back to article ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

The Tory-led government's "emergency" data retention and investigation powers (Drip) bill currently being rushed through Parliament has caught ISPs off guard, it has emerged. The Register understands that telcos were only gently briefed on the plans ahead of last week's announcement from Prime Minister David Cameron. An …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I did wonder who they expected to pay for the storage of all this lovely slurped data.

    A good day to be a storage vendor?

    1. BillG
      Big Brother

      Clegg has promised a "poison pill" clause that will repeal the legislation at the end of 2016

      At which point the infrastructure will already be in place - which is what this bill is all about in the first place.

      1. Bluenose

        Nick Clegg = Idiot

        Just goes to show how thick Nick Clegg is, no Parliament is bound by the laws passed by a predecessor. Therefore all that happens is next Govt renews legislation in 2015, immediately after election, removing "poisoned pill" and hey presto its in place forever. As Nick and his mates won't be around in 2015 having received insufficient votes to elect an MP, the party in power will get its own way by enforcing three line whip to and threatening to link anyone who refuses to vote with the party line that they will make public dirt that the whip's office has on them.

        Better to have the arguments about this legislation now while no party can force through this type of legislation instead of waiting until that is no longer an option.

        1. Adam Nealis

          Re: Nick Clegg = Idiot

          Nick Clegg = Someone who does not give a shit.

          1. M Mouse

            Re: Nick Clegg = Idiot

            At least he showed a teeny bit of caution, and questioning the powers, even if he was unable to reject the plan in its entirety.

            I'm also not that sure that Labour are anti-snooping, after all, when did RIP Act come into effect?

            The big elephant in the room is that anyone who questions these plans is going to face hounding as being willing to let terrorists plot, while our clever / brave (*) security services are trying to detect and prevent them...

            It was the same in USA about all the Middle East actions, and whether Homeland Security went too far... any questions and you were classed as anti-American, not patriotic, etc.

            (*) choose term you feel makes you most likely to puke

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Gimp

        "Clegg has promised a "poison pill" clause that will repeal the legislation at the end of 2016"

        Not quite. The clause should be in this Bill. There is such a clause in THE PATRIOT Act for some sections as well.

        And when it came time the Con-gress voted for another extension.

        Like most of these bills the actual list of stuff that can be slurped is hidden in an appendix or "schedule."

        Like the Dark Lords fondness for "Statutory Instruments" this is another handy thin end of the wedge tool for authoritarian governments. Get the basics in first and extend at your leisure.

        I doubt the list of items being slurped has ever been reduced.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and rack-cam vendor

      "The bill states under the "extra-territoriality in Part 1 of Ripa" section that any address in Blighty can be used for such a purpose."

      I suspect for a lot of non-UK firms the only address they may have in the UK is a rack position in a data centre somewhere and some v4/v6 addresses. This could make life interesting for data centre operators if they receive warrants for their customers who's contents should not be disclosed. Or just stick the warrant on the rack and hope for the best. Or we'll have to figure out electronic warrants with all the fun they could entail.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: and rack-cam vendor

        I think that's why it said "any address" not any address associated with the ISP.

        That way you can post the warrant to a Mrs Trellis of North Wales and then raid their data center.

      2. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: and rack-cam vendor

        Wait until the bailiff nails the warrant to the front of the server!

    3. Phil W

      I may be wrong here, but won't they already have the infrastructure in place now in order for them to have been complying with the recently abolished Data Retention Directive.

    4. Glostermeteor

      You can be absolutely sure that it won't be the politicians paying for it. They really are one corrupt bunch, all of them.

  2. Paddy Fagan

    Another hitchhikers quote might have been more appropiate...

    "But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months."

    "Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn't exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything."

    "But the plans were on display ..."

    "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

    "That's the display department."

    "With a flashlight."

    "Ah, well the lights had probably gone."

    "So had the stairs."

    "But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

    "Yes," said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

    1. Isendel Steel
      Pint

      Re: Another hitchhikers quote might have been more appropiate...

      upvote

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Another hitchhikers quote might have been more appropiate...

      "Ever thought of going into advertising?"

