back to article Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has declared that Britain's partners in the Five Eyes surveillance alliance should copy Blighty's online counter-terrorism policy – and force service providers to help purge “extremist messages” when they appear on the web. Along with stepping up their surveillance, intelligence, and information …

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  1. Alister Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

    Oh, Ok then Theresa, we'll get right on that...

    Um, any idea how we're going to do that?

    No, didn't think so.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

      Could start with inventing a new logo. Maybe something from ancient Rome, with an axe and a bundle of sticks.

      1. Preston Munchensonton
        Coat

        Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

        Speaking of logos, it's only a matter of time before the swastika makes a comeback.

        1. Synonymous Howard

          Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

          By 'swastika' I think you mean the Nazi 'Hakenkreuz' version and hopefully not the Mesopotamian / Indian versions?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Synonymous Howard Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

            ".....not the Mesopotamian / Indian versions?" LOL, you really think the OP actually knows the difference?

            1. Preston Munchensonton
              Mushroom

              Re: Synonymous Howard Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

              LOL, you really think the OP actually knows the difference?

              I called it a swastika because I do understand that the Nazis didn't originate the symbol. In any case, they reappropriated it for their own use and, yes, I suspect someone like Theresa May to reuse it in the future.

              Generally, anyone seeing the symbol today would associate it with the Nazi. Hence is the nature of humor, jackass.

      2. Swiss Anton

        Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

        Surely if this logo is going to be something from ancient Rome, wouldn't a fiddle and a bundle of sticks (with some kindling) be more appropriate.

    2. Unep Eurobats
      Windows

      Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

      First time I've heard of Five Eyes. Have I not been paying attention or did they just invent it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

        >First time I've heard of Five Eyes. Have I not been paying attention or did they just invent it?

        Didn't pay much attention to all the Snowden news huh? Its ok the government will take care of you. Don't fret about a thing. Its all for your safety.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

        First time I've heard of Five Eyes. Have I not been paying attention or did they just invent it?

        Indeed. We just need two additional eyes and we have the Beast being ridden by That Lady of Babylon. It's biblical.

        The "five (iery) eyes" are I guess: US, UK and C&A, as well NZ and AUS

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

        "Have I not been paying attention or did they just invent it?"

        You've not been paying attention.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

      "England prevails!" says Theresa "Lewis Prothero" May

    4. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

      Yes, let's purge "extremist" messages from the internet. In advance, please tell us what "extremist" means.

      Historical examples of what was once thought of as extremists:

      -Protestant reformists

      -Tolerance of Catholic worship

      -Abolitionists

      -Suffragettes

      -Parliamentary supremists

      -Universal education activists

      (Personally, I'm not going to say that humanity has advanced to the point where it's impossible that something that sounds "extreme" today might not be embraced by our descendants 2-3 generations down the line)

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

        Particularly alarming is when she states that they want to protect us not just from "violent extremism", but also from "non-violent extremism". What exactly is "non-violent extremism"? Opinions? Strikes? Protest marches?

        I get that Theresa May will protect me from "terrorists". But who will protect me from Theresa May.

    5. Fat Northerner

      Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

      I'll believe it when they stop blacklisting their own loyal citizens, for simply pointing out the obvious, because it endangers to careers of connected families with arts degrees who went to the right schools.

  2. John H Woods Silver badge

    I think she should concentrate on killing bees and wasps ...

    ... they kill more people in the UK than terrorists, and she is the HOME secretary.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I think she should concentrate on killing bees and wasps ...

      "... they kill more people in the UK than terrorists, and she is the HOME secretary."

      Yes, politicians are really dangerous beasts!

      Oh, wait... sorry, you meant the bees and wasps, didn't you?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want a new web, but this time the government isn't invited.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Quantum Leaping Communications

      I want a new web, but this time the government isn't invited. .... Anonymous Coward

      Where do you think you are here, Anonymous Coward? In the Now with the Know ‽ .

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      @AC empathise, but big government have been behind it since it's earliest days. Best thing we can do is be vigilant, be creative and hold the blighters to account.

    3. banalyzer

      It's OK AC, they said all terrorists, no more .gov.uk either by my reckoning

  4. 's water music Silver badge

    Mm mm, oh no she didn't

    Although if she was specifically trying to troll el reg she needed to get in something about OS wars.

    I keep wondering if she isn't going to start mouthing "help me" during her speeches at some point

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with reporting on idiots...

