back to article May: UK data slurp law is fine, but I still need EMERGENCY powers

Home Secretary Theresa May was in combative mode during a hearing with politicians on Monday afternoon as the government's rushed through data retention and investigation powers bill (Drip) was briefly scrutinised. May, pressed by Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert as to why the Tory-led coalition had insisted late last week …

  1. An0n C0w4rd

    Amazing

    she didn't claim to be protecting children!??!!?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazing

      she can say all she wants and we can do fuck all to make her explain herself, and then (mad laughter) make them stop because hey, we-the-sheep-are-not-quite-comfy-with-this-ideeeaaaaaa

      And Ms May knows perfectly well she's not accountable other than to the "honorable gentleman", whom she told to go forth and fornicate in her usual, ultra-polite fashion.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Why say it was needed when current powers are adequate?

    They are politicians. They lied.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Huppert, who surprised many privacy campaigners by backing the Drip bill, said he was privately handed a suitcase packed full of £50 notes if he agreed with May."

    FTFY.

    AC because we still have regtards who actually believe in the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' state propaganda line.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      AC because we still have regtards who actually believe in the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' state propaganda line.

      They only start spewing when it's the US and NSA although I'm sure there's a couple who will be by soon to set us all straight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They only start spewing when it's the US and NSA although I'm sure there's a couple who will be by soon to set us all straight."

        As soon as Matt is out of his straitjacket I'm sure he'll oblige. Either that or he's busy justifying Israeli bombing of care homes and residential areas.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Terminator

          Matt is actually Project Underpass ("Change outcome of online polls") as revealed in the today's revelations, unfortunately it doesn't quite work right and instead of upvoting other comments which coincide with the government's position to try and change public opinion, it downvotes its own Eliza-style comments by a non-nominal random number.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    "wanted to put the UK's position "beyond doubt."

    And by that she means the civil servants that tell her what her position is.

    "We want it all, 24/7 forever."

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: "wanted to put the UK's position "beyond doubt."

      The EU says the data retention is overly broad and breaches human rights, so the law is invalid...

      So what are you going to do? Make another piece of law that does exactly the aame thing that has just been declared illegal? Yeah, because that will work...

      Well, it will work for another couple of years, until it is heard by the ECHR and invalidated again, whereupon the circus will start again.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: "wanted to put the UK's position "beyond doubt."

        Please remember that EU legislation, although providing a template for national laws, is not directly enforceable in the member countries. This is because we are not the United States of Europe, at least not yet, not until Jean-Claude Juncker starts pressing for closer European ties.

        A directive is passed in the EU parliament, and then that directive has to be enacted by each country's parliament in their own national legislation, which then becomes law in those countries.

        The converse is true. If an EU directive is overturned, then that does not automatically mean that the national legislation is also overturned. In the UK, this requires a modification of the national legislation, which means action in the UK parliament.

        Between the EU directive being deemed invalid, and the corresponding changes in a country's national laws, the government of that country can be taken to one of the European courts for not complying with EU law, but that is unlikely to happen in the short-term, because there is a reasonable amount of time allowed for national laws to reflect changes in EU directives. What is reasonable is open to debate, but can be several years.

        So what this means is that the existing UK legislation was still effective, and would be until amended, something that could have waited until the next term. This latest knee-jerk reaction was not required, so there really must be something hiding in there that Mrs May did not want examined too closely!

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Holmes

    "perceived threat from foreign companies ripping the government's current regulations to shreds"

    What does "ripping the government's current regulations to shreds" mean, that the British police or judicial system would have to put together a case and present it to another country's judicial system? I'm not sure how serving a warrant to a foreign company at a British address would fix that unless they want to tick some box saying that the warrant has indeed been served and they can go onto the next step.

    Seems to smack of having the data already and building up some case (any case) in the traditional legal system which points to the data which has already been collected, as US government departments have done.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: "perceived threat from foreign companies ripping the government's current regulations to shreds"

      It doesn't matter anyway as although the taps were/are illegal there won't be any court cases as a result, partly because they'll be too much leaning on the relevant companies from other governments keen to join in and partly because the "national security" joker would be played preventing any evidence being admitted.

      However, it is foolish in the extreme to change the law before a new EU directive has been crafted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "perceived threat from foreign companies ripping the government's current regulations to shreds"

        "However, it is foolish in the extreme to change the law before a new EU directive has been crafted."

        Why? Haven't you noticed a trend for the UK, where we get all the crap EU legislation (eg the latest "Balkan" slaughterhouse standards), but as soon as the EU might do anything that might benefit the hoi polloi, Brave Dave leaps into action to block it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "perceived threat from foreign companies ripping the government's current regulations to shreds"

      What does "ripping the government's current regulations to shreds" mean,

      Moving to AES256 on all server to server connections which in the absense of heartblead (or using gnutls negotiated keys) is proving to be a bit tedious to crack brute force for _ALL_ communications.

