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"Three Strikes" To Go Ahead In Britain 294

Posted by Soulskill
from the follow-the-money dept.
David Gerard writes "Lord Peter Mandelson has carefully ignored the Gowers Report and the Carter Report, instead taking the advice of his good friend David Geffen and announcing that 'three strikes and you're out' will become law in Britain. The Open Rights Group has, of course, hit the roof. Oh, and never mind MI5 and the police pointing out that widespread encryption will become normal, hampering their efforts to keep up with little things like impending terrorist atrocities. Still, worth it to stop a few Lily Allen tracks being shared, right?"
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"Three Strikes" To Go Ahead In Britain

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  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:16AM (#29896851)

    Can we also have a 3 strikes law on Slashdot for dupes??

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:27AM (#29897033)

      The "minister" resposible for this was forced out of office twice for misconduct, he has no place even being in public office.

      • by Smegly (1607157) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:20AM (#29897829)
        Some misconduct links for the unelected Mandleson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Mandelson#Recent_controversies [wikipedia.org]
        but wikipedia is missing some other controversy:
        From Lord Mandelson: Whitehall's Emperor, or just a team player? [independent.co.uk]

        "Unelected yet holding a raft of political positions, including that of cabinet minister, Mandelson is the TV executive who learned to play both the Labour party and the UK system. Previously forced out of Blair's cabinet office twice, once for mortgage fraud and once for abusing his power to help chums get passports, Blair nevertheless then gifted Mandelson the job of Britain's European Commissioner for Trade in 2004 where he hob nobbed on yachts with Microsoft executives and Russian oligarths wanting favours, and then inexplicably returned to the UK in 2008 a very rich man.... Who says the public sector doesn't pay?!! Even the UK citizenship of Mandelson's Brazilian boyfriend stinks of favourtism and misconduct. Reinaldo Avila da Silva came to Britain in 1996 aged 22 on a student visa and was picked up by the then 43 year old Mandelson pretty much on his first night out. Da Silva had no right to British citizenship in 2005, indeed it was apparent that he had overstayed his visa and as such was an illegal immigrant. No worries, a few phone calls from Mandelson and da Silva was safely clutching a shiny new British passport. "

      • by duguk (589689) <dug@[ ]g.co.uk ['fra' in gap]> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @12:36PM (#29898897) Homepage Journal
        Agreed. Email your local MP (http://www.writetothem.com/) I've created a petition too, but it's not live yet. I'll reply when it is.

        Text:
        Sith Peter Mandelson has carefully ignored the Gowers Report and the Carter Report, instead taking the advice of his good friend David Geffen (Dreamworks, Geffen Records, previously Warner too) - announcing that 'three strikes and you're out' will become law in Britain.

        This is the same "minister" who was forced out of office twice for misconduct, he has no place even being in public office, especially if his views are not unbiased; especially given two Governmental reports to the contrary.

        This law is unconstitutional and doesn't account for users with insecure internet connections who are abused and requires no court intervention. European has even considered this a abuse of human rights if it goes forward. It would not be surprising to hear of DCMA style complaints being made, even wrongly, and ISPs would be forced to disconnect users without any proof.

        The Open Rights Group has, of course, hit the roof. Oh, and never mind MI5 and the police pointing out that widespread encryption will become normal, hampering their efforts to keep up with little things like impending terrorist atrocities. Still, it's worth it to stop a few Lily Allen tracks being shared, right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by shic (309152)

        Don't worry, he's only had two strikes - he's in the clear until he gets a third.

  • by kazade84 (1078337) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:16AM (#29896853)

    I've contacted my MP. The open rights group has a brief PDF to send to them so they are clued up. Ask them to back EDM 1997.

    More info here: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/ask-your-mp-to-help-protect-our-freedoms-on-the-net [openrightsgroup.org]

    • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:22AM (#29896973) Homepage

      Do you think they care at all what the people think? If anything proves that any form of democracy is not at work here, this does. Business interests are guiding, directing and even controlling government all over the world. The world may be pissed off at the U.S. government, but one only has to look to the "Military Industrial Complex" for why things are the way they are.

      • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:51AM (#29897387)

        but one only has to look to the "Military Industrial Complex" for why things are the way they are.

        I think the M-I complex is more complicated. Defense contractors in the U.S. are smart about creating jobs in the states of legislators whose votes they need. This in turn builds up public support in those states for the defense programs that might not be in the overall national interest (militarily and/or fiscally).

        So one might argue that when the constituents are being parochial and myopic in their support for various spending, that is democracy in action. And it can lead to abysmal results.

        • by WinterSolstice (223271) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:54AM (#29897441)

          I disagree - I happen to work for a massive piece of this 'M-I Complex', and we're dying here. All the major aerospace and defense companies are going through a seriously hard time and shedding people or outsourcing like mad.

          If it were as simple as this, I wouldn't be looking for work :)

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Hadlock (143607)

            I think they're talking about schemes where projects like the B-2 bomber have parts manufactured in all 50 states, making projects like that hard to kill, since they employ someone in every congressional district.

          • by JWW (79176) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:13AM (#29897717)

            I'd have to agree. I think what we are seeing is the full taking of power of the Banking-Content complex with banks and entertainment industries calling almost all the shots in government.

            Look, banks are getting Hundreds of Billions of dollars thrown at them and NASA can't even make a case of increasing funding by single billions of dollars.

            The Military will eventually be cut back dramatically, the leading edge of this is the new weapons systems, which is whats putting the aerospace and defense contractors in a bind.

            I know I've brought up before, but theres a hell of a lot of engineers and scientists being thrown out of the M-I complex right now, but the politicians are stressing 'science and engineering' education. My response to this is what the fuck are they doing this for? Specifically the Banking-Content complex has absolutely NO value for science and engineering (I count the quants as complete sellouts so they don't count and lord knows that the content industry has NO ONE who understands technology at all).

            Look, banks are getting Hundreds of Billions of dollars thrown at them and NASA can't even make a case of increasing funding by single billions of dollars.

            The Military will eventually be cut back dramatically, the leading edge of this is the new weapons systems, which is whats putting the aerospace and defense contractors in a bind.

            I know I've brought up before, but theres a hell of a lot of engineers and scientists being thrown out of the M-I complex right now, but the politicians are stressing 'science and engineering' education. My response to this is what the fuck are they doing this for? Specifically the Banking-Content complex has absolutely NO value for science and engineering (I count the quants as complete sellouts so they don't count and lord knows that the content industry has NO ONE who understands technology at all).

            We are in an age where those who handle the money and sell sight and sound think they're the only game in town. The Industrial part of the complex is completely gone.

            • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:56AM (#29898365)

              I know I've brought up before,

              ...

              I know I've brought up before,

              Yeah, but damn...

            • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @12:15PM (#29898603) Journal

              >>>We are in an age where those who handle the money and sell sight and sound think they're the only game in town. The Industrial part of the complex is completely gone.
              >>>

              I'm watching a World War 2 movie right now, where German Rommel says "We need to take Africa before the industrial might of America arrives." If Rommel had been fighting the current American economy, which revolves around Walmart and movies/music, then he'd probably say, "America? Ha. The land of 'do you want some fries with that?' is not a threat." America has no industrial might.

              • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @02:09PM (#29900279) Journal

                Actually pre WWII he probably would have said "America? Where they have to make work because they have no jobs? they are not a threat.". You have to remember America wasn't some big super power then, IIRC our military was something like 58th because we had let so much just rot after WWI.

                What made America a threat was the fact that we had enough raw materials we could make war without anyone else coming to our aid. If we wouldn't have brought supplies to Britain the wolf packs would have starved them out. of course whether we could do that again in a time of total war is debatable, as our oil fields have long since run dry and it would probably take a decade or more to get something like ANWR producing, even if we hurried it as part of the war effort.

                So while I agree that our industrial might is gone, it wasn't very great then either. We were just able to convert existing businesses, such as having Ford cranking out tanks, and having the raw materials, that gave us an advantage once the Japs hit Pearl. Whether or not Pearl was a result of Roosevelt purposely stirring up shit with the Japs in the hopes of getting us in the war when many preferred neutrality is a debate for another day.

