back to article Anti-filesharing laws revive crypto fears for spooks

The UK's intelligence and law enforcement agencies fear the government's anti-illegal filesharing plans will lead to a rise in encryption, scuppering their own efforts to monitor the internet, it's claimed today. Plans for an enforcement regime to target those who perisitently infringe copyright are set to be brought forward …

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  1. Ian Wilson

    Really?

    What people who have something to hide don't use encryption already? If this is only to capture illegal file sharers, then surely there is something better to spend government money on.

    The statement "Encryption would render third party communications services such Facebook effectively invisible." is not exactly a worry is it? I wouldn't have thought it was possible to find the 1 piece of interesting/security related/terrorism related information out of all crap that spews out from Facebook every minute anyway.

  2. Ross 7

    Re: Really?

    > What people who have something to hide don't use encryption already?

    That's the point. At the moment anything encrypted looks interesting to the spooks and there is probably some value in analysing it. If every Thomas, Richard and Harold starts using encryption then the signal to noise ratio starts to worsen and even finding the interesting encrypted streams amongst the camcordered versions of Tom Hanks latest becomes a nightmare.

    Facebook is a useful tool insofar as it allows spooks to very easily piece together networks of people just by monitoring port 80 traffic. It's cheap to do and doesn't involve hacking Facebooks servers etc. If you know person A is a person of interest, you know he has 2 Facebook profiles, you can just watch the streams of Facebook traffic looking for his "friends" and group memberships. Not all of those will necessarily be persons of interest too, but it gives an easy starting point to go digging from.

    Personally I think increased use of encrpytion is inevitable. The spooks need to get used to the fact and change tack. They've spent far too long idling by whilst the huge computer in the corner does the work for them. That ain;t gonna work soon, and they should have been planning for this a long time ago.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    [encrypted]

    [encrypted]

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Let's not wait then

    If the solution to making implementation of IMP and MTI pointless is for an exponential increase in the use of encryption, break out the ciphers!

    I'll try and find the time to put Truecrypt on the Mac over the w/e.

  5. David Hicks
    Big Brother

    @Ian

    Filesharers are the big one. Part of the problem is that when much more traffic becomes encrypted, it's much more difficult to tell what's what.

    At the moment you can probably filter on criteria such as port number and destination, then quickly discount most online finance and shopping. If all the major P2P goes encrypted and starts using tricks like random ports, protocol disguises, adaptive data rates, temporary keys, multiple hops, webs of trust etc etc (all starting to show up in cutting edge applications) then it becomes very, very difficult to sort out what might be more serious, in the eyes of the spooks.

    Personally I don't think it's a bad thing, that their lives are made more difficult. I do worry about our key disclosure laws because I'm pretty tech and crypto literate, but I'd have a hard time (by protocol design) giving them the keys to my encrypted comms, because they're gone now.

  6. Tim Spence

    RE: Really?

    You mean terrorists don't tweet or set their status to "Osama is off 2 mt Abdul 2 plan bmbings!!1 Lollz!"

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    surely they dont know

    There could be millions of people using encrypted connections already yet the spooks dont know about them!!

  8. Nomen Publicus
    Big Brother

    Encrypt everything by default

    With modern server hardware there is no reason not to use https for everything after the initial connection.

  9. Steve_Sandy
    FAIL

    good tip

    Email is already encrypted, looks like time to check out vpn accounts, already have one for work :)

  10. Michael Fremlins

    The solution will be

    to require everyone to register their passwords, passphrases, etc., with a government body. Let's call it "MI5.5". Then the spooks can monitor at will, but only because we trust them.

  11. Stevie Silver badge

    Eh?

    The Queen has Kaaza Skillz?

  12. cannon
    Boffin

    Tax Payers Monies

    So is copy-write infringement a criminal offence, because if its not, it is down to the private individuals or companies to sue people, not the government wasting our tax monies to bend the law for the likes of the RIAA(BPI, IFPI) or the MPAA(FACT, AFACT).

