back to article Jacqui's secret plan to 'Master the Internet'

Spy chiefs are already spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a mass internet surveillance system, despite UK home secretary Jacqui Smith's announcement earlier this week that proposals for a central warehouse of communications data had been dumped on privacy grounds. The system - uncovered today by The Register and The …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    May I be first to say.......

    ...If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear?

    And isn' t a teraflop a euphamism for shooting brazilian electricians in the face on the underground? I assume all this technology will stop all that nonsense, I am right to assume that aren't I?

  2. David
    Stop

    Budget shortfall? what budget shortfall?

    So, at a time when the government is looking at tax rises to fund a £4bn a year gap, nearly 1/10th of that could be accounted for from a project that most of the public would consider sinister, Orwellian and invasive? Sounds like a reason not to vote Labour, not that you need yet another one these days... Gordo had got that almost sewn up...

  3. EdwardP
    Flame

    Oh. So... it was a lie?

    Really no other way to interpret this.

    Shit.

  4. MikeG
    Happy

    Hah!

    "Mastering The Internet" sounds like the title of an elementary Further Education IT course. Of course, many in the government could benefit greatly from such a course, given their fatuous pronouncements on Internet matters...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    To be fair.......

    So how is GCHQ going to observe suspects without this type of capability? While it is good to keep an eye on what they are doing this is hardly handing over all of your communications content to a group of Oiks from local government is it?

    Paris because she knows how to hand over communications.

  6. Ian McNee
    Stop

    April fool? Ummm...

    ...nope - but that was my first thought, I mean, "Mastering the Internet"! (Presumably on completion of the project Wacky Jacqui - not to be confused with her husband, Whack-off Dickie - will henceforth be known as the Internet Dominatrix - she's topped you there Ms Bee!)

    My next thought was that this was madness, only a government so stupid and arrogant that it would do things like:

    (i) lie to justify invading foreign countries;

    (ii) propose locking people up without trial for months on end, perhaps for reading something on a DoJ website;

    (iii) remove the 10p tax rate for poorer people to pay for their foreign and security extravaganzas;

    (iv) spend £30bn on new and just as unusable nuclear weapons;

    (v) steal from the public purse to pay for second homes just around the corner from their first home...oh...how silly of me!

    So what do we do? I seem to remember that when the "black boxes in ISPs machine rooms" (Echelon?) were first mooted someone came up with an e-mail signature that contained all the trigger words. These ones here parhaps: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/05/31/what_are_those_words/

    Maybe it's time to revive mass virtual civil disobedience.

  7. Jason
    Stop

    FFS

    Leave us alone already!

  8. Clair Lewis
    Pirate

    "and other criminal networks"

    "terrorist and other criminal networks."

    They mean activists..

    Fuck off Nanny State!

    Keep fighting the loss of our civil liberties people through the increasing number of activist networks on the rise!

    Clair Lewis

    CAAN www.caan.org.uk and Disabled People's Direct Action Network

  9. pAnoNymous
    Black Helicopters

    MPs first please

    I'm happy for an unspecified number of civil servants/private contractors to have access to all my private communications provided I can first have access to all the private communications of my MPs. or do they have something to hide?

  10. Peter Fairbrother
    Black Helicopters

    Illegal, yet again

    The secretary of state may make an order under s.12 of RIPA for the inclusion of such interception "black boxes" - but the order has to be laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

    If this has not happened - and it hasn't - then any ISP installing a "black box" will be acting illegally.

    Moreover, even GCHQ cannot intercept without a warrant, which for domestic communications (those not going to or from someone outside the UK), must be only for communications to/from a specific person or premises which must be mentioned by name therein, and which must be signed by the hand of the relevant Secretary of State.

    The Home Secretary issues warrants for domestic interceptions - the Foreign Secretary signs warrants for foreign interceptions, and could issue a single blanket warrant for ALL international communications, which the Home Secretary cannot do for domestic interceptions, each domestic warrant must be for a single person or premises.

    If a "black box" is trawling for suspicious content or keywords, it is intercepting ALL the communications it looks at even if it does nothing more than look at most of them.

    Unless the Home Secretary has signed 60 million warrants - I suspect she'd have noticeable writer's cramp if she had, and it would show up in the Commissioner's annual report - then GCHQ would be acting illegally if it trawled most domestic communications.

    As an addendum, although I haven't looked into this in detail I am fairly sure that the contractors will be breaking the law too, and the contracts will therefore be unenforceable

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Concrete donught?

    I thought that was the BBC Television Centre.

  12. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    Victoria Falls Rocks .......

    "GCHQ said it did not want to discuss how the data it gathered would be used. " .... http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6211101.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2

    Hopefully it will be Intelligently although I imagine that they are still stuck in the Sex,.Drugs and Rock and Roll Leverage thing, which is so easlly fed to salivating Peeping Tom analysts, who wouldn't realise that they are being Groomed and BetaTested for Fitness of Future Purpose.

    It's the old old story, aint it, mate, .... Who watches the watchers and gives them Prime Instruction rather than False Hope and Duff Testimony. And to Imagine that any of the Old Crowd have what IT takes, and there are the usual public pork outfits vying for a slice of the Cyber Action, is Illogical and an Epic Fail even before the Games have begun.

    "The advertisment also indicated that the head of Major Contracts would be in charge of procurement on MTI and be expected to forge close links with the private sector." ..... Err, you wouldn't happen to have an e-mail address, would you, so that the SMARTer private sector and Non State Actors could offer a QuITe Majestic Magical Mastery of Major Contracts for Mysterious Novel Peer to Peer InterNetworking Services. ...... because that is the Paradigm Change in the Cascading Intelligence Style Control Game.

    The Establishment had their Chance and they Blew IT/Fluffed IT. Time for some NeuReal Movers and Shakers to Make a World of Difference with Worlds of Difference.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Not only but also...

    Does the taxpayer pay big business for the means to spy on themselves

    but we can't keep the majority of the business with firms in this country!

    ...and I'm prepared to bet that one or more officials that arranged the contracts will later leave the civil service and join aforesaid big business as a high paid consultant* - its a bribe but not as you'd know it.

    Anonymous ( though when they install the gear they'll be able to figure it who I am anyway) but it's the principle.

    *assuming they weren't on loan from big business in the first place.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well phormed surveillance system

    And I thought Ertrugul was bad.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still won't work...

    ... unless there are back doors to the best encryption algorithms out there it will still be possible to send emails that cannot be intercepted.

    At best the government is going to be able to blackmail you in the future if you visit any odd porn sites.

