Spy chiefs are already spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a mass internet surveillance system, despite Jacqui Smith's announcement earlier this week that proposals for a central warehouse of communications data had been dumped on privacy grounds. The system - uncovered today by The Register and The Sunday Times - is …
May I be first to say.......
...If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear?
And isn' t a teraflop a euphamism for shooting brazilian electricians in the face on the underground? I assume all this technology will stop all that nonsense, I am right to assume that aren't I?
Budget shortfall? what budget shortfall?
So, at a time when the government is looking at tax rises to fund a £4bn a year gap, nearly 1/10th of that could be accounted for from a project that most of the public would consider sinister, Orwellian and invasive? Sounds like a reason not to vote Labour, not that you need yet another one these days... Gordo had got that almost sewn up...
Oh. So... it was a lie?
Really no other way to interpret this.
"Mastering The Internet" sounds like the title of an elementary Further Education IT course. Of course, many in the government could benefit greatly from such a course, given their fatuous pronouncements on Internet matters...
To be fair.......
So how is GCHQ going to observe suspects without this type of capability? While it is good to keep an eye on what they are doing this is hardly handing over all of your communications content to a group of Oiks from local government is it?
Paris because she knows how to hand over communications.
April fool? Ummm...
...nope - but that was my first thought, I mean, "Mastering the Internet"! (Presumably on completion of the project Wacky Jacqui - not to be confused with her husband, Whack-off Dickie - will henceforth be known as the Internet Dominatrix - she's topped you there Ms Bee!)
My next thought was that this was madness, only a government so stupid and arrogant that it would do things like:
(i) lie to justify invading foreign countries;
(ii) propose locking people up without trial for months on end, perhaps for reading something on a DoJ website;
(iii) remove the 10p tax rate for poorer people to pay for their foreign and security extravaganzas;
(iv) spend £30bn on new and just as unusable nuclear weapons;
(v) steal from the public purse to pay for second homes just around the corner from their first home...oh...how silly of me!
So what do we do? I seem to remember that when the "black boxes in ISPs machine rooms" (Echelon?) were first mooted someone came up with an e-mail signature that contained all the trigger words. These ones here parhaps: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/05/31/what_are_those_words/
Maybe it's time to revive mass virtual civil disobedience.
Leave us alone already!
"and other criminal networks"
"terrorist and other criminal networks."
They mean activists..
Fuck off Nanny State!
Keep fighting the loss of our civil liberties people through the increasing number of activist networks on the rise!
CAAN www.caan.org.uk and Disabled People's Direct Action Network
MPs first please
I'm happy for an unspecified number of civil servants/private contractors to have access to all my private communications provided I can first have access to all the private communications of my MPs. or do they have something to hide?
Illegal, yet again
The secretary of state may make an order under s.12 of RIPA for the inclusion of such interception "black boxes" - but the order has to be laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.
If this has not happened - and it hasn't - then any ISP installing a "black box" will be acting illegally.
Moreover, even GCHQ cannot intercept without a warrant, which for domestic communications (those not going to or from someone outside the UK), must be only for communications to/from a specific person or premises which must be mentioned by name therein, and which must be signed by the hand of the relevant Secretary of State.
The Home Secretary issues warrants for domestic interceptions - the Foreign Secretary signs warrants for foreign interceptions, and could issue a single blanket warrant for ALL international communications, which the Home Secretary cannot do for domestic interceptions, each domestic warrant must be for a single person or premises.
If a "black box" is trawling for suspicious content or keywords, it is intercepting ALL the communications it looks at even if it does nothing more than look at most of them.
Unless the Home Secretary has signed 60 million warrants - I suspect she'd have noticeable writer's cramp if she had, and it would show up in the Commissioner's annual report - then GCHQ would be acting illegally if it trawled most domestic communications.
As an addendum, although I haven't looked into this in detail I am fairly sure that the contractors will be breaking the law too, and the contracts will therefore be unenforceable
I thought that was the BBC Television Centre.
Victoria Falls Rocks .......
