Saturday, October 18, 2014
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I Agree With The Lib Dems..

I Agree With The Lib Dems..

Agree with the Lib Dems? – No, I haven’t completely taken leave of my senses, just that attempts to build a massive database of our online lives are still festering:

New laws allowing the police and security services to monitor emails and internet use could end up costing households £500 each, Liberal Democrats have claimed.

Advocates say the measures will help the police and security services combat terrorists and criminals using the latest communications technology. They insist that the contents of internet communications will remain secret from the authorities.

Even if you believe the second sentence, the first had me rolling about the floor. Since when has any government of recent times shown itself able to to protect its citizens? As long as we are controlled from Brussels we have open borders, allowing all manner of undesirables to come here, and do what they want. Furthermore, numerous instances of data leaks and complete cock-ups with major IT projects have shown TPTB know less than the average school kid about how technology works.

I know I’m regarded as a bit of a conspiracy nut – at least some of the replies to my recent posts indicate that – it’s a mantra I will just have to accept. And I also know it’s extremely unlikely that a Western government would try and cut off internet communications, as too much of our society is dependent on it. But that doesn’t stop them trying to chip away, bit by bit.

2 days after the first Telegraph link (C/O Joe Public) comes a further article:

New laws letting Britain’s spy agencies monitor every email, phone call and web visit will be changed to help ease privacy concerns, a Home Office minister said today.

The joint committee, set up to examine the draft Communications Bill, yesterday warned of security “overkill”. This caused Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, to call on ministers to rip up their plans and go to “back to the drawing board”, deepening a rift with Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

Oh dear – another coalition rift…

Of course we shouldn’t forget that ALL the main parties have talked about some form of communication monitoring in the past, so this pathetic point scoring is becoming tedious.

Telegraph commenter cameronstolemyhorse  quoted from the Coalition Programme for Government, which you can download (PDF) by clicking on the highlighted link. The interesting part is regarding Civil Liberties on page 11:

3. CIVIL LIBERTIES

We will be strong in defence of freedom
The Government believes that the British state has become too authoritarian,
and that over the past decade it has abused and eroded fundamental human
freedoms and historic civil liberties. We need to restore the rights of individuals
in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain’s tradition
of freedom and fairness.
• We will implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial
erosion of civil liberties and roll back state intrusion.
• We will introduce a Freedom Bill.
• We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity Register and the
Contact Point Database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.
• We will outlaw the fingerprinting of children at school without parental permission.
• We will extent the scope of the Freedom of Information Act to provide greater
transparency.
• We will adopt the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
• We will protect historic freedoms through the defence of trial by jury.
• We will restore rights to non-violent protest.
• We will review bye-laws to protect freedom of speech.
• We will introduce safeguards against the misuse of anti-terrorism regulation.
• We will further regulate CCTV.
We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason. • We will introduce a new mechanism to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary
new criminal offences.
• We will establish a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights
that incorporates and builds an all our obligations under the European Convention on
Human Rights and, ensures that these rights continue.

Note my bolding – this is a classic cop-out which could mean anything they want. As for reducing the amount of new legislation, a quick scan at the Legislation.Gov website would suggest otherwise:

Legislation

Thanks to Captain Ranty for uncovering that.

Reading through the list above, it’s difficult to pick one promise they’ve carried out. But we should know better than to believe anything a politician says.

Back to my conspiracy theories – I know all about Proxy servers and VPN’s (although I’ve yet to go down the VPN route), but even those who do are not entirely safe. As many comments on the second article discuss, these methods just mark you out as “suspicious” to the authorities. Also note that encrypting your information is no use – refusal to disclose the password/key when asked leads to an automatic jail sentence. I found that link on this site, which is run by Rick Falkvinge, a founder member of the Pirate Party. They are facing a court battle for hosting their own proxy to The Pirate Bay, a well known indexing site used by many for “sharing” all sorts of material. Whilst there is little doubt that much P2P downloading is of questionable legality, particularly as regards copyright, some of it is not, and the UK court ordered block, which the proxy is designed to circumvent, has meant that an offshoot listing perfectly legal content has also been affected. This has now been unblocked after a major protest.

As noted in that story we now have a situation where private industry is calling the shots, and censoring UK web access, so it really doesn’t matter if government is whiter than white – a creeping malaise is undermining our freedoms.  Oh, and don’t think “It won’t happen to me, because I’m overseas” – another story that you won’t have seen in the MSM concerns the actions of the Finnish police recently, when they raided the home of a 9 year old girl, and confiscated her laptop.