      Up to 6 months ago the boys from Glostershire could snoop on anything and everything traveling in Amazon, Google, Yahoo, etc internally by tapping into the correct dark fiber. While this tap is not useless today (you can still apply brute force if you know where to look), it is proving not as useful as it used to be (when everything is encrypted and you no longer have the exploits to give you the keys you can no longer read everything).

      This is one of the problems with total information awareness. It is like absolute power - corrupts absolutely. If someone suddenly turns the lights off you panic.

      So all we need to know is who turned on internal datacenter-to-datacenter encryption this month. Google already had it, Yahoo already had it, Microsoft already had it. This leaves the odd man out (who also does not speak about the encryption of its internal comms) - Amazon. It is also a particularly interesting object for "information awareness" freaks as it yields economical espionage (on all those corps using public cloud) as well as espionage against the conventional set of targets already on the hit list - Greenpeace, rights groups, Liberty - you name it. They are all Amazon users.

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: "perceived threat from foreign companies ripping the government's current regulations to shreds"

        There's not much point tapping dark fiber. Dark fiber is fiber laid in excess to requirements for future use. If you're digging up roads to bury two strands, you may as well bury twenty - it won't cost significantly more, and you might need it or be able to rent it to someone else in future.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't we just go back to MPs spending all their time defending owning 2 houses and charging mucky films to their expenses accounts again? With all this extra time they have to make policies they really are fucking up at a tremendous rate.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Big Sister?

    said he was baffled by the government's insistence that there is an emergency requirement to bring in new legislation before MPs break for the summer

    Could be they are expecting a few Iraqi Fried Chicken coming home to roost. Could also be another risk of "economic uheavals" in heat of august.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big Sister?

      "Could also be another risk of "economic uheavals" in heat of august."

      It does feel like 2006 all over again, doesn't it?

  8. James 51 Silver badge

    I can help but be reminded of an episode of yes minister were Sir Humphrey hands the minister a little piece of paper to sign just as he is about to leave work...

    1. a53

      UK data slurp law is fine, but I still need EMERGENCY powers

      Or tells him how brave he is to take that line, if he looks like resisting.

  9. Red Bren

    They're all going on a summer holiday

    If this legislation is so important, perhaps MPs could take time out from their long summer recess to scrutinise it properly?

    1. Thomas 4

      Re: They're all going on a summer holiday

      Oh come now. Surely you don't expect our overtaxed, hard working MPs to work during the summer recess? What kind of slave driving tyrant must you be to expect them to work 52 weeks a year?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They're all going on a summer holiday

        They seem to get plenty of sleep while sat in the Commons.

  10. Forget It

    Edwrad Snowden

    -> decrypt ->

    Edward Snowden

    (typo)

  11. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    As usual...

    The surveillance state spits, and the pols line up for a swim...

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Utterly disgusting

    That's all.

  13. esucmn
    Big Brother

    Why it was urgent?

    So she could rush it through without too many questions of course! The woman's a menace. More so than the rest of them, which is saying something.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"The cabinet minister appeared to be inferring [...]"

    <cerebus>

    - "Are you inferring that I'm here for some kind of handout?!"

    - "No. Cerebus is IMPLYING you're here for some kind of  handout... You see, the SPEAKER implies... the LISTENER...

    - "I-KNOW-THE-DIFFERENCE..."

    </cerebus>

  15. Adam Foxton

    "genuinely about making sure that the existing powers remain in place."

    Even assuming that what she said is true, given that those powers they're trying to maintain were just declared illegal, shouldn't May and Cameron be getting arrested about now? Or at least getting various enormous books thrown at them for contempt?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theresa May?

    Isn't she that tasty violinist?

    Phwoarrr - she can do anything she likes as far as I'm concerned!

    [Redacted comment about summer recess]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Theresa May?

      > Isn't she that tasty violinist?

      As it turns out, she can't even fiddle an Olympic Qualifier.

  17. channel extended

    Emergency?

    FYI: The last time that Americans gave a government official emergeny powers, we got the PATRIOT Act.

    The hurry is that some one will actually read the thing and be able to think.

  18. scrubber

    I am spartacus

    I am not The fucking Truman Show! Mind your own fucking business.

  19. Andrew Jones 2

    "She declined to comment on whether the new law would allow spooks to widen Britain's surveillance net and apply it to non-US undersea cable companies."

    Sigh - I know they don't like admitting stuff - but I think it's pretty well known by pretty much everyone - that declining to comment - is basically saying "yes, you are right". I'm surprised though - that it stops short of US undersea cable companies - because you can bet NSA is monitoring everything UK citizens do - whether they admit it or not.....

  20. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Bad news, everyone!

    As a woman, her cabinet position is safe under today's reshuffle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad news, everyone!

      And the longest serving Home Secretary for 50 years.

      She must be doing something right, whatever sex she is.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So we should be the only country not doing it? Why?

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