back to article to spend hundreds of millions on snooping silo

The government is pressing ahead with plans to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on a massive central silo for all UK communications data, The Register has learned. Home Office civil servants are working on plans for the database under the banner of the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP). The team has recently been …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Do they not listen to their own experts? it has nothing to do with terrists or anything like that, it's all about creating a fascist police state. So they won't release details of their expenses without a fight, but they want every detail of my life?

    They really are a massive bunch of C**TS

  2. Steven

    For FK's Sake

    Were in a bloody recession, ever thought about spending some of those billions helping the people out who elected you instead of wasting obscene amounts of money we don't have on absolute shite we don't want???

    Thought not... I'll get my coat, it's the one with the union jack on the back if anyone can see it amongst the swastika's.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No comment

    Completely speechless. I'd get the house of commons water supply tested.

  4. Adam Foxton
    Black Helicopters

    Data being stored?

    Will it store the actual website visited, or just that your IP address visited that website? If it's storing more than just the details of "this connection between these devices openned between these times" then surely it's not "maintaining the system" so much as "upgrading to echelons' big brother"?

    Also, while I can just about condone storing details of the connections' establishment/closing times on a pseudo-anonymous IP by IP basis (i.e. they've got to ask the ISPs to get it resolved to a physical address/location, leaving a paper trail for the courts to follow if neccesary), if it's any further than that it's actually surveilance gone mad.

    I wonder if the Internet could break away and become its own country...

    Not AC because, well, it'll not make a difference.

  5. Tom Hobbs
    Black Helicopters

    Bring back Spam

    That will nicely clog up the database with lots of noise for them to sift though.

    I can see a kind of reverse SETI on the horizon where people surrender spare CPU cycles and bandwidth to fill the database up with inane rubbish.

  6. Chris Collins


    Would it be like the silo in Cypher, in a corn field with an ubercool lift? If not, this sucks.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Yum Yum

    Loads more lovely pork for us poor IT guys.

    No chance that it will ever work though.............

  8. Nomen Publicus
    Black Helicopters

    SPAM, SPAM, SPAM Wonderful SPAM!

    I'm at a loss to understand why the government wants a vast database of SPAM.

    OTOH, if the government thinks that it can build a better storage infrastructure than Google or Amazon, I say go for it. They will fail, but it will be fun watching the system crash and burn.

  9. dervheid



    No further questions!

  10. Beelzeebub


    I don't eat pork, oh wait, yes I do!

    Show me the money!

  11. Vincent

    Lose it

    I bet it'll get lost on a train.

    Hey with Labour anything's possible, right?

    I think we need a Halo and Devil Gordon Brown picture.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this looks like something from

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Lateral thinking time

    No, no, no....we're doing this all wrong. We all know this is going to be another enormous disaster that can't possibly work, but will involve the government wasting gazillions of quid of the taxpayer's money, so what can we actually DO to prevent this abuse of government power?

    Now, El Reg readers are pretty smart when it comes to IT, so rather than wingeing to each other about it, let's get practical. Why doesn't ElReg set up a consultancy (staffed by the readers) that can bid for the deal, probably undercutting the existing fatcats, (may have to bung a few quid into NuLabour or NuTory coffers to make sure), and then just trouser the lolly without doing any serious work. If it's going to fail anyway then no-one will be the worse off, but this way the millions end up in deserving pockets (ours) and at the same time we square our conscience about being the IT arm of Big Brother by making certain that it won't work!

    Simple really...

    (Paris cos if this works we could end up richer than she is)

  14. Liam
    Thumb Down

    hmmmm ffs wtf etc...

    @ Chris Collins - cypher is a v cool film.. i bet the security will be just as tight. i.e. one bloke with a spazzy eye and 'feeling' if someone is dodgy...

    @ "I think we need a Halo and Devil Gordon Brown picture." - erm - maybe only need the devil one eh? i think we might need one for the tories too. maybe a time machine one so we can remember how shite their rule was :(

  15. Pete Silver badge

    oh well

    looks like it's back to writing letters to people.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anybody remember what happened to the jobseeking doctors?

    An unprotected Excel spreadsheet on a public folder of a website.

    I'm not saying that exactly the same would happen here, but they have hardly done anything to prove to us that they are capable of dealing with the details of a small part of the population in a secure manner, let alone those of the entire country.

  17. Nemo Metis


    When did the Daily Mail staff get into power? Where has this money come from? It seems the government has suddenly got a lot of money to throw around recently, what with helping the banks out, now building a database to track my every move and breath.

    I'm thinking we need Spider Jerusalem.

    Mines the one thats actually a blur suit, so the black helicopters can't find me

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Erm, web-hosted email??

    OK, so this government plans to store a copy of my emails, which are held on a server in lord-knows where, (yahoo mail) where they have no jurisdiction to spy on every persons' actions every second of the day while you pay for it from your own taxes....

    Just HOW are they going to do that exactly? The sooner we get some darknets up and running the better.... £50 a month for the govt NOT to hold every piece of communication I ever make? Bargain if you ask me!

    Bad Gordon.... way to lose an election.... fsking muppet!

  19. Andrew

    And presumably CCTV footage from schools too?

    This is getting way out of hand. Considering what they've used anti-terrorism powers for, presumably any dissenters can expect their porn habbits to become public knowlegde...

  20. Phil Holden


    So then miscreants will be obvious as they use the Royal Mail, talk to people in person, and dislike the internet.......


    That's everyone over 50.

    Arghhhh the grey terror is nigh.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    future code

    Future Code for illicit communication.

    Cock not LonG enough???

    Need to bang 12 virgins?

