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Online Activities To Be Recorded By UK ISPs 312

SmartAboutThings writes "The United Kingdom online monitoring law just got published, showcasing some disturbing facts. The paper is 123 pages long and is actually a draft of the Communications Data Bill. You might not be so happy to find out that from now, every single thing you do online will be recorded and stored by the good old Internet Service providers (ISP). What do we mean by online activity? Well, everything."
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Online Activities To Be Recorded By UK ISPs

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  • Riots (Score:5, Interesting)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <`ten.tsacmoc' `ta' `yburxyno'> on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:43PM (#40328169)

    Why aren't their riots in the streets over this? For years I have heard about Europe being very pro-privacy. I have even worked with their privacy standards from a professional standpoint.

    What went wrong? Seriously, how on earth did this ever happen? Your cars and your online activities are all being monitored by your government with your blessing! The communists never had it that good, all they got were phone calls and letters. You gave your own government a blessing to invade your privacy at a level the East German's could have only dreamed of. Something is very, very wrong in UK today. What the hell happened?

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:46PM (#40328243)

    "If you have nothing to hide, then why complain?" - That's what they said when I told them I refused to open my car for the police. They'll probably say the same when I say the police should not be recording our websurfing.


  • 1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @04:47PM (#40328247)

    *The* authoritative guide to oppress and subdue your population into submission and complacency.

    Warning: Void for the wealthy and/or connected.


  • Mixed feelings ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:00PM (#40328437)

    I definitely don't like the idea of my online activities being monitored since I value my privacy very highly.

    On the other hand, governments are in a bit of a bind. They are responsible for enforcing the law and creating an effective justice system. This is incredibly difficult for them to do given the scope of activities that can (and do) take place online. After all, you can't exactly place a police officer on a beat to keep the peace without having some sort of electronic monitoring. Likewise, you cannot collect evidence to prove innocence or guilt without maintaining some sort of record of electronic transactions.

    I don't know where the solutions to these problems lay. That being said, I would suggest that those of us who oppose electronic surveilence start thinking about solutions to this problem. After all, governments need a way to do their job, and simply opposing legislation like this doesn't exactly help them do their job.

  • Re:The only answer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by turgid ( 580780 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:02PM (#40328465) Journal

    Oh, so you're a paedophile drug-dealing terrorist [slashdot.org] now, are you?

    You're probably a pinko-commie [whitehouse.gov] too!

  • Re:Be good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Archon V2.0 ( 782634 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:40PM (#40328945)
    I don't know, vote the wrong party in and homosexuality might be illegal again. And then the logs of anyone who visited certain websites in the past 5 years will become very useful....
  • Re:We can so we do (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:42PM (#40328965)


    It's an interesting yet terrifying time. The limitations of law enforcement are becoming less technical and more social. Technology is creating the potential for massively effective law enforcement, at a cost of massive loss of personal freedom. As a society we have to figure out where we want to draw that line. How much safety do we want to trade for how much privacy.

    The terrifying part is that society isn't really deciding so much as certain interested parties pushing in one direction and people en mass shrugging and going about their day.

  • Re:Could backfire (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @05:48PM (#40329043) Journal

    I think Governments need to be very very careful about going down this route. Should this go ahead I expect any ciminals to encrypt all their network traffic via a VPN or proxy as well as measrues such as sending emails encryped via PGP.

    That's easy. It's already a crime in the UK to refuse to hand over encryption keys. They don't even have to prove that you have the encryption keys, or that the allegedly encrypted data is actually encrypted.

    Before long mere use of encryption, or even possession of random data that could be mistaken for encrypted data will be illegal in the UK.

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @06:00PM (#40329161) Homepage

    More UK-bashing from timothy again, I see.

    It's not "from now on". The proposal has been published. It is not a law, and is unlikely to ever become one.

    Do you hate us because we're free, timothy? Is that what it is?

  • Re:Be good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @06:07PM (#40329221) Journal
    Wouldn't it be a shame if the browsing histories of all of the current MPs happened to be leaked somewhere...
  • Re:Offshore VPN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tftp ( 111690 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @08:12PM (#40330381) Homepage

    Here, we are simply shifting electrons around, real wealth and power are elsewhere.

    People used to make just sound waves with their own mouths. Those waves couldn't propagate farther than a few meters. Still, those people were often arrested, imprisoned and killed. A technology that allows anyone to talk to unlimited audience over unlimited distances [on this planet] is far more dangerous.

    Speech in general is dangerous. All palace revolts, all military coups, all popular revolutions started with people who were speaking.

    In an ideally peaceful society free speech would be completely outlawed. Without being able to communicate you can only lead a revolt of one, easily suppressable. However such a society is likely to stagnate (see USSR.)

    The real problem with human societies is the people. Someone always wants something from others, be it money or power or attention. Those are called "troublemakers." But this is normal behavior for homo sapiens. We might just as well ask molecules to stop their Brownian motion. It's what they are.

    Democracy allows free speech on a slim chance that some of those new proposals are beneficial. In practice new political leaders only want to unseat current political leaders, and they use the people as fuel and cannon fodder for their purposes. Will Romney be better than Obama? Or worse? Or the same? Nobody knows; this is quantum information - the act of listening to either of those politicians changes the message. On top of that, the electorate is usually not even aware of all pertinent facts - because the facts are hard to find and because they are hard to comprehend. The electorate simply remembers who called them last and votes for that guy.

    I could even understand if a government would offer zero free speech in exchange for absolute safety and stability. But this is not going to happen, in any country. You would lose your free speech but the government would be even more abusive. Losing your freedom of speech (or freedom of speaking anonymously) does not come with any benefits whatsoever. Not to you, at least. The government benefits mightily.

  • Re:Be good. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @11:04PM (#40331437) Journal

    I photograph the police whenever I see them as a matter of principle, due to this (and because they happily film/photograph the general public).

    It's also legal: http://www.met.police.uk/about/photography.htm [police.uk]
    It's also campaigned by pressure groups, e.g. http://photographernotaterrorist.org/ [photograph...rorist.org]
    There's a healthy media oversight of the issue, e.g. http://www.bjp-online.com/tag/street-rights [bjp-online.com]

    The Guardian article you linked was part of the media coverage that led to the clarifications such as that Met police statement, so it was very helpful at the time, but is no longer completely accurate.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982