Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Your Rights Online

Digital Surveillance for EC Governments 83

Posted by michael
from the le-carnivore dept.
Joel Rowbottom writes: "The Council of the European Union (the 15 EU governments) is about to back the demands of EU "law enforcement agencies" for full access to all telecommunications data to be written into all Community legislation in the future, and for existing laws to be re-examined - a move that is even more far-reaching than the decision to sign up to the FBI plan for the interception of telecommunications. At the centre is the issue of a seven-year period of data retention. There's a lot more about it at statewatch.org including an up-to-date store of relevant documents." The BBC and the Register have articles about this. Both news articles mention this seven-year data retention period, but I don't see it in any of the recent documents, which only discuss general "requirements" for law enforcement, such as tapping and access to calling records. From what I'm reading, law enforcement seems to be concerned about getting rid of the requirements to erase data about communications traffic (under the EU privacy laws) rather than creating affirmative requirements to store such data.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Digital Surveillance for EC Governments

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Dang, thats some crazy stuff. I'm a devout reader of slashdot, but more and more I am realizing that this is lees of a free-speech-forum and more of a me-media-control outlet for the moderators. Thanks for fighting the good fight, Mr. Wallace. Perhaps someday Mr. Sims will pull his head out of his arse and be a big boy. Until then, I hope he's not silencing that which he does not agree with. Yeesh.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One word: Encryption. [gnupg.org]
    This will help encourage more people to learn the importance of encryption, even if they are not a criminal. We need more and more proliferation of email programs that support encryption and we need it to be as transparent as possible. Many email programs out there do not suppot encryption or are not very straightforward about it. It is high time this changed because it has become very clear encryption is necessary to invalidate these new ideas governments have. So long as people continue to believe "Well, I'm not SAYING anything of a criminal nature -- besides, encryption is too time consuming" this will be very possible. It seems like a great injustice to me that we haven't seen more of a push to make encrypted email as transparent as possible... if the technology is available, fairly easy to implement and well known why not?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I assume they will be backing up spam for seven years.
  • The enormous storage requirements for retaining every phone conversation and email
    for 7 years will make the EU give up on any plan to retain the data. If each person
    in Europe is on the phone for just 0.25% of the time, retaining the data will take
    1.23x10^19 bytes or 12.3 Million Terabytes.

    With a Terabyte of Server storage costing about $50,000 to $100,000, the cost would
    be about 1 Tillion Dollars. In addition there would be an annual cost of 100 Billion
    Dollars per year for additional storage required to match the increase in phone and
    data communications traffic. This does not include any cost for transmitting 12.3
    Million Terabytes of data to a central site or the cost of the Mainframe and/or Super
    Computers needed to be able to index and access the data.

    The largest database in existance at the present time is smaller than 1000 Terabytes.

    You can compute the cost for retaining phone conversations by the following formula:
    200,000,000 people * 0.25% of the day spent on the phone * 7 years * 365 days/year
    * 24 hours/day * 3,600 seconds/hour * 56,000 bytes/second * 2 (each end of the
    conversation).

    The cost of transmitting 1.23x10^19 bytes of data would be about equal to building
    a duplicate of the entire european phone and data communications network (another
    500 Billion to 1 Trillion Dollars).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Look. I do wish people would wake up. The EU is the fastest, most NON democratic institution in the world. Their activities are based on a socialist, and as such, a controlling method of government. There is no democratic control over the commission, or the 15 member states. What is worse still is the Commission itself has managed to lever enough power by weakening the veto votes of democratically voted governments that it now controls the agenda, amd what laws are brought in. Its very close now to having control of law and order in Europe. You can soon forget member states, and your local member of parliament. You can forget your MEP, becuase they have no power whatsoever. You can soon look forward to having to put up with more and more layers of government, with little chance of it being answerable to anyone. You will have local goverment. You'll have your national government. You will have EU government. And all three will enjoy your taxes, and enjoy making more and more inroads into your individual freedom. I'm a Brit. I always will be. The people who back or believe in the EU are not only going to regret this later, but they are responsible for the greatest democratic catastrophe of the 20th/21th century. In seeking to end all wars in Europe, They have now created what they actually went to war over in the first place. Their national interests taken by outside forces, have been lost. As far as I am concerned, anyone who supports the EU, either does'nt give a damn, or is in on the scam in some way. Its a democratic disaster, and we will all suffer. admv0rl0n@btinternet.com
  • by joss (1346) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @06:15AM (#216638) Homepage
    unbelievable... how can such a bigoted, uninformed, logically preposterous, virtually fascist, article reach 5 ?

    Did you read the articles at all or did you just respond assuming that these "leftist" "terrorists" were opposing sensible law and order ?

    1. the police cannot get to this information at the moment

    2. if they could, why even bother with the legislation

    3. the point of the EU is not that everyone comes under same legislation. It was originally created to increase economic prosperity, but like all organisations quickly took on an agenda of increasing it's size, scope and power until it runs into the barriers caused by other entities pushing back against it.

    Purile propoganda tricks like associating one organisation with another to discredit it "same leftist agenda" or invoking bogeymen like kiddie porn to justify any intrusion only impress morons.
  • call up the government and ask them to send me a copy of a fax I received a year ago? This is all absurd. When do they start legislating that you can't conduct business by snail mail because it costs to much to open and photocopy each page. Do pet names count as encryption? Stop the MaDnEsS! Contact any legislator that you can find that can effect these plans and let them know that you will never support a canidate/party that advocates the wholesale capture of data based on the idea that someday they might want to use some of it against the "bad guys".


    Insert pithy comment here.
  • Industry: "Umm, sure, we'd be happy to archive 7 years worth of data, provided the EU pays for it."

    EU: "Okay. How much space will that be?"

    Industry: "Umm..."

    EU: Okay.
  • Here's thePrivacy Commissioner's [privcom.gc.ca] website. It's a little dry, but all the relevant current and proposed laws are archived there.
  • Sadly, you're probably right. And the EU would never foot the bill, either. Politicians are all for I wonder if it could be argued, in a civil suit on the part of the industry, that this would be too great a financial burden?

    On the other hand, this could be the perfect job for out-of-work former east bloc security types. They've got all that experience in snooping on people and organizing databases, after all.

    I'll bet Exabyte and company would like the sudden demand for their products, too. Maybe I'm being too cynical.
  • D'oh, should have previewed.

    Politicians are all for control, but not for handing out huge sums of money like this. I wonder if it could be argued, in a civil suit on the part of the industry, that this would be too great a financial burden?

  • My god. This could be the greatest porn archive in the history of humankind! Nay, the greatest in the universe!
  • Comes as a suprise like any government they wish to make sure they have the ability to see what is going on at all times. It is all about keeping thier people in check. It will be fun to see this one plays out.

  • One wonders if storage manufacturers lobbied for this.
  • What have we, as individuals and societies, done to create this situation? Is it just apathy? What has caused our governments to distrust us so?

    Maybe the fact we voted them in? to paraphrase Groucho, I wouldn't want to live in any country that would have me as a politician.

    With the daily not-so-gradual erosion of rights of the common man, all for the purpose it seems at making some rich white guys even richer, isn't it time we did something about it? I believe the word I'm searching for is 'revolution', and it's going to be messy.



  • Oh please. Point to all the (black) African multi-billionaires you know. Sure they screw their own people but they largely resist screwing the world while they're at it.

    Hey while you're at it, point to all the black billionaires of any nationality.

    I don't see how your comment about surrendering rights supports or negates my question of distrust.

  • The policies being adopted by the European Union and the United Nations are increasingly incompatible with the American Constitution.

    It is time we started realizing that these organizations are not our friends any more.

  • "I think on both sides of the ocean we face the same problems, we just deal with them differently."

    Therein lies the crux of the whole issue. I agree with your statement, but not that it lessens my argument.

    Generally, Europe's political evolution went from authoritarian systems to industrial cleptocracies (Socialism). Some implementations are more benevolent than others.

    Rather than list the ways government is empowered over its populous, our Constitution is a document whose purpose was to enumerate and limit the powers of government. The people who created that government were very leery of centralized control, and wisely instituted many safety valves against the bloat of what they thought of as a necessary evil: unified federal government.

    The European Union is collectivist in its nature, and in its soul. This is directly opposed to the core American political philosophy, regardless of whether the EU is more or less benevolent now.

    The United Nations, as you may recall, was instituted to bring together numerous disparate political interests in opposition of totalitarian (or what we might rightly call malevolent collectivist) regimes. The UN has bloated way beyond its charter, and America, unforunately bears a great deal of responsibility for that.

    In any case, our Constitution (being the Law of the land) clearly states that the populous has a right to bear arms. Countries whose political systems cannot tolerate an armed citizenry are working through the UN to establish a world-wide lockdown on firearms. Again, this is in direct conflict with the core of American philosophical thought!

    This issue is far more serious and has far greater long-term consequences for Americans than what is implied in your statement about how we are all just trying to solve problems, and do so differently.

    BTW, I agree with your statement about the FBI. That outfit needs a colonic suppository, stat! They certainly do not always act in the interests of the American population at large.

  • We know how much storage space this will require... likely the government does, as well. How long do you think it will be, really, before the EU, US, and other countries that sign on to these types of laws start providing government-run backup centers for this data... oh, no, not because they want centralized control of it; no, no, it'll just be more effecient that way, don't you know...

  • by rw2 (17419)
    Come on, you know that's a logical fallacy. There's no need or reason to assume that this is the start of anything else without further evidence.

    But there is futher evidence, isn't there? I mean isn't every YRO story on slashdot about something being stretched and twisted beyond reasonable comprehension by folks who either don't understand technology or are trying to limit rights in order to suit their misguided needs?

    Sounds like they're getting what they want so why would they need anything else?

    Sorry. I didn't realize you were joking until I read this line again.

    Yes, clearly they won't stop with this any more than they stopped at any of the previous points.

    --
    Poliglut [poliglut.com]

  • by rw2 (17419)
    your bad tape forgets redunancy.

    Nope, my bad tape assumes that sometime a tape and it's redundent copy will go bad. It happens. A lot.

    The problem is that tape basically sucks. In the 80's I can't tell you how many hours I spent re-running jobs at NCR because the needed tape and it's backup were trashed. Today I work at a major lab and we're building a PB scale tape farm. Our problem is that we can't find anything sufficiently reliable. Between the falability of the media itself and the firmware in the drives and awful lot can go wrong!

    --
    Poliglut [poliglut.com]

  • by rw2 (17419)
    Yup. I hear you. Unfortunately there aren't any PB scale non-tape solutions yet.