    Get FREE sample doses of Dr Cock Longers super juice.

    It's all going!

    Going Now!

    "It's time to go my brothers, we shall get our reward of virgins, weapons free, go go go "

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @The Trousering AC

    Count me in, it's about time I got back some of the cash they've half-inched. And if we can expedite the collapse of this incompetent police state then that's a bonus...

  23. david

    Next year's news...

    The (insert the usual suspects here) consortium have walked away from the national database project having soaked up 50% of the budget deciding that it is not feasible. They wanted to re-estimate/re-scope in the light of revised expectations but the contract re-negotiation failed. The programme manager has been given 'early retirement' and the directors have voted themselves a nice big bonus and a payrise.

    The Home Office say they received good value and the project met all their expectations. They will go to tender for a more ambitious project with tighter budgets when they have regrouped.

  24. Eddie

    Okay, back to Colditz...

    We need tunnels...

    A nice VPN tunnel to say, the Seychelles, and route all your IP traffic - whether IM, Websurfing, P2P, VoIP, whatever...

    ...other than pretty soon Plod or Spooky Plod would find an excuse (e.g. taking photos on the street, Reg passim) to visit you and inspect your machine

  25. andy

    NINE figure cost??

    I'm sorry but how can anyone justify spending a NINE FIGURE sum on this kind of system?

    Even if we ignore where that money is going to come from, shouldn't this be of some huge benefit to society if so many resources are being thrown at it? I can think of several areas where theres a greater need for investment.

  26. Lord of Dogtown

    COUD Computing

    Like the cloud computing and mass storage architecture of yahoo, only wothout any real order.

    Cluster Of Useless Data ahem TM...

  27. Tom Chiverton

    Probe ?!? Like hell...

    "pilot scheme will see probes inserted in networks owned by one mobile, one internet and one landline operator"

    Which ones ? I want to know so I can avoid them like the plague.

    Can Gordon Clown really not come up with better way of spending a billion quid (that's the cost *before* the inevitable cost overrun I suppose).

    Snoopers charter is right... gezz... I must get an off-island shell account...

  28. Ash
    Thumb Down

    @A.Coward (Re: Darknets)

    Download Freenet and start posting material.

    So far, however, it's lots of porn, hacking manuals, and anarchist literature. It needs a serious injection of useful material before the general public will use it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh wait...

    I just realised NuTory, NuLabour, it's actually teh Nu party that runs the land. Nu party being self serving career politicians, media and law enforcment.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a fit and proper leader

    Well you learn two things from this. Firstly that Gordon Brown is not a fit and proper leader of a European democracy, and secondly the people under him don't think he's fit to lead because they're leaking stuff to the press.

    Just resign already, for the good of the party, for the good of the country, for the good of Europe, just pop out your office, say 'well the jobs more difficult than it looks, so it's best if I step down'...

    Fair enough?

  31. Pete Silver badge


    > Were in a bloody recession

    This is how it was explained to me by someone in "the business".

    During a recession property crime increases, so the govt needs to spend more on security.

    During a boom (spending, not literal), people are more affluent and therefore more afraid of being a victim of property crime, so the govt. needs to spend more on security.

    You see the pattern here?

    I expect the same sort of thinking is used when subjugation of the people is the subject, too.

  32. Rob

    what do you mean

    It'll prevent all these pesky terrorist attacks!! I can't walk down the street without a car bomb going off or a plane crashing into where I want to go, particularly irritating when I just want some milk

  33. EnricoSuarve

    All they need is a mad cackle

    I mean honestly what is it with this government?

    ID Cards

    GPS Road Pricing

    RFID Biometric Elvis Passports

    CCTV in your living room

    42 day detention without trial

    Compulsory border rape at airports

    ISP traffic filtering

    All deeply unpopular, most involving at least an 8 figure price tag and now crazy ass mega data centres to store spam on - are they TRYING to be the most reviled government ever?

    Do they seriously expect to continue working for us if all they are going to do is take our money and spend it on ridiculous hi-tech solutions looking for a problem?

    We are at what looks like being the beginning of a recession, I'm with Steven - this is not the time to be spending huge sums of money on doomed, pointless, big brother IT projects, however, if anyone does fancy fleecing them count me in - I have the maths skills of a backward 12 year old so should be able to run rings around most home office accountants

    Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith Devil icons NOW!! (no need for angels as already pointed out)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Pilot scheme

    Going by the muted reaction to Phorm amongst the general public, it's clear all you need to buy them over is a series of cosy adverts showing shiny HomeHubs, a cheating swine of a husband/boyfriend who chooses a non-BT ISP, and the hard-working mother-of-two who has stayed loyal (to her ISP) to the end.

    Maybe the government needs to buy into some new BT adverts: Adam being arrested at dawn by Spooks:Code Nine and Three Quarters, betrayed by an email MAC request, an unhealthy interest in the Virgin Media website, and an anonymous tip-off to the Stasi from his step-children-to-be?

  35. Roland Bavington
    Thumb Up

    Am I the only one?

    For me the potential benefits outweigh the potential problems.

    I would like the goverment to be able to look for terrorists and criminals efficiently.

    The conspiracy theorists as usual are worrying rather too much. To believe that MI6 or any other part of the goverment is going to care what the vast majority of people are doing or have the resources to work out what that is and spend time on it is to forget our basic insignificance as individuals. the government will treat 99.9% of us as statistics 99.9% of the time and I for one welcome tools that will help them work out who to focus on.

    Since I don't do anything illegal the downside potential is only that the government shifts the goalposts on what is illegal to include things that I do which doesn't seem likely in my lifetime in Britain or that I will decide to start doing illegal things.