  16. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Irrelevant, or what?

    We have precedents on this (sort of thing), and we can confidently say IT WON'T WORK. That is to say, for values of WORKing that its masters intend.

    To name but one precedent, the Stasi collected massive amounts of information on behalf of a similarly-paranoid government, but were unable to make effective use of it.

    Meanwhile, for the spooks benefit, terrorists 9/11 bin-laden mossad CIA ... should do for one comment.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense

    They have realised they're running out of time so they're getting desperate.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    MTI+IMP

    Welcome to totalitarian Britain; the UK gov for so long has fu*ked us over, this is just the end game.

    Mastering The Internet = destroying the last hope of true democracy, the internet was the last revolutionary element for freedom.

    It must be great for people in the 3rd World who we try and sell democracy too when we show them exactly what they have to look forward to, complete control by the state.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not a side show it's the main act

    With IMP she promised no central database, but then she argued that the ISP would index all the data.

    Stick a transaction coordinator on that and you have a distributed database. But why would they index all that data at great expense to run the small number of queries needed for RIPA? Because otherwise you can run distributed queries against it.

    http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B10501_01/server.920/a96521/ds_concepts.htm

    So she's even planning on building her massive database. The Oracle guy she hired, is not stupid, he knows he can make a massive DB distributed from little DBs.

  20. Spiro Agnew
    Stop

    Where was the vote on this?

    Or are we doing away with what little democracy we have left.

    Come on Jacqui, tell us we're scum and should be thankful that your lot work hard to lock us under tyranny for "our own protection." Because the masses of unemployed, disgruntled Englishmen might very well be those terrorists you kept screaming about were going to attack us unless we gave up all our liberty.

    No revolution this summer, swine flu! Everybody stay indoors!

  21. Roger Jenkins

    Intercepts

    I don't live in the U.K. so I assumed that I was unaffected by the interceptions, then I thought about it. Would this mean that all traffic merely routed through U.K. would be deep packet inspected? Even if those packets are not for a U.K. destination. I ask this not because I believe this to happen, but, nearly all of our traffic (Australia) is routed via the U.S., if they had similar systems (and who doubts that they do) then they can intercept my traffic to anywhere in the world.

  22. Murray Pearson

    "National Security"

    "GCHQ does not discuss 'how' we use data, as this may lead to revelations about our capability which damage national security."

    In other words, if you knew what we were doing, you'd throw a revolution. Ever notice how modern Western "democratic" governments are fond of invoking "national security" to avoid revealing their criminal plans? I thought they worked for the people. Ha ha ha! Silly me.

  23. Jez Burns
    Thumb Down

    Why shouldn't we know?

    "GCHQ does not discuss 'how' we use data, as this may lead to revelations about our capability which damage national security."

    This is sounding more and more like the Stasi every day. I have never been paranoiac, and like most other people, I have "nothing to hide". My opposition to state funded surveillance and control systems has been based on indignation at the invasion of my privacy, and a natural suspicion of the state's nannying tendencies rather than outright worry. This is starting to change now. The state are giving themselves totalitarian powers, totally unchecked, uncriticised and seemingly immune from any kind of scrutiny.

    Perhaps elected members of the Labour government never completely lost their student Marxist tendencies, or maybe they are so pliant and stupid they have allowed a civil service 'shadow government' to take root while they fiddle their expense claims. Do the government (elected and unelected) really believe they are doing the right thing- driven to a flailing panic by the prospect of another terrorist act on their 'watch'? Or are they striving to build up a detailed picture of our lives and habits, to tag and label us so that we can be more easily manipulated- individually told a different lie in order to control mass public opinion. So we can be marked as 'undesirables' - denied public sector jobs, medical support, the right to free movement if we disagree with them? So we can be 'disappeared' if we speak out? Or is this simply the socialist dream of reducing society to an easily manageable dataset- the dream that starved 30 million people to death in communist Russia before the advent of computers?

    The thing is, whatever our speculation, we don't know, we are not being told, and we are not even allowed to debate the issue with people who are making decisions on our behalf. We don't even know who these people are! Because of this, we are right to be suspicious and to assume the worst- that the door to Room 101 is being booted wide open.

    The anti-terrorist arguments for implementation of this kind of surveillance are appealing on the face of it. Once you look deeper into how it actually works, they are laughable. See this article by Ben Goldacre:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/28/surveillance-ben-goldacre

    So this leaves us with the argument that this kind of surveillance can monitor and curtail criminal activity. No one would argue that locking up gangsters and pedophiles is a bad thing, but is existing legislation and technology really insufficient to do this? Even with the most sophisticated surveillance equipment, you will still suffer from shortage of human recourses, lazyness and ineptitude that marks the worst aspects of policing in the UK. Watch a couple of episodes of 'The Wire' - criminals adapt, and can easily change their communications methods to sidestep the authorities. Even if there is some value to paying Lockheed Martin millions of pounds to install equipment to spy on us, is the price of sacrificing our privacy, freedom and security from a brutal totalitarian government in the future (it has happened many times over elsewhere in the world) really worth paying? Does this kind of reaction not put the 'terror' in terrorism, and perfectly achieve the aims of militants - to disrupt and scare us into some kind of capitulation to their ideology?

    We can ask these questions until we are blue in the face, but the people making the decisions will not give us an answer. They don't even appear to be listening. They will not discuss their methods on the grounds of national security.

    They will not even give us their definition of 'national security'. Since when has internal criminal activity been a matter of national security? Probably since leaking embarrassing facts about government ineptitude did. Why is debate about the Criminal Justice System that affects all of us suddenly forbidden? Who has something to hide?

    If the government and civil service do, it is our job to prize the information from them. This site is read by intelligent and IT literate people who have real insight into the systems being implemented. The more we can share about what we know, the more answers we can hopefully get.

  24. JMB

    MTI

    The ZanuLab muppets will justify it in the name of fighting terrorism though I suspect that with this government that it would be used more to track opponents of the government.

    I wonder what they would have said in the days of the IRA if a Conservative government set up a project where all letters were routed through a central point where they were opened and the contents photocopied or scanned or perhaps a ban on sealing envelopes.

    MB

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The term "backdoor" is appropriate

    First, because this happens in a fashion hidden from the public under "national intelligence" banners (they would have a lot more support if anyone bothered to create some transparency and accountability in the decision process). But hey, it's the current trend - can't have a nation size prison without supervision of every word uttered, not until thought scanning becomes possible.