    We're investigating disk farms though! That would be cool!

    --
    Poliglut [poliglut.com]

  • by rw2 (17419) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @05:31AM (#216655) Homepage
    Come on people, this information already exists in server logs across the world! It's not like they are proposing something that is novel


    What they are proposing is novel (and significant) in that they are *requiring* that logging be turned on (which on many servers, for many reasons, it is not) *and* that the company spend it's time and money ensuring that the logs persist for seven years. Presumably one gets heavily fined if a backup tape goes bad!

    Ok, the backup tape might be a frear mongering, but I can imagine that if a tape goes bad and the gummint finds a memo outlining to backup processes that talks about the cost of media, the half-life of the media selected *and* then chooses to go the cheap route rather than ensure that they comply with the law that a fine for a bad tape is certainly going to happen.

    Slippery slope baby, slippery slope.

    --
    Poliglut [poliglut.com]

  • My friend, I really don't know why you have been modded up for that blatant troll.

    This information already exists, but for how long? 30 days by law in EU.

    So if you are so happy for international policing, why don't you place a camera into your home straight to the police so they can keep an eye on you, you never know, someone might break in and "hurt" your family.

    Although not a perfect example, I cannot illustrate the uses this data retention would allow, seven years is a long time.

    Can you imagine yourself running for mayor and the local news is publishing stories about you posting links to goatse.cx when you were a teenager? Or a story about you posing as a teenager in a chatroom talking dirty to some bloke in Afghanistan? You might have thought it was funny at the time, and its only a joke. Or your prospective employer asking you about your visits to a AIDS information website?

    Wouldn't like it would you?

    So in future before posting your inflammatory comments, think about the implications for others who might use the internet for human rights issues or those who are critical of a government regime.

    Its a serious issue and one not worth the above purile comments in the hope of scoring some trivial little "karma".
  • I hope your anti-virus updates include everything that's come down the pike in the past seven years.
    /.
  • I agree with most of your points. There is a definite need for a police force. My concern is that the aim of the police force is becoming to make sure there is a police force, rather than to protect and serve.

    OK, this is a _bit_ offtopic...

    I took a short course given by a couple of Atlanta police officers. The topic: self-defense with a gun (we went out to the range and shot at targets, too). They said the term "protect and serve" is a bunch of hooey, they don't stand around guarding you, they show up to write the crime report. I liked these guys, they even handed out copies of the pertinent state laws on using lethal force for self-defense, and said, "better judged by 12 than carried by 6". Remember, these are _police officers_ talking. But also, it was Atlanta, GA, where the crime is HIGH.

    Also, when the risk of being caught is increased, casual crime will decrease. Serious (professional) criminals don't care what the chance of being caught is, they just charge more. This is what makes organized crime fruitful.

    What makes it fruitful is the economic payoff. Something that is in demand (say, illegal drugs in the US) but has no supply, will find bootleggers and smugglers stepping in to provide the supply. There's too much money to be made. The cost to the consumer is higher, because of the risks and precautions the suppliers must take. But the payoffs are still too good to pass up. This is the economics of the black market.
    --

  • Why did I *know* that child pornography argument was going to get wheeled out again by somebody supporting these Big Brother tactics? Why don't we just go a step further and track all sales of photographic and video film equipment? After all, producing child porn requires film. Oh, and electric power, and batteries; so we may just want to bug the homes of everyone connected to the electric grid, to be on the totally safe side. By the way, what exactly is your problem with "liberals"? If sticking up for human rights to privacy is so wrong in your book, then I deeply pity you.
  • by joq (63625) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @06:18AM (#216660) Homepage Journal
    Besides, statewatch is part of the same leftist agenda as organisations like IMC, who fear that if their "privacy" is breached, then they can't continue their terrorist campaigns against innocent people who work towards ensuring global prosperity.

    You say toe * may * toe I say toe * mah * toe. One thing I will say from my perspective on this which doesn't count for shit in the real world, but I like to look at things from all angles.

    Global Prosperity: Things were just fine before bills such as this, so why would you want to introduce one to ripple the waves in still water?

    If you don't know the EU is passing a Cybercrime Treaty document which would (hopefully for them) give Law Enforcement Agency's the right to cross investigate crimes and act on them which at first seems like a good idea. But what's forseen is abuse.

    Take the FBI who seeks a warrant and gets denied in the United States. That same agent will be able to seek another country to serve that warrant up for them, circumventing the laws of this land. See a problem with this or notion of future abuse?

    Why shouldn't citizens have the same right to privacy as governments tout. If anything the governments should not be the ones to hide anything for any reason, we put them there, and we have every right to know what our government is doing.

    Just because you have people that keep a close watch on government doesn't mean they're criminals, and I suggest you read the interview I did with John Young from Cryptome.org who shed light to dispel those anti government theories here. [antioffline.com]

    So while you see things one way, doesn't mean its wrong, doesn't mean someone else is wrong, but there are always alternative sides to an issue which you may not see so clearly.


  • by joq (63625) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @06:00AM (#216661) Homepage Journal
    News coverage:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/5/19003.html [theregister.co.uk]
    The Council of the European Union, which represents the 15 member governments, will discuss implementing a policy originally designed with the FBI six years ago. It calls for the retention of "every phone call, every mobile phone call, every fax, every e-mail, every website's contents, all internet usage, from anywhere, by everyone, to be recorded, archived and be accessible for at least seven years," notes the journal.


