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Board Game Geek
20th May 2008, 01:30
Phone calls database considered

Linky Here From the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7409593.stm)

Ministers are to consider plans for a database of electronic information holding details of every phone call and e-mail sent in the UK, it has emerged.

The plans, reported in the Times, are at an early stage and may be included in the draft Communications Bill later this year, the Home Office confirmed.

A Home Office spokesman said the data is a "crucial tool" for protecting national security and prevent crime.

Ministers have not seen the plans which were drawn up by Home Office officials.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Communications Data Bill will help ensure that crucial capabilities in the use of communications data for counter-terrorism and investigation of crime continue to be available.

"These powers will continue to be subject to strict safeguards to ensure the right balance between privacy and protecting the public."

The spokesman said changes need to be made to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 "to ensure that public authorities can continue to obtain and have access to communications data essential for counter-terrorism and investigation of crime purposes".

A number of data protection failures in recent months, including the loss of a CD carrying the personal details of every child benefit claimant, have embarrassed the government.

The plans are likely to provoke outrage among civil liberty groups and some political figures.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne called the proposals "an Orwellian step too far".

He said ministers had "taken leave of their senses if they think that this proposal is compatible with a free country and a free people".

"Given the appalling track record of data loss, this state is simply not to be trusted with such private information," said Mr Huhne.

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I don't know where to begin to start with the above.

Technically, how would this be feasible ?
Just how much storage would it take ? (Buying shares in HDD manufacturers might be a good idea).
If it means every email, then that will also mean all attachments as well. Confidential stuff no doubt between companies, solicitors, private individuals, etc.
How secure could they make this ?

All this to protect us from a handful of terrorists ?

Seems a bit overkill to me.

All that will happen if this even got off the ground is that the UK will plunge back in to the information dark ages and people stop using email and phones.

Anyway, it seems a bit of a pointless scattergun approach to get lucky and catch a few terrorists, who will no doubt conduct clandestine meetings face to face anyway. Net result, the whole of the UK is monitored to the eyeballs and terrorists walk around unhindered anyway.

I still cannot believe this proposal.

Why have a new law to target everyone, when the security services can get ISP data and phone information anyway from people under suspicion.

I'm beginning to wonder if the real terrorists are not the ones hiding behind beards with copies of the Koran and 4lbs of high explosives but the ones sitting in Whitehall....

I think I am perfectly justified to use, for the first time ever, my own...

DOOMED !

TimberWolf
20th May 2008, 06:35
All this to protect us from a handful of terrorists ?

Doubt it, they'll be pay-as-you-go.

Churchill
20th May 2008, 06:38
All this to justify an expensive upgrade at Menwith Hill, more like!

shelby68
20th May 2008, 07:11
<Paranoia>The fact it's been announced means "They" probably already have it. </Paranoia>

Churchill
20th May 2008, 07:15
<Paranoia>The fact it's been announced means "They" probably already have it. </Paranoia>

Menwith Hill...
Goonhilly...
Martlesham Heath...

NotAllThere
20th May 2008, 07:18
Buy shares in ISPs that offer strong encryption.

Rymez2K
20th May 2008, 07:24
Hmmmm!
Time for my plan b.
Secure carrier pigeons.

TimberWolf
20th May 2008, 07:24
Buy shares in ISPs that offer strong encryption.

At one time (and is presumably still in affect) not giving away encyption keys was punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

HairyArsedBloke
20th May 2008, 08:18
Just how is this to be done? Does that mean that running a mail server is to be illegal or licensed? If the latter then isn’t demanding the logs from a group that is running their own mail server going to give the game away?

Any criminal or terrorist group that communicates using a means that this will detect deserves to be caught for being stupid.

ratewhore
20th May 2008, 08:19
Not sure 10 years is right. Anyway, this database will never see the light of day - guaranteed...

Moscow Mule
20th May 2008, 08:29
At one time (and is presumably still in affect) not giving away encyption keys was punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

That's why you have two levels of encryption - one you give up, which displays some stuff. One which they won't ask for as they won't know it's there.

I'm increasingly in favour of the UK adopting a "US Fifth Amendment" style law.

Sockpuppet
20th May 2008, 08:43
At one time (and is presumably still in affect) not giving away encyption keys was punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Sweet. The stuff I've got my encryption protecting will get me 20.

TimberWolf
20th May 2008, 09:03
Not sure 10 years is right.

Yep, on a little further investigation it looks like :


five years in jail if the investigation relates to terrorism or national security, or up to two years in jail in other cases.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/03/ripa-decryption_keys_power/

Dunno where I misremembered 10 years, the US perhaps.

darmstadt
20th May 2008, 09:11
Well to be on the safe side, I've e-mailed them all my mail archives, all 100gb of them. Hopefully that should help :devil

ratewhore
20th May 2008, 09:31
They'll be storing a shed load of spam then won't they?

lilelvis2000
20th May 2008, 09:57
I still cannot believe this proposal.

Why have a new law to target everyone, when the security services can get ISP data and phone information anyway from people under suspicion.