“It would have been easier for all concerned if you had paid the compensation,” the police advised

So rather than risk a potentially “interesting” court case they try and extract money by extortion. I understand that the girls father has now agreed to pay 200 euros, to avoid further consequences. You’ll also note that similar action is happening in the US – that paragon of freedom, where only a few days ago the website of David Vance was shut down on the say-so of one complaint from a disgruntled commenter. So don’t pretend that everything is rosy, because it damn well isn’t…

Since I started writing this earlier in the week, there appears to have been a minor capitulation, as reported by the Beeb, but it’s obvious that the intention to bring in some fairly drastic measures remains.

 Microdave

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18 comments

  1. Bugger cryptography, steganography is the answer. “The art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity.”

    “The advantage of steganography over cryptography alone is that messages do not attract attention to themselves. Plainly visible encrypted messages—no matter how unbreakable—will arouse suspicion, and may in themselves be incriminating in countries where encryption is illegal.[1] Therefore, whereas cryptography protects the contents of a message, steganography can be said to protect both messages and communicating parties.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steganography

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  2. “• We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity Register and the
    Contact Point Database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports.”
    Hasn’t Dear David just suggested something that will include the worst of all the above — a DNA database of everyone in in the country????

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    • “We will do this; we will do that” – These cunts will promise you the world to get elected, after which we can all go and get fucked. When will voters ever learn?

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  3. … all nicely in line with the creeping islamic Empire’s goals.

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  4. Quite right, JP. Stego is an ancient art that found rebirth in the early 1990s internet revolution. At that time, concealing messages in pictures and music files was not so easy on account of the much smaller file sizes back then. But today with enhancements to ease of use of stego and a massive increases in the volume and size of image and music files, detecting hidden messages is far more impossible (if you’ll excuse the appalling grammar) than it was 20 years ago. We now have home-made HD videos routinely exchanged over the net and another major vector for stego messages – computer programs – show no sign of getting smaller, either! Factor in the doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’ and the easy availability of hidden volumes in plain sight on USB keys as pioneered by Trucrypt and the like and it can’t be much fun being a spook in this day and age. :-D

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  5. Since I’m currently being stalked by a sexually perverted army officer abusing his ability to hack online, I’m definitely opposed to relaxing already absurd standards to which the CriPo, Gestapo and SD or whatever they call themselves now are held.

    Also “monitoring” is allowed to include pretending to be someone they’re not and trying to entrap people or distort what people say on forums the better to frame them. Fortunately that hasn’t happened to me yet but it’s happened to a truckload of other people.

    Did the Nazis actually lose WW2? Because you’d never fucking know by looking.

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  6. Information Overload will be Big Governments problem, it’s all well and good storing everyones online activity but how the fuck will they oversee it?
    Round here they’ve been trying to build the NHS Wotsit For Change databse. they have been at it for nearly 2 decades but it is still lightyears away from completion by which time all their info on me will be useless since I will be dead.
    Slightly o/t. Beeb 2 News today reports a 60% increase in terrorist arrests this year (scarey!!!) but then gives the game away by saying that several of those arrests took place during protests outside the US Embassy, ie misuse of anti-terrorist legislation.

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    • “Beeb 2 News today reports a 60% increase in terrorist arrests this year (scarey!!!)” Not really…….

      Section 58 of The Terrorism Act 2000 creates the offence:- “information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”.”

      Knowing that Mustafa has a corner shop which sells both Domestos & Harpic contravenes that section.

      [Warning - Never mix the two in an unventilated space]

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    • Old , knackered , piss poor and without any influence all I can do is rant but out there I hope and pray there may be patriots who can make a difference and if the twats that be are wasting their efforts recording the minute details of my meaningless ramblings then they’re missing someone else . I may become a bit dyslectic inserting a random word(s) every now and then .

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  7. Totally impractical. You would need an awful lot of very, very large disk drives. I doubt sufficient capacity currently exists.

    Still, it would be good for the Chinese manufacturers, I suppose…

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    • Uncle Sam is already building it:

      NSA Datacentre

      Wiki page

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      • I kno3 that

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        • Goood IDa, Neo. It’ll b a waist off fuggin munny!

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          • i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed i t whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it

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            • Remarkable indeed, Neo. Your post took me no more than a second or two longer to read than otherwise and still made perfect sense. Let’s all adopt this method in future when we’re discussing trrerosim and such like. It’ll really fox the bastards!

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