    After reading that I was a bit amused since I think its part of the Cybercrime bill they're trying to pass which would allow LEA's to exchange information, and cross warrants to be served, however for those who don't know, Dubya said no to the bill so lets get that out. (I'll find the link when I can just woke up).

    Anyways here is the most insighful/interesting document I found on it with an excerpt. [link [cryptome.org]]

    Privacy is dead. We are watched by 1.5m closed-circuit television cameras, more per head of population than any country on Earth. Our government, police and intelligence services have more legal powers to poke around in our private lives than those of communist China. And thanks to new technologies from mobile phones to the internet, they can use those powers to find out where we are, whom we talk or send e-mails to, and what websites we click on. According to most experts in the field, a police state with powers of control and surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of Hitler or Stalin could now be established in Britain within 24 hours. And guess what: MI5 probably read this article before you did. It was delivered by e-mail, a hopelessly insecure system. It is full of the sort of security-sensitive words the spooks look out for, and, as I shall explain, I seem to be an MI5

    target.

    But the weirdest thing of all is that we really don't care. To take an example that may sound trivial but isn't, the Television Licensing Authority is currently running an advertising campaign boasting of its ability to invade our privacy. Hoardings show a local street sign with the caption that declares, four people in this street don't have a TV licence and the TLA knows who they are.


    Sad to see these things, but soon we're going to have an influx of either zombies, or guys like Gene Hackman's Enemy of the State character around.
  • Get rid of your signature, it appears in every email and gives big brother food for doing correlations.

    Alternatively, use something to generate random sigs. I'm sure fortune can be used for this. I've even seen something that can do it for OutlookDistress.
  • Statist whore....get off my Internet.
  • > But the weirdest thing of all is that we really don't care.
    >To take an example that may sound trivial but isn't, the
    > Television Licensing Authority is currently running an
    > advertising campaign boasting of its ability to invade our
    > privacy. Hoardings show a local street sign with the
    > caption that declares, four people in this street don't
    > have a TV licence and the TLA knows who they are.

    I read once that the TLA don't have any advanced equipment to detect who has a tv license and who doesn't and use the less technologically impressive method of assuming that everyone has a television and hassling people at addresses that don't have a license. This came from someone who was hassled pretty much every year despite not having a tv in his house.
  • Phew, too right. Plus imagine trying to data-mine that lot to find any actual criminals. In 7 years AOL alone must generate 100s terabytes or more of logs of just the URLs of sites that it's users request (using rough guesstimates, natch). Where does all this get stored? And who pays (oh, wait, that'll be us won't it?)?

    If they record packets too, then we're looking at a vast boring and largely pointless sea of data, and as people use the net more and send more stuff this is going to swell to utterly ridiculous proportions (think about how much data was getting passed by ISPs 7 years ago).

  • Will you be saying that when you are the first against the wall?
  • So how can I fight it?
    Direct Encryption? No, I have to hand over my key or face prison.

    I think the only way to even attempt to defeat this is via data hiding. It's funny that the methods that the RIAA etc. are suing to prevent me watching TV shows when I choose are very similar to the methods I might use to prevent the spooks spooking.

    Time to get tunneling me thinks.

    .oO0Oo.
  • your bad tape forgets redunancy.

    At the moment my connection goes through many, many providers. The law would be no use if it was just the website logs that were kept. It's when ALL the isp's keep logs about ALL traffic that the power comes along.

    I already have a proxy server forced on me by ntl: which is a right pain sometimes.
    .oO0Oo.
  • i think my ip address is somewhat more useful than my sig
    .oO0Oo.
  • As more and more governments start doing this I'm really planning to start using GPG on a regular basis. Not that I have a lot of interesting things to say but they don't have the right to know if I have interesting things to say IMO! If we all start doing this then those logs will be useless (ignoring Quantum computing for a moment here.. and Quantum key transportation would come to the rescue anyway ;-D).

    LICQ [sourceforge.net] seems to be supporting SSL connections, I'm sure there's a plug-in for Windows but I couldn't find it. A more interesting thing that I found for Windows, however, is a PGP-ICQ [samopal.org] plug-in. This plug-in is claimed to be open-source though the license seems to be one they invented themself [1]. Anyone care to port this thing? Perhaps they're willing to relicense to an(other) open-source license.

    [1] I found this (I changed the formatting because of the lameness filter) at the top of PGPICQ.cpp and found no other license notices:

    PGPICQ.cpp : implementation file

    Copyright (c) 2000 Samopal Corporation.
    All right are all right (tm)

    For news and updates visit http://www.samopal.com/soft/pgpicq/
    Email your comments to pgpicq@samopal.com

    Free use and distribution of this source code allowed
    under the condition of keeping this header intact.

    PS: Are the Slashdot admins hosting Quake games or something? Uptimes are terrible lately. I've spent way to much time trying to get this thing posted.

  • "The weather today, will be sunny and fine..."

    I think its a suitable quote for the way our governments are going.

    /me points and waves at big brother
  • Today:
    Anonymity is bad for business
    Last November, the Council's Working Party on Police Co-operation put its case succinctly:- "It is impossible for investigation services to know in advance which traffic data will prove useful in a criminal investigation. The only effective national legislative measure would therefore be to prohibit the erasure or anonymity of traffic data."