    So VPN services, Tor & other encrypted proxy services, Hijacking your neighbours connections, using MAC address changers for your hardware but tbh as Ian Wilson has already stated anyone whom wishes to stay anonymous is able to do so very easily & surely would do, but its the usual paedophile, terrorist, pirate "be scared" line they always use to remove our rights.

    lets not for get who is actually behind the MPAA - RIAA, these are the companies that need to be targeted and boycotted into changing their ways, purchase only 2nd hand media and do not purchase anything branded sony, why allow the fecktards to dictate Orwellian hardware DRM designed to take away rights not to stop piracy anymore.

    Name and shame the companies as all the **AA trade group name is for is to protect the corporate globalists from bad press.

    RIAA, CRIA, SOUNDEXCHANGE, BPI, IFPI, ASCAP, Ect:

    # Sony BMG Music Entertainment

    # Warner Music Group

    # Universal Music Group

    # EMI

    MPAA, MPA, FACT, AFACT, Ect:

    a

    # Sony Pictures

    # Warner Bros. (Time Warner)

    # Universal Studios (NBC Universal)

    # The Walt Disney Company

    # 20th Century Fox (News Corporation)

    # Paramount Pictures Viacom—(DreamWorks owners since February 2006)

    ====================================================================

    If Sony payola (google it) wasn't bad enough to destroy indie competition you have this:

    Is it justified to steal from thieves? READ ON.

    RIAA Claims Ownership of All Artist Royalties For Internet Radio

    http://slashdot.org/articles/07/04/29/0335224.shtml

    "With the furor over the impending rate hike for Internet radio stations, wouldn't a good solution be for streaming internet stations to simply not play RIAA-affiliated labels' music and focus on independent artists? Sounds good, except that the RIAA's affiliate organization SoundExchange claims it has the right to collect royalties for any artist, no matter if they have signed with an RIAA label or not. 'SoundExchange (the RIAA) considers any digital performance of a song as falling under their compulsory license. If any artist records a song, SoundExchange has the right to collect royalties for its performance on Internet radio. Artists can offer to download their music for free, but they cannot offer their songs to Internet radio for free ... So how it works is that SoundExchange collects money through compulsory royalties from Webcasters and holds onto the money. If a label or artist wants their share of the money, they must become a member of SoundExchange and pay a fee to collect their royalties.'"

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/4/24/14132

  13. Si 1
    FAIL

    So now we know...

    So now we know the interception program can't even cope with encryption. What a waste of time, money and resources.

    Every terrorist with even two brain cells to rub together will be encrypting their emails and GCHQ will have to content themselves with weeding out political dissidents for the government.

    Another victory for free speech, mine's the one with a 256-bit encryption cipher then...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Ian Wilson

    If one is interested in working out network relationships between different people and groups of people, Facebook is surely an important resource which provides useful information, though perhaps only rarely of the extraordinary type seen in the recent paedophilia case. My understanding is that "terrorist" (or similar) networks tend to avoid using methods (such as heavy encryption) that make them look obvious, and attempt rather to insinuate covert messages using fairly innocuous transport methods -- e.g., the 9/11 plotters used plaintext email over (presumably) unencrypted routes, and simply talked about a "birthday party" or some-such. As such, there is potentially a good deal of intel on Facebook, and certainly in the recent Iran protests it became pretty important for the Green Wave, and also probably for the Iranian government in tracking down those involved in the protests; but if it becomes opaque to intelligence services then they lose out badly.

    However, clearly p2p file sharing is not Facebook, and if p2p has to be encrypted it doesn't mean websites will start offering SSL or TLS on all pages, so I think this has been exaggerated...

  15. GettinSadda
    FAIL

    Does not compute!

    Hang on...

    No encryption can encrypt the whole packet - the IP Header is left intact.

    By a startling co-incidence, the only part of communications that IMP will allow to be snooped without a warrant is... the IP Header.

    So either this story is seriously broken, or it is an admission that GCHQ intend to snoop without a warrant.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Who has stuff to hide?

    @Ian Wilson

    "What people who have something to hide don't use encryption already?"

    Er, me. I have something to hide - my privacy. The contents of my emails should be private unless I choose to make them so. OK, they're not in a technical sense, I know, but then I don't send them knowing that someone is deliberately going to look at them other than the person to whom they're addressed.

