back to article Increase in comms snooping? You ain't seen nothing yet

Figures from the annual report of Gordon Brown's communications surveillance scrutineer are all over the news today, several weeks after they were released. The prompt for this belated but blanket coverage, as far as El Reg can tell, was a press release from the Liberal Democrats. In the news drought of mid-August, railing …


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  1. scrubber

    Who watches the watchers?

    If you're not doing anything illegal then you have nothing to fear.

    Hmmm.... Well done to the Libs for finally saying something, but El Reg is spot on when it points our that it isn't the councils using RIPA that is the problem, it's RIPA itself.

    Where is my freedom and privacy?

  2. robert cooke
    Big Brother

    so much paranoia, should they be sectioned?

    the best counter argument for the numpties that spout the nothing to hide nothing to fear mantra is ask them if they have curtains in their house. I usually find that they all have curtains, funny how they've got nothing to hide, but still like a little privacey.

    I agree with all of this, as soon as the politicos submit themselves for a full audit.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes... and all that.

  3. Adam 52 Silver badge

    More detail

    He does break it down a little more in the report, he estimates over 80% of the headline number is just a request for subscriber data. There's nothing sinister in that, happens regularly when a 999 caller can't/won't give their details (as I've posted before). I suspect you'll also find that in that 80%, there are only about a thousand actual people being targeted - the serial 999 fake callers - plus the mobile left in a pocket and a few genuine emergencies.

    I think a breakdown would be useful, it'd help inform debate and stop scaremongering headlines like the Lib Dems are generating.

    Report available at

  4. Mark Burton 1


    Here we are, criticising Iran for their use of exactly the same type of information. Hypocrisy in action again from the government. It's clearly fair, democratic and acceptable when it's done in the UK but unfair, undemocratic and draconian when it's done elsewhere.

    I make no comment on the Iran situation itself, merely draw attention to the similarities of data capture.


  5. Barely registers

    If I've got nothing to hide...

    then they've got nothing to gain.

    So s*d off and leave me alone.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barriers to access

    Half a million requests granted?? That's hardly a barrier to access.

    Why not just put the entire database in the public domain so we can all see what we've been doing.

    After all, if they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear. If they do have something to hide then barriers to access need to be MUCH higher.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Inside track

    Having previously worked for one of the large network operators in the UK, I was astonished to learn on one project that some 15,000 requests are made by the Police and other authorities every month.

    Now, a lot of these requests will be pushed out to the other operators too, so there probably aren't 4-5 times as many requests per month. But it's still a bloody big number.

    And these aren't 'where is this 999 caller calling from' -- that's a totally different system (and happens online with the call). The Home Office sanctioned requests are anything from 'who is this person calling', to 'address', to 'what payment cards are they using' to 'where are they making calls from'.

    All in all, it was pretty worrying.

    AC 'cos I don't want to be on the DB (though I probably already am).

  8. The Indomitable Gall
    Black Helicopters

    Re: LoL


    Ah, but we're the *good guys* we have to break the rules in order to catch the guys who break the rules. How do I know we're the good guys? Well it's obvious, innit? Ahmadinejad uses a red laser pointer, while Whitehall uses green -- don't the bad guys always have red laser beams?

  9. Richard Cartledge
    Black Helicopters

    "Hmmm.... Well done to the Libs for finally saying something,"

    - Not really. They are all part of the Trilateral organisation named Common Purpose. (which you can find on google) and the Libs only exist to make such comments and give the appearance of political choice. I am probably now being hoovered for saying this mind.

  10. Sir Runcible Spoon

    bury them in bureaucracy

    if I ran an ISP I would make sure that every single request came in via a predefined form that had the authorisers pgp signature on it (public key on file for verification), plus what was being requested and some non-repudiation info for date/time etc.

    Then, when I have a couple of years worth of info I might just have a 'train/taxi' moment where a few Tb's of this info made it to the free press*

    As long as the info being requested wasn't included then I'd still sleep like a baby at nights**.

