Plan to monitor all internet use

By Rightnow289 · Apr 27, 2009 · ·
  1. Rightnow289

    Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.

    The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.
    The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.
    The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database.
    Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database.
    But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.
    The Home Office will instead ask communications companies - from internet service providers to mobile phone networks - to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism.
    Ministers say they estimate the project will cost £2bn to set up, which includes some compensation to the communications industry for the work it may be asked to do.
    "Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers, paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime," Ms Smith said.
    "Advances in communications mean that there are ever more sophisticated ways to communicate and we need to ensure that we keep up with the technology being used by those who seek to do us harm.
    "It is essential that the police and other crime fighting agencies have the tools they need to do their job, However to be clear, there are absolutely no plans for a single central store."

    'Contact not content'

    Communication service providers (CSPs) will be asked to record internet contacts between people, but not the content, similar to the existing arrangements to log telephone contacts.
    But, recognising that the internet has changed the way people talk, the CSPs will also be asked to record some third party data or information partly based overseas, such as visits to an online chatroom and social network sites like Facebook or Twitter.
    Security services could then seek to examine this data along with information which links it to specific devices, such as a mobile phone, home computer or other device, as part of investigations into criminal suspects.
    The plan expands a voluntary arrangement under which CSPs allow security services to access some data which they already hold.
    The security services already deploy advanced techniques to monitor telephone conversations or intercept other communications, but this is not used in criminal trials.
    Ms Smith said that while the new system could record a visit to a social network, it would not record personal and private information such as photos or messages posted to a page.
    "What we are talking about is who is at one end [of a communication] and who is at the other - and how they are communicating," she said.
    Existing legal safeguards under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act would continue to apply. Requests to see the data would require top level authorisation within a public body such as a police force. The Home Office is running a separate consultation on limiting the number of public authorities that can access sensitive information or carry out covert surveillance.


    Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "I am pleased that the Government has climbed down from the Big Brother plan for a centralised database of all our emails and phone calls.
    "However, any legislation that requires individual communications providers to keep data on who called whom and when will need strong safeguards on access.
    "It is simply not that easy to separate the bare details of a call from its content. What if a leading business person is ringing Alcoholics Anonymous, or a politician's partner is arranging to hire a porn video?
    "There has to be a careful balance between investigative powers and the right to privacy."
    Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "The big problem is that the government has built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter terrorism and serious crime. Too many parts of Government have too many powers to snoop on innocent people and that's really got to change.
    "It is good that the home secretary appears to have listened to Conservative warnings about big brother databases. Now that she has finally admitted that the public don't want their details held by the State in one place, perhaps she will look at other areas in which the Government is trying to do precisely that."
    Guy Herbert of campaign group NO2ID said: "Just a week after the home secretary announced a public consultation on some trivial trimming of local authority surveillance, we have this: a proposal for powers more intrusive than any police state in history.
    "Ministers are making a distinction between content and communications data into sound-bite of the year. But it is spurious.
    "Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so - all without a warrant."
    The consultation runs until 20 July 2009.

    By Dominic Casciani
    BBC News home affairs reporter

    Source -

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  1. DopinDan
    It's also critical to the Powers That Be to spy on all dissenters, as we enter a global great depression, created by them.
  2. hyperbolical
    Welcome to the so called "New World Order" my friends. hehe:laugh:
  3. cannabis-sam
    Very scary stuff. This country and many others are becoming full on police states. Orwell's 1984, is rapidly becoming reality and whats worse no one seems to be doing anything about it. The UK are now the most watched country in the world, we're not allowed to photograph police anymore, and the only reason I can see for this being introduced is to, let the police get away with more and more extreme behaviour, the police have far too much power now, they can stop and search anyone, they can arrest you on a whim. Protesting is now illegal near the Houses of Parliment.

    Another orwellian concept has also come true hear in that up until the late 90's politicians were there for the people, each party had radically different beliefs, in which if you wanted change the party could be voted out and a completely different political belief was introduced. We now have two parties both who have essentially the same beliefs, locked away and distanced more and more from the people they are there to serve. They now come in to parliment not to make deals with corporations and line their own pockets (there was a good interview about this with top political commentator, peter oborne on the BBC surprisingly)

    Whether or not you want to side with the conspiracy theorists and say that it's some NWO plot, or whether it's simply the government losing control it's certainly becoming a fascist dystopian society.

    I'll add more when SWIM isn't so stoned.
  4. DopinDan
    Yup, it's almost as if the UK is the testing ground, where the PTB try out new repressive programs on the citizens, to see how well they take, and how well they work.

    It's critical that people in the UK and US for that matter, know their rights.
  5. Greenport
    This is an international matter...Britain shouldn't be allowed to do that without the consent of the united nations, and I personally see it as an evil plan to hinder the internet's voice. Even if all it does is log IPs.
  6. lostmente
    The internet has been heading underground for a long time now, we have enough information to act. It's just a matter of planning
  7. chukbzle
    i mean since a cell phones been used we havent been free even in so called land of. but US ,UK both have ppl who should have a rite to not b eased dropped. like some ppl have some harmless but embarrassing habits and its not rite they scan thru to taddle on ya. the only way to fight back would b get a lot of ppl together and even think before you giv them correct info since bein followed aint cool especially if I wanted to have phone sex i dont think its nice they can get off listenin to the worlds perversions and pain
  8. Greenport
    I'm really against this - the ONLY time I think that a person's communications should be monitored is if that person is believed by the justice system to have committed a felony crime - and then it should only be used to aid the justice system in producing a correct verdict (aka other crimes found committed with it should not be allowed to be brought up in a court case.)

