back to article ISPs: UK.gov should pay full costs of Snooper's Charter hardware

The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) today told a Parliamentary committee that the government should bear the full cost of extra infrastructure needed to support the snooping databases authorised by the Investigatory Powers Bill. The lobby group's response to the joint committee's call for evidence also claimed …

  1. inmypjs Silver badge

    "UK.gov should pay"

    The government doesn't pay for anything. Taxpayers pay.

    That said I agree with them the government should be made to raise obvious taxes to pay for this crap rather than force a stealth tax on ISP customers.

    Better they didn't bother wasting my money at all.

    1. sysconfig

      Re: "UK.gov should pay"

      I'm all for raising a new kind of tax for this, too. That way it would finally get appropriate attention in the mainstream media. Too many people care too little, which is the most worrying aspect in all of this snooping.

      1. SolidSquid

        Re: "UK.gov should pay"

        Even raising taxes aside, announcing what's essentially a government IT project which is anticipated to have a £2 billion price tag from the beginning is going to cause a significant amount of noise in the media, especially with how badly past ones have gone and how bad the overspend tends to be (what's the chances this ends up closer to £20 billion?)

    2. theOtherJT

      Re: "UK.gov should pay"

      I'm not so sure about that.

      If every ISP put a line item on your bill "Expenses related to government spying" and all announced a 10% increase in monthly contract price the day the legislation takes effect, that would probably be more obvious to the population than silently paying for it out of our taxes, which are already pretty incomprehensible.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: "UK.gov should pay"

        If every ISP put a line item in your bill "Expenses related to government spying" - nobody would notice. For statistical values of "nobody", at least.

        Trust me on this, I've produced a lot of utility bills. And I'm here to tell you, the great majority of customers only ever look at the "how much you owe us" bit, and don't even realise there is a breakdown of charges on page 2.

        "Costs" are a terrible way to oppose bad legislation - the signal is far too weak and too diffused. Talking about the impact on business is a little better. Talking about the impact on jobs would be better still.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "UK.gov should pay"

          Regrettably (because the line item does appeal) I have to agree. The only thing it might do however is get the Daily Mail to kick up a stink - because occasionally they do have someone who is paid to look at bills that have the key words government/NHS/welfare in the bottom line and get lively.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: "UK.gov should pay"

      I might just about tolerate a tax, but only if it is for the £250M. The politicians that vote for this useless rubbish should be made jointly and separately liable for the shortfall, and for damages and compensation to every terrorist's victim when an explosion was not prevented by excessive spying.

    4. adnim Silver badge

      Re: "UK.gov should pay"

      yup have an up vote cos u beat me to the punchline.

      Gov should make it clear how much of OUR taxes are being spent on spying on US (as in we, as in you and me)

  2. xj650t
    FAIL

    What we need

    Is for the government to take this in house as a Major Project, that way in 3 years time it'll have come to the attention of the NAO, who'll say it was poorly planned, poorly costed, lacked leadership and capability within senior management and will never deliver on budget or expected results.

    1. andykb3

      Re: What we need

      "poorly planned, poorly costed, lacked leadership and capability within senior management and will never deliver on budget or expected results"

      I hope someone has shown them how to set up macros, otherwise their ctrl, C & V keys must be knackered (or they are spending an awful lot of time rre-typing the same thing)!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What we need

      is Richard Granger doing anything these days?

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: What we need

      ... at which point, the spec will be rewritten, a new project manager appointed, and another ten billion thrown into it. And that will leave us... how much better off, exactly?

      I guess the upside is that it'll never work. But it'll have all the downsides of "working" anyway.

  3. hplasm Silver badge
    Meh

    Perhaps-

    Terrrrrsa May could pay for it, and claim it back on expenses?

  4. IT Hack

    Depressing.

    Sometimes I wonder if part of the political process should include screening for psychopathy.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Depressing.

      And what makes you think that we will be able to elect anyone if the screening is truly successful?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Depressing.

