back to article Paris terror attacks: ISPs face pressure to share MORE data with governments

Government ministers from European states, who met in Paris today in the wake of the atrocious attacks that stunned the French capital's population last week, have called on internet firms to do a better job of cooperating with spooks and police to help them fight terrorism. In a joint statement (PDF) from a number of Europe's …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Didn't take the spineless molluscs very long to pull the only stunt that their hindbrains can still generate.

    How are Ukraine and Lybia coming btw? More 100% Euro-Successes that will blow in our faces like overcooked pastrami. Don't even mention the Euro-destroying Draghi on the economics front.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Separately, the U.S. administration confirmed it would convene a meeting on 18 February to discuss tackling the global fight against Islamic extremism.

      Which is entering YEAR 15 at LEAST (does blowing up aspirin factories in Sudan by Clintonian Cruise Missile count?). I suspect this means more droning of weddings, Loya Jirgas and suspicious meetings of dangerous children, and possibly double taps to get red crescent workers.

      Not enough blowback yet? Apparently not. Where is my "change" btw?

      Note that the US needs more drone operators, they are actually planning to pay bonuses to attract more of the armchair warriorsstarship operators.

      We are far gone and going deeper fast.

      1. Christoph

        The number of people killed in Paris is roughly about two months worth of the number of children killed as bystanders by drone strikes. The difference being of course that we are killing those children to Fight Terrorism!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well it is expected

      I do not see how it could have helped

      Nearly all recent developed world terror attacks share the same pattern:

      1. Attackers were known to the security forces

      2. Attackers under surveillance so the ISPs _WERE_ cooperating already to the maximum extent technically possible

      3. In ~ 50% or so cases (Adebolajo, etc) attackers were either supposedly informants or there was an attempt to make them such

      4. Attackers were all internal - not imports and cross-border attacks like Mumbai or the stuff in Africa

      5. Attackers were specifically noted as "subjects of interest" by at least one other country even in cases where countries do not openly cooperate much. Boston bombers by Russia to US, Charlie Hebdo attackers by US to France, etc.

      If they are incapable of following people that are top priority on their "attention list" already, what else do they f*** want? Stalin as a head of state? Or Kim Chen X (for a given value of X)?

      Can I make an alternative suggestion? Instead of asking ISPs to cooperate more - tell the "UK/US Strategic Ally" (named this way on the same page as Paris reports in Guardian today, World section) to F*** OFF and sell its oil elsewhere. Yes, that same ally whose princes tend to attend the same private school as the UK ruling class. The same ally that we have stopped investigating for corruption in military equipment sales. Yes, that one. The one.

      There is surplus on the world market, we can live without financing their extensive support for extremism.

      1. Mark 85

        Re: Well it is expected

        An excellent analysis in my opinion. Maybe it's not "more" surveillance but perhaps "better". And by better, take the info you have and follow up. Time after time, there's no follow-up or even a cursory check. The agencies say "yeah, we had that one on our radar to take a look at.." but they didn't even examine it, or follow up.

        We don't need more slurping and privacy invasion, we just need the agencies to concentrate on processing the info they already get instead of collecting it.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Well it is expected

          "We don't need more slurping and privacy invasion, we just need the agencies to concentrate on processing the info they already get instead of collecting it."

          This applies across the board.

          The police studiously ignored reports of people with firearm licenses who were exhibiting signs of instability - one of the main contributors to Dunblane being able to happen as a f'instance, then kneekjerked and used their collossal fuckup as an excuse to attempt to criminalise thousands of law-abiding gun owners.

          Giving the "agencies" _more_ indiscriminate scraping powers is simply going to result in them being able to pile the bullshit higher and deeper, whilst not being able to see the forest for the trees.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well it is expected

        1. Attackers were known to the security forces

        And they carried out their attacks a few months after they had been downgraded as a risk, when the security services started to concentrate on other subjects. Curious, no?

        Maybe GCHQ et al should spend a bit more time looking into who might be spying on them, or passing on internal information, before they increase the amount of clearly ineffective spying on the rest of us?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well it is expected

          You should also consider that the armed police in a car outside of the Charlie Hebdo offices had also just been stood down a month or so ago...