    Secondly it's a backdoor because it is taking the voters just there - this is tax money being spent on spying on the very people who pay it, and the kicker (unintentional pun) is that that money does not even go to ANY form of local employment: it goes to the Yanks (I think we're past having to prove that such inhouse spying doesn't actually help fighting terrorists, communists or any other enemy du jour).

    If you don't feel shafted by now it must be because you're already used to it and no longer feel it. Consider it a widening of tolerance, and if visualising that doesn't make you uncomfortable you must be a sheep. Or like it (it takes all strokes, if you pardon the pun).

    See that nice shiny soap in the gutter?

    For the benefit of those monitoring this message: baaaaah.

  26. Paul

    Email

    I assume they have the world class best Spam filter to go with that.

    I remember many years ago, we had to build a backdoor into some hardware so the KGB could eavesdrop.

    I demand a Stalin icon, comrade.

  27. James

    Speechless

    Jacqui Smith is doing more to damage freedom than any misguided Muslim.

    This woman needs to go, preferable along with the whole lot of them.

    Christ

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Corruption?

    A perfect system for a corrupt government. Do they not see the long term dangers for this sort of thing?

    Or are they too interested in their private directorships and their external money making schemes that will benefit from many add-ons to notice the dangers

    This Government will go down in history as the most ill educated technology wise and possibly the most corrupt.

    1984 here we come.

    I thought the Thatcher government were sleazy, this government has just been confirmed as a lot worse.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    FUD

    If this were 'top secret' the story wouldn't be broadcast in murdochs self interest rag-mag and el reg would be explaining to a judge why they are compromising the national interest.

    Really I'm sick of all this lame state sponsored war-on-terror era fud propaganda.

    Given judicially reviewed due cause the state can already detain you, break into your house, bug your car, review your bank accounts, record your calls, follow you, install remote monitoring and a keylogger on your computer.

    The notion of a spook operated mass surveilance infrastruture rests (for the present) at least a paranoid fantasy which must be strongly opposed lest it ever became a reality. Google as a mind control reality filteribg system is bad enough already.

    Incidentally, would you use terradata, exadata or greenplum for the data wgatehouse? Or hadoop map-reduce? Performance wise I read that relational is still king upto a certain scale, but you'd need greater than 1k nodes to process all that chit-chatter?

  30. N Silver badge

    As I said before

    Big brother dropped for an even bigger brother

  31. Francis Fish
    Unhappy

    In the olden days

    They had to have warrant, as in, a good reason, to snoop on anybody. Were it not for the fact that I make my living on the grid I'd go off it now, not because I've got anything to hide, but because I don't want some faceless nobody knowing I've arranged to have a cup of coffee with an old mate, for example - it's none of their business unless they have a warrant because they think I'm up to something.

    The potential for abuse, for a McCarthyite society where everybody's guilty of something no matter how stupid or trivial, is frankly terrifying.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Will the Tories Scrap It?

    Will the Tories commit to scrapping this intrusive, privacy-destroying, Stasi state IMP stuff? I fear they will try to weasel-word their way into keeping it.

  33. Simon
    Black Helicopters

    Wow.

    Anyone else feel like they are being backed into a corner?

    Looking at this makes my mind wander over to personal encryption. Not that I'm doing anything wrong, but if I noticed someone watching me through my bedroom window I would be inclined to buy blinds.

  34. David

    Crazy world we live in

    If true, I regard this is totally despicable. No wonder the government didn't seemed unduly worried by Phorm. That's a drop in the ocean compared to what appears to be going on behind our backs. Me for a proxy/tunnel and encrypted e-mail. Somebody tell me that they can't eavesdrop on that! They'll probably make THAT illegal next, 'koz if I'm using them, I MUST have something to hide, right? Now bracing myself for an early-morning knock at the door by the men in black (oh no - that's America or Russia - doesn't happen here, of course, except in the Houses of Parliament!). Mine's the one with the fully-encrypted hard-drive.

  35. Suburban Inmate
    Coat

    Well rub me in Cheddar and call me Rupert!

    I actually thought Jackboot gave a toss about our privacy! </sarcasm>

    I'd normally have plenty to say about the growing and strengthening UK dictatorship, but I just can't be bothered any more. What more is there to say?

    Oh, hang on, I just put a new acronym together! S.U.F.O... Sell Up, Fuck Off. I hereby declare myself the instigator of the SUFO movement! It differs from The Brain Drain in that you don't need much of a brain to see that its time to SUFO.

    The one with the Transit keys and a ferry ticket to Portugal.

  36. jake Silver badge

    Metric tonne? How provincial.

    "One said: "In MTI, computing resources are not measured by the traditional capacities or speeds such as Gb, Tb, Megaflop or Teraflop... but by the metric tonne!.. and they have lots of them.""

    Traditionally, such massive governmental computer systems are measured by the acre ...

  37. John Smith Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    The big questions

    How much capacity is allocated (or can be allocated) to those back channels to GCHQ?

    By definition those DPI probes would be in every ISP office. But how many of those calls or emails can be monitored *simultaneously* is the question.

    Really. About 60m people in the UK. Can this monitor 1%? 10%? 100% of that population?

    Will this bandwidth be diverted "on demand" from paying business, or is it already dedicated solely to passing info back to Cheltenham (which should shortly have the *best* broadband in the UK on this basis)?

    The implication of a system which can monitor 10% implies the Government think 6 million people will routinely commit offences serious enough to rate a phone tap warrant.

    That back channel bandwidth is also the real limit on how much can be recorded for offline processing.

    A *lot* of those DPI boxes should be shut down most of the time. But how would people know?

    Black helos because that is basically who have pushed this stuff.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprise Surprise

    At least MI5 will have caught up with the NSA. The NSA have the world's powerful computers to crunch this data, but even that isn't enough to sift the wheat from the chaff. I doubt it'll be much use keeping tabs on terrorists- they'll just go off-line or encrypt their stuff. Rather I think GCHQ's game is to build up a profile of the public's internet habits to make it easier to identify political opponents to pick up for when Labour stage their coup d'etat to prolong their authority.

  39. Dom
    Paris Hilton

    For those planning

    on encrypting drives/emails etc, remember that under NuLabour, persons owning/sending/receiving encrypted data - of any kind - MUST provide the decryption keys on demand from the authorities. So using Blowfish on your order for those well known terrorist favourites - Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Pork (to throw them off track) Sausages - won't work. Adding ANY kind of encryption will be like a red rag to a bull. You'll be on TV faster than you can say "civil liberty", with Sky News telling the "shocked and disgusted nation" about you and your family's possible terrorist activities, as the Gestapo - sorry, Police - break down your front door (all Brazilians had better duck at this point).