    *wherever that exists now.

    **until they smashed my door in, shot my dog and dragged me off to tor-tor land.

    The price of freedom has been set for a long time...blood.

  11. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    "Lies, damned lies, and statistics"

    The figures they give for surveillance are meaningless, as they can simply hide so much more surveillance from accountability under the cover all banner of "the war on terror" (TM). Any other crimes they find in their trawl through all data is also justified by them (the ends justified the means). On top of that, they can simply keep changing and adding laws to add more reasons to fine and punish more people, which is exactly what they keep doing.

    In the past two years there seems an almost continuous grab for ever more surveillance data. Its almost as if the authorities have been taken aback by the lack of strength of opposition to their plans and so as they find they can get away with so much, they are rushing to grab as much information as they can. Unfortunately most non-technical people don't understand how bad its getting and even some technical people don't know how far data mining research is going. So few people see just how bad its going to become.

    Whats also interesting is that while the people in power want to watch all of us, they prove they don't want to be watched by us. That was shown very clearly by how long it took to fight to get at their expenses claims information (our tax money they were stealing for themselves). Being able to watch the people in power would force them to be accountable and they evidently don't want that. Even though they are suppose to be working for us we are being held by them ever more captive in what we are free to say and do to oppose the growing and rampant corruption of the people in power. (For example they can hand out hundreds of billions of our money, to their friends in banks who then take millions of it home for themselves).

    The UK lived through WW2 and the IRA attacks without this level of state control. Yet now we are supposed to just blindly accept an ever growing rule by an all seeing police state because of a few crazy minority groups of terrorists. The problem is a terrorist are also effectively the most extreme form of political opposition. Put simply, the terrorists want to be in power to dictate how they think others should live. The terrorists are also the hardest form of opposition to stop as they are so utterly determined to oppose the will of the people in power. Therefore the people in power need to try very hard to silence terrorists. The problem with that is in doing so, they construct a means to monitor and out maneuver all forms of political opposition which is something they very much want to do as they want to stay in power over us all.

    So the war on terror combined with modern technology is going to drag us all into a level of state control unlike the world has ever seen before because data mining technology and methods are getting ever better. It means in the next few years, every comment everyone makes on any form of communications is going to be recorded, profiled and tagged. Score enough anti-government tags and they find ways to make your life hard and they can add ever more rules and laws to find more ways to tag and punish you. Yet the real reason fines, punishments and government lies are used is to distract and divide and conquer the people they seek to maintain their ever growing power over. Keep people distracted by things to worry about and seek to sow division in their groups to break up the groups (that could otherwise oppose the people in power) and so the people in power stay in power with all the personal gain that power gives them. Doesn't even matter if you throw a government out of power as they all then go into big businesses and still get the current government's help and money.

    The people in power are getting ever better at evading and holding back political opposition, and as a result, they are becoming ever freer to act without consequence and so can become ever more extreme in their control of us without consequence. All changes they make are ultimately for their own gain, so in their mind all changes are justified. Politics is behaving like a machine that is loosing feedback opposition and so running ever more out of control. Yet the people in power spend their lives learning how to gain political power. So is it any wonder they don't want to give up that power once they have it and all the personal gain that the power gives them?. The expenses claims showed exactly what so many of them are like. With ever more power comes ever more personal gain for themselves.

    After all, Knowledge is Power. So the amount of spying on us all will continue to increase. :(

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Town Hall snooping

    It should be obvious to everyone that it was quite inappropriate to give the local authorities special powers intended only for anti-terrorism purposes. If they suspected any such activity they would clearly be required to notify some designated agency such as MI6. The same goes for the Police Force. It is bad enough that even high-level officials apparently have a pretty slack idea of how sensitive information should be handled, so why would the average town-hall clerk be expected to behave any more responsibly !