    As others have said, much more likely is that either the thing will never be built, wont work when it is built or will be insecure and create even more possibilities for other naughty people to spend my money for me.

    Whether it's built or not money will end up in the pockets of people and organisations who don't really deserve it which is the real shame. The Big systems Integrators and Consultancies will lobby for work through relationships built up over years and years of days out, lunches and favours done and no doubt they will get it because of course they have all proved so adept at delivering large IT projects for government in the past, right?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Well all my mail has a (c) statement maybe I can make some money out of this

    Paris 'cause she's got the money

  37. David Pollard

    "It is a cross-government programme, led by the Home Office"

    Er, wasn't the 1933 Enabling Act a cross-government programme?

    Those who fail to learn the lessons of history etc.etc..

  38. Law
    Paris Hilton

    RE: Lose it

    "I think we need a Halo and Devil Gordon Brown picture."

    Only if the halo is a noose - and the horns are the tips of spears that were forced through the back of his head.

    I know I know - a little mean, but seriously, why must they waste our money at a time when we are seriously in the crap with money. It's the equivalent of buying an off-plan hovercar when you are on the dole and have nothing but half a packet of quick-cook rice in the fridge and the electricity/gas meter has ran out. Ludicrous.

    Paris - because at least she's sensible with money.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ Lord of Dogtown

    Did you mean the:






  40. Mark

    Am I the only one?

    I dunno. Is your name Roland Blavington?

    If not, why hide your name?

    Why hide your address, work address and salary?

    Because it's none of my frigging business?

    Well, there's the problem I have too.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    good job all my emailing is done over https... I'd love to see more and more websites provide it as a matter of course for general browsing rather than just the checkout pages.

    I think I'll set up a TOR endpoint inside my home network as well if that would work.

  42. Colin Critch

    Just use a encrypted connection (with port forwarding) to a server in another country

    Just use an encrypted connection (with port forwarding) to a server in another country then use email(non-uk), web, IM and SIP/VOIP from there. Job done. Of course you would need a very strong key. But make it difficult for the buggers.

  43. Chris G

    For `Stand alone statutory instrument´Read...

    `Fuck democracy, we are going to tackle lethal communications between our citizens´

    Bummer Brown and his nazi chums are all insane , as are the uncivil servants who work for and with him implementing his ridiculous policies.

    My wife is Russian and lived through the soviet times leading a not terrible life, when she looks at what govuk is doing she is apalled and asks why if this is a democracy we allow it.

    At the risk of an impromptu 42 day holiday, is it time for a revolution in the UK? Cos I'm not sure the other buggers will be any better.

    @ Roland Bavington, you say you are not doing anything wrong, after the 3000 odd laws that Tony Bleh and his buddies have passed in ten years how the hell do you know that?

    Western Democracy? Now where exactly is that?

  44. Anonymous Coward

    For the fella above that thinks it's all ok

    Ignoring the fact that it will crash in flames after consuming the GNP of a 3rd world country, The problem with this sort of thing is that once built it will never get shut down. So even if you really think there is a significant terrorism problem*, AND you're naive enough to believe that this sort of thing will 'fix' it, AND you don't read the news so you really believe the Brown & Co can be trusted with it and won't abuse it to snoop on the public for mindbendingly trivial 'offences'**, You're still gifting this to every future government, no matter how fucked up they may be.

    I'll put this as simply as I can.

    Build the required apparatus for a locked down police state and that's exactly what you'll get. A week, A year, 5 years, whatever, it's totally infuckingevitable.

    The only way to avoid 1984 is to stop it from being built, there are no benefits that could ever outweigh the inevitable abuse of such a system.

    * significant meaning far greater danger than getting hit by lightning, choking on a chicken bone etc.


  45. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    At least we know where to send.....

    ...the bombers armed with earth-penetrating guided bombs with which to destroy this modern folly.

    At least that's what I hope will happen.

    BTW, just how are they going to store *my* outgoing and incoming mail when STARTTLS is involved in nearly all SMTP transactions these days?

    Black helicopters? Could they just please hover over the bunker for a few seconds longer.....

  46. adnim

    @Ash:Re Darknets

    "So far, however, it's lots of porn, hacking manuals, and anarchist literature."

    Absolutely wonderful, just throw in some IT related news and hardware reviews and a few IT related forums and it would be my ideal data stream.

    "It needs a serious injection of useful material before the general public will use it."

    Most of what the general public will find useful, those with an IQ over 60 will find vacuous and banal.

    I agree with readers that say this is a waste of time and resource, this kind of money could be put to much better use.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    @Roland Bavington

    Seeing as you don't mind us knowing everything about you I think you ought to post all your PINs, account details and health records here and also ensure that we have free access to your home so that we can film you doing anything and everything all day and every day.

    Does that sound proportionate?

    Those with nothing to hide.....don't exist!

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Well lets see..

    A secret database of what everyone in the country is doing, set up on the quiet by bypassing Parliament, that's going to cost ££££££ in a time of recession.

    I'm guessing it's a fairly safe bet that this Register exclusive has now been passed on to the Sun and the Daily Mail (for a suitable fee..) and that we can sit back and watch Brown get crucified yet again?

  49. Anonymous Coward


    As someone put above, surely this would lead to massive amounts of copyright infringement? Also, someone's going to figure out how to hack it or just use it as their own personal storage system.

    this is 'tarded.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Am I the only one?

    "For me the potential benefits outweigh the potential problems. I would like the goverment to be able to look for terrorists and criminals efficiently."

