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Government internet snooping plans - A step too far?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by NeilR, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. NeilR

    NeilR pfm Member

    Fortunately, this would not affect me, but I find it rather alarming.

    What are the thoughts from the esteemed PFM members?
     
  2. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    It's a crazy idea.
     
  3. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    From the DT;

    "Under the plans, telecoms and internet service providers would be paid to log their customers’ emails, internet use and other correspondence so it could be easily searched by security officials. Data would be held for 12 months and access granted to the police, the National Crime Agency, the intelligence agencies and HM Revenue and Customs."

    I am at odds with most on this forum because I believe that the security services should possess the means to combat terrorists, and it would be good to see organised child-molesters and slave-traffickers pulled into the net too. The internet provides a vital intercommunication tool for all of them, as we all know.

    However, the inclusion of HMRC in the above list betrays the fact that the ambitions of the bill may extend beyond the stated remit. And beyond will undoubtedly come to mean 'way-beyond'. HMRC already possess far to many powers.

    And the fact that the ISPs will be paid to access client's details is also alarming. Profit is their raison d'etre.

    Where does the oversight lay? What means will there be to prevent privacy breaches and theft/misuse of data?
     
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It's a huge shame the USSR collapsed, there were many great careers for nosey little tin-pot authoritarians in the Stasi that would have suited Theresa May's mindset perfectly. Perhaps we can part-ex her with China for a nuclear scientist? I don't want her here meddling with our civil liberties, that much I do know.
     
  5. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    I am not by any means a supporter of this bill, but I think there is some misinformation in the piece. ISPs are not being 'paid to collect data' so much as required by the statute to retain the data, and their costs for so doing are to be reimbursed by HMG. Access to the data will require, I think, either a court order, or an order from the Home Secretary or similar. The HMRC access is, I believe, to help track down money laundering.

    I'm opposed to it partly on principle, but mainly because mission creep is inevitable, as are breaches of security, and it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Sure, there is a threat from terrorism, and increasing use of encryption in communications is a headache for security services, but if we allow the threat of terrorism to erode our civil liberties, freedoms and privacy to this extent, then the terrorists have won, because the values and freedoms of this nation they seek to undermine are well on their way down the toilet.
     
  6. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Somehow other bodies like local councils have a habit of gaining access to these sort of records.
     
  7. simeon

    simeon No fixed engagements

    Time to dust off TOR.
     
  8. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    And I'm sure knowledgeable villains will be able to protect themselves from such scrutiny.
     
  9. eternumviti

    eternumviti Wittering on the Vine

    There have been emergencies before, during which such values and freedoms were necessarily curtailed, the obvious case being the Second World War. The point must surely be that such intervention should be very strictly limited to matters that relate to national security and serious crime, that they should be curtailed, time-limited and subject to review. But, given the regular privacy breeches and HMRC mission-creep that we see, is there any chance of us being assured that this is safe. I don't believe so, even though I believe that some kind of access to records is necessary.
     
  10. Ragaman

    Ragaman Mentalist

    The coppers will spend a long time sifting through pfm if they get hold of my history
     
  11. TPA

    TPA Trade: Tiger Paw

    As I understand it, you'd first have to be identified as a person of interest and a court order issued, same as phone tapping etc I think.

    I'm not that fussed about it personally. I'm more concerned with what commercial organisations are doing with my data. I no longer have emails sent to my phone because of the sheer amount of spam and I have to pay to receive it when I go abroad. I must look into a sensible spam filter system at some point. Same with people calling me about car accidents and crap like that. Those things are practically more irritating and intrusive on a daily basis, but there again I'm not planning on blowing up the houses of parliament so doubt it will affect me.
     
  12. Joe Hutch

    Joe Hutch Mate of the bloke

    The Official Secrets Act and our bizarre licensing laws date back the First World War! Once government curtails freedoms they are very unwilling to relax them again. After all, there's always some threats no national security.
     
  13. whatsnext

    whatsnext Naimless

    1. Be interesting what other countries are doing!
    2. Intrusions are understandably resented until someone within your real word, relatives, friends, aquaintances or colleagues, people who are real to you become adversely affected by the things the restrictions are aimed to address. i.e. your mates child becomes the object of an unhealthy interest. The house down the road is occupied by slave illegal imports. A youth at your child school has disappeared.
     
  14. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

    Equally these intrusions will quite rightly be resented when the information is misused.
    We need a balanced approach re: security/liberty, but thats seems vanishingly unlikely from our human rights busting government.
     
  15. fay spook

    fay spook pfm Member

    And that is a signal to look closer. It's unusual activity that also gets the squirrels twitching.

    I was a great one for "I'm doing nothing wrong so why should I care". But I've definitely moved away from that stance as I learn and think more about this. I'll try and dig out the Observer media column that really got me thinking.
     
  16. fay spook

    fay spook pfm Member

    We have to hope that the New Armed International Militia doesn't become a threat or those key word searches will throw up a lot of pro and anti feeling here:D
     
  17. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Once ISPs start saving this data in case somebody requests it, a lot of people are going to be able to poke around celebrities, love/work rivals etc activities or do it for a bribe. There is plenty of history of abuse of DVLA records over the years.

    Back in the days of analog telephone systems, it was standard practice for bored Post Office technicians to have a speaker hooked up on trunk lines, listening for juicy chat. Given opportunity, people are nosey
     
  18. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    What worries me is that technically unaware people are making decisions about a highly technical subject, given the level of technical ignorance, in all levels of government, the legal profession, the police, councils etc, its a long term recipie for disaster. One minute they are letting China run our infrastructure and the next minute everyone one in Britain has to be permanently watched, fvcking clueless.
     
  19. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.
    By order,
    Decameron.
     
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Even if one was to accept the covert and unaccountable surveillance of innocent citizens as a function of government, which I most certainly do not, the above highlights the practical issues in a nutshell. It's staggeringly clear the likes of May, Cameron etc do not really understand what the internet is, let alone how it works or where it is, so a top down structure from them probably right down to some council ignoramus who writes their password on a post-it note next to the screen have no business playing with anyone elses computers. The spectacular incompetence within state IT infrastructure is a matter of public record, these people need to stay the hell away from ours!
     

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