        And what makes you think that we will be able to elect anyone if the screening is truly successful?

        Why would that be a bad thing? Civil servants would have to run the show. And whilst they are clearly inept, they would have no mandate for anything new and are also incapable of innovation, so at least we'd only be saddled with continuing the current crop of bad ideas and ill advised projects.

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: Depressing.

          unless of course you assume - given the apparent continuity between this and the Labour snoopers charter - that is those same civil servants in Whitehall or more likely Cheltenham driving this.

          Ironic since GCHQ already has most of this anyway - so its probably just an attempt to get the storage costs off their books and onto the ISP's.

          1. IT Hack

            Re: Depressing.

            @ Gordon 10 - unless of course you assume - given the apparent continuity between this and the Labour snoopers charter - that is those same civil servants in Whitehall or more likely Cheltenham driving this.

            Ironic since GCHQ already has most of this anyway - so its probably just an attempt to get the storage costs off their books and onto the ISP's.

            ----

            Well...firstly the previous Labour gov was Blairite. This kind of thing was/is literally right up their ally, given the enjoyment they seemed to have with their fear mongering. So for there to have been a continuation was quite natural as the Tories also enjoy rule through fear. These things will have the hand of the civil service in the game of course. However the lead is always from the politicians.

            Having said all that I do think you are spot on with your last sentence

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Depressing.

              "The previous Labour gov was Blairite" - true enough, but the current non-Blairite Labour opposition is pretty squarely behind Ms May on this.

              Labour - all flavours - are instinctively every bit as authoritarian as the Tories. The SNP last year talked a big game about defeating the charter (out of sheer anti-Tory spite as far as I can make out, there's not a principle among the lot of 'em) - but that would require Labour's co-operation as well as Tory defections, so really they're just blowing smoke.

              1. nijam

                Re: Depressing.

                > Labour - all flavours - are instinctively every bit as authoritarian as the Tories

                Much more so, historically. It is easy to forget - given the ranting that ensues about anything the current government does - that in the grand scheme of things they are essentially centrist (as were Labour before Corbin started pushing them leftwards).

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Gimp

          "Why would that be a bad thing? Civil servants would have to run the show. "

          Where do think this is coming from?

          Something like 8 UK sock puppets Home Secretaries have pushed for this since at least the time of Blair (which is probably about the time MI5 actually set up the system this law is designed to legitimize)

          Most of those Home Secretaries would not know a database from a hole in the ground.

          This comes from a collection of vermin unit within the Home Office and various current and former heads of GCHQ, MI5 & MI6

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: "Why would that be a bad thing? Civil servants would have to run the show. "

            It sounds like you're suggesting that the FLA's/TLA's control the Home Secretary. Much like they control the Congress, etc. here in the States, perhaps?

            Most of the elected officials have no idea of what they speak when it comes to anything internet, IT, or technology (any tech including toasters) matters.

          2. billse10

            Re: "Why would that be a bad thing? Civil servants would have to run the show. "

            "This comes from a collection of vermin unit within the Home Office"

            have an upvote, although i do think you are being rather unfair to vermin. Vermin can't help what they do.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "although i do think you are being rather unfair to vermin. "

              True.

              Vermin are like the aliens in Aliens.

              These "people" are more like multiple copies of "Carter Burke," without his ending.

      2. IT Hack

        Re: Depressing.

        @ Voland's right hand

        Despite my loathing of politicians I do think that there are some who are not batshit insane. My fear is that we eventually end up having a political milieu like that in the US where the insanity is quite evident.

        This kind of thing (topic) tends to engender, or perhaps empower the insanity.

    2. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Depressing.

      Sometimes I wonder if part of the political process should include screening for psychopathy.

      I think that the proportion of non-psychopaths that get through is so low already that adding screening would barely make any difference

    3. Detective Emil
      Big Brother

      Re: Depressing.

