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back to article Home Office spawns new unit to expand internet surveillance

The Home Office has created a new unit to oversee a massive increase in surveillance of the internet, The Register has learned, quashing suggestions the plans are on hold until after the election. The new Communications Capabilities Directorate (CCD) has been created as a structure to implement the £2bn Interception …

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Black Helicopters

it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow

You must be joking - they are going ahead with this regardless of what parliament, the government or tiny people like us tax payers say or want.

This tail is going to carry on wagging the dog until the very last - far too much pork in the barrel.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow

But if you buy a pig in a poke, there's no use crying over spilt milk when the horse has bolted.

Sorry. As you were.

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FAIL

Re: it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow

Eh, I'm not so sure.. It's all swings and roundabouts really.

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Re: it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow →

..but now the cat's out of the bag and we all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet....

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow →

Too many cooks spoil the broth, though. I think we should just let the dog see the rabbit.

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Badgers

Re: Re: Re: it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow

We must keep our nose to the grindstone, an eye on the ball, our shoulder to the wheel, knuckle down, tighten our belts, put our best foot forward and pull our socks up, while keeping a straight face and a stiff upper lip.

<-- And keep badgering away without a pause as well.

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Heart

Re:Re: Re: it was widely assumed progress on IMP would slow

Just so long as the bunny isn't boiled afterwards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re

It's all those fat cats with their snouts in the trough. We are starting to believe our own dog food (as someone actually said to me the other day!!)

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Thumb Up

yes minister quote

"and then the blloon gose up, they hit you for six, an own gole infact"

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FAIL

well then

Time to start investing in setting up tor nodes all over the country/world. Fuck these fascist pigs and their invasion of our private lives.

Anon obviously.

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Anonymous Coward

Join the militia !

I'm with my fellow anon friend on this.

We need YOU !

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Stop

Tor is slow and lacks critical mass

Tor could only work like this if it reorganised networking based on enough people having a well connected Tor router and all Tor routing being done based on trusted relationships, as opposed to based on network geography. Realistically this isn't going to happen, as it would slow everything by factors of 10 or 100 even if you could persuade more than half the population to operate in this manner. Those getting into Tor now have to connect to other Tor partners based on limited availability and not trust, so this early prototype network is insecure.

Better for those who care about the issue enough to invest in virtual servers in countries whose laws they trust and to use VPNs to secure their own internet traffic, using offshore virtual servers as apparant traffic origins in respect of all their Net use with everything else tunnelled over the VPN. Then your trust is in the virtual server provider and the integrity of the VPN you select.

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Silver badge

The more evidence and info gathered, the more the police state mentality advances ...

...... into degradation of command control and power*

"The Directorate will continue to consider the challenges posed by new technologies, working closely with communications service providers and others to bring forward proposals that command public confidence and demonstrate an appropriate balance between privacy and security."

And that is always a subjective judgment call by some human working for ..........?????? himself/herself? And if employed, then who would be paying them is a good place to start to find out who would be expecting stellar performance in agreement with their own policies and future plans.

* The slippery slope into the pit of Righteous Revolution and Aristocratic Anarchy .... Automatic Anarchy/Autocratic Anarchy ...... a Mad Bad Place anyway, with the System always the Loser.

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FAIL

Email not via ISP

So what do the dorks do when someone doesn't use their ISP for email services. Are they going to start doing deep packet inspection to monitor for POP3/SMTP traffic.

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Anonymous Coward

shh!

Don't give them ideas!

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Question too difficult for HO to understand :)

All this matter is another case of sink billions on taxpayer money on projects that don't finish or would provide near null results.

But hey we are leaded by intelligent people that are always right!

And if you all noticed, Mr BeenLad communications to the media are always via email (oops tape recorder) ... so good luck UK - democracy in ruins of so many excuses of gathering inteligence.

Apart from that... is probably the right time to consider using non-standard encryption on emails... just to keep them happy solving the puzzle and justify the money wasted.

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Anonymous Coward

Good question

All of my email is done encrypted via a VPS, granted it's in the UK now, so can be intercepted between servers.

Are hosting providers required to monitor connections?

What's to stop me moving my VPS outside of the UK and enabling OpenVPN?

As usual, those that need to will work around the monitoring and Joe Public loses more privacy.

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Bronze badge
Big Brother

Non-ISP email will be difficult to monitor anyway....

...because like many other MTAs Exim does opportunistic encryption so anything that can be intercepted would require the recovery of the ephemeral session key to decrypt it. IOW, the person who runs the system *cannot* provide the clear text.

What a shame! :)

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Anonymous Coward

Encryption is the only way to fly...

Even with deep packet inspection, it is impossible to crack most current crypto in real time, or even much delayed time, and the more encryption there is the more likely they will have to focus on those that they know are really doing bad things, instead of passively snooping on everyone.