Ahhh...but we are all under suspicion. The prime purpose of the UK government is to monitor its citizens..always has been.

Sounds more like a trial balloon though to judge public opinion. We don't like it so it's bound to be implemented.

EternalOptimist
20th May 2008, 10:15
IIRC the plan is to record the number you phoned and when, not the content of the call. The email adress you mailed and not the content.






:rolleyes:

realityhack
20th May 2008, 10:20
IIRC the plan is to record the number you phoned and when, not the content of the call. The email adress you mailed and not the content.
Haven't they been doing that for decades anyway? :confused:
What's the difference if they just log the exchange and not the content?

Board Game Geek
20th May 2008, 10:22
Isn't it usual in situations like this that a bill is proposed in all its full glory, warts and all, and then after the expected outcry, gets watered down by our benevolent political masters for the good of the people ?

EternalOptimist
20th May 2008, 10:24
Haven't they been doing that for decades anyway? :confused:
What's the difference if they just log the exchange and not the content?

Maybe so, but the plan is to hold it all centrally in one big fck-off database.
I dont think that happens at the moment





:rolleyes:

Marina
20th May 2008, 10:58
Is this just a summary log of call times, durations, and from and to numbers, or do they plan to record the call itself?

GCHQ has recorded all international voice calls, and probably emails too, for years, and these are kept on a rolling six month cycle (maybe longer now).

bogeyman
20th May 2008, 11:13
Spied on from cradle to grave.

That's life in the shiny new crypto-Stalinist state that is the former United Kingdom.

Had a row about this with a woman in the pub the other night who took the "if you've done nothing wrong there's nothing to worry about" line of 'reasoning'.

She seemed happy to hand over her most intimate details, DNA and firstborn child to the security services in the interests of combating international terrorism.

I pointed out that the jews in Germany in 1938 had done nothing wrong, but it didn't help them much.

She countered that Gordon Brown was a good person, whereas Hitler & co were evil, so my argument was nonsense.

I must admit I was rather floored by that one.

Bagpuss
20th May 2008, 11:17
UK Database of ALL phone calls and emails


I thought they already scanned them since as long as they/we have had the technology

threaded
20th May 2008, 11:24
UK Database of ALL phone calls and emails


I thought they already scanned them since as long as they/we have had the technology

Yes, it's just the legal dotting of Is and crossing Ts to fit in with other things the government have signed up for.

bogeyman
20th May 2008, 11:33
Yes, it's just the legal dotting of Is and crossing Ts to fit in with other things the government have signed up for.

Indeed. Furthermore, I expect every developed country does this.

If you want relatively secure communications, use ham radio (with a scrambler) or send a letter in the post.

BrilloPad
20th May 2008, 11:45
send a letter in the post.

:yay:

f4j used that method alot - as far as we could tell never intercepted.

bogeyman
20th May 2008, 11:50
:yay:

f4j used that method alot - as far as we could tell never intercepted.

Old spy trick:

Wrap the letter in two sheets of old fashioned carbon copy paper. Stops the letter being read by holding up against a strong light and shows evidence of tampering.

Marina
20th May 2008, 12:26
I pointed out that the jews in Germany in 1938 had done nothing wrong, but it didn't help them much.

She countered that Gordon Brown was a good person, whereas Hitler & co were evil, so my argument was nonsense.

I must admit I was rather floored by that one.

Hindenburg was a good person, if a bit smug and geriatric, and he agreed to let Hitler & Co into government, believing along with his colleagues that "the little corporal" could be controlled.

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a good person, if a bit smug and long-winded, and he agreed to support Octavian, believing along with his colleagues that "the boy" could be controlled.

If I knew more history I've no doubt a dozen similar examples could be given of well-meaning people being elbowed aside by bold and ruthless interlopers, and lets not forget Brown and colleagues are craven, cowardly, insecure gits and almost certainly being pushed into this by the EU or even the US.

bogeyman
20th May 2008, 12:32
Hindenburg was a good person, if a bit smug and geriatric, and he agreed to let Hitler & Co into government, believing along with his colleagues that "the little corporal" could be controlled.

Marcus Tullius Cicero was a good person, if a bit smug and long-winded, and he agreed to support Octavian, believing along with his colleagues that "the boy" could be controlled.

If I knew more history I've no doubt a dozen similar examples could be given of well-meaning people being elbowed aside by bold and ruthless interlopers, and lets not forget Brown and colleagues are craven, cowardly, insecure gits and almost certainly being pushed into this by the EU or even the US.

Precisely Marina!

It's not the hapless clown in power you need to fear, it's the total maniac that comes after him.

ratewhore
20th May 2008, 13:36
Precisely Marina!

It's not the hapless clown in power you need to fear, it's the total maniac that comes after him.

David Cameron?

KathyWoolfe
20th May 2008, 13:46
How are they going to be able to monitor chat room exchanges?

Or even bulletin board messages like this one.......

bogeyman
20th May 2008, 13:48
David Cameron?

Oh dear!

Are you some sort of lefty?