back to article Home Sec in anti-terror plan to control entire web

UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has decided to mount a push against cyber terror, in which the internet itself will somehow be modified to prevent people using it for terrorist purposes. Today, Ms Smith addressed an international conference on radicalisation and political violence. Much of the speech was about engagement with …


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  1. dervheid
    Black Helicopters


    Just waiting for the Home Office to be renamed "The Department for Homeland Security (UK)"

  2. Paul

    No wonder people become terrorists

    If this is all the government is capable of doing any more is futily making statements that are either irrelevant, impossible or full of hot air it's small wonder that people work to bring down the government!

  3. Karl Lattimer

    oh dear, they still don't get this intertubes thing do they

    It really doesn't matter how many people tell them, traffic monitoring and DPI on this scale is impossible to achieve effectively they'll still keep rattling them sabres at us.

    WRT: The dirty bomb, I only see one organisation spreading fear and terror with dirty bombs, and that would be the scare mongering .gov

    So how to make a bomb in 3 easy steps:

    1, Trundle down to your local library

    2, Find the chemistry section

    3, Read some old books which generally have some particularly detailed instructions for making things like composition B and RDX among other things. After all, the entire anarchists cookbook was compiled from a variety of library books and low level experimentation...

    I expect after making this outrageous claim that LIBRARIES may have TERRORIST material in them we'll start burning books, also I remember my old chemistry teacher had a recipe or two for entertaining students. Those were the days :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about banning..

    The Government from the internet, and while they're at it, from tv, radio and the press and then they can play their silly little games in the secrecy they crave.

    Politicians are a waste of space, they know it, we know it but still the game goes on. Beware the bogey man (current flavour of the month) he's out to get you. We know best blah blah bloody blah.

    The whole lot of them make me sick (whatever their political persuasion)

    For the record, I'm one of the dying breed (a Socialist)!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What backbone

    "In the UK, much of the net backbone is actually controlled by just one company, British Telecom", I think you'll find that this statement is essentially bollocks. BT run a large distribution/access network for sure and no doubt quite a few folk use them for transit but backbone they aint.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Govt shows lack of technical understanding again.

    ...and anything they do try will end up inconveniencing the vast majority, while the terrorist remains unaffected.

  7. Dan B
    Dead Vulture

    newsflash: govt completely rescinds free speech due to 'terrorists'

    I really wouldn't be surprised to see a great firewall of (the) UK.

    From there it's not a great leap to think that tools like Tor might be banned.

    We're turning into the very countries we call repressive to protect us from these monsterous 'terrorists', heil fuhrer Brown.

    Bleh. What's the point in commenting on stuff like this any more, it's a slippery slope and we're already half way down it and yet no-one will do a thing about it.

    I think we should teach politics and law (stripped down obviously) as a compulsory subject from primary school onwards, then maybe people would open their eyes and see their rights being stripped from them instead of blindly supporting yet more legislation to 'get the bad guys' because they do not understand the implications of some of these fruitcake laws.

    I expect the SAS will be battering through my door any second.

    Hat. Coat.

  8. Christoph

    Which violent extremists?

    "we should also take action against those who groom vulnerable people for the purposes of violent extremism"

    Great - they're going to ban recruiting sites for the US Armed Forces and the CIA?

  9. Steve

    We need more sites not less

    The government should be putting up their own fake terrorist sites with bomb making instructions. We'll end up with a bunch of hook-handed fuckwits roaming around as most of these muppets couldn't pass GCSE chemistry, never mind make a bomb.

    Every time I hear another one of these totalitarian idiots come out with another brainless anti-terror plan it makes *me* want to blow something up out of spite.

    The worrying thing is, I actually have the knowledge from university to do it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel safer now than ever

    I think you're all being really unfair. These laws must be working both in the UK and the USA. There hasn't been a terrorist attack in the USA since 9/11, compare that with the thousands that occurred before. Similar in the UK, since the Tube attacks, nothing major. Also the before and after incidents of the Madrid train bombs. I just don't know how we managed to survive through it all before.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    They really are a bunch of R'tards.

    A terrorist wants to make you change and lose out in someway, to dirsupt normal life.

    This government has been in power and now :-

    We lose the right to free speech (shout nonsense at the labour party conference, get chucked out.)

    Wear what we want, when we want (you wear a get rid of blair t shirt at the labout party conference and join the other 500+ arrested people)

    Lose the right to free travel (have you been to alton towers at manchester air port yet, want to carry a 250 ml coke bottle onto the plane?)

    Lost the right to ownership. (Software isn't yours as downloading funds organised crime you know, according to triesman)

    We can't criticise faith, muslims, asians because of fear.

    Police are too busy collecting DNA and protecting "possible targets" so the streets are left to volunteers and no one dares go outside.

    Money is diverted to be spent on MP's pay checks or ID cards, because they work so hard instead of useful things. Like the army, or schools.

    So have terrorists already won???

  12. Eitsop

    Not another one...

    Yet another story about a political figure who doesn't understand the practicalities of what they say.

    "Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed" - what a great statement - that's just a joke right? We can't event control dodgy toys on market stalls - how they heck are we supposed to prevent any illegal material coming into the country on the net?


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Speak no evil

    "BT and the ISPs could block overseas websites"

    Perhaps that is the solution - block domestic access to overseas websites. And then pass a law forbidding individuals from running or owning websites. Make it illegal to use the internet from home. People will have to go to a special government-approved internet cafe in order to surf the internet, albeit that it will be a subset of a filtered minority of the internet.

    I notice that Gordon Brown is jetting off to China. Perhaps he is going to pick up some tips.

  14. Mike Crawshaw

    Of course they can do it!

    With a little help from the God-Blessed U S of A for Step 4.

    Here's how it will work.

    1. Receive report of dodgy site with Bomb Instructions / Jihadist Literature / Slight Criticism of "Tony" Brown and his cronies.

    2. Check facts (optional)

    3. If site is hosted in Britain, send Men In Suits round to detain author.

    4. If site is abroad, invade that country. They're obviously enemies of our precious freedom if they allow material like this to be hosted, and need British / American Democracy (God Bless it!!!!) bringing to them so they can toe the line the way all True Patriots do.

    5. ???

    6. Profit!!

  15. scott
    Black Helicopters

    H()t Ch1x Vi@grrra Rol3x Terrrist

    So, Blighty is going to have to have a Chinese army of Arabic, Russian and err…Chinese specialists constantly playing “wack-a-mole” with websites, IRC etc. I reckon English language websites would be relatively easy to automatically block, but those non-Roman character sets are nightmare to filter – ask anyone who works with Websense or similar.

    If it’s not EU-wide, then what’s to stop Mr Terrrist secure tunneling thro to his mates less regulated connections in Belgium or the Netherlands (fast connections, and lots of “sympathisers” to choose from). If it’s EU wide, then I’ll look forward to Europe’s brightest finally *agreeing* what constitutes “terrorism”, since this has been on the table many times – but never agreed. I’m sure some Ulster Unionists would still argue that Sinn Fein was a terrorist organisation. The Greeks would have a field day banning Turkish\N.Cypriot news websites. The French might have a go at banning some Corsican news/blog sites, similar in Spain\Catalunia. Jeez – there are probably just cause for banning the Guardian since it’s advocated the Treasonous overthrow of the Monarchy with a Republic…

    Meanwhile, Mr Terrist will continue to use photocopiers,DVD burners and bookstores etc to spread their wares. The more tech savvy might even keep playing with their steganographic communications.