    However, I don't use encryption because I can't be arsed to even try to get my parents to set anything up. And nobody else I email does either, so I'd end up talking to myself.

    However, the answer to your question is "Just about everybody".

  17. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Hmmm

    "Plans for an enforcement regime to target those who perisitently infringe copyright"

    I thought copyright was a civil matter between the company/person who owns the copyright and the person violating said copyright.

    How about changing the law for other people who persistently infringe other people's rights such as unruly neighbours and teen gangs who make everyone's life on the estate hell.

    Or is that too difficult and we'll target a few geeks because no one likes geeks?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But how?

    How would one get a secure encrypted connection to Facebook? Their servers don't offer that as far as I'm aware. If someone can explain to me how it can be done then I will do it, if at all practical.

    "Having something to hide" != criminal

    In fact I remember a time when it used to be called "privacy"

    You're allowed to hide things. End of story.

  19. Mike Richards Silver badge

    This is awesome

    The War Against Terror versus the record labels with shiny little Ben Bradshaw caught in the middle.

    Has anyone got the popcorn in?

  20. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Does not compute!

    I don't think it's either.

    As mentioned in the story, a big aim of IMP is to store the comms data (who, what, when, where, how) from third party apps. While IP headers would detail who I contact via vanilla email, details of the people I might contact via Facebook, or online gaming, or what have you, are contained in the payload.

    The plan for IMP is to grab this info from the payload in transit using deep packet inspection probes. Encryption would stop this.

    You have hit on a contentious part of the debate though. ISPs say because it's in the payload it's content. Home Office says not, so they don't need to rip out and replace the warrant laws.

    - Chris

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    So?

    So the police farces will have a hard time getting into the mail, eh? Sad. It's a bit like saying that no locks should be allowed because they need to be able to get into homes. But maybe that argument doesn't quite carry the weight it used to in Old Blighty...

  22. The Original Ash
    Big Brother

    What did they expect?

    Nothing to hide, but the only thing I use my "naked" internet connection for nowerdays is watching TV on demand services and playing online games. For everything else, a little extra latency from using I2P, Tor, or an anonymising proxy is nothing. IMP will just make me fork out for a personal VPN to a foreign nation.

    Nothing to hide, but everything to fear, actually.

  23. Trevor Pearson
    FAIL

    As citizens it falls to us ...

    ... to act responsibly and respect the government that we elected, clearly we need to encrypt and stenographicly hide everything. How quickly can El Reg move to SSL and implement a PKI system for commentards like I ?

  24. OrsonX
    Big Brother

    Just asking you understand....

    Suppose I was to download my fave TV series, for example 24, how many episodes would I have to download before the cybr-police came a knocking?

    Not that I am eagerly awaiting 24s7 or anything....

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Coyote
    Black Helicopters

    No, it's just that...

    the spooks just love to use their massive bandwidth to torrent stuff.

  27. Ed

    Surely...

    Surely if encryption prevents them watching terrorists using facebook, terrorists will just use encryption - it doesn't really matter if everyone else starts.

    Of course, that assumes they're not actually trying to break encryption - my understanding is that 128bit+ encryption is infeasible to crack today, unless very very targetted and with a lot of CPU power to do it with.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    on the other hand

    if it keeps them from snooping into everything they have no right to be looking at at all...ever.. well, then MORE ENCRYPTION.

  29. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: Does Not Compute

    Even that may not always be helpful. The destination IP may just be a node in an onion network, and there's no way to tell an onion packet from any other encrypted packet.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The Register via ssl?

    Can we have an https / ssl version of The Register please as I'm not sure I should be reading this.

    :-)

  31. Mike 61
    Thumb Up

    The would have fun with me

    I have a split vpn where some of the data goes through the clear channel and some goes through the encryped vpn to a server at a colo facility. my router and firewall don't seem to mind at all, when the packets come back they get to the correct interface. Since I use comcast anything they block or restrict automatically gets pushed through the vpn. Its amazing how much of the internet comes back to life when the vpn is turned on, even though comcast doesn't block anything according to them...

  32. /dev/me
    Paris Hilton

    On the other hand...

    If you have nothing to share, then you have nothing to encrypt.

