back to article Deputy PM: Rip up Snoop Charter, 'go back to the drawing board'

Home Secretary Theresa May said she will "accept the substance of recommendations" for her draft surveillance law after the Deputy Prime Minister told her to rewrite it - and a parliamentary report slammed it as "suspicious" and "too sweeping". A joint select committee of MPs and peers, in a report published this morning, …

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  1. Eponymous Cowherd
    WTF?

    Has Clegg......

    finally grown a pair?

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: Has Clegg......

      No, but he has employed some better PR

    2. Red Bren
      Big Brother

      Re: Has Clegg......

      Perhaps he has something to hide. That's the only reason anyone could possibly want to oppose this bill...

      1. Richard Wharram
        Mushroom

        Re: Has Clegg......

        He's plotting paedo-bombs!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Has Clegg......

        "Perhaps he has something to hide. That's the only reason anyone could possibly want to oppose this bill.."

        I can't tell if that was made with a hint of sarcasm or not. I have nothing to hide, I just don't want Theresa May and her cronies knowing my every move. It's bad enough with all the CCTV and ANPR stuff.

        1. Red Bren

          A hint of sarcasm?

          I thought there was more than a hint...

      4. LiteWeight72
        Thumb Up

        Re: Has Clegg......

        Pure LOLz!

    3. teebie
      Unhappy

      Re: Has Clegg......

      Probably not - he didn't make his statement until the committee had eviscerated the bill

  2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Okay,

    Keep a eye out, everyone, for the same provisions coming in dribs and drabs over the next few years in things like a Waste Refuse Bill or a Duck Hunting legislation, until the law is there in essence if not in name.

    You don't need it. How do I know? Because you've not needed it for the last 2000 years and there's no reason to suggest it would have helped in any recent incident, conviction or operation. The terrorist threat? Haven't really seen much since we joined the global bully in pounding everyone in the playground when their tower of bricks got knocked over, over ten years ago. So you're doing a sterling job with that already and can't see what else you would need to do that job given that.

    Paedophiles? I don't think Jimmy Saville was airing his (still alleged at this point, I believe) likes all over the Internet under encryption and anonymous usernames. What found him was people being able to talk to the police (those police whose numbers you're slicing at the moment) and not have a corrupt media willing to brush their claims under the carpet "for the sake of charidee..." (and that's being handled too, if you pull your finger out and stop Wikipedia'ing things and start punishing the press to the standards that the existing law already holds them too).

    Stop enforcing the laws that exist, and stop making up new ones rather than do so.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Typo?

      If you mean "START enforcing the laws that exist, and stop making up new ones rather than do so." then I'm with you...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Lee Dowling

      It was all going so well until that last sentence.

      Write out 100 times "I must proof read my posts more carefully"

      AC, 'cos it's only tempting fate.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Because you've not needed it for the last 2000 years and there's no reason to suggest it would have helped in any recent incident, conviction or operation

      Steady on there. Until very recently, very few conversations took place on the internet, the intent of this law is to give police the ability to do the same thing they can currently do if the conversation took place by phone.

      I recently did jury service, and the key thing that connected (and convicted) the defendants was their copious phone communications and locations as reported by their phones (combined with their insistence that they didn't know each other). It is clear to me that this information is genuinely useful to convict criminals of their acts.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Aunty Terry would still like the power to appoint anyone she likes as an 'agency' without any requirements to officially change the law in order to do so.

        I'm O.K. with the plods as it stands* but don't like the idea of some out-sourced bunch of incompetent liars like G4S getting access to anyone's data.

        Then there's the cost of it all being lumped on us customers via the ISP's being told to cough up for HM.Govs playing about.

        *what's the Weeting score now?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re:

          @Elmer Phud

          If it's not G4S it's the stupid council and other 500 public bodies getting hold of your data aka RIPA.