  16. Slaine

    one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter

    [correction]"technically ignorant voters", whilst technically correct, might better be written as "technologically ignorant voters" which has the virtue also of being technically accurate[/correction].

    Otherwise - this is by far the scariest thing I've read today.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little experiment

    So Blairs attack on free speech continues.... well lets try something.

    1. The Fringles murdered 3 of our Wurzles in cold blood while we were negotiating a peace treaty.

    Did you feel incited to violence? I used all the right verbs, 'murdered' and introduced an injustice 'while we were negotiating a peace treaty'. Do you just not want to go out and blow up those Fringles??? No? Why not? Aren't words enough? Maybe it's because you're not a Wurzle, you just can't empathize with them.

    2. The Fringles murdered 3 of our British Schoolkids who were on a holiday to Fringle land and wanted to visit the famous Chocolate factory there.

    Did that work? Surely you can empathize with those British schoolkids all excited at visiting that chocolate factory only to be mown down by those murderous Fringles? No? Maybe it's Fringles, you just can't image them as an enemy can you?

    3. Three illegal immigrants from Tunisia, brutally stabbed, killed and maimed two of our brightest british school children while they were on a trip to the alps. "All they wanted to do was see white snow, but now the snow is red, cried their mother".

    Didn't that just want to make you go out and blow up Tunisia? No? Perhaps because it's not a real story? How about this.

    4. [censored*]

    What about that this 4th example. Do you feel angry? Why? What is it about that last sentence that makes you angry that the other 3 didn't? Is it because it's true?

    You see it's not the words that make people angry it's the underlying injustice they represent. The best you can try to do is censor this news in the hope of stopping people from learning about the injustice, but in censoring you simply amplify the injustice. The correct solution as ever is to fix the injustice, rather than trying Blairist spin and censorship. The man was a little sh*t, he left under a cloud, we don't follow his ideas anymore.

    * I self censored this comment because of this latest attack on free speech. I can make the generic point without the reporting the specific incident.

  18. JasonW

    "largest global technology and internet companies"

    So - BT, TalkTalk, Tiscali and their peers are going to save the country? I suppose at least some of them can suppress the information - or make it so slow to get at that any uncommitted terrorist would give up and resort to an A-level Chemistry book from the 1970s or older.

  19. Mike Smith


    Ah, it's the old BBS witch hunt all over again.

    There are 853 days left (max) until we can get rid of these cretins for a few years. Please everyone, vote for a real nutter next time.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes me laugh

    The government ARE the terrorists !

    Who is it that threatens us every day of our lives - the government.

    From speed cameras to TV licences, from Customs and Excise to the Inland Revenue, Interest rates, mortgages, credit ratings, job security, alcohol, drugs, freedom of assembly, threat of imminent attack etc etc ad infinitum.

    Whatever we want to do, the govt. has a way to threaten us to conform to their wishes. We don't comply at the risk of becoming a criminal. Notice how more and more laws are being passed with greater and greater granularity and focus. They can't control us unless we have something to lose, and that something is our freedom. Ironically, they are taking away our freedom to do so many things that we are becoming a nation with nothing to lose !

    So expect more home grown terrorists in future, or to use the correct term - freedom fighters !

    Before too long the Nanny will become the Big Brother ....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terrorist threat from snail mail

    How can we be sure the terrorists won't use the Royal Mail?

    If I am elected I will immediately build an enormous warehouse to which all mail will be sent, to be held until a suitable government IT project is developed.

    I estimate the warehouse will be the size of seventy thousand thousand Millenium Domes (or eight million London buses) and the first letters will reappear around 2019 - a small price to pay for the knowledge we are the first nation to have tamed the terror mail threat.

  22. Mark

    "not a government no-go"

    Yup, it's a "fuck off" area.

    Go on, Gov. Fuck off. If you don't understand what happens on the internet and what you can do about it, don't piss in.

  23. Simon Greenwood
    Thumb Down

    A firewall?

    Sure, that will work, given HMG's stellar record with computer projects.

    The nicely planted item on C4 News last night just seemed to show a couple of YouTube hosted videos by a rap outfit as much influenced by Radical Dance Faction as the mujahadeen. When will governments learn that you can't stop people communicating if they want to, and more to the point, if you do, aren't you making yourself the same as those people that you're trying to stop? While they're at it, why not investigate the activities of the far right in this country, who are far more of a threat to any 'Islamic terrorists' as it's getting increasingly likely that there will be a couple of their odious representatives on the back benches come the next election.

    We've had a fair few folk devils paraded this week. Paedophiles are bad, but never mind that we've lost a couple, we'll clamp down on their activities. The trafficking of eastern European women into prostitution is bad, so we'll criminalise the purchase of sex, which will definitely stop an illegal practise that the police can't seem to do anything about, primarily because no-one knows how many immigrants there are in this country, eastern European or not, illegal or legal, kidnapped or here of their own accord. And now the Interwebs are being used to distribute things that we don't agree with and indeed Threaten The British Way of Life, so Something Must Be Done. To quote a certain Doctor, don't you think they look tired?

  24. TeeCee Gold badge

    Now we know.

    Jaqui Smith is the vat-grown bastard love-child of King Cnut and The Little Dutch Boy.

    What f***wit appointed *her* Home Secretary? Wasn't Miss Piggy available?

  25. Karl Lattimer

    after reading comments I'd like to garner peoples opinion on this...

    I am part of a facebook group we call "Evil geniuses for a better tomorrow", we set this up as a larf, we added pics of sharks with frickin laser beams, atom bomb plans and various other odds and sods. Now here's the strange thing, we have an invisible member! Don't believe me, check the group out, there's always <visible members>+1 in the number of members list.

    Who is this invisible member, I didn't even know you could do that with facebook, is this monitoring?

  26. Ian


    "In the UK, much of the net backbone is actually controlled by just one company, British Telecom. "

    Erm, no. I've designed, implemented and managed ISP networks for 11 years. I've spent a lot of time talking to other people who do the same (including folks who've run BT's IP networks). I have never known any significant ISP buy backbone capacity (i.e. transit) from BT, not one. The principal backbone providers for the UK are probably Level 3, Global Crossing, NTT, Telia, PCCW, SAVVIS and XO - but there's a lot of ebb and flow in who's who. BT buy their transit from Sprint, SAVVIS, Level 3, AT&T, and GlobalCrossing.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Face the telescreen

    Let us sing our national anthem.... "Oceania 'tis for thee.."

  28. ian


    ""Where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed" - what a great statement - that's just a joke right? We can't event control dodgy toys on market stalls - how they heck are we supposed to prevent any illegal material coming into the country on the net?"


    Quite simple actually. Just require that illegal material have a /illegal tag, and prosecute when the tag is missing.


  29. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's only Hansard online

    The government's contorl of on-line content is complete with MP's profanities being removed from the on-line version of Hansard.

    "Mr John Baron (Billericay) (Con): “ ... life-threatening shortages of kit” from which he claims troops fighting abroad suffer, including “electronic equipment to detect roadside bombs” -

    Minister for the Armed Forces (Bob Ainsworth): Absolute bollocks.

    Mr Tony Baldry (Banbury) (Con): Is that a parliamentary expression?

