back to article Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS

The Home Secretary has defended her department's decision to resurrect net-snooping plans that were abandoned by the previous Labour government in 2009. Theresa May, writing in The Sun, finally put forward her opinion two days after the tabloid's sister paper – The Sunday Times – ran a story containing a small amount of …


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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Of civil rights, I would think the European Courts will have something to say, this smacks of;

      Nazi Germany

      Soviet Russia

      East German Stazi



      and all the other tin pot dictatorships that like to keep people in their place.

      And please don't say 'you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide'....

      As will everything there will be a gradual slide, give an inch take a foot.

      Its all about wanting control and it is disproportionate.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        I shouldn't place your hopes in the European Courts

        This legislation is driven by the EU after all...

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

          Re: I shouldn't place your hopes in the European Courts

          "This legislation is driven by the EU after all..."

          Look a little closer into where the EU Data Retention Directive was drafted. The UK Home Office.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            @John Smith 19

            May I refer you to the post made by the right honourable JohnMurray...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I shouldn't place your hopes in the European Courts

          Sorry, but the legislation ISNT driven by the EU after all... (Churchill!!)

          As far as I can work out, (and I have been asking questions!) the whole current grab for citizens digital data is an FBI push. (when I say I FBI, of course I mean FBI assisted by NSA advisors)

          In the mid-nineties the FBI( & NSA) came to Europe because the FBI (& NSA) couldn't get the laws that they wanted for access to digital-data passed in the US Congress. FBI(NSA) were somehow able to persuade the UK Home Office and agencies to push the agenda to the European Union Conseil (Council of Europe) - this is basically the EU Prime Ministers meeting in Brussels.

          Some sort of deal was evidently done with the European Commission Department General Justice and Home Affairs and a draft law was agreed and passed by "Consent by TELEX", avoiding at all cost any debate in the national parliaments. (the only person in the UK House of Lords who noticed this new EU law was told that it wasn't important and that he didn't need to study it and so could go back to sleep)

          A memorandum of understanding was signed by (who are now) all the 27 governments of the EU, by CHINA, by Russia, by Australia, NZ and who knows who else?. The MOU is still top secret, many of the other ENFOPOL documents (just the file name for 'police co-operation' in the EU) are sensitive - but are available online here or there (statewatch is a great starting point)

          We don't actually know who signed this 1990's MOU - but some governments follow it without having officially signed.

          Now, EU courts, ECHR (European Commission on Human Rights) and the ECtHR(European Court of Human Rights) are entirely separate from the European Union and its Court of Justice and the Conseil/Council of Europe deliberations. The EU courts still DO have an important watchdog role.

          note that the ECHR and the ECtHR were surprisingly set-up by Winston Churchill who was involved in the devising and drafting of the Convention on Human Rights. The current possibly ANTI human-rights grab for data is coming from UK - possibly still from FBI(NSA) pushing on the UK 'open-door' and is supposed to spread to the other EU states' Interior Ministries, which would have the help presumably from 'EC HOME" as it is now called.

          I may well be wrong in all the above, I welcome GCHQ actually explaining the IMP/CCDP genesis from their point of view and how they think Sir Winston would view the current developments?

      2. Irongut

        Re: infringement

        You forgot the biggest tin pot dictatorship of them all... USA.

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          1. jason 7

            Re: infringement

            Well it's a not a democracy either is it? Hasn't been for decades.

            The powers that be have made both political sides the same in terms of nothing really changes no matter who is President. Whoever you vote for the government still gets in.

            Look at the current President, other than the token Heathcare bill (to give the illusion of change) you'd could imagine that Bush was still in charge. Same old same old.

            The politicians are not really in control. They haven't been in most western economies for a long time.

          2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: infringement

            Shirley the PATRIOT Act, NDAA and many others (back at least as far as the 1947 National Security Act) have made the Constitution irrelevant; you've merely swallowed the patriotic kool-aid^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hpropaganda that says that it and the BoR have any real relevance any more. Even Dubya said it was "just a goddamned piece of paper".

            The US is nowadays essentially a corporatist plutocracy - look up what Mussolini (allegedly) said about corporatism and fascism...

          3. Steve Evans

            Re: infringement

            Has he read the U.S. constitution?

            Probably not, then again from how some of your politicians and cops behave over there, neither have they!

      3. James Micallef Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: infringement

        No big, central database? I expect the Tories and Labour to mess with civil liberties, looks like the LibDems are no different!

        Who needs a big central database, that's so 20th century, distributed databases in the cloud is more like it, especially when they'll be monitoring all traffic 24/7 in real time. Saying there will be no big central database is a weaselly cop-out.

        Quick rule of thumb - if a politician mentions "terrorists" or "paedophiles", they are lying to you, trying to scare you, or trying to screw you. Or even more likely, all three

      4. Andrew Moore

        'you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide'...

        I challenged the last person who said this to me to hand over their ATM PIN, CVV2 code and passwords to their social media accounts.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: infringement

        The "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" argument is fundamentally flawed to begin with.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: This is insane.

      This is indeed very odd. The feeling seems to be that this process is driven by GCHQ, but you are quite correct that it will inevitably mean their work becomes much harder.

      Perhaps the spooks are as stupid as their political masters. (To be fair, there was quite a lot of evidence in support of that view at the time of the Iraq war.) In which case, can we have our money back? It is clearly wasted if it is being spent on these idiots.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: This is insane.

        "Perhaps the spooks are as stupid as their political masters. ("

        The *working* spooks probably are not.

        These guys are high level *bureaucrats*.

        In Enemy of the State this is more John Voigt than Jack Black or Seth Green

    3. Ken 16 Silver badge

      Re: This is insane.

      a 4th amendment to what? Don't you need a written constitution before you can amend it?

    4. Barely registers
      Black Helicopters

      Re: This is insane.


      Where does SSL fit into all of this? If you enable it as default on Twitter and Facebook, then what can a snoop reveal except that you visited the site? It couldn't reveal which pages you visited, what messages you wrote and read, and so on, so what the hell is the point?

      Unless SSL is an open book to those in the know...?

      1. cowbutt

        Re: This is insane.

        Google "CNNIC certificate authority"

        Essentially, GCHQ sets up a CA (or surreptitiously obtains assistance from one or more established CAs) and gets its root certificate installed in (i.e. trusted by) $ALL_THE_POPULAR_CLIENTS (IE, Firefox, Outlook, Thunderbird, K9, Chrome). Then, when they want to see what you're doing on Facebook, they issue a bogus certificate for a proxy they control and poison your DNS or use NAT to ensure you go via their proxy, rather than a legitimate Facebook server. You'll get the normal SSL "yellow lock" in your browser, and everything will look fine, but they can see (and optionally modify) anything sent and received.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is insane.

          Yes, this is how the Ministry of Defence scans SSL encrypted material at the interface between its internal network and the Internet. It looks to the user as if it's a secured link, but the content scanner at the boundary can tell if one is sending out classified material.

          Anon., because.

    5. Andrew Moore

      Re: This is insane.

      More importantly, what's to stop the paedophiles working in the government and GCHQ from accessing the emails and web traffic of innocent children???

    6. nexsphil

      Re: This is insane.

      We need a 4th amendment in the UK much more than we need this shite.

      Yeah, so it can be completely ignored like in the US

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

      The Home Sec said "Last year, police smashed a major international child pornography website based in Lincolnshire. They then used internet data analysis to find other suspected paedophiles,"

      And all this with the existing legislation - a perfect demonstration of why we don't need new laws, straight from the horses arse^h^h^h^hmouth.