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Only what's in your head

    I'm reminded of Ian Banks 'Culture' where the last frontiere of surveilance; the only thing that is sacrosanct is the stuff that's in your head (and even that can be 'backed up')...

    Student: Sir, can I get in trouble for thinking something?

    Teacher: Of course not...

    Student: Well, I think you're a F***** W*****!

    But seriously, there is no such think as 'free speach' or 'free thought' in our society (at least not if you want to express it in any way).

    The Mujahadiene, who we funded, equipped, trained and championed against the Soviets are now Taliban Terrorists, simply because we're on the recieving end; we are the 'Neo Soviets', it's all a matter of perspective...

    We are... ...Nations of bathing frogs, all floating comfortable and unwittingly in our little water filled beakers, oblivious to the bunsen flames and our iminent damnation.

  14. Martin 6 Silver badge


    WWII is exactly the reason we need this level of comms monitoring.

    Since the RIPA was passed in 2000 we have seen a huge drop in the incidence of war with Germany over the previous century.

    The introduction of ID cards will extend this and will lead to a further reduction in the incidence of Viking raids over the previous millenia.

  15. Jez Burns


    Great post! What is really worrying is that the Government (from the PM to Whitehall to the police) don't even feel under any obligation to explain the motives for their spying- anti terrorist, criminal or other. If you refuse to justify something, perhaps it is because you can't. They have at no point been given permission by society to take unfettered surveillance powers, yet seem to take it for granted that this is what they are entitled to, without question or scrutiny. This level of arrogance is astonishing and unsettling. They seem to treat the 'civilian' population as children, perhaps knowing that in doing so, we will behave like good children, believing unquestioningly what we are told, accepting unlimited intrusion into our lives and being seen and not heard.

    There has never been any clear evidence that this level of surveillance is an anti-terrorist measure. The last few anti-terrorist operations (and you have to assume they have been conducted with heavy surveillance) have not exactly been a roaring success, with entirely innocent people being arrested without any evidence, then gagged with Control Orders or threatened deportation when it looks like any embarrassing truth might be revealed. Of course, any fight against potential domestic bombers is an crucial one, but it has yet to be shown that powers beyond those already available to the police and Government (and I remember terrorist atrocities being far more common in the '80s) are necessary or even helpful.

    This feeling is strengthened when even the Government's own anti-terror justifications for increased surveillance come across as lame and half-hearted, falling back on 'anti-fraud', 'anti-gang', 'anti-criminal' soundbites, peppered with logical fallacy when held up to scrutiny.

    We can only conclude in the absence of any other evidence that a policy of blanket surveillance and interception is being pursued by those in power for its own sake, not as a means to any useful end. That they (Government and civil service) believe they have an automatic right to power and a monopoly on control. Anything that happens outside that control (such as internet communication) angers and terrifies them.

    Then again, maybe it's always been like this, and the growth of the internet and mass communication has merely given us the illusion of freedom when in reality it has never really existed.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Martin 6

    I salute you, Sir, for the brilliant sarcasm.

    Those who are up to no good usually are very reluctant to share what they are doing. The expenses scandal was but a little reminder of what a lack of transparency hides, in my opinion there is zero exception to this rule.

    Transparency does not mean making everything public - it can't be. But it must make matters accountable and, where secrecy is required, it must be accessible by independents to assess processes have been followed properly, with powers to call in police where such has not been the case. I just don't know if there's anyone left in UK politics at that level who can be trusted.

  17. M Room

    Let them have access - No way to Local Councils

    I have no objection to the security services having access to any and all aspects of my communications. I even do not mind the National Police (not local Police) having access providing they have just cause to do so - i.e., should they have a lead indicating that I was involved with child porn or drugs, serious crime or serious criminal activity etc.

    I do however object to any Town Hall creep, social services or any of the other organisations of the like having any right to access for any excuse what so ever.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why does everyone whine about the Lib Dems when they're the only ones making a public point about this?

