back to article Investigatory Powers Act: You're not being paranoid. UK.gov really is watching you

From the day the UK government unveiled its Investigatory Powers Act two years ago, Liberty warned it that the authoritarian surveillance powers the proposed legislation contained were unlawful. This Snoopers’ Charter passed through Parliament anyway, giving police, spies and a whole host of public bodies the power to access …

  1. IceC0ld Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    sort of confused ?

    "But it is the heart of the judgement that government flatly refuses to address – that the very fact of retaining bulk records on the population is a breach of human rights."

    ====

    but how does this impact on the likes of Google et al, whose entire reson detre is to slurp up EVERYTHING about EVERYONE ................

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sort of confused ?

      You choose to do that. Besides which, Google doesn't have the legal authority of a government, they can't arrest you for attending a protest of their business.

      1. Jim 59

        Re: sort of confused ?

        @Geniality: "You choose to do that...

        He doesn't really. In 2017 it is almost impossible to opt out of surveillance by one megacorp or the other (FB, Apple, Google, Amazon...). You might achieve it if you never touch a digital device, but to live a life without doing so is now more-or-less impossible (?).

        This is of course, a different subject to government surveillance, which is a separate, possible bigger, worry.

        Well I am off to star in a film now. First I will be visiting the local gym where I will be an unpaid actor on their CCTV, then it's off to Tesco, where I will perform for their cameras, then the pub for my close up into the bar minicam. I've already made about 10 films today doncha know, including "man in shopping centre", "customer in Next", "citizen in petrol station"...

        1. Dinsdale247

          Re: sort of confused ?

          "In 2017 it is almost impossible to opt out of surveillance by one megacorp or the other (FB, Apple, Google, Amazon...)."

          You missed every telco and internet service provider, every restaurant chain that lets you use their Wi-Fi (many now are part of larger systems that collect data and provides free internet services), every grocery store or gas station that you use your rewards card at...

          All of this information is being aggregated. When they seek so adamantly to pin me to an advertising ID, I don't believe the "you're just a data point" line.

          Until governments give us the right to control who uses our data (including meta data), our privacy will always be a thin veneer of lies.

        2. Pat Att

          Re: sort of confused ?

          "I've already made about 10 films today doncha know, including "man in shopping centre", "customer in Next", "citizen in petrol station"...

          I really could have done without that changing room scene...

          1. Jim 59

            Re: sort of confused ?

            I really could have done without that changing room scene...

            Calm down dears. I was trying on jumpers.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: sort of confused ?

              I really could have done without that changing room scene...

              Calm down dears. I was trying on jumpers.

              Well you got someone jumping anyway...

              ... away from their screen in fear of what might come next!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sort of confused ?

        You choose to do that

        Absolutely not. You did not choose to have a unique identifier attached to you so your actions can be tracked by the plethora of Google Analytics probes installed and everything you watch on Youtube is logged.

        That that collection of events has no name is not an issue because that's the "benefit" of always-on surveillance: at some point, you WILL do something that identifies you, and you will then give the whole collection of events an identity.

        And you have zero ability to opt out. Remember, Google doesn't respect Do Not Track. Or you, for that matter, but in the interest of clarity, it is not exactly the only company who does that. Microsoft's LinkedIn regularly sends you messages that your profile has seen n hits since you last visited, solely to entice you to visit again so that they can see where you are and what you look up. Facebook wants "like" buttons everywhere because it provides the data they sell.

        Remember, you are not paying for these services for the exact same reason that cows don't pay to enter the slaughterhouse: you are not the customer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: sort of confused ?

          Don't use Google search and block Google analytics scripts (even in-browser tracker blocking will largely neuter 3rd party usage of it). That may seem like too much work (all 12 seconds of it) but the government doesn't even till you if they are tracking you and certainly don't give you a way around it.

    2. ravenviz

      Re: sort of confused ?

      That's why I still use Infoseek.

    3. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: sort of confused ?

      To google, I am a datum. They don't care about my identity. They have the power to direct information and advertising towards me, which I can take or leave according to my usage and privacy settings.

      The government also collects data: that's not new (the idea of a census goes back to antiquity). What's controversial is when it's tied to my identity. The (agents of) government do have the power to lock me up, to deprive me of my worldly goods, to ban me doing things. And I can't opt out.

      Occam's razor suggests that failing to see the difference looks like being deliberately obtuse.

    4. Cereberus

      Re: sort of confused ?

      I think you are confused.

      but how does this impact on the likes of Google et al, whose entire reson detre is to slurp up EVERYTHING about EVERYONE ................

      People know they record the data and choose to use the service with that knowledge. Same with Facebook, Twitter, etc, etc.

      At the end of the day you have an option not to make use of these services and prevent them collecting the data. It may be inconvenient to not contact people using Facebook but you still have the option.

      The government want to collect the data without your (or at least the general public) knowledge, then potentially use it to support taking punitive action which may or may not be warranted.

      Totally hypothetical, and (using relatively minor breaches of the law) extreme example: You go on Facebook at 10:00 then put your phone down and drive 140 miles to another location and then pick up your phone and send a text exactly 2 hours later. Your are now guilty of:

      a) Using your phone whilst driving

      b) Speeding

      This is because nobody could drive exactly 140 miles in exactly 2 hours since you have to spend some time on other roads with a speed limit below 70mph so you had to use the phone whilst traveling or have exceeded the speed limit to some extent to reach the average 70mph over the 2 hours. They also know you were alone in the car because of CCTV cameras.

      Yes it is a little silly but the theory is sound to show that lots of little bits of info can lead to a conclusion when you have not knowingly done anything wrong - in the above example you might have been doing 70.5mph but it is still over 70.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sort of confused ?

        "At the end of the day you have an option not to make use of these services."

        Try black-holing Google's ASN and their DNS servers to make sure you're absolutely not sending them anything they could track you with and then try to do the things you do normally online and get back to us on that.