    Tomorrow:
    "It is impossible for investigation services to know in advance which individuals or knowledge will prove useful in a criminal investigation. The only effective national legislative measure would therefore be to prohibit the erasure or anonymity of knowledge gathered. Please report to your nearest policestation to get your DNA sampled, transmitter implanted and recording devices installed in your eyes and ears."

    ...and the scariest part is that I think lots of people won't mind.

    Kjella
  • It will sure require a lot of manpower to keep track of this. But what if they dont ? One could argue that it's not worth having a police force, since it cost money as well.

    There has to be a balance between cost and effect. The basic reason is to prevent crime from being profitable. As long as most criminals dont make money on robbing a bank, they will think twise about doing it. People dont cheat when telling the goverment about their earnings the year before, since the consequences (and chance of) being caught is to large.

    The same must go for software piracy and other illegal activities online. When the risk of being caught is increased, crime will decline.

  • I'm going to have to buy a case of CDR's just to keep a copy of all my SPAM ;-). What, I can't delete it anymore?

    It's evidence.

    I can imagine the horrors of that for ISPs, etc. cancelbots illegal, etc.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by Alien54 (180860) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @05:36AM (#216675) Journal
    Just the idea that someone could be required to have seven years of backups is scary.

    Strangely enough there are suggestions that europe has strong elements that are pushng towards social control and social purity on many fronts.

    This cuts both ways, in that the proposed controls on dangerous groups are applauded by many, until the amount of research that a eurocop would want to have at his finger tips is added up. Typically, it boils down to the idea of folks being in favor of the benefits of a police state only for certain people. People need to sort out their thinking on this just a bit.

    The SOS Europe site is at:

    http://www.statewatch.org/soseurope.htm

    The page with the listing of the full documentation is here:

    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2001/may/03Cenfopol .htm

    alot of the docs are in PDF format, but the documentation you seek is on the second page.

    as noted here
    http://www.statewatch.org/news/dec00/01tapping.htm

    The demand for a new law for all records to be held and maintained for at least seven years comes out of the discussions held in the G8 group on High-Tec Crime. Public pronouncements on how long records of all communications should be held varies from one to six months.The period of seven years requested by the NCIS matches the demands of the FBI in the G8 discussions where it is being argued that every country has to have the same, extensive, time-limit because otherwise it will be impossible to track communications. It is said that if a communication, say a telephone call, involves four different countries (A, B, C & D) intelligence-gathering will be useless if countries B & C do not hold full data for the same time period.

    The G8 discussions have centred on the "problems" created for law enforcement and security and intelligence agencies by the 1995 and 1996 EU Data Protection Directives which require communications data to be destroyed once it is surplus to commercial needs - after a few days or weeks. Faced with this situation the agencies attending the G8 meetings are campaigning at national level for their governments to opt out of the Directives in order to establish de facto "international standards for data retention" (NCIS).

    I am fascinated and alarmed by the FBI connection

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • so what you are sugetsing is to use all your bandwidth up to stop them following your actions. Sounds like youur willing to chop off your legs so they cannot make you go for a run :P
  • This is probably in the same vein as the leaked document [cryptome.org] "NCIS submission on communication data retention law". they proposed much the same thing, allegedle to confirm alibis and track known criminals. It's on Cryptome [cryptome.org]

    It was mentioned on Slashdot, but it was a while ago.

    It wasn't clear in the document whether or not it was the content of the communication or the record of the communication. The cost of storing the data (UK only) was estimated at nine million pounds per year, based on the current running costs of the National DNA Database. Initial costs would probably be higher.

  • "The same must go for software piracy and other illegal activities online. When the risk of being caught is increased, crime will decline."

    I think that there are three problems with this notion. The first is that of defining what should and should not be illegal. It is very easy to pass draconian laws. Laws should be there when there is an overriding reason for them, and not otherwise. Many of the drugs laws are examples of where this has not happened. And in the past the laws against homosexuality, against pregancy outside marriage and so on are good examples of unjust laws. Currently the notions that we have of software "piracy" and intellectual property theft are other examples. The law here is in rapid flux and seems to becoming more and more restrictive.

    The second problem is that the powers that the police have to investigate crime need to be curtailed so that they do not limit the freedoms of the of those who are not commiting crime. I would for instance object to the police having the right of access to my house and home to check that I was not commiting a crime. They have to have reasonable evidence of a crime in the first place. Good examples of where this notion has been flouted are with the stop and search laws in Britian. The police used these regularly, with an enourmous bias towards searching people who were black. This caused so much tension and distrust that policing became harder, not easier. And eventually the sitation exploded in riots, and several deaths.

    The final point is that we can not assume that the security forces are necessarily honest and trustworthy. We must be able to check that they are trustworth. Providing access to this massive amount of information would be very tempting for organised criminals. It is not unknown these organisations to buy members of the security forces.

    These new powers seem very worrying to me, and I suspect bad things will come of them.

    Phil

  • "You can bet that these organisations will be raising a stink, because it's their "freedom" that allows them to get away with such criminal activities."

    Freedom is a simple enough concept. People have to be free to disagree with what you think. Simply describing someone as a terrorist does not make them so. Simply because someone disagrees with the currently prevailing neoliberal agenda does not make them a terrorist.