    Why does everyone say all politicians and parties are the same when we can't possibly know because the Lib Dems have never been in power?

    Why do people whine about Labour and the Tories but then vote for them because they say the Lib Dems will never get in?

    Because this is a nation full of fucking idiots.

    You're all quick to whine and bitch about the surveillance society, but then when it comes to voting time you all tactically vote for the Tories and Labour.

    It's better to vote for a party that makes a stand on issues you care about and lose than it is to vote tactically for a party you don't want, and have to accept responsibility for the laws they impose when they get in.

    Yes, I understand it's not just about voting, we need a change to the system too because first past the post is what allows the likes of Labour the Conservatives to gain 100% power with as little as 35% of public support, but still. Unless you vote Lib Dems or an equally Liberal party that cares more about personal freedoms than the Tories or Labour do (or you're simply a lazy non-voter) then you have no right whatsoever to moan about this sort of thing because you are the fucking cause of it.

    Britain - land of the people that love to whine, but are too lazy to act to change what they're whining about and so are a major cause of the problem in the

  19. Anonymous Coward

    If you have nothing to hide...

    ...chances are you're a saddo addicted to Twatter et al.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Not just comms data

    A former employer was asked by plod to provide a list of names and addresses of customers called some variant of Jo/Joe/Joseph Bloggs as "a favour".

    Before I would do this search, I pointed out to my superiors that this could breach the data protection act and I would need proof of judicial oversight/authorisation. The reply came back verbally that it was not for me to question the request and that the company's legal department was happy for me to do the search. So I did it, but only when I received an email from a senior manager telling me to go ahead, just to make sure I couldn't be scapegoated as the "rogue junior employee that acted without the knowledge or permission of his superiors!"

    I doubt this "favour" was ever recorded in the official statistics and I doubt my then employer was the only one willing to do this kind of "favour" for plod.

  21. Tricky Dicky

    @bury them in bureaucracy

    I worked for 30 years as a Local Authority Trading Standards Officer.

    Let’s get things straight, RIPA gave us no powers we didn't already have it just piled on added layers of bureaucracy.

    Just look at the name of the Act, the "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act" , it is an act to "Regulate" Investigatory Powers not give them. All this referring to the act as “anti-terror” legislation is utter rubbish.

    The investigatory powers are contained in the several hundred pieces of legislation that Trading Standards Officers are expected to enforce.

    The requests for “communications data” consist of requests for subscriber details either by reference to a telephone number, an email account or an IP address.

    Any data requested must be relevant to an investigation; we can’t go trawling for information.

    We don’t get the content of any emails; we can’t listen in to calls (we leave that to the spooks).

    To get this information we have to fill in a multi-page form giving the reason why we want it, what we are investigating and the powers to request it.

    The requests are not made by clerks; they are made by professional officers.

    The completed form will be referred to a line manager and then on to an even more senior officer for approval.

    If approved the request is forwarded to the SPOC – the Single Point of Contact, an officer (a senior enforcement professional) who has been on a home office approved training course, taken an exam and been issued with a unique identification number


    The SPOC checks the application is correctly completed them requests the data from the appropriate source.

    All too often after weeks or months the data source replies that “It’s a pay as you go phone, no subscriber data”, you still get bill £60.

    Should the data requested actually be received, it goes to the SPOC who under strict control procedures divulges it the investigating officer.

    Every step of the procedure is documented and is internally audited and inspected, usually annually, by an officer from the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner.

  22. Tim J

    @M Room (15:13)

    "I even do not mind the National Police (not local Police) having access providing they have just cause to do so [...]".

    Erm, there's no National Police force as such in the UK.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Admirable log-keeping!

    @Tricky Dicky

    I'm pleased to see that Trading Standards keeps to the rules and ensures that all the information you request is so carefully accounted for.

    Now, do you believe that the same level of care is taken in other organisations? It would be very interesting to know.

