back to article Massive net surveillance programme on schedule

A £2bn scheme to monitor all electronic communications remains within the Home Office's financial plans, despite the government postponing the relevant legislation. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) is planned for completion in 2016, having started in April 2006, according to a written parliamentary answer from …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    If these idiots...

    ... think they'll still be in power by 2010 - never mind 2016 - then they are even more stupid than we imagined.

  2. Jim Carter
    Black Helicopters

    Ah well.

    Plenty of time to learn about TOR and find out about undernets like I've been planning to for years.

  3. Stuart 22 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Don't blame Labour

    @AC ".. think they'll still be in power by 2010 - never mind 2016 - then they are even more stupid than we imagined"

    Stupid enough to swallow and not thwart the mandarin's whiles? Will 'all fur & no-nickers' Dave be any smarter? I refer the learned gentleman to his track record ...

  4. N2

    What a waste

    Hang on a moment, diddnt Gordon Clown say that he was going to be cutting costs?

    The sooner we get rid of him the better

  5. Hans

    @ If these idiots...

    Quote:< If these idiots... think they'll still be in power by 2010 - never mind 2016 - then they are even more stupid than we imagined.>

    And if you think the new incoming government, whatever their colour or shade, will change any of these snooping proposals, then I have to say that you are even more stupid than we imagined

  6. 2FishInATank

    @AC 12:25

    If you think it matters who is in power by 2010 - never mind 2016 - then you are even more stupid than I imagined.

    There, fixed.

    Don't kid yourself, whoever is in power this scheme will go ahead whether the people of this country like it or not. And I most certainly do not.

  7. N2

    Oh just thought...

    2016 ?

    Ill have fucked off elsewhere by then

    So you can snoop as much as you like and leave all the data on a train, if anyone can afford a ticket for one.

  8. The BigYin

    2016 you say?

    Should be enough time for me to bone up on crypto/TORs/whatever and protect myself from intrusion by the State. Assuming I am still in the country by than and haven't buggered off to somewhere less draconian.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Guidence please

    Can anyone point me to a manifesto commitment, and the legislation based upon it, for this development or expenditure, please.

    £2 billion is a lot of new, un-hypothicated cash - even over a 10 year period - and must have been subject to some form of public plan?

    I ask this for two reasons -

    1 To see if the public have been sold this idea as a bill of goods (much like the Iraq/Afganistan war) and

    2 so that I can watch for similar slippery stuff being introduced into future election manifestos and beware of parties advocating them...

    This really is a democratic scandal with no substantial defense and it embarrasses and sickens me that Our British Government should treat the electorate so shabbily.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No legal basis for it

    To implement it, it has to be proportionate to the privacy right, and it isn't. If you wind the clock back to the push for mass surveilance of net traffic, it came back to when Bush was in power and the Republicans lost control of the House and Senate in 2006.

    They blamed the internet, since they effectively controlled the print & TV press via Murdoch.

    So we had a load of cyber terrorist crap, the idea that words had some sort of 'hypnotising' effect on people that turned them against their President.

    The reality was, he was an incompetent dick that turned against his own people in support of special interests and foreign powers (Israel in particular).

    UK Blair followed Bush's lead and Blair also talked up cyber terrorism durka durka durka nonsense. And thus mass spying on UK citizens came about.

    But the only thing to come down the cable is talk and chatter. And no government should be afraid of talk. So why exactly do GCHQ & the Met want to monitor all internet traffic? Why?

  11. Elmer Phud

    2016 --AC 12:25

    Should Lord Snooty and his pals still be around after two elections in 2016 they will be (apparently) firmly entrenched in Little Britain and busy trying to keep tabs on all the foreign and european people that will be desparate to come and sample the bountiful pleasures of this Glorious Island (if it's O.K. with the Scots).

    They all want some huge monitoring system but none of them really want to admit to it other than the current mob who are operating nothing more than a Tory Law'n'Order policy.

    Fail all around -- but expecting it anyway

  12. Billy 8

    Re. If these idiots...

    I think the idiots you mean might well be gone, but the spooks and home office bods will still be there holding the tiller ;-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is sad

    £2bn can be thwarted by things already in existence today: Tor, Freenet, Truecrypt. All free, available right now. The stupid thing is, by forging ahead with Big Brother programmes, they give more legitimacy to the need of tools such as these, and sites such as wikileaks.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What idiocy. By the time they have introduced the techonology to snoop on current communications methods, the goalposts would have been moved. Seven years is a considerable time span in the worlds of telecommunication, encryption, etc., etc.

  15. ElFatbob

    £2bn ?

    Better add a few more zero's to that then....

  16. LittleTyke

    Tor is s-l-o-w

    I tried Tor briefly on a test basis. It worked, but was incredibly slow. Practically unusable.

  17. copsewood
    Big Brother

    Easy enough to opt out

    Just learn use of VPNs and how to administrate a hosted virtual machine server in a jurisdiction whose privacy laws you agree with, so that all your net traffic appears to originate and terminate there. They'll still be able to do some traffic analysis on the encrypted VPN tunnel, but sending some chaff using it should negate most of the information obtainable, at greater expense from that source. The justification for doing all this is similar to using letters instead of postcards for ordinary mail, or having ordinary mail sent or received remotely, and repackaged into larger and more secure parcels for secure local delivery using a trusted courier. That is how Bletchley Park handled snail mail during WW2. This doesn't defeat expensive attacks, e.g. steaming open your letters at the distant post office or monitoring electromagnetic emissions outside your premises using a radio car, but it does make it less likely your government will spy upon you unless they have somewhat better reason to. Nowadays we can all use the same techniques the spooks developed to make it a bit more expensive for the spooks to spy on us, to encourage them to concentrate on organised crime and genuine terrorists, rather than on ordinary law abiding citizens.

  18. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


    Tut Tut, don't you know that "costs" is a word that only refers to vital services that the general public use like health, education, drinking water, etc.

    Government + It + Big Project = MASSIVE FAIL

  19. kevin biswas

    I wish the UK govt

    would f**k off and die.

  20. william henderson 1

    the politicos say....

    nothing of worth.

    this is driven by and owned by whitehall.

    regardless of the party in "power", this will go ahead as the political parties are just a front for those woth the real power and long term outlook.

  21. Sarev

    Tor not good enough

    I agree with LittleTyke - TOR is pretty much unusable except in emergencies in my experience. Also, lots of sites seem to be able to tell you are reaching them via TOR and refuse to serve you. Maybe people use it as an attack vector?

    For the curious, I'm using Linux and I added the "TOR button" extension to FireFox which adds a button at the bottom of your browser window. Click that and the next page(s) you open will be via TOR. So veeeeeery slooooooow to load.

  22. Anonymous Coward


    I know very little about the internet so if this sounds un -workable then put it down to my lack of knowledge,but if the powers that be wan't internet traffic to look at would it not be possible to find out the email addresses of every Politician, Cheif Consable,Prime Minister,Home Office(you can make up the rest) and bombard them with a continuos stream of emails and anything else you could think of ,keep it clean and legal but as Kenny Everett said "Bomb The Bastards"

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