      Are all UK home secretaries unpleasant people before they take up the role, or do they suddenly become nasty on assuming office? If the latter, what's the mechanism? Perhaps something like Terry Pratchet's proposed Kingon/Queon effects the transfer from the old to the new incumbent. If it were to travel faster than light, that would be an added bonus, as home secretaries seem to be right behind breaking the laws of physics (while imposing many others).

      1. IT Hack

        Re: Depressing.

        @ Detective Emil

        The linage of wankery in the role of Home Sec is long and eminently distinguished.

      2. WonkoTheSane
        Holmes

        Re: Depressing.

        "Are all UK home secretaries unpleasant people before they take up the role, or do they suddenly become nasty on assuming office?"

        Yes.

      3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Depressing.

        @DetectiveEmil (curse the Reg poor comment system)

        Perhaps something like Terry Pratchet's proposed Kingon/Queon effects the transfer from the old to the new incumbent. If it were to travel faster than light, that would be an added bonus, as home secretaries seem to be right behind breaking the laws of physics (while imposing many others).

        I think that had the advantage that you had to keep both ends moving between dead and alive states - can't remember exactly, but I am sure that Vetinari's kittens might have been plausibly employed as part of the mechanism if Pterry had been given the time to elaborate.

    4. Halfmad

      Re: Depressing.

      The worrying thing is that at some point down the line there's an IT advisor making the case for doing this, possibly alongside his friends who all work in the business of supplying the solutions he's suggesting are "a must for national security"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Depressing.

        I think the chap you should be looking at is Charles Farr Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and Head of the Joint Intelligence Organisation at the Cabinet Office

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

        Shortly after a new Home Secretary is put in office he goes to visit them, very shortly after that they come round to the exact same viewpoint of the previous incumbent, regardless of their original stated position or party allegiance. So either Charlie tell them horror stories until they crumble, or Charlie being a spy, shows them all the dirt he has on them and makes them toe the line, or they areall spontaneously converted to the church of spying on the law abiding in a moment of epiphany & Charlie has nothing to do with it. I couldn't begin to say and I'm certainly not making any accusation, perhaps it's all coincidence.

        However Mr Farr is responsible for the Prevent anti radicalisation program, both Labour & the Conservatives surveillance legislation, he also was responsible for siting missiles on London rooftops during the olympics.

        I first heard of him when labour attempted to introduce ID cards & have watched with horrified fascination ever since, he always seems to be hovering in the shadows, he's accountable to no one and seems to always get his way unless there is concerted and determined opposition from the public, yet his name never seems to appear in the media. My money is on him being the puppet master.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Depressing.

          "Charlie being a spy, shows them all the dirt he has on them and makes them toe the line"

          I don't think he'd even need to show them it, just say he has access to it and thus can destroy their political career at a stroke. As could the parliamentary Whips, for similar reasons.

          The idea that the Whips didn't know about the extra-parliamentary activities of some MPs who have recently been "investigated" by police is utterly implausible. But the purpose of the inquiry is not to find out what happened, it is to make it look as though Something Is Being Done.

          What a team.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Gimp

          Re: Depressing.

          "I think the chap you should be looking at is Charles Farr Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and Head of the Joint Intelligence Organisation at the Cabinet Office"

          He'll definitely be in this "coalition of the willing" (as Shrub liked to call such undertakings).

          But he won't be alone.

          It comes down to this.

          Forget the "right" and "left" tags. That's BS where this is concerned.

          There are simply those who believe in the democratic process and those who don't. These are the authoritarians.

          So far the authoritarians seem to have built better cross party support for this. The appeal is of course "It won't affect you, you're in power."

          The fools who listen to this never seem to realize a)They don't control the system. They have no real power over it and b)When they leave office, they have even less pull than they think they have.

          These systems are like the results at the end of "War Games."

          The only winning move (for privacy and freedom) is to not build them in the first place.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Depressing.

      "Sometimes I wonder if part of the political process should include screening for psychopathy."

      Maybe we could start with screening for intelligence and understanding of the fields they're dealing with.

    6. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Depressing.

      Clearly they are screen *FOR* psychopathy.