  24. I didn't do IT.

    @ Let them have access - No way to Local Councils

    I'm sorry, but they already have proof that you are involved with the line THAT YOU WROTE saying, "I was involved in child porn...drugs". The fact that I wrote that, too, would put me under "interest". Pity all who read these, as it goes to their IP (normally), and is therefore "interesting".

    What? Taken out of context? Who cares? Your communication matched up the text search word-for-word, so you are now under investigation. Just hope you don't do anything wrong for the next six months while they watch you under a closer microscope, and that you don't buy anything at Tesco that is on their list of "suspicious items available at local store", because there are more uses for condoms in terrorism than just keeping the infidel population down, eh? Allergy medication? Obviously building a bomb^H (sorry - wrong quota this week!) meth lab, they say!

    Let's face it - Government (yours and mine) want a GPL of surveillance - start at one and web out to everyone within 5 degrees of separation, eh? Anyone you touch or contact must also be investigated for "concerns".

  25. Igor Mozolevsky

    RE: @bury them in bureaucracy

    "All too often after weeks or months the data source replies that “It’s a pay as you go phone, no subscriber data”, you still get bill £60."

    So what you are saying is that most of these requests are useless and are a colossal waste of *TAXPAYER'S* money? Why bother serving them in the first place? Oh, incidentally, you can still establish who the phone belongs to even if it is PAYG, quite a lot of the time within five to ten minutes, you just need to know how to conduct an investigation, and not be a mindless drone procedurally filling out paperwork in a vain hope of automagically getting what you want...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does this sit with.......

    the comments made here by the Court of Appeal in a Judgement handed down on the 23rd July 2009;

    We cannot accept this submission. The aim of the notification requirements regime is to assist in the prevention and detection of sexual offences. The assumptions that underpin the provision for indefinite notification requirements are that (i) there is a risk that those who have committed serious sexual offences (ie offences which attract a custodial sentence of at least 30 months in length) may commit further sexual offences for the rest of their lives; and (ii) the notification requirements will assist the police in preventing and detecting such offences and may deter offenders from further offending. These two assumptions are falsified in a case where it is clear that there is no real risk that the sexual offender will re-offend. No purpose is served by keeping on the Sexual Offences Register a person of whom it can confidently be said that there is no risk that he will commit a sexual offence. To keep such a person on the police data base does nothing to promote the aims of the notification requirements. To say that the data base is no longer complete begs the question of what a complete data base should comprise. In our judgment, it should not include offenders who no longer present a risk of sexual offending. As we have seen, at [23] in Gallagher, Kerr J said that to be viable the scheme must contain general provisions of universal application. That may be true in relation to the automatic imposition of notification requirements at the outset as a result of the sentence. But we do not see how the inclusion of a right of review of indefinite notification requirements would render the whole scheme unviable. At [26], Kerr J said that the inconvenience to offenders must be set against the "substantial benefit that it will achieve of keeping the police informed of where offenders are living and of their travel plans so that further offending may be forestalled". But where there is no real risk of further offending, there is no benefit in keeping the police so informed. On the contrary, the lack of a system to review those who are no longer a risk may adversely affect the efficacy of the system as police forces become burdened with notifications from an ever-increasing number of offenders.

  27. Adam Foxton

    @Igor Mozolevsky

    "So what you are saying is that most of these requests are useless and are a colossal waste of *TAXPAYER'S* money? Why bother serving them in the first place? Oh, incidentally, you can still establish who the phone belongs to even if it is PAYG, quite a lot of the time within five to ten minutes, you just need to know how to conduct an investigation, and not be a mindless drone procedurally filling out paperwork in a vain hope of automagically getting what you want..."

    Finding out that the phone was PAYG means that it WASN'T useless. It's still adding to the pool of knowledge- that they don't get a result saying "It belongs to Joe Bloggs, the murdering git" doesn't make it a waste. It could be a vital clue or a way of helping to eliminate a suspect.

