back to article Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits' live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor. In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs …

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        1. Truckle The Uncivil

          Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

          @Adam 52

          Only since Microsoft decentralised it.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

        I missed that when I read the document. A clarifying reference would be helpful in understanding this claim.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

        Err... no, it just doesn't. Look at the language again:

        to disclose, where practicable, the content of communications...

        to remove electronic protection applied by or on behalf of the telecommunications operator

        There's nothing there that prevents you from having all the encryption you like. You just can't get it from a "telecommunications operator". At least, not a UK one.

      3. Dr Stephen Jones

        Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

        You are taking the Lewis Carroll defence:

        “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

        1) encryption hasn't been made illegal, and 2) back doors are nothing new.

      4. Peter Fairbrother 1

        Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

        "They" can't serve a technical capability notice on an app developer - only on telcos.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

      If I understand it correctly, any developer who offers an encrypted app or service and is served a notice has 24 hours to decrypt the data they have on someone and hand it over or they are breaking the law.

      This is does not allow for e2e encryption. Despite MPs saying it wasn't banned, it was banned.

      Has their braindead legislation just made hashed and salted passwords illegal?

      Maybe the future for apps is a plugin architecture and open source e2e plugins on github, similar to PGP encrypting email messages despite SMTP knowing nothing about how that's done.

  1. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

    As title

    1. Andy 97

      Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

      Erm, democracy?

      This is how it works.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

        Erm, democracy?

        This is how it works.

        Are you suggesting no-one should ever argue against a proposal after a vote has been taken, or against the implementation of the resulting policy? Are you arguing in favour of the tyranny of the majority?

        That would be very UKIP of you. I really hope you don't deserve that label, and instead just haven't thought it through.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

        Erm, democracy?

        This is how it works.

        No one voted for Chairman May to be Prime Minister.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

          High Chancellor May, you mean.

        2. phuzz Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

          We don't directly vote for Prime Ministers in the UK. That's why half of the Prime Ministers in the last century didn't reach that position through a General Election.

          Also, why this issue with May in particular? Either (like me) you didn't vote Conservative, in which case they're all pretty much as bad as each other. Or you did vote Conservative and ended up with a PM who seems pretty standard tory as far as I can see.

          1. The Mole

            Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

            "Also, why this issue with May in particular? Either (like me) you didn't vote Conservative, in which case they're all pretty much as bad as each other. Or you did vote Conservative and ended up with a PM who seems pretty standard tory as far as I can see."

            You may want to read up on all the big brother style laws she tried to push through as home secretary. She is definitely towards the authoritarian end of the spectrum, even when compared to much of the Tory party.

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

              They're basically the same surveillance laws that various Home Sec's have been trying to pass since Jack Straw.

              But yes, perhaps May is more evil than a standard Tory, I do tend to tar them all with the same brush.

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

                ID Cards and surveilance were a good reason to kick out Browns lot in 2010.

                Just a pity Cameron chose an authortarian nut job for Home Secretary.

                Remember there are a lot of people who want economic competence with small government who let us live in peace, but we are neglected.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

                  "a pity Cameron chose an authortarian nut job for Home Secretary."

                  And who, back then, was the senior civil servant advising May on terrorism and intelligence matters?

                  And who, in 2017, is still a senior civil servant advising May?

                  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2649035/The-discreet-affair-two-Home-Secretarys-closest-advisers-REAL-reason-bitter-split-Cabinet-colleague-Michael-Gove-Islamic-plot-schools.html

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/people/charles-farr

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Farr

                  Who needs elections anyway, so long as we've got strong and stable kleptocrats, spooks, and lunatics running the shop.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

                  "Remember there are a lot of people who want economic competence with small government who let us live in peace, but we are neglected."

                  I'm with you on that, and also add that if the majority of people don't vote for a change, don't make it - but i keep being told that the 52% won so my views are of no consequence ....

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

            You think that all Conservative voters like May?

            Actually many do not and are either abstaining or LibDemming this election. However kippers will be boosting Mays vote. Younger ones who remember Brown and then the Coalition are very happy to go LibDem. Seems quite common among the late teens early 20s. They even understand the tuition fee issue.

            See the bit about David Cameron and 45 minute walk and chat vs locked in a room away from Theresa May.

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/02/theresa-may-liberal-democrats-defectors-south-west-stick-with-tories

            This was just top link, seen it in other places as well.