    And the Conseratives won't willingly give up such a system when they get to power. They will rub their hands with glee, in the knowledge that they now have the power to discover who is checking out the Saucy Swedish Nuns website - and they can blame it all on Nu Labour who put the darstardly system there in the first place.

    Mine's the ticket heading South of the UK border.

    Paris? 'Cause I've got a better chance meeting her in Europe than in this "Once Great" nation.

  40. 7mark7

    What about the taxpayer?

    That data could be monetised and the whole project paid for by the people who want to sell us willy pills.

  41. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Pirate

    Bring back the Nazi's

    Maybe if Germany won in 1945 we would have been better off?

    Just saying...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    See a pattern

    The Swedes have introduced their FRA law to intercept all communications crossing their borders. How convenient.

    The British are introducing their "Master the Internet" plan.

    The Yanks have had their NSA who's been out of control for a long time.

    Now, colour those countries we _KNOW_ have this sort of surveillance a dark red on the map.

    Then overlay where the massive international routing hubs are. DGIX, LINX, etc.

    What do you find?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Why does britain

    become more like the game 'deus ex' every day?

    we have the plague

    we have the monitoring

    now all the need are the illuminati...

    read more here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_Ex

    black helicopters - cos we have those as well

  44. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    Hooray we're a testbed!

    Our old friends BAE systems! Ah what wonderful company and our wonderful left-wing government, living up to Uncle Joe's legacy in Russia, is so far up BAE's backside they can practically tickle BAE's tonsils!

    Basically the government being one of the biggest arms dealers in the world is looking to develop a Stasi spy system second to none, so they can then offer consulting contracts and be a rerference "site" for BAE systems internet-monitoring system.

    I have nothing to hide, truly I don't but what I dispise like others with nothing to hide, is the very fact that you don't trust those who supposedly, democratically elected you! Sick of watching this second-rate excuse for a governing party wasting my taxes on lining their pockets. What's the betting that half the MPs are on the boards of the companies selected for contracts eh? How much in share options and kickbacks do you think is floating around when this POS goes in? Get Mark Thomas and his team on the phone, we need to know!!

    I didn't vote for you and I don't vote anymore! No don't give me that crap, "Don't vote? Don't moan then!". I didn't want any of you lot in, as you're all as bad as each other, so I have even more reason to moan than those that did vote!!! So I bloody well hope you read this through your nasty little spy system, I am exercising the last few moments of freedom of speech, before you take that away from me!

  45. Tony Paulazzo
    Happy

    Paranoid much?

    Spies of the world unite! The spooks have loved all all this surveillance stuff since before the actual year 1984 (Orwell saw the way things were going and why - read 'Down and out in Paris and London by him for truly eye opening stuff and why the ruling elite need the great unwashed masses to love 'Britain's got <no> talent).

    But the spooks had realtime spying satellites long before Google Earth came along. GCHQ were gonna have this stuff no matter who was in power and you may as well stop worrying - if you think the other great powers of the world aren't doing the exact same thing you're in delusional. Why do you think Lockheed Martin got such a big part of the job, maybe because they've got a pre designed system already in place (don't they do a lot of American secret jobs for that government)?

    What I object to is being spied on by a 'company' (Phorm) with links to Russian and Chinese scammers and government/business corruption - Phorm and BT and ministers becoming shareholders in each other companies/pockets.

    Smile - you're on candid camera.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Metric ton....

    >traditionally gov comp systems are measured by...

    How much over budget they can run, how late they are, how much the outsourcing agency can bugger it up and how much money they can waste before being scrapped...?

  47. David Ramsay
    Happy

    An Alternate solution

    Just create a random script to generate internet traffic from every machine in the UK which everyone agrees to run containing a random set of keywords embedded in a suitable message.

    This will keep the compute cores busy for aeons.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How else will we protect ourselves?

    "Advocates of MTI and IMP say they are essential if intelligence agencies are to maintain their capability to monitor terrorist and other criminal networks."

    Because we didn't have police before the Internet: policing simply wasn't feasible.

  49. Camilla Smythe

    Wink wink.. ;-) ;-)

    http://www.designbuild-network.com/projects/gchq/images/GCHQ-1.jpg

    Form follows function you know. The hole in the middle is where they plug the InterWeb InterConnector in.

    The main circular building is hard drive storage containing immense, and the word does not do it justice, platters.

    External to the building the 'fields of black' are SSD arrays where 'interesting' data flagged for rapid analysis is transferred.

    The major one, top left, is located close the the 'new build' homes where spook/plod gets to analyse this data whilst looking like they are 'general public' types.

    It's a bit of a give away because you can see that along that section there are no 'security fences'. Elsewhere they are in place to prevent the 'real public' from getting free Wi-Fi.

    The secondary one, bottom right, is located next to what is cunningly disguised as the site security gates.

    That is until you realise that the 'connection' gives 4 ethernet ports, 6 USB, serial, parallel, mouse, keyboard, VGA and audio for connection to the home secretaries new computer in an articulated lorry. Drive up, plug in, see what your 'partner' has been doing.

    The top right SSD is still under construction. Well, it's not really. That's just where they are storing the stuff recovered from what has been lost elsewhere.

    Just to give some idea of scale the 'yellow' blob is one of these...

    http://www.classytrucks.org/Caterpillar/caterpillar.793.2.jpg

    This photograph of NewGCHQ was taken on a day when initial system tests were being done to determine the possibility of real time interception and blocking/obfuscation.

    Here you can see 'public' traffic, bottom left, being queued on it's, soon to be even slower, ADSL connection for processing by 'Data Centre One'.

    Might have to work on the prioritisation algorithms... It's not very 'White Van Man', that might be P2P traffic, friendly at the moment.

    On the central building we also get to see a real time security exercise operation in... operation.

    To the bottom left of the main 'hard drive' data storage ring GCHQ personnel are busy filling in some security holes. Meanwhile bottom right of the ring the Haxorz are digging some new ones.

    No need to be afraid though.

    I haven't revealed where the 3.5mm jack is and did not mention 'Building No 2'.

    Good job I have signed the 'Official Secrets End User Licence Agreement Act'.

  50. Stuart
    Black Helicopters

    teh key word is

    abu hamza, bomb, suicide, terrorist, Al Qaeda, airline, suicide, Insha Allah, palestine, peroxide, training camp, plot, government, attack.....

    Sorry just trying out a few keywords.

    Come and get me Jacqui, you kinky bitch.