          That leads onto the question, does this snoopers charter allow RIPA named organisations to 'extend' their powers? I sincerely hope not otherwise we would be no different from China!

      2. BenR
        FAIL

        @Tom 38 "I recently did jury service..."

        I recently did jury service, and the key thing that connected (and convicted) the defendants was their copious phone communications and locations as reported by their phones (combined with their insistence that they didn't know each other). It is clear to me that this information is genuinely useful to convict criminals of their acts

        So what you're saying is that the existing laws enabled the authorities to connect these people to each other and the crime through their communications?

        In that case, you've just undermined the need for the new law straight away haven't you?

        1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

          Re: @Tom 38 "I recently did jury service..."

          Sorry for the final paragraph typo - a BT engineer just arrived and you don't want to miss those guys...

          Of course it should be START enforcing the laws you already have and STOP making up new ones.

          And in a court case, those records can already be provided to the court. That's NOT what the new laws are about. They are about letting people NOT subject to court orders rifle through that information at will. It's basically a way to undo data-protection legislation, and even freedom-of-information legislation in a way.

          A court will get the data it needs, now, and in the future. That's not up for question. But that information will be sealed, projected, people subject to perjury if it's released outside those terms, etc. and everyone will know who asked for what data when and whether they went too far. This is about extending those terms to non-reporting government departments.

          There is no published case where having these "new laws" would make a difference to the outcome of the case or the evidence presented. If there were, it would be the JUDGES asking for this sort of access, and it would still be balanced in terms of access only via court order, and only the minimum necessary. That's not what's happening.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: @Tom 38 "I recently did jury service..."

            There is no published case where having these "new laws" would make a difference to the outcome of the case or the evidence presented.

            Do you want to revise that? How precisely do you enumerate the number of cases that could be proven by collecting new evidence, without collecting the evidence. Not many people leave court and then say "Hah! Suckers! If you'd had my IM logs, I'd be doing porridge right now".

            Eg, (noddy example) currently if plod think A. Burglar sold a stolen phone to A.Fence - but there is no phone records linking the two - they can't proceed due to lack of evidence. The two communicate frequently on MSN, but there is no evidence of that - there is no way for the police to see that.

            With the new system, plod can see that the two talk about this stuff on IM, and could charge them - but without knowing what the data is, how can you possibly say that?

            I agree fully on limiting dissemination of the information, and would limit access to this new information to the same people who can currently peruse phone records.

        2. Tom 38 Silver badge

          @BenR

          So what you're saying is that the existing laws enabled the authorities to connect these people to each other and the crime through their communications?

          Yes, they could in this case. The point is that in this case, the existence of communication records between the defendants was what caused the conviction. It was dumb luck that the defendants chose to use phones to communicate, if they had chosen email or IMs, there would be no record of the communication, and they would have walked.

          In that case, you've just undermined the need for the new law straight away haven't you?

          This loophole is what the police and CPS currently have to deal with. The purpose of the new law is to allow police to investigate any communication method - email, IM, phone, VOIP - as they can currently investigate phone communications, and to close this loophole, so no, rather than undermine it, I think I've stated the case quite clearly.

          PS: I don't agree with the law in it's current form either, I don't think I made that clear.

          1. BenR
            WTF?

            @Tom 38 Re: @BenR

            Well, in that case, and even looking at your latterly posted "Noddy example", how about we let the police go to the courts and ask for permission, based on suspicion and/or evidence, to monitor the communications of these people to see if there is any link between them?

            Given the number of existing ridiculous anti-terror laws, and the no doubt imminent changes to paeodphilia laws following the Saville case, it's not like the courts don't basically wave these things through anyway.

            We could even have a special name for it... what might one call an 'order' from the 'court' I wonder...

            Hows about we do things that way, on an evidentiary basis, rather than presuming the vast majority of people are doing nefarious things left right and centre and having a record of exactly who talked to who, when, and where they both were while they were doing it?