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Big Brother

RE: Email Not Via ISP

In a word YES!

They are probably doing that (DPI) already.

My email server is in Germany. Encrypted VPN all the way.

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FAIL

Deep Packet Inspection...

... is already required from my understanding of their aims.

Accurate IP address allocation records- We already know from attempts to track down P2P file sharers that ISPs have not got the most accurate IP allocation records on the planet. And even if they are accurate, it also assumes that all the associated data is accurate. Otherwise you end up associating the wrong IP to the wrong household, and all your intelligence is garbage.

And this is a specific dirty data issue. Data collected on this scale will be very, very difficult to verify and keep clean. More opportunities for garbage. And don't get me started on the invasion of privacy stuff.

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Unhappy

RE: RE: Email Not Via ISP

I use TextMagic.com for sending and receiving texts from my computer. The other day, an error on their site exposed that they were using 'clixby' on their site. This, clixby, records everything you do on their site, something like a superkeylogger.

I wrote to object to this invasion of privacy, and questioned the safety and security. I also asked their reason for doing it. Bear in mind I wouldn't have known about it if it hadn't been accidentally exposed.

Their rather (very) unsatisfactory response was a) I had agreed in the terms and conditions and b) it was to improve their service. How in hell do they need such aggressive and pervasive 'spyware' to improve their service.

If the terms and conditions has included specific reference to clixby and detailed the extent of the information collected (everything), rather than the usual weasel words, I would not have agreed.

Go here to see how 'clixby' works and, perhaps, be surprised. www.clixby.com

Just goes to show what we are signing away when we agree to the weasel words of the terms and conditions.

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WTF?

dear home office,

fsck you.

Dear Tor,

please tell the world about yourselves quickly so we can all be rescued from the current slow speeds.

Rgds,

The UK.

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Big Brother

Inevitable, unstoppable...

"...to save lives, to counter terrorism, to detect crime and prosecute offenders, and to protect the public."

Of course, of course. I'm genuinely surprised there wasn't a sly mention of the need to 'think of the children' inserted there, but I guess we've had that particular mantra drummed into us so thoroughly (and relentlessly) it's become a bit of redundant gesture these days.

Well, I've said before the UK Government - in fact, every government, everywhere - will never stop trying to gain control of the interweb. The web is the enemy of controlling government: it is a conduit to free speech, individual expression and legitimate dissent and it absolutely must be pinned down and subject to massive surveillance by police and 'security forces' the world over, for all the reasons outlined above. Honest.

You want the paedomonsters and the terrorists to win?

No? Then shut the f*ck up and allow us to monitor your internet activity.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Good question

Yes, they are planning DPI. This has been covered extensively on the Reg. See the related stories.

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Black Helicopters

Hmm.

He do the police in different voices, indeed.

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WTF?

Same-Old-Same-Old

CCD and there Orwellian system are going 'to save lives, to counter terrorism, to detect crime and prosecute offenders, and to protect the public', all while jumping larege buildings i'm guessing.

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Thumb Down

There is a subtle broadening of scope....

"More recently, we have been considering how, in a changing communications environment, lawful acquisition of communications data and interception of communications can continue to save lives, to counter terrorism, to detect crime and prosecute offenders, and to protect the public."

I like the last three purposes of the ubiquitous snooping. It has always been just the terrorists that should be worried. Now this has broadened to just crime in general. I wonder when it will be used to enforce traffic violations and spitting your gum out onto the pavement.

We need a new system of governance, this one is broken.

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Alert

Reminds me of that old anti-Kinnock Sun Headline

"Would the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?"

Oh, how we laughed.

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Thumb Down

Let's throw these tossers out of government

Let's throw these tossers out of government, then elect some more tossers that don't know what freedom means.

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Big Brother

sneaky pervy ferkers

"....lawful acquisition of communications data ..."

My arse.

Peeping Toms by any other name.

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Thumb Down

Internet be damed

time to stop my internet connection I think

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Silver badge

He who pays the Piper, calls the Tune .....?

Here's Bruce Almighty's take on the surveillance scene ..... http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/23/schneier.google.hacking/index.html

And are the spooks bright enough to know that they can be easily groomed and baited to perform in a predictable way, with juicy dodgy information being fed to them virtually to whet their salacious appetites, whilst they in their turn may be trying to wait long enough to spring another trumped up charge, without it being obviously quickly revealed and thrown out of court as an entrapment.

Some folk would even be making it very easy for spooky hunter gatherers to recruit prime leading experts in the Fields of Concern and Unusual Interest , very quietly, and pay them obscene wads of dosh for what they are capable of doing for them, if they are of the sexually liberated hedonistic party mindset, or to them, if they are of the closet manic depressive, masochistic flagellant disposition. The trip chosen is only the clients and not the experts, for they are happy to provide whatever is required.