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Paris Hilton

        Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

        Those of us who know even just a little bit about how computers and the interwebz tubes work clearly know she is talking out her USB socket.

        However your average Sun reader sees the words "peado terrorist" and thinks "well yeah it's a good idea init guv, anything to catch those nasty peados, you get me!" while nursing off a stiffy caused by looking at some barely legal bint with her jugs out on page-three.

        I'd like to see Theresa May on page-three, I'd use it as loo paper, then it'd be classed as extreme porn.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

          "I'd like to see Theresa May on page-three"

          Well thanks a bunch - now I can't get that out of my mind. Arrghhh!!!!

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

            More likely to get the OTHER Teresa May (the one without the 'h')

          2. LinkOfHyrule

            Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

            "Well thanks a bunch - now I can't get that out of my mind. Arrghhh!!!!"

            I can't work out if that is a good thing or a bad thing!

            I still honestly believe there is a demand out there for a Tory fetish/porn website. Just a few ideas I'm toying with.

            The public is being so screwed by these guys, there's bound to be a few people idea who get off on it.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

              "I still honestly believe there is a demand out there for a Tory fetish/porn website. "

              There's definitely something about that head-girl-at-her-public-school thing that I imagine has many a Tory supporter reaching for their gimp mask and eagerly submitting to a bit of extreme discipline.

              Just make sure it's not hosted in the UK of course.

              1. Graham Marsden
                Paris Hilton

                Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

                "I want to see paedos and terrorists and criminals arrested and I think this is the way to do it" says Temptress Theresa on Page Three of your Soaraway Sun...

                Unfortunately, whilst most Page Three stunners might have an excuse for not understanding the subject, you'd expect the Home Secretary to have at least been briefed by someone who *does* comprehend the fact that this sort of mass data troughing will create more problems than it solves whilst the people they're trying to catch switch to communication methods that are much more difficult to trace.

              2. Sir Runcible Spoon


                "Just make sure it's not hosted in the UK of course."

                If you're going to go down that route, you might also want to make sure it isn't accessible from the US (or you could move out of the UK as well)

                1. LinkOfHyrule

                  Re: Sir

                  So essentially I need to find a state with slack internet and pornography laws that is sympathetic to a bit of "Iron Lady Garden" and "Cottaging for badgers on Hampstead heath"!

                  I wonder where that could be?

                  And before I go, I must say I am very impressed to see that Firefox's spell checker includes the word "cottaging" in it's dictionary - you just dont get such perviness with closed source software products! It's a shame the word "Firefox's" isint in their dictionary though!

                  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

                    Re: Sir

                    "And before I go, I must say I am very impressed to see that Firefox's spell checker includes the word "cottaging" in it's dictionary - you just dont get such perviness with closed source software products! "

                    A little homage to Alan Turning perhaps?

                    Ever since I saw a rather delightful interview with a women dev who described the OO paradigm with an analogy involving "Bottoms and tops" I've been less surprised about such matters.

                    After all what is the Internet made for?

              3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

                Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

                "There's definitely something about that head-girl-at-her-public-school thing that I imagine has many a Tory supporter reaching for their gimp mask and eagerly submitting to a bit of extreme discipline."

                Just to be clear I have *no* problem with anyone of any political persuasion pursuing any interests with any *consenting* adults (with or without a gimp mask :) ).

                It's not my business.

                And frankly it should not be the business of *any* government either.

      2. Adrian 4

        Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

        "They then used internet data analysis to find other suspected paedophiles,"

        I wonder how many of the suspected paedophiles were actual paedophiles. The quote doesn't mention whether they were guilty, or merely innocent bystanders drawn in by analysts who thought they looked suspicious.

        1. LaeMing
          Black Helicopters

          Re: "Theresa May, writing in The Sun"

          "The quote doesn't mention whether they were guilty" so it is safe to say most weren't. They would be bragging convictions if they had got any reasonable number.

  3. ACx

    Im cool with this once the official secrets act is dropped, and every elected official and every one employed and known to them has all of their electronic communications dumped directly to an open government website.

    BTW, why are democratic governments so scared of their citizens that they need to behave like dictators?

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: "why are democratic governments so scared ...?"

      Because the country is massively in debt and the cuts haven't really started to bite yet. Once they do then the aforementioned citizens might show their displeasure. It would therefore be prudent to ensure such avenues as were used across a number of Arab countries are not open to them. BTW, it's probably not an initiative coming from the government so much as the civil service. Although I'm sure there are plenty of government members who didn't really need persuading - just as was probably the case with the previous lot. Now that I've identified myself online as either a conspiracy theorist nutcase or a dangerous perceptive intellectual I'm wondering if, in either case, I have nothing to fear. Oh well, keep calm and carry on I suppose.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Do they keep wheeling this out because Phorm phailed to get it in via the back door?

      1. Asgard

        @Sir Runcible Spoon, "Phorm"

        I was thinking almost the same thing about Phorm style spying. Is this ex-Phorm people who are partly behind this who are coming back with their new business model version 2, where they lobby government and the home office to introduce and use Phorm style spying on everyone. Also by getting it supported on the side of the government, they earn a lot of money from that and then they also find it easier to go back to the ISP's to add a sweetener to them to introduce spying so they also gain advertising money from spying on all of us. This way government and business can totally screw over our privacy for their profit in both more money from us and more power over us.

        Of course to block that move, we all go encrypted through the ISP's, but that will take time and a fight as they will wheel out their nothing to hide ploy once again and try to legislate and demonise encrypted connections as only used by bad people.

        Unfortunately I think we have got to the point where the people in power have shown enough to prove they cannot be trusted long term with us all keep using unencrypted connections any longer. We are already there for example with mobile phone companies who blatantly violate net neutrality at will to squeeze more money out of people (For example, mobile company Three charges £10 per month tethering to a laptop on top of £15 a month “All you can eat Internet access” on your phone. So you can stream videos to your phone at £15 a month but you have to pay £25 a month if you want to download emails to you laptop through your phone. Its crazy, it makes no sense, other than a way to squeeze more money out of people whilst giving nothing in return. Data is data, yet Three think its ok for us to download a 100MB video from Youtube, but not ok for us to download a 100kB email to our laptop without us having to pay £10 a month extra?! … We need to treat all ISP's as pipes where they don't know at all what is traveling through that pipe, because its encrypted in such a way as to prevent them spying on the data.

        I think unencrypted connections have got to come to an end for all but totally non-essential connections. We place too much trust in governments and companies by not encrypting connections and they cannot be trusted. They keep showing there is no end to their power hungry greed driven duplicity. They are determined to get more more more. We need to stand up and draw a line against them and say enough is enough, no more, in every way we can. This has got to stop.

  4. PassiveSmoking

    That's what they always say.

    "If you're not in favour of <insert intrusive or oppressive law here> then YOU'RE A PEDO!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Then remember: If you're in favour of unaccountable spooks doing searches for teenage boys visiting websites that exist to offer support to alienated gay teens then you too are probably a peado.

    2. Gordon Fecyk

      So says Vic Toews, MP for Provencher (Manitoba, Canada)

      Also our Public Safety minister. Ugh.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: So says Vic Toews, MP for Provencher (Manitoba, Canada)

        Was he the one who got caught banging the baby sitter?

        I feel sure his Australian counterpart (Conroy?) is probably sitting on something nasty.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      ""If you're not in favour of <insert intrusive or oppressive law here> then YOU'RE A PEDO!""

      Wasn't that almost *exactly* the line of the Canadian minister who wanted to bring in their version of the snoop law?

    4. nexsphil

      That's what they always say.