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: @Tom 38 @BenR

              No-one is reading what I am posting, clearly.

              Well, in that case, and even looking at your latterly posted "Noddy example", how about we let the police go to the courts and ask for permission, based on suspicion and/or evidence, to monitor the communications of these people to see if there is any link between them?

              Bomb goes off, we know who set it off, we want to know who they have been communicating with. Lets start that monitoring! Oh wait…

              We could even have a special name for it... what might one call an 'order' from the 'court' I wonder...

              No shit Sherlock. I fully agree that access to this information should require a court order. However, if you aren't collecting that data, you can't access it.

              We currently collect communication logs from phones, store it, and can access it with a court order. We currently don't store communication logs from internet devices, and so can't access it at all. I don't want the police randomly searching my internet history, but if they need to randomly search my internet history, as decided by a judge, then they should be able to.

              1. BenR

                Re: @Tom 38 @BenR

                I'm very much reading what you're posting - it's just that you'd not actually said that before now had you?

                Also, does this mean we'll therefore be expanding this law to make the Royal Mail keep records of every letter they deliver? It'll become law to put a return address on the back of every envelope just so that we can check who posted what to whom and when? 'Cos that's only the same thing that you're talking about for electronic communications as applied to more traditional means.

                Just remember - the road between legitimate suspicion and rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think it could ever be.

                And this is all quite aside from the technical reasons others have posted - not the least of which being that anyone 'serious' will be using VPNs and 2048-bit encryption, very much like Kim Dot-Com is doing for his new service. It'll only be the really stupid criminals that get caught this way, and anyone that stupid is very likely to have been caught anyway.

      3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        @Tom38

        So you feel that it is proportionate to have every website site you've ever visited, including the millions that you've never heard of but your PC has probably wondered off too, recorded in a form which can easily be searched by large numbers of people.

        Perhaps you'd like to post the logs yourself?

        This bill is like arguing that fitting CCTV cameras in every child in the countries bedroom would help reduce the cases of child abuse.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: @Tom38

          So you feel that it is proportionate to have every website site you've ever visited, including the millions that you've never heard of but your PC has probably wondered off too, recorded in a form which can easily be searched by large numbers of people.(Dazed and Confused)

          How would me wanting the police to have that information logically expand into wanting you to have the information?

          Logic, it's a priceless tool.

          Also:

          I agree fully on limiting dissemination of the information, and would limit access to this new information to the same people who can currently peruse phone records. (Tom38)

          Reading comprehension, also a priceless tool.

      4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Facepalm

        "I recently did jury service, and the key thing that connected (and convicted) the defendants was their copious phone communications and locations as reported by their phones (combined with their insistence that they didn't know each other)."

        All of which is currently available under the RIPA.

        If there was enough to charge them there was more than enough to get this data.

        This law was to allow the police to collect your data without a)A warrant b)Evidence of a crime.

        and to do so (and log it indefinitely) 24/7/365.

        Still comfortable about this?

      5. streaky Silver badge
        Mushroom

        "the intent of this law is to give police the ability to do the same thing they can currently do if the conversation took place by phone"

        Not even close - the intent is to let police and the HMRC data mine the hell out of private communications and track everything you do. It's more akin to them putting trackers on everybody's car and intercepting/logging everybody's postal mail and tracking what stories in the newspaper you read and where you go during the day all at the same time.

        If they did that they'd be called out due to it being a massive invasion of privacy, which is what it would be. But they said the magic words paedophiles and terrorists so that's okay then. They don't want you, obviously.

        They still haven't made it abundantly clear who will pay for storing all this data and the extra cpu time/bandwidth either.

        1. BenR
          Mushroom

          Re: Streaky

          They still haven't made it abundantly clear who will pay for storing all this data and the extra cpu time/bandwidth either.

          I think it's ALREADY abundantly clear who'll end up paying for this...

