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Communications Privacy United Kingdom

UK To Track All Browsing, Email, and Phone Calls 286

Sara Chan writes "The UK government plans to introduce legislation that will allow the police to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public. The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages. Every communications provider will be required to store the information for at least a year."
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UK To Track All Browsing, Email, and Phone Calls

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:56PM (#33966310)
    How about: *Proposal* in UK To Track All Browsing, Email, and Phone Calls?
  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:00PM (#33966384) Journal
    Hey, guys - we voted against the other lot for this reason. Ah well. Hopefully the libs will decide to stick to one of their election promises and vote against this. If they don't then there's quite frankly no point in having the coalition in the first place.
  • by mlts ( 1038732 ) * on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:00PM (#33966386)

    Problem is that the Brits can hold someone they want indefinitely until they cough up an encryption key under the RIPA act. All they have to do is ask the person once a day for 20-30 days, and essentially that would be sentence to life in prison because each refusal is 2-5 years in the slammer.

  • by dotKuro ( 1762182 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:00PM (#33966388)
    Encryption of your files is worthless when you can be arrested for failing to give up passwords as per the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. (Which would be more accurately named the Irregulation of Investigatory Powers Act, as it pretty much declares open season on those under suspicion.)
  • Nothing new (Score:4, Informative)

    by bart416 ( 900487 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:06PM (#33966478)
    Most mobile phone operators already keep statistics on who you call when (they need it for billing information in case somebody doesn't agree with their bill) and emergency services are capable of pinning down the location of mobile phones in less than a minute. And ISPs are already required to keep quite some information as well by EU regulations. So I'm not really sure this will change anything. Except provide a legal framework to (ab)use this information.
  • by NobodyExpects ( 843016 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:09PM (#33966524)

    The Government's Strategic Defence and Security Review, which revealed: "We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework.

    Yes, it is _just_ a proposal, do you want it to come about? So... time to ramp up development of https-everywhere [eff.org], ensure that you use GNU Privacy guard [gnupg.org] for all EMail, bit locker on your drives, and dust off your NT box to run https-everywhere [pgpi.org]!

  • by NobodyExpects ( 843016 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:13PM (#33966556)
    Ah, yes.... cehc all of your links :-) The last one is, of course, PGP Fone [pgpi.org], silly!
  • by Golbez81 ( 1582163 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:24PM (#33966668)
    Has everyone forgot already? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepting_v._AT%26T [wikipedia.org]
  • by StoneyMahoney ( 1488261 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:33PM (#33966782)

    Been hearing about ideas for complete internet data retention for a good few years now. Here's how it usually goes:

    1) An idiot cabinet politician comes up with a "simple good idea"
    2) Lots of people speculate about how good an idea it is and how useful it's results would be
    3) The media cotton on to the idea resulting in larges amounts of WTF??!!!111!!!1/?1
    4) Someone finally tells the cabinet politician how expensive and dangerous the idea is
    5) Cabinet politician blusters about how it's still a good idea for years without making any progress towards implementation
    6) Cabinet gets reorg'd and the idea is quietly shelved as a higher priority "simple good idea" comes along

    Yup, this kind of thing comes along fairly regularly and this old chestnut always gets shot down fairly quickly. Move along folks, this isn't just old news, it's not even news-worthy.

  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:37PM (#33966820)

    How about: *Proposal* in UK To Track All Browsing, Email, and Phone Calls?

    Just like a little while ago 'Australia to ban pedestrians from using ipods', which was in actuality an organisation - which comprised of a single person - that voiced an extremist opinion.

  • And it gets worse (Score:3, Informative)

    by pommaq ( 527441 ) <straffaren.spray@se> on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:44PM (#33966894) Homepage
    This is actually an EU directive, to be implemented by every member state. Governments need to store at least 6 months of logs. Costs to be borne by individual ISP:s. So if any brits were looking to the mainland for escape from this idiocy, think again. By the way, the man responsible for the creation of this law is one Thomas Bodström, former Swedish Minister for Justice. He's moving to the USA. Please make sure he doesn't get to hold any public office...
  • by cappp ( 1822388 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:45PM (#33966904)
    Isn't this already the law? At least, so far as preserving records is concerned. The EU Directive 2006/24/EC [europa.eu] pretty much made it a requirement that states retain records of everything being done.