"GCHQ said it did not want to discuss how the data it gathered would be used. " .... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6211101.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2
Hopefully it will be Intelligently although I imagine that they are still stuck in the Sex,.Drugs and Rock and Roll Leverage thing, which is so easlly fed to salivating Peeping Tom analysts, who wouldn't realise that they are being Groomed and BetaTested for Fitness of Future Purpose.
It's the old old story, aint it, mate, .... Who watches the watchers and gives them Prime Instruction rather than False Hope and Duff Testimony. And to Imagine that any of the Old Crowd have what IT takes, and there are the usual public pork outfits vying for a slice of the Cyber Action, is Illogical and an Epic Fail even before the Games have begun.
"The advertisment also indicated that the head of Major Contracts would be in charge of procurement on MTI and be expected to forge close links with the private sector." ..... Err, you wouldn't happen to have an e-mail address, would you, so that the SMARTer private sector and Non State Actors could offer a QuITe Majestic Magical Mastery of Major Contracts for Mysterious Novel Peer to Peer InterNetworking Services. ...... because that is the Paradigm Change in the Cascading Intelligence Style Control Game.
The Establishment had their Chance and they Blew IT/Fluffed IT. Time for some NeuReal Movers and Shakers to Make a World of Difference with Worlds of Difference.
Not only but also...
Does the taxpayer pay big business for the means to spy on themselves
but we can't keep the majority of the business with firms in this country!
...and I'm prepared to bet that one or more officials that arranged the contracts will later leave the civil service and join aforesaid big business as a high paid consultant* - its a bribe but not as you'd know it.
Anonymous ( though when they install the gear they'll be able to figure it who I am anyway) but it's the principle.
*assuming they weren't on loan from big business in the first place.
Well phormed surveillance system
And I thought Ertrugul was bad.
Still won't work...
... unless there are back doors to the best encryption algorithms out there it will still be possible to send emails that cannot be intercepted.
At best the government is going to be able to blackmail you in the future if you visit any odd porn sites.
Irrelevant, or what?
We have precedents on this (sort of thing), and we can confidently say IT WON'T WORK. That is to say, for values of WORKing that its masters intend.
To name but one precedent, the Stasi collected massive amounts of information on behalf of a similarly-paranoid government, but were unable to make effective use of it.
Meanwhile, for the spooks benefit, terrorists 9/11 bin-laden mossad CIA ... should do for one comment.
They have realised they're running out of time so they're getting desperate.
Welcome to totalitarian Britain; the UK gov for so long has fu*ked us over, this is just the end game.
Mastering The Internet = destroying the last hope of true democracy, the internet was the last revolutionary element for freedom.
It must be great for people in the 3rd World who we try and sell democracy too when we show them exactly what they have to look forward to, complete control by the state.
It's not a side show it's the main act
With IMP she promised no central database, but then she argued that the ISP would index all the data.
Stick a transaction coordinator on that and you have a distributed database. But why would they index all that data at great expense to run the small number of queries needed for RIPA? Because otherwise you can run distributed queries against it.
So she's even planning on building her massive database. The Oracle guy she hired, is not stupid, he knows he can make a massive DB distributed from little DBs.
Where was the vote on this?
Or are we doing away with what little democracy we have left.
Come on Jacqui, tell us we're scum and should be thankful that your lot work hard to lock us under tyranny for "our own protection." Because the masses of unemployed, disgruntled Englishmen might very well be those terrorists you kept screaming about were going to attack us unless we gave up all our liberty.
No revolution this summer, swine flu! Everybody stay indoors!
I don't live in the U.K. so I assumed that I was unaffected by the interceptions, then I thought about it. Would this mean that all traffic merely routed through U.K. would be deep packet inspected? Even if those packets are not for a U.K. destination. I ask this not because I believe this to happen, but, nearly all of our traffic (Australia) is routed via the U.S., if they had similar systems (and who doubts that they do) then they can intercept my traffic to anywhere in the world.
"GCHQ does not discuss 'how' we use data, as this may lead to revelations about our capability which damage national security."