          1. streaky Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Streaky

            Well yeah, not the people who want it out their own pockets which is the only way I'd find it acceptable (after I've made sure the whole country is using very strong crypto - sorry for wasting your time/money there Jonny Taxpayer).

    4. Jedit
      Mushroom

      "You've not needed it for the last 2000 years "

      No, we didn't need a law to ensure security on the public internet (est. 1995) for the last 2000 years. By a bizarre coincidence, we also didn't need road safety laws before we invented cars.

      Don't get me wrong, I agree completely that overly intrusive internet regulation must be avoided - but whack job logic like yours does not make it easier to persuade the typical member of the public who does not understand why it's a bad thing.

      1. Richard IV
        Headmaster

        Re: "You've not needed it for the last 2000 years " @Jedit

        "No, we didn't need a law to ensure security on the public internet (est. 1995) for the last 2000 years. By a bizarre coincidence, we also didn't need road safety laws before we invented cars."

        *ahem* Speed limits and suchlike have been around since the 1860s, when traction engines were all the rage, while not driving on the pavement, oft quoted to nervous cyclists by the type of driver that you wouldn't want to share the road with, has been around since the 1835 Highway Act.

        A better bit of logic on not needing communications data would be the lack of such data collection for non-electronic versions and general distaste towards doing so (even barring the impracticality).

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "You've not needed it for the last 2000 years "

        Did we need to monitor all phone calls to deal with IRA terrorism in the 70s?

        Did we need to read everyones mail to protect children from the moors murders in the 60s?

        Did we need to record everyones movements on public transport in the 50s to prevent Mau Mau guerillas infiltrating

        London?

        At least ID cards prevented a German invasion in the 40s

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "You've not needed it for the last 2000 years "

          "At least ID cards prevented a German invasion in the 40s"

          And were finally scrapped in 1953 when it became clear that the Police were using them as method of harassment, given most people no longer carried them (since WWII had ended 8 years earlier).

          The rest are an interesting mix. I guess what you're trying to say is we didn't need this tech to catch them then so why now.

          Another question would be if MI5/Police/HMRC don't have the staff to use the snooping powers they already have (one reason MI5 stated they were unable to catch the 7/7/05 bombers before they struck) why widen the potential suspects list to everyone in the UK? You can't find the needle in the haystack so your going to dump it in the middle of a barn full of haystacks?

    5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      @Okay

      Or they could just declare it to be a security matter, and is covered under the existing "do whatever you want - that's why you're called the SECRET security services" law, and do it all anyway without bothering parliament.

  3. AndrueC Silver badge
    Big Brother

    >highlighting its wide-ranging scope, the £1.8bn price tag, the need for wider consultation and the apparent lack of appropriate safeguard

    I wonder what bothered him most? The money or the morality?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Embarrassing

    On and on it goes, Home Secretary after Home Secretary. It's beginning to seem as if the Home Secretary is like a faded celebrity, having to make do endorsing products that they haven't used, and suffering the embarrassing publicity that ensues when the products turn out to be toxic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Embarrassing

      Indeed. She's starting to make Alan Johnson look like a libertarian (even though he was about the most right wing lefty I've had the misfortune to meet).

  5. Richard Wharram

    To be honest

    I'd expect a majority of MPs to be against this already not just Cleggy.

    1. teebie

      Re: To be honest

      Enough conservatives objected that it was very unlikely to make it through - Clegg is just the objector in the most pseudo-senior position.

  6. david 63

    I wonder how much we paid...

    ...to draft an unworkable draft law because the proper consultation wasn't done in the first place?

    1. That Steve Guy

      Re: I wonder how much we paid...

      Best not think about that, more government waste.

  7. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Internets must be stopped!

    Beware of paedo- gay- lesbo- commie- zombo- islamo- terro- liberalcalypse being brought about by illegal downloaders, asylum seekers and single mothers! Ignore the internets and pay tomorrow threefold in *blood*!

    Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear!