  5. Crisp Silver badge

    Only 2 billion?

    Given the amount of false positives such a snooping program would provide, I can see the cost of investigating each one costing the taxpayer much more than that.

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Only 2 billion?

      "Given the amount of false positives such a snooping program would provide, I can see the cost of investigating each one costing the taxpayer much more than that."

      As it turns out the investigation bit isn't really necessary and it's sometimes bungled/subverted anyway. These day (having passed a bunch of loosely written laws over the past decade) King Hameron and Queen Theresa can simply lock you up for an fixed period of time without trial, and that detention can be extended for as long as a Judge can be whipped into signing their name on a bit of paper.

      If that's too much paperwork there's always the option of sending the pleb off to another country for a lifetime of incarceration, neglect and torture. I am not even speculating, that is exactly what has been going on before the legislation to make it "kosher" was passed in the first place. Anyone who is proven innocent will have to accept it their lives were destroyed by mistake and continue their lives without so much as an apology from the folks who conspired to lock them up in the first place...

  6. Natalie Gritpants

    Business plan

    1. Start a virtual ISP company

    2. Start an ISP-customer-monitoring-cosultancy company

    3. Sign up to the virtual ISP company

    4. Virtual ISP co gets told by gov.uk to snoop

    5. V-ISP contracts consultancy to provide snooping

    6. V-ISP bills gov.uk for extremely high-cost^H^H^H^Hperformance snooping

    7. profit

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vexatious Fishing Expedition

    So what they're proposing is vexatious fishing. They have no reason to suspect the people being spied on, they want blanket surveillance of everyone. Theresa May rejected requests for her web history calling it 'vexatious fishing' hypocrite!

    It strips away the judicial control. A judge no longer issues each warrant and determines if the person is suspect enough to be spied on. Because they've done nothing to justify loss of their privacy right, and Cameron knows this.

    It requires ISP backdoor encryption, which will be used by foreign powers against us. A multinational like Microsoft cannot resists Chinese demands for access to backdoors you require it to put in. All our trade commerical political secrets exposed.

    To implement it, the ISPs want a $2 billion bribe. Lets not kid ourselves that is the cost, that is their 30 pieces of silver.

    There's zero protection for journalists, campaigners, MPs, lawyers, judges, tv and newpaper editors, wanna-be politicians, or anyone with a view that the government disagrees with. We wouldn't know about all the illegal stuff you were doing without Snowden and the Guardian, and you want to spy on newspapers without a warrant? No.

    Surveillance is kicked off by a politician in power against *.* with zero accountability and no means to check they comply.

    This has been rejected 3 times by Parliament ALREADY, and the reason its come up again is because GCHQ has been doing it in secret and lobbying in secret to legalize it.

    GCHQ have no business doing propaganda or lobbying against UK, using secret info only they have, against MPs who don't know the same secrets. They would be the biggest political party that isn't elected.

    We found out that prosecutors have had access to this surveillance database, but yet that fact hasn't been revealed to judges in their cases. (I don't believe it was only ever done for innocent people, that's just cover for purjury, parallel construction and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice).

    NSA no doubt had access to this database, and UK Parliament was lied to to conceal it. Which countries *NATIONAL* security do you lot represent?? We get it, you were elected under a system where Obama gets a report on UK politicians secrets, and thus his CIA and diplomats have had undue influence. So now we have a surveillance puppet government acting against its own people. No different than Eric Honnickers STASI was used against the East Germans to support the KGB.

  8. theOtherJT

    On a side note...

    Could you stop with the images full of text please? They're incredibly hard to read.

    1. Alexander J. Martin

      Re: On a side note...

      Often can do - certainly would have been suitable in this situation. Will think twice about including them in the future. Please accept my apologies for any reading difficulty you had.

  9. Christoph Silver badge

    (f) obligations related to doing anything whatsoever the Home Secretary happens to feel like demanding, if it hasn't already been covered by the previous sections.