        We'll wait, it shouldn't be very long.

    5. Tom 64
      Trollface

      Re: sort of confused ?

      > "the likes of Google et al"

      Classic misdirection. Are you perhaps a Tory party member?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you want to know how much are you watched

    Just do some Internet searches on how make a gun yourself or build a bomb. Do it a few nights in a row. Then buy one (just one) item from the shopping list.

    I suggest also googling for new door and choosing new carpets to fix the damage from flash grenades.

    We live in a surveillance state. Comrade Erich Honecker would have been extremely proud.

    Actually no, there is a difference. In GDR everyone knew they are being watched by Stasi 24x7. In the UK it is only the geeks, nerds and the occasional Graunidad reader that realizes the extent to which we are under constant observation.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: If you want to know how much are you watched

      Or just txt clash lyrics to a fellow band member

  3. alain williams Silver badge

    Eat their own dog food

    IIRC the Snoopers’ Charter does not apply to MPs - they are specifically excluded. Any such exclusion should be outlawed: what is good enough for me should also be good enough for MPs. If they don't like it then they should rein it in for everyone - not just themselves.

    Much more should be made of it - how MPs are hypocrites.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Eat their own dog food

      But if MPs were being snooped upon, how would Damien Green's "office staff" be able to watch porn on his work PC?

    2. Tim #3

      Re: Eat their own dog food

      There were several exemptions for journalists too. Presumably so that they wouldn't write many negative articles about it....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eat their own dog food

      "Eat their own dog food

      IIRC the Snoopers’ Charter does not apply to MPs - they are specifically excluded. Any such exclusion should be outlawed: what is good enough for me should also be good enough for MPs. If they don't like it then they should rein it in for everyone - not just themselves.

      Much more should be made of it - how MPs are hypocrites."

      No need to worry MP's share their passwords with anybody and his dog so it's all cool. Just pop down to your MP's constituency office ask for access to the shared computer and his parliamentary login and start engaging in nefarious activities online.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Eat their own dog food

        I'm betting that there are 7 MPs that the exemption doesn't apply to

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Eat their own dog food

          I'm betting that there are 7 MPs that the exemption doesn't apply to

          Eight. You forgot Caroline Lucas snooping on whom has been extensively documented.

          1. Toni the terrible
            Happy

            Re: Eat their own dog food

            If MP's think they are really excluded then they are deluded

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Trollface

              Re: Eat their own dog food

              If MP's think they are really excluded then they are deluded

              A very mathematically-balanced post you have there Toni!

              "If MP's think"

              100% unlikely.

              "they are deluded"

              100% likely!

              Perfect balance! Well done!

  4. Flywheel Silver badge

    It's quite sad that only 2000 people chose to support this. (and yes, I did).

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      It's quite possible that many more would have if they had known about it.

      I would have, but knew nothing about any crowdfunding for this until I read this article.

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Happy

        @Dr. Mouse

        Dr M,

        me too....

        Regards,

        Jay

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    " the plans do contain baby steps in the right direction."

    The author is being very polite. Putting a trace of lipstick on the pig would be a better description.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Start again

      It will always be lipstick on a pig until we have people drafting laws and setting government policy who actually believe in the laws and policies. In this case people who believe, deep in the core of their being, that personal liberty is a good thing. Unfortunately we have people who believe the opposite and so are trying to get away with as little obstruction to their verging-on-fascist dreams as possible.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Possibly the pig could undergo some plastic surgery and maybe even have some parts moved around but slaughter is out of the question, we should all consider ourselves watched.

    3. FlossyThePig
      Megaphone

      Oi, less of the pig insults.

    4. splodge

      The lipsticked pig was there as executive relief for our former glorious leader

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        The lipsticked pig was there as executive relief for our former glorious leader

        Unfortunately the only pig we are going to get will be called Napoleon and it would be quite unwise for the Benjamins frequenting this water hole to talk too much.

  6. unwarranted triumphalism

    Yawn

    The paranoia here is getting dull. Maybe if people didn't break the law there wouldn't be a need for law enforcement?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      It is getting increasingly hard to tell if you are a troll or just a wanker.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        I wrote Mr. unwarranted triumphallicism as a troll (Putain or otherwise) some time ago. Of course he could be a very dedicated performance artist who's every gently trolling us all.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yawn

          But did the egg come first?

          1. ravenviz

            Re: Yawn

            The oldest yolks are the best!

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        "It is getting increasingly hard to tell if you are a troll or just a wanker."

        Or a wanking troll vs a trolling wanker.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yawn

          "Or a wanking troll vs a trolling wanker."

          Just ignore them. Trolls crave attention - don't even bother down-voting.

      4. Rob Foster 1

        Re: Yawn

        I believe it is you who is the Troll or the Wanker. You may not like surveillance but it was a valid point.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Yawn

          "You may not like surveillance but it was a valid point."

          No it wasn't.

          The whole thing is predicated on ignoring the presumption of innocence which has been a cornerstone of English law for centuries and of the concept of due process of law which goes back even further, to Magna Carta. When such fundamentals of our basic rights are being yanked away like this we have every right duty to complain. Paranoia doesn't even enter into it. It's not the surveillance in itself that matters, it's the dismantling of the very foundations of our law.

      5. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        "It is getting increasingly hard to tell if you are a troll or just a wanker."

        The two are not mutually exclusive.

      6. This post has been deleted by its author

      7. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        It is getting increasingly hard to tell if you are a troll or just a wanker.

        My vote is both.

        One can dream for Eadon-esque levels of pissing-off-moderators sometime in the near future..

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yawn

        Is there a difference?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      I hope you get your back door kicked in early in the morning due to something someone searched on your internet connection then we'll see how in favour you are of these laws. Here's the kicker, that something could be something you see as totally innocent but put with a few other searches the powers that be deem you to be a trouble maker.