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The bill surprised many by quickly securing cross-party support prior to its publication last Thursday

    Of course. Everyone was busy reserving their "well-deserved" vacation while the world burns, so pressing the YES button is done with the same haste shown when super urgent toilet break is required.

    It should be forbidden to pass laws 1 month before the "recess".

    P.S.:

    In Independence Day, 2014, old fart Napolitano had this to say:

    In one week, the Supreme Court told ... the president that he cannot wait until Saturday morning, when the Senate is not in session, to appoint high-level officials whose jobs require Senate confirmation, and then claim that they do not require Senate confirmation because the Senate was in recess.

    These nasty tricks are as numerous as tax evasion attempts, but far more harmful.

  4. corestore

    "The planned legislation demands that warrants are served in a variety of ways on a person outside the UK whose company offers a form of telecommunications to Brits."

    Please to explain?

    How can a British warrant under a British act have any validity or enforceability on a person or body corporate located in, say, Iceland? Surely they would operate under, and be bound exclusively by, Icelandic law?

    So what is the point?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Pirate

      There is precident

      Remember that US law already rules everywhere on the planet. It make little different what the [redacted] in Westminster say or do. so gripping their coat tails is (to them ) logical and makes our laws apply everywhere except the US.

      Sadly 'les Frogs' will just say 'Non' to this like they do to everything else imposed on them from outside France. This will, I am sure be repeated in all sane nations.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: There is precident

        The interesting thing will be when a British court goes after an American person. What may or may not be legal here much be a "freedom of speech" right there. For a country to try to enforce its law in another will, sooner or later, blow up in their faces...

        1. Steve Evans

          Re: There is precident

          I'm sure the US/UK side is already sorted... The US have been very public to say they don't monitor US citizens, and we all know why... The UK does that for them, and then shares any info they US want.

          1. Hollerith 1

            Re: There is precident

            Except that they do monitor US citizens in the USA.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        There is no precedent .... other than the making up of things on the fly

        which be against convention and unconstitutional

        Regarding the state of rule of US law, Steve Davies 3, you might like to have a read of http://thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35476/Atlantic-Mag-Shock-US-No-Longer-Under-Rule-of-Law/

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: There is no precedent .... other than the making up of things on the fly

          Shhhh. Don't shout that too loudly or the men in black might come calling around dawn and give you a one way ticket to an envlave on a large Island in the Carribean.

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: There is no precedent .... other than the making up of things on the fly

            Shhhh. Don't shout that too loudly or the men in black might come calling around dawn and give you a one way ticket to an envlave on a large Island in the Carribean. ... Steve Davies 3

            I've already packed a bag with shorts and Ts and left the door unlocked, SD3, for a SPICE ISLAND trip ........ The Intercept

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: There is no precedent .... other than the making up of things on the fly

              This could all be aimed at the peering points like LINX.

              Most providers have a peering at the LINX (amongst many others) in order to reduce the number of hops into/across their network.

              This clause will effectively mean *anything, anywhere*

    2. DJV Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      So what is the point?

      Of Cameron and his cronies?

      Not a damn jot!

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Please to explain?

      Try selling certain recreational pharmaceuticals in Britain , claiming that they are legal under the law of wherever you are incorporated.

      1. corestore

        Re: Please to explain?

        I'm not selling anything in Britain; I'm storing emails in Iceland.

        Or selling server capacity in New York.

        Please to explain why I don't use a British 'warrant' for toilet paper?

        If they want to try an MLAT in my own country, let them.

    4. TkH11

      I think it means this:

      A company located in a different country providing a telecoms service to people within the UK, and that telecoms service includes, email, instant chat, webmail, peer to peer, basically anything! - then various methods can be used to issue the warrant for interception, perhaps email for example.

      It gives the government the power to monitor any form of communication either in the country or where traffic is coming in or out of the country. It's as far reaching as it gets.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get a grip

    Data retention is reasonable and practical means to deter crime. Get over it.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Big Brother

      Re: Get a grip

      GCHQ Shill downvoted.