  10. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    A big red button

    You may think that this is far-fetched but bear with me.

    1. Get everybody's data

    2. The U.K. either gets invaded or capitulates to a superior force or a mad General stages a coup.

    3. Stage 2 might have already happened. (search for "Blair Poodle")

    4. Imagine if the Stasi or Gestapo had that sort of power.

    5. Everybody's fucked.

    So where is the big red button that will delete all of this data in an emergency?

    (think: big nuke under GCHQ)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A big red button

      "(think: big nuke under GCHQ)"

      well, its sort of tokamak shaped .....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IoT

    Has anyone worked out how this bill will work with all the IoT things and IP cameras?

    They may not be specifically mentioned but knowing just how there is 'mission creep' built in to everything any government sets up we really could end up with Big Sister watching us in our homes.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: IoT

      Same as everywhere else in the world as we know it... if it goes out on the Internet, it's fair game for the agencies.

  12. Tony S

    A warning from history, or the future?

    In Orwell's 1984, we were presented with an established scenario; and there were only minor details on how the political situation he wrote about had actually developed.

    What we have been seeing with this and all the other similar schemes, is possibly the prequel to that novel.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The wicked witch of the west says click your mouse three times and your data is ours.

    Pah!

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "tight safeguards.." "powerful Communications Data Request Filter is not abused."

    Except.

    It's a government mandated distributed database with remote access (well it's distributed, how could not have remote access).

    Abuse is guaranteed.

    BTW that phrase "Communications Data Request Filter" just wreaks of some civil servant weasel told "We can't call it a database, we can't call it a database"

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Re: "tight safeguards.." "powerful Communications Data Request Filter is not abused."

      BTW that phrase "Communications Data Request Filter" just wreaks of some civil servant weasel told "We can't call it a database, we can't call it a database"

      Reminds me of Information Retrieval in the film Brazil.

  15. Andrew Yeomans

    Electronic protection?

    Just use optical storage to circumvent the rules.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Further reading

    Adrian Kennard of AAISP has had a few things to say on this subject which are mostly accessible on his blog (which also includes links to appearances on "news" programmes and before House of Commons Committee). It arguse a perfectly good case why this stuff makes no sense at all.

    Unfortunately for the modern generation it can't really be summarised in a tweet. Instead, start at:

    http://www.revk.uk/search/label/SNOOPING

    edit: James Blessing (one time Zen staffer, I forget where he is these days) is also due an honourable mention.

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Call a spade a spade

    One of the mistakes the ISPs have made here is to go along with the govt's anodyne vocabulary. On the first mention of "filters" they should have added "in other words a database" and then used that term in the rest of their submission. It's likely that the general media would pick up on this fairly quickly and given that the term is pretty toxic in this context the gov't would quickly have found itself dragged into defending the term and getting the whole thing more and more toxic publicity.

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  19. Rol Silver badge

    Self Regulating

    Surely it would be far cheaper if we all just cc'd GCHQ in our emails.

  20. MJI Silver badge

    At least this has proved

    That TM is no way suitable to replace David Cameron when he steps down.

    She is an overcontrollling harridan.

  21. Grahame 2
    Trollface

    Getting our money's worth

    When opposing this mass surveillance I don't think arguments on cost (it's not their money), civil liberties (most people don't care, so politicians don't care) will work.

    I know it is playing with fire, but maybe since I have no doubt this will easily cost upwards of £2 billion we make full use of the capability.

    A new body, a combination of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Independent Police Complaints Authority and a general watchdog covering the entire public sector be given full access to the 'request filter' and given the mandate to pro-actively seek out and expose corruption and scandal. Maybe headed by some Joseph McCarthy / Matthew Hopkins zealot so we really get out money's worth.

    Might focus our legislator's mind a little.

  22. Jonathan Richards 1
    WTF?

    Open Government... Ha!