    ...oh wait!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easiest way to beat the spooks

    fax each other in Arabic

  34. nematoad Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Ah! but that's the point.

    GCHQ "has long battled public use of cryptography." Ah! is that why encryption is so tricky for the average punter? "Make a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door" So come on cryptologists and programmers make encryption such a trivial thing to set-up and you will be doing the world agreat service.

  35. Dalvik
    Thumb Up

    and I Quote...

    To quote Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826):

    When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

  36. malfeasance

    Mmmm VPN

    Until Sweden passed the Predator? law, relakks, though not especially reliable, was good for these sorts of things.

    Now, who knows of a country whereby your IP address is not disclosed unless there's a prison sentence at the end of it; and there are ISP's offering you VPN tunnels to the internet...

    If you are concerned about this sort of thing you should already be using them. The going rate is about 50 euros a year. It's like buying contents insursance isn't it.

  37. Inachu
    Jobs Horns

    those pesky 2600 nerds.

    Those 2600 and worthless and many of them runs ervers inside the USA but refuse connections from USA and only allow connections from europe.

    So I loop back around from germany and get to his webserver and leave nasty notes at what a noob he is......

    Later he shuts down his server because of me. Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!! encrypted webservers!!!!!

    encrypted connection to a secure webhost run by a noob hacker!

    Tust me.

    The day encryption is made illegal will be the day the pencil is mightier than the internet.

  38. Brian Morrison
    Big Brother

    Damn simple....

    ....use speculative encryption on absolutely everything, and soon enough it will be impractical to spot anything of any use.

    When are these agencies going to realise that you have to target your scarce resources in the most sensible places, not grab everything you can and wear out your processors scanning it all.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What they're afraid of

    @Chris, Actually I think "The Original Ash" nailed it with what they are really afraid of.. if you google for 'bittorrent vpn' there are now many services offering to mask all your internet activity behind IPs held by offshore shell companies who may or may not keep or provide records of who was using any particular IP at any particular time.

    These services proliferate because of people worried about being caught with p2p, but they would also be very useful to people with more nefarious intentions.

    These services mask everything about what you are doing and if everyone's home internet connection had a single vpn connection to $caman_islands_based_vpn_provider there's not much they'll be able to find out by snooping traffic inside the UK.

  40. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    At least they are indirectly admitting their relentless desire to spy on us all.

    Just goes to prove how they all think.

    Big Brother Icon because they show that is their idea of a perfect dream world. After all, "if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to fear"(tm). Big Brother is watching you.

  41. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    @Chris Williams

    " ISPs say because it's in the payload it's content. "

    That would make the Home Offices description of IMP as only recording comms information rather than the actual communcation itsself as one of the most blatant distortions of the English language I have seen for a very long time.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    only the sheep will be caught!.......baaa-aaa!

    The alky-adya brigade and other proscribed groups will already be using crypto etc... for comms

    so the .uk.cov.eds.gov teams are wasting our money and thier time.

    They would be better off hooking into the satelite/fibre comms that feed the indian subcontinent of discontent and other hot spot regions.

    At least the kill ratio would be a lot higher if combined with various drone packages lobbed from high altitude, than dropping similar on little Johhney Smith of Bournmouth at 6am cos he was downloading some smutty american prono movie or the latest trojan riddled hackered version of windows7.

    Not to mention the publicity in the SUN of: "Kiddy Home filesharer and family killed whilst asleep in bed by US Anti-P2P Killer Drone in the heart of England"

    Though supporting hard up IT Bods (on yet another doomed gov.uk project) is very considerate during these difficult times where big corporates are reigning in the wads of dosh on the next big HP/DELL/MS upgrade disaster which feeds most of us bods and keeps us warm, clothed, feed and off the dole..

    (failing there atm guys!!!)

    caution unemployed techies ahead...

  43. John 48
    Alert

    Since we know that the encyption is rarely the weak part of the chain

    A more general move to encrypted comms will prevent large scale eavesdropping. That seems like no bad thing. For all the bluster about it preventing the security services doing their jobs regarding the usual suspects, the result is, that it will make little difference.