  51. Armus Squelprom
    Flame

    A Disgraceful Intrusion

    We all know that international crims & terrorists will have no trouble using untraceable sims, internet cafes or intermediary 'cut-out' associates to continue their illicit communications. They'll use satellite phones, or throwaway 3G netbooks registered in false names, and this won't inconvenience them at all.

    Just like the parallel ID Card / ID Database, the real target of this project is Joe Public. The great majority of us will lack the time, skills or discipline to evade surveillance, and we'll just get used to living under it (like CCTV). The Govt's desired outcome must surely therefore be the 'chilling effect' of knowing that Big Brother is watching us 24/7.

    Well I've had enough. You can stick your superstate right up your Jacksie, Jackie. Next to your RFIS Passports, your biometric ID, and your vast networks of CCTV (which miraculously fail whenever the Police find it necessary to kill someone). Ram it up past your stupid, money-burning NHS Spine, your sinister ANPR, your useless ContactPoint, and all your other Orwellian scams for taking away my freedom & privacy.

    At the next election my vote will go to whichever party promises most plainly, specifically and believably that they will throw out this rubbish. It's a disgusting and frightening waste of very scarce public monies, for the express purpose of creating a Stasi State.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    teraflop amnesia

    > And isn' t a teraflop a euphamism for shooting brazilian electricians in the face on the underground? I assume all this technology will stop all that nonsense, I am right to assume that aren't I?

    Like the cameras on the underground, it'll be designed to forget when some state sanctioned murder goes wrong.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Duh

    - why ask ISP's to do this when you're doing it anyway - unless you kinda want to pretend you're not really doing it? FFS

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    terrorist and other criminal networks

    > If a "black box" is trawling for suspicious content or keywords, it is intercepting ALL the communications it looks at even if it does nothing more than look at most of them", Peter Fairbrother

    The logic of spying on everyone in order to catch the terrorists and criminals escapes me as; they would resort to using fake ID cards and disguising their communication through the use of such systems as encrypted Usenet messages, the same system the spooks use ..

    http://groups.google.com/group/alt.anonymous.messages/topics?hl=en&gvc=2

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    does this mean...

    does this mean that all the easilly identifiable bot traffic going through the uk will be wiped out?

    running snort at isp level could be epic win.

    as long as its not every agency under the sun that has acces to it...

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    isn't this old news ..

    What they are doing is trying to justify and legalize it under the pretext of protecting us from the 'terrorists'. I guess we need another terror alert. Where would we be without 'Al-Qaeda ' ..

    http://jya.com/echelon-dc.htm

    http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/conversations-intercepted-truth-project-echelon/8773

    http://www.spamdailynews.com/publish/ATT_tech_outs_NSA_spy_room.asp

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism/current-threat-level/

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    just whos' coup d'etat anyway :)

    > I think GCHQ's game is to build up a profile of the public's internet habits to make it easier to identify political opponents to pick up for when Labour stage their coup d'etat to prolong their authority, MI5 mole

    We had that coup d'etat a long time ago and it isn't Labor or the Tories who really run this place. They don't even reside in this country. All the new PM needs to learn is how to bend over and grease up .. with his arse facing the sun :]

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You Can't Say "Bomb" at the Airport

    And soon you won't be able to e-mail it either. I think we are right to be very very worried about this if this Daily Mail website article is accurate:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1176874/Big-Brother-mobile-fears-Frenchman-held-24-hours-joke-text-train-sabotage.html

    A man with no known connections was arrested in France for receiving a jokey text message indicating a train would be sabotaged. He was eventually released after being strip searched and threatened with criminal charges.

  59. Andrew Elwell
    Black Helicopters

    Who says intercepts have to be authorized?

    Slightly old now (and since demolished) but worth bringing up the Capenhurst tower here - see http://www.lamont.me.uk/capenhurst/ -- stick a large antenna between two points and see what information wanders past...

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Blimey

    Time to put these extra 3 cores into use then with cryptography. Deep packet inspection cannot necessarily decipher the content of encrypted transmissions!

    ...but if it is done by employing a man-in-the-middle attack approach, it will be able to do so...

    Did you say these black box thingies reside on ISPs' sites, like BETWEEN (in-the-middle of) me and the content that I'm trying to reach?

    I know I don't have anything to hide, but it's scary just how much surveillance there will be in place very soon "for my protection".

  61. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    So what you're saying is:

    1) Spooks spend lots of cash on complicated things that can listen to what other people are saying.

    2) Spooks are secretive and won't tell you what it is that they can listen to or whether or not they're listening to it.

    3) Major contractors are quite happy to board the spook / complicated listening things / huge budget gravy train and can be quite secretive about it all when it suits them.

    Now, just one slight area of confusion to clear up. Which religion is the Pope a member of?

  62. John Smith Gold badge
    Joke

    @Camilla Smythe

    So those 3 curving arms over the main building are....

    Drive heads?

  63. fajensen Silver badge
    Flame

    Democracy sucks!

    +++

    t must be great for people in the 3rd World who we try and sell democracy too when we show them exactly what they have to look forward to, complete control by the state.

    +++

    I am sure they appreciate that STASI-democracy in "the west" is *much* better than the export-strength "democracy" delivered at random by predator drones!!!

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for Goose good for Gander

    If they are going to use these techniques then they must be lawful and the same techniques can be used on them.

    I am sure we are not operating a tiered legal system, where some laws apply to some and some to others, that would be corruption.

  65. Jimmy

    @ Will the Tories Scrap It?

    We've just endured twelve years of New Tory government during which the Old Tories sat on the sidelines, and apart from making the mandatory ya-boo-sucks interventions in parliament have never raised a whimper of protest against the assault on civil liberties or the economic fundamentalism we have been subjected to.

    The one honourable exception was David Davis, the shadow home secretary who resigned from his post and fought a bye-election in order to protest against the government's plans to extend pre-charge detentions for terror suspects to a maximum of 42 days. Significantly David Cameron chose not to reappoint Davis to his shadow post after he won the bye-election.

    That tells you all you need to know about the same Old Tories. Some of us are hoping for the emergence of a new wave of Raving Loony Party candidates at the next election so that we can exercise our democratic rights with a clear conscience.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Americans

    The american's already routinely monitor British internet traffic, why don't GCHQ just pay the NSA for the service!

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The terrorists

    will have switched to sending each other letters and, possibly, using carrier pigeons. Waste of time. It is just an excuse to keep tabs on all of us. Except MPs, of course, their ISP accounts will be excluded. If only Wacqui Jacqui's hubby had known he could've wanked himself stupid over at smutt.com and no one would've been any the wiser.