      Not sure if wanker as against porn as per other posts though there are many other things that stimulate people in that way, I'm going to go for immigrant stories in the daily mail.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: Yawn

        Nice of you to wish harm on me for daring to disagree with your leftwing doctrine.

        And nice try with the DM reference... except that I never read it.

        Anything else you feel like being wrong about?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yawn

          Where did I wish harm on you?

          I simply suggested that it would be nice if the security services raided your house in the early morning when you hadn't done anything wrong so you wouldn't still feel the same way about privacy. It was about making a point that you seem to miss.

          I'm enjoying this session of getting to know you, up to now I can scrub right wing nut job as you are pro same sex marriage and you don't read the daily mail.

          As for being wrong lets try this one, you accidentally come across a web page with pictures of Thora Hird naked, do you A. Close the webpage and report it to the police or B. Crack one off?

          This is a difficult question for a puritan.

        2. acid andy
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Yawn

          If you had half a clue you'd realise that these issues have nothing to do with left versus right. This is severe authoritarianism versus civil libertarianism (and the "civil" bit is important because there's been a deliberate campaign to poison the L word and destroy its meaning by equating it with right wing politics).

          And with regard to your comment about the law, just imagine for a second if you woke up one day in a situation like 30s Germany, with a leader that just happened to decide that something innocuous that you are, had or did at some point in the past, let's say 20 years earlier, will now be illegal to be punished by the unthinkable. Think long and hard about this one and tell me sincerely why that cannot happen to you, here. It can happen much more easily than most people care to think. The data will be kept forever.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yawn

            "This is severe authoritarianism versus civil libertarianism [...]"

            A young friend went to a summer school at the Mieses Institute - already much enamoured of their libertarian principles. On his return he insisted I did their online test. It had a result that was a point somewhere in four quadrants of "right", "left", "libertarian", and "authoritarian".

            He was a bit disconcerted that although I came out as "left" as he expected - I was also classed as "libertarian". That he was "right" was expected - but he was rather crestfallen that he scored as "authoritarian".

    3. jigr1969

      Re: Yawn

      People always seem to go back to the mantra, "well if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear", when it comes to privacy. However, these same people have curtains on their windows, why? To stop people snooping in on their PRIVATE lives. So privacy does matter them then.

      For those who say, well if you break the law, then what can you expect? Everyone breaks the law, sometime in their lives, you'll be surprised at how many and stupid some laws are.

      Driven at 32mph in a 30mph zone? You've just broken the law.

      Been drunk in the pub? You've just broken the 1872 licensing act.

      It is illegal to jump the queue in the tube ticket hall. TfL by law.

      It is illegal to activate your burglar alarm without first nominating a ‘Key-Holder’ who can switch it off in your absence.

      It is illegal for a male to urinate in public, unless it is on the rear wheel of his motor vehicle and his right hand is on the vehicle.

      It is illegal to beat or shake your carpet, mat or rug outside. You may beat your doormat but only before 8 in the morning!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yawn

        "[...] unless it is on the rear wheel of his motor vehicle and his right hand is on the vehicle."

        Apparently that was never a legal exemption. It was refuted in the public consultation of the bill for the Sexual Offenders Act 2003. However - that draft bill did try to make a "flashing" offence of any exposure of the male member - that might be visible to the public - whether anyone saw it or not.

        When taken to task they made it also applicable to women. Eventually they had to reinstate the previous law's wording of "intent to cause alarm or distress". The police and vested interests complained about the limitations it imposed - as previously "it was hard to prove - and there weren't enough convictions".

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Yawn

        Driven at 32mph in a 30mph zone? You've just broken the law.

        Someone I used to know a long time ago used to pepper his emails with this type of phrase:

        "I was bombing along the Queen's highway"

      3. Dinsdale247

        Re: Yawn

        Much worse, these laws can be changed at the drop of a hat and what was once a small fine can become a real offense.

      4. Kiwi Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Yawn

        People always seem to go back to the mantra, "well if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear", when it comes to privacy. However, these same people have curtains on their windows, why? To stop people snooping in on their PRIVATE lives. So privacy does matter them then.

        Actually I have curtains on my windows for 2 totally different reasons.

        #1 I don't do well with summer heat; keeping curtains closed stops the sun getting in and warming the place so much.

        #2 It was part of the settlement stopping me going to prison for manslaughter (why is that spelt "man's laughter"????) - some poor neighbour saw my partly undressed body in all it's ugliness and promptly had a heart attack. I nearly got done for murder on that one!

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Yawn

      Maybe if people didn't break the law there wouldn't be a need for law enforcement due process of law and the presumption of innocence?

      FTFY

      What really pisses me off about this is that the laws are written on the basis that I'm guilty of something. Something that hasn't been defined, but just guilty of it anyway.

      It makes me wonder why I spent about a third of my working life as part of law enforcement (got that 'unwarranted triumphalism' - as part of law enforcement?) dealing inter alia with terrorism offences if what's supposed to be my government chooses to impose the same sort of anti-democratic rule that the terrorists would had they won. In fact it's arguable that in this respect they have won.

    5. FIA

      Re: Yawn

      The paranoia here is getting dull. Maybe if people didn't break the law there wouldn't be a need for law enforcement?

      Serious question. How do you know you're never going to break the law?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      "The paranoia here is getting dull. Maybe if people didn't break the law there wouldn't be a need for law enforcement?"

      Perhaps if the laws were only what everyone agreed should be prohibited and we arranged things so no member of society is without a legal route to fullfill their needs and desires then there would be no crimes at all.

      However things are not as simple as that, think of a crime and you will find that some people in this country are allowed and even required to commit it. Whilst we sanction our citizens to commit crime in our names then expect people to be just as confused as you are about the value and sanctity of our laws. Whilst each citizen believes that it is someone elses problem to enforce the law and to do their thinking for them then the police and the Government will continue to have jobs and arrange things so that things are less than utopian

      1. Wayland Bronze badge

        Re: Yawn

        Watching TV is illegal but many people pay for a yearly exemption. However they are funding paedophiles which is a crime with actual victims.