In other words, if you knew what we were doing, you'd throw a revolution. Ever notice how modern Western "democratic" governments are fond of invoking "national security" to avoid revealing their criminal plans? I thought they worked for the people. Ha ha ha! Silly me.
Why shouldn't we know?
"GCHQ does not discuss 'how' we use data, as this may lead to revelations about our capability which damage national security."
This is sounding more and more like the Stasi every day. I have never been paranoiac, and like most other people, I have "nothing to hide". My opposition to state funded surveillance and control systems has been based on indignation at the invasion of my privacy, and a natural suspicion of the state's nannying tendencies rather than outright worry. This is starting to change now. The state are giving themselves totalitarian powers, totally unchecked, uncriticised and seemingly immune from any kind of scrutiny.
Perhaps elected members of the Labour government never completely lost their student Marxist tendencies, or maybe they are so pliant and stupid they have allowed a civil service 'shadow government' to take root while they fiddle their expense claims. Do the government (elected and unelected) really believe they are doing the right thing- driven to a flailing panic by the prospect of another terrorist act on their 'watch'? Or are they striving to build up a detailed picture of our lives and habits, to tag and label us so that we can be more easily manipulated- individually told a different lie in order to control mass public opinion. So we can be marked as 'undesirables' - denied public sector jobs, medical support, the right to free movement if we disagree with them? So we can be 'disappeared' if we speak out? Or is this simply the socialist dream of reducing society to an easily manageable dataset- the dream that starved 30 million people to death in communist Russia before the advent of computers?
The thing is, whatever our speculation, we don't know, we are not being told, and we are not even allowed to debate the issue with people who are making decisions on our behalf. We don't even know who these people are! Because of this, we are right to be suspicious and to assume the worst- that the door to Room 101 is being booted wide open.
The anti-terrorist arguments for implementation of this kind of surveillance are appealing on the face of it. Once you look deeper into how it actually works, they are laughable. See this article by Ben Goldacre:
So this leaves us with the argument that this kind of surveillance can monitor and curtail criminal activity. No one would argue that locking up gangsters and pedophiles is a bad thing, but is existing legislation and technology really insufficient to do this? Even with the most sophisticated surveillance equipment, you will still suffer from shortage of human recourses, lazyness and ineptitude that marks the worst aspects of policing in the UK. Watch a couple of episodes of 'The Wire' - criminals adapt, and can easily change their communications methods to sidestep the authorities. Even if there is some value to paying Lockheed Martin millions of pounds to install equipment to spy on us, is the price of sacrificing our privacy, freedom and security from a brutal totalitarian government in the future (it has happened many times over elsewhere in the world) really worth paying? Does this kind of reaction not put the 'terror' in terrorism, and perfectly achieve the aims of militants - to disrupt and scare us into some kind of capitulation to their ideology?
We can ask these questions until we are blue in the face, but the people making the decisions will not give us an answer. They don't even appear to be listening. They will not discuss their methods on the grounds of national security.
They will not even give us their definition of 'national security'. Since when has internal criminal activity been a matter of national security? Probably since leaking embarrassing facts about government ineptitude did. Why is debate about the Criminal Justice System that affects all of us suddenly forbidden? Who has something to hide?
If the government and civil service do, it is our job to prize the information from them. This site is read by intelligent and IT literate people who have real insight into the systems being implemented. The more we can share about what we know, the more answers we can hopefully get.
The ZanuLab muppets will justify it in the name of fighting terrorism though I suspect that with this government that it would be used more to track opponents of the government.
I wonder what they would have said in the days of the IRA if a Conservative government set up a project where all letters were routed through a central point where they were opened and the contents photocopied or scanned or perhaps a ban on sealing envelopes.
The term "backdoor" is appropriate
First, because this happens in a fashion hidden from the public under "national intelligence" banners (they would have a lot more support if anyone bothered to create some transparency and accountability in the decision process). But hey, it's the current trend - can't have a nation size prison without supervision of every word uttered, not until thought scanning becomes possible.