          • by Smegly (1607157) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:54AM (#29898325)

            I disagree - I happen to work for a massive piece of this 'M-I Complex', and we're dying here. All the major aerospace and defense companies are going through a seriously hard time and shedding people or outsourcing like mad.

            If it were as simple as this, I wouldn't be looking for work :)

            Looks like you missed the parent posters point. You would most likely vote to keep your job in the Military Industrial Complex [wikipedia.org]. Even if you say you would not, and claim to be one of the few that understands the big picture that the MIC is a very bad deal for [wikipedia.org]everyone [wikipedia.org], it would be a hard stretch to imagine the majority of your suffering co-workers and all other dependent's in your state following your lead.

            I doubt America will ever shake the shackles of the MIC - people are too motivated by self interest (as in, I want a Job, thanks), and things have only gone waaay downhill since Eisenhower warned how bad things could get [wikisource.org], so its not like nobody didn't see it coming

            • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @12:23PM (#29898707) Journal

              The M-I C actually was dramatically downsized during the Clinton/Republican Congress years, and according to the Bush's proposed budgets from 2001-to-2010 would have been downsized even further (with the surplus directed towards the SSA trust fund).

              Then 9/11 happened, and like fools that respond to trolls on the internet, we responded to Bin Laden's baiting. Now things are out of control again. I had enough sense to say, "Ignore the Arab. Two skyscrapers are not worth starting a war over," but nobody listened. We should have continued along the original course.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Absolutely agree that the political establishment in the UK is not particularly democratic (though it tends to be reactionary I suggest that's not quite the same thing). I would advocate this is why we could benefit from proportional representation in the UK as it would lend power to pressure groups (though I am not blind to the drawbacks).

        If our government were more democratic we would probably have a three strikes rule for traditional crimes (robbery, assault, sexual offences) but not for unlicensed conte

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tomtomtom (580791)

        There's nothing special about the so-called military-industrial complex in this respect, and you don't have to assume that politicians or businesses are either inherently evil or particularly incompetent. It's more like a defect of the system and is explained by the Public choice theory [wikipedia.org] of government. Lobbying happens in all sorts of policy areas and unfortunately it tends to be a case of those who shout loudest, get what they want. I think this also explains a lot about why three-strikes is apparently happ

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @12:32PM (#29898843) Journal

          And then the People will sue.

          And the case will rise to the level of the EU Court, which will declare these laws unconstitu..... uh, in violation of the Lisbon Treaty. Namely the EU Charter of Rights: "Article 48-1. Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law." i.e. 3 strikes is invalid because it assumes guilt without trial.

          This law can also be argued to violate Article 11 - "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers." And Article 14 - "Everyone has the right to education and to have access to vocational and continuing training." How can little Johnny do his homework if his internet has been cut, and he can't access wikipedia?

      • Do you think they care at all what the people think?

        Yes! We sign their cheques!

        How friendly do you think that business interests would be if we put them out of a job?

      • by jimicus (737525) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:49AM (#29898261)

        Do you think they care at all what the people think? If anything proves that any form of democracy is not at work here, this does. Business interests are guiding, directing and even controlling government all over the world. The world may be pissed off at the U.S. government, but one only has to look to the "Military Industrial Complex" for why things are the way they are.

        Oh the leading party cares very much what people think - though usually more if "what people think" is dramatically at odds with "what they want to do". In such cases, they'll spend inordinate amounts of money (oh, and where does that money come from...?) to tell people what to think. See also: ID cards.

        Furthermore, individual MPs are frequently so loyal to their party that no matter how braindead the idea, most will still fall into line and vote for it. My own MP is part of the incumbent party and I don't think she has ever said so much as a single word against any of the government's policies. There's no earthly way she's going to rock the boat over an issue like this.

  • by xtal (49134) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:18AM (#29896885) Homepage

    Not sure if this place has changed over the years, but I'm all for encryption becoming the norm.

    For legitimate law enforcement needs, search warrants and traffic analysis are not impeded.

    In fact, draconian enforcement of copyright would be the best thing ever - it would illustrate the absurdity of the status quo.