    And what happens when the bloke doing the spying on you is a bad one, maybe a criminal or even a terrorist and you are the good one? Perhaps we should put some kind of judicial checks and balances in before he spies on you?

    And even if he's not a terrorist or criminal infiltrating the rozzers, perhaps you have something he wants, for example your girlfriend, so perhaps we should put some sort of checks and balances in EVERYTIME he spies on you.

    Yeh, some sort of warrant, leading to some sort of surveillance checked by the courts and so on.... like happens today.

    "Since I don't do anything illegal the downside potential is only that the government shifts the goalposts on what is illegal to include things that I do which doesn't seem likely in my lifetime in Britain or that I will decide to start doing illegal things."

    Dude, the Stasi arose in less than 1 governments lifetime to keep the politicians who wanted to be in power in power. It can flip like that if we are not vigilant. Look at Russia from Gorbachov to Putin in 8 years, from democracy to dictatorship. Flip, just like that.

    We put the judicial process in to protect the people from the government because we learnt from history. Do you think someone like Jacqui wouldn't grab power if she had the chance? A simple power grab of the leadership if she could become a dictator? Or that Brown if presented with the chance to replace Blair a year early and become a dictator wouldn't have grabbed power?

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely, which is why we never empower the government totally, there's checks and balances on everything and everyone and that way we don't go getting any Guantanmos full of people the government won't put on trial.

  51. kevin biswas

    Beggars belief.

    The fact they WANT to do stuff like this proves they are, by inclination, perverted fascist bastards of the worst possible ilk who should never be allowed within 100 miles of the seats of power. The fact that it is technologically preposterous and almost certainly won't work properly (because of jurisdiction issues, good encryption and the general nature of the internet etc.) proves that they are utterly clueless and incompetent. The fact they are happy to spend a billion quid or a trillion quid (or whatever all those zeros on the bottom line work out at) proves they are *at best* moronically gullible and incompetent, or at worst that significant somebodies amongst them or near to them are on the fiddle, and stand to gain financially from it.

    What does the fact that we are putting up with it prove ?

    I feel a Trainspotting quote coming on.

    "We're the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don't. They're just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can't even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes. It's a shite state of affairs and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference"

  52. Anonymous Coward


    I'm sure it'll fall flat on it's face in the first 12 hours, once they realise they're talking about exabytes of storage capacity a week. Not to mention the sheer number of people who would take pleasure in filling it with crap all day long!

    Spam? Well you can't trust filters anymore than the population can you, wouldn't want to miss that important terrorist mail now!

  53. Dave
    Black Helicopters

    Random Data

    Perhaps what we need is for people to donate their spare bandwidth on the net surfing random IP addresses and for those with spare free minutes on their phones to dial other random participating numbers to use up those minutes. That way there's a lot of extra data to sift through.

  54. trackSuit

    Plugin to the ChiffChaff Twittering 42 See What they're Crowing about?

    Finally! investment in IT. Praise the GODs.*

    A proper machine for Checking System Abuse and Corruption at any level.

    I wonder if the complimentary ChiffChaff plugin will be ready for the Browsers before the data centre is completed.

    A nine figure sum is more than enough to record a few Communications details, so let's help find some use for the rest of the storage space. Maybe leave a few racks spare for AlienAware / RackSpaced Joint Ventures -more if you want to get into the Heavy MetAI xxxxeferenced Duplex Gossamer Communication Threads, Sensitively Finding and Feeling their wAI across the Net.

    And forget ye not to add spare capacity to record the chat messages from all online MMORPG GAIMS, all VOIP, all webcams and their signing users, all Gopher protocols, all the SSL streams, all the games using UDP, all the port knockers and the packet droppers and all the hidden stego video Tubes. Nothing less than the RealTime recording of every Time-Stamped bit will do.

    Still, a BASIC system shold be fine for keeping an Eye on Finding Fraudulent FatCats :-).

    And be Mindful of the IMPish Temptations which an IMP system would provide to its operators, which could also provide a Stealthy System for checking System Operator Loyalty, if such a system is built with retroactive introspective inspection capabilities.

    Yet all the tasty stuff will as always be shared QuITe openly, and always, be ready to be Invested in 42 bring Leadership which is sure to Delight All.

    Will the US build the system and send IT over? -Probably quicker and cheaper than another Botched Gov.IT project -overpriced, and late for the TeaParty? They can just copy one of the NSA computers, can't they? It might give the US economy a Boost too, though even a nine figure sum can IT help a bit, there?

    "Now, El Reg readers are pretty smart when it comes to IT, so rather than wingeing to each other about it, let's get practical. Why doesn't ElReg set up a consultancy (staffed by the readers) that can bid for the deal, probably undercutting the existing fatcats," Posted By Anonymous Coward, Tuesday 19th August 2008 15:08 GMT

    What, an idea, AC? To which I can add, why stop there, when you can put a Rack in the homes of Low Income elderly folk, and build the GrandMother of all Cloud Servers -Truly and Fairly Distributed with Free Heating for the Elderly Guardians of the State's Online Knowledge / Treasures.

    *Global Operating Devices.

  55. Frederick Karno

    dont say you werent warned

    "to make the best use of parliamentary time".

    translated ~ we will push this through without having it properly debated

    people have been hammering on about this for a long time now,wont be long before we will be unable to talk on sites like this , so much for freedom of speech.

    but in one way it will quickly bring about the implementation of encryption in everyday usage which must fill gchq with dread.....blowfish is as far as i know unbreakable as a coding mechanism they will at least need a good percentage of the 2 years retention to read my daughters shopping list.i like the sending garbage suggestion too although they will just pass a law against doing that.

    you now know why they have kept quiet in not demanding phorm be banned...they want to use similar systems themselves.

    wonder how long before someone leaves a bluray disk full on a train :)

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Eesh all that spam.

