back to article ICO concerned over interception modernisation programme

Information commissioner Christopher Graham has said that he is concerned about government plans to allow enhanced storage of people's internet data. Graham said his sceptical stance on the £2bn interception modernisation programme, which would allow the police and security services greater abilities to access the internet …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Trollslayer

    Moi? Cynical

    Fingers in pies, who will be exempt (for sescurity reasons of course) etc.?

    Big Brother

    Old Chestnuts

    This looks like a repeat of a PR stunt they tried under the last commissioner.

    I seem to remember Richard Thomas wringing his hands into a mock frenzy over the "surveillance society", though he refused to act against BT/Phorm.

  3. Ross 7

    Lazy police

    Wow, just how bad are the police? By their own reckoning they need various changes in the law to be able to detect and arrest crims, because the current laws are just too much hard work. The top brass have clearly been on some "fact finding" mission to Brazil/China/Zimbabwe and seen just how easy policing can be with the right policies....

    Every change to police powers seem to involve either the unreasonable invasion of privacy of millions of civilians, or shifting the burden of proof from the police/CPS to the alleged offender. But hey, we've not been destroyed by terrorists yet so it must be working right?

  4. Tony S


    "The defence and security review says that the programme is necessary to to keep up with changing technology and to protect the public"

    I dispute that the plans are anything to do with public safety - I would suggest that they are very much to do with extorting money from the treasury (at the expense of other projects) and with allowing our appointed "Guardians of the Public Interest" (i.e. nosy buggers in the civil service) to check to see who should be on the naughty list (i.e. anyone like me that thinks they need to MTODB).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Its worse than that, he's dead Jim

    Surely, given how easy it is these days, any half respecting terrorist would be using some sort of VPN to shuffle their data out of the purview of the fuzz, or at the very least, using a small ISP that will not be liable to implement IMP?

    Shit, I do both those things, and I'm not even a terrorist.

    AC, they're watching.

    1. fatchap


      But then I would know who you are talking to by the nature of your VPN. Plus most small ISPs will end up using BT at some-point anyway (either as backhaul or for the first mile of copper for an ADSL link).

      Stenography is the way forward.

  6. blackworx
    Big Brother

    Ugh, brilliant

    Gives me such a lovely warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that creepy state activities like this get shelved not because those involved found themselves some principles, but rather for reasons of political expedience and corporate financial practicality.

    Name that quote:

    I have this feeling that whoever is elected president, like Clinton was, no matter what you promise on the campaign trail – blah, blah, blah – when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scumfucks who got you in there. And you’re in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down … and a big guy with a cigar goes, “Roll the film.” And it’s a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you’ve never seen before … that looks suspiciously like it’s from the grassy knoll. And then the screen goes up and the lights come up, and they go to the new president, “Any questions?”

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Idiots r Us

    "He looks forward to meeting with officials at the Home Office to establish whether or not his concerns have been addressed."

    Oh FFS, mate, what planet are you from? You surely know they are bound to not be adequately addressed, for information security cannot be guaranteed, ... by anyone. And anyone who tells you different is being well paid to you so and/or a cheap, ten-a-penny liar, and there are no shortage of those in government.

  8. Anonymous Coward 3


    "This would require ISPs to install new technology, which they have said will be difficult and expensive. "

    Have they thought of hiring Phorm?

  9. Graham Marsden


    Well that's a ringing condemnation from a Watchdog who hasn't the teeth to actually *bite* anyone...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    When the ICO have the balls to advocate serious sanctions against Google for their wifi spying expedition, -then- I'll pay attention to what they say to Google's partners about the IMP.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    £2Bn is for the ISPs

    The only *published* estimate was c£12Bn (and that was fairly early). You can bet that when it's fully scoped, and allowing for average UK civil service overruns on IT projects (what is that now? Were they hoping to get it down to 60%? I think its nearer 160% on *top* of the original budget). it will be considerably higher.

    Analysis of previous failures suggest they need strong management with *clear* measured objectives and clear chains of command.

    Of course in this case as the objective is "collect, catalogue, analyse and record every piece of electronic communications in the UK forever" is pretty clear.

    Does anyone seriously backing this plan actually have a clue how *much* data they are talking about?

    And note that analysis clause. That's where you use the comms pattern of known terrorists (the 7/7 bombers? Who else is recent?) to find the suspicious person.

    The NSF did a report pointing out this is not feasible. My gut feeling is this is a graph matching problem. Find the presumed multiple parts of a large graph (the *total* comms pattern of everyone in the UK) which match your test sample?

    Good luck with that.

  12. Peter Holroyd

    Does monitoring our snail mail come next?

    If the government suggested intercepting everybody's snail mail in this country there would be marches to Downing Street. Fortunately for our Government most people in this country are technically niaive so they have a chance of getting this passed.

    Agreeing with comments already made above, why on earth would a terrorist use a method of communication our Governement can intercept? Our Government's claims that they are protecting us actually makes matters worse because the terrorists bypass all security and everyone takes their eye off the ball because the Government are reportedly doing such a fantastic job!

  13. Mark Eaton-Park

    it has nothing to do with terrorists

    The web used to be an anonymous forum for the little man's views, these views are not under the control of the state and have a history of being in conflict with the propaganda used by the state.

    This move is intended to make people accountable for their views/opinions if they differ from those allow by the state.

    It really doesn't matter which party is in power, they all follow the advice of the same civil servant "experts", who are all old school.

    As can be seen by the banking fkup the people with the money make the rules and simply raid our piggy bank whenever they loose at gambling.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like