    • by conureman (748753)

      Draconian enforcement is so wonderful, see how stirred up everyone is getting about the routine Police Riots at the various and divers New World Order Summits &c.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sakdoctor (1087155)

      Absolutely.

      Whilst mentioning encryption causes people to post that f'ing cartoon with the $5 wrench adnauseum, the fact is, even fairly weak encryption whilst data transits though your ISP goes a long long way.

      For example, a certain bone-headed ISP which one of my relatives uses, enforces using their outgoing mail server for "anti-spam reasons".
      Do they log all outgoing emails? You can bet they do. SMTP over SSL raises the bar just high enough that they don't bother any more.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@worfMOSCOW.net minus city> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:25AM (#29897921)

        Whilst mentioning encryption causes people to post that f'ing cartoon with the $5 wrench adnauseum, the fact is, even fairly weak encryption whilst data transits though your ISP goes a long long way.

        That's why the spy agencies are against it. The best way to avoid an arms race is to simply avoid raising the stakes so the other side remains blissfully ignorant. If things are good now, not rocking the boat is the best solution.

        For example, a certain bone-headed ISP which one of my relatives uses, enforces using their outgoing mail server for "anti-spam reasons".
        Do they log all outgoing emails? You can bet they do. SMTP over SSL raises the bar just high enough that they don't bother any more.

        MOst ISPs block outgoing SMTP, for spam reasons. Despite this, an annoyingly large amount of spam still comes from outgoing SMTP connections, enough so that sending email from a dynamic connection is mostly useless anyhow because of the dynamic IP blocklists.

        The solution is to either use the ISP's mailserver, or your own mailserver at your hosting provider using stuff like Authenticated SMTP, which, surprise, uses a different port. It's an intentional workaround, because either your mail is going through your ISP (who can detect if you're sending 1000 emails a day 24/7), or your hosting provider (ditto, if the spambot is smart enough to steal your SMTP authetication details). Since all modern email clients support this standard, it's just a setup issue. And Authenticated SMTP can use SSL (to protect login credentials) if you're inclined.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Question

        - How will encryption stop a rights-holder, like Warner Bros, downloading a torrent of Dark Knight and simply recording all the IP addresses they see down/uploading the content? As far as I can tell they can do that, will report it, and thus you'll get a strike.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      The UK! Nice.

      If it had started on a computer wise under-developped country. All it's population would have to wait until the law reached the UK, France, USA, etc. to have any chance of a working full network encryption.

      Anyway, as I've often stated in slashdot, the arms race will keep going, and the corporation lobbied laws will fail to keep up with the technologists.

      In little more than a decade the americans will start a war on piracy that will work about as well as the current unwinnable wars. i.e.: A secu

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm all for encryption becoming the norm. For legitimate law enforcement needs, search warrants and traffic analysis are not impeded.

      Umm... yeah, actually I think they are - if Big Content can't snoop on your communications, neither can Big Brother (whether you think this is good or bad is another matter entirely).

      Actually, what they're talking about isn't widespread encryption (that's already in place, e.g. SSL), but widespread anonymity. P2P over SSL is no more secure from a record label sniffer than P

  • by ffflala (793437) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:18AM (#29896891)

    The US 3-strikes rule is based on a concept from baseball, and as a result probably makes little sense in the UK. I'm surprised they didn't go with something more appropriate, like a "bowled, leg-before-wicket, or hit-wicket" and you're out rule.

    • by Spad (470073) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:27AM (#29897039) Homepage

      Not a good idea, it'd take 5 days to make a decision and probably end in a draw.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DoofusOfDeath (636671)

        Not a good idea, it'd take 5 days to make a decision and probably end in a draw.

        Sounds good to me.

      • by tomtomtom (580791)

        Not a good idea, it'd take 5 days to make a decision and probably end in a draw.

        Not if they use the Duckworth-Lewis scoring method.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sockatume (732728)

      And that old favourite, "ban quashed due to bad light".

    • I was thinking something along the line of red card analgoies, but you normally don't get three "strikes" before the red card.
    • by Kozz (7764) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:57AM (#29897499)

      I'd been trying to make this joke all week, but despite reading the wiki page on Cricket, I couldn't write the joke to make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. Three strikes and I suppose now *I'm* out.