    Paris Hilton, as a hint to Wacqui's hubby as to what to stick into smutt.com to get him started.

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    OK. OK. I'll give it a title!

    I don't think using encryption for emails would be an answer, you will probably find that encrypted messages simply won't reach their destination -- any packets that can't be read will be quietly dropped.

    Mind you, if everybody included keywords as a sig in every email, that would keep them occupied for a while.

    Anon cos they can trace the source IP if they want to find me :-)

    bomb, terrorists, stazi, NuLab, Oh, whats that noi <no carrier>

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    U turn

    Jacqui Smith has finally caved into pressure - I bet someone's had a word with her. Given how determined she was to push this central database idea through, doesn't anyone think it now a bit strange she's done a complete U turn on it?

    The cost of spending that huge amount of money on something which so many high profile people would resist (including Shami Chakrabarti), the risk of all that data being in one place and the intrusion to privacy, the high profile publicity that would be generated by this would damage both Ms. Smith and the Labour government, that's why she has backed down.

    Probably trying to keep a lower profile now, given her expenses f**k ups, probably reckons her job is at risk.

    But she still wants the same capability...ok, they might not quite be able to do the data mining they wanted.

    Watch them get slaughtered at the next set of local elections in June.

  70. Maurice Shakeshaft
    Coat

    What's it all for....

    If we truly lack fear why are we concerned about Politicians, Civil Servants and Business people in this land and others knowing all about what we think, say and do? That this information is available to a select few who can use it to directly make inordinate wealth or to manipulate the rest of us into thinking that we have enemies were none may exist should not really worry us, surely. We are not envious of their secret clubs - oopps, sorry, there are no secrets.....

    It is not the politicians in general that worry me but the revolving door that moves them and malign (formerly Civil) local, national and international Government Servants around the business system.

    They, often through accident of birth, obtain exceptional influence and privilege out of all proportion to their abilities purely because they are inside the system and "play the game" to teh detriment of the rest of us. We can't see it, or it isn't revealed to us, until it's too late and we are saddled with their massive costs. The Banking crisis, ID cards, Nuclear power and the National Health Service computerised records system to name but four. Now we have this Uber information database.

  71. Robert E A Harvey
    Paris Hilton

    two minds

    Am I supposed to be annoyed that they are going to spend my money on something sinister and repressive, or that they are going to waste my money on something that won't work?

    Or, perhaps, both.

    We need a waqui jaqui icon. Till then, paris is brighter

  72. Sillyfellow
    Thumb Down

    national security ??

    so, when did spying on it's own citizens constitute a country's 'national security' ? oh, unless it's own citizens are considered to be a threat?

  73. Tom
    Black Helicopters

    Is this really new News? or...................

    I have always thought that GCHQ had a long history of "listening" and when those "listeners" are alerted by whatever triggers are put in place, they [the listeners] then act accordingly. Which I assume, is to then notify the powers that be, who in turn should take the appropriate necessary steps in accordance with the correct and lawful procedures.

    It is to be hoped that the data and communications being listened to by GCHQ isn't another foothold for local governments, and other basic public bodies to gain access to. in the same way that the anti-terrorism legislation was allowed to be exploited.

    The data and communications listened into by GCHQ should only be for the purpose of National Security, and organised crime, however, common sense prevails and where a "trigger" is activated then it is only right that the "trigger" should be investigated.

    If given the choice, I would much rather have GCHQ "listen" than have any ISP do the job for them. That said, it's also disheartning to hear that there are other 3rd Parties involved in this move. Can we the people of the UK truly and absolutely put our trust in this 3rd parties? Afterall, it isn't that long ago when our own government lost significant amounts of personal data, and so have a company in the USA who stored the personal details of UK drivers [to be].

    Could it be that Jackboots Smiths and her cronies are upto something else? Is there anything untoward in the contracts or the way that they have been awarded to the 3rd parties? Is there something amiss somewhere?

    Finally, where exactly will the data be stored, here in the UK or abroad?

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Can't Ignore Spam - Re: Email

    "I assume they have the world class best Spam filter to go with that." - Paul, Sunday 3rd May 2009 15:22 GMT

    Actually, they'll have to monitor and log all the spam, too. Otherwise, it will be really easy for al-Qaeda and other criminal organisations to use spam as a channel for their communications.

    Just look at the apparent garbage you get in spam. You know, the meaningless drivel that's supposed to make the spam look like a genuine email to dumb spam filters. That's an opportunity for steganography. Use a suitable encryption method in the role of a pseudo-random number generator when generating that junk text, and you've got a secret, encrypted message hidden in it.

    Oh, but what about the fact that spam is sent to many, many addresses? What if the real recipients are only identified within the actual contents of the spam? That means that logging only "communications data" about senders and recipients, times and dates, etc, isn't going to be enough. It leaves the actual contents available for terrorists, etc, to hide the true sender and recipient details in. And that means the actual contents of emails would have to be monitored and logged as well. It's a loophole built into the current IMP plans that will conveniently need to be filled in the future.

    But since steganography with strong encryption can be used to securely hide all the relevant details within the spam contents anyway, such monitoring and logging is still ultimately futile, even when monitoring and logging the actual contents as well.

    This is a very expensive way of ending up with terrorists and other criminals still being able to keep their communications beyond the reach of the authorities. Billions being spent to end up back where we already are - what on earth is the point in that? It would be far, far better to spend those many billions in other ways instead.

    On the other hand, maybe this will just persuade the government to spend billions eliminating spam altogether.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    what MTI is really for

    What MTI is really for is intimidating people into silence. Same with the tactics used against the G20 protectors. It will work in that it'll cower a sizable portion of the population. As for the rest, we don't give a fuck anymore, we're mad as hell and ain't going to take it anymore. We are not going to go away, we will always be there, but you won't be able to see us. See, unlike 'Al-Qaeda' we don't use Hotmail for our 'secret' messages ...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090502/ap_on_go_ot/us_enemy_combatant_technology

  76. Michael
    Flame

    BNP will LOVE getting access to this data.

    My guess some minister will get the idea of "renting " access on weekends to the PRS or MPAA or RIAA or Phorm or somebody. Remember, ministers have mortgages too.. they need all the backhanders they can get!

  77. Richard Neill

    National security?

    The very concept of "national security" is inimical to the nation actually being safe. When our government has secrets, and the electorate is not fully informed, then we encourage politicians to make bad decisions and act in a way in which we would not approve.