Secondly it's a backdoor because it is taking the voters just there - this is tax money being spent on spying on the very people who pay it, and the kicker (unintentional pun) is that that money does not even go to ANY form of local employment: it goes to the Yanks (I think we're past having to prove that such inhouse spying doesn't actually help fighting terrorists, communists or any other enemy du jour).
If you don't feel shafted by now it must be because you're already used to it and no longer feel it. Consider it a widening of tolerance, and if visualising that doesn't make you uncomfortable you must be a sheep. Or like it (it takes all strokes, if you pardon the pun).
See that nice shiny soap in the gutter?
For the benefit of those monitoring this message: baaaaah.
I assume they have the world class best Spam filter to go with that.
I remember many years ago, we had to build a backdoor into some hardware so the KGB could eavesdrop.
I demand a Stalin icon, comrade.
Jacqui Smith is doing more to damage freedom than any misguided Muslim.
This woman needs to go, preferable along with the whole lot of them.
A perfect system for a corrupt government. Do they not see the long term dangers for this sort of thing?
Or are they too interested in their private directorships and their external money making schemes that will benefit from many add-ons to notice the dangers
This Government will go down in history as the most ill educated technology wise and possibly the most corrupt.
1984 here we come.
I thought the Thatcher government were sleazy, this government has just been confirmed as a lot worse.
If this were 'top secret' the story wouldn't be broadcast in murdochs self interest rag-mag and el reg would be explaining to a judge why they are compromising the national interest.
Really I'm sick of all this lame state sponsored war-on-terror era fud propaganda.
Given judicially reviewed due cause the state can already detain you, break into your house, bug your car, review your bank accounts, record your calls, follow you, install remote monitoring and a keylogger on your computer.
The notion of a spook operated mass surveilance infrastruture rests (for the present) at least a paranoid fantasy which must be strongly opposed lest it ever became a reality. Google as a mind control reality filteribg system is bad enough already.
Incidentally, would you use terradata, exadata or greenplum for the data wgatehouse? Or hadoop map-reduce? Performance wise I read that relational is still king upto a certain scale, but you'd need greater than 1k nodes to process all that chit-chatter?
As I said before
Big brother dropped for an even bigger brother
In the olden days
They had to have warrant, as in, a good reason, to snoop on anybody. Were it not for the fact that I make my living on the grid I'd go off it now, not because I've got anything to hide, but because I don't want some faceless nobody knowing I've arranged to have a cup of coffee with an old mate, for example - it's none of their business unless they have a warrant because they think I'm up to something.
The potential for abuse, for a McCarthyite society where everybody's guilty of something no matter how stupid or trivial, is frankly terrifying.
Will the Tories Scrap It?
Will the Tories commit to scrapping this intrusive, privacy-destroying, Stasi state IMP stuff? I fear they will try to weasel-word their way into keeping it.
Anyone else feel like they are being backed into a corner?
Looking at this makes my mind wander over to personal encryption. Not that I'm doing anything wrong, but if I noticed someone watching me through my bedroom window I would be inclined to buy blinds.
Crazy world we live in
If true, I regard this is totally despicable. No wonder the government didn't seemed unduly worried by Phorm. That's a drop in the ocean compared to what appears to be going on behind our backs. Me for a proxy/tunnel and encrypted e-mail. Somebody tell me that they can't eavesdrop on that! They'll probably make THAT illegal next, 'koz if I'm using them, I MUST have something to hide, right? Now bracing myself for an early-morning knock at the door by the men in black (oh no - that's America or Russia - doesn't happen here, of course, except in the Houses of Parliament!). Mine's the one with the fully-encrypted hard-drive.
Well rub me in Cheddar and call me Rupert!
I actually thought Jackboot gave a toss about our privacy! </sarcasm>
I'd normally have plenty to say about the growing and strengthening UK dictatorship, but I just can't be bothered any more. What more is there to say?
Oh, hang on, I just put a new acronym together! S.U.F.O... Sell Up, Fuck Off. I hereby declare myself the instigator of the SUFO movement! It differs from The Brain Drain in that you don't need much of a brain to see that its time to SUFO.