      "If you're not in favour of <insert intrusive or oppressive law here> then YOU'RE A PEDO!"

      Or communist, conspiracy theorist, partisan, socialist, non-patriot, witch, heretic etc etc

      Why bother making an argument when the fucking monkeys get in line with simple trigger words?

  5. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Bring it on ....

    and when they are drowning in data, and bemoaning the ludicrous number of false positives, let's hope none of the false negatives actually does something

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: "...bemoaning the ludicrous number of false positives..."

      Ah but they won't. A large number of false positives, when acted upon and publicised as though simply positives, is how the desired climate of fear is created and maintained. There are numerous examples of prior art in both history and fiction.

  6. Jeebus

    Isn't it sad that the "PAEDOPHILES AND TERRORISTS" can just be used to blanket any criticism of any oppressive thing the government does or wishes to do.

    1. jason 7

      It's usually been found too that those most publicly against such things are, in private, practitioners themselves.

      Always been suspicious of those that publicly and viciously decry other sections of the public as 'deviants'.

  7. Gordon 10

    Dear Ms May

    Our major concerns with Terrorists and Paedo's is the risk of being falsely labelled as one by some ignorant civil servant snooping on our private conversations and jumping to the wrong conclusion.

    Might I suggest a read of the website and that you educate yourself and your flunkies on the likelyhood of false positives when there are a very small number of actual villains? ie you will ruin far more innocents lives than catch criminals.

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  8. Richard Wharram

    "Paedo 9/11"

    Was the lame mantra The Daily Mash predicted Ms May would be spouting today.

    Satire is not as funny when it turns out to be completely true.

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    2. John G Imrie



      Smiley icon because the Cake episode was almost as much fun.

  9. Matt 75

    what exactly is the difference...

    so, all the government has to do to be able to snoop on an 'ordinary person' is brand them a 'suspected terrorist'?

    1. Tom 35

      Re: what exactly is the difference...

      Your dog took a crap in the park, clearly you are a terrorist.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: what exactly is the difference...

      "so, all the government has to do to be able to snoop on an 'ordinary person' is brand them a 'suspected terrorist'?"


      Your information is watched by *default*.

      No branding necessary. Also no warrant. Of *any* kind. That's the change.

  10. phuzz Silver badge

    "Last year...[bad people were caught]".

    So last year they caught some bad people, without any new legislation, so, er, why do we need new legislation if the security services seem to be doing just fine without it?

    1. Yet Another Commentard


      This point cannot be over emphasised. We have the ability and the systems to do this, with some form of control, to make sure only reasonable and necessary snooping is done. I have yet to see a justification for the change.

      The risks of the status quo is that the warrant granter just rubber stamps meaning there is no control - but (s)he would be in hot water should the request, in actual fact, be ultra-vires.

      The risks of the new system would be that it is abused, or there would be fishing expeditions against, say, troublesome privacy activists, or even that some scroat in the outsouricng company would just decide to have a look at what <insert celebrity/fit chick on the bus> has been up to.

      This is a dangerous slippery slope, and I hoped it had died a death with the last Government.

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "Last year, police smashed a major international child pornography website based in Lincolnshire. They then used internet data analysis to find other suspected paedophiles," she said.

    Well from there own admission the current laws and internet data analysis techniques were enough to be able to do their job so what's the justification to increase the surveillance?

    1. Richard Wharram

      "what's the justification to increase the surveillance?"

      "Paedo 9/11"



      1. Irongut

        Re: "what's the justification to increase the surveillance?"

        It will be Paedo 9/11 times 2,356.

        And, nobody knows what that is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "what's the justification to increase the surveillance?"

          You mean 1927.63 recurring? That's terrible!

          Seriously Ms May, are you genuinely that ****ing stupid, or do you think we are? Oh yes, "There's no big central Government database" - instead you want to insist that all the ISP and social media sites store the data instead, at their cost.

          Privatised snooping, so to speak.

          Your party threw this out during the last Parliament, and 100% of Lib Dem and about 50% of Conservative MPs are against it. Labour are of course massively for it, except that it's a Conservative plan now so they're against it.

          Even aside from the stamping on civil liberties, it can't even work anyway for a multitude of reasons.

          As to your ****ing stupid quote of "nothing to fear" - Do you have curtains at your windows? Are you happy to tell everyone in the Metropolitan Police everything you do online? How about everyone in your constituency?

          No, of course not. Yet you have "nothing to fear" by doing so, right?

          1. thenim

            Re: "what's the justification to increase the surveillance?"

            That's where you are mistaken...

            This only applies to the plebs, the bourgeoisie are free to continue their hedonistic ways unabated...

            In one fell swoop, the entire population of the UK have been classes as terrorists and paedophiles - time to ship the lot to the counterweight continent methinks (oh wait, that was tried before)...

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: time to ship the lot to the counterweight continent

              Smashing idea, assuming you mean the politicians. Perhaps our counterweight cronies could arrange a welcoming party consisting of the ten deadliest species of, oh I don't know, pick any animal group you like really.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's the real story?

    The article doesn't make it clear what's being proposed; just that the government would like to be able to analyze internet usage after-the-fact (like checking out what phone calls someone has made).

    It sounds like they're going to require ISPs to retain a database of your internet traffic (similar to some corporate firewalls); but for how long and what processes are required to access it?

    So instead of government using taxes to do the spying, they'll make the ISP's do it for them. This has the advantage (for the government) that people will pay for it through higher charges for internet services (ISP's will just pass the cost to the consumer).

    I expect, because it is a Tory initiative, that a few companies will spring up to assist the ISPs with their snooping; each with its own set of Tory non-exec directors (Phorm a queue please).

    1. Miek

      Re: So what's the real story?

      "I expect, because it is a Tory initiative," -- wrong, it is a security services push. The security service basically keeps coming back with the same proposal re-branded with a different name every couple of years.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So what's the real story?

      From what David Davis said it looks like they'll want to keep the stuff for 2 years (better than the NSA in the US who, according to James Bamford, have stuff over a decade old they haven't managed to decrypt yet).

  13. SJRulez

    No central database - just lots of little ones

    "no central database" would be created for such a system.

    Yep they thought that out well, they can keep saying there wont be one as its likely there wont. The suggestion seems to be the ISP's will have to store the data so technically they are right and can believe themselves when they say.

    1. Doctor_Wibble

      Re: No central database - just lots of little ones

      Ah, yes - "no central database" - deny something that nobody has said - I seem to recall the last government took exactly the same line. Smith wrote in the Mirror, May writes in the Sun - different parties, same tactics.

      Could be mis-remembering but I don't think any of these plans (current or previous) ever actually involved a single big central database, did they?

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: No central database - just lots of little ones

      Of course, since the ISPs don't actually get a commercial benefit from recording anything or keeping it safe, the quality of the data and the security around it will utter shite and it will be available to anyone who goes looking, quite possibly with write access.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No central database - just lots of little ones

      Or just one database mirrored among multiple locations, its not central in that case.

    4. Graham Marsden
      Big Brother

      Re: No central database - just lots of little ones

      Remember the actual quote was: "There are no plans for any big government database"

      Not "We will not create a big government database" but only "there are no plans (yet) for a big government database"...

      1. Frank Haney
        Black Helicopters

        "No plans..."

        The exact quote from Teresa May was "There are no plans for any big government database. No one is going to be looking through ordinary people's emails or Facebook posts. Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated,"

        And El Reg fell for it. "The Register can't help but note the language here: To repeat, May said no big government database would be created"

        To repeat: no she didn't. She said they haven't got around to planning a big government database. Yet.

  14. Andrew Moore


    "Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated," said the Home Secretary.