    Member States shall adopt measures to ensure that the data specified in Article 5 of this Directive are retained in accordance with the provisions thereof, to the extent that those data are generated or processed by providers of publicly available electronic communications services or of a public communications network within their jurisdiction in the process of supplying the communications services concerned.

    Article 5
    Categories of data to be retained
    (2) concerning Internet access, Internet e-mail and Internet telephony

    Further, the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 [wikipedia.org] in the UK facilitated the state's power to do just that.

    So I'm just wondering what the difference being proposed is? If the proposal headling is sensational then surely the responce to it is to given the existance of legislation already? Is it the real-time tracking thats at issue? The Telegraph article only included

    We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework.

  • by Shimbo ( 100005 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:50PM (#33966952)

    This really reads like something out of fiction.

    That's because it is fiction.

  • European law (Score:3, Informative)

    by Frans Faase ( 648933 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:53PM (#33966982) Homepage
    I don't understand the fuss about this, because it simply means that they are going to implement the laws that the European Union already has made. This same kind of law already has been implemented or is in the process of being implemented in many European countries, including my own, The Netherlands. If I remember correctly, the European Union laws are in the process of being extended to include all URL's (including search terms) as well.Telephone companies are already performing a lot of tracking for many years. Many ISP's are complaining that this will be very expensive to implement and that it will raise costs for the end-users, while the effectiviness of these laws are probably going to be very small.
  • by Dare nMc ( 468959 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:08PM (#33967132)

    Sorry, I change keys every two weeks and don't record the expired ones, and since it's 256 bit encryption, there's no bloody way I'm going to remember that sucker a year later.

    If your in the UK, have fun in the slammer, Part III of the Act, which requires persons to supply decrypted information [wikipedia.org]
    Deni ability, and lack of intent may get you off in other countries, but not likely in this case. You had best start encrypting files with something like truecrypt where you can have 2 passwords on the same file giving up different data. Perhaps if you give them some unencrypted data they won't know to expect another password.

  • by Dreadneck ( 982170 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:20PM (#33967264)

    Encryption is worthless when the government twists the arms of encryption providers to cough up a master encryption key.

    The FBI now wants to require all encrypted communications systems to have back doors for surveillance, according to a New York Times report, and to the nation’s top crypto experts it sounds like a battle they’ve fought before.

    FBI Drive for Encryption Backdoors Is Déjà Vu for Security Experts [wired.com]

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @06:44PM (#33967584)

    No they can't.

    As I pointed out last time RIPA came up, it's much more like a search warrant.

    See my post here explaining it in more detail and my followup responses which explains, and provides links to the relevant legislation straight from the horses mouth:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1809504&cid=33806568 [slashdot.org]

    RIPA is an awful piece of legislation and has no place in a modern democracy, however there are many myths about it like that which you have stated which are simply just fantasy. RIPA is bad, but it's not quite that bad. It needs to be withdrawn from the books either way, but let's not over-dramatise the issue, else legitimate calls for it's removal based on legitimate concerns will just get lost amongst the madness.

  • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @07:44PM (#33968246) Journal

    The last time I saw a proposal like that (specific wording [iptegrity.com] was a pledge to "end the storage of internet and email records without good reason") was a few months back. It came from the very same coalition government who are proposing this surveillance.

    To be honest I'm actually disappointed. I didn't have especially high hopes, but I was expecting a little better than this.

  • by GofG ( 1288820 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:39PM (#33968668)
    malo malo malo malo

    sans macrons, but has been used in latin poetry to mean "i'd rather be an apple tree than an evil man in adversity"

    -5 offtopic

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