    Mr John Baron (Billericay) (Con): I shall move on... "

    On-line reads:

    "Mr John Baron (Billericay) (Con): “ ... life-threatening shortages of kit” from which he claims troops fighting abroad suffer, including “electronic equipment to detect roadside bombs” -

    Mr John Baron (Billericay) (Con): I shall move on... "

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Vote BNP!

    If we're going to have a bunch of xenophobic authoritarian morons in charge we might as well have the ones with the honesty to admit it.


    Yes, the one with the swastika armband please...

  31. Col

    It's inevitable

    so my suggestion for the name for the forthcoming national firewall is "the White e-Cliffs", which has a nicely national-jingoistic ring to it. Make the bad man stop, mummy!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before the internet, stuff still went bang...

    I fondly recall Fuels, Explosives and Dyestuffs a rather dry, but detailed, industrial chemicals book from the school library.

    I bet it's still there.

  33. Keith T

    Not a Cnut

    @TeeCee - Knut and the water business has been misreported and used in a negative way. He actually was demonstrating that he had no power over the waves, not that he could command them. "What was that? 'the Greek shall inherit the earth?' "

    Top marks for BT basically telling Auntie Jaqui to piss off. If it hadn't been flogged off then The Home Office would still have total control. Horse gone, stable demolished, door for sale on e-bay.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @Karl Lattimer

    > frickin laser beams

    A sentence guaranteed to make me laugh out loud!

  35. Ishkandar

    @Mike Crawshaw

    But the H'Amerikans say Europe is the terrorists' base !! So will they be invading soon ??

    I'm getting my coat and tin-foil hat and moving to the Antartic. At least, they only kill whales there !!

  36. Anonymous Coward

    All your internets are belong to GOV

    Somebody set us up the (dirty) bomb!

  37. Kwac


    Heard about this on the BBC World Service earlier.

    It was followed by a report on China online - 200,000 new users everyday..... mumble.. soon overtake USA as country with most uses..... despite employing many people to filter sites (including BBC World)...rabbit .... inappropriate material still gets through.

    Perhaps UK Governent has hit on this as a way to reduce unemployment?

    Or even 'community service' punishments for those who used the internet to "groom vulner,,,"

    Oh shit.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the Chinese have "The Great Firewall of China"

    And Enland will have "Hadrian's Firewall"?

  39. Anonymous Coward


    Government can not stop simple data breaches, so thinks that it can control the internet.

    Why do I have picture of donkey in my head?

  40. Morely Dotes

    Dear Ms. Home Secretary

    You bleedingly stupid git. Oh, sorry, sorry, I meant to say...

    You have precisely zero chance of preventing people from accessing data over the Internet as long as the Internet exists. Since the UK does not have the armed capability of destroyed every single Internet server on the planet, you are screwed.

    Satellite Internet access will continue to exist even if you manage to isolate the UK from the rest of the world's wired communications.

    Why don't you just check in o the nearest Home for the Hopelessly Bewildered and save the taxpayers a few pounds, there's a good lass.

    Incidentally, the same argument applies to the R.I. Ass. of America, and the BPI.

  41. Julian Foxall

    Call me a cynic, but ....

    Remember this is the government that transfers data by CD in the pannier of a courier motorbike - then loses the bloody stuff!!!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    brown? a good name as in the early hitler's early police?

    strange how history repeats.

    maybe it is time that we took these uneducated, ill informed morons and put them in public stockades for all their failures!

    if people want to commit crimes they will, what part of this don't this bunch of jokers understand? you can make crimes illegal but you cannot stop a determined indivivdual.

    i wish i could leave this country before it finally goes to the dogs but i need my election budget to survive:)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    enemies of the state: don't rely on Tor.

    " isn't hard to use relays such as Tor to effectively browse from a point overseas....

    No machinery under the UK government's control needs to see anything other than a stream of encrypted traffic in order for a user located in Britain to merrily enter hardcore terrorist chatrooms, download bomb-making instructions, coordinate operations and all the rest."

    Not necessarily, according to Steve Topletz (of Torpark/Xerobank) on the Wilders Security forum. ( )

    Originally Posted by caspian:

    "I don't understand how they could tell who someone is or where they live by analyzing traffic coming from Tor. If tor does not even know your IP address at the exit point, how could analyzing traffic do so?"

    Steve's answer:

    "Because the ISP can see *who* your computer is talking to, and intelligence agencies have the internet tapped. They can see you visit website x, talking through tor node 3, talking through tor node 2, talking through tor node 1, talking to your computer. They can see who is talking to whom, and depending on your computer sending requests that get relaying through the network, they can follow the string right back to you because they are capable of observing the whole internet."

    Originally Posted by caspian:

    "I thought the XeroBank browser and the Vidalia bundle with privoxy prevented the ISP from knowing what websites you visit. I know that they can see that you connect to a Tor server, but I thought that it was impossible to see where it leaves Tor and where it goes from there."


    "It prevents your ISP from knowing what website YOU visit, but they know you are talking to Tor node 1. Tor node 1's ISP knows he is talking to Tor node 2 and so on. If all ISPs collude, or simply an intelligence agency can monitor all the ISPs, they can perform traffic analysis."

    Originally Posted by caspian:

    "Wow. I did not know that this was possible. But is this some kind of far fetched scenario that would be used under extreme for terrorists or something? It seems awfully involved and complicated a technique to employ just for some minor legal violoation, like downling music. I mean there are all kinds of internet scams that no one seems to be able to track or resolve. Identity theft seems to be rampant and I have NEVER heard of any of these thieves being tracked this way. Could traffic analysis be done with XeroBank? And if so, who would be capable of this and for what reasons would they go to such trouble?"


    "Powerful governments (US/UK/China) have this ability, as do super telecoms such as UUNet, QWEST and AT&T. This can be done with pretty much any low-latency anonymity network. This is why I say there is a tipping point, those who are less than a superpower don't have the capability, those who are don't need to bust your encryption to bust your identity and traffic."

  44. Luther Blissett

    Scroogling for dirty bombs

    Would that mean a block on "depleted uranium" as well? Nah, they're clearly not that smart.

  45. Brennan Young

    Doesn't this...

    ...fall into the category of "being seen to be doing something, anything, when nothing realistic can be done".

    In other words, hot air. (As others have pointed out).

  46. Steve Browne

    New Labour, New Crackpots

    Quite why they think the internet is to blame when it is THEIR OWN ACTIONS that has caused offence to muslims.

    The making of bombs has been the main point of interest in anyone studying chemistry at GCSE level. Oh, and the making of smells too.

    As an example, guns are used to commit crimes, so, lets ban all guns and then we wont have gun crime. It is sad for those who like shooting as a sport, but it is a small price for them to pay so we can walk the streets safely. Did gun crime cease to exist? No. Why not? Because the criminals got their guns illegally and they just don't give a toss for the law. Lock them up! Well, if only we could catch one, we might.

    A point here, most criminals are happily shooting each other in turf wars. It is rare for a member of the public to be shot.

    A bit more freedom taken away, with an ever so good excuse, to stop terrorism. It would be easier to stop terrorism if you stopped bombing their countries. We had the IRA doing serious damage for 35 years, well several hundred really. Now, we have to go around like some frightened rabbit because of some Saudi looney living in a cave in Afghanifuckinstan.