  • New rule (Score:5, Insightful)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:22AM (#29896961) Journal
    I propose the three strikes law three strikes law. A politician gets a strike for mentioning the three strikes law in a non-derisive manner, and gets banned from government after three strikes.
  • Can't Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:24AM (#29897001)
    I can't wait for some motivated group to deliver a clear message to politicians through a concerted effort to get politicians and their employees cut off from the internet simply by accusing them, three times, of copyright violations. Perhaps, once politicians and their staff are cut off from the online world, they'll begin to realize just how moronic this law is. When a simple accusation carries the weight of punishment, the possibilities of abuse are egregious.

    Ah, the days of "innocent until proven guilty" seem like a distant memory now...
    • by kalirion (728907)

      All that would accomplish is immunity for politicians and their staff from this law.

      • by dkf (304284)

        All that would accomplish is immunity for politicians and their staff from this law.

        Unlikely. The UK doesn't go in for granting politicians legal immunity, even when this would be of great benefit for the party in power. I don't know if there are any formal rules in this area though.

        Of course, if anyone does decide to use the three-strikes approach, could they please use it against some media types too? Might as well get some benefit out of a bad law...

        • Re:Can't Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Marcika (1003625) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:46AM (#29897311)

          All that would accomplish is immunity for politicians and their staff from this law.

          Unlikely. The UK doesn't go in for granting politicians legal immunity, even when this would be of great benefit for the party in power. I don't know if there are any formal rules in this area though.

          Of course, if anyone does decide to use the three-strikes approach, could they please use it against some media types too? Might as well get some benefit out of a bad law...

          They don't have formal legal immunity, but if anything like this would happen, the police chiefs and the attorney general would likely determine that it is not 'in the public interest' to prosecute or punish politicians or other powerful people. (Just like it happens when an MP or minister falsifies expenses or commits other kinds of fraud.)

          • Re:Can't Wait (Score:4, Informative)

            by tomtomtom (580791) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:25AM (#29897905)

            They don't have formal legal immunity, but if anything like this would happen, the police chiefs and the attorney general would likely determine that it is not 'in the public interest' to prosecute or punish politicians or other powerful people. (Just like it happens when an MP or minister falsifies expenses or commits other kinds of fraud.)

            There are numerous examples of this. My favourites are Harriet Harman, the solicitor-general, who was caught speeding. The police officer in question claimed she was doing 99mph. Coincidentally, 1mph faster would have earned her an automatic 1-year driving ban and a much more serious criminal record likely resulting in her sacking from government.

            Another good one is the recent case of Baroness Scotland, who was caught breaking a law which she herself was partly responsible for the creation of (she employed an illegal immigrant as her housekeeper then later claimed she'd seen documents giving the housekeeper the right to work in the UK but failed to keep copies so there was no evidence as to whether this was actually true or not).

    • by Jaysyn (203771)

      I'm betting they are excluded from this law a in typical neo-fascist fashion.

    • yeah they already know how absurd the law is; hence they'll make sure to include an exemption for themselves.

    • by VShael (62735)

      They'd just make themselves exempt. Anyone could predict that. It's not like they haven't done it before. (The RIPA laws, see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/11/ripa_iii_figures [theregister.co.uk] )

      What you need to do is target their kids, spouses, partners or loved ones.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Jailed for refusing to provide a key? Interesting. That violates the EU Charter of Rights:

        Article 8-1. Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.
        Article 48-1. Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

        If the data was not cracked, how could the state declare guilt? The person should be released. It's too bad the EU neglected to include the right to not self-incriminate. In the U.S. you are not required to turn-over

  • by malkavian (9512) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:27AM (#29897041) Homepage

    Well, considering "Mandy" has already been forced to resign from Labour twice already for scandals (involving borrowing money from someone he was supposed to be investigating to buy a lovely house in central london among other activities), one wonders if he's caught with his hand in the cookie jar yet again, will this third strike resignation force his exclusion from Politics?
    Allegedly, he'd shown no interest in this whatsoever before going for a meal at a lovely retreat owned by a movie producer, and a few days holiday.. On his return, this was basically mandated with no consultation.
    Yay for unelected politicians who keep coming back despite being forced to resign in shame.