    After all, they can still get a court order and go and demand the intermediate host (facebook or whoever) hand over logs for a given user, or they can lean on the various other weak points in the system where the information is in plain text (bugging your PC if they need to). What they won't however be able to do is a general fishing expedition with bulk data mining to try and fit "crimes" to recognisable patterns of behaviour (bad for the 1% of cases where they have spotted a real crime, but good for the 99%+ false positives). They will need to focus their investigations on cases where there is a genuine interest / intelligence, or an established investigation. This is how things were before they got sold on the technocrats wet dream of being able to see everything, any-time, anywhere, without needing to put any effort into it.

    As for the "If you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide" brigade, lets put this one to bed once and for all. What you say is right, *if* you can fully accept the two fundamental principles that the logic is founded on:

    1) That the people you are entrusting to look at your data can be relied upon 100% of the time to keep it secure and private, and;

    2) that they will only every have benign intent (and that includes anyone or group that may be able to influence, infiltrate, or hack said organisation).

    Hopefully our current government and civil service have ably demonstrated that 1 can't be relied upon (copy of a HMRC CD anyone?), and anyone who has ever heard of a minion being bribed / blackmailed / tricked into disclosing personal information should realise 2 is impossible to guarantee. (and that was before unsecured and unofficial wireless LANs were making a broad range of "secret" civil service IT systems visible to the man in the street (literally!))

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They won't listen

    When I tried to explain to my MP that laws allowing ever more snooping would lead to more encryption she did not see it as a problem. "We have some very clever people" was her response. Maybe I should not have assumed that she knew what encryption is just because she voted for the laws.

  45. Alan Firminger

    error

    But we know from a recent trial that terrorists don't use encription. They write things like : Lia is ready for her baby in June.

    And that is a far more secret way to communicate.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope they are not watching me type this...

    Futher to Ross 7, not only is it straight forward to monitor port 80.

    A competent web programmer could easily knock up a system to imitate a user ( within a certain time period ) with the cookie credentials ( facebook ) captured whilst listening to port 80.

    Once using the users "credentials"

    Grab what data they want from the user. ( Mails? )

    Then why not for fun, install a "spook app".

    Once installed, datamine the profile of that person and all their friends by using fb query. ( yes you can )

    Data grabbed?

    Uninstall "spook app".

    Using GCHQ internet connection, I put money on them being able to do the whole "app" scenario within 1minute.

    "spooks" never had it so easy!

  47. Tom 35

    @Boris the Cockroach

    " How about changing the law for other people who persistently infringe other people's rights such as unruly neighbours and teen gangs who make everyone's life on the estate hell. "

    No problem, just call up a few lawmakers and invite them round to talk about the new law you would like to see... Of course the invite should be to a villa some place warm and sunny, a wad of cash in a discrete brown envelope may also come in handy.

  48. asdf
    Flame

    Onion Tor free but frustrating

    You would probably be amazed how many spy agencys have setup Tor nodes and capture everything. Unless you encrypt everything between you and the server the world can see your data which may even be self identifying. Not to mention I find the latency and terrible bandwidth even for web surfing to be frustrating. A much better solution (though it costs a nominal fee each month) is secure tunnel (www.secure-tunnel.com). Again your comms are only encrypted to their server (still have to use secure protocols to server) but because it is only one hop the latency is largely unnoticable and and the bandwidth is damn impressive (hard to notice any slowdown off a 4meg cable connection). Absolutely fab for torrents. I probably wouldnt recommend for chinese dissidents but for getting around the wanker ISPs and RIAA spot on. Still torrents kinda suck and should be used as last resort when cant find some else where. Not that I would ever recommend it (copyright law must be respected and feared) but anybody interested in getting something at the download speed of your internet connection should <cough altz.bin and www.newzleech.com, with bin newsgroup access, nzbs for the win, google it> </cough>. Sorry slight cold today.

  49. asdf
    Flame

    oops

    Cold coming back </cough alt.binz, not altz.bin stupid 1337 speek names>

  50. bexley
    FAIL

    re:how do you encrypt your facebook connection?

