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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Accuses UK Government of "Draconian Internet Snooping" 192

An anonymous reader writes "According to British daily The Telegraph, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has warned that plans to monitor individuals' use of the internet would result in Britain losing its reputation as an upholder of web freedom. The plans, by Home Secretary Theresa May, would force British ISPs and other service providers to keep records of every phone call, email and website visit in Britain. Sir Tim has told the Times: 'In Britain, like in the US, there has been a series of Bills that would give government very strong powers to, for example, collect data. I am worried about that.' Sir Tim has also warned that the UK may wind up slipping down the list of countries with the most Internet freedom, if the proposed data-snooping laws pass parliament. The draft bill extends the type of data that internet service providers must store for at least 12 months. Providers would also be required to keep details of a much wider set of data, including use of social network sites, webmail and voice calls over the internet." Jimmy Wales doesn't seem to be a very big fan of the UK snooping either.
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Accuses UK Government of "Draconian Internet Snooping"

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  • by Dr Max ( 1696200 ) on Friday September 07, 2012 @04:31AM (#41257797)
    I have only had rights taken off me over the last 10 years. If you can name a new one i've been given them i'm all ears.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @06:33AM (#41258287)

    It couldn't be that national governments get their European counterparts to push through unpopular directives?
    Or that Britain doesn't have a Veto.

    You know you would think people would remember voting in Conservative MEP's and they are not aliens but members of the same political party that also has members in the national government.
      It wasn't Microsoft attacking Linux it was SCO much easier to attack the sock puppet.
    It's not the record labels making disproportionate attacks it's the RIAA.

    It's not so surprising that this legislation is getting pushed through, with the current measures this government are pushing through who is to say a terminal cancer patient won't decide to take out David Cameron for the good of the country. And wouldn't I be in trouble for saying this if I still lived in the UK. There are still patriots around who believe in British fair play, that believe it is Right to protect the weak and defenceless and who will sacrifice their lives in defence of their country and it's values. These are not the kind of people who stand and gawk when action needs to be taken. At some point someone is going to say it's time to fight back.

    People are angry and disappointed, disappointed that the LibDems seem to have failed to moderate the worst excesses of Tory Policy.

    Social media is a big thing now, even thou most of it is trite, it is possible for ordinary people to band together and speak with one voice. There are other voices to be heard other than the likes of Rupert Murdoch. It won't be the Sun that won it at the next general election.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:03AM (#41258411)

    Google runs a CDN (Content distribution network) that hosts JQuery and it has become one of the main ways to include JQuery in your website. There are many advantages to this (since many websites all load Jquery from the same url, one cached version makes all those sites load quicker, etc), but the disadvantage is that since the file gets pulled directly from Google's webservers, they get to roughly monitor website traffic. The catch-22 is that most JQuery powered sites would be using Google Analytics (or similar software) anyway so it's a non issue.

  • by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <> on Friday September 07, 2012 @07:59AM (#41258621) Homepage

    First of all - Google collects data about my VOIP calls? I don't think so.

    on Google Volce (not technically VoIP) and Google chat sure.

    Well, duhh, yes - the service provider you're buying a service from knows you're buying that service. If you don't want google to know about it, use a different service provider (but then that service provider knows...). This is no different from how its always been, whether on the internet or not - the telco knows when you made a phone call through their network, the baker knows when you bought a loaf of bread from him.

    They also sync your contacts for android

    Only if you tell them to... You can happilly use an Android device without asking Google to sync your contacts if you want to.

    not sure about the call history

    Google only gets your call history if you ask them to back up all your data. Again, you don't have to use this functionality (personally, I back up my phone nightly using rsync over my wifi network, so I don't bother using Google's backup stuff).

    I'll give you that one. They have DNS and email, but it's all optional.

    So, just like all the stuff you said above - they provide some services, its up to you whether you use those services and if you do they are going to know something about you in the same way as anyone else providing those services would.

    For email, they aren't saving anything more than any other webmail provider.

    Google _do_ analyse your email content to target advertising at you, which is more than many other webmail providers (although I imagine the likes of yahoo and hotmail do the same these days).

    Even then, they don't collect data they don't care about.

    When they care about *logging wireless packets* from their Streetview cars, we can conclude that they care about almost all data

    I would say that Google's attitude seems to be "lets collect as much data as we can, we might find a neat way of analysing it in the future". There are, of course, good and bad things about that. Afterall, people use Google's services precisely because they work really well, and a lot of that is down to Google figuring out how to analyse your data in new and useful ways (useful to *you* as well as them).

    That said, I don't really see the big deal with the whole wireless logging thing. They caught some packets that were broadcast in the clear into a public space for anyone with a receiver to see. If people didn't want their network traffic to be seen by others they had ample opportunity to encrypt it *using the standard functionality of their router*. And even so, the streetview car is moving at speed, it won't capture more than a few packets so they're going to be hard pushed to get anything particularly scary from the data. The whole thing strikes me like someone standing in their front window naked and then complaining that someone who drove past caught a glimpse of them - if you don't like it you should've drawn the curtains.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin