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UK Government Backtracks On Black Box Snooping 32

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-second-thought dept.
judgecorp writes "On the day the so-called snooper's charter was included in proposed UK legislation, as part of the Queen's Speech, it has emerged that the government is already backtracking on the controversial idea of making ISPs install black boxes to collect traffic and pass it to the authorities. The bill is not yet in a draft form, and TechWeek has learned there is a lot of maneuvering behind the scenes."
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UK Government Backtracks On Black Box Snooping

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  • by mirix (1649853) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:34AM (#39951345)

    Don't you know how these things are supposed to be done now?

    You do it illegally, then after the fact pass laws retroactively granting immunity. Noobs.
    Room 641A [wikipedia.org]
    Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act [wikipedia.org]

    "It's particularly important for Congress to provide meaningful liability protection to those companies now facing multibillion-dollar lawsuits only because they are believed to have assisted in efforts to defend our nation, following the 9/11 attacks."

    etc etc

  • by ppanon (16583) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:53AM (#39951443) Homepage Journal
    That's not just politics, that's Negotiation 101, which applies to far more than politics. The difference is that in most other negotiations you don't want to be so outrageous that the other party walks away, whereas in 21st century politics that can be a bonus that makes your base happy.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @07:51AM (#39952365) Journal
    I'm not sure if it's 'honor' as much as 'apathy'(though the results are the same).

    At a population level, it isn't really the existence or nonexistence of a tool that matters as much as its availability to laypeople. As long as you don't exert any overt pressure, even relatively tiny barriers to use(whether inherent to the technology, because of common ignorance, or because of UIs that uphold the finest stereotypes concerning why programmers aren't UI experts) will keep people away in droves. The only ones bothering will be privacy geeks and atypically clueful criminals, both of which are relatively scarce.

    If you do exert overt pressure, you create a substantial incentive for even people who care nothing about technology to know about some basic circumvention tools. This creates not only a wider skill base; but a much larger pool of basically-legitimate users among which to hide.

    If you block facebook, even people who are socially obligated to dislike geeks will take a sudden interest in the otherwise alien notion of 'proxy servers'...

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

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