back to article Curious to know if the UK's Tory-led government is a MEGA SPY? Answer: Yes

It was revealed this week that Britain's surveillance of our online and telephone activity rocketed since the Tories and Lib Dems formed a Coalition government in 2010. Home Office minister James Brokenshire published the figures on Thursday in response to a question from the chair of the cross-party home affairs select …

Big Brother

Well of course...

... after all, who else is going to protect us from all those paedo-terrerrist-drug-dealers out there?

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Re: Well of course...

It says "preventing and detecting crime as part of immigration and border functions as well as in anti-corruption investigations".

It doesn't say paedophilia, terrorism, and drug dealing.

Myself I'm quite keen on stamping out corruption, and "preventing and detecting crime as part of immigration and border functions". Sounds like it means large-scale foreign and domestic crime by public officials and representatives, people-trafficking, and things to do with detention re immigration. Sounds OK.

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Re: Well of course...

"It doesn't say paedophilia, terrorism, and drug dealing."

It doesn't say _A_LOT_, but that doesn't mean there isn't much to say.

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Re: Well of course...

>anti-corruption investigations".

I thought they weren't allowed to spy on MPs ?

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Re: Well of course...

"... after all, who else is going to protect us from all those paedo-terrerrist-drug-dealers out there?"

You forgot about the software and media pirates. If the software, music, video and other media mongouls are anything to go by, THEY'RE the paedos, terrorists and druggos.

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Trollface

Re: It doesn't say...

MIKE: Maybe you shouldn't have poured all of that washing-up liquid in it.

VYVYAN: But it says here, Michael look, "Ensure machine is clean, and free from dust"!

MIKE: Yeah, but it don't say, "Ensure the machine is full of washing-up liquid"!

VYVYAN: No, but it doesn't say, "Ensure the machine isn't full of washing-up liquid"!

MIKE: Well, it wouldn't would it! I mean, it doesn't say, "Ensure you don't chop up your video machine with an axe, put all the bits in a plastic bag, and bung 'em down the lavatory"!

VYVYAN: Doesn't it? Well maybe that's what's going wrong!

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FAIL

"Hello" lied the politician

But they PROMISED to roll back state surveillance. Everyone agreed with Nick.

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Re: "Hello" lied the politician

However hateful and nasty the policies and lies of this coalition, the scale of corruption and self-serving that they exhibit pales in comparison to the walking ballon of flatus that is Keith Vaz. The fact that he keeps on being elected by the people of Leicester makes me hate the place even more (the primary reasons being Gary Lineker and the regular defeats of Northampton Saints against their right team).

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Re: "Hello" lied the politician

Roll-back / Roll-out

Damn autocomplete.

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Re: "Hello" lied the politician

Why is this lying bastard lying to me?

Louis Heren

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Those are just the "legal" requests...

At least your system seems to be working compared to the States. But have to wonder what about the access's that were never requested but they did it anyway?

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Re: Those are just the "legal" requests...

"At least your system seems to be working compared to the States."

A leak you can see takes as much as one you can't. I didn't need Snowden to help me realize this, my old water heater taught me this lesson :-/

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Big Brother

Re: Those are just the "legal" requests... @Mark 85

"have to wonder what about the access's that were never requested". Well wonder not. They would not need to go through our own (UK) legal system; they just asked the NSA et al for their recordings/records, nothing illegal about that as "we" didn't do it. That's what the "special relationship" is all about.

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Not surprising

as little as I like the current ruling coalition I doubt the opposition would have behaved any differently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not surprising

Not surprising

as little as I like the current ruling coalition I doubt the opposition would have behaved any differently

It's not would, it's has, and AFAIK it hasn't. It just had the benefit of a more fresh participation in a war to cover it all up. Surveillance capabilities and support for them in law was very much evident under the previous government, it's just that the current lot hasn't quite realised just how sharply downhill the path leads that the previous government has taken. They need to get off that ramp, PDQ.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not surprising

Yeah, they actually put RIPA into law and Keith Vaz one of the most instrumental pushers of it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not surprising

Yeah, they actually put RIPA into law and Keith Vaz one of the most instrumental pushers of it.

I wouldn't put much stock by what Keith Vaz does or doesn't. That man uses a wind vane for guidance.

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Meaningless in isolation.

Those numbers alone can't really be used to draw many conclusions.

Firstly, they don't express the scope of the request. As the US cases have shown, one request may mean 'supply the emails between X and Y over the course of this month' but it might also mean 'Send us every email in your records, we'll figure out what we want from there.'

Secondly, there's no assurance every request is listed. There may well be some level of super-secret request which cannot be disclosed to the public, akin to the US's National Security Letters, which are so strictly secret a company can't even reveal their existance to their own legal department for advice.

Thirdly, there's no breakdown of the RIPA requests. The rise may be attributable simply to increased use of electronic communication, particually mobile, which brings a technology angle in a lot more cases. In this case it still shows some grounds for concern, but not quite so much.

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Re: Meaningless in isolation.

Fourthly, there's no indication that the requests resulted in information which did, in fact, prevent or detect crime, etc.

If the US data was any guide, the answer is zero (plus a bit of inflation where a few lies might not be detected immediately).

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I say good

With so many fanatics who think beheading people is perfectly OK, check us all out and catch the evil people!!

Let the downvotes begin!!

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Happy

"Let the downvotes begin!!"

Thanks, don't mind if I do.

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WTF?

Re: I say good

So what? There's an evil diary somewhere with "Today I plan to behead some westerner"....