    So basically they are going to spend you poor bastards dead storing everyones mail from Nigeria, and C1@[is adverts. Jesus Christ they are totally out of control, you know if they asked they could probably get them from the US since as far as I know the NSA read everyone on the planets emails (send them by courier via cd as usual). I had no idea big brother was supposed to be retarded. I am sorry our government sucks worse than yours still, but yours is more consistently funny.

  57. Seán

    Slave Nation

    Every byte will be routed to your septic masters. ECHELON extension.

    Does noone question that the agenda of these snoopers is hidden behind secrecy. The blithe assumption that the interests of the CIA NSA MI5 MI6 and other secret outfits in any way coincides with the interests of the people they prey on. The British foreign office and the US are responsible for much mayhem and death throughout the world specially in the middle east. The terror threats currently being feared are a direct result of these anti democratic manoeuvres.

    These spy vermin are only interested in the existence of spy outfits and the increase of their budgets and control over larger parts of the economy. The military industrial complex Eisenhower warned of has grown to ghastly proportions and they cannot be controlled by democracy as they have secrecy as their MO.

    14 million CCTV cameras in GB and growing, who knows how many military vehicles and weapons including nukes. A secret space race under way with the Chinese involving illegal nukes in orbit. None of this sanctioned except in the shadiest unverifiable way.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely that stop and search is illegal

    Aren't their three problems with this:

    "(b) where the specified area or place is the whole or part of the metropolitan police district, by a police officer for the district who is of at least the rank of commander of the metropolitan police; "

    1. I don't think that officer has the rank required, or that the senior officer he quotes can confer that power onto lower ranks.

    "An authorisation under subsection (1) or (2) may be given only if the person giving it considers it expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism."

    2. The officer admits he does not have suspicion of terrorism ahead of time and the higher ranking officer isn't present to be able to determine if it is expedient for preventing the act of terrorism.

    3. It's FOOKING RANDOM STOP AND SEARCH in a free country. For fooks sake are the officers not ashamed? Do you not think, what the fook am I doing stopping ordinary citizens without suspicion to search them on the street, threatening them with arrest if they object? Did you not think, what the fook are we doing?

  59. xyz Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    BT/02 2-1 fav

    "pilot scheme will see probes inserted in networks owned by one mobile, one internet and one landline operator" return for a little slack on the phorm "issue" no doubt

  60. ElFatbob

    Oh FFS....

    I'm starting to think ElReg might be making some of this stuff up - every day you come on, it seems these w@nkers in power are making more plans to monitor our every fart.

    Attempts like this to monitor, control and criminalise our every move are sure signs of a weak and ineffective government (who's members, i suspect, are already securing lucrative non-exec directorships in certain IT companies for the rat <> sinking ship phase that is shortly inevitable)

    However, I suspect we shall see a massive increase in the care taken with such data over the next short period of time - not because they give a flying f!ck about joe public, but because they will begin understand that they can sell such data to 'specially selected 3rd parties'.

    After all, you don't want to go giving your money away...

  61. Turbojerry

    @@The Trousering AC

    You're not thinking like a real Supervillain, as this would include the electronic communications of the Treasury and Bank of England, so we could do a 419er on the entire government, then hire the military back as our goons and waterboard Gordon and the rest of them for evar! BWAHAHAHAHA!

  62. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Bring back Spam

    > where people ... fill the database up with inane rubbish.

    So, that's normal communications then ;)

    P.S. Does anyone else suspect that the massive silo will be a decoy rather than the real event? I'd be looking for unusual activity at dark underground stations myself...

  63. Homer
    Black Helicopters

    Snoop *this* you b'stards

    F**k that!

    Time to encrypt our connections with VPN.

    Let's see the British branch of the New World Order snoop my AES encrypted packets. Ha! the b'stards never thought of *that* one, did they?



    A British ISP customer connecting via a VPN in Russia.

    (Tis a very sad day indeed when I trust Russia more than my own county.)

  64. James Anderson

    Cant fit that onto a CD can they.

    They will need to fit blueray onto all computers.

    How else would the users be able to access the data using the governments secure data transport, otherwise known as DHL.

  65. peter

    My watch stoppped at 11:46





    STONE 81





    Howdy Doody

    "You go the time?"

    My watch stoppped at 11:46

    "Damn shame"

    Must be the heat.


    The whole thing, what a world we're making. I can see why the kids are dropping out, we should have.

  66. Wayland Sothcott

    What's this for?

    Am I missing the point? Why would anyone want to keep all that crap except for billing purposes? Unless it's for spying on us? Can't be that surely, that's not what this country is about. You're telling me our government is so evil they would spend 250 million pounds to spy on us? It can't be so because our government are good people, they are British.

    Oh well, I will ignore this since it does not have a place in my view of the world.

    Does that make me ignor-ent? Will fulling making myself stupid just for a happy an contented life?

  67. Edward J Benton

    stupid idea

    Won't this bottleneck and hinder our already pathetic transfer speeds?

    The UK and their nanny state mentality, it's sickening

  68. Secretgeek

    It's been said elsewhere.

    But is relevant here too:

    'If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.'

    Mine's the one with the tickets to Canada in it.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    The art of war

    Think it was Sun Tzu that said in "The Art of War" That to win the majority of battles against your enemy you must first know your enemy.

    If the government believe that creating a DB of internet traffic is going to help them catch terrorists they are sadly mistaken. I for one as well as many others reading this article could quite easily circumvent such measures. And the belief (or the fained belief, as I suspect this may be more about money and commercial factors) that the terrorist does not posess the where withall to do the same is out of touch with reality.

