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back to article UK.gov to unveil reborn, renamed net-snoop plans in Queen's Speech

The Coalition's plans to hugely step up surveillance of the internet aren't new - indeed they date from well before the Coalition - but readers could be forgiven for thinking it's all brand new this morning after a quick look at the national newspapers today. David Cameron's government first published its intentions to snoop on …

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Because currently you need a warrant to find out if someone has cancer, but this data can tell you based on whether they visit websites for cancer victims.

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Anonymous Coward

A REAL

VOTE WINNER isn't it!

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Sir

The Stasi would be proud.

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FAIL

Almost a shame it wasn't April Fools eh?

I guess it's time to start encrypting and proxifying everything. I don't even have much to hide, it's the principle of it all.

Hopefully this helps wake up the public that little bit more. We're in a supposed democracy, yet the government aren't simply not doing what the people want, they're doing the opposite!

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Re: Almost a shame it wasn't April Fools eh?

It doesn't matter if you have much or anything to hide. It's about it being none of the government's business unless and until you break the law.

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Unhappy

@Craig 12 Re: Almost a shame it wasn't April Fools eh? -- 'Tis a Tragedy it wasn't

Seems El Reg is late, I heard this report yesterday. The scope of the surveillance is so outrageous that I thought it must have been a 1st April prank. That a modern Western democracy could stoop so low is so unbelievable that I still would not be surprised if it were a joke.

This proposal for full surveillance of the British people is so extreme and contemptible that it puts the Home Office on a par with the Abwehr but one without the nice Vice Admiral Wilhelm Canaris in charge. Frankly, it's shocking and deeply disturbing.

Britain and allies won WWII and they won it on values that were very different to those which underlie this surveillance proposal. Moreover, the UK is already awash with surveillance cameras and this proposal for internet surveillance now puts it fully on par with the monitoring Das Dritte Reich routinely conducted on its citizens.

What next? Who are going to be the Home Office's henchmen? Reincarnations of Reinhard Heydrich or Heinrich Himmler? Who'll be the Ministry of Truth's spokesman, Joseph Goebbels perhaps. And I suppose Alfred Rosenberg will be the new Minister for Incarcerations.

There's at least one virtue in having lived under a dictatorship, and there's more than one in losing a war! What's common to both is that those who've experienced either are forever very perceptive of the incremental, seemingly innocuous, steps that eventually produced them.

It seems to me that the naivety of the British People comes from the fact that they've experienced neither in recent centuries and that it's a potential tragedy in the making.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Craig 12 Almost a shame it wasn't April Fools eh? -- 'Tis a Tragedy it wasn't

The Godwin is strong with this one...

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Re: @Craig 12 Almost a shame it wasn't April Fools eh? -- 'Tis a Tragedy it wasn't

Late? We've been covering this for YEARS! Here's a report from 2010...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/08/imp_date_2015/

See the other related links :-)

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Re: @Craig 12 Almost a shame it wasn't April Fools eh? -- 'Tis a Tragedy it wasn't

"Late? We've been covering this for YEARS! Here's a report from 2010."

Yeah, right, and I've posted to some of them, although not that one. It was just bad wording on my part, being Sunday I heard it on a news broadcast before reading it on El Reg, normally it's vice versa.

Either way, it's depressing.

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As someone said on Twitter

It is a way to get people to send letters at the new 60p first class stamp rate.

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Big Brother

Hypothetically ...

If the securicrats continue attacking the freedoms of the netizens then it wouldn't be beyond the abilities of the latter to attach signature files to every e-mail, forum post and every second tweet etc saying something like:

"DISCLAIMER: I am not a terrorist, I dont have any bombs, semtex.... I don't sell skunk, ecstacy, ketamine ... I don't collect photographs of kids ... I don't go on jihad ... If this has triggered any illegal spying systems, I do apologise." ( fill in the gaps to your own taste).

We are assured that they don't do routine scanning of everything we write, so that would be OK then, wouldn't it?.

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Re: Hypothetically ...

>If this has triggered any illegal spying systems, I do apologise.

