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back to article Green light for spooks' net snoop plan

The coalition government has approved a multibillion-pound plan by the intelligence agencies to store details of every online conversation. The reemerging Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) means internet providers will be forced to install interception equipment in their networks to capture details of who contacts whom …

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Unhappy

Gosh! You mean ...

.. to say that the current government are just as much a bunch of liberty eroding, statist, authoritarian super cocks as the last one ?

Well fuck me, who would have thought ?

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Big Brother

BBC TV Big Brother Adaptation

The Internet Archive conveniently has a streamable/downloadable copy of the BBC's TV adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four:-

http://www.archive.org/details/Meatpies_1984

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Anonymous Coward

welcome

Welcome to the new stazi, just like the old stazi.

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Coat

Who knew?

Who knew.

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Joke

Re: welcome

I think you'll find they wear a different colour of tie - which is important because you have to look good on the telly

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Flame

well,

fukkin rediculous

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i swear...

They are just giving me more and more reasons to move to Australia... I mean, everyone knows how to get round a Firewall now don't they?

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Flame

Don't be daft, we're only a week behind you.

The terrorists have already won so why bother.

It be daft to come here as we're only a week or so behind you.

We don't have original ideas here in Australia! We'd require googolplex years to spawn any original thought whatsoever.

But we're in the Nobel prize class when it comes to copying authoritarian law enforcement shit from others. Even Einstein'd run a poor second.

Frankly, you'll have to find somewhere in the non-English-speaking world, as the whole English-speaking world is similarly infected with this Orwellian totalitarianism. You mob lead the pack, we're next in line.

Futurologists extraordinaire Orwell hit the bulls-eye in 1948. Tragically, we citizens didn't bother listening, now whammo!

…Better prepare yourself now, here's your lines:

"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."

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Big Brother

Talking about the Nobel prize and liberty...

China appears to have a minor disagreement with the Nobel committee over awarding the Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Seems they think he is a villain and a jailbird... shades of Constable Savage, I think.

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Police state it is then.

It's a shame, I had doped that this lot were slightly less cuntish than the last ones but, alas, it would seem now.

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Coffee/keyboard

@ Cameron Colley

"slightly less cuntish"

you sir, not only owe me a keyboard, but a whole laptop... my old one is covered in my curry i was eating...

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Unhappy

Leopards don't change spots.

Leopards don't change spots. For a week or two , most of us had entered the 'wishful thinking dept'.

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Pint

Darknets?

Time to start getting serious about encryption then

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Alert

Sorry...

"Ello, ello, ello! What's this here Truecrypt volume? Can we have the password sonny else you'll be spending time at her maj's pleasure!"

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Thumb Down

And while you're at it....

....tell us the password to the hidden container as well as the one to the visible container.

What do you mean there isn't a hidden container? Prove to us that there isn't!

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I think

you will have to think a little more laterally than just relying on encryption.

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Anonymous Coward

Of course.

I'm always happy to help my government, the password is "G0d save the @ueen". Why no officer, there isn't another password. Why would I have two? What's a "hidden volume"?

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Black Helicopters

Darknets? It's worse than that, he's dead, Jim.

"Time to start getting serious about encryption then"

Well, that will stop them from reading the content of your communications that they promised they wouldn't, but it won't stop them from being able to see who you are comm'ing with. For that you need some kind of endpoint obfuscation as well.

Course, if every single byte in and out of your domestic DSL is encrypted traffic routed through a VPN or TOR node, it will show up like a sore thumb in the data mining that they promised that they wouldn't do. And then your name will also go on the list that they promised they wouldn't make. Not to mention the five years in chokey they'll threaten you with when they come for your keys.

So unfortunately, in this case, it's much much worse than a glib "we'll get around it with crypto/VPN/TOR" would suggest.

Of course, all of the above assumes that any government agency is capable of running such a large project without fucking it up. Then again, GCHQ already have plenty of experience of using big iron to do SIGINT, so if anyone can, it's probably them.

Depressing, really.

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Unhappy

Are you planning to send an entire volume via e-mail?

Just askin'...cuz I doubt there'd be a whole truecrypt volume sent that way. (Take waaay too long...)

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Stop

The whole point of technology like TrueCrypt

Is that it has out-evolved the lying, money grubbing scum who make the "law"

Good crypto contains one or more layers of additional encrypted content which is concealed in such a way as to make it impossible to prove that it even exists, thus defeating the stazi when they whip out their "passwords or prison" legislation. Methods such as steganographic encryption have been available for some time and are freely available.

More to the point however, if we all use VPNs to states that have privacy laws then they will have to get a warrant and serve it on you to gain access to the list of every website you have ever visited, every person you have ever had an email from etc. In this way at least you will know when Cressida Dickhead and the Met Death Squad are coming to kill you for being a plumber, in the meantime the illegal immigrant working for NCP can't go phishing through your records and target you for identity fraud.