    ... is that you give them the oxygen of publicity.

    1. BurnT'offering

      Re: The problem with reporting on idiots...

      The problem with not reporting on politicians is - backroom dodgy deals

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    Who decides

    what's bad n'kay?

    Really, which puritanical no-life gets to play Church Lady?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Who decides

      I doubt that it's any corporate pulling these strings as there is profit for them somewhere in this mess... so yes... who decides on who decides what's bad?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can someone please get her "Internet for dummies"?

    Here's a radical idea why don't we get out the middle east and stop fucking around then they would have no reason to put hate on the internet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      too late, they still would cause they are haters

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems to me most extremist material on the web

    is pushed by the Conservative party ...

  9. Gis Bun

    Easier said than done.

  10. Anonymous Blowhard

    "Theresa May has declared that the UK's partners in the Five Eyes surveillance alliance should copy Britain's online counter-terrorism policy and force service providers to help purge “extremist messages” when they appear on the web."

    Does that include hers?

  11. Mephistro Silver badge
    Flame

    ...must purge terrorists from the web...

    Don't forget to purge them also from the phone lines, public transport and walkways.

    One day we'll reach a point when stupid lawmaking like this will have crippled the Web -and Society- so severely that it gets almost unusable by the average citizen. Meanwhile, the terrorists will have wised up and use some of the myriad thechniques traditionally employed to hide comms contents or comms origin from prying eyes, E.G codewords, encryption, steganography, forged/spoofed credentials...

    But I'm afraid that the terrorists are not the target of this kind of measures.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...must purge terrorists from the web...

      Fax machine and a forgotten language

      1. Laura Kerr

        Re: ...must purge terrorists from the web...

        Bring back Fidonet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bring back Fidonet.

          Hmm... I do not quite remember something about what the Italian authorities did to their indigenous fidonet in the (erm) 90's ...

          ah ... something like this here:

          http://seclists.org/interesting-people/1994/May/64

          1. Laura Kerr

            Re: Bring back Fidonet.

            I remember that - caused quite a stir in ENET.SYSOP, IIRC. I was there at the time. It was about the time the BBS licensing scheme was being bandied about in the UK.

            But any sensible trrrist, or anyone who didn't want to be snooped on would use burner phones with their numbers in an encrypted nodelist. Monitor and block that, you fat five-eyed gits!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Bring back Fidonet.

              Burner phones and poor social graphs (tight contact lists) make you stand out from "normal people." No idea if the terrorists are following the released leaks on the "Big Data" techniques in use by the 5 Eyes, but it also helps nail down drug dealers and other criminals.

              1. Laura Kerr

                Re: Bring back Fidonet.

                Indeed. So any trrrist with a modicum of intelligence would run two identities. The public one would be based around a Facebook account full of cat videos, gormless comments on minor slebs' public pages, semi-literate memes and photos of their meals. Bog-standard, run-of-the-mill banality.

                The secret one - the Fido system - would be used solely for stuff that needed to be kept secret. No voice calls on the burner phones. Said phones are paid for in cash. The weak spot would be distributing the nodelists - they couldn't just download them from jihadistnutter.org without attracting attention. But there are ways round that - Allfix might do the job. So might burying them in MSI packages.

                As a little exercise, I've put my Fidonet system back online. It runs quite happily on an elderly Compaq laptop under Windows 95 and the modem plugs straight into the phone line. No Internet connectivity needed. Files can be transferred via a USB drive. I still have an elderly Nokia with a serial cable that allows it to be used as a modem.

                My system was primarily an echomail gateway - I used to transfer mail between five different networks. From looking at the logs, call durations were very short, even when pulling big packets down from the Fido backbone for distribution across Europe. If the Fido system was used only for essential comms, the calls would be even shorter. To monitor my traffic, an attacker would need to know (a) the number I was polling, (b) be able to take a copy of my traffic without alerting me, (c) either know or be able to crack the session password on the fly and (d) be able to decrypt the mail packets. Ringing the changes on the node number, phone number, session password and decryption passphrase makes the snoop's job just that wee bit harder.

                An additional security measure is the fact that I could quickly swap hard drives. It's easier to hide or destroy a drive than a whole laptop. That would just leave the burner phone, but swapping the SIM for an innocuous one only takes a few seconds. All the plod could do would be to try to make the possession of a phone that could act as a modem evidence of possession of an article for preparing an act of terrorism. OTOH, I wouldn't put it past them to try...