    You rent or otherwise gain access to a linux box hosted someplace out of reach of the gov - you caqn rent a server for say...hosting your website and just install linux on it, setup sshd to listen on port 80 and proxy all traffic on that port.,

    then you just point your web browser at a socks proxy (putty will do), little bit of googling and 2 minutes of work and all yoru web traffic will be sent down an ssh tunnel to the linux box in said safe country and then out from there.,

    So the part of the connection that gchq are allowed to look at is all shh'd up so they cant look at it. I'm fairly sure that nobody has cracked ssh yet.

    i used to do this with my torrents when i was on a bt connection.

    there are other ways of course, it can be done very quickly if you really want to do it

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Where have all the Real Detectives Gone?

    To read Facebook Messages or other Social Website messages all that is needed is to join the correct group & interact with the posters!

    But of course that would require intelligence & proper fact finding & detective work.

    Mass snooping & surveillance, makes everyone suspicious of the Intelligence Services motives & increases the level of suspicion & animosity towards what should be Agencies working for the public good! :(

    My correspondence & information is PRIVATE whilst I am NOT breaking the Law & UNLESS THAT WERE PROVED I for one WOULD NOT release any ENCRYPTION KEY for my OWN DATA!

    In short proof is required FIRST, so get DETECTING NOT SNOOPING!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    encrypt your swap file

    I think a good idea might be to encrypt some random huge files full of garbage and leave them on your shares. give them provocative names to attract the waronterrortards attention.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good.

    Every responsible internet user should use encryption. Governments have no right to spy on innocent people. Surveillance is like censorship, it inevitably fails as people get more intelligent and knowledgeable about it.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to hide

    While you are innocently sitting in your bedroom and you notice a camera trained on you from another building through your open window, do you close the curtains even if you have nothing to hide.

    Of course you will!

    A good reason to bring (or not bring) up Phorm.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    University Grants

    I have nothing to Blow up Parliament hide, so why should I Semtex use encryption? I am an honest Rehabilitation Act law abiding citizen and fully support Liberal Democrat the government in its war on pirates. You all look very Freenet suspicious from where I'm Some Countries Were Affected More By The Global Recession Than Others sitting. Now if you don't mind I'm going to Walk My Dog Suspiciously At Night Without An RFID Chip In Either Of Us.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIPA 2.0

    Just wait; no encryption without a licence, or will they resort to 'government only' (yeah right) back doors on any crypto software generously made legal in the UK.

    Our ever-innovative Labour/NuStasi masters will no doubt find an eye-catching way to criminalise the innocent just a little more.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Who is...

    Watching the Watchers!!!

    Only 1 icon, I wanted to unload the rack on these snoopers! :(

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    1337

    @ Cannon.

    Calm down, if you and everyone else actually take the time and effort to see where this is all going, then everyone would soon realise that this is about the big brands getting ready to set upon the file sharing apps with plants and trace. Then the lawsuits will follow, with many being made a scapegoat in an attempt to scare the UK freetards into giving all up.

    Afterall, who is actually going to do the monitoring and analysing of millions of UK internet surfers 24/7/365? A law will have to be introduced to make it mandatory for ISP's to undertake the task, and in these times of need, I don't think the house will pass the bill to pay ISP's £billions for the next XXx amount of years to monitor for breach of copyright material, when the big brand owners of copyright material, are able to filter out illegal filesharers and do so at their own cost and not at the expense of the British taxpayer.

    @ GettinSadda

    Since when did GCHQ require warrants. The whole point of this country having GCHQ is so that they can do what they do best, and that is SPYING.

    @ everyone else.

    If you wont use snail mail, then don't use email. Get off your arses and communicate in person, eliminating the possibility of being spied upon.

    The only way to stop illegal filesharing is to turn the internet off. Any other plan or idea is just a gimmick, and this one by Mandy is no different, other than he's hoping to attract donations and support to the failing Labour party.

  59. Watashi
    Unhappy

    Hypocrisy

    If only I could rent porn movies and claim them on my wife's business expenses - then I wouldn't have to P2P them.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the nothing to hide question

    Best answered by saying it's not a question of what I have to hide now, but what you (or your children) may wish to hide in the future.