    Because we already fear paedo- gay- lesbo- commie- zombo- islamo- terro- liberalcalypse we will give everything we have to our government (they kindly agreed to protect us!) until we have nothing to hide... wait a second, is that supposed to be right?

  8. Vimes

    I'm a victim of what I would consider to be a serious crime (in my case I was mugged, dragged up the street by a minivan then run over by said minivan).

    It's all very well May telling us we should tell the victims to their faces that we oppose this, but I would like to see her tell me - to my face - why we should put up with these new laws? The benefits are questionable to say the least, the costs picked out of the air (one lib dem lawyer reckons it could overrun by anything up to £9.3 billion) and the general justification extremely vague at best. It will also lead to more victims in other types of crime when the police inevitably end up with insufficent funding to do the more basic job of fighting everyday crime. Victims such as myself would be even less likely to get a satisfactory conclusion thanks to the warped decision making going on in government.

    The best I've managed to get from my MP is 'if you knew what I knew' which just isn't good enough. Why then should we accept this?

    A reminder to all: make your feelings known through the writetothem.com website.

    1. teebie

      'if you knew what I knew' if their way of phrasing "if you knew what I follishly believe"

    2. Vic

      > The best I've managed to get from my MP is 'if you knew what I knew'

      This is what really annoys me - if *they* knew what *we* all know, they'd abandon this bollocks forthwith.

      Vic.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Julian Huppert did well

    The Lib Dem minister who pointed out to the BBC, when they argued that the content of messages wouldn't be kept, that if you have visited a depression support website every week for a year then that information is content.

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Julian Huppert did well

      Of course what la May really wanted was the additional benefits of all this data ...

      "People who visited X also visted Y and Z"

      "People who emailed A,B, and C also emailed D,E and F who visited X and then visited Y"

      "After IMing K, Q IMed L. L emailed M. Last week M visited the UKIP website."

      and so on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Julian Huppert did well

        People who visit blog X go on to vote Labour even if they didn't at the last election.

        Close down blog X.

        Have we uncovered the real basis for this law? Hold on, there's a knock at the door...

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Julian Huppert did well

        People who visited the reg also visited iamaterrorist.com

        - Well actually they didn't, a one pixel tracking bug got downloaded from that IP address

        That site hosts terrorist/child porn material

        - Well actually it doesn't, it's the IP address of a huge CDN that hosts 1000s of websites, some of which point to websites which today we have decided are terrorist (like Al Jazeera) or to facebook pictures that don't have a 18 U.S.C. 2257 statement.

        Still - links with terrorism/child porn should give us enough for a warrant to impound everything electrical they own for 3 years.

        Unless they have brown skin of course ......

  10. nichomach
    Big Brother

    Note well

    In this instance, "accept the substance" will follow the following form:

    1) Thank committee and state that you "accept the substance"

    2) Over successive public appearances and press announcements, attempt to to redefine what the "substance" is until it's what you wanted them to have said rather than what they actually said

    3) Change some minor phrasing in the draft legislation

    4) State that the revised wording meets the "substance" arrived at in step 2

    5) Reintroduce the legislation and attempt to bully anyone who objects into silence by publicly associating them with paedophiles and terrorists

    6) Rinse and repeat

  11. Chris G Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Just a thought

    Who monitors and data mines forums and the opinions expressed on them that may or may not be in support of the government of the day?

    Since forums are for the most part public and open to anyone, in addition to the fact that many contributors become quite heated about their opinions, what you say on here or any other forum may be enough for someone to get a court order to examine the rest of your communications!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    An Asshole law

    Drafted by assholes. Have these morons never come across encrypted off shore VPNs, real criminals and terrorists use these anyway.

  13. JaitcH
    FAIL

    MAY, the token female minister and totally useless at it

    Beats me how May is still a minister. She has been the author of so many failures. The police were alienated over labour cuts; she surrenders her responsibilities tp that collection of old has-beens called CPO.