The one with the Transit keys and a ferry ticket to Portugal.
Metric tonne? How provincial.
"One said: "In MTI, computing resources are not measured by the traditional capacities or speeds such as Gb, Tb, Megaflop or Teraflop... but by the metric tonne!.. and they have lots of them.""
Traditionally, such massive governmental computer systems are measured by the acre ...
The big questions
How much capacity is allocated (or can be allocated) to those back channels to GCHQ?
By definition those DPI probes would be in every ISP office. But how many of those calls or emails can be monitored *simultaneously* is the question.
Really. About 60m people in the UK. Can this monitor 1%? 10%? 100% of that population?
Will this bandwidth be diverted "on demand" from paying business, or is it already dedicated solely to passing info back to Cheltenham (which should shortly have the *best* broadband in the UK on this basis)?
The implication of a system which can monitor 10% implies the Government think 6 million people will routinely commit offences serious enough to rate a phone tap warrant.
That back channel bandwidth is also the real limit on how much can be recorded for offline processing.
A *lot* of those DPI boxes should be shut down most of the time. But how would people know?
Black helos because that is basically who have pushed this stuff.
At least MI5 will have caught up with the NSA. The NSA have the world's powerful computers to crunch this data, but even that isn't enough to sift the wheat from the chaff. I doubt it'll be much use keeping tabs on terrorists- they'll just go off-line or encrypt their stuff. Rather I think GCHQ's game is to build up a profile of the public's internet habits to make it easier to identify political opponents to pick up for when Labour stage their coup d'etat to prolong their authority.
For those planning
on encrypting drives/emails etc, remember that under NuLabour, persons owning/sending/receiving encrypted data - of any kind - MUST provide the decryption keys on demand from the authorities. So using Blowfish on your order for those well known terrorist favourites - Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pork (to throw them off track) Sausages - won't work. Adding ANY kind of encryption will be like a red rag to a bull. You'll be on TV faster than you can say "civil liberty", with Sky News telling the "shocked and disgusted nation" about you and your family's possible terrorist activities, as the Gestapo - sorry, Police - break down your front door (all Brazilians had better duck at this point).
And the Conseratives won't willingly give up such a system when they get to power. They will rub their hands with glee, in the knowledge that they now have the power to discover who is checking out the Saucy Swedish Nuns website - and they can blame it all on Nu Labour who put the darstardly system there in the first place.
Mine's the ticket heading South of the UK border.
Paris? 'Cause I've got a better chance meeting her in Europe than in this "Once Great" nation.
What about the taxpayer?
That data could be monetised and the whole project paid for by the people who want to sell us willy pills.
Bring back the Nazi's
Maybe if Germany won in 1945 we would have been better off?
See a pattern
The Swedes have introduced their FRA law to intercept all communications crossing their borders. How convenient.
The British are introducing their "Master the Internet" plan.
The Yanks have had their NSA who's been out of control for a long time.
Now, colour those countries we _KNOW_ have this sort of surveillance a dark red on the map.
Then overlay where the massive international routing hubs are. DGIX, LINX, etc.
What do you find?
Why does britain
become more like the game 'deus ex' every day?
we have the plague
we have the monitoring
now all the need are the illuminati...
read more here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_Ex
black helicopters - cos we have those as well
Hooray we're a testbed!
Our old friends BAE systems! Ah what wonderful company and our wonderful left-wing government, living up to Uncle Joe's legacy in Russia, is so far up BAE's backside they can practically tickle BAE's tonsils!
Basically the government being one of the biggest arms dealers in the world is looking to develop a Stasi spy system second to none, so they can then offer consulting contracts and be a rerference "site" for BAE systems internet-monitoring system.
I have nothing to hide, truly I don't but what I dispise like others with nothing to hide, is the very fact that you don't trust those who supposedly, democratically elected you! Sick of watching this second-rate excuse for a governing party wasting my taxes on lining their pockets. What's the betting that half the MPs are on the boards of the companies selected for contracts eh? How much in share options and kickbacks do you think is floating around when this POS goes in? Get Mark Thomas and his team on the phone, we need to know!!