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:28AM (#29897063) Journal

    Amazing it gleefully says "file sharing" and not "music sharing". So let him grab one graphic he swipes because his office can't be bothered to cleanroom it, grab one little shareware snip that he can ignore even the postcard-terms on, and then let the last one be one of the Britain's Got Talent winning songs. Poof!

     

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:30AM (#29897093)

    BTW, there's an editor on wikipedia who keeps on moving the detail about Lily Allen's stance on copyright infringement into a subsection labelled "Social Activism' on her page. Hardly social activism I would think to speak out about something that is in her own financial interest.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:33AM (#29897127) Homepage
    Appoint a knowledgable committee to look into something and the do something else based on what a mate told them on the golf course, or some well funded pressure group said (party donations help).

    The UK parliament is in enough trouble through them dishonestly claiming too much expenses -- time for a real reform. Men of honour don't seem to exist in politics (in large enough numbers), so we need real transparency and accountability.

    Guy Fawkes night is soon -- maybe a real reenactment is about due!

  • by twoshortplanks (124523) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:34AM (#29897139) Homepage
    If you're in the UK you can play her album [spotify.com] for free on Spotify anyway...

    (I'm being silly. Of course I'll be contacting my MP about this.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slim (1652)

      Spotify isn't free, as long as you count listening to adverts as a payment method.

      I pay for GMail by seeing ads.
      I pay for Spotify by hearing ads.
      I pay for X Factor by fast-forwarding through ads...

  • by yargnad (1456405) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:37AM (#29897193)
    as long as I can still find nude pics of Lily Allen on google images.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:38AM (#29897201)

    In other news, serial resigner, unelected jobsworth, and general insult to the democratic process "Lord" Peter Mandelson, having been appointed to high government office on a technicality by serial bad decision maker, unelected jobsworth, and general insult to the democractic process Gordon Brown, will shortly be resigning, again, having demonstrated a stunning lack of competence in public office, again.

    Sorry, we've got an update: the Labour Party are going to get hammered so badly in the general election next year that they might actually come third, the current administration is already in lame duck mode, and Mandelson's views are all but irrelevant.

    Frankly, I'm more worried about what David Cameron and his crew are going to do when they get in. If memory serves, they have publicly backed screwing the people in favour of Big Media pretty much any time the question has come up, also directly contravening overwhelming public sentiment expressed to Gowers et al.

  • They start off good, railing against the absurd 3 strikes law, but then continue on to rail against encryption as hampering the ability of law enforcement to fight terrorism? It seems you missed the grape Kool-Aid, but ended up drinking the blue raspberry just the same...
  • by MBGMorden (803437)

    I know that TOR can already have P2P data streamed across it at the expense of the network, but honestly, I wonder how long it is before someone comes up with a purpose built anonymizing P2P system.

    I really think the government is chasing it's tail on this one. "The Internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it."

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's been done [wikipedia.org], although there are questions about exactly how secure PD is (closed source, performance-orientated.) There's also Freenet [freenetproject.org] which aims to be considerably more secure/anonymous, but is slower and still under heavy development.

  • The airstripone tag seems more appropriate every day.

  • by DanMelks (1108493) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:41AM (#29897245)
    ...And I say we need to be encrypting our traffic anyway. The average computer contains more than enough processing power, and the average 'pipe' width can easily handle the extra resources needed for widespread use of encryption in day-to-day use.

    In addition, the recent trend in government is towards snooping and perv-ish behavior: China with its "great" firewall, USA with its unwarranted spying and packet sniffing, and now the UK with its new "three-strikes" policies. I pay my ISP a significant sum of money to deliver me 1s and 0s as fast as they can, and there are very, very few exceptions in which they have a need to know what those 1s and 0s add up to.