    Its very easy for governments to pass ever more draconian laws to protect "law and order". When they do these laws will get abused (take for instance the previous article about scientologists). Organisations like statewatch are no doubt scared of seeing these abuses in the future because they have seen them again and again in the past.

    Phil

  • My company just gave up on tape as of this month...to many wasted hours, and to much lost data....

    Jaysyn
  • I'm not so sure the only way to defeat this is by hiding your data via a tunneling protocol. This proposal will be subject to the same sorts of limitations as every internet law passed by Congress: JURISDICTION. I wouldn't let the EU get their socialist paws on my pipe to the net, but if they did, maybe some sort of leased farm of X-servers in the states to ssh to would help. just keep everything there- all they have is a record of the ssh packets.

    With broadband net access for everyone in the not-so-distant future, I think it might actually be funny to see how unworkable the EU's 'net legislation is going to become.

    Or you could move to Trinidad and start a gambling site (fie on extradition).
  • I'm going to have to buy a case of CDR's just to keep a copy of all my SPAM ;-). What, I can't delete it anymore?
  • Does the law enforcement community have more interest in keping their own jobs than actually stopping crime?
    It would seem so. The manpower it will take to even give a cursory look at all that data after the computer has filtered it (and missed several million criminal transmissions - we know filtering doesn't work) is staggering.

  • I agree with most of your points. There is a definite need for a police force. My concern is that the aim of the police force is becoming to make sure there is a police force, rather than to protect and serve.
    Also, when the risk of being caught is increased, casual crime will decrease. Serious (professional) criminals don't care what the chance of being caught is, they just charge more. This is what makes organized crime fruitful.

  • Several years back, when I read Judge Dredd comics, I was audibly pondering whether it would be a good thing for a peace officer to have Judge/Jury/Executioner power to the extent the judges had in the comics. When you've been cut off by an inconsiderate driver, found your neighbor taking their dog for a "walk" on your lawn ("why does the grass die in circles like that?"), or you get stuck behind someone with 25 items in the Express Cash/ATM line and they've only got checks, you can rationalize all to quickly how good it would be for an officer to be present and administer justice on the spot. The trick is balancing what's fair, what's realistic and what powers the citizen is willing to delegate for safety and security. The comic store owner overheard my rhetorical thoughts and gave me a piece of his mind. He had good points on civil liberties and opened my eyes. I wouldn't mind the government tracking some things, but everything? No. Not even.

    --
    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • IRL that was meant to be ironic and humorous. Sorry you missed it. We can't all have the same sense of irony or humor, that's what makes the world such a great place. Celebrate perversity.

    On a side note, I'm under the impression that Spammers are already doing the above mentioned. So, what we have here is a congress trying to hammer out some way for Spam to work and a Congress which allows surveillance to clutter up "data warehouses" the way they once filled warehourses with paper copies of everything.

    --
    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @05:35AM (#216687) Homepage Journal
    Create apps which generate bogus network traffic among sites, I.E. generate emails out of your spelling dictionary, and stuff like that. Use bots to surf, download, etc. Create extraneous garbage posts to bulletin boards..uh..like..goats.ex..uh...kinda like..uh..on slashdot...er... Well, anyway, it'll keep em hopping and maybe drive up employment in the mass storage businesses. :)

    Sir, the cracker refered to a Beowulf Cluster of VIC-20 computers.
    Good work, Johnson, what have searches turned up?
    7.43e14 references to Beowulf Clusters on a site called Slashdot between 2000 and 2006.
    Right! Shut them down and haul them in. Break out the rubber gloves, men!

    --
    All your .sig are belong to us!

  • I caint even back up all my data coz Windoze
    erases half of them (everything not on a DOS,
    Linux or OpenBSD partition) every few weeks.
    FORMAT D: really is scheduled for me, and
    sometimes I even caint rescue my windoze data...

    I think of such laws that they violate anyone's
    privacy (German Grundgesetz §10 for example).


    --
  • Please, don't tell me that you should be allowed to break the laws in the country that you're in -- you agreed to be bound by those laws or you, right now, would be campaiging against your 70mph motorway speed limit (I'm British). You'd be campaigning against the drink-driving laws there are, and more.

    Unfortunately you are stuck with them. Not enough people will care about the laws addressed by this article, and the tyranny of the majority will win. The only option is then emigration, which is only an option to very few people.

    Odd how you can't campaign against the social shame of being caught with your hard disk full of pr0n, or the social shame of maknig a fool of yourself ;-). This is what I really believe to be the issue.

    These are really minor issues - few people care these days if you've got a hard disk full of pr0n, and for most private citizens, you won't get made a fool of publically.

    But what about corruption? Say you're in a competitive business, and one of your competitors happens to know a law-enforcement official. What if said official was corrupt enough to allow your competitor to view all your phone traffic and your IP traffic? You're terribly naive if you think that won't happen, because it's almost certain to happen. And even if you encrypt it, under the RIP bill, the enforcer can force you to decrypt it and you can't even tell anyone you're being forced to do this without risking prison.

  • It's time to get behind development of good steganographic protocols to make it flat imposssible to know if information had been exchanged, much less the content of that exchange.
  • You'd never have seen proposed legislation like this a couple of years ago when storage media and technology was significantly more expensive. Technology changes and governments move to take advantage of it, rather than asking HOW SHOULD we make use of this technology?, They as CAN we make use of this technology?