    Billions spent and all you will have is the logs of some kids illegally downloading games, where is the value! Everyone reading this should approach their MP to table an EDM to stop this not from a human rights perspective but on purely economic grounds.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Roland, I'm sorry but the 'If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about' attitude that you have is what's turning this country into a police state where every movement of every citizen is recorded, filmed, filed, stamped and recorded.

    Let's just lie back and watch while Brown & Co take the piss as I'm sure they know what they're doing.

    What about the RIPA stuff recently, which we were told would only be used by governments in extreme cases to perform surveillance on us, what's happened to that now?

    Councils keep you under surveillance to see if you're fly tipping, lying on application forms etc. Just about anyone employed by government, local councils or contracted to them can have a quick look to see what you're up to or put you under surveillance.

    Where is it all going to end? If we all have the 'Oh well, they know best dear!' attitude, it's never going to.

    To quote the prisoner:

    'I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.'

  71. Andre Carneiro
    Thumb Down

    Which providers, then?

    Have the Government disclosed which broadband, mobile and landline providers will be the first on the "trial run"?

    Because I would hate to give those a single penny of my own cash.

  72. Ron Eve

    Another Network Access Location

    "pilot scheme will see probes inserted in networks owned by one mobile, one internet and one landline operator"

    So, this is a new ANAL probe our NuLabour Overlords are contemplating...

    I for one welcome our..... Ouch!!

  73. Ron Eve
    Black Helicopters

    @Plugin to the ChiffChaff Twittering 42 See What they're Crowing about?


    Is this an attempt by amanfromMars to anonymise?

  74. uk086242


    We are supposed to believe that HM government is not in anyway going to start sifting through the collected data to, say, check whether small limited companies are paying all the VAT / corporation tax they should be, or use it to more accurately gauge the public opinions of the day etcetera.

    It will be a pandora's box and as such WAY to tempting to not open. You can imagine each and every local authority / central government department requesting data from the DB, and as the number of requests increase the weight of perfectly valid reasons for doing so would increase also, to the point where any legislation in place to control access to the data (based on security / safety grounds) would be amended to allow all and any requests (again, especially around the topic of increased tax collection as this would be an easy sell to Joe Public).

  75. Dan Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    "maintain the UK's lawful intercept and communications data capabilities"

    Only it's not admissible evidence in court, so one would wonder why they want it so badly...

  76. Jon

    Interception Modernisation Programme

    Read 'Blind Faith' by Ben Elton. This sounds so much like their datamining database in the dystopian future, where nearly evreyone works producing possible queires for the gov.

  77. Andus McCoatover


    You sod!

    I put that name in a previous post, and was going to change my nick to that!!!!

    You wilfed it, without a by-your-leave.

    Hope your 'nads drop off, you swine ;-)

    Moderatorix - I'm TM'ing "Angus McCoatup" (tm)

  78. Dr Dan Holdsworth
    Dead Vulture

    Hello, Mr Boondoggle!

    Do remember that this proposal is from the same bunch of nitwits who brought us the NHS Plan for IT; a super-database which the end customer didn't actually want, which was not actually useful to the end user and which after consuming umpteen billion pounds has yet to deliver anything that works at all.

    This is the same bunch of wankers who are still footling around with the idea of road pricing, using another Government boondoggle called Galileo (a solution looking for a problem) and the very same bunch of nitwits who are busy demonstrating beyond all reasonable doubt that they are utterly incapable of running a market economy despite needing only to copy the actions of the previous administration, who were doing quite nicely thankyou.

    This system isn't going to work. It is going to end up enriching IT contractors, hardware suppliers and management consultants by the million at the expense of the few remaining hardworking people in the country, and all it will end up doing is indexing petabytes of spam, badly, since the cretins who want it are incapable of managing a whelk stall on Hull docks and will keep changing the spec from minute to minute.

  79. Anton Ivanov

    Re: Erm, web-hosted email??

    My email is already travelling over a darknet. 256bit AES VPN tunnel from my home to a server hosted in colocation. So my ISP does not get any of my mail details period. All I will need to do is to move the colo outside UK. Plenty of EU countries with considerably more sane privacy policy and plenty of hosting providers to chose from.

    A VM capable of running a mail server costs under 20 pounds a month and it looks like it is becoming really worth it.

  80. Anonymous Coward


    Are you sure about the EU? The latest Privacy International analysis says that only Greece of all the countries in most of the world has good legal protection against search and seizure on arbitrary pretexts.

    Soon there will be nowhere left beyond the reach of our deranged overlords :(

    I'd get my coat, but it will be searched before I leave and when I arrive so there's becoming little point.

  81. Geoff Mackenzie

    Time to revive my old steganography suite project

    Also, as a PlusNet customer I get unmetered bandwidth between midnight and 8am (used to be midnight to 4pm until the sneaky scum suckered me into an 'upgrade' but that's another story) and I can spare another 10Gb peak bandwidth a month. I'll be chewing through that with a web spider from now on, polluting the database with random pap and restricting my real traffic to Tor and I2P.

    They're taking this too far now. Time to push it a little further from our side methinks.

  82. Matthew Macdonald-Wallace
    Black Helicopters

    VPNs and colo

    I'm speechless.

    I knew it was getting bad, but I didn't realise it was getting this bad.

    I've setup a post on my blog:

    If people can put suggestions for data centres/col-lo facilities that are outside of the reach of UK law, then I'll put them into a database and write up a series of articles on how to setup VPNs etc to servers located in these places.