If this has triggered any illegal spying systems, I do not apologise since it's your system and I do not need to be watched like a criminal.

Is that better?

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Anonymous Coward

One way to bring the costs down

Fund it through PFI - that nice Mr Murdoch would probably lend us the money

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Reg was a bit late with this one

Sign the e-petition against this:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32400

Its absolute joke, who ever is advising them on these policies must either be:

a) a monitoring solution provider

b) a storage array provider

c) completely computer illiterate

These measures will do nothing to combat terrorism or organized crime, its just spying on everyday people.

I can also see this being open to abuse by the government, how long before they are actively reading your emails and censoring or even completely blocking them from transmission, or altering content and redirecting you from the anti gov site you want to visit to their pro regime website.

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Big Brother

Re: Reg was a bit late with this one

"I can also see this being open to abuse by the government, how long before they are actively reading your emails and censoring or even completely blocking them from transmission, or altering content and redirecting you from the anti gov site you want to visit to their pro regime website."

Absolutely, and just think, our government don't even have a "Do no evil" policy!

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Re: Reg was a bit late with this one

Not late - just no one seemed to care until a newspaper woke up to it. Sad. We've covered this for years.

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We all in this together ergo be careful what you wish for.

Just as long as there is the easiest of stealthy provision for constant surveillance of all MPs communications, past and present, for of course none of them ever imagine themselves giving up any dodgy powers they may have bought or been paid for, even whenever they have been turfed out of office at a general election or disgraced themselves whilst in office by virtue of the arrogant strokes they have pulled treating the electorate as ignorant fools.

The general global consensus appears to be that some of the biggest crooks are in government and/or in league with governments and in political parties vying to be elected as government. It would then be most irresponsible not to take all necessary measures to ensure fair play on a level playing field. Or are there to be notable exceptions to snooping to allow for actions which are not in the public interest?

How do you think that will fair in the transparent and open court of public opinion?

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Re: We all in this together ergo be careful what you wish for.

A rare day that your posts actually make sense. Troubled times.

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Sir

Well, the scumbags are exempt from the DNA database, so why not from the snooping?

Bring on the VPN gateways.

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Big Brother

More Pasties?

From eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk

<quote>

Now this may be a coincidence, but don't we have a Data Retention Directive, otherwise known as Directive 2006/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006?

Isn't this the directive which requires member states to oblige providers of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks to retain traffic and location data for between six months and two years for the purpose of the investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime?

And didn't the EU commission last year start a review of the rules, with a view to proposing an improved legal framework? Wasn't that then followed by a proposal for a comprehensive reform of the system?

Then, a few months later, up pops the UK government with some proposals of its own. Are we supposed to believe that this is a complete coincidence? Does anyone believe that, with data retention being an occupied field, the British government is working entirely independently, and has not consulted with the commission on this?

</quote>

Perhaps, like the VAT on pasties, another case of HMG pretending it's in control when really it's the EU wot dun it?

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Anonymous Coward

Don't give them ideas

If they think they can blame it on Europe, they will.

Personally, I think this smells more of our own Home Office and GCHQ. It doesn't usually take long for new ministers to be brow-beaten into accepting their department's bidding and this is no exception. The Home Office has scuppered more than one political career, so they will have some leverage.

We should take the fight to them and demand overhaul of the permanent civil service so that the principles for which we vote can't be undermined by unelected officials. Breath holding is optional, though.

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Big Brother

Re: Don't give them ideas

"We should take the fight to them ..."

we shall defend our Privacy,

whatever the cost may be,

we shall fight on the switches,

we shall fight on the bulletin boards,

we shall fight in the server farms and in the data centres,

we shall fight in the interwebs,

we shall never surrender

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't give them ideas

The point is that generally the politicos won't blame "Europe", even though their powers to govern are increasingly given away to Brussels. The main-stream media generally don't report this, either by ignorance or because it doesn't fit the addenda. As the quoted article says, data collection is an "occupied field" so they have no choice but to kow tow to the EU.

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Unhappy

Re: More Pasties?

