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Cellphones Communications Encryption Government Privacy The Internet United Kingdom

UK Snooper's Charter To Extend Police Access To Phone and Internet Data (theguardian.com) 59

An anonymous reader writes with this news from the Guardian about a proposed expansion of UK government agencies' power to eavesdrop under the so-called "snooper's charter": Powers for the police to access everyone's web browsing histories and to hack into their phones are to be expanded under the latest version of the snooper's charter legislation. The extension of police powers contained in the investigatory powers bill published on Tuesday indicates the determination of the home secretary, Theresa May, to get her controversial legislation on to the statute book by the end of this year in spite of sweeping criticisms by three separate parliamentary committees in the past month. The bill is designed to provide the first comprehensive legal framework for state surveillance powers anywhere in the world. It has been developed in response to the disclosure of state mass surveillance programmes by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. The government hopes it will win the backing of MPs by the summer and by the House of Lords this autumn.
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UK Snooper's Charter To Extend Police Access To Phone and Internet Data

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  • Specifically we need the sort of kryptonite that kills this dead - end to end encryption on unhackable devices that will wipe themselves. For calling, for email, for texts - with only metadata, they won't go nearly as far.
  • Great comeback (Score:4, Insightful)

    by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @12:35PM (#51615651)

    It has been developed in response to the disclosure of state mass surveillance programmes by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    So their answer to state mass surveillance programmes is more state mass surveillance programmes?

    People: Hey guys, we're sinking!
    Government: Let's pump more water into the boat!

    • Re:Great comeback (Score:5, Informative)

      by wardrich86 ( 4092007 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @12:48PM (#51615773)

      People: Hey guys, we're sinking! Government: Let's pump more water into the boat!

      Are you fucking dumb? The solution isn't to pump more water into the boat... you've gotta drill holes in the bottom of the boat so that all the water flowing into the boat has a way to escape. Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking more like the UK.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        A standard logical falicy: false dichotomy

        A solution could be to both drill holes and pump more water in.

    • It has been developed in response to the disclosure of state mass surveillance programmes by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

      So their answer to state mass surveillance programmes is more state mass surveillance programmes?

      Of course! Their answer to needle-in-haystack problems is always to add hay.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @12:39PM (#51615697)

    give the police the powers enjoyed by the police in a police state.

    It seems strange to me that they do not realize that in asking for these powers (well taking these powers and subsequently making any illegal actions retrospectively legal) they mark themselves as exactly the people and organizations that should not in any circumstances be given these powers.

    Shameful really.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It's political cowardice. Cameron in particular is a coward, but there are plenty of them in his party.

      The police/MI5/GCHQ find their job difficult and so demand new powers to spy on people. The politicians don't want to say no because then if something happens like a terrorist attack of particularly nasty crime they will get the blame. "Why didn't you give police/MI5 the powers they needed to prevent this?" newspapers will ask.

      The politicians don't have the backbone to stand up to this. Cameron has even sa

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. Well, maybe the UK votes to leave the EU soon and the subsequent inevitable implosion of their economy will make this pretty irrelevant.

      Come to think of it, maybe these are _preparation_ for a collapse of the UK?

  • I think someone needs to remind the UK that they aren't above getting sanctioned or just cut off from the net. Don't get me wrong, I like Top Gear as much as the next guy, but this is a load of crap. The US and UK fought 2 wars against countries that thought fences and surveillance and totalitarian control was evil. Now we(they) are turning into the same thing. Only a newer, sicker, more sublime version.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Given the beatings it has received from the parliamentary comities, and how little it has actually changed since, it may not. Even if it does not it needs a super-majority if the lords take a dislike to like it, which they may well.

    I wish it the worst of luck.

  • There's absolutely no way this power could possibly be abused, say by politicians looking to dig up dirt on their opponents during elections...
    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      Perhaps I'm cynical, but I suspect that has been the point all along. Terrorism and children being mere convenient boogeymen for 'justification' of sorts.
  • Once again I have to ask, What is going on in the UK? Or should we start calling it "Airstrip One"?

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      That was my first thought too... but then I thought about it.
      What if what she's actually trying to do is to get out in the open and put legal limits on what all countries/governments are already subversively doing anyway?

      • No, if only for the simple fact that the existing "legal limits" clearly aren't stopping them, if that is the case. More legal limits won't help matters.

        Indeed, though, the thought itself is scary- whether the goons are trying to obtain greater powers of surveillance, or just trying to legitimize what they are already doing...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The politicians act on lobbying from the security services, who have American funding, from the NSA without the consent or knowledge of the American people either
      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/aug/01/nsa-paid-gchq-spying-edward-snowden

      bought and sold by treasonous toads.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      What is going on is what Orwell predicted a long time ago. And, of course, Orwell describes the end-state, not the way there. But the surveillance camera in every living room, for example, sounds eerily accurate as do the "hate" sessions and the continuing economic degradation. Sure, there is the legend that 1984 is really about the Soviet Union, but I do not buy that (even if he said it himself and even if some things are clearly copied from there). I think he knew the mind-set of a particular faction of h

    • It's hard to tell why exactly this has happened under successive governments, particularly as this one clawed back some of the totalitarianism of the last one.

      We know that Theresa May's is advised by Stasi spook, Charles Farr, as well as his fiance. Farr wrote this legislation about 8 years ago. This is his 5th attempt to get it passed.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new... [dailymail.co.uk]

      I also know that MI5 are strongly anti-privacy, through somebody who did contract work for them.

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