back to article Child exploitation chief to defend net snooping plans

No minister will show tomorrow to face legal, ethical and technical questions from MPs and peers on government plans to massively increase surveillance of the internet. The new All Party Parliamentary Group on Privacy will hold its first hearing on Wednesday on the Interception Modernisation Programme, a multi-billion-pound …


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  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Par for the Course of New Labourers and Yes Ministers

    "Lord West, the security minister, holds responsibility for IMP, but will not attend the hearing."

    Given Lord West's intellectual grasp on the Finer Working of the Internet and its Communications Methodologies/Intricacies that will be a blessing in disguise. It does however identify him as a sinecure and a most unsuitable appointee/gravy trainer?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instead of governmental snooping...

    why don't parents grow a spine and not allow their children on the Internet unsupervised?

    Of course, then governments would have to come up with another to spy on us.

  3. Tom Chiverton 1

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear

    "store and process details of who contacts whom online"

    Well, they can't do that unless they ban encryption, so glwt. Has anyone asked the banks how they fell about an SSL white-list they'll have to apply to be on ?

  4. The Original Ash

    You know, I'm actually not bothered!

    I spent a couple of minutes thinking about my use of mobile phones and the internet, and I have figured out that I use the internet for playing WoW, receiving mailings from a couple of online retailers, and updates on my Open University course. My mobile phone I use to contact my mates about going out, tell the g/f when I'm working late, and occasionally to check my bookface.

    For everything else, there's SneakerNet.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Who among our MPs...

    ...will risk being seen to defy the Paedo Finder General?

    If he gets his way, his mob will be able to request *every* bit of information an ISP or telco holds (plus get the employees of that company to do any of the peskily expensive data mining required) without any budgetary constraint.

    It is as if it was designed to enable fishing expeditions.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can see rates going up for internet access.

  7. andy bird

    Paedo Finder General

    lol.. so you have seen him speak as well?

    you are left with the feeling that anyone who dares disagree with him is a child hating wacko and must be guilty.. burn them all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    An ex Vodaphone man? Reminds me of this (the bugging of Greek ministers phones):

    "The surveillance was done with a remarkable degree of sophistication, exploiting software developed by Ericsson, the Swedish manufacturer of the GSM cellular switches, which were used by Vodafone. Shortly before the bugging of the cellular system began, the telephone equipment maker had provided a software update to the computerized switches that route cell phone calls...."

    "In Greece, the scandal only became known, in fact, because the snoopers themselves introduced a bug into the cell phone software that blocked delivery of text messages. Only then did Greek technicians check to see if anyone was listening in the electronic back door."


    I wonder how many illegal wiretaps & internet taps are done in the UK currently. I can see they want to eliminate the warrant, ....for-the-sake-of-the-children natch, but I bet there are quite a few taps on Internet connections and telecoms that you wouldn't want anyone to know about. Especially a sitting judge.

    That vodafone thing shows how easy it is to cover these things up. They only caught it by chance. Likewise to tap an internet connection without a warrant to the ISP, they'd have to put a physical device on the connection to the first distribution box.... risky, the cable company may spot it, and report it to the police.

    Also did they ever establish if that Vodafone Greek Technician really did hang himself?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    You can expect...

    ...Mr Gamble, no stranger hyperbole, to lay it on thick and fast with the hearing. His careful, targeted use of language is guaranteed to cower his spineless audience into nodding through whatever he asks for (historically, they always do, with barely a note of query). This is how it goes for CEOP - one of the most powerful law enforcement agencies in Britain (actually a public/private business, with Mr Gamble it's CEO). CEOP knows it can put the fear of God into just about everyone, including MPs. with it's rampant, sensationalist and wholly unverifiable claims. Expect shocking statistics, doom-laden predictions if his 'recommendations' are not met and an overall message of ' won't somebody think of the children!'.

    There are two major drivers of government crackdowns on all of our freedoms: the 'war on terror' and the the war on 'predatory paedophiles'. Terrorists and kiddie-fiddlers - nobody can argue against fighting these 21st century evils or the sanctions employed to combat them, so nobody does. Whenever Mr Gamble speaks the media roll over and lap it up - spineless bastards, all.

    He'll get what he wants - because it's good for all of us. Isn't it..?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Department of pre-crime

    Interesting reading about the mentality of the Mr Gamble:

    There's that pre crime thing again:

    "Tuesday 30 October - Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon Jacqueline Smith MP will today accelerate the fight against the sexual abuse of children by opening a new dedicated unit .... By studying the behaviour, mannerisms and language of both the abused and the abusers, we will learn more about these crimes ...ultimately to prevent these horrific crimes."

    Interesting, it looks like they want to do surveillance without suspicion of crime, then mine that for indicators that suggest a pre-crime to prevent the crime.

    "Using extensive debrief interviews with child sex offenders and the careful study of detailed accounts of their sexual behaviour towards children, BAU specialists will be able to build criminal profiles that will identify a certain behavioural type or behaviours of an offender."

    e.g. Pervies like to get kids to sit on their laps, Santa like kids sitting on their laps, ergo arrest Santas because they fit the precrime correlation. That "correlation does not equal causality" thing again that Smith had such problems understanding.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Just love the quote on page 24 of the briefing document...(Briefing on the Interception Modernisation Programme).....

