Metropiltan Police badgeThe Metropolitan Police has implemented a system to extract mobile phone data from suspects held in custody. The new device will allow officers to connect a suspect's mobile and produce a print out of data from the phone or iPad, as well as saving digital records of the content. The data includes call history, texts and contacts.

The technology is being used in 16 London boroughs, and could potentially be used by police across the UK.

Campaign group Privacy International described the move as a possible breach of human rights law .

A Met Police spokesman told the BBC that when a suspect was released, data received from the handsets is retained and handled in accordance with other data held by the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] - regardless of whether charges had been brought.

Guidelines given to officers state that data extraction can happen only if there is sufficient suspicion the mobile phone was used for criminal activity.

 

18th May   

West Cheshire College of Surveillance...

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Students and staff have to wear security badges that track their location
Link Here
Big Brother

Look on the bright side Dave.
I'll be able to have your drink waiting
whenever you enter the bar

College staff and students have been issued with compulsory electronic badges that are capable of tracking their movements, leading to criticism of Orwellian tactics.

The devices can track wearers within 10 feet, but managers at West Cheshire College have denied they will be used for Big Brother surveillance.

Kevin Francis, the college's surveillance manager, said the aim was to provide automatic registration and to 'improve use of the estate'. Students must wear them to register and to be able to access different areas. he told the Times Educational Supplement:

We are interested in teaching and learning, building use and the security of students and staff. We're not Big Brother.

 

13th May   

Bug Brother Bruce...

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Australia considers internet data retention
Link Here

Australia Government: Attorney-General's DepartmentAny internet device used in Australia could soon have its web history logged and retained for up to two years by telecommunications companies for law enforcement purposes under reforms being proposed by the Gillard government.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon announced last Friday that the federal government would review national security legislation, part of which concerns preserving telecommunications data.

A spokesman said that it was important to note that the government had made no decisions about data retention and said many of IT Pro's questions regarding what exactly telcos would need to potentially log were up for consideration of the committee in the first instance, not the government.

The draft terms of reference states the committee will be tasked with looking at a tailored data retention period for up to 2 years for parts of a data set . It doesn't define what the data set will consist of but some fear it will include any data telcos can log and store on customers, including their web browsing history.

Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam said that he didn't support the data retention proposal and believed it was premised on the unjustified paranoia that all Australians are potential criminal suspects . He believes its introduction would be based on an ambit claim for surveillance overkill .

The exact details of the web browsing data the government was proposing ISPs collect is contained in a document that was released under freedom of information laws in 2010. But from the highly censored document released (of which about 90 per cent was blacked out with a permanent marker) it was impossible to know how far the government was planning to take the policy.

 

13th May   

Update: Twitter Watching...

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Surveillance cameras at the Rugby World Cup could read mobile phone displays
Link Here

CCTVsSurveillance cameras are now so powerful that they were able to zoom in on individual spectators at the Rugby World Cup and read their text messages.

Details of police monitoring used for the first time during the tournament were discussed at a privacy forum in Wellington.

Superintendent Grant O'Fee told the forum how one incident at the Rugby World Cup tweaked in my head a concern about possible privacy breaches.

Camera operators who were scanning the crowd for unruly behaviour or suspicious packages chose to zoom in on a person who was texting.

He was actually texting about the poor quality of the game of rugby. But it did occur to me that there was an issue there - had he been texting something that was of some consequence to us, there may have been privacy issues.

 

13th May

 Offsite Article: Elephants and Databases Never Forget...

Link Here
Woman fired from bank for trivial 50 year old shoplifting offence after database check by the FBI. Hat Tip to Nick.

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

28th April   

Update: All Set for the London 1984 Olympics...

Spectators to be banned from posting their own photos on Facebook
Link Here  full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Big Brother

  Enjoy the Games!

Well it seems that Olympic authorities are predictably going to treat spectators as shit.

Amateur Photographer reports that it will be against Olympic rules to tweet, share on Facebook or in any way share your photos of the event.

Quite how this will be policed is beyond comprehension and one would hope police officers are not going to be expected to pursue anyone seen posting photos on Instagram.

The London 2012 conditions state:

Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.

Coming after moves to restrict public demonstrations, photographers being interrogated on public footpaths and concern around heavy-handed commercial restrictions on what logos you can wear inside the Olympic village, this is yet another worrying development.

Rather than being the celebration organisers promised, London 2012 is rapidly risking becoming one of the most intimidating and restrictive events seen for decades.