    I call upon the open source community to lead the way -- while I would love to see the big leagues (Microsoft, Apple, etc) apply their tonnage behind such a problem, pigs are more likely to fly first. How hard would it be for a browser to automatically attempt to negotiate a secure connection for every visited web page and only use normal, unencrypted access when a secure connection fails or cannot be completed in a secure amount of time? People running web servers would not have to make major modifications, only implement a new protocol.
  • Tempting... (Score:2, Funny)

    by BumpyCarrot (775949)
    "Still, worth it to stop a few Lily Allen tracks being shared, right?" Truly, the cost is too dear, even for that.
  • Hey Britons (Score:4, Interesting)

    by parlancex (1322105) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:42AM (#29897263)
    Thanks for allowing this to happen. I expect it will be only a few months before someone stands up in Canadian parliament to make a speech that includes the phrase "3 strikes laws have already been enacted in other nations, such as Britain...". There comes a point where you should realize that angry letters aren't going to get it done, you're going to have to accept your responsibility to take more aggressive action when your government does not stand up for its people.
    • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:53AM (#29897425)
      Wow Britain, you just got told to take "more aggressive action" by CANADIANS. Talk about called out.
    • These things seem like they're only a matter of time. Everyone thought this was dead in France when ruled unconstitutional, then a week or two ago it was suddenly opened again. Sheer persistence ends up getting these things passed, regardless of the opposition and regardless of due process. It's almost inevitable.

      In other words, politicians do what they want to do (or what other people convince them they want to do), whether or not it serves the interest of their constituents. And they'll keep trying until

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:49AM (#29897371)

    If one person in a family is accused of pirating, the whole household gets cut off?

    If one person in a company is accused of pirating while at work, the whole company gets cut off?

    If one person in a ministry is accused of pirating while at work, the whole ministry gets cut off?

    Who is _allowed_ to accuse?

  • Dear Lily Allen, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AP31R0N (723649) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @10:53AM (#29897423)
  • by will_die (586523) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:03AM (#29897567) Homepage
    If encryption becomes popular then I can see the point the police are making but why would people using P2P start using encryption to start the cycle?

    If everyone on P2P started encrypting the transportation it would make no difference because the arrests and letters to pay or else have not been caused by MITM sniffing.
    If P2Pers start encrypting all files you have to have some method of getting the password out to everyone and that would require some club or private site and once you have that it is easier to get a legal right to inspect and copy all infomation on that site. Such a site would have email address and other information about the users, so if anything this is something that P2Pers would avoid.
    The only place P2P where encryption would work is with blocking the IP address of the people sharing but that would require some central site that routes the traffic so it is not really P2P anymore.
    I don't really understand in depth how P2P works so what am I missing here?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jimicus (737525)

      Encryption itself won't help much here, but things like tor and freenet would. If someone were to apply the ideas behind tor to something like BitTorrent, it'd be impossible to tell whether any given node in a torrent were actually using the material it were distributing or simply sitting there passing it on.

  • Mandelscum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:33AM (#29898047) Homepage Journal

    These bastards, and that slimy scumbag Mandelson have spend the past 13 years utterly ruining everything, every institution, way of life, habitat, hobby, social fabric and this?

    Basically, people are slowly concluding a few things, some are less than good, but for every action, there is a reaction, clearly 13 years too late. Vote anyone but these bastards, and tell them why at every moment they bang on your door or come to your doorstep. Vote BNP, UKIP, Con, Lib - ANYONE but these slimy dark forces shits.

    Their brand of nanny state 1984 insanity, and mass persecution of population, drivers, and all the rest, and their enforced political correctness and multiculturalism, and devolution, and EU fanatisism, and the rest is DEAD. OVER. FINISHED.

    Its the worst government the UK has had in any modern times, and people cannot wait to be rid of them.

  • by tebee (1280900) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:39AM (#29898123)
    I can't help wondering why it has not occurred to this government, that if there are as many filesharers as they say, then being nasty to them is not going to exactly encourage them to vote Labour at the next election.

    Obviously a Government with a suicide wish.

  • Jumping the gun (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zoxed (676559) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:46AM (#29898211) Homepage

    The title ' "Three Strikes" To Go Ahead In Britain ' is, err, a little misleading (what, on /. ? never).