    7. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Yawn

      Maybe if people didn't break the law there wouldn't be a need for law enforcement?

      (Inspired by the "how do you know you won't break the law" question by another poster)

      What if said law went against something you believe (I'm assuming you're not in some of the US states where apparently it is not possible to not break the law as there are (reportedly) some contradictory laws and to keep one you must break another).

      Let's say you're a Seventh Day Adventist (nothing wrong with them) and their belief that a law will soon be made to enforce worship on Sunday rather than on the Sabbath does actually come to pass - would you break the law and worship on the Sabbath or would you break what should be a much higher standard and join the masses in worshipping a false god on Sunday?

      Perhaps the law is that something a loved one does that you believe is OK becomes illegal. Something minor, perhaps they have black peppers in their garden and you're supposed to turn such people in? Or they keep ferrets... Or being gay gets outlawed again and they're celibate but still gay...? Would you turn your loved one in for something you believe to be perfectly fine and should be legal, or would you turn a blind eye - thus breaking the law?

  7. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    The cynic in me says it's academic ...

    UK (well, E&W) courts are quite happy to admit illegally or unlawfully obtained evidence.

    So you're going to chokey anyway.

    And even if your conviction is overturned, you won't get a penny compensation, as if you were innocent, you wouldn't have gone to jail in the first place. As Barry George discovered after 7 years in jail.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

      UK (well, E&W) courts are quite happy to admit illegally or unlawfully obtained evidence.

      That is because evidence is evidence. We don't have the situation as in America where evidence doesn't amount to proof of something just because the right paperwork wasn't completed or procedures were not followed.

      The evidence and how it was obtained are two separate things under UK law. If evidence is obtained illegally that can be separately punished, and should be.

      I think that's how it should be; we shouldn't let guilty people walk free just because the authorities are also guilty of some crime.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

        I think that's how it should be; we shouldn't let guilty people walk free just because the authorities are also guilty of some crime.

        We definitely shouldn't be allowing illegal activity with the powers of authority go unchallenged either. Moreso - a petty thug is a petty thug, there will always be another, a state or government that runs roughshod without bounds to legality is a far more serious threat to everyone.

        Doing so just replaces one thug for a worse one.

      2. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

        The problem with illegally obtained evidence being admitted is that it creates a perverse incentive. The police need to break the law to get the evidence to convict and make politicians, the public and the CPS happy. That ends up being much easier than doing everything by the book. How long are our rights suppose to persist in such an environment? Plus once you step over that line, why bother actually searching for evidence when you know they did it and you can find an encrypted data stick on them or some other swabs turned up some interesting substances. Or for that matter the confessions like those of the of the Birmingham Six. Yes, obtained illegally but also totally trustworthy. Honest gov'ner.

        1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

          "The problem with illegally obtained evidence being admitted is that it creates a perverse incentive."

          Exactly.

          Take an extreme case: A person is beaten up by the police until they confess. The cop may get prosecuted, but that doesn't help Joe Bloggs who only confessed because he wanted them to stop hitting him, it can still be admitted as evidence against him*.

          The problem with evidence obtained illegally is that it destroys faith in the evidence (or at least it should). If the cops were willing to break one law to obtain the evidence, how can we know they didn't break more? How do we know it wasn't fabricated? The cop, as someone who should uphold the law, has lost credibility by breaking the law.

          THIS is why there should be a "fruit of the poisoned tree" rule in the UK, too. That and a minimum of immediate dismissal of any cop who breaks the law to obtain evidence.

          1. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

            "The problem with evidence obtained illegally is that it destroys faith in the evidence (or at least it should)."

            Surely that depends on the evidence? A confession after 7 days in the cells is dodgy, no matter how obtained. Bank records, verified as correct by the bank, are pretty good whether or not the warrant was signed by someone of the correct rank.

            It's only in cases where the probity of the investigator is important that there's any risk - say, for example, a blood stained glove. And that's something that the judge can rule on and the jury make their minds up on. Which, by the way, is the current system in England and Wales. Evidence has to be acceptable to the judge to be admitted, courts don't just take everything the prosecution or defence brings.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

              or example, a blood stained glove. ... something that the judge can rule on and the jury make their minds up on.

              Assuming they are told that the analysis of the DNA match was contracted out to a private lab and the lab was told that their contract renewal was based on how many successful prosecutions were obtained.

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

              "Bank records, verified as correct by the bank, are pretty good whether or not the warrant was signed by someone of the correct rank."

              And due process counts for nothing?

              "It's only in cases where the probity of the investigator is important that there's any risk - say, for example, a blood stained glove. And that's something that the judge can rule on and the jury make their minds up on."

              The blood stained glove might have nothing at all to do with what's alleged. It takes a properly documented chain of evidence for the judge and jury to even begin considering whether it does.

            3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

              Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

              "It's only in cases where the probity of the investigator is important that there's any risk - say, for example, a blood stained glove. And that's something that the judge can rule on and the jury make their minds up on. Which, by the way, is the current system in England and Wales. Evidence has to be acceptable to the judge to be admitted, courts don't just take everything the prosecution or defence brings."

              Whenever the investigator is involved in gathering the evidence, his character is part of the validation of the evidence. Even in the case you stated, bank records, this could be called into question. Who is to say that he hasn't had an insider adjust the records? If he is willing to break one law to get the evidence he needs, everything he is involved with is suspect.

              As for the judge and jury deciding on the matter, they can only do so if given the full facts. I'm not sure if it made it into the full IPA, but under a draft of it the cops were obliged to lie about the source of the evidence in some circumstances. Even the defendant was not allowed to reveal it, even having to perjure himself to keep it secret. That's not allowing the jury to make an informed decision.

              Also, even without that, if a cop is willing to break the law to obtain the evidence, who's to say he won't lie about the source of the evidence?

              The police should be held to a very high standard, because so much weight is put upon their word in court. As soon as they break the rules or law in the course of their job, everything they do is in question. If it's intentional, they could break other rules. If it's not, then have they been careless with other things?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That is because evidence is evidence

        er, no it's not.

        It's because E&W law takes the position that the beneficiaries of justice - that's the plebs - should not be denied it because the state "made a mistake", and that overrides the harm of illegal evidence.

        The problem is that view was formed when gentlemen acted as such, and could be trusted. (Not that there was ever such a time).

        The other problem with your assertion is that obtaining evidence illegally will be punished. It isn't.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

        "We don't have the situation as in America where evidence doesn't amount to proof of something just because the right paperwork wasn't completed or procedures were not followed."

        If the right paperwork isn't completed with all the due signatures in place and the procedures not followed there's no basis for believing that the exhibits placed before the court are those taken in the investigation, that there wasn't any cross-contamination between seizure and examination or that essential evidence hasn't mysteriously disappeared.

        Of course having all that in place doesn't ensure that interference doesn't take place but it's an essential first step to getting things right and also for investigation when it becomes clear that something went wrong.

        "I think that's how it should be; we shouldn't let guilty people walk free just because the authorities are also guilty of some crime."

        Due processes of law are there largely to ensure that the innocent don't get convicted. Or do you subscribe to the idea that provided someone doesn't walk free, to use your term, it doesn't matter too much who the someone was?

        And remember this: once there's a conviction it's very unlikely that the investigation will continue unless, years down the line, convincing evidence comes to light that there was a miscarriage of justice. By that time it's likely to be too late for any meaningful reinvestigation. A wrongful conviction is very likely to result in the actual culprit walking free.

      5. Jon 37

        Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

        > The evidence and how it was obtained are two separate things under UK law. If evidence is obtained illegally that can be separately punished, and should be.

        But:

        a) it isn't actually punished.

        b) even if it was punished, the attitude of some cops will be "it's worth the punishment to get this guy". Especially if the punishment was minor, but even if the punishment is fairly serious if the crime they're investigating is emotional enough. The only way to stop that attitude is to say that if they break the laws investigating then guilty people go free. That suddenly gives them a big incentive to follow the rules.

        c) The victim of the illegal evidence-gathering is in the middle of being prosecuted when they learn about it. At that time, the best thing they can do is concentrate on the charges against themselves, there's no advantage to them in going after the cops. If they make a statement regarding illegal evidence-gathering that can be used against them in court. It will also look very bad for them if their complaint (however justified) can't be proven - it can be spun as "they were saying damaging lies about the cops" which will not endear them to the jury. They also need to save whatever cash they have available to pay for legal fees defending themselves. Most people in that circumstance won't be able to press charges against the cops.

        There's no perfect solution - it's a trade off between "some guilty people go free when the cops screw up" versus "cops break the law". I think that letting some guilty people go is a worthwhile tradeoff for ensuring our cops are following the law.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

          "There's no perfect solution - it's a trade off between "some guilty people go free when the cops screw up" versus "cops break the law". I think that letting some guilty people go is a worthwhile tradeoff for ensuring our cops are following the law."

          When I was young, my boss explained this too me like this. Would you punish everyone who ever makes a mistake at work? Would you put every programmer who gets a compiler error in prison? Would you put every salesman who get a price wrong in court? Would you put every network engineer who wires a patch panel wrong in the dock? If no, then why do you seek to punish a police officer who fills a form in wrong?

          We should punish criminality - so we punish programmers who steal money by siphoning off transactions in banks, salesmen who deliberately lie and network engineers who wire cat5 into the mains but not genuine mistakes. Same way we punish police officers who behave badly. In fact we treat them more harshly than the general population. Things like sexual relations that would be a stern letter from HR for anyone else are a criminal offence for police officers, or trying to prevent football fans rioting and getting it wrong.

          Everyone makes a mistake at work. Be grateful some people are prepared to take the risk of a ruined life in order that you can sleep safe in your bed.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

            Everyone makes a mistake at work. Be grateful some people are prepared to take the risk of a ruined life in order that you can sleep safe in your bed.

            And what about when the ruined life is a young member of your family who has had his life wrecked by some worthless fucking pig on a personal vendetta? Would you feel so wonderful about these disgusting fucking monsters being "prepared to take the risk of a ruined life"?

            Would that make you happy?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

          "It will also look very bad for them if their complaint (however justified) can't be proven - it can be spun as "they were saying damaging lies about the cops" which will not endear them to the jury. "

          An example of such police evidence corruption came to light in 1963 with the exposing of the activities of "successful" CID officer Harold Challenor.

          It is reported here in his obituary in 2008.

        3. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

          Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

          'There's no perfect solution - it's a trade off between "some guilty people go free when the cops screw up" versus "cops break the law".'

          The point of our justice system is supposed to be that it's better for 100 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be punished.

          If cops break the law in gathering evidence, it increases the likelihood that an innocent man will be punished. Most rules on evidence gathering are there to protect the innocent. Therefore, IMHO, cops who flout the law are undermining a core part of the justice system.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: The cynic in me says it's academic ...

            he point of our justice system is supposed to be that it's better for 100 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be punished.

            Unless, of course, you enjoy reading or contributing to the Daily Heil. That rag seems to believe that it's prefectly OK to execute people without any due process of law - regardless of the fact that, like all civilised countries, we have no death penalty[1]. And is the same rag that happily publishes pictures of barely-pubescent girls with sexual implications in the text.

            Hates it we does.

            [1] Is there still an exception for treason?

  8. Sir Alien

    If they are going to make it easier for them

    I am just going to make it harder.

    I enjoy my always on VPN to a server outside the UK. All internet traffic through the broadband is encrypted and nothing ever leaves the house without it going over the VPN. Now this doesn't stop the Gov from wanting these records but now they have to come and request my history from me making me aware of their search and making them work for it.