Time we gave the whole lot of lying vermin in parliament concrete boots and threw them in the Thames as an example to future politicians, scum.

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Ed
WTF?

The problem is...

Of course, the problem is that even if you encrypt your access to Facebook (for example), whoever you communicate with on Facebook won't necessarily do so, so you don't really gain much from that...

Of course, any serious criminals or terrorists will all just use encryption. So what's the point?

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Grenade

...And your PGP email passphrase too, thank you!

Right, absolutely.

...And your PGP email passphrase too, thank you!

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Silver badge

If you worry about being just a number, how do you feel about being a Machine for ProgramMING?

"Of course, all of the above assumes that any government agency is capable of running such a large project without fucking it up. Then again, GCHQ already have plenty of experience of using big iron to do SIGINT, so if anyone can, it's probably them." ..... The Other Steve Posted Wednesday 20th October 2010 22:12 GMT

I wonder whether GCHQ has a Virtual Terrain Team programming Cyber Certainty into the Cyber Security Office Machine ..... for a Greater Order into Vanquishing Chaos with Virgin Intellectual Projects and dDutch Initiative in a Sublime Joint Turing Adventure?

And if not, why not, whenever it is available? Whose Narrative and Agenda are they Servering with the Cheltenham Machine Node.

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@The Cube

That's a nice fantasy, I would argue with it at length, but I think this is succinct enough

http://xkcd.com/538/

And if you truly believe that your "plausibly deniable" truecrypt volume doesn't look like exactly what it is to anyone with a clue, you have been severely mislead.

As Bruce Schneir is won't to say, if you think crypto is the answer to your problem, you probably haven't understood crypto, or your problem.

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Unhappy

Quelle surprise?

j'ai fini.

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Pint

As they say...

...last one to leave, please turn of the...well you know!

So that's was fun while it lasted, wasn't it? I did enjoy the illusion of privacy we had, we had a few laughs. So now we head to a nasty little spied on despotic state, I realise they probably watch a lot more than we know already, but it's hearing it confirmed that basically the UK Gov consider us ALL to be terrorists and ne'er-do-wells of the highest order.

Oh well, I'll be signing off now, cutting my internet down to minimum and sending my mobile back.

Landlord, same again please!

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Flame

Anyone remember this phrase?

Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss

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Anonymous Coward

the other thing

While hunting down at best incompetent terrorists (the guy that drove the car into the crowd the other night proving that if we were facing competent terrorists we'd be cock deep in corpses by now), more likely none existant terrorists, they will be spying on every single person who is online.

On the other hand imagine the pure comedy of the system "sir to day it seems Mr Fiddlybuck and Mr Tinhammer are planning on building an airship to attack the highlands! We must mobilise!"

"The HACK! guild have declared war on the PIRATES! guild apparently they don't like their hats or prancy songs, this could be bad!"

"Mandy has unfreinded Jim" I sense a conspiracy.

and how much of it will be

"BuY C0Ck L0ngar Pil1$ half Pric3!!! S4Ve $$$"

"Cheap Rolex!"

?

On the other hand how many seconds until they use it to find "perverts" and then how many minutes until the record labels and movie companies have access to it?

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Megaphone

Lib Dems?

I'd hoped the Lib Dems would have made the difference, keeping the Tories from going down this kind of road. Now I feel furious.

November 5th, Parliament Square?

DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER!

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Big Brother

Time to budget for that....

....VPN then, preferably terminated somewhere that doesn't respond to requests for surveillance.

In any case, who can trust this no warrant/warrant required distinction? We don't know what is being hoovered up and they won't use these intercepts in court so who is ever going to know what has been collected?

The price of freedom is accepting that you might be one of those killed by the lunatics....

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FAIL

I suppose thinking this through for more than 5 minutes is too much to ask

Anybody serious about hiding stuff from prying eyes is going to be using encryption anyway, which will most likely take decades to break. Hang on, I have a solution to that problem, let's just log all your traffic then ask you for the encryption key and lock you up if you refuse...

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Alert

transient data, ephemeral keys

If the data only exists between keyboard of Bob and the screen of Alice and is encrypted in transit using negotiated Diffie Hellman session keys which are disposed of securely after each session, even if Eve Spook can get Bob's or Alice's or both permanent passwords through threat of imprisonment she won't know the content of the session because the session keys are not derivable from what Eve knows (assuming the cryptography is setup with options which ensure perfect forward secrecy). Eve might be able to get the endpoint addresses, but if both Bob and Eve are using their own VPNs to servers in privacy respecting countries then Eve will need cooperation from the countries hosting the VPN servers just to know who was talking to whom and when, and without being able to obtain the content.