    So their out is, everyone will be a suspected terrorist, paedophile or serious criminal. Until proven otherwise.

    1. Si 1

      Re: hmmmm...

      Yes, I spotted that bit of bullshit too. First she said: "No one is going to be looking through ordinary people's emails or Facebook posts."

      But if that's the case, then how will they know to investigate or suspect someone of being a terrorist or paedo in the first place? They have to snoop in order to know!

      And of course as we all know any terrorist/paedo/criminal with at least two brain cells to rub together will know to encrypt and obfuscate their communications so that they're impossible to track/read. An utter waste of tax payers money.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: hmmmm...

        "No one is going to be looking through ordinary people's emails or Facebook posts."

        Software isn't a person.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: hmmmm...

          That's not the point.

          The real danger of this kind of thing is that having arrested someone on suspicion of $crime$, they want to be able to trawl though everything that person has done online in order to find something, anything to pin on them. Regardless of what it is.

    2. Oliver Mayes

      Re: hmmmm...

      Like how councils were granted powers to spy on people with the promise that only benefit cheats and tax dodgers will be targeted. Fast forward 12 months and they're using it for anyone they suspect of doing anything wrong from littering to not clearing up after their dogs. Emphasis on 'they suspect'.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: hmmmm...

      ""Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated," said the Home Secretary."

      So just *like* the justification for the RIPA.

      BS then. Sounds like BS today.

    4. Jimmy 1

      Re: hmmmm...

      Given that we all accept that paedophilia and terrorism are loathsome crimes, could Saint Theresa be persuaded to amend her proposed surveillance legislation so that it includes another category of criminals, namely the incompetent, self-serving politicians who pose a far greater threat to our national stability.

      Not content with destroying our economy with their free-markets, deregulation and 'greed-is-good' bullshit, they are now busily dismantling OUR public services for the enrichment of their entrepreneurial friends.

      When I refer to entrepreneurial friends I naturally include Tory Blair and his New Labour parasites.

  15. Grahame 2

    No central database = network of mandated privately held databases accessible in real-time (net result, same damn thing)

    Strong safeguards (today) = burdensome red tape (tomorrow)

    Serious Crime = All crime is serious, otherwise it would be be crime, would it?

    Paedos, Terrorists and major criminals = whatever floats ya boat to get it passed, we will widen the scope later.

    This would all seem to be deeply cynical and paranoid, except when you take into account history on various other laws ( RIPA, Terrorism Act, POCA etc etc...)

    1. Dr. Mouse

      "This would all seem to be deeply cynical and paranoid, except when you take into account history on various other laws ( RIPA, Terrorism Act, POCA etc etc...)"

      Don't forget the extradition treaty changes with the US, which were brought in to streamline the extradition of terrorists, and is now used against anyone.

      At the end of the day, this really does stink of 1984. Maybe Orwell was a prophet?

  16. K

    'think of the children'

    isn't that the problem in the first place!! Ba Doom tsssch

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hello, we're strategically incompetent"

    This does nothing but show us that the politicians are all incompetent, they still don't understand what they're doing, and their political colour --nulabour isn't labour any longer, and whatever this is supposed to be looks the same shade of vile from increasingly many angles-- has become completely irrelevant.

    It's all made up out of regurgitated and largely made-up threats, as for the last ten years they may have been snooping disproportionally much, safety was not affected. The only security we gained was the utter and complete certainty that "the authorities" are unable to deliver on the promise even if we sacrifice bloody everything to their false gods.

    Any promise of "we won't go to $extreme, only halfway, honest" sound exactly like the rattling of that box of ID cards ("for foreigners only"... and some other "soft targets", selected for your convenience) you're clutching behind your backs.

    Of course we all know this. The only difference is that it's become too transparent, that the political system has worn threadbare. It's the one trick they can perform to meet the demand for ponies from the bureaucrats; carefully managing the outrcry until it can be ignored.

    What about we change the tune, and do something fancy with their pattern? Leak one more scandal every sunday, and one extra come next april fools?

    And keep on doing that until we've cycled out all the people who've up 'til now held any government position whatsoever, political or mere bureaucrat alike, for someone with at least half a clue, and who isn't part of the babyboom generation.

    No More Ponies.

    1. Captain Hogwash

      Re: "...who isn't part of the babyboom generation"

      The top public faces are not babyboomers anymore, though no doubt the Whitehall mandarins are. Cameron, Osborne, Clegg & Milliband are all GenXers.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One word describes it


    The central tenet of this Government seems to be." It's alright for us to do as we please, but you plebs cannot." If you disagree with us, you must be a paedo, terrorist, or whatever we deem you to be."

    It won't be long before those against the malignant, cancerous Government are whipped off to the soon to be built 'concentration camps' with the 'arbeit mach frei' signs above the gates. They are half way there already with the free labour thing, it is just one more small step to complete their goal.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One word describes it

      Both the Reds and the Blues believe this strongly.

      The only difference is that the Reds think central Government should pay private companies to hold the data while the Blues think the data should be held by private companies at their own cost.

      The real solution is of course the death penalty for career politicians and senior civil servants.

      - What do you mean, what for?

  19. Tom 15


    The Lib Dems have been hoodwinked on this one but it's a major issue for their membership. A lot of Tories don't seem to like it either, so I expect to see a U-Turn and it quickly filed away somewhere for the next Labour lot.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Bah

      Hopefully it will spell the end of her tenure as Home Sec. for the Malodorous Ms May also.

      Shall we see if our current lot can get through as many Home Secetaries as the last incumbents? I'm beginning to wonder why anyone ever takes the job anyway. I can't recally anyone's career doing well from it in the last 20 years or so. Michael Howard might have had a better chance of leading the Tories if he hadn't been resposible for the Criminal Justice Act that stamped on civil liberties back in 1994. The job seems to be a bit of a honey-trap for incompetent authoritarians.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Bah

        Thank God for that, we'd be utterly screwed if they were competent.

  20. Chris Miller


    It's a government IT project. Which means that (after many years and spreading several billion of our money among the usual suspects) it will be quietly dropped.

  21. Is it me?

    Lets be realistic shall we.

    The UK government does not have the budget to spy on everyone.

    The Security Services have enought to do chasing terrorists, let alone spying on every one.

    The Police have enough to do catching criminals than worry about which porn sites you visit.

    And the latter sums it up probably, how many of you think that the fact you might visit a porn site, might come back to haunt you. Or maybe that troll eMail you sent to someone when you were drunk.

    This act is about allowing the police and security services to check your communications history once you are identified as a suspect in the same way that they do for telephones and then use it as evidence.

    There is just too much internet activity to watch everybody, and targeting someone just because you can is bonkers, they have quite enough to do as it is. You guys need to get a grip, and work out just how much what you fear would actually cost to do, even if it were practicable which it ain't.

    1. Christoph

      Re: Lets be realistic shall we.

      Moore's Law means that the surveillance and data mining will be ever-increasing.

      There is huge potential for misuse of this, for selective prosecution, for finding things to pin on someone you don't like but can't arrest (such as political opponents!)

      Oh, and a counter-example: That couple who got thrown out of the US because the bloke had tweeted something that DHS decided was suspicious.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Lets be realistic shall we.

      "The Police have enough to do catching criminals than worry about which porn sites you visit."

      Except that they don't, they're so obsessed with arrest figures that the majority of police work these days seems to be focussed on parking fines and minor speed offences. The police stopped caring about actual crime when they realised that it looks far more impressive to 'catch' people illegally downloading music form the internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lets be realistic shall we.

        "The UK government does not have the budget to spy on everyone."