    She screwed up the UKBA, who have completely lost control of illegal immigrants.

    Now, her nutty privacy elimination program has hit a large rock. She doesn't know what she is asking for but simply parroting the demands of GCHQ who, in turn, want to become a US NSA. Totally facile.

    With millions of CCTV cameras littering the countryside and she still can't predict or interdict terrorist attacks, although she can look at them in glorious HD format - after the fact.

    Even worse, this technology from the hapless BAE costing even more than the Americans 'gold plated' version.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even if Britain elected a communist government they'd manage to find an ultra-right loony to make Home Secretary.

  14. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    What about councils?

    They get in on this kind of thing as well.

    For example I was out for a walk last week and noticed a black box attached about 2-3 metres up a malpost so, being an El Reg fan, I naturallyl looked closer.

    It was a black Pelistore case that had been attached and padlocked and had a hidden lense in it pointed at one particular house.

    Odd methinks so I call the police and they know nothing about it and suggest I check with Bristol City Council (take note).

    I get throguh to the highways department and they say there is a unit number S00777 but they have no details about it.

    I am walking past a few days later and lo and behold this not as covert as they thought camera has mysteriously disappeared!

    So Bristol City Council who place covert cameras around Downend - you aren't as clever as you like to think.

    The question is should I tell the people who are being spied upon?

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Up

      Re: What about councils?

      The question is should I tell the people who are being spied upon?

      A missed opportunity to exercise your acting prowess, I think.

    2. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Pirate

      Should have stolen it.

      Or put it in a pigeon coop ( (c) "The Wire").

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: What about councils?

      If the police and council have no official record of it then it must have been put there by terrorist peados as part of an attack they were planning - in the same way that they disguise themselves as Japanese tourists and take pictures of Big Ben.

      You should have gone door-door telling everyone to leave immediately and then called the bomb squad

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about councils?

      Only spotted the novel word "malpost" on the second read ;-)

      Looks like I'll have to keep my eyes more open when walking and cycling around the place - I could potentially report more than gas leaks!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about councils?

      The question is should I tell the people who are being spied upon?

      Yes, voyeurism is a crime.

      The people involved would be compelled by law to sign the sex offenders register.

  15. Badvok
    Mushroom

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    Funny how many comments here, on a story about the charter being binned, reiterate the case against it. Looks to me like a few commentards really do have something to hide after all.

    I've always viewed the Internet as a 'Public Space' and treated it as such, my only objections to this daft bill were the cost and how poorly defined it was.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

      >I've always viewed the Internet as a 'Public Space' and treated it as such,

      i think a number of celebs, several tabloid editors and a Lord Levison might have differing opinions on that

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Looks to me like a few commentards really do have something to hide after all."

      Looks to me like a few commentards really do have something to hide after all.

      Hell, yes.

      Since all this data is going to be in the hands of Anonymous in a week, I have plenty of things to hide from them.

      Nothing to hide != nothing to hide from legitimate authority. If you truly have nothing to hide then you have nothing.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: "Looks to me like a few commentards really do have something to hide after all."

        Indeed!

        I have a great deal to hide... especially at bathtime!

        1. Badvok
          Facepalm

          Re: "Looks to me like a few commentards really do have something to hide after all."

          "I have a great deal to hide... especially at bathtime!"

          That Web Cam in your bathroom was probably not such a great idea then.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Looks to me like a few commentards really do have something to hide after all."

            This is why we oppose laws mandating compulsory streaming video from cameras in all bathrooms to be stored on insecure servers in case law enforcement officers need the data. Someone might leak the video from Theresa May's bathroom and hospitals would be overwhelmed with patients who had clawed their eyes out in horror.

  16. Vimes

    Given the clearly questionable nature of the costs, did the home office use the same civil servants to make these estimates as those that worked on the shambles that was the bidding process for the west coast mainline?