      3. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Well it is expected

        "1. Attackers were known to the security forces"

        You forgot "0. Create circumstances for extremism to flourish'

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: Destroyed All Braincells

      "....Libya...." Hold on a sec, weren't you and your chums claiming only not too long ago that Libya was part of that "wonderful" Arab Spring, and all due to the Great Revelations brought to us by Bradley/Chelsea Manning? Seems that much repeated claim has been forgotten now that the Arab Spring has turned into such a big mess (

      1. NumptyScrub

        Re: Destroyed All Braincells

        "....Libya...." Hold on a sec, weren't you and your chums claiming only not too long ago that Libya was part of that "wonderful" Arab Spring, and all due to the Great Revelations brought to us by Bradley/Chelsea Manning? Seems that much repeated claim has been forgotten now that the Arab Spring has turned into such a big mess (

        Well, in fairness I've also seen it claimed by many (yourself included) that more surveillance powers are required for security services to fight terrorism. We then find out that those same services are already surveilling well beyond their remit (apparently this is fine because they don't care about normal people) and yet they still completely failed to prevent the Paris attacks, done by people who were already on their radar as persons of interest.

        If the security services are already just blanket scoffing all the data they can get their hands on, and yet they still fail to prevent these atrocities, then it would appear that blanket scoffing of data isn't working too well. It would also appear that the criteria they use to downgrade potential threats are also flawed (these people apparently having been downgraded prior to going on a rampage).

        Now I've done some thinking on this, and if you truly want to wipe out internal terrorism (aka a 0% chance of a terrorist event occurring in-country), the only viable solution is permanent surveillance of the entire country. Anything that is not under constant surveillance has the potential to be used by terrorists for secret meetings, so everything has to be under constant surveillance or the whole exercise is pointless; someone will inevitably slip through and people will die anyway.

        So you have to be comfortable with GCHQ filming you on the bog, and filming your kids in the bath, if you truly want to prevent terrorism. Terrorists are apparently perfectly capable of using encryption to avoid detection, they are also going to be perfectly capable of using sign language in an unmonitored bathroom to avoid detection. On the plus side, it would also make it impossible to commit a crime and remain undetected, and it would be impossible to go back on your word without facing the consequences, as we would have recordings of all actions and conversations available for evidence at trial.

        It does, however, also allow those people collating and reviewing the surveillance the ability to choose what to disseminate, and what not to disseminate, and as such I could not countenance it without hard proof that those people were truly incorruptible.

        How far would you be comfortable for government surveillance to go? 24/7 monitoring of everything, or something short of that (which would allow terrorists enough leeway to continue to meet and plan in secret)?

    4. James Micallef Silver badge

      " a lot of haystacks in which terrorist needles can hide. That is why our security services need to be given access to the data they require to help to keep us safe"

      Conveniently forgetting that one of these particular needles was an ex-con and a known suspect who was on US no-fly lists. So, once again, the security services* f**cked up because instead of using existing powers to obtain warrants to track a known suspect, they were collecting as much data as possible on everyone and then trawling that for possible suspects.

      And after this approach has once again failed, the answer is to do what???? To gain more access to more haystacks to look through for the same number of needles.

      The incompetence would be unbelievable, except that it is sadly all too clear.

      *In this case the French ones, but the UK, US etc ones are doing the exact same thing

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More competence need not more power

      These security service people don't need more power, they need to be competent.

      The brothers were under surveillance until 6 months before the attack. I look forward to hearing the reasons why the surveillance was dropped in the followup debriefing - though I guess it will be withheld in the name of 'national security'.

  2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Of course the fact that the perps were well known to the authorities and had a prior history of crime and violence will be conveniently ignored.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's almost as if the authorities wanted this to happen.

      No wait, surely not...

      1. FormerKowloonTonger
        Thumb Down

        Re: @G.D.

        It's the snappy, snarky, faux-witty comments such as this which betray the generalized emotional youth, immaturity, and inexperience in the World beyond the keyboard and screen of most of the audience here.

        1. dan1980

          Re: @G.D.

          Ahhh - that explains the single downvotes through this thread.