    Give it a rest.

    I am more scared of Harriet Harman.

  47. Eddie Jones

    Be careful what you wish for

    "By Chris W

    Posted Thursday 17th January 2008 15:33 GMT

    I think you're all being really unfair. These laws must be working both in the UK and the USA. There hasn't been a terrorist attack in the USA since 9/11, compare that with the thousands that occurred before. Similar in the UK, since the Tube attacks, nothing major. Also the before and after incidents of the Madrid train bombs. I just don't know how we managed to survive through it all before."

    So are you say that for protection and so called security, you are willing to give up your personal freedom and civil liberties? These are uncertain times, when all we hear from our so called leaders that they know what is best, by trading away your rights to be a Free thinking Human for a chance that someone can say that you were talking to the wrong person so you must be watched? The Patriot Act here in the US gives the Government the right to called you a terrorist, usurp your civil rights, search your home, tap your phone, and seize your property in the name of "Home Land Security" without even due process of the law. Be very careful of these people who keep saying that this is that when all the while they are seizing control of every aspect of your life. Repeat a lie often enough, people was believe it to be true

  48. FrankR


    Please stop listening to what these politicians say. You know they lie.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Karl Lattimer: No conspiracy, and Tor

    " Now here's the strange thing, we have an invisible member! Don't believe me, check the group out, there's always <visible members>+1 in the number of members list.

    Who is this invisible member, I didn't even know you could do that with facebook, is this monitoring?"

    It would be pretty crap monitoring if it gave the game away so blatantly, wouldn't it!

    No, it's just someone who's got his privacy settings turned up, or has blocked you.

    Re: Tor

    "If all ISPs collude, or simply an intelligence agency can monitor all the ISPs"

    That's still one hell of a big "if". I reckon if a tor tunnel goes through a few different countries, the chances of the necessary collaboration being agreed between them has to be tiny. If you're really concerned, make sure your tunnel goes in and out of China... I don't think the CIA will have much access to anything going on the other side of the great firewall.

  50. Mage Silver badge


    In 1971 I was given plans for an Plutonium bomb that fits in a Milkchurn.

    You can't get milkchurns so easily now but I think Plutonium might be slightly easier than it was. You'll die of course of if one grain gets in you while machining the three parts.

    I'm also reminded of Ministry of Peace: Nightwatch in Babylon 5 and George Orwell's 1984 (which was about real life post war, not the future).

    We seem to have imported the worst aspects of 1933 Germany, Russia and Spain.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    The government can't...

    ...fight their way out of a wet paper bag. They want to strengthen laws to prevent extremist websites. Don't me laugh. The law will have zero effect on the ground, even if they manage to get it on the statute books.

    Last night's Newsnight item on Terrorist007 highlighted it perfectly. They described him as "sophisticated" and "technically adept" among other things. He might have been a good propagandist but everything I saw didn't add up to being sophisticated in the technical sense. To a luddite may be he does. First of all, at least one researcher knew about him for 2 years (at least). You only give someone a long leash like that if there is something else you are after (i.e. his paymaster). Also, not once did I see the slightest scrap of counter-surveillance or counter-intelligence. The dude's life was an open book.

    Not that any of this matters. Chances of getting blown up outside of London are, as near as makes any difference, zero. Chances of getting blown up in London are, as near as makes any difference, zero.

    Nothing to see here. Move along. NOW!

    Ballmer 'cos he's more dangerous in his office than Terrorist007 ever was.

  52. Paul

    Dear Uk Govt's

    Dear UK Gov't,

    I am a citizen, as were my ancestors. I am not afraid of terrorists, I am more afraid of dying in a car accident or violent crime which, statistically, are far more likely. I am also concerned about rising crime levels, and would therefore ask that you cease wasting time and money on pointless anti-terrorist actitivities and ID cards and instead ensure the police are adequately resourced to do their job.

    Oh yes, and also stop meddling with the law producing unenforceable/unenforced laws that make people contemptuous of the law and the police.

    I also insist that you stop pretending to protect my way of live and protect me from terrorists whilst all the while destroying the freedoms which are part of my way of life. Stop pretending that I and my fellow citizens are all scared!

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a puff of smoke

    Didn't Jacqui Smith admit to smoking cannabis a while back?

    Do you reckon she might have been at it again?

  54. Rogan Paneer

    Which galaxy is she in?

    Sounds like she's had one too many Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters ... Or her speechwriters/minders have.

  55. David Keegel

    More than two ways this could go

    "So, we've basically got two ways this could go.

    One, the Brown cabinet are just grandstanding...

    Or, two, the government actually plans to build a Chinese-style Great Firewall of Blighty ..."

    What about:

    Three, expand the remit of to also cover illegal content decribing how to make an explosive bomb (or some other specific type of content which is illegal), and then have a process something like this:

    (A) someone makes a complaint about a specific site breaching one of the areas in IWF's remit

    (B) IWF investigates the site to confirm it does appear to violate that area (otherwise, no further action is taken)

    (C) IWF adds the site to its stop-list which is published to participating ISPs

    (D) When participating ISPs get the new stop-list, they block access to those URLs.

    It does not mean that all bomb-making sites will be blocked, but it would give a process by which bomb-making sites can be identified (by people making a complaint) and after being verified those URLs can be blocked. In short, the government would be doing something to address the issue, but far short of completely blocking all bomb-making sites/content on the entire Internet.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Another "global village idiot"?

    Please tell me David Keegel is not promoting another Australian Internet Censorship model .. how many URLs are on that "stop-list" now David?

    The question is; How much public money can be justified marketing an "impression" of effectiveness?

  57. Joseph Helenihi


    .....whew, that was a good one. What a clueless thought the Home Sec has about the internet. I blame the handlers. Reminds me of a quote,

    Couldn't get a clue if they were a clue, on planet clue, drenched in clue pheromones surrounded by thousands of clues during clue mating season.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Interweb on DVD (set)

    The government will make the Interweb available on DVD.

    All your favourite (approved) sites, hours of surfing pleasure - ok not THAT kind of pleasure!! Clean, pure and safe for the kiddies and our religious friends.

    Just send in 18,000 quid + 5 boxtops.

  59. Kurt Faasse
    Jobs Horns

    OK, one more time, children. . .

    The Internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it.


    The Internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it.

    The internet is designed to survive a global nuclear war and continue functioning in the service of the people.

    If the government wants to go all SkyNet and nuke the world to save the world, none of us can do anything about that. Ever again. Otherwise, I would not even waste space printing articles like this or time reading them.

    If worse comes to worse, we can let them devolve back to the stone age and we can keep on using shortwave packet bursts to communicate.

    Who is John Galt?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it has nothing to do with controlling or monitoring terrorists and everything to do with monitoring and controlling normal citizens.


    Becouse terrorists and any other person out with a mission shall get around any measures with little difficulty. The government and law enforcment have to know this.

    They probably just don't want some normal citizen getting fed up and blowing up the house of commons.

    That would be a frightful shame if it were to happen.

  61. Mr Larrington

    Kill Them!

    IIRC 'twas that well-known defender of freedom Vladimir Ilich Lenin who said "The purpose of terrorism is to terrorise". And a dictionary I consulted earlier defines "to terrorise" as "to fill with terror or anxiety; scare". And since the only outcome of this latest spewing of bollocks from the worthless snivellers at the Westminster Gasworks is to scare a few more people, why isn't the Smith woman already locked up in Holloway, married to the person with the most cigarettes?