        Which is why they want to offload the costs onto the ISPs - and who will pick up the tab for that I wonder? (again)

    4. Velv

      Re: Lets be realistic shall we.

      First they came for the communists,

      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,

      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,

      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

      Then they came for me

      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Remember, the Serious Organised Crime Agency are now concentrating on copyright enforcement. This whole system makes more sense with that in mind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SOCA

      International smuggling of counterfeit goods and money laundering - that's what's being investigated. It's not quite as trivial as the word 'copyright' would imply

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: SOCA

        The fact that gangs can make a tidy profit manufacturing and selling fake Nike trainers down the local market (enough the require the money to be laundered to avoid notice) is probably more an indication of how much these things are overpriced in the first place, not of the severity of this kind of intellectual property 'theft'. Given that cheap 'fake' clothing is not likely to be of a hugely lower quality than the 'real' thing, but can be made and sold much more cheaply, the big brand names have only their own greed to blame for this sort of thing and get none of my sympathy.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: SOCA

          Not sure why I'm down voted on this. Please explain

          That's what SOCA is investigating, that and the likes of Lulzsec etc.

          The gangs that create fake trainers are getting their cash from somewhere - higher up the criminal chain to racketeers and large organised crime set ups etc

          The problem isn't just related to the local market seling trainers. Crime is highly organised and and global in nature.

          I have little sympathy for manufacturers of the 'real thing either'.

          However this is off topic and shouldn't be discussed here

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: SOCA

        why aren't SOCA also looking at the "privacy-right' of the citizens, who might sometimes be accused of the civil infringement of something to do with 'copy-right'. Rights seem to be equal and diametrically opposed - but only one side is being enforced or contemplated to be enforced?

        only might is right? Mickey-Mouse with his billion$ is more important than the millions who wish to enforce their privacy-right? The internet in many cases just used as a time shifting PVR. Bring ultraviolet to the UK immediately and that will solve copy-right faster than SOCA!


  23. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Paedophiles and Terrorists are varieties of criminal

    As such, they should be handled in the same way we handle all other criminals:

    - By the police.

    - With oversight from the courts.

    - Not by some sort of super-secret intelligence service led star chamber.

    In a criminal investigation, if someone falls under reasonable suspicion and the police wish to tap their communications or enter their premises to gather evidence, a warrant is required. I can see the argument that such warrants should not be public knowledge between the times that they are granted and when they are carried out. However, a record should be available of the existence of a warrant, and the details of the warrant SHOULD be public after it has expired. This is called accountability and is vital to any properly functioning democracy.

    Terrorism and paedophilia arguably pose less of a threat than other day-to-day hazards such as crossing the road. They are, however, emotive and can thus be used to manipulate the public through their fears. Anyone doing so should fall immediately under suspicion. I'm looking at you, Theresa May. Well done to David Davis for having the balls to stand up to this nonsense. We can only hope that this does not make it into law. This sort of authoritarianism was precisely why many of us hated the previous government so much. not because we were doing anything wrong, but because of the sheer wrong-headedness of the 'nothing to hide nothing to fear' and 'innocent until proven guilty' mentality.

    1. ridley

      Re: Paedophiles and Terrorists are varieties of criminal

      "However, a record should be available of the existence of a warrant, and the details of the warrant SHOULD be public after it has expired."

      I really hope that you do not mean that.

      I was falsely arrested and a search warrent used to search my house/business and after a thorough investigation and no evidence having been found (of course not I had not done anything) the case was dropped.

      Should details of the warrant used be public knowledge then?

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Paedophiles and Terrorists are varieties of criminal

        If a record is available of all warrants, along with a record of the suspects innocence, in this case yours, this then shines a light on the granting of inappropriate warrants. It does show that you were under suspicion, so there is an argument for the names and addressess of innocent parties to be removed from the public record. The alternative is to have this sort of thing unregulated. If someone is falsely accused, but there is no record of why, or by whom, then nobody is accountable, and this sort of thing will continue without any checks and balances.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Paedophiles and Terrorists are varieties of criminal

      "Well done to David Davis for having the balls to stand up to this nonsense. "

      He's one of the few Conservatives with enough of an IT background to spot the BS for what it is.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now, more than ever...

    El Reg needs a .onion server.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Creeping already

    The BBC quotes the Information Commissioner thus:

    "The information commissioner said public bodies not involved in dealing with serious crime or national security, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, should have to apply to a court before access was granted."

    I would have been more encouraged if he had said "...will be told to fuck off".

    The root of my objection to this whole concept is the certainty that access will be provided beyond the spooks and the serious crime plods to the public sector in general, and he has just confirmed it for me.

    Still, the HSec did say "when parliamentary time allows", so maybe they've realised it was a mistake

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh FFS

    Jesus, yet another stupid waste of time. We have a government that cannot ensure even the essentials of daily life can be supplied - to wit last weeks fuss over fuel, that does not have a strategy for growth as evidenced by the recent budget which to quote the CBI was a political budget not one to grow the economy, and that lost control of law and order in many cities last summer.

    There are so many things wrong with Ms May's proposals that I don't know where to start. Apart from the loss of freedoms from this proposal (which should be reason enough to can this) this is just a total waste of my money. The government should concentrate on shrinking itself and shrinking my taxes, not taking lessons from the Stasi about state surveillance. W*nkers.

  27. a cynic writes...

    In other news the BBC are reviving "Yes Minister"

    For those not old enough to have seen it it's the tale of an ineffectual insecure politician being governed by his civil servants.

    Can't think what reminded me...

  28. Eponymous Cowherd

    Home Sec: Web snoop law will snare PAEDOS, TERRORISTS


    Really, really, really really, really mind bogglingly STUPID ones.

    The rest will know they are being watched and take the simple steps needed to avoid it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eat this.

    sex with children.


    plant bombs in London.

    Praise Allah.

    The IRA


    Long Live Bin Laden

    Pakistan, China.

    Training Camps.







    There that give then to trawl.

    I propose the whole of the UK batters the web and emails with keywords likely to set off an alert.

    May 28th - International Amenesty Day.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      Re: Eat this.

      haha... like it.

      i might just add that at the bottom of our exchange emails, either in the data or white text ;) you know, just for the lulz! :)

    2. Miek

      Re: Eat this.


  30. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Of course, the Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP) was relabeled from the Communications Capabilities Consolidation Programme (CCCP)

  31. Christoph

    The Usual Trick

    Look at this extreme example! That obviously means we have to watch *everybody* so we can stop this kind of thing!

    Ridiculous over-reaction.

    How long will it be before in every court case the defendant's web and email history gets scanned to find juicy things that can be produced in court?

    Oh, and your web history of course lists lots of sites that you never knew you were accessing, including all sorts of advertising pop-ups and similar.

    In fact it would be very easy for the prosecution to check which sites you access regularly, and see if they can sneak some code onto one of them that accesses terrorist and/or paedophile sites without you knowing. Then wave that in court as absolute proof that you must be a criminal!

  32. david willis

    If its in the news for a week.

    There's a saying that if a politician drops the ball, and that story rolls on in the media for a week, then a politicians head will roll.

    The current fuss about monitoring the internet, panic buying petrol etc seems to have completely ovewhelmed the story of the week. The conservative party, for an amount of £ would let you talk to the PM and maybe get your agenda implimented as government policy. This is corruption. At the Highest levels. We seem to have forgotten this in all the hogwash that has happened in the last 7 days.

    PS we already do monitor comms, however the agency / groups doing the monitoring need a court order to do it. Whats the problem with this? too much paperwork to get 60 million court orders?, apple probably have an app for that..

