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Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#121 Postby Alan H » November 22nd, 2016, 5:40 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

UK: New surveillance law sets dangerous global precedent
The UK Parliament has passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, the most extreme surveillance law in our history.

On the adoption of the Investigatory Powers Bill, ARTICLE 19’s Executive Director, Thomas Hughes commented that “The Investigatory Powers Bill passed today by parliament will erode hard-won civil liberties and human rights. Now people in the UK will have some of the most invasive surveillance legislation to enter a statute book. No longer will private communications be private and no longer will journalists’ sources be protected. The UK government should be deeply troubled as it sets this dangerous and worrying precedent worldwide.”

The UK Government has failed to respond to widespread public dismay over secret mass surveillance revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

The Bill will not only put into statute the capabilities revealed by Snowden but extend surveillance even further.

This is not just of grave concern for UK citizens. The impact of the Bill will be felt around the world. Authoritarian leaders with poor human rights records can now point to the UK when justifying their own surveillance regimes.

The Bill will affect:
  • Our right to privacy: Our communications, Internet use and personal data will be collected, stored and analysed, even if we are not under suspicion of a crime.
  • Our right to freedom of expression: Freedom of expression relies on the freedom to explore and express ideas without the threat of arbitrary, unnecessary, and disproportionate interference. The IP Bill will have a chilling effect on our freedom to share and discuss.
  • Investigative journalism: The Bill lacks sufficient guarantees for the protection of journalists and their sources. It also fails to require authorities to notify journalists before hacking into their devices.
  • The security of the Internet: Bulk hacking powers could undermine the security of the Internet for everyone.
  • Intelligence sharing: The Bill fails to restrain the sharing of data and integration of technology between the UK and USA.

A number of Don’t Spy on Us members are taking legal action against the UK’s mass surveillance powers. The UK’s legal regime for bulk surveillance is being challenged in two separate cases at the ECHR, while the data retention regime is being questioned in the UK and EU courts in the Watson (previously Watson-Davis) challenge. It is expected that both courts will call for safeguards and restraints on the highly permissive UK surveillance regime.

Don’t Spy on Us members will continue to challenge the Investigatory Powers Act and fight against mass surveillance.

Don't Spy on Us is a coalition of the most influential organisations who defend privacy, free expression and digital rights in the UK and in Europe – ARTICLE 19, Big Brother Watch, English PEN, Liberty, Open Rights Group and Privacy International.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#122 Postby Alan H » November 24th, 2016, 11:49 am

The merits of what should/shouldn't be censored can go on endlessly, but that misses the point: the Tories' proposals are stupid, dangerous and ineffective: Insecure, ineffective and dangerous: The reality of the UK's new porn bill
The investigatory powers bill has just become law, giving the security services unprecedented powers to spy on the communications data of UK citizens. Now, the government plans to introduce another costly system which will force all websites containing pornography (including Twitter and Reddit) to collect age verification data on their users to ensure that nobody under 18 can view porn online.

How exactly the Age Verification (AV) system will work has still not been decided. At the start of October, the Adult Provider Network, a trade association representing big porn providers, held a technology demonstration where various companies demonstrated their proposed means to implement AV. Proposals included tying AV to your payment card, your social media accounts or your mobile phone accounts.

Alec Muffett, a security engineer and a director of Open Rights Group wrote about how these methods of AV are fundamentally flawed, open to hacking and circumventable by anyone with basic computing skills. One company at the demonstration estimated that 25 million people in Britain would register for the AV network within the first month. Muffett suggests it is a bad idea to habituate so many people into bad security patterns like "normalising the exchange of social media data for porn access, typing your phone number into random websites [and] typing your credit card numbers into random websites".

For non-compliant websites, the BBFC proposes that ISPs block access to them from UK IP addresses. Clearly they do not believe that any 16 year olds could possibly understand how to use a VPN to switch their perceived internet location to a different country.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#123 Postby Alan H » November 24th, 2016, 11:57 am

Everyone who can now see your entire internet history, including the taxman, DWP and Food Standards Agency
The Investigatory Powers Bill, which was all but passed into law this week, forces internet providers to keep a full list of Internet Connection Records (ICRs) for a year, and make them available to the government if it asks. Those ICRs effectively serve as a full list of every website that people have visited, not collecting which specific pages are visited or what's done on them but serving as a full list of every site that someone has visited and when.

And those same ICRs will be made available to a wide range of government bodies. Those include expected law enforcement organisations like the police, the military and the secret service – but also contain bodies like the Food Standards Agency, the Gambling Commission, council bodies and the Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Tetenterre
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Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#124 Postby Tetenterre » November 29th, 2016, 7:34 pm

Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Alan H
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Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#125 Postby Alan H » November 30th, 2016, 11:38 am

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor
At the end of the day, will the UK security services be able to read your email, your messages, your posts and private tweets, and your communications if they believe you pose a threat to national security? Yes, they will.

Will they do it for less than that? You'll have to ask probably the Home Secretary.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#126 Postby Nick » December 1st, 2016, 9:23 am

Is a VPN effective in this context? Anyone know?

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Alan H
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Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#127 Postby Alan H » December 1st, 2016, 10:05 am

Nick wrote:Is a VPN effective in this context? Anyone know?
Some do give a good degree of anonymity, but it depends on many factors. Some VPN provide effectively no anonymity at all - usually because their purpose is simply to provide a tunnel to an IP address in another country so you can watch geographically-restricted content such as local TV.

I use Zenmate all the time - particularly on my iPhone because using a wifi hotspot is particularly vulnerable to malicious attempts to hijack your traffic. I think there may be better solutions and I asked a friend who knows far more then me about this. He did recommend Cryptostorm but I've not looked at that yet - it does, however, look less easy to use that Zenmate which is very simple.

One thing that Zenmate doesn't do is provide anonymous DNS lookups - essentially this means that, although my ISP would not see any of the data that was being transferred to and from any website I looked at (because it's securely encrypted), they would be able to log DNS lookups (I've not looked to see if this is specifically in the Act but it's bound to be logged). I understand Cryptostorm takes care of also hiding DNS lookups so your ISP would not even see them.

Regarding the encryption, it's worth pointing out that although it appears that the Act requires ISPs to provide the Government a means of unencrypting traffic, the encryption the likes of Zenmate provides is not something they can decrypt - not without vast amounts of computing power - it's secure enough for most purposes. The encryption can only be done on your PC and the node where your VPN leaves the tunnel.

I'd suggest either going for something like Zenmate if you want to start encrypting now or wait a while and see what VPN products emerge with the specific intention of preventing any meaningful logging under the Act.

Note that although there are some free products (and Zenmate does have a free option), you're probably best to use a paid-for service: VPS require hardware and software and someone has to pay for it if it's to be any good!
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#128 Postby Alan H » December 1st, 2016, 10:07 am

This might be good reading: https://zenmate.com/academy/
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
Posts: 10868
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#129 Postby Nick » December 1st, 2016, 10:14 am

Thanks, Alan! :D

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#130 Postby Alan H » December 1st, 2016, 11:31 am

It requires a subscription to read, but an excellent take-down of Jeremy Hunt's stupid and illiterate idea: Jeremy Hunt’s magical plan to block sexting is no help for teens
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#131 Postby animist » December 1st, 2016, 1:06 pm

Tetenterre wrote:https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173199

signed, thanks

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#132 Postby Alan H » December 3rd, 2016, 2:34 pm

This - and the other articles it links to - give a good overview of how VPNs (and Zenmate in particular) relate to the Snoopers' Charter: Another Reason for Using a VPN: the Investigatory Powers Bill

This does say:
Here a service like ZenMate's VPN can help to protect the data of their users. The rules of the Snoopers' Charter mostly apply to ISPs of landline or mobile providers. If you connect via the ZenMate VPN to a website, the provider will only record that you access the ZenMate service but not the URL that you are actually calling. If you use our UK servers our service providers will not record that data as it is not an ISP. If you connect with one of our servers not located in the UK it will not fall under the legal restrictions of the UK. Additionally, ZenMate will never record the URLs and services used by its customers. So even if the authorities want to have that information, ZenMate is not able to provide it.

I think this helps explain about DNS lookups - they will be done through the VPN and therefore cannot be recorded by the ISP - but this seems to contradict what I was told elsewhere. Needs further investigation.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#133 Postby Alan H » December 21st, 2016, 10:57 am

So, David Davies MP, before he was in charge of Brexit, along with Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, sued the Tory Government, in the person of Theresa May, who was the Minister in charge at the time, over the draconian provisions in the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIPA) 2014, claiming the data retention powers they gave the State were unnecessary and a breach of their Human Rights. They won their High Court case but the Government appealed to the European Court of Justice. When Davies was handed the poisoned chalice of Brexit Secretary, he withdrew from the case (he would have been suing his new boss if he hadn't), but the appeal continued without him. The judgement has just been announced and the Tory Government lost. The court ruled that DRIPA was illegal. The court stated:
Such national legislation therefore exceeds the limits of what is strictly necessary and cannot be considered to be justified within a democratic society, as required by the directive, read in the light of the charter.


Meanwhile, DRIPA has been effectively replaced by the even more draconian Investigatory Powers Act (aka the snoopers' charter), which has only recently come into force. This case - although over an older Act - will have implications on the IPA because it permits the Tory Government in the form of GCHQ to gather and store even more indiscriminate information about our browsing habits.

Confused? You soon will be...

EU's highest court delivers blow to UK snooper's charter
The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Brian Paddick said: “This ruling proves that this Conservative government has overstepped the mark. The legality of the Investigatory Powers Act – passed into law with Labour’s full support – has now been called into question.