    2. nsld

      Re: Get a grip

      Of course it is because every mugger tweets about it first before they go and mug a granny!

      And it was overwhelmingly successful in averting the bombings on the 7th of July and in stopping the murder of Lee RIgby, except it wasnt and it didnt despite the fact the people involved where all on the watch lists and well known to the security services and police.

      Sucide bombers dont care if the data is retained, what are you to do with it? prosecute the crater they leave?

      1. b0llchit
        Coat

        Re: Get a grip

        "Sucide bombers dont care if the data is retained, what are you to do with it? prosecute the crater they leave?"

        That could be a very sensible thing to do. Sue the city/county or whatever who owns the ground where the crater was left. They surely were not prepared enough to ensure that the critical infrastructure could withstand a blast so no crater would emerge.

        Rule #1: always blame someone else

        Rule #2: see rule #1

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Get a grip

        Sucide bombers dont care if the data is retained, what are you to do with it? prosecute the crater they leave?

        Not all terrorism is suicide bombing, and RIPA is not only used for terrorism but also organized crime. Even if it were a suicide bomber, do you not think it would be handy for the police to know who he spoke to 10 minutes before-hand?

        A panopticon only works if everyone is rational (they aren't), the punishment always outweighs the benefit (it doesn't) and that the surveillance is perfect (it isn't).

        Except this isn't a panopticon, for two main reasons.

        Firstly, this isn't the mass collection of data on everyone and everything that security services apparently do legally, which could be considered a panopticon.

        Secondly, it differs in that the idea of a panopticon is that people who are constantly observed will not offend, where as the idea of this is that if people offend, it's easier to determine who and why if you have this data available to query.

        It's not perfect, but in most cases, if two people communicate digitally, this may record the fact, which can then be used to prove that they communicate with each other when their defence is predicated that they do not.

        1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Get a grip

          Most people who are planning or have committed really serious crimes are extremely paranoid and will naturally limit or disguise their communications. Most of the people who get caught via these means will be minor criminals - such as the person who gets drunk and emails or posts a racial or homophobic rant, or small-time drug dealer/users - and it really doesn't need special laws to get access to that information. Meanwhile there is also a heck of a lot of data from people who post their views openly because they are doing nothing illegal - now, but will become a mine for police "intelligence gathering" when such views become illegal or associated with illegality in 10 or 20 years' time.

          1. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Get a grip

            Most people who are planning or have committed really serious crimes are extremely paranoid and will naturally limit or disguise their communications.

            Citation.

            Most of the people who get caught via these means will be minor criminals - such as the person who gets drunk and emails or posts a racial or homophobic rant, or small-time drug dealer/users

            Citation.

            and it really doesn't need special laws to get access to that information.

            It currently does, so what do you think changes in the future?

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              For all those 'nothing to hide people' I have this to say..

              They have something to hide, you have everything to fear.

            2. Marshalltown

              Re: Get a grip

              Citation. .... "Journal of Common sense(1(1):1)

              Citation. ibid.

              The sole reason that "special laws" are required is simply because the PTB refuse to reason analogically and apply the rational conclusion. Even a communication on paper is ephemeral and could be burnt or shredded by a rational criminal. The reality is that all information is subject to entropy and these laws are an attempt to repeal entropy for what is purported to be public safety at the expense of individual privacy.

              Also, the whole "have you anything to hide" counter argument is inane. Suppose that you have a VERY good relationship with you wife, who is also world class. You're on the road, and she forwards you some explict selfies simply to make sure you remember where your interests are and keep you looking forward to getting home. That is not illegal in most jurisdictions; China and Muslim locales may be different. However, it certainly is not something you want some NSA or GCHQ squint drooling over.

              You might be member of a nudist club, again not illegal, but they send a mildly encrypted newsletter periodically to let members know of up coming events, and may be it includes pix. Again, not something illegal, but as a politician the info is potentially embarrassing, AND if the news gets out you could lose a chunk of your constituency. Worse, you are expecting to vote on funding for the agency, a quiet visit from agency reps with a copy of info, not illegal but not something you want released, and there you have abuse, extortion in fact. In fact, the Snowden affair ought to make you realize that merely because some agency is supposed to be protecting you doesn't mean they are or really can. There's a reason why Washington, D.C. breathed a collective sigh of relief when JEH kicked off and it had little or nothing to do with fear of exposure of their illegal activities.