    I do not believe in the infinite dragnet and will simply bypass it and recommend the same to anyone else as well. Heck even making a VPN to Russia would be safer since at least then you know your data is being monitored rather than having to guess.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: If they are going to make it easier for them

      "I do not believe in the infinite dragnet and will simply bypass it and recommend the same to anyone else as well."

      I can see where you're coming from on this but it doesn't get round the fact that important principles of English law are being set aside. This legislation regards everyone as a suspect on no good basis and I personally resent being regarded as a suspect on no good basis.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: If they are going to make it easier for them

      There's a problem with your argument... if the comm line is tapped before the VPN, you're up the creek. So chances are, you've been slurped already.

    3. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: If they are going to make it easier for them

      Sir Alien,

      It's not really so much that they are watching but that they feel we need to be watched. If it's true that MPs are exempt from this then the very people who need to be watched are not.

      It's like when we had Sexual Harassment Training in a big corporation. Us contractors felt insulted when they only wanted to train the pemies. "Hey, we're capable of being sexually inappropriate too you know". Fortunately they relented and agreed we could be trained in the art of Sexual Harrassment too.

  9. Anonymous Blowhard

    "Last year, the European Court of Justice ruled that collecting our communications is a serious intrusion that can only be justified to investigate serious crime."

    So it will all be legal on March 29, 2019; seems like "taking back control" means taking total control...

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      No surprise

      So it will all be legal on March 29, 2019; seems like "taking back control" means taking total control...

      I wish I could say I was surprised...

      A fair number of commentators mentioned 'Leaving EU and ECJ isn't the same thing'

      And yet, here we are.... I rather think the ECJ was the primary target for some factions in the Political side of the exit camp from the start, aside from the deluded patriots, the schemers and the opportunists.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: No surprise

        Given that membership of the ECJ is a prerequisite for membership of the EU this was another obvious Brexit lie told by the leave campaign. The ECHR will be next.

        1. Rimpel

          Re: No surprise

          @James 51 >The ECHR will be next.

          That's always been the plan. Theresa May made a speech calling for us to withdraw from the ECHR while she was home secretary before the brexit vote had happened and while she was a remainer.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: No surprise

            "while she was a remainer."

            Do you believe she really was? It would be inconsistent with wanting to ditch the ECHR and ECJ. I think that she expected the vote to go remain and didn't want to do anything that might have endangered her position post-vote.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: No surprise

        aside from the deluded patriots, the schemers and the opportunists.

        And lets not forget the "turn back the clock to 1812" types..

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People's behaviour

    "The court acknowledged that such general and indiscriminate retention of data could change people’s behaviour and cause them to feel watched."

    It already has. In the past I have been a fairly public-spirited sort of person, willing to support and assist the police where I could, and would have also supported our intelligence services too, had the occasion ever occurred, but over the last decade or so I have come to distrust and fear both of them.

    I will not assist or provide any information that might pass my way to either organisation simply to avoid any contact with them, for I also fear that once on their 'radar' it would lead to coercion and threats to either help cover up their wrong-doings or provide more information.

    I very strongly doubt that I'm alone in coming to this conclusion.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: People's behaviour

      "I will not assist or provide any information that might pass my way to either organisation"

      I bet you will. When you get mugged you'll be on the phone. When your house is broken into you'll be calling. When you or your gran, depending how old you are, falls down the stairs you'll be looking for help. When you crash your car you'll be wanting rescuing. Or when your daughter wanders off and you are beside yourself with panic, then you'll be desperate and begging for someone to do a mobile phone location search. Or when your Dad dies and someone has to search through the vomit and shit.

      Or maybe you won't, maybe you'd prefer an arrangement like Belfast had in the late seventies where you turn to your local terrorist wing for "law" enforcement.

      (and it won't be Ambo doing the rescuing or the picking you up, they're much too busy these days)

      Sometimes the ungrateful, small minded, petty and just, well, ignorant, people here really annoy me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: People's behaviour

        "Sometimes the ungrateful, small minded, petty and just, well, ignorant, people here really annoy me."

        The appropriate response to that is too obvious to state.

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: People's behaviour

          "The appropriate response to that is too obvious to state."

          Thank you?

          Today I had to contribute to the death club at work. A man died yesterday doing his job protecting you from dangerous drivers. You ungrateful, miserable, bitter, sad individual.

          1. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: People's behaviour

            Adam 52,

            I guessed you'd be some virtue signaling Emergency Services type. If your job so terrible get an easier one. Oh no you won't because you won't be able to do the "Look at me I'm a big Hero" and the "You'll thank me when I save your life" speeches.

            Just because you chose to do a tough job does not mean we should give up our liberty and be treated like criminals. If you're not up to the task, resign.

            1. Adam 52 Silver badge

              Re: People's behaviour

              "I guessed you'd be some virtue signaling Emergency Services type."

              You've guessed wrong. Which should be obvious from my posting history.

              "If your job so terrible get an easier one. Oh no you won't because you won't be able to do the "Look at me I'm a big Hero" and the "You'll thank me when I save your life" speeches."

              What are you saying here? You don't want people to save your life, or you do but you also want to slag them off and put them in prison?

              "Just because you chose to do a tough job does not mean we should give up our liberty and be treated like criminals. If you're not up to the task, resign."

              Who is asking you to give up your liberty? All I'm saying is that you really shouldn't be rude about people you'll be calling on for help at some point. I really do recommend reading my posts rather than just replying with your own prejudices.

          2. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: People's behaviour

            Today I had to contribute to the death club at work. A man died yesterday doing his job protecting you from dangerous drivers. You ungrateful, miserable, bitter, sad individual.

            Some of us have been given good reason to celebrate when one of the worthless cunts who make up our police force dies.

            If they wanted our respect, they should act in a manner worthy of respect. Given that they act in a manner worthy only of contempt, disrespect, and often the deepest hatred, one can only assume that these vile scumbags want people pissing on their graves when they die. And the sooner the better for some of them.