“Collecting and storing everyone’s internet web browsing histories and phone records so government agencies can look at them is an Orwellian nightmare that intrudes into our privacy and erodes our civil liberties. Liberal Democrats tried to stop the worst excesses and now the courts agree.

“We need to keep people safe but mass surveillance as sanctioned by the Investigatory Powers Act is unacceptable in a democratic society, would be unconstitutional in many countries, and is likely to be ineffective and counterproductive. This dreadful piece of legislation will cost millions to implement and unless the government reconsider, they will inevitably face further embarrassment in the courts.”
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#134 Postby Alan H » December 29th, 2016, 7:31 pm

Coming to the UK soon, perhaps? Welcome to America. Now, what’s your Twitter handle?
Welcome to the US, foreign travelers! And welcome to border patrol sticking its bureaucratic nose into your social media!

According to Politico, just before Christmas, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) approved a proposal to ask foreign travelers for their social media account names, which it first floated in June.

When the CBP proposed in the Federal Register that a new, optional field be added to customs documents in order to vet travelers, it invited comments.

And comments it most certainly got: specifically, two months’ worth of criticism from tech giants and advocates for human and civil rights who said that the “highly invasive” program would achieve nothing, be prohibitively expensive, invade individual privacy and imperil freedom of expression.

Since last week, foreign travelers arriving in the US on the visa waiver program have been presented with an”optional” request for their “online presence”, a government official confirmed to Politico on Thursday.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#135 Postby Alan H » January 10th, 2017, 10:35 am

The People vs the Snoopers’ Charter: Liberty launches crowdfunded legal challenge to indiscriminate state spying powers in Investigatory Powers Act
Liberty is launching a landmark legal challenge to the extreme mass surveillance powers in the Government’s new Investigatory Powers Act – which lets the state monitor everybody’s web history and email, text and phone records, and hack computers, phones and tablets on an industrial scale.

Liberty is seeking a High Court judicial review of the core bulk powers in the so-called Snoopers’ Charter – and calling on the public to help it take on the challenge by donating via crowdfunding platform CrowdJustice (http://www.crowdjustice.org/case/snoopers-charter).
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#136 Postby Alan H » March 26th, 2017, 1:36 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#137 Postby Alan H » March 26th, 2017, 1:59 pm

Terrorism laws: 'legal basis' needed for social media companies
I headed a United Nations working group on the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and we came to the conclusion after a great deal of consultation that getting international agreement on what should be done on the issue of terrorist use of the Internet was almost impossible. So on the legal basis we thought it was almost impossible and on the technical basis too because I think if people want to get around the restrictions that are placed on their communications by companies like Facebook they probably can do quite easily by using encrypting systems and so on.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#138 Postby Alan H » March 27th, 2017, 12:21 pm

5 Reasons Why The Home Secretary's Proposed Encryption Ban Is Aggressively Stupid
One week on from a terrorist outrage and - surprise! - the government is trying to appropriate it to soften the ground for more crazy, draconian and illiberal laws.

Yesterday morning the Home Secretary Amber Rudd appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, and said some of the most wildly stupid and poorly informed nonsense since the last time a politician opened their mouth on the topic of technology.

In short, Rudd effectively called for a ban on encryption - and “refused to rule out” (as they say) new legislation to make it happen. Because just like the service’s billion other users, Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood used WhatsApp.

As if this didn’t have anyone who even slightly understands how computers work looking quizzically into their cornflakes, she then destroyed any credibility she might have had by referring to how the people who understand the “necessary hashtags” should step up in the fight against terror. #FAIL.

This isn’t the first time that the government has attempted to try and wade in and argue that encryption is bad. Breaking encryption was originally pitched as part of the draconian Investigatory Powers Act, but mercifully the provision was removed before the act became law.

But annoyingly, now that Rudd has apparently summoned tech leaders for a meeting this week to berate them, it means that once again we need to re-rehearse the reasons why breaking encryption would be a really fucking stupid thing to do.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Alan H
Posts: 22441
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#139 Postby Alan H » March 27th, 2017, 5:58 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#140 Postby Dave B » May 18th, 2017, 12:40 pm

Got my gas/elect bill and looked at the alternative tarrifs on offer.

Three minutes later a man from n-Power phoned to ask if I needed any more info on the tarrifs.

So I told him that, since the info on the website was offered in a slightly different format for each taffif - i.e. a direct comparison could not be made, and that the word "estimate" needed defining (one assumes it is an estimate based on the customer's usage history, but it needs to say so) I would tabulate and review the information later.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Big Brother is definitely watching and listening...

#141 Postby Alan H » May 18th, 2017, 1:02 pm

Interesting... unless you'd logged in or provided contact details, it can only have been a coincidence...

But it is difficult to see whether you're on the best tariff.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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