          Look mate, I am sure that you are the most wise and experienced human alive but some of us use snark and humour to comment and this does not render us 'immature'. When you are faced with an opponent who will largely do what they want regardless of what others think, sometimes ridicule - however ineffectual - is the only response.

          Whatever the threats we face - however scary or credible - the simple fact remains that our politicians, collectively, are talking up bravery the and the preservation of freedom but making laws that discard the former and curtail the latter.

          My own Prime Minister said:

          "We will defend our values. What we can never do is compromise our values in defending them."

          What exactly are our values? I think one of the key values of what we consider our progressive, modern, liberal western societies is that we have privacy and freedom to live our lives without our governments constantly looking over our shoulders. Evidently our politicians don't believe this to be an important 'value'.


          Our country and others like us might hold up multiculturalism and freedom of expression and our inclusiveness as core values but all those are predicated on the foundation of letting people just live their lives in peace and this is what our seemingly inexorable transition to a surveillance state is destroying.

          What happened in Paris is not something one would wish to happen to anyone and many people can look at that (and other such attacks) and see themselves or their loved ones there - what if that was my wife/son/father/friend?

          But, that is the risk we take - when that risk eventuates as real loss, that's when bravery and 'not giving in to fear' is tested. When it's just a risk, we can discount it; when it's made real we must confront it.

          1. FormerKowloonTonger

            Re: @G.D.


            "What happened in Paris is not something one would wish to happen to anyone and many people can look at that (and other such attacks) and see themselves or their loved ones there - what if that was my wife/son/father/friend?"

            But those anguished folks aren't the one's who're blowing up buildings and shooting non-Muslims.

            Our Western Civ, philosophical meanderings will not defeat our butchering Muslim enemy. Nor will futile reposte-snark and ill-advised humor.

            Our Western Civ. philosophical meanderings are rendering us very vulnerable right now. Our problem is learning how to apply our Muslim enemy's tactics and strategy against our Muslim enemy.

            Neville Chamberlain seems to be, retrospectively, the epitome of gentlemanly, impeccable Western Civ.

            Alas, that didn't serve us very well. So, the previously reviled Winston Churchill was finally sought after and became elected. Then ignominiously defeated in election while he was at Potsdam with Truman and Stalin. [Bless him, did he think then, "You're welcome"?]

            Churchill's acerbic wit was/remains lightyears away from the limp humor you advocate and which we see so much of here.

            1. NumptyScrub

              Re: @G.D.

              But those anguished folks aren't the one's who're blowing up buildings and shooting non-Muslims terrorists.

              Our Western Civ, philosophical meanderings will not defeat our butchering Muslim terrorist enemy. Nor will futile reposte-snark and ill-advised humor.

              Our Western Civ. philosophical meanderings are rendering us very vulnerable right now. Our problem is learning how to apply our Muslim terrorist enemy's tactics and strategy against our Muslim terrorist enemy.

              You seem to be conflating "muslim" with "violent psychopath using religion as an excuse" so I've edited your quote for you. Dumbfuckery of that magnitude (conflating "westerner" with "those soldiers here shooting or drone striking innocents") is what they do, not what we should do. We should be taking the moral high ground and not be contributing to any escalation of violence, because escalation of violence never ends well. I learned that quickly enough at school, I had assumed all schoolkids did.

              Much like the escalation of surveillance that this thread is actually about, in fact. I am struggling to think of one positive (i.e. benevolent to its citizens) historical use of a surveillance state, and I can think of a couple of negative uses right off the bat (the words "secret police" have a negative connotation for a reason, it seems).

              Also, kudos for at least not using the phrases "fight fire with fire" or "you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs", even if I was getting that kind of vibe from some of your references.

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

              Re: FormerKowloonTiger Re: @G.D.

              "......non-Muslims......" One of the victims in Paris was a French Muslim policeman, Ahmed Merabet, who was trying to intervene. In fact, the majority of the victims of extremist Muslims are other Muslims, most of them peacefully just trying to get on with their lives.