    By monitoring an entire country's communications it shows that the country's government simply doesn't trust their citizens - because it says that anybody who connects to the wrong IPs might be a terrorist or criminal. Imagine a world where every time you walk up to someone to say something, the government has a record of the conversation happening. Would you feel that your rights were being infringed there? I sure would! Just because the conversation/data transmission happened over an electronic means, why does that give them the right to store and pick at all that data as they choose?

    This is as infuriating to me as the DNA storing issue!
  9. Scrubbs
    Guys there is not much time left, if the people don't do anything soon then there will come a point where the govt. will have so much power that the people will be left completely powerless. At least at this moment it seems that there is still a chance to change our society.

    Isn't there a way to hack into our computers to hide our personal info from outside sources? Also, isn't there a way to make a different type of internet that would work aside from this current one. Cant we just establish and migrate to a different internet?
  10. Greenport
    Well, governments are supposed to represent the voice of their people - if the people as a whole speak out against a provision regarding something as massive as the internet, they're likely to be heard.

    I'm not worried about the future, because it's in our hands :)
  11. Dickon
    Although I was never granted top-secret clearance to work for the government intelligence services, despite initially being offered a place at GCHQ, I did learn a little about cryptography and related topics at that time. I'm glad that plan of mine didn't come into fruition, but it might have been interesting!

    The good news is, that unless some super-top-secret algorithm exists for factoring numbers much quicker than all those known in the mathematical literature, we are in principle capable of at least securing our communications from prying eyes. People interested in this could do worse than subscribe to an e-mail bulletin called CYPTOGRAM. The guy who writes it is clearly highly intelligent and is responsible for many of the cryptographic algorithms in use today.

    The main trouble is that "text book" cryptography might be very secure (even to the extent of quantum crypto being mooted as unbreakable), but real-world crypto isn't so good. It's probably easier to hire someone to look over someone's shoulder to find and crack a password to someone's inbox, than to try to decrypt a well-encrpyted message.

    That said, using something like GPG or PGP should be sufficient to protect communication. The trouble is, the way the UK is going, much like the semi-recent violation of the right to silence ( it now reads "You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.") using cyptography will probably be seen as an admission of guilt.

    What it takes is enough innocent people to say "enough is enough". Personally, I'm disgusted with this whole Orwelianism. With the CCTV cameras, speed cameras, automatic number-plate recognition, erosions of the right to silence, this latest monitoring, we are losing what made England unique. I still think we have a lot more freedom here than Americans, but I hate this whole "terrorism" excuse. Probably more people have died of explosive diarrhoea than due to terrorism. If one site is to believed the number killed in Britain by terrorism between 2000 and 2006 is 52, all in one attack. I think since then there has been at least one splinter IRA group that has killed. Sadly I can't find the statistic for the UK explosive diarrhoea deaths broken down by explosivity but I know diarrhoea is a leading cause of death in third world countries, so I'm only being 90% facetious (faecesious or fecesious maybe?) here!

    Anyway, my own view is that intelligence services should be given licence to operate fairly freely when it comes to phone tapping, internet monitoring etc. The police should, in my view, not be involved. The trouble is, if we are being monitored by police, it would seem like every spliff we might talk about smoking (we in the broadest sense here, not members of this forum of course!), every mile over the speed limit we drive at, every past indiscresion discussed might be the cause of some prosecution. Although this is unlikely to be the case, the perception of it makes life feel more oppressive.

    Maybe you could avoid many crimes by microchipping everyone and forcing them to have a web-cam on their head turned on 24 hours a day, along with 24-hour audio surveilance. One argument given is "what do the innocent have to fear?". Well, I'll tell you what, I think there is growing evidence that people treated responsibly, behave more responsibly. A prison-like environment doesn't create responsible citizens. The evidence is certainly starting to stack up that reducing road markings and traffic lights etc. reduces accidents, and I believe this is likely evidence of a more general trend.

    Being put under constant surveillance, especially if you fit a racial or religious profile, is only going to make a person likely to resent "the state" and more prone to dislike or resent England, and increase the chances of their radicalisation.

    I say more freedom will perhaps increase crime and/or undetected crime in the short term, but a climate of freedom will ultimately produce lower crime rates in the end. Of course this will in part be because such freedom will entail getting rid of stupid laws, such as dare I say, those relating to drugs.

    Well, that was a rant!

  12. Sven99
    The important thing to remember about the information age, is that while its put alot of power in the hands of those at the top, proportionally its given much more to those at the bottom. Most CCTV cameras are privately owned. Everyone has cameras on their phones. And the internet can spread information without any mainstream media coverage at all. Information is in the hands of the people, and it would be almost impossible for the powers at the top to stop us. The best response to a surveillance-hungry government is surveillance from its citizens.
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