    It creates a larger burocracy and many more jobs. Weather it's useful - who's to say... It might be valuable to go back, 6 years from now and re-evaluate a communivation make by an indevidual who has risen to a position where they are a threat to someone else. Wait a minute? Didn't the FBI do this back in the 1950s? This is just on a somewhat larget scale...

    --CTH

    --
  • Yah, my bad.
    --
  • a wheel-clamper is someone who goes round with a big (often yellow) metal thingy, which they lock onto the wheels of your car or other vehicle so that you can't drive it away, they then usually charge you a fee to take it off. Obviously they can only do this if you have illegally parked your vehicle, say in a no-stopping zone, or if you are in a car park and haven't actually paid for a ticket. Interestingly, did you ask out of sarcasm, because you hadn't heard that term for them or because you don't have them where you live? They are all over the place here, bah. Also we got lots of new CCTV cameras now, all over town in big ominous black pods, yay.
  • Seriously, it's in tons of business articles.

    The EU, as I've been saying, is not waiting for the US to get it's act together and respect privacy rights. They know they're right, that we on the Net need data and personal privacy, and if big business and the US government (aka Big Business' Little Brother) can't grok that, too bad.

    Give me opt-in or give me death!

  • It is a sad fact that, when confronted with a new technology, your average slashdot can only think of two uses for it. One is to cluster instances of the technology in a warped and criminally damaging fashion, and the other is to use it to advance their unhealthy interest in pornography.

    It seems to me that slashdots should form their own little club or something.

    --

  • This is exactly the kind of point I was trying to make when I suggested that slashdots should unite.

    Your frivolous comments claiming that slashdots were somehow "not sentient" have set my plan back by a number of months. Your anti slashdot FUD is the last thing we serious slashdots need when planning our revolution.

    Aha, and also, and aha

    --

  • Please ignore all other slashdots making comments about this topic. Glytch is the only slashdot with enough insight and sentience to truly master the medium. All other slashdots should stand back and observe his masterful slashdot technique.

    It is imperative that slashdots learn gradually from low ID masters such as this fellow.

    --

  • Little bit off: "Those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin, 1759
  • ... and just spray paint their messages on the walls - this would then force every government to log every single packet ever generated ! Imagine having to filter through that stuff.....
    Nope : This guys just out for fragging
    Nope : This guys just out for fragging
    Nope : This guys just out for fragging
    Nope : This guys just out for fragging
    Yeah : This guys chalking the outline of the DeCSS code. Let's GET 'HIM (4 years after the event..)

  • Maybe this is getting off-topic, but i'll try to make it interesting.

    The policies being adopted by the European Union and the United Nations are increasingly incompatible with the American Constitution.

    There are more differences in culture and opinion. Hou about abortion, drugs and guns? I think on both sides of the ocean we face the same problems, we just deal with them differently. That isn't really strange I would think. We're talking about two continents with two different histories.
    Consider this: the U in USA exists far longer than the U in EU. The laws in the different european countries are more or less the same, but still we're dealing with a lot of defferences. Some countries will use the Euro while others want to wait.

    So is this a reason to say It is time we started realizing that these organizations are not our friends any more? Guess not. There are a lot of mutual interests between the USA and the EU. Just because there is a difference it doesn't mean someone (organisation) is scary or you can't be "friends" with them.
    Cooperation is far more interesting and will result in better things than isolation (or 'giving up friendship'). How about 'global economy'.

    "It CAN be done, Loesje."

    ---
  • by imipak (254310) on Thursday May 17, 2001 @07:59AM (#216701) Journal
    Cheers for the links.

    Speaking as a UK citizen who was once (looong ago :) politically active in one of the mainstream political parties, I find that I'm getting more, not less, radicalised as I get older (I'm in my early 30s now.) I think there are broad generalised conclusions we can all draw, which more-or-less hold true throughout the developed world:

    • Politicians don't understand the internet;
    • The more they find out about it (mostly from to highly tendentious briefings from the organisations of state and corporate control - see below), the more frightening they find it.
    • Police and spook organisations see it as a magic carpet to increased powers, greater control, and bigger budgets.
    • We who see that freedom of speech, increased communication across borders (geographical, political, cultural) have a moral duty to educate others, agitate against such terrible laws as much as practical, and push the boundaries of freedom back.

    These proposals are up there with the current proposal here in the UK to enforce compulsory licenses for all sysadmins. No, really!! http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/7/18879.html [theregister.co.uk]

    Like RIP (trust PGP communication with a UK citizen? Sucker! [stand.org.uk]), there are a lot of laws stacking up that are impractical, or too unpopular, to be enforced yet. These are *more* repressive - when enforcement of the law becomes discretionary, the scene is set for corruption and repression. The drug laws are a good example: as a 30-something white middle class male in regular employment and no record, recreational drugs are de-facto decriminalised for me. But if the cops want to "get" some working class black kid who gets up their nose by (say) protesting about deaths in custody... guess how easy it is for him to "disappear" into prison, with the likely destruction of his future prospects even if it's a short sentence? Pure evil. These things are going onto the statute books so that they can be pulled out of their sleeves when they're needed by the powers-that-be.