    On another tack, why is it that, having failed so spectacularly in the past (no 9/11 warning; the dogy dossier etc), isn't it time we just give up on the "intelligence community"? I say we should fire the lot of them for incompetence(*), and spend the money on international aid instead.

    (*)There is an argument that these people are doing a valuable job protecting us from threats which are too secret to tell us about, and that therefore we should just trust them. But in this country, we do not have completely secret trials. Therefore, if GCHQ et al had done anything useful, we'd know about it, at least in outline, after the court case. So we can be sure that these people have done nothing useful up to 2007 (though it is just conceivable that, notwithstanding the track record, they may currently be protecting us from a threat that will only become know in a few years.) I, for one, am unwilling to delegate trust to the security services without accountability.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Since no one's said it yet...

    "According to sources, MTI is a core piece of the [g]overnment's Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP)."

    "Bring out the G.I.M.P.!" (Or rather keep it to yourselves ya pervies.)

    Desperate times for a desperate government. 'What, the people are stilled plague by freedom of thought and communication? We must cure them of this deficiency. Civil liberties? Don't talk nonsense. It's simply not enough we only tell them what to ruddy well think 24 hours a day, we must remind them what not to think as well and be sure of it. Pump some good old fashioned fear into them. Let 'em know we're watching. Yes, that's right. We're fucking watching you, sonny. Sending granny an email over the internet? Bollocks! We know what you're really thinking. "I'll just type in a search for free..." No you fucking won't! Learn to obey the state or else. We'll bloomin' well ASBO you till you're 80!'

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    MTI - Gordon completely mistunderstood this

    Mastering the Internet - That's why we got Gordon's spooky smile on YouTube.

    He thought he was mastering the internet.

  80. Bob Hoskins
    Coat

    Coup D'etat

    "Rather I think GCHQ's game is to build up a profile of the public's internet habits to make it easier to identify political opponents to pick up for when Labour stage their coup d'etat to prolong their authority."

    Ten years ago I would have considered this to be the height of paranoia - now I find myself looking at ways this could actually happen. The Civil Contingencies Act could be implemented to postpone a general election virtually indefinitely and as Labour must be aware by now there is absolutely no possible way they could win one at this stage.

    This begs the question as to what will happen between now and 2010 that would justify such powers being invoked. In any case one thing is clear - this MTI nonsense is not the act of a government that is planning on going anywhere. What can we do about it? Right now, not an awful lot as we're in that uncomfortable zone where the democratic process no longer avails us but armed resistance is not yet justified. I don't know at what point you CAN justify actually - suggestions are welcome.

    Mine's the tasteful Kevlar number.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    East German comparison

    The comparison with the Stasi is apposite. They collected more information than they could handle and identify useful stuff on the fly. And the only uses for it were filling in details after the fact, and fishing trips for information to be used against individuals.

    TV shows like Spooks (good entertainment though it may be) continue the lie of a tiny team of humans supported by masses of advanced technology (and able to control/interpret it on the fly).

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ for those planning

    Well, it's time for a bit of pre-emptive deception. You see, if you have a key disposal process in place which shows signs of being exercised it provides a paper based banana for RIPA.

    All you need to do it to keep an archive with a key nobody knows as level 2, and a level 1 archive with crap that looks important but you don't care about too much with a current key as documented.

    If you do this consistently there isn't much they can do because you are providing evidence you are managing the key, and they will have to prove you're doing something else before they can declare you guilty (if they installed a keyboard sniffer you're hosed anyway).

    Also start wearing a nice rimmed hat - CCTV operators HATE you being well dressed because it screws their picture - the more people do this the harder it becomes to identify you in the crowd (rain is fun too - laws forcing umbrellas to be transparent must be in the planning stage already). Just be careful when you operate an ATM because they take pictures as well, and I expect that to become part of the permanent CCTV coverage shortly.

    Don't complain. Act. Ridicule, object, play politics, protest, write letters - vote. And add to that petition at No10 "We, the undersigned, ask the PM to: resign". It does not have enough votes to make a point yet. Make it very, very clear to any party aspiring to win from Labour that restoring privacy and transparency must be part of their manifesto - and that you want to see evidence of that commitment already in debates and votes (and no backing out later).

  83. brimful
    Flame

    Please GOD

    let me find a job with the ISP which JS is signed up to. That way I can monitor all her traffic and give the stupid b*tch a taste of her own medicine.

    Flame: cos GF should've succeeded.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    WHAT!?

    This is ridiculous,

    not only have they got power over everything else now they want to intercept our internet usage aswell this is really not on at all what happened to the word privacy?

    i think this is so pathetic words cant even describe it

  85. Alfazed
    Black Helicopters

    Commentards Beware

    Who's the next social segment to be included in the anti-tourist net after animal rights activists, photographers, City workers ?

    Could it be loose lipped Reg Commentards ?

    Soon come. MTI-IMPS = BOOMYAKA

    ALF

  86. Nick Askew

    @Ian McNee

    I like the idea of having the signature that is all the banned words lumped together. But the problem is that you just cannot rely on everyone else to play ball. So rather than making your own signature contain these words, and risk being one of the few people that have done so, it might be better to simple hire a spammers botnet and spam everyone with the words. If we are really lucky some spammer will be reading this and perhaps do it for free.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    We're here to protect you

    Problem solved now, innit?

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    GCHQ - Stasi?

    Take a look at section 19 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008. It's about part of what GCHQ can do with information it obtains.

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/ukpga_20080028_en_3#pt1-pb4

    "19 Disclosure and the intelligence services

    (1) A person may disclose information to any of the intelligence services for the purposes of the exercise by that service of any of its functions.

    (2) Information obtained by any of the intelligence services in connection with the exercise of any of its functions may be used by that service in connection with the exercise of any of its other functions.

    ...

    (5) Information obtained by GCHQ for the purposes of any of its functions may be disclosed by it—

    (a) for the purpose of the proper discharge of its functions, or

    (b) for the purpose of any criminal proceedings.

    (6) A disclosure under this section does not breach—

    (a) any obligation of confidence owed by the person making the disclosure, or

    (b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).

    (7) The provisions of this section are subject to section 20 (savings and other supplementary provisions)."

    Much the same goes for MI5 and MI6 (according to subsections 3 and 4, which I omitted here).

    Note subsection 6, which allows everyone to "disclose information to any of the intelligence services", regardless of confidentiality. If you confide in someone, they're still free to report it to the Stasi. Fortunately, there is section 20, which includes this:-

    "(2) Nothing in that section [section 19] authorises a disclosure that—

    (a) contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29), or

    (b) is prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (c. 23)."