When people declare to worship and follow the commands of supernatural beings, nothing they do can be predicted from what they hear or say, as by definition most of it is all fantasy. Like govt WMD dossiers (although those were from a different religion).

Not matter how you argue it, blanket surveillance is just so much cheaper when there is no legal process that makes it expensive. This is why govts like it, and why they want YOU to pay for it.

Funny how many dictatorships found this out without the WWW. They just killed/tortured/locked up anyone who disagreed with the party line. Funny how there is always an enemy that money needs spending on. (War on Drugs, War on Trrr...)

Bay guys will do bad things no matter what laws you pass - that's why they are outlaws...

The easiest way to catch them is to the fact that they are often not very bright, which should be self evident.

The criminally violent cannot remain hidden in a civil society.

Where those atrocious activities took place was not civil.

To rectify the abhorrent situation, you need to create the civil alternative, not make the abhorrent commonplace.

P.

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Re: I say good

This could be the flaw in their plans.

If evil foreigners in Iraq are planning to behead westerners then perhaps spying on evil foreigners in Iraq might be an optimal strategy?

Of course when we faced imminent annihilation from 20,000 soviet nulcear warheads - the same agencies concentrated on spying on the Bishop of Durham and Peter Sellers so perhaps they know best

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I say good

"They just killed/tortured/locked up anyone who disagreed with the party line."

Many regimes went further than that. It merely required a malicious, unfounded, anonymous phone call for an innocent person to be spirited away in the middle of the night - possibly never to reappear.

Whenever a government motivates the curtain twitchers - then everyone who is not part of the System is at risk of unwarranted persecution. An apology by the Police seems to be rare - usually it is the saving face statement of "Not enough evidence for a charge".

It appears to be a basic trait of human nature that many people can be motivated by the prospect of having State approved power over their neighbours' lives.

My parents' generation had an apposite term for them - "little 'itlers". My generation saw it embodied in the Mary Whitehouse brigade. No doubt there are currently suitable candidates with a high media profile - who think they are able to dictate public policy to fit their own illiberal agenda.

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Facepalm

Re: I say good

Thankfully, having access to all our digital data means that the security services can really narrow down the threats:

British holidaymakers travelling anywhere in the world have been told to be vigilant as they are at risk of being attacked by Islamist terrorists.

Good to know that it's not for nothing that we've lost all our rights to privacy!

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Re: I say good

Dear Phil,

Dude.

"Bay guys will do bad things no matter what laws you pass - that's why they are outlaws...

The easiest way to catch them is to the fact that they are often not very bright, which should be self evident."

Can I freely conclude that you are an outlaw? The number of typos make me think that you're not all that bright yourself... but heyho, that's just my gut feeling...

:D

Regards,

Guus

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Re: I say good

The vast majority of people being beheaded are being killed by our great allies, trading partners and weapons customers, the Saudis.

So let's not pretend there's any great principled stand being taken on this matter.

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Thumb Up

@ phil dude -- Re: I say good

I want to give you 2 upvotes: One for the general content, and a second special one for "War or Trrr". That's just too perfect!

Can I use it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I say good

If you've got a better way than beheading to deal with the witches that plague their kingdom, casting their magic spells in an affront to Islam, I'd like to hear it.

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Re: I say good

Force feed them bacon?

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FAIL

Re: I say good

Finger....moon....heavenly glory...

P.

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Re: I say good

Er zijn stomme mensen en meer stomme mensen, niets van aan trekken :-)

For the non-linguists: there are dumb people and more dumb people, don't let it get to you.

They're very welcome to know what I get up to, I have nothing to hide.

I don't kill people and only shout at stupid motorists.As far as I know that isn't a threat to anyone :-)

Grenou

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warning: contains reference to own previous post

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/10/12/mobile_operators_automation/#c_2326264

"I always assumed it was called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act due to Yes Minister's Law of Inverse Relevance: get the difficult bit out of the way in the title" etc etc

As for this article, "However, Lib Dem leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg rejected those plans. And yet, under his time at Whitehall, the exercising of RIPA provisions have mushroomed" - mushroom management being a speciality of both governments this century, even more so than the last one. First Blair showed how to do it, then Brown took it to a fine art; now Cameron and Clegg continue the trend. Keep the people in the dark, feed us crap - the Mail, Grauniad and Times have all been helping them out, and ironically damp dead trees help mushrooms grow.

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Paris Hilton

Erm, ... like ... yeh ... wot

Guvmint merely approves requests made by its minions.

In this sense MPs are merely scapegoated by those organisations claiming and usually abusing public funding (nice work if u kan get it wdh?) so that grey mandarins remain well and truly gray?

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Re: Erm, ... like ... yeh ... wot

I think I'll have to ask one of the younger generation in my social circle to decipher this post for me.

Unless you would care to re-write it in a more comprehensible manner?

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Childcatcher

They are only thinking of the children, as Leon Brittan would say.

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Mushroomed?

From the article it looks like the number of requests has increased but the number approved has stayed constant.

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[…] since the Lib Dems and Tories were lumped together.

Since they’d lumped themselves together to form their coalition, the passive voice wasn’t appropriate there.

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Flame

For a bit of balance.

"It was revealed this week that Britain's surveillance of our online and telephone activity rocketed since the the Tories and Lib Dems formed a Coalition government in 2010"

Just remind us who was in power when it became law? Oh yeah Mr Tony "USA's Bitch" Blair.

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