 

28th April

 Offsite Article: Big Brother's Little Sister...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May proving evasive about details of state snooping scheme

See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

 

25th April

 Offsite Article: Set a Snoop to Justify a Snoop...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Propaganda machine rolls out the suggestion that snooping on people is somehow ok within some sort of bollox legal framework

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

18th April   

Extract: Something for Big Brothers Clegg and Cameron to Think About...

Tim Berners-Lee warns of the power that snoopers will have over people when monitoring their internet use and communications
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

tim berners-lee Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who serves as an adviser to the government on how to make public data more accessible, says the extension of the state's surveillance powers would be a destruction of human rights and would make a huge amount of highly intimate information vulnerable to theft or release by corrupt officials. In an interview with the Guardian, Berners-Lee said:

The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor internet activity is amazing.

You get to know every detail, you get to know, in a way, more intimate details about their life than any person that they talk to because often people will confide in the internet as they find their way through medical websites ... or as an adolescent finds their way through a website about homosexuality, wondering what they are and whether they should talk to people about it.

The British computer engineer, who devised the system that allows the creation of websites and links, said that of all the recent developments on the internet, it was moves by governments to control or spy on the internet that keep me up most at night .

He said that if the government believed it was essential to collect this kind of sensitive data about individuals, it would have to establish a very strong independent body which would be able to investigate every use of the surveillance powers to establish whether the target did pose a threat, and whether the intrusion had produced valuable evidence. But he said that since the coalition had not spelled out an oversight regime, or how the data could be safely stored, the most important thing to do is to stop the bill as it is at the moment .

...Read the full article

 

17th April   

Update: BlackBerry Privacy Squashed...

India obtains the capability to snoop on BlackBerry Messenger
Link Here  full story: BlackBerry Mobile Phones...Winding up countries who can't snoop on users

India flag Indian security agencies have confirmed to Mail Today that the process to access the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) service would be up and running soon.

Official sources said they would intercept BBM messages in cases where they suspected that the devices were being used to perpetrate crimes.

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary R. Chandrashekhar told Mail Today that the arrangements were being put in place and the process had begun for lawful interception of BBM services: Directions can be given to any service provider for interception of all BlackBerry services.

Here's how Big Brother will snoop on BBMs. The security agency concerned will first have to approach the Union Home Ministry and seek its permission to tap a particular BBM user's number. The agency will then send a request to a service provider to access the data of the number. This will be followed by the operator connecting to the agency's channel and divulging the user's communication details.

Asked about the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES), which gives a smartphone user access to a corporate intranet, Chandrashekhar said: We have found a satisfactory way forward. A plan of action has been chalked out for all BlackBerry services (including BES) and there is concurrence on how it will be executed. The matter was discussed with the home ministry and other security agencies, and the method has been finalised. He said: It's not that access to enterprise service is not available. But the process is cumbersome. In order to access BES, the government agencies have to tap into service providers that store emails in decrypted (readable) format before they are encrypted and pushed to the recipient's device. The government believes BES is not of very high importance to intelligence and security agencies, but has asked service providers to share a list of all servers (approximately 5,000 in India).

RIM reprehensively are refusing to comment on the snooping capability. You'd think that they would let their subscribers know about where they stand with governments being able to intercept their communications.

 

10th April

 Offsite Article: Beware What You Say!...

Link Here
The NSA is building the USA's biggest spy center

See article from wired.com

 

8th April

 Offsite Article: Council Snooping...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Council snoopers to read our emails as internet giants could be forced to hand over data. Daily Mail considers the new snooping proposals in terms of council use and misuse

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

7th April

 Offsite Article: Big Brother law stirs Lib Dems to revolt...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Supporting these disgraceful laws to bring in Orwellian government snooping would eradicate the very point of the party

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

7th April

 Offsite Article: Recording a Good Point...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Theresa May asked for her complete browsing history and communications data via a freedom of information request. Thanks to Sergio

See article from whatdotheyknow.com

 

7th April

 Offsite Article: Preparing for an Olympic Lockdown?...

Link Here  full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
So why are non-sports journalists based in London being advised to seek state accreditation?

See article from wired.co.uk

 

6th April

 Offsite Article: Unconvincing Letter...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
The Home Secretary and Justice Secretary have written to MPs to address concerns around Big Brother Policies. A number of questions remained unanswered and some answers contradict recent statements

See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

 

5th April

 Offsite Article: Spin and Propaganda...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Spy Blog discusses the anonymous media briefings to soften us up for even more internet snooping in the Queens Speech next month

See article from vladtepesblog.com

 

5th April

 Offsite Article: Privacy from state snooping defines a true democracy...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
Government plans to allow email surveillance are among the most serious threats to freedom in the democratic world. By Henry Porter

See article from henry-porter.com

 

4th April   

Update: Big Brothers Dave and Nick Blather in the Face of a Public Backlash...