    Just for starters, options include catholicism; the hardy perennial, jewishness; given the revelations about the Prevent scheme, muslims may be a bit edgy; people who put DIY sea defences in, contravening Natural England diktat &c &c...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Serves them right

    The goverment has made me go all paranoid. I end up using TOR for several hours a day now. It's all their fault.

    And if they have set up TOR exit nodes themselves to spy on me, all they will see is me reading theregister and mental illness forums about paranoid personality disorder.

    It's all their fault and it serves them right if everyone else starts using encryption too.

  62. Annihilator Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @OrsonX

    "Not that I am eagerly awaiting 24s7 or anything...."

    Or even 24s8 in January! :-)

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    THE KITTEN IS WARM AND FUZZY

    HELLO to all OUR FRIENDS

    steganography lives in the swamp

    23 47 11 17 19 45

    MOTHER IS NOT IN THE HOUSE

    MY HOVERCRAFT is full of EELS

    1234567654321

    rats live on no EVIL star

    who needs encryption when you have alligators?

    ALL UNITS TO STATION Q; ACTION IN 9 JOOBLETARDS.

    The PACKAGE is in the WAGON on the WAY to the BIG HOUSE.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @ Canon

    I think I'll take a tactic out of their book:

    A Proclamation from Mr A. Coward:

    From now on, anyone producing a website must- on pain of a huge fine- pay me a royalty. I've got no legitimate claim to it, but I've got friends in government.

    @AC0128

    OUR FRIENDS motion HELLO

    My NIPPLES EXPLODE with DELIGHT

    50000 04 51 04 77270868

    THE cat is OuT of The PIGEON

    And no-one here knows whether that's actually a terrorist communication or two people talking crap.

    You can encode digital information in anything. Looking for things that follow a specific type of encryption that you know you can't break is pretty pointless, especially when so much more of the world is encrypting their data.

    Then theres people using dial-up or point-to-point links rather than the Internet proper- they'll be even harder to even detect.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    http://www.apcomms.org.uk/uploads/apComms_Final_Report.pdf

    Excerpt from Skype's submission to the All Party Parliamentary Communications Group:

    "In a democracy, telephone companies should not eavesdrop on the conversations that go through their networks, for privacy reasons there is indeed a strong argument for those entities transporting or handling Internet traffic not to know the nature and detail of its content. This is true whether or not they have the technical abilities to do so. The risks posed by such new technologies as ‘Deep Packet Inspection’ in this respect are worthy of examination. The only exception to this rule has been, and should remain, when truly necessary for society and security, in well-defined areas ike child pornography, and respecting due process, judicial authority when relevant, and fundamental freedoms."

    Word, Skype. Word.

    tmobile:

    "Whilst technical options are often viewed as a panacea the Group should be aware that there are serious practical reasons why the measures proposed in the Digital Britain interim report that work for fixed ISPs will not readily apply in a mobile environment. In particular mobile operators cannot identify individual rights infringers from public IP addresses alone with sufficient degree of confidence to support taking action against customers."

    Word, tmobile.

    Some conclusions from the all party group:

    All Party Parliamentary Communications Group:

    58.We conclude that much of the problem with illegal sharing of copyrighted material has been caused by the rightsholders, and the music industry in particular, being far too slow in getting their act together and making popular legal alternatives available.

    59.We do not believe that disconnecting end users is in the slightest bit consistent with policies that attempt to promote eGovernment, and we recommend that this approach to dealing with illegal file-sharing should not be further considered.

    60. We think that it is inappropriate to make policy choices in the UK when policy options are still to be agreed by the EU Commission and EU Parliament in their negotiations over the “Telecoms Package”. We recommend that the Government terminate their current policy-making process, and restart it with a new consultation once the EU has made its decisions.

    I suppose NuLab will ignore the findings and go ahead with their own hare-brained schemes anyway, as they usually seem to do when faced with sensible 3rd party advice.

    Of course no mention of the spooks in the parliamentary report. Incidentally, I've just been reading through some crypto mailing list archives, there's some interesting speculation out there as to the legality and practicality of attempting to "Master the Internet" and the soft/hardware possibly involved.

  66. rick buck
    Big Brother

    Tell them all...Tell them everything...

    Only Cloak it in a bodyguard of lies...

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