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Xenolith

Stop this dangerous legislation!

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Xenolith

The UK government is using its emergency powers to rush through legislation forcing telecoms companies (including ISPs) to retain metadata about all of their customer's communications (including your internet traffic, when and who you call, etc.) in the name of "anti-terrorism". I think it's pretty obvious that we're not in an emergency and this is yet another case of terrorism being used as an excuse by governments to legitimise legislation that seriously infringes the civil liberties of people. 

 

Even if you don't think this single piece of legislation is that bad, just bear this in mind. In every single instance where democracies have turned into legislations, governments have played on people's fears (in the past it was communism, now it's terrorism) to legitimise passing dangerous laws without the consent of parliament using emergency powers. This step by itself might not be that serious, but it sets the scene for much more serious infringements on the privacy we all deserve. If it was discovered that the government was wiretapping and bugging everyone there would be mass outrage: this really isn't much different.

 

If you live in the UK and you care about your privacy, please send an email to your MP, either by yourself or via this website which makes it easy. I know that writing to your MP might sound a little scary, but you can find some information on key points to cover here. You do not have to write a massive essay, a few lines would be more than enough. The point is that MPs have to know that the people are against these laws, otherwise they'll just get worse and worse. Please hurry, because this legislation could be passed by Monday. 

 

Information:

ORG

BBC

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Shōnen Bat

I find the cross-party consensus on this really depressing (with the exception of the greens of course!). From a moral standpoint this looks like a giant, ongoing fishing expedition. If you want someone’s data (meta or otherwise) get a warrant. I don't understand the security services (or polices) reluctance to do their own job.

 

From a practical standpoint, this is generating yet more information which has to be integrated into larger picture to be of any use. I am not sure that can be done with the amount of information coming in from Tempora, so continuing this idiotic scheme will likely be counter productive.

 

A more important point is that these measures will only catch stupid criminals directly. The person sharing child porn via P2P from their own computer and the person searching google for it will be caught. The ones using Tor, proxies and all the rest won't be. Criminals who carry their phones while committing crimes will be caught, the ones who leave them at home won't.

 

Universal suspicion-less data retention is bullshit security theatre and nothing more.


 

On a side note - I have a horrible feeling they are going to conceive of a way to make RIPA even worse, though I can't really conceive of how.

 

 

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Ben

I'd better hide my porn collection and clear my internet history. I'd get arrested if anyone saw that... 

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Dr-David-Banner

I've been aware of this for some time. You are correct that this country is most definitely slipping into a state of disregard for liberty and freedom of expression. This is because a large percentage of the population is unaware and unconcerned. Part of it seems to be rooted in a decline in industry and education as well.
As for the political system any government that uses retroactive legislation so as to not be accountable to judicial courts has everybody concerned. Also another problem is no party here has a set of core beliefs but only comes up with policy based on what they think the public might vote for. Where they will really slip up is over the idea you can simply leave the E.U.  and be isolated. That might have worked 20 years ago but not at the moment.

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King_oni

I believe a similar law is already in effect in The Netherlands. But in no way do I encourage such a law.

 

I think Ben does touch upon something interesting, even if it's meant as a joke. A lot of people nowadays claim that "I don't have anything to hide", yet they fail to miss the big picture in the long run. Right now, under current national laws, you might not have anything "illegal" going on. But way if, in the next 5 years, the possession of any kind of adult material would be illegal. The law to check peoples communication, data and whatnot is already there, criminalizing more things (perhaps even just for the sake of creating more revenue in fines by a government) would just make it a pretty convenient way.

 

What surprises me is how they can enforce an "emergency law" all of a sudden. I don't think a lot has changed globally in the past decade; terrorism has been a threat for decades, it just hit a bit closer to home in 2001 and then a bit later with the London bombings. The threat is still there and actually always has been. With that, it would make me wonder if "emergency laws" are some kind of joke. There's no real motivation for them to be in effect at this moment, rather than 5 years ago and it just seems like a silly thing in general.

 

Also; Shonen bat does address something that's important to note. Who will even go through all this data? Will they just look for certain keywords? Good luck with apprehending real criminals instead of a 15 year old who unknowingly uses a few words that are blacklisted.