  33. gaz 7
    Big Brother

    no big database

    but how big can excel spreadsheets get?

    This is obviously a MI/Police thing - since they thought it was a bad idea when in opposition then why doesnt dave go a pair and tell them to do one!

    And this all kind implies that we are all under suspection all the time, and by assocaition are all suspected paedos and terrorists - not nice!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: no big database

      We are all under suspicion all the time

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because it's always better to go after peadophiles and terrorists without a warrant.

  35. Daniel Bower

    The following statement is a joke - I repeat a joke

    Everytime I see Teresa May I'm reminded of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    She's a witch - Burn her!

    How do you know she's a witch?

    She looks like one...

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: The following statement is a joke - I repeat a joke

      Teresa May channels Jacqui Smith.

      It's not pretty.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go yet another round of we need to see what you are doing, but not the other way around. I thought it was the government that represented the people, but it seems politicians forget this. On their way into power they scream murder about the erosion of civil liberties then once in .....

    So if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about? OK so why was all that black ink over the "full disclosure" during the expenses claim scandal? Official secrets? They are OK? It's just the unofficial ones then?

  37. LinkOfHyrule

    This is all like an episode of Yes Minister, if Yes Minister was shit. Shit Minister?

    Also, "Home Sec"...? Is that the DIY division of Lulzsec or something?

  38. The BigYin

    Think of the children?

    I do think of the children. I want the children to grow up in a society that respects freedom, where the public are free to question their the government and hold it to account, where it is hard (nay, impossible) for the state to prevent corruption being brought to the fore, where freedom of speech (by any means), and movement are sacrosanct.

    And instead of this we are allowing a world to be created where every aspect of a child's life is indexed, monitored, controlled and a request for privacy taken as an admission of guilt.

    A corrupt, secretive and snooping government is of more threat to children than all the paedos and terrorists in the world multiplied together.

    And, as others have said, all this will do is cause those of us with some level of technical prowess to engage in active encryption/blocking, educate others on how to do so and create the tools to make it even easier so that everyone can protect their privacy. Tools which, unfortunately, could be used by others with less noble goals.

    This law will CREATE even more of the problems it seeks to solve.

    This law is wrong.

    Theresa May is wrong.

    The ConDems are wrong, Labour was wrong.

    Our entire government and the EU are wrong; they are no longer fit-for-purpose.

    Kick the people hard and often enough, they will kick back in time; it is never a clean fight, regardless of who triumphs. Read some history.

  39. Tony S

    Where to start?

    Part of the issue is that we don't yet know exactly what is going to be in the proposed legislation - it might not be as bad as we think. (Which of course also means that it could be far worse)

    It's easy to complain in Internet forums or use Twitter to make various comments, but those things are unlikely to have any real impact especially given that most MPs appear to be so technologically naive.

    I'm certainly going to write to my MP (letter is about half way through) and highlight my concerns; I will also send a copy to the Home Office, although I think that they will do little good. But then once the details are available, I will write again to challenge all of the key points that they make. If they get enough letters they may start to take notice (or they may just ignore us plebs). But at least I know that I will have done something to try to stop this godawful plan.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        What have you missed ...

        A FALSE NEGATIVE could result in a real atrocity.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What have you missed ...

          This is what we call "the price of freedom".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Thoguht

              Obviously I didn't check my ambiguometer before posting! What I meant was that the possibility that under-monitoring might allow an atrocity is the price of freedom. You can't have freedom and security, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

            2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: @Thoguht

              "He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither..."

              A *lot* of people had this on their sig post 9/11.

              Important to remember this one.

        2. JimmyPage Silver badge

          Re: What have you missed ...

          OK, why the downvotes ?

        3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: What have you missed ...

          "A FALSE NEGATIVE could result in a real atrocity."

          Or as Stalin put it "Better a 100 innocent men go to jail than one guilty man goes free."

          Current thinking is Stalin's character was psychopathic.

          So in fact the only person who *should* have been locked up was Stalin.

  40. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Theresa May does not understand us

    Paedophiles and terrorists are not scary any more. If she wants to cause enough fear to get dangerous legislation passed, she should threaten us with bankers.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    PAEDOS == Bogeyman Of The Cyber-Industrial Complex

    Yeah, we urgently need to sell overpriced harddisks, flash drives, FPGAs, an assortment of software and super-overpriced consulting services.

    Otherwise your little sweet kid will be fiddled by the PAEEEDDOO !!!!!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: PAEDOS == Bogeyman Of The Cyber-Industrial Complex

      You forgot the Deep Packet Inspection kit those nice men from Dettica (BAe Systems subsidiary, and whose parent companies CEO enjoys unlimited access to the PM) who are *very* keen to outfit all those ISP machine rooms with their top of the line spiffy hardware.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lord High Chancellor Cameron

    Well when does he get the new title?

    Anon as twas the only way to get the right icon.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No chance of this happening.

    I doubt this will ever happen in the UK, the condemnation seems to be universal.

    One thing for certain, if they tried it in Poland the government would be out of office and hounded to death for eternity. The Poles have had this sort of **** in the past and they know what it means.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No chance of this happening.

      Apparently Poland actually has the worst record for surveillance on its citizens:,Poles-still-under-watchful-eye-of-Big-Brother

  44. Camilla Smythe


    Who put Vanessa Felz in charge of the home office?

  45. ACx

    When you want to treat your population like criminal scum just mention two words :



    Job done.

    But what does my head is is that we all know this, right? So the hell do they get away with it? Why do "we" let it happen? The majority of people will just sit there and do nothing to oppose it.

    I do think we in the UK need to wake up and smell the coffee. This is not a Tory or Labour thing, the last government wanted to implement this and dropped it. Now this government is having a go.

    And what is it about politicians that makes them see us as some sort of enemy? Both do it. Why do they act like we don't have a democracy?

    Honestly, what have we done to the establishment to make the hate us so much?

  46. Pen-y-gors

    Sauce for the goose...

    I put in an FOI request to the Home Office a couple of days ago asking for a list of all web sites visited by the Home Secretary in the last 12 months, together with the e-mail addresses of everyone e-mail she has sent/received. I'm sure they'll happily supply it - she has nothing to hide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sauce for the goose...

      FOI: whilst looking through the 3GPP website (standards for UMTS/3G telephones) I was amused to find a report on telephone surveillance discussions - one particular standards development email which mentioned that "as Holland has just passed the WOB (freedom of information law) we are now moving these discussions to an encrypted mailing list"

      that wonderfully sums-up the whole concept behind FOI (a law for selling shredders!?)

  47. Magnus_Pym

    Is it even possible?

    Doesn't all this rely on the ISP being able to track users email and web access? I wonder if there is any money to made from some kind of encrypted forwarding service.

  48. IDoNotThinkSo

    The neighbours unencrypted wifi just got more tempting ;-)

  49. Josh 15

    Hiding behind child protection is an age-old trick...

    Ms May speaks with forked tongue. On the one hand, she trumpets the recent 'smashing' of 'a major international child pornography website', yet on the other she is insisting a huge new data mining infrastructure is required to catch paedophiles. This insistence is also at odds with the latest IWF report, which informs us that not only is there no child porn hosted in the UK whatsoever, but incidents of foreign hosted CP are in major decline, as is the mythical notion of 'commercial' CP, something that if it ever existed anywhere else but in the minds of over-zealous poilcemen, is now more elusive than ever by all accounts.

    The Home Secretary cannot have it both ways. Is there a major CP industry here in the UK, or elsewhere, necessitating these draconian, invasive new laws - laws which will affect the rights and privacy everyone in the UK using online services? Has this been demonstrated by CEOP and by the IWF beyond all doubt?