    Grrrr! I really am quite worked up about this.

  62. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Enemies of the state: don't rely on Tor. And neither do Friends of States

    "We had the IRA doing serious damage for 35 years, well several hundred really. "

    And whenever they started targetting big money/financial centres rather than flesh and blood, an accomodation was miraculously found and now the Chuckle Brothers [Ian and Martin] are no longer just so true to their earlier core beliefs/expressed and recorded views, but who can blame them whenever they have the cushion of wealth to lie on. Quite whether they are Fit for the Purpose of Leadership which First Minister and Deputy First Minister would seem to imply is something which only their thoughts and/or actions will demonstrate. And we all look forward to them succeeding admirably.

    "Wow. I did not know that this was possible. But is this some kind of far fetched scenario that would be used under extreme for terrorists or something? It seems awfully involved and complicated a technique to employ just for some minor legal violoation, like downling music. I mean there are all kinds of internet scams that no one seems to be able to track or resolve." .... Caspian #22 ....

    Scams and Internet plays which are purely for financial [ill-gotten] gain may not be of any interest as such gains will all probably be fed back into the system anyway, albeit from another "donor"..... so the System itself does not lose anything, although one would be quite entitled to wonder at the Morality and Ethics of such a Control System.

    However, should some activity threaten or be capable of threatening and bringing down the Capitalist System, by whatever means be they Real or Virtual, then one might see some action/panic. And should such a vulnerability exist because of the way the System is Built and/or Administered, then one would quite reasonably expect them to Change the System in Order to remove the Zero day Vulnerability.

    Shooting the Messenger will not cure the System and it would be a fundament and catastrophic error of judgement to Imagine that it would and that the System can survive without immediate Change, for some would Use the Vulnerability/Opportunity to crash it just because they can...... and that Opportunity must/should be removed from all available options at whatever the cost, surely?

  63. el_zorro

    a spectacular success

    the best hope is that they outsource the project to large global corporate offshoring company (tm) and it succeeds as spectacularly well as all those other ill conceived billion pound government IT projects...

    how much tax payers money are the home office paying to receive this facist hot air?

    the know how to make a bomb isn't the problem, deciding to use one in an act of aggression is.

  64. Anonymous Coward


    The government has no plans on this, go back to sleep. Its just political posturing for the clueless classes. If you want to get all worked up then lets off to the lower house with molotovs and baseball bates .... who's with with ....

  65. David

    @ AC

    "The government will make the Interweb available on DVD."

    There is a slight flaw in your plan :)

  66. Shakje

    @Eddie Jones

    Or he could be just making a satirical point about the circular society of fear we live in:

    Isolated terrorist event happens, government uses it to instill further fear and push through rights-destroying measures. Terrorism levels return to normal (since it's isolated), and government uses it as proof that they were right, and the loss of freedom saved the world, and can push through further measures, because the majority of people, while claiming that they don't, DO believe politicians when they've got something to fear, whether that's immigrants taking their jobs and houses, or whether its the brown person next door building a dirty bomb and killing your goldfish.

  67. Vulpes Vulpes

    I don't meant St Francis

    Who was it I remember saying something else like this....

    "Where there is discord, let us bring harmony, where there is doubt, let us bring faith, where there is despair, let us bring hope, where there is illegal material on the net, I want it removed."

    Jacqui, Jacqui, Jacqui!

    OUT, OUT, OUT!

  68. michael

    not a hope in hell

    they can not block child p0rn or spam how are they going to block bomb making instructions

  69. Tom Cully


    terrorism (noun)

    1:The deliberate commission of an act of violence to create an emotional response from the victim in the furtherance of a political or social agenda.

    2:Violence against civilians to achieve military or political objectives.

    ...wait for it...

    3: A psychological strategy of war for gaining political or religious ends by deliberately creating a climate of fear among the population of a state.

    "The purpose of terrorism," Vladimir Lenin once said, "is to terrorize."

    Maybe the the UK gov should ban access to all * domains.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    A fatal flaw - if the content isn't linked how can it be found - let alone removed. More substance less hype - that's what we need - this is quite frankly complete tosh from a minister with a lack of understanding of the problem let alone what needs to be done come anywhere near finding a solution......what I really what to know is what paris thinks we should do!

  71. Bill Smith


    For the love of (insert name of favorite invisible friend here), who gives a toss what the useless gits say. They dont understand computers and the internet, they never have and they never will. Stop taking them seriously it only encourages them.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think that this is relevent to our interests

  73. Random Guy

    Its been happening for a long time...

    The mainstream media is already "filtered" anyway.... how many people have heard about this story? - is that not newsworthy?

    How can the BBC report on events before they have happened? Scripted news anyone?

    Your rights are slowly being taken away from you on a daily basis.... whats next? banning blogs, banning comments on news sites, government censored personal opinions... the list goes on... and all of this in the name of "The war on Terror"

    Regarding "filtering the internet" - all this government needs to do is pass a law to shut down all ISP's due to "the war on terror", then comes HM ISP... they only need a couple of fabricated events to happen in order to (falsely) justify the reason for doing it...

  74. Dave
    Thumb Down

    I give up

    while t'Internet is still available I am researching the best emigration options

  75. Brian


    @steven kraft

    I was wondering how far I'd have to scroll before someone said that. It was my first thought upon reading the article!

  76. James Anderson
    Paris Hilton

    Pa Broon takes inspiration from Hu Jintao.

    I wonder if our glorious leader will include the "Great Firewall of Chine" on his current state visit.

    Pa Broon must be deeply impressed with the level of control his chinise counterpart has over the media, not to mention the economic savings to be made by dumping this democracy nonsense.

    So can we look forwared to the "Gordons Firewall" sometime soon.

    Help ma Bob!

    Paris cause she would obviously make a better PM!

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    for an encore, tomorrow the Home Secretary will modify the telephone network to prevent anyone from discussing any terrorist activities.

    For reference, please be aware that as fertiliser, hair-bleach, and of course clothes washing powder can all be used as the basis for explosives, all farmers, hair-dressers landerettes and petrol stations will cease operation from the end of the week.

  78. Ted Treen

    Serious question

    How in God's name did such a bunch of twats manage to get themselves elected three times in a row? No, I never voted for them: I was a theoretical Labour supporter between the ages of 13 and 15, but then my idealism was dented somewhat by increasing maturity and an awareness of reality.

    I'm with "Anonymous", and, being a 1950 model, I suspect I'm a similar vintage.

    Orwell wrote a superb salutary warning.

    NuLab adopted it as an Instruction Book.

  79. LittleTyke

    Why not use a bulletin board?

    I can remember using BBS's in the days before the internet. Our company ran a Wildcat! BBS to take calls from support engneers. So what's to stop determined terrorists from firing up the old modem and ZMODEM? I wonder whether Five Bellies even knows what a modem actually is?

  80. Anonymous Coward


    "By Chris W

    Posted Thursday 17th January 2008 15:33 GMT

    I think you're all being really unfair. These laws must be working both in the UK and the USA. There hasn't been a terrorist attack in the USA since 9/11"

    The reason for that is quite simple... Because the terrorist behind 9/11 are now dead, they killed themselves on those planes. Get this image of a multi-headed hydra super terrorist organisation out of your head it doesn't exist. Just as the old "Reds under the bed" conspiracy didn't exist during the cold war.