              1. btrower

                Re: Get a grip

                Re:"these laws are an attempt to repeal entropy"

                Upvote for amusing turn of phrase. Trying to figure out some way to steal it.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Get a grip

      Not without a specific warrant

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get a grip

      > Data retention is reasonable and practical means to deter crime. Get over it.

      Trolling or brain damage aside, it really isn't. That's the same flawed assumption that Jeremy Bentham made in the 18th century; that no one is going to commit a crime if they know they are being watched. This is demonstrably untrue.

      A panopticon only works if everyone is rational (they aren't), the punishment always outweighs the benefit (it doesn't) and that the surveillance is perfect (it isn't).

      The government were about to get fucked by the European Court of Justice over GCHQ's shenanigans. This law is an attempt to formally legalise what they have been doing in Cheltenham. Of course they can't say that without tacitly admitting that it was actually illegal in the first place hence the WMD in Iraq level bullshit about national security.

    5. fruitoftheloon
      Thumb Down

      Re: Get a grip

      Ac,

      presumably as you have nothing to hide, you don't mind sharing your personal info with your fellow commentards?

      I mean, what could possibly go wrong...?

      J.

    6. Bluenose

      Re: Get a grip

      To the best of my knowledge I have never committed a crime in the UK but I have made a number of political points on the internet. Why does the Govt need to have my ISP retain my metadata other than to monitor my political leanings and writings? Seems to me the Govt is in breach of my right to privacy there.

      In addition the retention is not to prevent or deter crime rather it is a blunt instrument which would allow individuals to be identified who may well use UK telecommunication links to post online about their own countries. The retention of their metadata will allow countries such as Iran, Norks and others to identify those users (by hacking ISPs, seeking legal injunctions, etc) and take action against them. Therefore rather than deterring crime it is actually in a position to potentially improve the capability of foreign countries to act against their opponents in the UK in criminal ways. Or even domestic criminals who can look to trace people in the witness protection scheme.

    7. razorfishsl Silver badge

      Re: Get a grip

      Yes I bet that's what the Nazis kept telling everyone.

      Funny how history repeats itself.

    8. TkH11

      Re: Get a grip

      Actually the ECJ ruling actually states the original 1995 EC directive (which has been incorporated into UK RIPA and Data Protection Legislation) is too far reaching and doesn't recognise the privacy of individuals and their right to a private life. Only the minimum amount of data should be stored.

      There's reasonable and there's excessive retention.

  6. btrower

    This should tell you

    ... that there is essentially only one party in power and it does not answer to the people.

    1. Hargrove

      Re: This should tell you

      This is a case where "Cui Bono"/"Follow the money" applies. Every sign I see points to the likelihood that all political parties in the US and UK respond to (and uncompromisingly govern on behalf of) a set of special interests. As near as I have been able to discern, there is no conspiracy involved. Commonality of interest and greed suffice.

      The old Soviet Union excelled in math and science, because the best and brightest competed for research jobs there, rather than in factories where productivity was tightly measured. Intelligence data gathering is the present equivalent in the US and UK--a business where vast fortunes can be made, without any practical accountability. Those who govern outsource the essential IT functions, in return (at least in the US) for political support.

      The net result is to create an effective oligarchy that is completely out of touch with the rest of society.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should tell you

        Not the money.

        Days after they announce an investigation into serious crime in parliament they pass new laws helping them blackmail everybody involved.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This should tell you

        "The net result is to create an effective oligarchy\\\\\\\\\kleptocracy that is completely out of touch with the rest of society."

      3. btrower

        Re: This should tell you

        Re:"Commonality of interest and greed suffice."

        @Hargrove

        Very well put. It expresses my own thinking very well. Whether it is currently the primary driver or not, it is a simple and sufficient explanation and almost certainly true to some extent. It is an attack vector that we have to close down whether or not it is actively being used.

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