    The paperwork is an important part of policing- it means that things can be tracked, traced and audited. If the same level of paperwork was employed in Parliament we'd be in a lot less trouble. Do you think anything would have happenned about the De Menezes thing if there wasn't any paperwork to prove anyone had done anything? It'd probably have gone down as a gang shooting committed by heinous enemies of the state and of freedom who are dressing up as our police officers.

    And for the benefit of others how do you find out who owns a PAYG phone without tipping them off? Especially with an unregistered PAYG SIM.

    Or, say, a phone fitted with a SIM bought off eBay using a hijacked foreign credit card and picked up directly from the postie on the morning rather than letting it go through the letter box of the utterly-unrelated-to-the-buyer address they gave the seller? That'd be well within the capabilities of anyone who wanted to make an untraceable call and would make it bloody difficult for the police to catch them!

  28. Buzzby


    To those who keep saying "if you are innocent you have nothing to fear" I just say John Stalker.

    Although innocent he was screwed by the security services for their own reasons.

    Just google the name!

  29. Nebulo


    Thank you. Couldn't have put it better.

  30. D Moss Esq

    Mobile phone data requests surge by 0%

    BBC, Friday 20 December 2002 02:09 GMT, Phone firms 'flooded' by crime checks:

    "Mobile phone firms are being overwhelmed by police requests for information about suspects' calls, the companies have complained.

    "Almost half a million inquiries are made to the firms every year by police and customs officers, the BBC has learned."

    It may be that the number of requests for mobile phone records is actually static and that two years ago, in 2006-07, the "authorities" just stopped counting for a while or left six months' statistics on the train by mistake.

    There is no telling how many requests are submitted by the security services, but we should not ignore the police, customs officers (now spread around HMRC and UKBA), SOCA, and the FSA, who presumably find time to do a bit of investigatory work in between banks going bust.

    Given that there are about 450 local authorities, the number of requests submitted by them is heart-warmingly pathetic, an average of 3 or 4 each. Long may it remain that way.

  31. Igor Mozolevsky

    @Adam Foxton

    "And for the benefit of others how do you find out who owns a PAYG phone without tipping them off? Especially with an unregistered PAYG SIM."

    Rather easily...

    "Or, say, a phone fitted with a SIM bought off eBay using a hijacked foreign credit card and picked up directly from the postie on the morning rather than letting it go through the letter box of the utterly-unrelated-to-the-buyer address they gave the seller? That'd be well within the capabilities of anyone who wanted to make an untraceable call and would make it bloody difficult for the police to catch them!"

    Nowhere near as hard as you might think!

  32. Tom 95

    my curtains help keep the heat in

    my curtains help keep the heat in

  33. Anonymous Coward


    Spot on.

    We need the UK electorate to start voting for candidates that will serve them and not political parties. Apathy is the politicians greatest weapon and the party whip should be the common mans greatest fear. We are not democratic if the MPs that represent us are threatened by the party dogma of three line whip type of systems.

    This is the nations future that is at threat, not just politically but socially also as the problems of the nation are not being solved by the current political ideas. I call this fire brigade politics, they are reacting to events instead of understanding the social underlying problems. We as people have the power to change things but are we are too apathetic, or lazy to change the future? Use our votes wisely.

    Are we all too stupid so that politicians today now only speak to us only via the media with its own spin and agenda.

    Think about it!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    @ Igor Mozolevsky

    Sorry, you need to do give some more convincing information than just your word for it.

    I can wander into a number of shops (eg Argos, CPW) to buy a phone on Voda with cash (and while CPW might have more likelihood of tracking serial numbers off boxes, I doubt the others care - it's all just stock along with hundreds of other lines).