So all this monitoring is optional for those who can't be bothered enough to avoid it. Real terrorists, organised criminals and spies and others with strong privacy needs and the knowhow and budgets to secure communications will do so. The government is going after the low hanging fruit. DH key negotiation with PFS properties is embedded in too many widely used libraries (e.g. SSL) and has been used for too long for governments to be able to ban it anytime soon.

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Black Helicopters

Because they can

It's technically possible for them to grab this information. Therefore suddenly it's necessary - the country is doomed unless they are allowed to grab it.

They have to destroy our freedom in order to defend it against all the threats they loudly claim are trying to destroy it.

Perhaps they would like to publicly state what information about us they would *not* demand to grab if it were technically possible and not legally forbidden? Could there be any such thing? At all?

Or what conditions would have to apply for the country to *not* be threatened by bogey-men, so they wouldn't need all those powers? Again, could there be any such thing?

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Black Helicopters

I thought they were saving money.

For a government who is supposed to be saving money, they sure like wasting it. How many schools could be built for this waste of money?

So all my innocent communications will be logged but not those of the terrorist because he uses encryption and goes through an anonymous proxy for all his nefarious doings.

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Big Brother

Orwell ROTFLHAO

I guess this puts Mr. Orwell in first place as the most prescient science fiction writer, (nay human being) in all of history.

Not that I'm offering advice, but what would happen to their interception program if some enterprising Russian Business Network anarchist was to send tens of thousands of short, encrypted, email messages a second from a "zombie pc network"?

Apparently, not even the CIA/NSA/MI6 can actually stop these things (since the Viagra spam never really stops), the messages don't actually have to be received by anyone, only sent and they don't have to mean anything, just look like they are a 'threat" since they are encrypted. Perhaps a .jpg of an upraised middle digit with one pixels worth of steganographic message saying "Piss Off You Wanker!"

Seems to me that Big Brothers "Eye of Sauron" would run out of storage capacity, processing speed and bandwidth in a very short time, rendering the whole thing impotent.

Let alone the fact that there would not be enough people in the world that could review all of the flagged emails.

Just so there are no misconceptions, the aforementioned statements are the paranoid delusions of an aspiring fiction writer. Any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental.

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Black Helicopters

They're probably doing it already...

(no not that you dirty minded lot) - so I hope AC posted this from a really secure anonymised connection. Or one traceable to someone you don't like much....

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Except . . .

. . . there is a subtle difference in the proposal.

The data silo(s) will be held by the comm's companies, not by GCHQ. Which would be identical to the data that the phone companies habitually keep about you.

Don't get me wrong, I dislike this intensely, but it is a different proposal than the GCHQ data hoover that LieBore suggested putting in place.

And for the poster above (and no doubt others not yet on the boards), Guy Fawkes wanted to kill a Protestant king and replace him and the parliament with one dictated to by a Catholic church. Because that wouldn't in any way be worse than what we currently have, having a church based moral crusader running the country, no, not worse at all . . . idiots.

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Re: Except . . .

"The data silo(s) will be held by the comm's companies, not by GCHQ. ... it is a different proposal than the GCHQ data hoover that LieBore suggested putting in place."

Before Labour got booted out, the original plans were changed to have ISPs actually hold the data, and even do some preparatory processing (IIRC). So this isn't really a different proposal after all.

"Which would be identical to the data that the phone companies habitually keep about you."

Rubbish. Phone companies don't keep track of who I send and receive mail from. They don't keep track of which magazines and books I read, which radio programmes I listen to and which TV stations I watch and when. They don't keep track of who I meet up with down the pub, which clubs and societies I join and participate in, etc, etc.

The idea that this is nothing more than "maintaining capability" is a massive lie. A change in government hasn't changed that obvious fact.

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Lets try not to be a moron . . .

. . . now shall we ??

I said that the data hoover by ISP's was no different to phone companies - tracking who you contacted, when and for how long is precisely how phone companies bill you (on mobile networks, it will also include where you called from, since the cell tower will be logged).

Retaining the header data for online activities is no different - who did you contact, when and for how long can all be determined from that.

The payload data is the scarey bit, though it's been claimed that that wont be collected without a wiretap court order (as per a phone line).

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Lets try not to be a moron . . .

Worth noting that for a service such as Facebook, communications data (eg. who your friends are) is contained *in* the payload. There's much debate about whether that actually makes it communications content in law - the gov says no.

Also interception of content in the UK does not require court order, only a signature from the Secretary of State.