            If you've lost a friend then I am sorry for your loss, but don't come to a thread about corrupt and/or immoral law enforcement practices expecting sympathy when one of them dies. Some of us have to much baggage, to much harm in our families due to the acts by the very people you want us to feel sorry for.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: People's behaviour

          "Sometimes the ungrateful, small minded, petty and just, well, ignorant, people here really annoy me."

          The appropriate response to that is too obvious to state.

          Hear hear!

      2. mykingdomforanos

        Re: People's behaviour

        I'm unclear Adam 52, are you claiming that because people sometimes want/need help from the police and other emergency services that they therefore should have to tolerate and even be grateful for all and any forms of surveillance and monitoring? If that is what you are claiming, then I'm afraid you are clearly part of the problem IMO, however much good work you do in other respects.

        I'm very sorry to hear about your colleague. Was he by any chance the chap who appeared in faux documentaries in which the sensitive and discretion-demanding matter of policing the general public was turned into a voyeuristic form of prime time entertainment and given confrontational, sensationalist and Peelian principles-busting titles like "Road Wars"?

        1. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: People's behaviour

          "I'm unclear Adam 52, are you claiming that because people sometimes want/need help from the police and other emergency services that they therefore should have to tolerate and even be grateful for all and any forms of surveillance and monitoring?"

          No. I'm claiming that anyone asserting that:

          "I will not assist or provide any information that might pass my way to either organisation"

          Is a liar. Certainly in the UK. That should be obvious to anyone capable of basic English comprehension, because I quoted the text I was responding to.

          I further assert that the vast majority of, if not all, people who have lost a loved one are grateful that the Police can track phones. Unless you've been there you'll never really know that sense of panic and despair.

          That is not the same as supporting mass surveillance, which I do not.

          The rest of your post is extremely tasteless at this time, and somewhat irrelevant to the point.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: People's behaviour

            I further assert that the vast majority of, if not all, people who have lost a loved one are grateful that the Police can track phones. Unless you've been there you'll never really know that sense of panic and despair.

            I have been there. The police were beyond fucking useless in tracking the phone. They knew people were searching for the missing person in a dangerous location and instead of informing these people of that they let them continue their desperate search for the missing person.

            The police themselves went to the right area, got to within a few metres of the person, but couldn't be bothered walking around the corner of a building to check a little further. Had they done so, he would've been rescued that night instead of damned near freezing to death while friends were also at risk many kilometres away searching where they believed this person to be. Pigs didn't have to give the location, but they could've said "don't waste your time searching that area". The lot of them are beyond worthless, and like a gangrenous member should be cut out from the rest of society and disposed of.

            The other stuff you posted about earlier - nothing to do with the police. They'd rather be beating up innocent teenagers in the cells (sorry, I mean "encouraging them to confess" - without representation of course) than investigating burglaries, they're not going to show up to a car accident or any other traffic event (except to shoot innocent bystanders ala the Auckland pigs), they'll tell you not to bother filing a report for a mugging even if it's on camera because they won't be bothering to investigate it. Tell them there's a dog playing in yard with kids and they'll come round and fire their guns into the yard several times in repeatedly failed attempts to kill the "dangerous" family pet that hasn't even noticed them let alone threatened anyone. And if they hit the kids well they deserved it for spending time with such a loving and playful viciously dangerous labrador "trained fighting dog". Killing friendly family pets in front of children may be a new fun game for the nz pigs to play.

            Yes I am pissed at the police, yes I have good reason, and I look forward to the opening of a new outdoor toilet. Real soon I hope. Actually no, I'd prefer they spend a few years with some disease first. It still won't bring them close to the harm they've caused, but might at least make them take some time to think about the consequences of their actions and what they've done to others.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: People's behaviour

            grateful that the Police can track phones

            Which isn't necessarily a problem *if* it is used in a focussed way after a warrant has been signed off by a judge.

            The problem is, at the moment anyone on a very long list of agencies has the ability to gather information about someone/people/everyone in the UK without notice or oversight. And, by law, private companies like ISPs are going to have to pay for the privelige of spying on their users in order to comply with acts determined to be illegal by the ECHR.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: People's behaviour

      "I very strongly doubt that I'm alone in coming to this conclusion."

      Having lived in the apartheid era South Africa I find the UK is looking very similar to what was effectively a Police State.

      I was mugged - and contacted the police. Two officers came to my apartment to take a statement. This was very cursory - and then they said "Nice place - mind if we look round?" - which they duly did.

      Colleagues explained later - that as I was English the police would be looking for anything that they could prosecute. That usually meant banned posters, records, books, magazines etc. A British air hostess had been prosecuted for "theft" in similar circumstances when they found a teaspoon marked with her airline's logo.

  11. Muscleguy Silver badge

    But, but how will they shoehorn in the right to surveille Peace Protestors and the members of the Awkward Squad? A broad definition is absolutely required.

    I'm a paid up member of Scottish CND and a local continuing member of the Radical Independence Campaign here in Scotland. So that's a threat to National Security and someone engaged in Left Wing sedition to MI5.

    At some point, probably in the interregnum between a Yes vote and actual Independence I will formally ask MI5 etc for what materials they hold on me out of mild interest. People much milder than I have files.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Quote:

      So that's a threat to National Security and someone engaged in Left Wing sedition to MI5.

      Yeah but to Mi5 we're all engaged in left wing sedition, (or right wing facism)

      As far as Mi5 are concerned we're all upto something and they just need to find out what

      "Give me 6 things said by any man and I'll find something to hang him with"

  12. ForthIsNotDead

    Yeah but...

    <sarc>

    Did you read in the Daily Mail, X Factor had the lowest ever viewing figures for a final, and Paul Daniels' misses apparently had a mega-tantrum in Strictly Come Dancing. Not only that: there's some pretty hot totty strutting about in I'm a Celebrity. Who has the time for all this caring about "security" shit, eh? I mean, I'm not a terrorist, so what's the problem?