Government spout bollox trying to defend their nasty and massive snooping capability
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Big Brother There is a growing backlash against the proposals to let the security services monitor every email, phone call and website visit by politicians from both coalition parties.

Chief among the Conservative rebels was Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, who suggested the proposals were hypocritical given the Prime Minister's previous stance against the control state .

In a 2009 speech Cameron said: Faced with any problem, any crisis, given any excuse, Labour grasp for more information, pulling more and more people into the clutches of state data capture.

Rees-Mogg said: The Government ought to remember why it favoured liberty in opposition. The powers it creates may in future be used by less benevolent administrations.

David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary, said the plan was an unnecessary extension of the ability of the State to snoop on people. What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals. It's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access.

Senior Liberal Democrats are also planning to rebel. They want the Government to clarify whether the legislation will allow GCHQ to access information on demand and without a warrant. The party passed a motion at its spring conference banning communication interception without named, specific and time-limited warrants.

Tim Farron, the President of the Liberal Democrats, wrote on Twitter: We didn't scrap ID cards to back creeping surveillance by other means. State mustn't be able to trace citizens at will.

Big Brother Clegg tries the angle that there is no central database

See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

While there will be no database, providers will be required to record all activities of their customers so they can be accessed if needed.

Nick Clegg said he was against the idea of a central database and the government reading people's e-mails at will. He claimed: I'm totally opposed as a Liberal Democrat and as someone who believes in people's privacy and civil liberties.

But in fact if the proposal is a rehash of what the police etc wanted under Labour, then they wanted the ISP's to provide access to their local databases so that the police could actually use it like a central database (albeit a little bit slower on database searches).

Clegg also claimed that the government will not ram legislation through Parliament . He said the proposals would be published in draft first to allow them to be debated.

Meanwhile Theresa May has been suggesting that the capability is primarily for tracking down terrorists and paedophiles. But of course that has always been the stated case, and it has never stopped the capability to be used for trivial snooping eg to help councils investigate all sorts of low level nonsense.

LibDems have been fed some blather trying to get them on the government track

See article from privacyinternational.org

An internal Liberal Democrat briefing on Home Office plans to massively expand government surveillance was today passed to Privacy International. The document contains significant evasions and distortions about the proposed Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP), and is clearly intended to persuade unconvinced Lib Dem MPs to vote in favour of the proposal.

...Read the full article

Comment: Obsessive control-freakery

See also Letter to MP by Phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum

The very reason I loathe Labour with a passion is because of the obsessive control-freakery they displayed during their years in power. With their being voted out, it seemed we were rid of these big brother tendencies. Now it appears some in government have been infected by much the same virus.

...

Kindly tell the Home Secretary where to stick her proposals for yet greater surveillance of communications.

...Read the full Letter to MP

Update: Big Brother Cameron Sticks the Boot in to Big Brother Clegg

11th April 2012. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

The Prime Minister said that Nick Clegg was made fully aware during a meeting of the National Security Council of Home Office plans for police powers to monitor internet communications.

In a put-down to his Coalition partners, Cameron said it was important to remember that some of the most senior Liberal Democrats in government waived through the proposals before they were made public.

The Deputy Prime Minister hit back, saying he had made clear in the meeting that he would stop the laws unless civil liberties were protected.

Conservative ministers insist the new laws will simply widen the current scope of powers --- police and intelligence agencies are already allowed to monitor telephone calls, letters and emails. They dispute the idea that monitoring voice calls and other communications over the internet amounts to snooping.

Prominent Lib Dems have expressed outrage that the changes will allow the police greater power to track online communications, such as on Facebook and Skype.

 

3rd April   

Big Brother's Not Listening in Oxford Cabs...Yet...

Oxford Council put their disgraceful taxi snooping scheme on hold whilst awaiting a report from the Information Commissioner
Link Here  full story: Listening CCTV...CCTVs with microphones

Oxford City Council A disgraceful scheme to put CCTV with microphones into all of Oxford's taxis has been put on hold over privacy fears. Oxford City Council has put it on hold while the Information Commissioner's Office investigates if recording people's conversations is a breach of privacy.

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood has also told the council she is unhappy with the scheme. She has also written to the Information Commissioner's Office seeking an update on that investigation. Blackwood said:

It does seem the city council has crossed the line.

It is an invasion of privacy and undermining of civil liberties that neither passengers nor taxi drivers themselves have welcomed.