    We've got an election in progress here at present, let's try to raise these issues at every opportunity.
    -- "I'm not downloaded, I'm just loaded and down"

  • I don't know how it is in the rest of Europe or in the rest of the world, but here in Holland I'm not that worried. If you just use encryption, your privacy is pretty much ensured. There are ofcourse laws that say that you have to hand over your key, but it is arguable that the same rigorous protocols are necessary in such a case as in the case of tapping phonelines, reading s-mail, etc. If the police think there is information in your files that is incriminating to others, you can be forced to hand over the key for a certain amount of time, if this is reasonable. This is comparable to the laws applicable when a journalist is forced to reveal a source. If the information is incriminating for yourself, you cannot be forced at all, because you cannot be forced to testify to your own disadvantage. There is a tendency for new "digital" laws to be sloppy with your rights and your privacy, but you can always go back to old laws. You can always argue that a certain law is contradictory with another law, in which case a judge is perfectly within his rights to ignore the newer law and send it back to the people who make the laws.
  • A nice way of doing this would be to tell your application (ssh for instance), to not only encrypt the data, but to padd it with hot words in plain ascii. btw. if you really want to go paranoia, using long encryption keys is not enough. Get rid of your signature, it appears in every email and gives big brother food for doing correlations.
  • I guess a lawyer service watching all my communications and warning me about what may become illegal in the next seven years will be the long-searched killer application for next generation (i.e. UMTS) mobile networks.

  • This document is being blatently misrepresented by agencies like statewatch which are always interested in pushing their liberal agendas at the cost of necessary advances in the state of international policing.

    Come on people, this information already exists in server logs across the world! It's not like they are proposing something that is novel, just ensuring that everyone comes under the same regulations, which is surely the whole point of joining the EU. The police can get to this information at the moment, you're not losing out in any way. But by making it easier, police can move more swiftly against organisations like the Wonderland child porn ring, who were international in scope, making investigation tricky and time-consuming.

    Besides, statewatch is part of the same leftist agenda as organisations like IMC, who fear that if their "privacy" is breached, then they can't continue their terrorist campaigns against innocent people who work towards ensuring global prosperity. You can bet that these organisations will be raising a stink, because it's their "freedom" that allows them to get away with such criminal activities.

  • Slippery slope baby, slippery slope.

    Come on, you know that's a logical fallacy. There's no need or reason to assume that this is the start of anything else without further evidence. Sounds like they're getting what they want so why would they need anything else? At the end of the day these people are just that, people, not monsters...

  • Based on this article and the scientology flap, it seems like Canada is the best place to live right now. I've been in the States for about three years, but I'm thinking it's time to move back.

    Any resident Canadians care to update me on the current electronic privacy legislation in Canada?
    -----------------

  • Thanks. The most useful page is the summary page here [privcom.gc.ca]. From the summary page: The Act gives you control over your personal information by requiring organizations to obtain your consent to collect, use or disclose information about you. The Act confers certain rights on individuals, and imposes specific obligations on organizations.

    It certainly sounds a lot better than anything going on in the U.S. or Europe right now. Of course, Canada doesn't have any monolithic "Law Enforcement" agencies like the FBI to impose their will on anyone. (CSIS is a little scary, but I don't they have any way to circumvent the privacy laws.)
    -----------------

  • Why do you inject that "white guy" here ?
    Trust me, as far as getting rich while "serving" people goes, Africa and its various "presidents" are masters at this trade.

    "What has caused our governments to distrust us so? "

    What ? Every time you surrender one of your rights to the government (usually it goes along with taxation-higher taxes mean more of your daily needs being taken care of by bunch of government employees) you contribute to that problem.
  • Goverments are always evil and distrustfull , therefore degree to which you are dependend on the goverment is degree of distrust you will be subjected to.
  • "people but they largely resist screwing the world while they're at it. "

    Onlly because they lack neccesary means.
  • Why can't they just use DejaNews [deja.com] like the rest of us?
  • I've looked at their website but can't seem to find any mention made of it. http://www.etno.be/
    is the site of the European Telco Network's industry association. And I know it's something that concerns them (as much as it concerns their members), but they have yet to publish a reflection document about it.

    And to the rest of you, the cry that we don't seem to care? It's probably true. I reckon that's more to do with the fact that wanting to hide something has a huge correlation with the need to hide something.

    Please, don't tell me that you should be allowed to break the laws in the country that you're in -- you agreed to be bound by those laws or you, right now, would be campaiging against your 70mph motorway speed limit (I'm British). You'd be campaigning against the drink-driving laws there are, and more.

    Odd how you can't campaign against the social shame of being caught with your hard disk full of pr0n, or the social shame of maknig a fool of yourself ;-). This is what I really believe to be the issue.

    (a word about myself: I'm a Christian who believes that a far scarier end is met by everyone for the wrong they've done: Judgement. This judgement is a public thing before all of mankind, where our actions are considered. So if I've done something wrong in the eyes of mankind or God, you're going to know it anyway. So what if you find out now? I plan to live a better life than that, one free of any social shame.
    And please don't moderate this down because I've expressed my personal religious viewpoint.)

    Take care,
    Ken.
  • "Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety shall have neither" -- Thomas Jefferson.

    That pretty much sums up my opinion on the matter.

    Setting up a surveillance network to catch government stupidity,
  • Keeping all logs for seven years will require some storage. And for the law enforcement to be really efficients, a copy of all packets should be saved too.

    Sorry gotta go, need to put all my savings into EMC.

Money is the root of all wealth.

Working...