              ".....Churchill's acerbic wit...." Churchill, having fought Muslims, had no illusions about "Mohammedism", referring to it as the most retrograde theology ( Strangely, and little reported in the West, but Egyptian President Al-Sisi has also commented on "retrograde extremism" and insisted Islam must "modernise" (,7340,L-4612771,00.html). So I'd have to disagree with your portrayal of all Muslims as enemies

              ".....Neville Chamberlain seems to be, retrospectively, the epitome of gentlemanly, impeccable Western Civ......" Neville Chamberlain often gets poor press as some type of bumbling gent desperate for peace, but he was no fool. Whilst he did initially underestimate Hitler's willingness to lie, cheat and break treaties, when he went to Munich in 1938 he went to buy time for Britain to re-arm. As it was, even though he hoped the Munich Agreement had bought "peace in our time", he had learned enough about Hitler at that point to not trust him, so Chamberlain presented a public face of calm whilst accelerating British re-armament. If Chamberlain had really been fooled by Hitler then he would have scaled the expensive re-armament program back. It was Chamberlain's accelerated re-armament program that actually put RAF Fighter Command in the position of being able to fight the Battle of Britain.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @G.D.

        It reminds me of the virus writers versus anti-virus vendors setup. Many people were convinced that the two sides were cooperating, if not one and the same.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so it begins.... Again.

    The Paris shooters were already on the naughty list, but surveillance (apparently) was stopped six months ago to "concentrate on other targets". More impinging on everyone else's freedoms would have made exactly zero difference***.

    I can't bloody wait to see what Obama and Cameron are going to cook up; but I'd lay reasonable odds that it's exactly this sort of ineffective, fatuous bollocks.

    ***Actually it might make a difference in that you'd be creating more people with hostile feelings towards the state. I'm not quite at the terrorism stage; but every time Teresa May opens her mouth it does create a desire in me to go over there with a fish that you can get a good swing with.

    1. Mark 85

      A fish? How sporting of you. Here... I'll give what we use in the States... Louisville Slugger, 33 ounce, Hank Aaron Special. At least your hands won't smell bad from the bat.

      1. dan1980

        @Mark 85

        At least that's what I suspect moiety was referencing. Certainly it feels that way - that we keep getting slapped and slapped until it just has to be let out at some point.

        1. Mark 85

          Ah... thanks Dan. I missed the reference. I'll go stand in the corner and then write: "Check for Monty Python references before responding 1000 times". I don't deserve to be in IT anymore....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I wasn't specifically thinking of that sketch; but it is, of course, impossible to plot any sort of fish-based assault without it coming to mind. I went with the imagery because it's fun and also -as dan1980 pointed out- that's what it feels like she's doing to us.

            Also, it occurs, that you could alter the fish according to the utter fatuousness of the policy. Maybe some hefty pilchards for a light offence and a solid trouting for a big gaffe. I even thought of a 'verbal warning' version where you show a puffer-fish a picture of a predator just before impact. The victim, anticipating a mid-level carping would be delightfully surprised when the fish gently bounced from their face with a 'poink' sound. No idea if it'd work.

            1. dan1980


              Never discount the insult of the (red) mullet, with its distinctive aroma and scaly skin, which irritates the slapee.

              Kudos for "a solid trouting" and "mid-level carping".

              1. Bloakey1

                "Kudos for "a solid trouting" and "mid-level carping."

                I think that a fora such as this is no plaice for such comments but shows what kind of pond life inhabit therein. I must skate off now, toodlepip.

                1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                  "I think that a fora such as this is no plaice for such comments"


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ moiety

      Completely with you re the fish. A good solid slap in public with a wet fish hits just the right note of contempt and derision, and the long term fallout from a culinary assault is politically terminal - Prescott never quite lived down the eggs.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    The gubbermint bar-stewards are getting worse.

    How do they come to the conclusion that there is any connection at all between the two?

    1. Mike Ozanne

      Re: The gubbermint bar-stewards are getting worse.

      "How do they come to the conclusion that there is any connection at all between the two?"

      By the first law of publicity, "Be seen to have a pro-active response, even if it's cobblers"

  5. ratfox
    Thumb Down

    They already had the info and did nothing

    …I'm sure that getting three times more data is going to be so useful. They'll be even less able to find the needle if the haystack when the haystack is three times bigger.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They already had the info and did nothing

      That's the trouble with asymmetric non-state actors, the greater the assymmetry, the more effective the little ba*ds become. We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam when guys in black pyjamas carrying AK47's sent home the most powerful army in the world.