    No anoymous post - they know who I am and can find me if they want to, I bet the elReg log IP addresses for these posts anyway... :oP

  83. NT
    Thumb Down

    All that money...

    ... and an Olympic games to pay for in four years. (Does anyone *really* think that's going to be anything other than a massive national humiliation? The dying of the last ember of our global credibility...)

    The innocent have everything to fear. What bothers me is what happens when these clowns get voted in again - remember, half the electorate probably isn't aware of any of this, and the ones that are probably read The Mail and think it'd be a great idea.

    I know we all hate Europe and its supposedly evil tentacles trying to take over the country - but they were the voice of reason over Phorm...

  84. Mario Thomas

    Don't worry it'll never work....

    Don't worry everyone....if the NHS project is anything to go by, we'll all have been drowned by rising sea level's before they get this 'project' live.

  85. Spider

    a giant sidestep

    this sort of reliance on elint is mainly there to cover the fact that the current batch of gravy train riders will not fund humint properly to tackle any real threats, far better to raise the crimes solved statistics by a whole host of non-crimes easily ticked off due to a bit of undisciplined surfing than go for the big difficult ones.

    Like a company that hasn't got it's HR in order they think a fancy computer system will solve all their problems.

    Parasitic scum.

  86. Matt

    random pap

    Until the NuGov decide that intentionally creating traffic / traffic that created that may have the intention of / knowledge of how to create such traffic / transmitting said knowledge / with the possible intention of spreading such knowledge, becomes a criminal offence as it harms the fight against terrorism/crime/NuThink

    Also when NuGov decides that encrypting communications without providing NuGov with encryption keys / using non sponcered NuGov encryption services / possesing knowledge that may be used to circumvent NuGov silos / having knowledge with the possible intent of distribution such knowledge. Shall all be criminal acts as they may aid crime or terrorism.

    Those are two laws you can be sure NuGov (be it NuTory or NuLabour as they both form NuGov) shall create.

  87. Anonymous Coward

    @Which providers, then?

    I imagine this will be O2 (formerly BT) for mobile, BT for ISP's , and errr BT for landlines as well.

    Gordon Clown, your a total desaster, your FIRED!

    NuLabour, this has been a complete shambles, your FIRED!

  88. Margaret Joachim

    Even if I have nothing to hide....

    ...there is no reason at all why everything about me should have to be revealed.

  89. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    We know who we are? Do they know what they are watching?


    Is this an attempt by amanfromMars to anonymise?" ..... By Ron Eve Posted Wednesday 20th August 2008 09:06 GMT

    Ron Eve,

    El Reg have the database which answers that question .... which is No. Don't you Recognise PerlyGatesPython CodeXXXX whenever you Read IT..... Shame that El Reg didn't Test themselves with <<< Quantum BetaTest # XXXX 080820 ..... El Reg Premiere Division >>>> By amanfromMars Posted Wednesday 20th August 2008 08:30 GMT .... as it was one of those ESPecial Investment in the Future Vehicle paying Hommage to their Savvy Civvy Street Cred. albeit Tickling the Soft Wary Subversive UnderGround Belly of their Collective Psyche. But goodness knows how many are pulling at their Heart Strings, feeding their Habits so that they can Drown their Sorrows in the Typical Booze Up. I just hope that they keep the Red Light Burning Bright and ITs Flag Flying high as turning Pink and Stonewalling All just wouldn't give IT the Same Voluptuous Sinful Edge...... which is a Particular and Peculiar Vice which one would be hard pressed to Better in a Parallel Beta.

    "No anoymous post - they know who I am and can find me if they want to, I bet the elReg log IP addresses for these posts anyway... :oP" ... By Matthew Macdonald-Wallace Posted Wednesday 20th August 2008 10:58 GMT

    Of course they do, and they should for Information is Power ...although not necessarily Control, which is an Altogether Different Beast.

  90. vegister
    Thumb Down

    not possible

    this isn't possible for the following reasons

    1) jeremy clarkson won't allow it when he is elected as PM

    2) look at the governments track record for successfully implementing a large project

    3) the ISPs would be required to submit logs upstream - would every ISP comply?

    4) are microsoft trolls - can you imagine this being implemented on MS software?

    5) we don't have the money - unless it is financed by the US as a pet project.

    6) SSL

  91. michael


    "Since I don't do anything illegal the downside potential is only that the government shifts the goalposts on what is illegal to include things that I do which doesn't seem likely in my lifetime in Britain or that I will decide to start doing illegal things."

    in the last 5 years the goverment have tried to make 2 of the things I was doing perfctuley leagaly illagal

    1. airsoft (look it up ok wiki)

    2. exrteme porn (prob best you do not look it up on wiki)

    (I would like to stress thouse 2 are not related!!!)

    I can not w8 to see what other of my hobies they want to crimlise maby my scifi book colection or maby reading el reg will be come illegal

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Your SciFi collection contains distopian visions and information on potential technologies not permitted by NuGov, you are found guilty of NuCrime no. 7,288,392,021/b121566 of possesing information presenting ideas contrary to NuThink, the only possible future Britain is a happy Britain, run by NuGov, and the only technology shall be provided by corporations licensed by NuGov, under NuRegs act 7,245,112.2/a632453. Please report to Education camp 71,123 for correct processing, a teacher is waiting at your front door.

    Have a good day.

  93. E_Nigma


    You're not doing anything illegal? So what?! It's enough to be a photographer, a scholar doing research in his own field, or take publicly available literature from a library to get arrested right now (good way to prevent people you don't control from researching and having facts on subjects you find "touchy"), as you should know if you read the news.