    This is already law. Why didn't you hear about it? The media, politicians, etc, were going on about 42 days instead.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    And Also Listening Will Be...

    So the contract is going to Lockheed Martin, who will of course be manufacturing all the kit and writing the firmware themselves...

    Or might they possibly hive off the sourcing of the hardware to someone cheap overseas? Maybe a very large country in the Far East that tends to do a lot of electronics fabrication? But even if they do, I'm sure that they'll spent loads of time and money poring over every instruction of the firmware, just to make sure that no-one has added anything they shouldn't. Oh yes, absolutely sure... I mean, no-one would cut corners on something like this, would they?

    So it might not just be the UK government who ends up reading our emails.

    (But if they end up going ahead, why not use it as a giant spam filter and have it actually do something useful?)

  90. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    It will all be ok after the election

    Once we get rid of Labour then the new government will stop all this crap.

    YEAH, RIGHT, of course they will....

  91. Nebulo
    Black Helicopters

    Do we really need all these comments?

    Just to say that the lying band of totalitarian bastards are simply confirming the common knowledge that they are a lying band of totalitarian bastards?

    Considering that we're dealing with a lying band of totalitarian bastards that almost counts as decent behaviour.

    And Wayland (22:14 GMT) is right. As we used to say, if voting changed anything they'd ban it.

  92. Noel Coward
    Thumb Down

    Revolution

    When will you British ever learn? The real rulers of your country are your non elected Oxbridge infested civil service. These are the people who this scheme really benefits and you can't vote them out by any legal method. Believe me Jaquie is just a puppet for much greater interests than a mere government.

    When you inevitably elect your Conservative party next year you will see that nothing will change.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    The Freedom Bill

    For those wondering what alternative there is to New Labour and the Tories, there are the Liberal Democrats to consider.

    They're proposing something they call the Freedom Bill: http://freedom.libdems.org.uk/

    It's supposed to undo a lot of the damage that New Labour (and also previously the Tories) have done to our basic rights and freedoms over the years.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to this IMP stuff, the Lib Dems position on the plan to have ISPs do the government's dirty work seems pretty weak. They're talking about needing safeguards, rather than opposing such plans outright. I'm rather disappointed, but the Lib Dems are still more committed to basic rights and freedoms than either New Labour or the Tories.

  94. roger

    Only £100,000?

    Erm, £100,000 (salary and bonus) a year, even in these frugal times just about buys you a very good C++ developer. Double that for a good project manager for a medium sized project. Who would take on a thankless task like this for that kind of money?

  95. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Alien

    A Change of Tack to Catch the Breeze/Intelligent Storm System

    "TV shows like Spooks (good entertainment though it may be) continue the lie of a tiny team of humans supported by masses of advanced technology (and able to control/interpret it on the fly)." .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 4th May 2009 09:11 GMT

    And such dogged scepticism allows for Unhindered Progress and Stealthy Application of Novel ProgramMING and MkUltra Sensitive Projects, AC. They thank you, from the bottom of their hearts, for your Priceless Support. It is a Simple Inescapable Truth that Fact will Always be Immaculately Concealed and Covered as a Preposterous Fiction in Consort with Viable ImaginaNation, which could equally well be said of a Fact being Truth in a Fiction.

    You would then be thinking that things just happen, rather than being directed to happen, AC? How very bizarre and unlikely.

    "The american's already routinely monitor British internet traffic, why don't GCHQ just pay the NSA for the service!" ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 4th May 2009 12:53 GMT

    AC,

    If GCHQ had any Greater Sense of the Importance of British Intelligence in Internet traffic, they would be/will be charging the Americans for what is being Spread/Shared/BroadBandCast by Intelligent Britons ..... for you do not Control Anything gathering information, you Power IT by Transmitting New Intelligence which Grooms Information Gatherers ....... with QuITe Sublime EduTainment Programming. Or SMARTer Americans will be Insisting on Paying/Investing to Save the Fed./$ from Collapse.

    GCHQ is only as smart as its Analysts and the golden rule of thumb which dictates the level of excellence which can be attained, is always summed up succinctly in the Put down .... Pay Peanuts, Get Monkeys. Whenever the World and untold Riches is your Oyster, when proficient in Intelligence, would you be working to Rules and for Peanuts or Writing a NeuReal Fcuking Manual for Cloud Nine Seventh Heaven 42 Virgin Operations?

    It is Naive to not Imagine that Control and Power have not been Transported into the Virtualised Domain of Cloud Controllers/Reign Makers. It is though XXXXStreamly Convenient for Forward Base Pioneers.

    PS .... In a Sensitive Thread, those Strings/Submissions which don't appear give out QuITe Sublime Signals which are Invaluable but only when Capitalised upon to more Fully XXXXPloit and Expand .... for Intelligence is a Most Lucrative AIdDymanIQ Export Market for the Zenned In ZerodDay Trader.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    By the power of Castle Greyskull!

    Mastering the Internet??? Sounds like masters of the universe!

    I vote that the doughnut be renamed "Castle Greyskull"

    Does that make Bin Laden Skeletor?

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Fort Parliament

    Ever since parliament was surrounded by concrete and razor wire the politicians have treated us as the enemy. They are cowards hiding in a concrete bunker unwilling to face the population they abuse.

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Deep packet inspection?

    Isn't this the equivalent of opening every single letter sent throught the Royal Mail and reading the contents?

    Next they'll be selling off the Post Office or somethign to give them the power to... Oh... Wait...

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to hide?

    Everyone has things they want to hide. I can seem to recall a certain event recently where someone bought a dirty movie in a hotel room... it doesn't mean you want to blow something up.

    And of course, maybe one day we'll have a government come into power who thinks you should be arrested for watching dirty movies. What a great tool they'll have!

    This has NOTHING to do with the CURRENT government snooping. I don't like it spying on me, but I can think of far worse things. I'm scared about the future.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ roger

    "Erm, £100,000 (salary and bonus) a year, even in these frugal times just about buys you a very good C++ developer. Double that for a good project manager for a medium sized project. Who would take on a thankless task like this for that kind of money?"

    Did the advert mention expenses? That could easily push the actual income into the tens of millions.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    "Black Box"

    So they want to put these little Black Boxes into ISPs that monitor traffic and presumibly use bandwidth. Will they be subject to a fair usage policy?

  102. John Smith Gold badge
    Joke

    AC@12:18

    "Will they be subject to a fair usage policy?"

    More like an unfair usage policy, as every government department, agency and local authority down to parish council level *prove* that they must be able to listen into any conversation you have.

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