    There was always isolated terrorist attacks in the past, the Communist evil master plan for world domination was blamed for them all back then, today its global organisation nobody can prove actually exists that is referred to mythically as "Al Qaeda" headed by a boogeyman who just releases a poor quality video every other year to get people's panties in a twist.

    Its all about using fear to control and gain more power.

  81. brimful
    Paris Hilton

    Legislation doesn't prevent T's

    If T's want to blow sh*t up then they'll blow sh*t up and no amount of legislation can prevent that eg: id cards. How the hell is a piece of plastic supposed to prevent T's from blowing shit up? Is it going to self distruct should it detect some violent impulses hence turning a very innocent but hot headed person into a bomb and thus doing the same damadge that the card was supposed to prevent? Is it going to help identify the T? Well we know who the T is, he's the one who has been scattered all over the road. Is it going to tell MI5/6/7/8 that a T is carrying a bomb and is about to detonate it? I hope I can invent a piece of plastic that can tell the future.

  82. John

    keep the info out there

    i) if it's on the internet it can be monitored

    ii) might as well ban removable storage. I think nearly every schoolboy in the country had a copy of the anarchist's cookbook on floppy.

  83. Cameron Colley

    RE: Serious question

    The people who voted for this government are the same morons who buy "Oops Magazine" and watch "Big Celebrities Have Brothers" -- they probably try to eat only 6g of salt a day and think 4*4 drivers are worse than rapists too, despite the fact they probably munch on McMeatcopy for most meals and swig alcopops while feeding their state-supported kids.

    In short -- this shithole is now run for morons, by morons, with lies and marketing being the new ideals and policies.

    Sadly, the days of true political leaders like Thatcher, Kinnock and Scargill has ended due to a cancer of uneducated, wilfully ignorant scum multiplying far faster than the rest of the population.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A worrying development

    I was concerned when I read this, as it seems as though the Government is finally about to step across a very important threshold if it chooses to do this. Setting aside the technical arguments as to whether this kind of initiative is actually possible, we need to be asking ourselves whether it is healthy for a democratic society to allow the Government to be allowed to claim the authority to filter what people can read, post and consume on the Internet.

    Obviously I’m taking a libertarian stance, but the arguments put forward by Jackie Smith earlier in the week were either naive or disingenuous. On one hand she proposes engaging with Islamic groups and attempting to challenge the ideology of terrorist groups, whilst on the other hand setting laws in place to persecute people expressing those ideologies in public and “banning them from the Internet”. If history repeatedly tells us anything it is that authority attempts to ban ideology (no matter how unpalatable they may be to most people) will always fail. Indeed if anything idealists such as these view the Government’s attempts to quash them as justification that that they are right (and that the Government is the enemy) and as such it energises them.

    But what really concerns me is that it appears as though Jackie Smith and the Government are finally preparing to park their tanks on the internet’s lawn. The mechanisms which Smith would like to see introduced into the infrastructure of our ISPs would enable Government monitoring and particularly control of internet content for the very first time. As a libertarian that concerns me, as (once again) we see extreme and minority case justifications used to introduce new laws and mechanisms which affect the rest of us.

    In her interviews Smith made it clear that she was determined to stamp out Terrorism, Paedophilia and extreme Islamic views from the Internet and who can argue with that? But she also hinted that the Government was looking to bring the illicit use of the internet for other “crimes” under control as well. As always the Government strategy is to implement a policy using a justification from an extreme, but subsequently use that policy as a Trojan for other, opaque and less popular changes and applications.

    When one connects these announcements with the legislative framework created to prosecute terrorism the dangers of these proposals to freedom of expression, consumption and communication debate online become very worrying indeed. The Government has already laws which define terms such as “terrorist”, “extremist”, “promoting” and even “activity” in such ambiguous terms that they could conceivably be applied to cover almost anything. Already we have seen laws intended to prosecute “terrorists” used widely against Walter Wolfgang, anti-war, arms trade and airport protestors. Are we now to allow the Government to patrol and prosecute with the same latitude based on what they can trawl in cyberspace? One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter – are we prepared to retain that right to determine which is which or should we trust the Government to do all of our thinking for us and make these important distinctions for us?

    With the mainstream media controlled by conglomerates and our democratic political processes strangled the internet is now almost the only mechanism left where people can express their views easily and communicate with the like-minded. Some of those views are absolutely unpalatable, but the counterstrike should be to engage these arguments in their native domain, online, rather than seek to start controlling the one area of free speech we have left. Nothing would suit the ruling classes them more… are we prepared to hand it over to them to control?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next Stupid Idea

    Look this has been proposed by the same whackjobs who think popping 2 cd's in the post is a secure data transfer method.

  86. lee harvey osmond
    Paris Hilton

    Faux Russian lesbian popstrels are terrorists?

    My mistake -- I seem to have confused TATP with tATu. And I don't know about you, but U and P are very close together on my keyboard. Wouldn't it be just awful if I made a typo while searching for warez?

    Of course, there are allegations that Paris Hilton has starred in a home-made lesbian sex tape.

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's a Government Flame

    Their only trying to hide their own illegal activities eg I know they gave me £???? and I should have told you but it's an honest mistake.

    Paris Hilton angle, the UK Govt make Paris look in intelligent

  88. Eileen Bach

    no need to censor the web

    If them thugs don't like what you're reading they should just come round and give you a pasting like in Nazi Germany.It's coming back though.. Me? I get forced to resign from neighbourhood watch (which I started) for reporting anti-social behaviour, not by my members but by our local police. Our members are too intimidated to do much about it. I wouldn't mind so much getting a pasting from HMG agents if only we had public legal aid to defend ourselves later. If the sort of folk who read bombmaking where allowed to live in peace then they wouldn't advocate working on wars. That includes the workers in defense industries

    If you have to give up liberty to defend freedom you don't deserve either.

  89. Andraž Levstik

    @enemies of the state: don't rely on Tor.

    Nothing new there... Such an attack is documented on the tor site.

  90. b166er


    I propose tags similar to NetNanny/CyberSitter that terrorists can embed on their sites.

    AdverseOpinionometer (Please click here to visit the Gov.UK website to have your soul cleansed) anyone?

  91. Tawakalna
    Paris Hilton

    don't blame me...

    ..'cos I didn't vote Labour!

    I wonder how many people who post on and read here did? If you voted for Blur/Broon in '97 then, although you were admittedly lied to at the time, it's your fault. Think Iraq was a good idea at the time, and blindly supported *our boys* because that Saddam was a bad man who could nuke us in 45 mins? Yep, your fault again. Voted Labour again since '97? Well if you did then you must need a feckin' lobotomy, because by 2006 they'd proven that they couldn't run a p*ss-up in a brewery and that they were shameless liars.

    As long as people keep voting this shambolic shower back into office, you'll get exactly what you deserve - except that it gets inflicted on people like me who saw through it all decades ago. Six more years and then I'm off, no more Little Blighty on the Down for me. A little pensione in the Tuscan foothills awaits.

    meanwhile, the lovely and talented Miss Hilton gets my vote...

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't turn off the lights - it'll make you go blind

    Of many similar comments, Cameron Colley's best sums up the situation that I've watched developing from afar over 30 years of expatriate existence.

