back to article MPs launch probe of massive net snooping project

MPs and Lords will launch an investigation into the Home Office's £2bn plan to store details of every online communication, after a critical report by the London School of Economics branded it unrealistic, disproportionate and misleading. Representatives from all sides of both Houses will use the report as the starting point …


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  1. jake Silver badge


    We must be improving as a species. The politicians are falling further & further behind reality ... Maybe, someday soon, we'll be able to dispense with politics entirely?

    Call me a dreamer. I can handle it ;-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maintaining capability my ass

    I watched the spook on TV claim it was to maintain capability. He drew a chart showing how packets are routed across multiple nets implying that the only way to intercept it was by grabbing all data across all networks.

    He even drew multiple lines into the start and end points as though there are multiple lines into my connection.


    When I use up my bandwidth, my ISP routes my connection to a quota page showing my usage. The ISPs can route the connections however they want. They don't even leave their office to do it. He can intercept any communications now, by getting a court order and ordering the ISP to route it. Does he have a problem with the court order?

    IT'S a f***ing lie that they can't intercept the Internet they do it now. We see raids on Internet Cafes and arrests of Pakistan students in Manchester as a result!

    Look at Iran, look at Britian, it's a mirror. UK needs to be brought back to a more balanced position, not more surveillance.

  3. not'known@this.address

    Parliament Act?

    Does anyone have firm figures on how many politicians are having doubts?

    All Gordon Brown needs to do is invoke the Parliament Act and it doesn't matter how much fuss the House of Lords or the Public make, he can push this through anyway... MPs launching a probe won't make a blind bit of difference - and besides, if Brown promises not to snoop on his fellow MPs then most of them will believe him and just turn a blind eye to this "minor project". After all, if the Electorate has nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear (*cough* Damien Green *cough*)

    Iosef Stepanovich must be cheering in his grave.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    report link doesn't work

    The link to the report doesn't work for me...

  5. Steve Brammer
    Black Helicopters

    U.K. needs it's own Pirate Party

    Threats of exactly this kind of surveillance is the main reason that the Pirate Party in Sweden polled over 7% in the recent European elections. The file sharing issue is bottom of the list of issues that the Pirate Party campaigned on, personal integrity in the digital world is the top of their list followed by copyright and patent reform.

    The U.K. needs it's own Pirate Party to let the politicians know that the electorate really care about these kind of issues. I know it's more difficult to make an impression in the U.K. since you don't have proportional representation. But the whole point of a one issue party like the Pirate Party is just to make the established parties change their policies as they realise the electorate aren't happy. The press in Sweden have been critical of the Pirate Party saying that they won't be around after the next European elections, but the leaders of the Pirate Party have always said they only exist to make the established parties change their views, they don't want to govern. They have said that if the government change their policies they won't be needed any more.

    So vote Pirate Party at the next local, European or general elections if they are available on the ballot paper and if you care about your privacy on the internet!

    As the leader of the Pirate Party has said "The government thinks the internet is just some video game that they can take away from us when we are naughty." and "If privacy in real life was treated in the same way by the government as they want to treat privacy on the internet then the postal service would be up in court as the country's largest narcotics supplier.".

    Vote Pirate Party! (from a UK ex-pat living in Sweden)

  6. David 45

    Politicians + technicalities = ???

    Ha! A mix of politicians and technical subjects equals the usual fiasco. They really haven't got a clue, have they?

  7. James Pickett

    Ho ho

    "It would not, then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said, monitor the content of communications."

    Just as well - you never know who might be downloading grumble flicks...

    Isn't it time we had a flying pig icon?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Simple get out clause

    If all ISPs refused to implement this then the govt would be screwed...

    What are the chances though?

  9. Adam Salisbury
    Black Helicopters

    We can hope

    At least, for a while anyway, there's the faintest glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe the Gov can be awakened to their massive and insulting ineptitude in the face of IT.

    I think it's time for a big enough upheaval within Gov to shake out the dusty and archaic beards who barely know what a computer is let alone the Internet, our grand-parents generation are the last people we want governing tech that couldn't be dreamed of in the their childhoods.

    Might sound a bit discriminatory but the truth isn't always pretty.

    Black heli's, coz with or without IMP they'll still snoop!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another stupid waste of money

    I am in the UK. My mail server is in California. The transmissions are encrypted.