            I know it is unfashionable but I liked all 3 main party leaders last election. I thought Cameron was the best for the job then, but Clegg and Milliband were OK. Actually Clegg did pretty well as Deputy PM despite being the minor party with only partial influence.

            I am not sure if it would be wise to compare May to the secret Police ranks, but May is an authortarian nut job and Corbyn a CND loving old fool with no clue. Farron, well he seems to have no image.

            1. H in The Hague Silver badge

              Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

              "Actually many do not and are either abstaining or LibDemming this election."

              A little while ago a lot of folk commenting on some article in the Financial Times mentioned that they'd joined the LibDems. They also seemed to be much more impressed with Sadiq Khan than Theresa May - strange times where FT readers end up on the liberal/left end of the political spectrum.

          3. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

            "We don't directly vote for Prime Ministers in the UK."

            True - and that's why traditionally the PM was always the primus inter pares/first among equals in the government, rather than being a president. However, recent PMs and especially the current one seem to have forgotten that aspect of British constitutional law, and act as if they were a president.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

          "No one voted for Chairman May to be Prime Minister"

          Surely elected members of the conservative party did....

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

            The MPs voted for there not to be a general election.

            Seems that didn't work.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

            >"No one voted for Chairman May to be Prime Minister"

            >Surely elected members of the conservative party did....

            Technically, some voted for her in the early rounds. Then Andrea Leadsom dropped out, so she won the final vote by default.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

              May vs Leadsom ughhhhhhhh

              Pity no one ever gave Ken Clarke a go.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm, bugger off, government. I didn't elect you, and I don't respect you

          Erm, democracy?

          This is how it works.

          How democracy works is:

          * Person A gets more votes than Person B

          * Person B wins the election

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only one question

    Why are the British government such a bunch of complete arseholes? Technically illiterate, impervious to logic, bent on destroying all and any freedoms that the population might have.

    I'm glad I didn't waste my vote today. In the sense that I took a deliberate choice not to use it to support the fuckwits of the establishment.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      "Why are the British government such a bunch of complete arseholes? "

      They're not.

      However the cabal of high level data fetishist civil servants (who seem to infect mostly the Home Office) but any of the assorted spy agencies see no reason why it can't (or rather shouldn't) be done.

      Inside their heads more is always better. All (recorded all the time forever) is best of all.

      Stuff the "safety" BS. This is all about "Give me 6 lines from an honest man and I'll find something with which to hang them."

      1. Delbert Grady

        Re: "Why are the British government such a bunch of complete arseholes? "

        why ?

        many reasons, but the main reasons seem to be the gubernment has absolute power,

        YOU are the proliteriat, and are one of Kisingers 'useless eaters' a poor, stupid powerless pawn in the big machine, who only exists to serve the state and be USED. You do not matter, your views do not matter.

        The system is Everything and it pretty much hates you.

        The system is dark and nasty.

        The proliteriat are dumb and lazy.

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: "Why are the British government such a bunch of complete arseholes? "

          "The proliteriat are dumb and lazy."

          And also incapable of spelling "Proletariat" it would seem.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Only one question

      "I'm glad I didn't waste my vote today. In the sense that I took a deliberate choice not to use it to support the fuckwits of the establishment.

      You do realise that the election today was for local councils, not the nutters by the Thames?

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: Only one question

        So you mean the next generation of nutters by the Thames?

    3. Swiss Anton

      Re: Only one question

      @Ledswinger

      "Why are the British government such a bunch of complete arseholes?"

      Stop whinging and do something. You have until 4pm on 11th May to form a party and nominate candidates. There is nothing to stop you from forming the next UK government. OK, well there are the great unwashed masses of the British electorate, but if they can be brainwashed into voting for bloody difficult stupid May, then maybe they can be soft soaped into voting for you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one question

        Quite right too Swiss ..

        voting will change everything won't it.

        That's why things keep getting better every 4 years innit ..

        oooh.. hang on a sec..

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only one question

      I voted Strong and Stable today, they're a bit like the chuckle brothers but they go to the gym and ride horses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one question

        Maybe thats how Labour (or another party) can win power. Change their name to "Strong and Stable Party"

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: Only one question

      As has been demonstrated time and again over the last couple of decades, one individual, or a small collective of like-minded individuals, have proven an existential threat to those that have socio-politico-economic power. Osama bin Laden, a civil engineer, used jet aircraft as kamikazi missiles. More recently, someone tried to transfer a billion dollars out of the Bangladeshi banking system and was only caught on the larger transaction by a typo.