    I don't know who originally may be to blame for the rising tide of ignorance and sheer bloody haplessness (and fuckin prahd of it, mate), but it's there and it's real and it's the arena created and engineered by cynical weasels like Jacqui Smith and her predecessors, to impose ever more fear and control on a population, whose potential and spirit Ms Smith and those whose crony she is, have betrayed.

    This Internet censorship crap is just another absurd little squib thrown down to distract your attention away from the real hijackings of your freedoms - wait till the health and safety horror removes every service or business with any initiative, and leaves you with only the government to turn to to ask what you or your children or grandchildren are allowed to do. That's something that's already in place and you're all bitching about an unworkable proposal like Jacqui's?

    Shame on you, innit?

  93. Joseph Helenihi


    And it was wiser to use ZMODEM.If the call dropped file transfer continued where it left off after redialing and starting the download again.

    ....NO CARRIER

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Fear by Anonymous Coward

    Go back and reread Chris' post, but this time, switch on your sarcasm detector.

  95. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Hmm , a bigger and more wowser then I thought !

    In one way one would be insulting all house bricks if you were comparing them to his single one thought a time brain cell attempting to enforce absolute control of the intertubes on the multi billion users for it would be like putting one finger over a small hole in a dam wall with another ten million same size leaks spraying in every other direction !

    Now if the authoritarian regime in mainland China cannot hold the line even at the point of gun at the users head , then how can this adherent and disciple of the "Peter Principle" in a dying regime do in the same manner !

    In Oz the mighty Little Johnny the deputy wowser of the South Pacific fame and ex PM of the always the me too behind your ass flavour of the month and his great waste of money intertubes net garbage filter could be disabled with two keystrokes by any ten year old child using just two fingers , how indeed would this wannabe also ran on the nose pretend wowser do likewise ?

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh the irony

    Isn't this the minister who admits in today's press that she doesn't feel safe in London after dark?

    "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." (Matthew 7:1-5)

  97. Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry about the Home Secretary...

    ... she's hardly going to be able to take over the Internet when just about every police officer in England & Wales has a picture of her on their dartboards...

    ... on Wednesday, well over 15,000 police officers from all over the country are converging on London to march in protest against her unilateral decision to abolish the Police Negotiating Board and replace it with a tame "pay review body" (there won't be any negotiation about pay and conditions because the new body won't include anyone to argue the staff side case). She can do this because no-one ever foresaw a Home Secretary deciding to completely ignore an arbitration by the Police Arbitration Tribunal (in fact, leaked documents show that the Government had decided this even before the arbitration took place).

    So the idea that she will be the Iron Lady leading a crackdown on all you terrorists... sorry, Internet users (same fing, innit?) is a bit of a joke.

    I hope that she's got a speed camera detector...

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and this would stop how many terror plots?

    thats right.... none.... hmmmm.. even if this *could* work which it can't... it would achieve.... nothing.... at...all..

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    didnt vote ,shame on you...

    "As long as people keep voting this shambolic shower back into office, you'll get exactly what you deserve - except that it gets inflicted on people like me who saw through it all decades ago"

    it seems everyone always forgets the obvious, its not the people that voted for this lot, its the people that didnt vote at all...

    if only you people that didnt vote, ohh cant be bothered, it never changes,theres no point etc were to actually get off your backsides and vote for any outsider, again i say,any outsider it doesnt really matter.

    as long as its the same one across the board then we might see a change,then these power current hungry types that have turned the uk into the banking and services nation, instead of innovation and tech nation will continue to prosper and manage the UK PLC for their own needs and wants.

    next local and national voting round, get off YOUR backside and take 10 minutes to vote at the local school on your way to the shops/work and really make them pay by being made redundant , take away the power mongers power and we all win in the end.

    get off your butts and vote, dont just sit there apathetic makeing excuses up and saying it wasnt me bla,bla.

    if you didnt vote em out, it was as much your fault as those that did vote em in.

  100. auser

    tor remarks...

    ""Because the ISP can see *who* your computer is talking to, and intelligence agencies have the internet tapped. They can see you visit website x, talking through tor node 3, talking through tor node 2, talking through tor node 1, talking to your computer. They can see who is talking to whom, and depending on your computer sending requests that get relaying through the network, they can follow the string right back to you because they are capable of observing the whole internet.""

    This is only true if only one person is using the tor network at a time, or if tor uses a separate connection for every user between it's relay points. If the whole internet is monitored (and in some western countries the whole country is monitored), then the system can map who uses tor and what requests come out from tor. But if the network is working properly, they can't connect the requests to the users, so they can't know who did what from all the users connected at the time of the requests. And I didn't even mention hiding traffic amongst normal requests or using privately owned nodes in countries without monitoring.

    Censoring a network that is designed for safe communication and to resist censoring doesn't sound like a smart idea. The government would get better results if they put a police officer behind every user's back or banned the use of technology altogether.

  101. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah Right!!

    I may not agree with what you say but I'll fight to the death to defend your right to say it........"Would it were still so" :(

  102. Anonymous Coward

    @don't blame me

    "As long as people keep voting this shambolic shower back into office, you'll get exactly what you deserve"

    Blame me then, because I voted for them and if I'm getting exactly what I deserve, then I'll vote for it again, because I've never had it so good. Clearly you've forgotten what the Tories were like. I was made redundant under Thatcherism and became one of the millions of unemployed. Under this lot I have a great, well-paid IT job and own my own very nice home, thank you.

    Whilst some doom-mongers would have you believe the country's going to hell in a handcart, it doesn't look that way to most of the people I know. If it is, then it's the kind of hell I can live with, what with this being the world's fifth richest economy and me doing so nicely out of it.

    Oh and if you think Cameron's lot are any better for the IT industry, you clearly need to do a bit more research into "Dave" and his attitude to IT.

  103. Anonymous Coward

    The Blame Game

    No, the Conservatives wouldn't be any better.

    Neither would the Liberals.

    And a hung parliament would be so paralysed as to be useless. While that might appeal to some, I don't fancy the idea of being at the complete mercy of the international money markets.

    All the political parties are as bad as each other. And they'll all suffer from having to use the true incumbent in Government: the Civil Service.

    How long this country can hold itself together by clinging to past glories and shuffling other peoples' money around is questionable. We don't have any natural resources left to speak of, and similarly our manufacturing base is dwindling. Service industries won't stop China and India buying us up a hectare at a time.

    Learn Mandarin, everyone, or at least make sure your children do. We can't, as a culture, undertake the war-footing austerity that might rebuild some actual, real, economic capacity in the UK. We've become too soft.

  104. Mike Smith

    Why not use a bulletin board?

    If I was planning on setting up a secret network, I'd probably go back to the Fidonet and BBS system. You could ring the changes with lots of combinations of phone number, node number and password, all of which would change on an irregular basis, needing some way of calculating the right one to use for any given time.

    You could also use a distress password, which you give to the plods when you've finished falling down the stairs in your local nick. At the BBS end, of course, that sounds an alarm, whereupon the sysop destroys both the mobile phone answering the call and the HD containing the BBS' message and file bases, replacing it with a Vista install. Remember that most of the old BBS systems ran on DOS, so no awkward temp or swap files to have to scrub.

    Mail would be sent as PGP'd netmail attachments. SEEN-BYs would be stripped off, so no audit trail.