    To slightly misquote the words of a much publicised baby, "Coochie coochie THAT!"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might lose whatever opportunity for surveillance there is

    Are legislators prepared to back this with a ban on encryption. If so, how do they handle the need for security related to banking and other transactions that involve personal and/or financial data? If not, what good is DPI if or when end2end encryption is the default mode for most applications?

  12. codemonkey

    @jake - Dream on..

    If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.

    An enquiry into the Iraq war held in secret now too. You have to wonder when us sheep will want to see all decisions of those that "rule" us...I'd like that now...Oh no wait, i need more scandals first.


    PS. Flame as it's what i'd expect. Or is it cause i'd like...

  13. WhatWasThat?

    Best News of the Year

    I think you are all missing the point here...

    If DPI means that the gov'ment MUST collect all content of the communications to determine who, when, where, and how - then they must REQUIRE encryption of the communications data itself to keep them from invading privacy. That means that we can all expect the gov'ment to provide you all (I don't live in Blighty) with AES grade or better encryption for your communications to ensure that it is legal.

    How would that go down in No. 10?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Just use a VPN...

    tunnel, and even DPI can't tell to whom you are communicating, and about what. Result!

    Paris, because she knows all about what can be shoved into a tunnel.

  15. Ben Bradley
    Black Helicopters

    How will it work?

    Yeah beacause terrorists/organised criminals all use their ISP e-mail addresses...

    Seems like a heck of a lot of money to just to know... "this person went on the internet and did something over an encrypted connection. Oh and we can't find who they did it with either because they went through a big mesh of proxies."

    Sounds like a good use of £2bn.

    Am I missing something here?

    Surely any vaguely knowledgable IT tech over at GCHQ could tell them it's not gonna work

    Also £2bn sounds like peanuts for storing that amount of data!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @Ben Bradley

    hey, how'd you get my email address?

    oh wait, i'm 12663....never mind

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    This is to Monitor the Population

    I doubt this has any real connection to criminals or terrorists, I think it's designed to monitor the whole Luddite population (like me) who don't attempt to cover their tracks. The invasion of privacy it represents to the public is a boulder dropped from a great height onto the pea of terrorism. As Andy McNabb said in the BBC documentary "Who's Watching You?" criminals will simply drop all electronic means of communication.

  18. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1

    Floating Luddites.

    "I think it's designed to monitor the whole Luddite population (like me) who don't attempt to cover their tracks."

    It couldn't have anything to do with learning what is going on in order to tailor doublespeak for the future marsupial baby-kissers and American donkey-lickers to get themselves re-elected to the trough of all our discontent.

    Could it?

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The bottom line

    How many conversations do the snoopers want to listen too simultaneously?

    Interception commisions said last year about 500k warrants.

    So <1% (by a fair margin) of the UK population.


    100% of all UK calls?

    IOW. We (the government) are scared you (*all* of you. IE the public in general) might be planning something we won't like. WE must watch all of you all the time to stop this happening.

    If you have dealt with a person like this you would call them a delusional paranoid.

    So what is the real figure? What do people think is fair?

    No answers but plenty of questions for the all party group.

  20. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1
    Paris Hilton

    [ Edit your details ]

    What the hell is this?

    "Posted by “I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1” [ Edit your details ]. If you are not I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1, you can login here. "

    Have I been mandated by some trumped up warrantless charge so that I have to wear this unwanted new sig?

    You will have me sewing mailbags soon. Do they sew e-mail bags now inside?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Swedish connection

    This is very similar to the Swedish legislation. I have a presentation in English from November 2008 where I present similar conclusions as the LSE report.



  22. PPPie
    Dead Vulture

    old smoke and old mirrors

    It's all BS. Check why so much fiber goes into the N. American territory at Menwidth Hill. They don't need wiretaps when it's out of UK jurisdiction. Reg get's it's first D-Notice.....

  23. Armus Squelprom

    Good point by PPPie

    Menwith Hill is hoovering up *vast* amounts of transmitted data from UK wires and ether, processing and matching it, searching out interesting people and patterns for the national advantage of the USA. Can anyone imagine any other circumstance in which a modern country would allow another country to deploy an Eye-Of-Sauron-Matic surveillance device against it's citizens?

    Menwith Hill has been doing this for several decades, so It seems clear that our leaders (of all parties) have no qualms about compromising our privacy, and our economy, if this will please the Septics.

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