I didn't vote for you and I don't vote anymore! No don't give me that crap, "Don't vote? Don't moan then!". I didn't want any of you lot in, as you're all as bad as each other, so I have even more reason to moan than those that did vote!!! So I bloody well hope you read this through your nasty little spy system, I am exercising the last few moments of freedom of speech, before you take that away from me!
Spies of the world unite! The spooks have loved all all this surveillance stuff since before the actual year 1984 (Orwell saw the way things were going and why - read 'Down and out in Paris and London by him for truly eye opening stuff and why the ruling elite need the great unwashed masses to love 'Britain's got <no> talent).
But the spooks had realtime spying satellites long before Google Earth came along. GCHQ were gonna have this stuff no matter who was in power and you may as well stop worrying - if you think the other great powers of the world aren't doing the exact same thing you're in delusional. Why do you think Lockheed Martin got such a big part of the job, maybe because they've got a pre designed system already in place (don't they do a lot of American secret jobs for that government)?
What I object to is being spied on by a 'company' (Phorm) with links to Russian and Chinese scammers and government/business corruption - Phorm and BT and ministers becoming shareholders in each other companies/pockets.
Smile - you're on candid camera.
>traditionally gov comp systems are measured by...
How much over budget they can run, how late they are, how much the outsourcing agency can bugger it up and how much money they can waste before being scrapped...?
An Alternate solution
Just create a random script to generate internet traffic from every machine in the UK which everyone agrees to run containing a random set of keywords embedded in a suitable message.
This will keep the compute cores busy for aeons.
How else will we protect ourselves?
"Advocates of MTI and IMP say they are essential if intelligence agencies are to maintain their capability to monitor terrorist and other criminal networks."
Because we didn't have police before the Internet: policing simply wasn't feasible.
Wink wink.. ;-) ;-)
Form follows function you know. The hole in the middle is where they plug the InterWeb InterConnector in.
The main circular building is hard drive storage containing immense, and the word does not do it justice, platters.
External to the building the 'fields of black' are SSD arrays where 'interesting' data flagged for rapid analysis is transferred.
The major one, top left, is located close the the 'new build' homes where spook/plod gets to analyse this data whilst looking like they are 'general public' types.
It's a bit of a give away because you can see that along that section there are no 'security fences'. Elsewhere they are in place to prevent the 'real public' from getting free Wi-Fi.
The secondary one, bottom right, is located next to what is cunningly disguised as the site security gates.
That is until you realise that the 'connection' gives 4 ethernet ports, 6 USB, serial, parallel, mouse, keyboard, VGA and audio for connection to the home secretaries new computer in an articulated lorry. Drive up, plug in, see what your 'partner' has been doing.
The top right SSD is still under construction. Well, it's not really. That's just where they are storing the stuff recovered from what has been lost elsewhere.
Just to give some idea of scale the 'yellow' blob is one of these...
This photograph of NewGCHQ was taken on a day when initial system tests were being done to determine the possibility of real time interception and blocking/obfuscation.
Here you can see 'public' traffic, bottom left, being queued on it's, soon to be even slower, ADSL connection for processing by 'Data Centre One'.
Might have to work on the prioritisation algorithms... It's not very 'White Van Man', that might be P2P traffic, friendly at the moment.
On the central building we also get to see a real time security exercise operation in... operation.
To the bottom left of the main 'hard drive' data storage ring GCHQ personnel are busy filling in some security holes. Meanwhile bottom right of the ring the Haxorz are digging some new ones.
No need to be afraid though.
I haven't revealed where the 3.5mm jack is and did not mention 'Building No 2'.
Good job I have signed the 'Official Secrets End User Licence Agreement Act'.
teh key word is
abu hamza, bomb, suicide, terrorist, Al Qaeda, airline, suicide, Insha Allah, palestine, peroxide, training camp, plot, government, attack.....
Sorry just trying out a few keywords.
Come and get me Jacqui, you kinky bitch.
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