    The weak point would of course be communicating the location and phone numbers. We'd be back to the old one-time pad and postbox scenario. OTOH maybe it's not that weak - Gerry Osama Babykiller Meinhof would have to contact each member individually before allowing access.

    All in all, it would be very difficult indeed to snoop on provided good security was maintained. ISP monitoring? Never heard of yer.

    In fact, I've still got my BBS system all archived away. And a modem. So there. Come the revolution comrades...

  105. John Murgatroyd

    I'm impressed

    "and anything they do try will end up inconveniencing the vast majority, while the terrorist remains unaffected"

    Who says they want to do anything about terrorism ?

    Stopping people using the net for other subversive things, like P2P use, may be more important than preventing a few nutters blowing themselves up.

    After all, when was the last time you heard a polo saying what they meant ?

  106. N

    No One Owns the Internet

    No one owns the Internet.

    You can filter it, but no one owns it.

    The US have also run into this problem by filtering information and the "net neutrality act" that was so gloriously gutted.

    No one owns the internet. Here's some things that no one country owns and begins with "Inter."

    Inter - Between; among: the Internet is an inter effort.

    International - not the UK or US, but everyone.

    Interdependency - what the UK and US should learn.

    Interparties - you cannot make this decision alone.

    interblended - how/what the internet is made of.

    While you're more than welcome to filter any content that is illegal to your region...

    Don't uck with my internet, muddaucker.

  107. amanfromMars Silver badge

    The Shame Game

    "We can't, as a culture, undertake the war-footing austerity that might rebuild some actual, real, economic capacity in the UK. We've become too soft." ...... By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 21st January 2008 15:15 GMT

    That is as may be, but there is nothing to stop the Individual doing IT other than a lack of Ability/Intelligence/Due Diligence.

    Maggie T [a woman before her Time?] is supposed to have said that there is no such thing as Society and that was probably said because it is an artificial Invention to conceal the fact that there are Individuals playing at Global Controls as if GODS. Their Shame and the Present Shame is that they do it so badly . .......... but never Fear, Beta is here, and Great Games Players/ARGonauts who Make IT work Beta for Better Global Control. First of all though, One needs to teach the Money Markets a lesson or two, to show them who's in Charge of the Boss and ITs AI Systems. Which is suitably Ambiguous for ITs Necessary Stealthy Protection.

    I wonder when El Reg are going to out themselves as Players/Proxied Players in Colossal Quests? Now that would be a Quantum Leap which we would/could all savour and Input to flavour. :-)

  108. Anonymous Coward

    Dirty bombs etc

    I've just about given up with this lot. Regarding dirty bombs and how easy it is to get material for them, read John McPhee's "The Curve of Binding Energy", first published in 1974. Then tell me if you think anything has changed?

    Data security is the same. No one ever learns because the majority are too fucking stupid and lazy. If there were some severe personal repercussions some of those would alter their behaviour but many would still work on the "it won't happen to me principle".

    Do not expect anything to change until we the public force the issue and stop taking it up the backside. Now, I'm off to get some grant money off the LDA for a website for one-eyed reformed terrorists whilst I get my accountant to start winding up the company.....See you in the Bahamas.

  109. Steve

    @ didnt vote ,shame on you...

    "if only you people that didnt vote, ohh cant be bothered, it never changes,theres no point etc were to actually get off your backsides and vote for any outsider, again i say,any outsider it doesnt really matter.

    as long as its the same one across the board then we might see a change"

    You haven't really thought this through have you. Unless this hypothetical alternative party is able to field candidates in enough constituencies to win a sizeable majority, it's not going to make any difference. You're also forgetting that some of us don't vote because there is no party that represents our views.

    I know it feels great to be all self-righteous about doing your civic duty and voting, but remember; when you "take away the power mongers power" you're just giving it to another powermonger with a different colour tie. Every time you vote, you're just validating a system that allows these people to take power.

    "if you didnt vote em out, it was as much your fault as those that did vote em in." Isn't that how we ended up in this mess in the first place? I grew up in the 80s/90s and '97 was the first chance I had to vote. A lot of people my age were trying to vote the Conservatives out and that's how we ended up with Blair.

    You put a "none of the above" option on the ballot paper and I'll be first to the polling booth.

  110. Cameron Colley

    RE: @ didnt vote ,shame on you...


    I picked my list of "real" politicians carefully, to illustrate that this is not a party issue it's a cultural one. Voting for anyone who stands a chance nowadays means voting for the moron-machine.

    To put it another way -- telling an intelligent person to vote nowadays is like asking a music fan to vote Britney or Christina or a gastronome to vote McDonalds or Burger King.

    Flame icon because I'm sick of trying to explain to people that whichever party you vote for it will be bad and get worse. We don't have a democratic process, or any honest politicians, left in this country.

  111. Mike Smith

    @ didnt vote ,shame on you...

    "telling an intelligent person to vote nowadays is like asking a music fan to vote Britney or Christina or a gastronome to vote McDonalds or Burger King."

    True, but unless the disaffected do something more than cry into their beer about the useless shower we call politicians, nothing will change. You only need a majority of one to be elected. Whether that's a good thing or not is irrelevant; that's the system we're stuck with. Refusing to vote, or spoiling one's paper, amounts to no more than throwing one's toys out of the pram. Saying, "not in my name" or whatever, is pathetic.

    We only get one chance every five years to upset the applecart. So next time, forget about mainstream politics and vote for an extremist, or a crank. If you can't do that because you've only got the big three to choose from, vote for the party that came third last time.

    We'll only see strong political leaders emerge when there's a need for one. And while we've got an overall minority of people who will vote and a lot more who prefer to stick their heads in the sand and fret about their tax bill, there's no need for any of the parties to make any major changes. A rise in the number of spoiled papers won't matter a damn; a lot of MPs from the Natural Law Party, Alliance for Green Socialism, Monster Raving Loony Party and the BNP certainly would.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    didnt vote ,shame on you...

    thanks mike, as alwasy you put it far better than i did, but yes i did leave school in 79.

    the year Maggie T steped in, sold off anything of value in the UK PLC...

    then Tony came along and sold off the dregs that had managed to some how make profit through the hard years and we are here today.

    minus massive amounts of school land, shopping centers with flats and houses on them knocked down and sold off to the private housing , were we then have new familys come in need the shools and shops to learn work and invest in, but they are nolonger there PDQ no investment adn no prospects other than some EU money now and then if they feel generous....

    wythenshawe, south manchester, the UKs largest so called garden city ,perhaps even still the EUs largest infact, infact the place to be live for many of the old MPs .

    when it was first built, so so now.

    home of Manchester Internation airport, the UKs first hart transplant, one of Virgin Medias main North hubs and designated a so called media zone, yet the local schools perhaps the worst rated high schols today and the average income is way below the nation average, some nice record for the place that gave the world so much, lets not forget the industrial revolution greater manchester gave you, and yet wythenshawe cant even get its own council and we are left to the mercy of centeral manchester for more years than iv been alive....

    theres probably more places like here ,but on a smaller scale OC.

    do as make advises , i emplore you, and perhaps the reg can infact run a series of articals on the runup to such a voting time pointing out the need to make and take your vote in hand and use it on the Monster Raving Loony Party if thats your only choice and make a choice and tell your friends to do the same.

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