    The update is illuminating, in a dim way. So the Joint Committee holds hearings, supplemented by written evidence, but we are not permitted to know what that written evidence is, until The Committee deems the time right. At that point they "publish" the submission (or perhaps their edition of it, who knows - they're capable of forbidding the submitter from pointing out discrepancies). I'm willing to bet that some wonk will be appointed to choose the time of publication, and that its brief will be to get it out when it's least damaging to the Home Secretary's objectives. Is the ISPA permitted to publish an abstract or precis of their evidence? Surely The Committee doesn't own the ideas therein?

    Final thought: even if The Committee were to rebut my allegation convincingly, it looks as if they're engaged in news management. To what democratic purpose?

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Open Government... Ha!

      "Final thought: even if The Committee were to rebut my allegation convincingly, it looks as if they're engaged in news management. To what democratic purpose?""

      I doubt the rules are specific to that Committee, and I can think of a few cases where submissions may hold sensitive information that should be kept private (eg; if a committee were discussing ongoing criminal investigations).

      1. Jonathan Richards 1

        Re: Open Government... Ha!

        @Roo

        Indeed you may be right, and that would be a fine illustration of the maxim that "hard cases make bad law".

  23. PapaD

    Pre-publishing

    As long as they send out the documents to 'interested' parties before they submit to the Committee, there is little the Committee can do - especially if any of those interested parties are able to publish online and are not subject to the British law.

  24. mr_souter_Working
    Alien

    Freedom of Information

    One thing that a lot of people repeatedly spout, is that if you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. How about we simply make this a freely available resource - and that anyone, at any time, can request the full and detailed history of all communications for ANYONE - so that includes all phone calls, text messages, emails, browsing history, location metadata, etc......

    after all, if you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.................

    see how well that goes down with the sheeple - sorry voters.

    just an idle thought..................

    on a more serious note - if this is a government controlled database, that contains information on me - then surely I have the right to submit an FOI and ask for not only all information they have gathered on me, but also the details of who else has been looking at it.

    let me just go get my tinfoil hat.

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Freedom of Information

      They are restricting FOI now. Anyway if gov don't want to tell you they just respond to your FOI with a cover letter saying they don't have the info.

  25. what-where-when

    Has anyone thought about the security of the data? What a gold mine for the crims and hackers to have this data distirubuted across so many hackable opportunities!!! What i this data had been available on TalkTalk servers when they were hacked?

    1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

      It's not a problem if criminals have your data. If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.

  26. Steve B

    I remember the government's y2k fearmongering fiasco.

    At an interview I was asked to spec a y2k test for a piece of network equipment. I stated that I could not actually understand the requirement in terms of that type of device. When it was further explained, I replied with "someone is pulling your leg on this. If that was a valid scenario, the equipment wouldn't work at all let alone in 2000 so you can save half your planned testing." Turned out the chap was the external consultant in charge of the project and I had just halved his potential earnings as well as pointed out his lack of knowledge. I didn't get the job... But no doubt he and his ilk are now advising the government on IT matters such as this, working from the strength of their ignorance

  27. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge

    Standard web logging ve The Machine from Person Of Interest

    The TV series Person Of Interest has a computer system which watches everyone and creates a list of terrorists and a list of people with standard criminal problems. It's an AI and generally works beautifully.

    The UK gov ought to just state that standard logging features be switched on. That would be cheap.

    What they are asking for is a distributed database that works as well as DNS but is far far more complex and to be designed and built by the ISPs. There is no chance that this can be come about like other Internet features. It would require that an Israeli company create it as closed source and ISPs place it on their servers or as a hardware sniffer box.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Standard web logging ve The Machine from Person Of Interest

      " It would require that an Israeli company create it as closed source and ISPs place it on their servers or as a hardware sniffer box."

      The outfit you're looking for was called "Dettica" but is now part of BAe systems and was called in (eventually) by StalkStalk when they discovered one of their data breaches.

      So you can look forward to a closed code snoop box supplied by Call Me Dave's favorite (the CEO has unrestricted access to the PM, something even the CEO of LM does not enjoy with the President AFAIK) defense con-tractor.

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