      I happen to be an engineer, thankfully one without homicidal intent. I can certainly come up with all kinds of interesting things to do to "the system" if I was ticked off enough to do so. Hell, my own government did about half the training and paid for all of it. That doesn't even count the talented amateurs out there who have undergone, and survived so far, a serious Darwinian evolutionary process scaling what can be done technically. Lastly, state-actor's techniques are quite commonly found in-the- wild now whether we are talking about IT systems or arms (an increasingly meaningless distinction).

      Wiring up a "surveillance state" (FVEY's) covering the planet, and bringing force of arms to bear on those parts that don't play well with others, is the solution du jour. Apparently they don't understand Information Theory (why such "states" will fail absolutely), but it's unlikely they will ever "get it" anyway. It'll be interesting to see which ends first: The "New International Order" or The Human Race. I won't be around to see it.

    6. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Only one question

      By not voting, you support the status quo.

      If you want to protest against the establishment, then either spoil your ballot paper or vote for a candidate that's not a moron.

      If no such candidate exists, stand yourself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one question

        "By not voting, you support the status quo"

        what utter tripe. another bunch of re-peddled myths,

        by actually voting, you pretty much acknowledge their system, and

        have to choose between being screwed by either the blue or green.

        no point screwing up ballot papers. no one cares.

        run yourself, yes, if only we had the money. time and connections eh.

        ohh.. feel the democracy..

    7. Ye Gads

      Re: Only one question

      Decisions are made by the people who turned up. You decided not to turn up.

      The next time you complain that the government did something completely stupid, keep in mind that this was partially enabled by your lack of participation.

      Write to your MP. donate to a civil liberties group or, God forbid, actually vote.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one question

        right ..so voting for 'bastard A' instead of 'bastard B'

        makes you feel like you made a difference.. good for you, !

      2. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Only one question

        "Decisions are made by the people who turned up."

        Wrong. Decisions are made by people who learned how to keep themselves in power indefinitely by manipulating the general political climate to their favour by any means available, on a statistical level, until polls tell them they have sufficient electorate support to get re-elected - whether by pandering to the masses, scaremongering, attacking their rivals: it doesn't matter. They have no interest in anyone's individual vote, they are playing the game of large numbers that any successful politician knows how to play and win. Anything that makes you specifically vacillate is not their concern, only the stuff that sways large masses is - and they know what that stuff is and how to control it.

        You, as an individual, decide nothing beyond when you want to ###k off. Sorry.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Adair

      Re: Only one question

      There is nothing new here, you only need to look at the history of government in Britain to see the trend (not that most other countries are much different).

      Britain has hundreds of years of government and civil service acting in a patronising and autocratic way towards the people of the nation. The governing system is, after all, a reflection of and a means of sustaining the 'class system', or more accurately, a means of the privileged maintaining their privilege, regardless of where they fit into the 'class' structure.

      Power and money - how to get them, how to hang on to them, and how to prevent, limit, reduce the power/money available to others, especially those who you depend on for your own excessive acquisition of the same. It's an old game, and a dirty one.

      That is not to say there aren't very 'good' people working in the system who through their working lives do a lot to mitigate the worst excesses of the wankers, idiots, and scum who work the system as hard as they can for their own advantage.

    9. Alan_Peery

      Re: Only one question

      Next time use the vote instead for the Liberal Democrats -- who have a sensible policy in this area if memory serves...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one question

        ahh yes, the ones that sold you down the river last time.

        good idea.

    10. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Only one question

      Local <> national

      So you could vote Bean locally and Alice nationally (if he wasn't a Yank).

      Local elections, I voted for the only candidate who lived in the ward.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only one question

        "Local <> national"

        Indeed not, and yet what are the lead stories today across the UK meejah? "If these results were repeated on a national bas...." (etc). Not that there is any evidence that "national" politics exists as such in the UK any more, we just seem to have a set of separate regions, and the only region with any real influence is the geographically quite small one currently centred on Westminster and the City.

    11. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: Only one question

      (((Only one answer)))

  3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Is it a big deal?

    It appears that the proposal will only apply to "communications" companies, ISP, telco's etc - who in their right mind trusts these people anyway?

    I say give them the law - well, they are going to do it anyway whether it's official on not. Meanwhile, if you care, route everything through a VPN that you control (not a commercial vendor) can carry on as normal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is it a big deal?

      We have a Second Amendment you can borrow. Nobody seems to be doing much with it over here.

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