    Any form of DPI is an interception under s1 RIPA and thus illegal

    unless covered by the appropriate warrant.


  12. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    @The Original Ash

    So, as long as their current plans don't directly inconvenience you, you're fine with setting a precedent of complete government surveillance of your every move? That's some mighty forward thinking you've got going on there.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    O RLY?

    @: By The Original Ash

    I can't see anybody subscribing to your viewpoint.

    Let us hypothetically imagine that you still write letters. Would you have a problem with government agencies intercepting and opening those for sh*ts and giggles? Just because you imagine yourself so squeaky clean that nobody would bother with you, doesn't mean that you should apathetically sign away your basic human right to privacy.

  14. RW

    Time to say the truth

    The internet in general, the web in particular, was developed by and for adults. No part of it should be presumed to be safe for children unless specifically designed for them.

    Trying to block access to "adult" sites is a waste of time: they're *all* adult sites in some sense, with only a relatively small number of exceptions.

    It's time to set up chld-protection software that denies access to sites that do not display some special earmark, instead of trying to earmark sites with "adult" content. The earmark could be put in the META headers of web pages.

    In fact, you could then distinguish "children only" from "safe for children" and thereby block adults from some sites. "You cannot enter this site if you are over the age of 10."

  15. Efros

    Think of the bloody Children

    but then if you think of them too often I bet you eventually get arrested.

  16. The Metal Cod
    Big Brother

    Phorm are in on this too

    Phorm are members of UKCCIS. In the interests of transparency the full details of their application to join a child protection organisation (aka "Why is a snooping company with a very dodgy history and whose ethics are questionable at best interested in joining this group?" have been subject to the big black marker, claiming "commercial interests".

    Transparency my hairy buttocks

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It never ends...

    Those who would surrender their liberties in search of safety...

    Oh, bugger it - I just give up. When's the next plane out of the UK.Plc (trading as Banana Republic Inc)...

  18. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    So the System Architect for this is attending


    If only some knowledable people have briefed the Rt. Hon Members with some ball park figures to counter some of the (highly likely) BS that the head of CEOP (Something along the lines of "We're sure there *must* be *thousands* of paedos in the UK. We just need to be able to look at *every* electronic communication between everyone to find them")

    and what I suspect will be *very* carefully shaded projections from the Vodaphone bod.

    Of course the Minister not showing sends several messages. (not sure what the protocol is here. Maybe no minster ever visits an all party group. Then again did'nt the Minsiter for the drinks industry turn up for one of these at the APP Group on the drinks industry?)

    We're arrogant.

    We don't care that a group with all party interest wants answers.

    He has no idea what to say because he does not understand his brief well enough to actually answer questions on it.

    Let's see what they can find out.

  19. Matt Ryan

    Spineless ISPs

    Most will hand over details if Plod knocks at the door with or without good reason.

  20. Andrew 99


    in the uk this is happening, right? can we build a pipe to bypass the uk and leave them stew in their own juices.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Ping for win

    Ping to oppose IMP

    ping random(256).random(256).random(256).random(256) -l random(32 768) -n 1

    Do that every minute and it will be 1440 lines of useless information every day. 525 600 lines every year, lets make it every 30 secs and we will get cool million a year. That will give them a bit to crossreference.

    DDoS attack to government snooping

  22. Goat Jam

    Child Exploitation Chief?

    I had no idea that the paedo world was so organised. I sure hope they can find this criminal mastermind and maybe the whole network can be shut down.

  23. Michael Nielsen
    Thumb Down


    Here they are talking about CO2 creating global warming, and just think

    How much extra CO2 these filtering and logging schemes will generate.

    1. The server farms to actually log, and filter, these will generate 100's of tonnes of CO2

    2. All the data storage devices required, these will generate 1000's of tonnes of CO2.

    lol But lets not forget "it is for the children's sake" that we're destroying the world - if you believe in androgenic climate change.

  24. Jimmy 1

    Jim's Gamble?

    Jim Gamble's CEOPs is actually a very successful organisation with a staff of real cops who kick doors down, arrest paedophiles, and recover exploited children. The stats are available on their website:

    It's plain to see that the reason for their success is the tightly focussed nature of their targeted surveillance strategy; these guys won't be handing out speeding tickets or assaulting innocent protesters in the centre of London.

    So, while it is easy to understand why the government would want to parade the IMPish Tim Hayward before the committee in defence of their indefensible mass surveillance project it's much harder to understand why Gamble would want to poison his success story by having his people running round in circles, chasing down thousands of false-positives every day. No doubt, in true NLab style, inducements have been dangled. Lord Gamble?

  25. Drunken

    Data Overload

    Do the politicians really have a clue on generally how useless 99.99% of this data will be?

    How many web pages, emails etc do all UK internet users send and receive?

    This will cost a crippling amount of money which will be barely useful except in a handful of cases.

    Hopefully no one has heard of TOR otherwise it will be completely useless.

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