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Dr-David-Banner

I think what worries me is this is getting a bit like H.G. Wells Time Machine film/book. In the story the time traveller goes into the future and finds a population that has given up the will to fight or struggle. These were the Eloi. There is a scene where someone falls into the water and the people just watch unconcerned as he drowns so the time-traveller jumps in the water, saves the drowning and and asks them what's up? Today, I get this perspective of people just struggling to hold onto a job and pay their bills but no fight in them. Like setting up political parties or movements as was done so effectively in the sixties. I mean, clearly if politicians are allowed to just do as they please we are going to end up in a real bad way.
 

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Xenolith

A more important point is that these measures will only catch stupid criminals directly. The person sharing child porn via P2P from their own computer and the person searching google for it will be caught. The ones using Tor, proxies and all the rest won't be. Criminals who carry their phones while committing crimes will be caught, the ones who leave them at home won't.

 

This point is especially important because it showcases how the government exploits public ignorance. Obviously, the government has never mentioned the fact that the vast majority of criminals will be using private proxy servers to bypass their ISPs, which makes it painfully clear that there's a hidden agenda. 

 

Unfortunately, even Tor doesn't make you safe these days. According to a recent guardian article I read, the NSA is actively tracking people that have downloaded or searched for Tor, and has managed to hack parts of the Tor server.

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King_oni

This topic keeps playing back in my head a bit...

 

Sometimes I just think that with these kind of laws and regulations; what if people would just abandon this internet thing and move on. People doing cash exchanges, stuff like that.

 

That would confuse any government and would be more of a wake-up call than any petition. Though by now all services are becoming so dependent on the internet it's hard to function without it any more.

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Shōnen Bat

What surprises me is how they can enforce an "emergency law" all of a sudden. I don't think a lot has changed globally in the past decade; terrorism has been a threat for decades, it just hit a bit closer to home in 2001 and then a bit later with the London bombings. The threat is still there and actually always has been. With that, it would make me wonder if "emergency laws" are some kind of joke. There's no real motivation for them to be in effect at this moment, rather than 5 years ago and it just seems like a silly thing in general.

 

 

I believe the european court of justice said the law was inadequate in april, but nothing was done until now, when it suddenly has to be rushed through in 3 days. It looks odd to say the least.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, even Tor doesn't make you safe these days. According to a recent guardian article I read, the NSA is actively tracking people that have downloaded or searched for Tor, and has managed to hack parts of the Tor server.

 

 

Do you have a link to the article?

 

I saw an article about the NSA monitoring connections to the directory authorities but I thought the emphasis was on the german based ones (god knows why). In this case they appear to be collecting IP addresses that connect, but there is no way for them to tell what you are doing over Tor.

 

I would also be interested to see that the NSA has hacked the Tor servers (presumably the directory authorities), I am not as on top of the security news as I would like to be but I would be surprised if I missed that one.

 

Tor is about as safe as it has ever been I would say. It suffers from the weaknesses that all low-latency anonymity networks do (and several of its own due to its obsession with letting people watch cat videos on youtube for some reason). Despite a long and concerted attack on the network there is still a huge amount of illegal activity that occurs using it. The continued flourishing of dark net marketplaces would seem to indicate that the network is generally safe.

 

 

As usual Tor is only as secure as your habits and endpoint security. I have yet to see anyone whose opinion I respect on security matters say that Tor is compromised.

 

Edited by Shōnen Bat

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Xenolith

Do you have a link to the article?

 

I saw an article about the NSA monitoring connections to the directory authorities but I thought the emphasis was on the german based ones (god knows why). In this case they appear to be collecting IP addresses that connect, but there is no way for them to tell what you are doing over Tor.

 

I would also be interested to see that the NSA has hacked the Tor servers (presumably the directory authorities), I am not as on top of the security news as I would like to be but I would be surprised if I missed that one.

 

Tor is about as safe as it has ever been I would say. It suffers from the weaknesses that all low-latency anonymity networks do (and several of its own due to its obsession with letting people watch cat videos on youtube for some reason). Despite a long and concerted attack on the network there is still a huge amount of illegal activity that occurs using it. The continued flourishing of dark net marketplaces would seem to indicate that the network is generally safe.

 

 

As usual Tor is only as secure as your habits and endpoint security. I have yet to see anyone whose opinion I respect on security matters say that Tor is compromised.

 

There has a been a lot of publicity about the NSA compromising Tor; I'm surprised you've not heard about it.

 

From TOR themselves: https://blog.torproject.org/category/tags/nsa

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/04/nsa-gchq-attack-tor-network-encryption

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-28162273

More recent: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/10/heres-one-way-to-land-on-the-nsas-watch-list-download-the-privacy-software-tor/

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