The ICO stated to me that recording conversations between passengers is highly intrusive and unlikely to be justified.

CCTV plays an important role in combating crime but that has to be balanced with privacy concerns and used within common sense limits.

 

2nd April   

Twin Big Brothers...

Coalition government proposes extreme internet surveillance
Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping

Big Brother UK Police and intelligence officers are to be handed the power to monitor people's messages online in what has been described as an attack on the privacy of vast numbers of Britons.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, intends to introduce legislation in next month's Queen's Speech which would allow law-enforcement agencies to snoop on citizens using Facebook, Twitter, online gaming forums and the video-chat service Skype.

Regional police forces, MI5 and GCHQ, the Government's eavesdropping centre, would be given the right to know who speaks to whom on demand and in real time and without a warrant. Warrants would only be required to view the content of messages.

Civil liberties groups rightfully expressed grave concern at the move. Nick Pickles, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, described it as

 An unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance as in China and Iran.

David Davis, the former Conservative shadow Home Secretary, said:

The state was unnecessarily extending its power to snoop on its citizens.

It is not focusing on terrorists or on criminals, the MP said. It is absolutely everybody. Historically, governments have been kept out of our private lives. They don't need this law to protect us. This is an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop on ordinary innocent people in vast numbers.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had resisted greater surveillance powers when in opposition:

This is more ambitious than anything that has been done before. The Coalition bound itself together in the language of civil liberties. Do they still mean it?

May is confident of enacting the new law because it has the backing of the Liberal Democrats, once strong supporters of civil liberties, but now obviously not. Senior Liberal Democrat backbenchers are believed to have been briefed by their ministers on the move and are not expected to rebel in any parliamentary vote. A senior adviser to Big Brother Clegg said he had been persuaded of the merits of extending the police and security service powers

The Home Office said that the legislation would be introduced as soon as parliamentary time allows , and said:

We need to take action to maintain the continued availability of communications data as technology changes. Communications data includes time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call or an email address. It does not include the content of any phone call or email and it is not the intention of Government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications.

However these claims about not snooping on contents seem somewhat contradictory when considering the proposed extension to social networking. There the communications only exist as the contents of a web page. There are no dialled numbers and email connections on Facebook, just the messages on your wall.

According to The Sunday Times, which broke the story, the ISP's Association, which represents communications firms, was unhappy with the proposal when it was briefed by the Government last month. A senior industry official told the paper: The network operators are going to be asked to put probes in the network and they are upset about the idea... it's expensive, it's intrusive to your customers, it's difficult to see it's going to work and it's going to be a nightmare to run legally.

Comm

Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:

Astonishing brass neck from the Home Office, attempting to feed us reheated leftovers from the authoritarian end of the Blair administration. It is not very far from a bug in every living room that can be turned on and turned off at official whim. Whatever you are doing online, whoever you are in contact with, you will never know when you are being watched. And nobody else will either, because none of it will need a warrant.

Put aside privacy – and the government has – the scheme is an astonishing waste of money. What problem does it solve that is worth billions?

Comment: Acquitted

2nd April 2012.  See  article from  press.mu.no2id.net

No 2 ID logo Guy Herbert, General Secretary of campaign group NO2ID said:

Astonishing brass neck from the Home Office, attempting to feed us reheated leftovers from the authoritarian end of the Blair administration. It is not very far from a bug in every living room that can be turned on and turned off at official whim. Whatever you are doing online, whoever you are in contact with, you will never know when you are being watched. And nobody else will either, because none of it will need a warrant.

It looks like the Home Office is setting out to leapfrog China and gain the UK an unenviable position as the most monitored society in history. The automatic recording and tracing of everything done online by anyone -- of almost all our communications and much of our personal lives, shopping and reading -- just in case it might come in useful to the authorities later, is beyond the dreams of any past totalitarian regime, and beyond the current capabilities of even the most oppressive states.

The vague assertion that all this is needed to deal with the usual bogeyman, terrorism, is worthless. It is hard to imagine any threat that is serious enough to justify it. But something that aims to make surveillance easy will create a demand for surveillance. Unless it is subject to proper controls from the beginning, then the pretexts for access will multiply. That would mean the end of privacy.

Put aside privacy -- and the government has -- the scheme is an astonishing waste of money. What problem does it solve that is worth billions?

Comment: Same Old Policy

3rd April 2012.  From David

It's interesting that the new email/phone snooping thing is *exactly* the same as that about to be brought in by Labour in 2006 - methinks this one is down to the long-term Whitehall Mandarins, rather than any particular party....

 

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