  17. Pete Spicer

    Can someone send a copy of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the government, please? If nothing else, a copy of the episode The Drumhead.

    I mean, I'm seeing Clegg trying to imitiate Picard (I was as shocked as you are), and Admiral Satie as the successive generations of Home Secretary. I don't know who's playing Worf, but any of the civil service pretty much sums it up.

    Picard: You know, there are some words I've known since I was a schoolboy: "With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie, as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged.

    Worf: Sir, the Federation *does* have enemies. We *must* seek them out!

    Picard: Oh, yes. That's how it starts. But the road from legitimate suspicion to rampant paranoia is very much shorter than we think. Something is wrong here, Mister Worf. I don't like what we have become.

    Picard: Mr. Worf, villains who twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.

    Worf: I think... after yesterday, people will not be so ready to trust her.

    Picard: Maybe. But she, or someone like her, will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mister Worf - that is the price we have to continually pay.

    This episode was 21 years ago, but the lessons it teaches in its own way are just as relevant today as they were 21 years ago. I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

  18. nuked
    Mushroom

    Does anybody actually believe they are not doing all of this stuff and more already? All this proposed law means is that they can actually charge people with their actual offences, rather than some ambiguous stitch-up.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      "Does anybody actually believe they are not doing all of this stuff and more already? All this proposed law means is that they can actually charge people with their actual offences, rather than some ambiguous stitch-up."

      Interesting question.

      So you're saying they've already spent billions of pounds on this and this is just a way to a) legitimize the results (and not spend any more) or b) re-route the money (and the inevitable cost overruns) to something even murkier?

      I can always attribute to incompetence what others attribute to a conspiracy.

    2. teebie

      "All this proposed law means is that they can actually charge people with their actual offences, rather than some ambiguous stitch-up."

      The proposed law makes ambiguous stitch-ups easier to perpetrate.

      "he was looking at b3ta, terrorists look at c3ta, he must be a terrorist."

  19. Mad Jack
    Big Brother

    There's a first, I agree with Cleggers

    This bill does nothing to counter terrorism - if the security services want to monitor individuals, does *anyone* except the morons who drafted this bill think they cannot already? Does anyone with half a brain think bad guys exchange emails in plain text, from known email addresses, with traceable IP addresses, or make and receive calls from phones with traceable names and addresses, etc?

    All this does is put the foolish and naive in harms way, and in the meantime the cost will be enormous to the public in more ways than one; firstly - the ISPs who will pass on the costs to their customers, secondly - the government who will spend unthinkable amounts on "policing" it. The data storage costs alone are potentially phenomenal. Then there is the risk of the government "losing" the data, as has happened in a number of previous scandals.

    The bad guys are already using technology which won't be subverted by these measures, multiplied manifold by the time anything approaching these proposals gets implemented.

    Will it stop spam? No.

    Will it stop phishing? No.

    Will it stop the propagation of Malware and Viruses? No.

    Will it inconvenience millions of innocents? Yes.

    Will it do anything to stop bad guys? Well, probably the opposite as it will divert key resources who could be tracking real bad guys away from real threats while instead they chase down BARRISTER PRINCE ABDUL H MSINA and his mates from Nigeria who wants to share his fortune.

    This is (yet) another classic example of an attempt at legislation by people whose understanding of technologies involved, practical limitations, and implementation considerations are so far removed from reality as to be laughable - were it not so serious a matter. In fact their sclerotic and pathetic excuse for what passes for thinking demonstrates clearly that they don't even begin to comprehend the problem, let alone being in a position to propose, and legislate for a solution.

    We stand on the brink of wasting sums of money which would dwarf the previous NHS NpfIT fiascos many times over, and will achieve nothing. Ministers supporting this should be held personally accountable for professional negligence, criminal waste and misspending taxpayer funds.

    Grrr. What a bag'o'shite.

    Mr Angry from Pyr-ford.

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