"Isn't this the directive which requires member states to oblige providers of publicly available electronic communications services or of public communications networks to retain traffic and location data for between six months and two years for the purpose of the investigation, detection and prosecution of serious crime?"

It is. And while it was passed when (IIRC) Germany was on the chair it was drafted in the UK.

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Mushroom

Piss off Cameron!

"That challenge relates to how terrorists use the internet."

Yeah, 'cos they all send bloody obvious emails with stupid subjects likes, " Al-Q latest target list, LOL :) "!

For flip's sake, what planet do these moron politicians come from? This is nothing to do with terorrists, more like these slimy politicians and their mates in various IT contract and supply companies were a little upset when it got shelved before , missing out on all that free UK Gov cash they brought it back to life again.

As soon as the uproar dies down the the thing looks like it will be killed off again old Dave and his mates will wheel out the trump card, Child Porn! "Do you want your kids at risk?! Do you?!!!".

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Re: Piss off Cameron!

I'm reminded of the scheme to place bugging devices in lampposts to spy on terrorists. Piss ripped out by Andy Parsons who pointed out the last place a terrorist would have his meeting would be under a brightly lit street lamp.

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Alert

Presumably

The really organised criminals will be using VPNs and other encrypted comms so this sort of thing wouldn't really help anyway...

Or is this just to help catch the less tech-literate crims?

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Re: Presumably

After this won't most people be using vpns? Supervpn offers anonymity via the country of your choice from £2.50 per month. Relakks from £3.12 per month etc etc.

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Re: Presumably

My VPS works out about £1.25 per month. OpenVPN is free. All in all a fun project.

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Re: Presumably

Is it time for an El Reg study of VPN solutions yet?

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Re: Presumably

No. The really organised criminals will still be running banks and multinational corporations.

Lesser criminals will continue using tried and tested methods.

"The geese fly South today" - "David will bring your present on Saturday" - "Got any asprin?"

Just my £37bn 2p worth.

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Meet the new boss...

...same as the old boss

Politicians. Really doesn't matter what party they're from. When in opposition, they're all standing up for 'the people', as soon as they're in office, they want a police state and it's the other guys going on about civil liberties.

If only we could chuck out all the politicians and replace them with members of the public selected like a jury system. And make buying off an MP akin to buying off a jury - with a long stretch in prison.

Until then, expect the country to continue being run by power-crazed, liars, cheats and thieves.

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Meh

Re: Meet the new boss...

Wrong.

Meet the old bureaucrats.

Same as the new bureaucrats.

Different politicians. Same policy.

Common link? Let me think...

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Well...

When I saw this on the BBC News website yesterday, my though processes were as follows:

It's an April Fool story by the BBC, and a pretty poor one. - No it's not.

Haven't I heard this somewhere before? - TPTB still think they can drink from a firehose then.

Is the government really that stupid? - Yes

Better stock up on pasties and put some fuel in the car. - Am I really that stupid? - No.

Something must be done at once. - It's lunch time - I think I'll have the soup.

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Mushroom

Hmm

Is it time for everyone to start sending emails with trigger words to MPs to try and flood the system?

I'm always interested when government tells us to be open and not to fear if we have nothing to hide - but then puts walls, barriers and laws up to make sure we can't read their documents, even though we the people paid for them...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

It's just that they're more equal than us, see.

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Boffin

Re: Hmm

Well *officially* they are only holding the *routing* data, not the *contents*.

Not yet that is.

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WTF?

Right then...

time to fire up the PGP and the TrueCrypt then...

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Re: Right then...

Pointless as those are defeated by a RIPA request. That is unless you don't mind a 3 year stay at her majesties pleasure...

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Re: Right then...

Not really: we're not trying to hide, just to leave no trail for use by malicious fishing expeditions (imagine the RIAA getting into this? or the Met thinking you're a bit too brown and bomby for their liking? or Orlovski and Page hunting hippies?).

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Big Brother

CCDP

Because in Soviet Britain, etc.

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WTF?

So, they're closing down libraries, schools and hospitals, so they can watch the chattering middle classes discuss Bieber - fucking great!

Hey, if you've got all these billions to spare, how about stop creaming it off the petrol prices - two thirds of which go to government coffers.