    </sarc>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah but...

      Under current law we can imprison you for 5years unless you reveal the secret meaning of that message.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ministers should be ashamed

    or else.

  14. Lysenko

    Relax everyone. This is an ECJ ruling...

    ...and that's an EU court. Thanks to Forage and his merry Brexiteers, HMG won't be encumbered by nuisances like the ECJ for much longer. Everything May, Gove and Boris dream up will be the unquestionable law of the land and there will be nothing anyone can do about it (they're committed to repealing the Human Rights Act as well of course).

    So, no need to get excited. They'll just stall for a while until the Brexiteer vision of unfettered Westminster dictatorship is achieved and the law can stand unchallenged as it is. Maybe it'll even be extended. There's no need to pussyfoot around worrying about checks and balances when you've got absolute power, free of all oversight.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Relax everyone. This is an ECJ ruling...

      Farage will be busy planning how to live on his MEP pension of GBP73K a year (possibly paid in full value Euros if/when Sterling tanks?). Plus presumably ensuring his children have EU citizenship by virtue of his wife being German.

      1. Lysenko

        Re: Relax everyone. This is an ECJ ruling...

        Farage will be busy planning how to live on his MEP pension of GBP73K a year (possibly paid in full value Euros if/when Sterling tanks?). Plus presumably ensuring his children have EU citizenship by virtue of his wife being German.

        Indeed. You have to admire him in a way. He pulled off one of the most spectacularly successful acts of treason in the last 100 years. They always thought that Philby, Burgess and Maclean were not the whole story, but no-one foresaw a sleeper agent playing such an audacious game over such a long timeframe. Credit where credit is due: as traitors go, he is in a class of his own.

      2. An nonymous Cowerd
        WTF?

        Re: Forage Pension plan

        As the MEP conditions of service are openly displayed (eventually found) in Europa.eu,

        it’s quite likely that he’s still too young to retire(in, say, March 2019). He could probably get a reduced pensh out of the EU, by sometime in 2022, but going on his age in wackipedia, it’s more like 2026 for the full amount.

        As for his kids’ nationality, we have yet to see how the pantomime of exit plays out for those 3-million EU’ers in UK and those 2-million UK’ers in the EU. Oh Yes we are, Oh No you’re not! She’s behind you! Paraphrasing slightly the DUP’s life and founding-thought, as interpreted by that great British philosopher Ali-G “So, you live in Ireland for 400 years but you’re not Irish, are youse just on holiday?” ☘️

  15. Fading Silver badge

    Operation haystack...

    If they can legally keep my entire internet footprint I should make it as legally large as possible - so a few automated bots adding extenuous links to everyone of my online interactions. A few PB each and even google wouldn't be able to help for all the tax breaks in Ireland....

    1. David Shaw

      Re: Operation haystack...

      Yep, been there and done that - since about 2006 (when I was slightly involved with sensitive GMO detection % levels and so the work called for a legitimate use of TAiLS, ToR & TrackMeNot etc)

      it really annoyed the IT support at work, it didn't seem to perturb particularly the professional watchers, I guess that you do have to write your own traffic generators/mixers to avoid the backdoored complier type problem.

      I think it is a very valid countermeasure to the commercial slurping, which is *almost* worse than the 'gov stuff, but as they are sovereign - they all are allowed to do whatever they want, provided they occasionally explain/justify, which is nice.

    2. Justin Case

      Re: Operation haystack...

      >>If they can legally keep my entire internet footprint I should make it as legally large as possible

      Just imagine if the bots suddenly developed a penchant for visiting websites where Terrible Things™ are displayed. Quelle horreur!

      "It wasn't me m'ud, it was my bot wot dunnit."

      A legitimate defence if ever I heard one.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Operation haystack...

      "A few PB each and even google wouldn't be able to help for all the tax breaks in Ireland."

      As the ISPs are to do the storage the price of those PBs will be added to your ISP subscription.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge

    My fingers are crossed those of you on the east side of the pond.

    Over here, it looks like the head cheese wants another spy network set up. <sigh> Someone has taken the race to the bottom seriously.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: My fingers are crossed those of you on the east side of the pond.

      "Someone has taken the race to the bottom seriously."

      A lot of people take it seriously. Some are either just better runners or had a head start.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ISP logging servers are mandatory

    6-8 years ago I saw the technician of my past ISP configuring the log server settings on my router.

    I asked him why is he doing this.He told me it is required for the government.

    ISP-s have mandatory log servers since very long time.

    And this was in EU state with one of the most free internet...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good thing I've been faking my Internet trafffic for... a while.

  19. Bob Dole (tm)
    Thumb Up

    Good luck

    Good luck with this. The modern police state is scary.

  20. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    gov.uk

    We're not (yet) a branch of the US government.

  21. Haku

    "Ministers should be ashamed."

    Yes, they should, but too often being paid lots of money can alter people's moralities for the worse.

  22. adam payne Silver badge

    Not only does it fail to honour the court’s ruling – it actively undermines it. Ministers should be ashamed.

    I didn't think ministers could feel that emotion?!?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. surveillance

    Why exactly are the authorities asking for more surveillance powers again?

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Re. surveillance

      Why exactly are the authorities asking for more surveillance powers again?

      Because there's been lots of "lone wolf" attacks lately that wouldn't even come close to being picked up by this. But they have to be seen to be doing something, and this is something.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Re. surveillance

      "Why exactly are the authorities asking for more surveillance powers again?"

      It's a rinse/repeat cycle. Every time they try the Act eventually gets taken to court and found to be illegal. When that happens they replace it with another variation on the same theme. The Home Office probably has a stack of them already written so they're instantly ready to drop another before Parliament when the current iteration bites the dust.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    F*@£k the government. VPN, Encryption make 'em work for it :-)

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