              2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Bring back Fidonet.

                'Burner phones and poor social graphs (tight contact lists) make you stand out from "normal people."'

                It depends what you mean by tight contact lists. I'm retired so I don't make business calls any more. A P&G SIM is sufficient. My mobile just has a few friends & family numbers & I no longer give its number out to businesses as that just invites SMS spam.

                And running my own domain I use a number of burner email addresses so spammers can be cut off.

  12. Warm Braw Silver badge

    counter-extremism – both violent and non-violent

    To my mind, "non-violent extremism" would certainly cover the views of Nigel Lawson, Liam Fox and their ilk, and possibly those of the lady herself.

  13. Alister Silver badge

    Define Terrorist

    The current governments of Europe and North America seem to have this enormous emphasis on stamping out "terrorism", but just stop to consider for a minute, who defines terrorism?

    I don't think there are many people who are in any doubt that the current overseas activities of the Daesh are terrorism, and their oppression of the local populace and destruction of ancient artifacts in Syria should also be counted as such.

    But as we try so hard to stamp out all terrorism on the internet, and to label all dissenting voices as terrorist, there is a danger that legitimate protests could end up being quashed as well.

    Looking back to earlier times, Nelson Mandela was once considered a terrorist by most of the western world. If there had been an Internet during the time of Apartheid, would the ANC have been branded a terrorist organisation, and would any messages from Mandela and his supporters have been blocked, removed or hidden?

    The IRA's stated intent was to remove British military power from Northern Ireland. The acts of the IRA and the INLA were without doubt terrorism, but their fundamental cause wasn't, and this is probably why people in the USA were happy to fund and support them, despite the British government's wishes.

    If there had been an internet at the time, I wonder if websites supportive of the IRA or calling for British rule to end would have been blocked, as they blocked Gerry Adam's voice from being broadcast?

    Theresa May should perhaps look back in history a bit, before she makes such sweeping statements.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Define Terrorist

      She's not interested in looking back at history; she's only interested in looking forward to her own future as the new Glorious Leader. She'll quite happily appeal to the technically ignorant in her party and say that all sorts of magical things are possible, regardless of the splash damage to society. After all, she wants to be the one who gets to decide what the splash damage will be, so she can make sure it doesn't happen to extreme ideas she likes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Define Terrorist

        You are assuming she's her own creature just as we do here about FBI Director Comey for another example. There's a very strong groupthink element to any set of people whose professional and social relationships are well defined to the exclusion of dissenting voices. What appears to be totally mad often seems sane within that clique. (I used to laugh growing up at the odd passions of my fellow pupils, their parents, and even school administrators.)

        The very existence of, and desire for admission to, the "Chattering Class" is enough to make me hypervigilent.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Define Terrorist: This

      "there is a danger that legitimate protests could end up being quashed as well".

      And that, right there, is EXACTLY what "they" want.

    3. Christoph

      Re: Define Terrorist

      Could we start with all the terrorists who are so eager to bomb and invade foreign countries on the flimsiest of excuses? They kill far more innocents.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Define Terrorist

        I was going to downvote your comment, but fortunately I re-read it first.

        A great truth, indeed! And it usually applies to both sides of asymmetrical wars. Perhaps they're just aping each other in some race to the bottom?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah Charlie Farr is panicking at the pasting the IPBill got from pretty much everyone and is trying to turn it into a group effort so he's not standing alone in trying to get Theresa to push it through.

    Expect much FUD until this is passed.

    Then they'll remove John Le Carré from bookshelves, Lock down the information people can access on the web, stop teaching mathematics in schools, kill off Computer Science in universities & indoctrinate us from a big book containing everything they reckon we need to know which we'll learn by heart by the age of five ... erm this is sounding rather familiar

  15. imheretoo

    This has nothing to do with terrorists but only silencing any and all dissent. This is just the first stepping stone.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      It's interesting in a Huh? kind of way. Delete the names and the country and make it a fill in the box type of article. Suddenly, this applies to a whole lot more countries. If I substitute Trump or any number of presidential candidates for May and US for UK, the article still reads the same. Remember the call for Gates to take control of the Internet?

      I think the old curse of "may you live in interesting times" has come to pass.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Down with neo-liberalism

    Whoops now I've done it. I'm on the extremist list.

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