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Unhappy

RE:RE:Except

"Rubbish. Phone companies don't keep track of who I send and receive mail from"

I hate to burst your bubble but your ISP does, at least if you use their mail servers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RE:RE:Except

I meant snail mail. Not email.

But even with email, I was responding to the comparison with phone companies and traditional telephony, which would still leave email being an example of something not tracked by such phone companies (as just traditional phone companies, not when they're acting as ISPs). Tracking senders and recipients of email is an example of a relatively new capability, rather than maintaining an existing capability from the age of traditional telephony.

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Stop

Re: Lets try not to be a moron . . .

Yes, I know what you said, but you're still wrong.

Look at my examples again:-

"Phone companies don't keep track of who I send and receive mail from." I didn't say anything about the contents, just who the senders and recipients are. When I send a letter through the post, the phone company knows nothing about it. With email, they do. So it's not the same as it used to be.

"They don't keep track of which magazines and books I read, which radio programmes I listen to and which TV stations I watch and when." When I go into the newsagents and buy some magazines to read, the phone company knows nothing about it. Same with buying books in bookshops, visiting the local library (as long as I don't borrow any books, in which case the library knows), listening to the radio and watching TV.

Online, if I visit websites with magazine-like content, my ISP will know which websites they are. And they often don't have to look at the IP packet payloads to see the contents, since they can often just visit the same websites and see for themselves. And when buying books from Amazon, my ISP can watch me browse and note that I'm making purchases, which are recorded by my credit/debit card providers. Where and when I'm streaming radio and TV from can also be tracked when it's over the internet. This is obviously a lot more than what telephone companies are recording for traditional telephony.

"They don't keep track of who I meet up with down the pub, which clubs and societies I join and participate in, etc, etc." Again, I didn't say they'll be recording the contents of pub conversations or watching what goes on in private club meetings and the like, just keeping track of who, when and where. Facebook is perhaps one of the most obvious examples for this. It's still clearly way beyond the call logging done for traditional telephony.

This is so obviously such a massive expansion of existing logging that when you claim it's "no different to phone companies", I've got to wonder: are you trolling?

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Boffin

At least RM isn't certain to read my post

Oh well, better dust off the pen and paper to complete my plans in secret!

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Grenade

So:

End. To. End. Encryption.

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Use.

Full. Sentences. This. Isn't. A. Cheap. TV. Melodrama.

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Black Helicopters

Time to rise up

Waves at GCHQ. Yes, you read it here first. I'm the one to blame :-)

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Big Brother

These utter two faced bastards.

Now we see why they didn't outlaw Deep Packet Inspection, to protect everyone's privacy, because these two faced fuckers wanted to use it as well!

We are moving towards a jaw dropping level of Orwellian spying on everyone, faster that just about anyone could have imagined possible even just ten years ago! … and to think of all the infuriating lies and manipulation they have used to take us to this point is sickening!. They are very evidently showing they are really working against us, not for us. We are to them, being treated like the enemy to be spy on and they are utterly betraying the principles of this country to create their police state. That literally makes it an act of outright criminal treason against our country and all of us, as in “a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state.”. They act like they consider us the enemy! … yet they work for us!!!

The question now is what to do about it. Discussing and negotiating with them has failed. They show they don't listen to anyone. Nothing we say will stop them and any attempt to speak of fairness and privacy leads them to believe we are trying to hide something, so they try to spy even more, so no way of stopping them pushing toward as they continue to add ever more spying on all of us.

So I have to ask, WTF kind of totalitarian police state regime do they really expect and want us to live under! What will finally make them happy! How much more spying do we have to suffer! When is enough really enough!

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What to do?

<silliness on>This is not just "moving towards a jaw dropping level of Orwellian spying on everyone"... THIS is like two politicians doing an uppercut to the jaw while tickling the publics nads while yet a third is doing unorthodox proctologie deep pack-it end-spec-shun. (What? You felt something? That is not us, umm, not me. It's THEM, those who will destroy you...)

Too bad Earth is not as big as Jupiter or Uranus -- there might have been unoccupied lands to colonize after fleeying tyranny at home. Wait -- check that... all unoccupied continents would be taken by wealthy or by government to keep the masses in check, contained, agitated, and easier to tax (economically and mentally).

<//silliness off>

Seriously, though. There's nowhere to go. Can't you vote them out? Raise voter hell, or something? Or, will you all end up like an Episode of MI-5 i watched on DVD, where a combination of wealthy and Home Security types manipulated police, military, and public to create riots to inflate the need for absolute power....

The same is happening here, or will be... Hold on... someone's knocking at my 232r)*&)*4$#@#$#$ (lost carrier)

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Stop

Everyone will be guilty of something

"our response to this technology challenge is compatible with the government’s approach to information storage and civil liberties", i.e don't give a shit about them.

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