    If not, I suspect that what we are looking at here is yet another ACPO job creation scheme funded by taxpayers for the benefit of ex-coppers looking to top up their already generous pensions. After all, if it's good enough for CEOP and IWF why wouldn't they want to expand the wheeze? 'Child protection' is the gift that just keeps giving.

    As you were.

  50. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Is ms May one of the *four* Ministerst believed to actually *be* in charge of their departments?

    Or is she one of those being used as a sock puppet by her senior civil servants?

    What do you think?

    The IMP was championed by the head of SOCA at the time (a PPE) the former head of MI6 (another PPE) and the Head of GCHQ (Degree in particle physics IIRC)

    IE their *direct* understanding of what is actually *involved* (and it's cost and complexity) is precisely f**kall.

    Dettica (formerly Smith Associates and a BAe Systems subsidiary) where looking to supply the hardware for the DPI. You can bet their snouts are still looking to get deeply into this trough.

    And £2Bn is what the HMG is looking to pay the *ISP*s for the work.

    The *real* cost for the new hardware, systems and staff at GCHQ (24/7/365 naturally) will be *secret* (so as no one is meant to know what it is no one will be embarrassed should it rise a bit. IIRC the average govt IT project is 2.5x the original estimate, IE 150% over budget, but I'm not current).

    As for the "No single database" BS if they mandate a *standard* database layout which *all* ISP's have to clone it then becomes a problem in disseminating a common query to the set of local servers and aggregating the results for unified display.

    Note they have been clear it's not *content* they are after (*yet* that is).

    But remember that comms information would probably include any *data* fields passed back to the website.

    Make it clear to your government.

    99.999% of the time you have No need to ask, No need to know.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is ms May one of the *four* Ministerst believed to actually *be* in charge of their departments?

      When I last heard Detica and BT discussing the black-box installations it seems they were going to be sent 'signatures' from some centralised point. The "scarfing"(analysis/comparison) of the passing citizen data traffic was to match/search for trigger signatures. The supply of trigger signatures would ultimately be from the cloud of cybersecurity initiatives - maybe ITU maybe NSA.

      On the plus point - it could look for virii and stuxnets , but I gather it would also spend time on ACTA enforcement - with the scarf seeds coming from Hollywood. As the CCDP boxes are DPI - deep packet inspection systems - that can actually manipulate and CHANGE the citizen data-traffic , like PHORM did of course ( but PHORM just went for the adverts.) This CCDP system could, in some dystopian future, reroute all internet mentions of "Gorgeous George" away from respect webpages to or could make all postings supportive of IMP/CCDP

      THE VERY BIG DANGER is that this CCDP product, the DPI box, will in a very short period be simply absorbed into the internet infrastructure. the CISCO/ERICSSON Switches & Routers will run IMP/CCDP scarfing and data analysis functions just as a software load, just as another real-time application. This functionality will inevitably come. It would be nice to debate sensibly and seriously and define how surveillance will respect the 2013 bifurcated European Data Protection laws.

  51. Sarev

    I know how to make us all safer...

    ...we should handcuff all our citizens to radiators in their houses and place them all under 24/7 CCTV supervision. I bet that'd cut the crime rates massively and we're half way there already...

    I can't help but be aghast at the utter contempt displayed towards us by anyone who attempts to justify some crackpot legislation by saying it will "help to catch criminals". Yes, it's easy to think of ways to cut crime - the trick is doing so without pissing all over everyone else's freedom.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So she writes an opinion piece in The Sun (who's attitude to lorranorder is best summarised as flog-em-an-hang-em-and-flog-em-again-for-a-good-measure) outlining her proposals and *then* tells Parliament.

    Remind me, didn't the Tories berate New Labour for doing just this?

  53. rpjs


    Why don't the Home Office just have the honesty to rename themselves the Public Control Department and give the shade of Wilfred Greatorex the credit he deserves?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "leaving us here in Vulture Central to wonder if that's because instead there will be a clutch of small ones."

    Or there already is a large database.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm thinking this means...

    ... GCHQ boffins have finally cracked the TOR network.

    1) There's been a spate of TOR "dark web" related "revelations" in mainstream media recently. It never used to get a mention, probably because The Powers That Be didn't want Joe Public finding out about it.

    2) The surveillance kit and associated legislation would be completely pointless if all the baddies had to do was use TOR (if they weren't using it already).

    3) The real reason the legislation got dropped previously was because someone at GCHQ pointed out that the baddies were using TOR and that there was no point causing a fuss over surveillance laws until they'd cracked it.

    Don't misunderestimate the compute power of the Concrete Doughnut - they've been developing their own data storage and mass data analysis systems for some time. For example, they've had the capability to decrypt SSL in real time for ages.

    Don't ask me how I know... ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tor is 'owned' by United States Navy with US Patent No. 6266704 (1998)

      IRAN has been regularly finding ways to identify activists using Tor

      first they noticed that Tor used to identify itself with the keyword `Tor' in the Organization Name field of its own SSL Server Certificate

      cue arrests/torture/shooting

      then IRAN noticed that the Tor certificate Time-To-Live data field was unique amongst internet certificates

      cue arrests/torture/shooting


      google 'bugdoors'

      google 'workfactor reduction'

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: I'm thinking this means...

      "Don't ask me how I know... ;-)"

      I call rumormongering.

      If you really knew, you wouldn't be posting here.

      Also, what SSL traffic? DES, 3DES, AES256?

    3. M Gale

      Re: I'm thinking this means...

      It is not only easy, but pathetically easy to crack a certificate-based encryption mechanism, when you control the certificates.

  56. Eduard Coli

    "Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated," said the Home Secretary.

    That is hardly any way to talk about our dear MPs!

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a business opportunity

    If this happens it is time to investigate the formation of a business club - which happens to also provide access to the Internet using a well encrypted vpn, bouncing of let's say a country where your IP address is private property (banks, mountains, chocolate, border of the EU - you get it) and then for each outgoing connection opens a secundary ghost connection - both going to a TOR engine somewhere else (all you need is a large enough pipe) ... good luck catching anything with that ...

    No sir, we are not an isp, this is an invite only club with HQ (somewhere very far away)

    No sir, we are not retaining any data, this is for our members only

    No sir, this is completely encrypted end-to-end and no servers in the UK/EU or US ...

    Eat that MFs !

    And I'll throw in a small bonus: a randonized ghost will send emails and perform lots of complicated surfing in the UK when there is capacity (with non static ips of course) so this will steadily increase the required storage capacity as some generated emails will be 10-50 MB with attachments, all encrypted and uncompressable ... Store stat MFs ...

    Who is the bitch now ?

  58. Derek Currie


    I personally have turned in UseNet pedophile sites. I comprehend. However: We all know damned well that this is the gentle, careful, don't scare the peasants, passive propagandist, logically justified creation of a POLICE STATE.

    Blethering promises by anyone, including a respected home secretary, are worthless tripe. What's on the paper with the signature? Oh I see: AN ORWELLIAN POLICE STATE.

    There are no excuses for citizen abuse, ever. There is no rational for citizen abuse, ever. There is no great and noble cause that abuses citizens, ever. KILL THIS CRAP NOW while we can. We don't need police state laws. We all know they'll be ABUSED. There's always some pyschopathic nutjob or silly party who'd love to go to the extreme and abuse us all using the 'law' as their justification. It's inevitable. Don't even remotely allow the possibility of this being able to happen.

    NO POLICE STATE, EVER. Responsible freedom for all, forever!