    I can get a free xxxxx SIM every time I go into a branch of the store, any town in the area, while paying a fiver (in cash, of course) for a top-up voucher. So while there could be some video of me in one place buying a mobile phone, and 4 months later, getting a brand new SIM, with no knowledge of where I live, and no trace of plastic for payment, it seems rather less easy to me than you suggest to link me to a random call 10 months later... I could have a dozen different xxxxx SIMs, buy a dozen mobile phones at different times, and pass these on to my criminal or terrorist buddies and those SIMs could have been used (simply for storing the other SIM numbers) from a "no signal" spot at my home, so no fix on that at all.

    What information is known? The SIMs were bought in branches of xxxxxx in a 50 mile radius. The phones were bought in a 50 mile radius, and then there are a variety of calls before a bank raid / bomb attack. Sorry, I don't think there's much to link me to the events that take place, even if you claim it is easy to locate the user or buyer...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    John Stalker?

    Ah, yes, that paragon of justice and supporter of complete freedom for all.

    Of course, he was never involved in *anything* even remotely dogdy during his time as a Policeman so we can trust him completely when he tells us it was a fit-up.

    Plod - the only group kwiker than a Kwik-Fit fit-up.

  36. Coltek

    It is a very old can of worms...

    Seems nobody remembers (or are not aware of) this little can of worms:-

    Been around for a long time!

  37. Adam 52 Silver badge

    @Inside Track

    You seem to be misinformed. As an example, o2 do not provide subscriber details except in response to a RIPA request.

  38. John Stirling

    tracking and identifying mobile phones

    If you have it in your pocket when you travel through a zone with more than one aerial, then even if it is switched off (with some models) you can track roughly where it is, then if there is a camera nearby (and where is there not these days) there is a good chance of identifying you.

    If you keep the battery out then your odds are improved. I would suggest acquisition should be at a car boot sale - you might buy a couple of duds, but as a busy terrorist you can probably live with that.

    With the added bonus that instead of 'no subscriber information' the first info request will identify an innocent person (well, I say innocent, aiding and abetting a terrorist by selling them a phone is probably a crime).

    Provided you only put the battery in out of camera sight, and add credit on a similar basis (having obtained the voucher off camera for cash) then you should be ok. Never ever put the battery in at home. Provided there isn't too much of your voice on tape to do a stress analysis against.

    Of course, I think identifying the terrorist might take more than £60 of resources in that scenario, and I'm sure I've missed some stuff, so there is probably a better chance of identification than that. Anyway, surely every good terrorist uses a satellite phone?

  39. I'm Brian and so's my wife

    @my curtains help keep the heat in

    Well, my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Its Curtains

    I have curtains to keep heat in and viewers out!

    I have nothing to hide, but I still don't like being a public spectacle!

    I encrypt EVERYTHING on my computers, so they won't ever have time to get round to yours if they try to have a go at mine! I mostly email friends, so we encrypt all our emails too. It is also a bit of fun!

    Don't forget to wipe the blank space on your hard drives. Seven passes satisfies the highest levels of US security, so not bothering is probably sufficient for MI5! --- especially if it is all encrypted in the first place.

    Did you know that the surveillance systems use KEYWORDS? If a keyword appears in an email for instance, then it has to be read IN FULL by a supervisor! Have fun with the idea of emailing your library between friends! Some years ago the word 'Harlequin' got attention from UK and US systems.

    Obviously I would get into trouble if I listed key words here, but I doubt if its an offence to email your friends a copy of The Oxford English Dictionary, or for them to email it back -- on a weekly basis! I find that if you can't defend yourself against the system, then at least put sticks in its cogs! Sections of the Koran seem to travel slowly as does anything written like this القرآن --- which is simply the name of the Koran in one of its many spellings!

    Have fun with the peeping Toms! Your pleasure is their frustration!

  41. Pete 8


    randomMailFooterAdd program, add chunks of random text from web and appends to the email, hidden or not.

    Random pseudo-coded (garbage) images too would create a shitstorm of nice dud garbage steganoploppy. Just like the way the MPAA RIAA seed garbage content on torrent networks.

    Tee hee.

    TechLoLogy has so many uses

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