Telegraph: New powers to record every phone call and email 'echoes China’

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by IndependentBoffin, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. Oh dear. The public are being asked to swallow another gross infringement of our privacies under the excuse of terrorism.

    New powers to record every phone call and email 'echoes China’ - Telegraph

    Questions we must ask as the electorate:
    1) Who is going to pay for this and how much? It strikes me as bizarre that at a time when public spending cutbacks are rife the government sees fit to spend money on such a scheme of dubious value for money.
    2) Are these wide-ranging powers of surveillance really necessary?
    3) Has anyone done a cost-benefit analysis of the proposals and can the taxpayer (who will be footing the bill) please see it?
    4) What is wrong with the existing system?
    5) Why can't the government focus on the troublemakers and leave the rest of us alone?
    6) Can the government please put this to referendum?

    In the meantime, free tools privacy conscious citizens may be interested in:
    1) Tor onion routing. Useful for anonymising your internet surfing.
    2) Truecrypt. Open source (less likely to have back doors or master keys) encryption.
    TrueCrypt - Free Open-Source On-The-Fly Disk Encryption Software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X and Linux

    Using both measures significantly improves data security even with electronic eavesdropping. Hardware of software keyloggers to get passwords are still an issue, but for the really paranoid you can use bootable Linux on USB sticks (reduces viability of software keyloggers).

    I'd rather accept the small risk of being the victim of a terror attack, than to fund expanded surveillance powers of an already obese/bloated government.
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  2. Sorry, I didn't see that post. The title hardly gives a clue as to the contents!

    Still, there is a poll here which that post doesn't have, and it would be interesting to see the yes/no statistics. :)
  3. Well as I have my tinfoil hat on they can't get me, but call me a cynic but is this the shit they were trying to bury while everyone was out panic buying petrol.
  4. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    How many terabytes a week is this project?

    Govt has such an excellent record on big IT projects after all. Wonder who has taken Govt to the cleaners this time.
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  5. Not worth the effort. (Separate wood from trees?) Far better to target known/suspected risks. But maybe that is the plan. Have a law allowing everyone to theoretically be monitored as a cover for the fact that only some actually are.
  6. I always worked under the assumption they were doing it anyway, snooping is addictive for bureaucracies and the UK caught the bug during The Troubles.
  7. The spooks have been doing this for a long time, however is it not a good thing that they now wish to do it legally? There have been occasions in the past where the authorities have not been able to bring a case to court as that would have made it obvious that they had gathered their intelligence illegally.
  8. That is an impressive display of deductive reasoning.
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  9. I posted at length and at great personal insult cost when I tried to flag up how far THEY were prepared to go. Looks like now they are shitting themselves for when News International hits back. Perhaps saying we were only doing it for HM Gov
  10. It strikes me as more evidence of the gross hypocrisy that is the Con-Dem government, both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems were against this type of monitoring of public communications when it was proposed by the Labour Government. How things change when they get to take the seat of power.

    Incidentally there are many more important things they could be doing with parliamentary debating time than this particular issue, such as the danger that the HRA imposes on this country by not allowing terrorist suspects to be deported from the land, despite their total undisguised hatred for the country (whilst they take the benefits such as housing and other income from the government).
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  11. Recording every e-mail, phone call and website visit, that'll make it nice and easy for the Chinese government's hackers. After all, our government departments do seem to have a very good record of keeping our personal data secure; just like MoD procurement comes in under budget, on time and fit for purpose. What's not to fear?
  12. Negligent-Discharge

    Negligent-Discharge LE Book Reviewer

    Aww, come on, we all know that THEY were doing it. I can't remember the name of the system... well I do as an RAF GCHQ bod told me over a few a few Pints. "Apparently" it was/is capable of picking up keywords like Columbia's biggest cash crop, a Czech plastic that goes bang and things to do with r*gheads... hold on, who's that in the garden?
  13. Reading the article;

    'Labour faced fierce opposition in 2006 when it proposed creating a national database to store such information and later dropped all notion of the scheme just before the last general election.
    But the new Government has revived the plans and while there will be no database, providers will be required to record all activities of their customers so they can be accessed if needed.

    It has moved the government controlled DB to a Service Providers requirement to maintain a record of activities of their customers, this is not far off what happens already with ISP's and Telcos. It mandates a requirement to them to ensure that information is kept to legally admissible standards. Not quite what Labour were planning.

    'Proposed new powers, to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, will see a huge expansion in the amount of data communication providers are required to keep for at least a year.'

    No specifics on time here 'at least a year' DPA says data should be erased once it is no longer required. Joe Bloggs = 12 months (TBC). Target of interest = duration of investigation

    '"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."

    Pretty much the same as an itemised phone-bill. ISP's and Telcos do not delete information every month.

    Some nice buzz words that will get the tin-foil hat brigade worked up into an frenzy and rushing out to put another lay of foil around their living room. The usual suspects lined up from various groups to denounce the proposals threatening that we are turning into another China/Iran/(insert dictatorship of choice here)
    No real facts or definite statements of requirements though.

    You may think from my tone above I support the proposals? I don't support the idea of what is being outlined in a rather knee-jerk article. I will however wait until facts appear before I board the outrage bus.