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No U-Turn

    Channel 4 News' analysis tonight suggests all the media's negative criticism & online fury have only slowed the passage of the bill, not stopped it. The coalition's chief worry doesn't seem to be their massive hypocrisy but the fact the media presentation of the bill has been mishandled. While I would prefer this proposal never sees the light of day again I am realistic enough to know the coalition's MPs are craven enough to vote this in. I hope they suffer an electoral backlash, but if this proposal is past I will definitely restrict my internet usage.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The New Politics

    I'm wondering what we'll find out this gets used for unofficially, unless of course they abolish the 30-year rule... I think it would be an ideal tool for setting up an extra-judicial political control system. The grey men see the way things are going in Spain and Greece, and don't want that happening here when the real austerity starts to bite and disillusion turns to discontent. Having this data in private hands eases plausible deniability and circumvents the tedious bureaucracy of authorised access. All we need now is a new version of the Economic League (remember them?) to implement "Nudge Economy" ideas in the political arena. Look for minor politicos suddenly going quiet; civil rights campaigners "seeing the error of their ways"; the awkward squad coming round to a more respectable way of thinking, as their private lives become the property of... well you don't need to know who owns you now. For those who won't be chilled out, there's always a public scandal (I'm starting to wonder about Julian Assange and Dominique Strauss-Kahn). And the current lacklustre crop of MPs need have no worries that anything better will come along to supplant them - the gardeners will weed out any tall poppies before they get noticed. Welcome to the Decline and Fall.

  61. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The data fetishists are still *very* much in place.

    The collect-everything-all-the-time


    They want it all (and they want it *now).

    Which BTW was the original motto of what became the Red Bridgades.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Re: The data fetishists are still *very* much in place.

      Not to mention the fun they will have gathering information on celebrities and other high profile people. Such personal information will be very useful for blackmailing opposition politicians or union bosses into backing down.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Random webpages

    They want to hope nobody omes up with the idea of a massively distributed app that randomly loads thousands of webpages 24/7 and is used by millions of people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Random webpages

      There's a plug-in for Chrome & Firefox called Trackmenot that randomly searches Google & other search engines for random queries & occasionally clicks on them.

  63. Maty

    Terrorists and paedophiles don't scare me half as much as the Home Office.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Terrorists and paedophiles don't scare me half as much as the Home Office.

      Nor should they .

      The HO "cure* is *much* worse than the disease.

  64. tfewster

    Let me see if I've got the timeline right...


    Labour propose IMP

    Public outcry

    Tories & Liberals jump on bandwagon, condemning IMP


    May: Labour lose general election (correlation does not imply causation, but their contempt for

    the taxpayer was a major reason I voted against them)

    November: ConDem do a U-turn and resurrect IMP

    April 2012: Proposals become widely known, causing public outcry

    ??? 2010 Will Labour now condemn IMP ? Possibly on cost rather than moral grounds.

    May 2015: General election. Might a "courageous" pursuit of unpopular* legislation affect the election campaign & outcome? Would the opposition parties take advantage of this in their election campaign?

    June 2015: Target date for implementation of unpopular* legislation.

    * Depends how you spin it

  65. Packet

    And this is what we fought 2 world wars for?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Anglo-Saxons, go home!

      Technically, WWI wasn't the UK's business. And definitely not the US' business. Getting swept up in "anti-hun" propaganda doesn't count.

      1. Jay 2

        Re: Anglo-Saxons, go home!

        What happens in the Balkans...

        Yep, in short the start of WWI was more or less the same as 2 blokes having a bit of an altercation in the pub, in which they both drag in their (slightly reluctant) mates before it all kicks off because no-one involved is willing to lose face and walk away. And in that case the US is someone minding their own business until someone bumps into him and spills his pint...

    2. M Gale


      More cynical types might suggest that WW1 was actually about Iraqi oil (how things change eh?)

      For more information from one of said cynical types, I recommend Robert Newman's Apocalypso Now, on audio CD or, well, Youtube. Also see Caliban to Taliban and his other various works.

  66. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    It looks like the UK will be playing "Enemy of the State" for real.

    There's at least one Jon Voigt character at the back of this s**t.

    They are professional *bureaucrats*, not intelligence staff.

    Sadly no one is penciled in for the Will Smith role.

    Which will make *everyone* an EOTS.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crime would be detected easier if we left our doors open for the Police to go around and look through our things, but would you like that?

  68. Chris Sake

    Cunning plan

    By the Royal Mail. Is it not curious that they have recently increased the postage rates?

    CCDP may drive not only those of the Paedo 9/11 persuasion, but we ordinary mortals, to forsake electronic communications and use letters again.

    Result: profits all around for the RM.

    Reminder to self: must dust out my old microdot kit.

  69. Chris Sake

    Liberty Crossing

    Does this work anyway?

    [According to the Internet:] The National Counterterrorism Center in Virginia sucks up data from various agencies (reputedly over 1,270 US government and 1,930 government-contracted companies), yet failed to identfy Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, even though intelligence had been provided about him to the CIA.

    As some tame ex-general said, "The complexity of this system defies description. We can’t effectively assess whether it’s making us more safe.”

  70. BingyBongy

    Even worse...

    The quote that is most worrying seems to have gone unheard - "The idea is to update legislation to stop them (criminals) being able to cover their tracks and keep their communication secret"

    How would you read that? Are they going to try and ban encryption, VPN's etc.....??????

  71. chr0m4t1c

    Think of the adults

    >"Last year, police smashed a major international child pornography website based in >Lincolnshire. They then used internet data analysis to find other suspected paedophiles," she >said.

    Was that the one were they then arrested a load of people who turned out to be the victims of credit card fraud but went ahead and destroyed their lives then put them on the "no smoke without fire" rumor register just to be on the safe side and make sure they couldn't get another job?

    Or am I thinking of a different child pornography ring?

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't think 'Internet anonymity is my right' is going to work on this one lads.

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Checks / balances?

    You have to be sensible. If there is a genuine serious credible threat the options should at least be looked at. If there is a clear process for starting an investigation (i.e. not just a fishing expedition), judicially approved controls required in advance and some form of third party review, I'd be OK it.

    In short, there would need to be controls to stop feature creep into it becoming a casually and widely abused system for police to go dragnetting for low hanging fruit to improve their crime catch numbers. It is possible to do, the issue is we don't trust the people who implement these things to not abuse it.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Checks / balances?

      "If there is a clear process for starting an investigation (i.e. not just a fishing expedition), judicially approved controls required in advance and some form of third party review, I'd be OK it."

      Err. There already *is*. It's called the RIPA.

      And since the UK *already* stores comms data historically under the EU Data Retention directive for the *maximum* time required (the EU DRD was written in the UK) that is a not a problem.

      It's *real* time access they want to this data.

      Of *everybody's* comms data

      On demand.

      Without a warrant.

      Does that change things for you Mr (or Ms) AC?

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what about people who host their own email servers?

  75. Frank Butcher
    Black Helicopters

    planning apps

    Gov wants to build new third runway at say, stansted, Locals rightly get up in protest. They form a group who become quite successful in repelling Gov land grabbers. WayHAy , it turns out the leader of said citizens searched <porn> or other nasty website, it leaks out. And can we trust the police with this stuff? They look like they are ready to sell out their Grandmas (+romance with Wayne Rooney) already, so no, we cant. Teh gov are in the pockets of large Corps and other interests, who are desperate to spy on your every decision.

  76. This post has been deleted by its author

  77. The People

    Teresa May is the uk's Hillary Clinton

    The two despots meet to plot the next nazi take over / police state. (small steps)

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