  94. Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to go on the database except;

    Spam, pron, and all this lot;

    Take a gander at that lot will you, plenty of pork to go around.

    Remember - Big Brother loves you.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    that is all!

    Seriously though, the government is obviously learning from local agencies and councils, and decided to waste all of its budget by years end, else they fear a budget cut next year!

    Every IT project the government has attempted ends up failing miserably, so anyreaders involved in questionable activities have nothing to worry about.

  96. Sillyfellow

    @am i the only one

    no, there are plenty others like yourself, who work for the government, who would have such things to say.

    do you really buy in to any of this 'terror threat' bullshit?

    if you do then you either work for the gvt of you're just plain stupid, or most likley both.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It would be a terrible tragedy if someone "accidentally" set of a massive EMP near that and all the data was lost. looks like a job for the BOFH to "make sure it doesnt happen"

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Roland Bavington - a supplier of data transfer software to government?

    You said "the government shifts the goalposts on what is illegal to include things that I do which doesn't seem likely in my lifetime in Britain or that I will decide to start doing illegal things"

    Well if you normally read comments on civil liberties items and therefore read the comments on the article about the students and the terrorist manual downloaded from the US then you could be arrested under the same law as them (one of the moved goalposts from this government). And you would have less of a "reasonable reason" for having the napalm recipes on your hard disk (in the browser cache!).

    They might get interested in you because you go the the haunt of subversives called "The Register".

    Or due to performing security checks on you for any involvement you might have in your employers ("Signiant"- software "Mobilize" that ( "enables government agencies and companies to centrally control and securely move remote data between central and remote (core and edge) systems."

    This makes me wonder if you are interested in a contract involved in moving OUR data to this central database?

    P.S. See what joining up data can do to privacy? This was just from a couple of quick googles. Even I made a mistake and got this wrong and it is not you, you could potentially get "John Charles De Menezes"ed (or a whole host of lesser issues, perhaps invasive checks on all flights?) because of a cop/agent etc making the same sort of mistake!

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    How they did it in Russia

    My friend used to live in Russia. He said that the people knew the spying was going on so they just made the content of calls harder to do anything useful with:

    Instead of saying something like "Meet you down the pub at 8" they would say something like "Meet you at the place up to the north. The one where we met the man in the hat, at the same time I saw you down the shop the other night."

    The second is far less useful and when ordinary people feel the need to start doing things like that then it really will be harder for the Police to catch criminals.

  100. amanfromMars Silver badge

    HyperRadioProActive Logic ..... for the Truly PreCogniscenti*

    ""Gaining central control over remote data is an IT hot spot due to budget pressures, IT consolidation, and security issues," said Robert Browne, vice president of business development for Signiant Inc." .... ..... [Thanks, AC Posted Wednesday 20th August 2008 14:47 GMT, although that is pretty old news ( April 14, 2004 )]

    Most easily CIA controlled if you buy it in pay for it. And here is the major problem for all those spooky paranoid types into such Signiant Inc. type Ops ...... what other way is there to secure future knowledge which just pops into the Mainstream whenever it feels like it, unless you "control" it with honey money .... "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."...the Don Rumsfeld.

    Of course, that would be just buying in Intelligence and an Investment and therefore a No Cost Item Lifting Pressure ...... and as a Bonus to Smash any Curve Ball into the Crowd, when the Investment is Spent does it immediately go back to where it came from, [the System] to start the Game all over again with everybody Happier and Wealthier unless Miserably Rich is your Bag. Now that is a Triple Whammy of Outrageous Good Fortune, at least.

    * Latter ZeroDay Illuminated AESThetans..... 4SMARTer Hedonism2

  101. N

    AC - your plan has a fatal flaw...

    I agree AC, it would be fairly easy money for El Regizera to set up a company utilising our skills,

    However it is a well know fact that HMG dont award contracts based on competence or ability to deliver on time & within budget so we may have a few snags there!

  102. Anonymous Coward


    "Only it's not admissible evidence in court"

    I think you meant, "only it's not admissible evidence in court, yet."

    @NT - "supposedly evil tentacles " nevermind, I thought you said testicles.

    @ElFatbob - "monitor our every fart", erm...what do you think the probes are for, mate" Bend over, citizen!

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A lot of research goes into technologies for breaking codes. Even in the civilian world, we are aware of the possibilities with quantum computers. Consider the possibility, likelihood even, that this or a similar system, is not already functional?

    It may be that this system merely logs connections however, not the traffic carried, unless told to do otherwise. It would allow a network of "connected people" to be created, and automate the placing of more high resolution surveillance (data logging and encryption breaking).

    The technology used depends how much are willing to pay. The internet itself proves that the transmission and storage (on and between client/server computers) is possible - a fair bit of clever dedicated hardware and the data could be routed, categorized, and stored in real time. I doubt they are even concerned about latency. Similar systems exist for instance for financial data routing.

    As for the legitimacy... even after the Iraq fiasco, I am reluctant to believe the government to be evil and deliberately deceptive - how would such a collection of people get together, and keep it secret on their route to power. The UKs spy agencies are composed of people like you and me, most of whom went into it with a good heart. I am sure they must perceive some great threat to suggest this. but is it group think again?

  104. Jason


    That is all

  105. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CopperEye + Cloundshield = probably will work

    They don't have to screw up you know. There IS tech that will do this sort of thing very well.

  106. Richard
    Black Helicopters


    I was wondering why Kent stepped down as chairman of Phorm... Maybe he's got a bigger project to run with lots of funding....

  107. Damian Gabriel Moran

    come back Guy Fawkes

    we forgive you

This topic is closed for new posts.