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Coat

More of the same 'spy on you' again stuff

It annoys almost EVERYBODY and yet I guess criminals will still use the internet regardless! Anyway - wouldn't they need some sort of backdoor for every encrypted data packet out there - just how the hell would that work?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: More of the same 'spy on you' again stuff

"just how the hell would that work?"

It wouldn't, and couldn't, work.

Even if the security services had the ability to crack and trace secure comms through anonymising proxies and onion skin routers / darknet they are more likely to discover they have spent £1000's on tracing someone's holiday pics as the latest terrorist master plan.

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Anonymous Coward

April Fools

No better time to bury the bad news, eh?

It will be a (dubious) pleasure to see Labour suits labouring over how awfully intrusive the proposed legislation is, not a twitch on their well-groomed faces. And watch how the Deputy Sheriff tries to sit on the fence, and be on both sides of the fence at the same time, wonderful.

but, to mention a valid point somebody's already made - why is everyone so hysterical about this proposed gov snooping, when millions of you, dear netizens, are quite happy for Google to record not only who you send your g-mails to and who you receive them from, but also scan, and no doubt, process the contents of those messages. How come you trust a mega-corporation with their luvely "do no evil" (unless you have something to hide, right?) but you shy away from the gentle embrace of the government you elected yourselves? Is it because you took a carrot from google, but will only get a stick from the Man at No 10? :D

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Anonymous Coward

Re: April Fools

Because Google isn't likely to extradite you to rot in a US jail because of some circumstantial intercept evidence.

We all know that Dave's about face on this is likely to be down to some arm-twisting from across the pond

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Re: April Fools

So because corporations are trying to look at our data, our government instead of thinking 'how can we stop this invasion of privacy for our citizens', thinks 'how can we get a piece of this.'

Also because Google have my email (don't use them myself), that means the government should have a record of all my on-line activity? Talk about a false equivalency...

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Joke

If you sit on the fence...

Sooner or later you'll end up buggered with a pointy wooden post.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: April Fools

"but you shy away from the gentle embrace of the government you elected yourselves?"

except, (and here's the kicker) no one did vote for them.....

You find me one person in this country that actually voted for this current government, this so-called coalition.

There may well be some people that voted for that smug git cameron to be their joyous leader, but i sure as hell wasn't one of them.

While were on that subject, was any one here even given the chance to vote for Gordon Brown to serve as our prime minister? No? Didn't think so.

There are many countries around the world that if they were suffering from the same brand of 'democracy' that we are, would find themselves being 'liberated' but because we live in the good old United States of Great Britain, we're just left to get on with it.

But, to get back to your point about google, they want my information so they can try and sell me things that I don't want, and can easily ignore, in exchange for giving me an amazing amount of 'free' shit on line (email, maps, videos, search......) big deal.

The government want to keep tabs on everyone, with the possibility of black bagging anyone who is 'disagreeable' BIG FUCKING DEAL !!

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Anonymous Coward

Pure stupidity

A few key facts for the GovTards to understand.

1. It is simple and straightforward to secure your internet comms such that nobody can determine either who you are communicating with, or the contents of that communiaction.

2. At the moment, the security services can apply for an intercept on anyone they legitimately suspect (have no problem with this).

3. As the suspect in 2. will not know their comms are being intercepted, there is a fair to good chance they won't be taking steps to obfuscate them.

4. If this "net-snoop" plan was in force, then the suspect in 2. would know his comms were being intercepted and would (unless he was a complete moron) be sure to take the simple steps outlined in 1.

5. At the moment, most people don't try to obfuscate their comms. They may use encryption, but few use anon proxies, TOR, JAP, etc. If the net-snoop plan came into force many more people would use these tools for their legitimate and above-board comms purely because they value their privacy.

6. The upshot of this is this plan will ensure that the "security services" won't be able to read or trace all but the most stupid crim's and terrorist's comms and will have more trouble isolating suspicious obfuscated traffic from that of people who merely don't like being spied upon.

In other words, this is likely to actually make it harder to prevent the next 9/11.

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