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Silver badge
Heart

Sir

You know, it's odd. I was only reading your first post above and I thought - I wonder if that's Bruce?

Now I scroll down the page and you actually quote Bruce.

Either I'm a phsycic squirrel, or you're Bruce Almighty and I claim my £5.

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Silver badge

Odd bods in the community

Hi, phsycic squirrel.

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Joke

Gibberidoo

I suspect they'll be kept entirely busy deciphering posts from "amanfrommars".

Good luck to them with that.

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Encrypted chat...

...It's just a click away:

http://zekes.com:1560/123webmessenger_friendlist.html

or a thousand others, of course.

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Thumb Down

And ............

The Cost/Benefit ratio is ?

Hmmmmmmmmmm thats an awful lot of bad things that will be countered to justify 2 BILLION POUNDS being spent !

Or is it just new toys for the boys ?

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Anonymous Coward

Recommend me some VPNs please

I've been thinking about buying a VPN service for a while now. Obviously non-UK based. No requirement to be p2p friendly. The only lists and reviews I've found are all geared towards freetards hiding from the mafiaa.

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Thumb Up

I don't use my real name on the internets

so I'm safe right?

Please respond to:

Mark Davis

32 Summers Hill

Birmingham

BR3 5TH

02334 768768

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Anonymous Coward

Is it just me everywhere

or are there a lot of AC's about today?

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Stop

Too much data?

There's an old saying - "A man with one watch knows the exact time. A man with two watches is never certain."

If I ever start a suspicious group I will make sure its initials are "THE", "NOT" or "AND". Lets see them search for those.

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Pirate

Act alone!

Don't conspire or boast on the net! Just pick your target and act!

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Big Brother

No title.

No comment.

Just the icon.

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Black Helicopters

@Blofeld's Cat

Association of Network Disobedients.

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Pint

Here's a novel idea

To counter the email surveillance, send hand-written letters in envelopes, sealed with first-class stamps on so they get there in a week or so.

Oh, I see the flaw: GCHQ will get us to register all letters sent with an address from and an address to, and transcribe the contents in a standard way with a non-smiling photograph, and pass the letters through Your Local Police Station where they may be checked for special keywords and stamped with an official stamp.

But I'm doing nothing wrong so I have nothing to fear...

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FAIL

Massive Analogue Hole

Oh yeah, snail mail is a massive analogue hole.

It's worth asking the government about how they're going to deal with that massive hole:-

1. Write a letter. On paper. With a pen.

2. Fold it up, and stick it into a folded piece of card.

3. Put the letter, inside the card, into an envelope.

4. Seal the envelope.

5. Write the destination address on the front, and affix a stamp.

6. Post it.

(The card is to block light, so that attempts to read the contents by shining a light through it won't work.)

How will the government answer? How could they possibly answer?

If they're going to introduce changes to postal requirements, then that itself proves they're not simply maintaining capability (which is an oft repeated lie of theirs).

If they're not going to introduce changes to postal requirements, then obviously it's a massive, exploitable hole. But if, with the internet, they're only maintaining capability, how could old snail mail be a massive analogue hole in comparison? Again, it demonstrates that they're not maintaining capability.

And if they are intending to change the rules about snail mail, there's the question: why didn't they need to have such rules back in the Cold War, when we faced the far bigger threat of nuclear annihilation?

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Headmaster

Royal Mail Interception

...has always happened. That is why the government invented the postal service, to be able to open any letters they wanted to. They still do, and only the Official Secrets Act stops me telling you this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here's a novel idea

Nothing stopping you mail USB sticks either.

You could send tens of GB worth of encrypted data, possibly in a hidden encrypted volume, with some innocuous holiday snaps in the outer volume.

You wouldn't even need to encrypt the data if you put it on a microSD card and hid it inside the case of a larger device, such as an alarm clock. Why would anyone bother looking inside that, except the person receiving the alarm clock with the message "welcome back from your time on the inside" or something like that.

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Silver badge

Re: TOR

The problem with TOR is that it's inherently insecure. By design. You do not know who is relaying your traffic, and the exit node might or might not be run by baddies (or spooks), who would therefore have access to your unencrypted data. That's OK as long as they do not know where the traffic originated. Which rules out any traffic requiring identification without end-to-end encryption (i.e. they can spy on your FaceBook habits).

On the other hand, real terr'rist wanting to share nefarious plots can post encrypted messages on Usenet so they won't be bothered. The whole system's aim is to fabricate "guilty by association" evidence, not to catch the real bad guys. This is dangerous, as we can _ALL_ be linked to terrorists _and_ paedo circles by association, with a much lower number of associations than most of the people would think (I would guess 3 to 4 degrees max for the most e-recluse, probably first degree for the most avid bloggers; but it just came out of my headwear).

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