    My understanding is that the policy is being proposed form inclusion in a new bill. AFAIK this then has to be bounced between The House of Commons and the Lords and finally signed by HRM before it is law. And this assumes it is not removed and/or amended in this process.

  • 3 strikes (Score:3, Funny)

    by naeone (1430095) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:48AM (#29898239)
    so p2p is now like the post office ???
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @11:53AM (#29898305)
    From the Lily Allen, Social Activism [wikipedia.org] page and section:

    Lily Allen came out in strong support for disconnecting offenders. Creating a blog entitled "It's Not Alright" against file sharing, it subsequently came to light that she had copied text directly from the Techdirt website of an interview with 50 Cent. This led to an exchange on the internet, which culminated in accusations being made that Ms. Allen had infringed on other artists' copyrights by creating mix tapes early in her career, that she then made available via her website.

    Pot? Kettle is on the phone...

  • by zuki (845560) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @12:10PM (#29898549) Journal
    I am struggling to understand the deep disconnect at work here...
    These people in government have advisors, technical experts and all sorts of qualified people to tell them how worthless this will be.

    It boggles the imagination to not even contemplate the number of false positives this will generate, besides encryption, it has been pointed out
    many times that all this may do is drive more people to hack their neighbors' wireless networks, using Kismet or other trivial password sniffers.
    If up to 10% of all PCs worldwide can be hacked into botnets, it doesn't take a genius to see doing similar things from other people's machines
    and let them take the fall for it....

    The only explanation I can come up with is that either:
    • This is just a public rehearsal for a forthcoming Monty Python skit... but a really bad one at that.
    • Or maybe someone in government volunteering a really Kafka-esque script for Brazil 2, a sequel to one of the already
      widely-acknowledged cinematic references in truly depressing thoughts, to first be tested on the public for 'authenticity' on how to
      best persecute innocent people with maximum effect?
    • That such a situation amply demonstrates the obstinate nature of that famous British stiff upper-lip in the face of common
      sense, but also cunningly facilitates implementing surveillance and further counter-measures against 'criminalization'. (see above)

    Regardless of the answer to these silly questions, one can only wonder what the endgame will be. Enforcement or not, the major content holders
    cannot keep going the way they have been, and with ever-dwindling revenue, (especially in the music divisions) will eventually have their assets
    ultimately disposed of at the auction block for pennies on the dollar to people like Google, who will love nothing better than to practically give
    it away for free, in trying to lure customers to purchase other things, rather than to keep suing them for not buying physical goods in formats
    that were once popular during the previous century, and still demanding to charge the same price for it without the old expenses.

    And what will this grand adventure have accomplished? There is a name for that special moment in the hunt, when the game is barely walking,
    bleeding profusely, surrounded by a pack of growling dogs, but still trying to gore one of them on their way out....In French "La Curée"

    That's pretty much what it feels like.... Really!
    Scorched Earth Policy..... This too will come to pass.

  • by MtlDty (711230) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @01:07PM (#29899307)
    I loved this section, as found on the BBC [bbc.co.uk]:

    The pay-off for tough penalties against persistent file-sharers would be a more relaxed copyright regime, Mr Mandelson said. The details of it would need to be hammered out at European level but it would take account of the use of copyright material "at home and between friends", he said. It would mean that, for example, someone who has bought a CD would be able to copy it to their iPod or share it with family members without acting unlawfully.

    So now we just need to find three instances that an MP shared any copyright material with a friend or colleague. Presumably accidentaly leaking millions of instances of personal details held in government databases doesnt count?
  • USA will be next (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aaandre (526056) on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @02:23PM (#29900497)

    Just a reminder.

  • by Archfeld (6757) * <treboreel@live.com> on Wednesday October 28, 2009 @05:22PM (#29902795) Journal

    encryption being declared illegal in GB, or worse, having to register your encryption key with the government or risk being classified as a terrorist. MI5/6 and the other law enforcement agencies are doing the 'not our idea' dance right now, but they know in the long run the Nanny-State that is the GB will not allow somthing like a persons privacy to stand in the way of spreading fear and mis-information under the guise of protecting the nation.
    If they criminalize encryption, only criminals will have it...

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