      In many of these latest atrocities, useful information and intelligence was either completely ignored or forgotten in electronic haystacks.

      Look at 9/11, where agency non-communication led to the creation of a monster called Homeland Security. Perhaps if the different agencies had just talked to each other, instead ?

      And it was Russian security agents who warned the FBI about the Boston marathon bombers. Apparently they didn't get the memo.

      There are now millions of people on no-fly lists (including these latest dick heads who killed the cartoonists). That didn't help though, cause they probably just rode on the metro.

      And these are the intelligence failures we hear about. We aren't allowed to know about the successes. That's a big problem. Sounds like they have too much intelligence and are not using it properly, pun intended

      Trillions of dollars spent on star wars, land wars, airport security, drone attacks and mass surveillance haven't made us much safer, quite the contrary. Instead we've just become poorer and more scared. Despite the horror of what happened in Paris, I believe many people were secretly relieved to discover that an Islamic terror cell was actually just a small band of no-hopers who couldn't make it a 100 miles away from the scene of the crime. State asymmetry then paid off and showed the bogeyman in his true light.

      IMHO, more special forces and spooks who get symmetrically and pre-emptively close, personal and occasionally terminal with the bad guys, unpleasant as that may be, are what is really needed. We do not need more people sitting in air-conditioned bunkers moving joy-sticks and scanning emails to find these people, since it seems clear we already know where most of them are.

      We can do without the politically correct hand waving and story telling as well. Terrorists are not the unfortunate victims of mass hysteria and insanity. They are not deserving of our understanding or our pity. Many have been groomed from an early age, are militarily trained and are being directed either remotely or locally by people who truly hate the West. We need to stop treating them like juvenile delinqents and more like the harbinger of an invading army. The French definitely got that last part right this week. If you want to go to Syria and play soldiers, be prepared to face terrorism charges when you come home. If you want to take on a modern nation state, be prepared to end up on a slab.

      Although, personally I have no problem with anonymous civilians making their web sites a lot harder to reach, either. We all need to do our bit.

      1. FormerKowloonTonger

        Re: They already had the info and did nothing

        This pasted quote needs to be repeated out loud, very slowly, at every opportunity, heavily emphasizing the "all".

        "We all need to do our bit."

      2. Mike Ozanne

        Re: They already had the info and did nothing

        "We should have learned that lesson in Vietnam when guys in black pyjamas carrying AK47's sent home the most powerful army in the world."

        Armed with AK47's, SAM-2, SAM-7, RPG-7, PT-76 AFV's, the best Soviet made packable artillery, and the full mobilised support of the North Vietnamese government. This was not an action by "non-state Actors". In fact Giap even pulled the Warsaw manoeuvre during the Tet offensive to make sure there wouldn't be any uppity South Vietnamese banging on about liberating themselves, and that the job would be finished by the NVA.

      3. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: They already had the info and did nothing

        "And these are the intelligence failures we hear about. We aren't allowed to know about the successes"

        Au contraire, even the tiniest pseudo-successes are trumpeted from the rooftops (before being debunked*). The fact that we haven't heard of any big successes means there haven't been any. And I'm sure we hear a lot less about failures, since they would be covered up as much as possible.

        *eg CIA reports to congress and Pro-torture politicians emphasised heavily the "successes" of theeir torture program, but from the CIA's own internal report, they themselves concluded that exactly zero useful intelligence was gained from torture that they hadn't already obtained from normal interrogations

    2. seacook

      Re: They already had the info and did nothing

      Give them more surveillance capability and they will certainly drown. The powers that be need more brain cases on the front lines to keep on top of the EXISTING data collection activities. Also I though that computers and data bases were supposed to help sort/organize the data. I guess that they have not got to that concept yet.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    half of the week only

    For half of the week, I've been wondering, as a french, who had been laughing at Cabu's drawings (rest in peace, mate) for more than 25 years, how long it would take, for those waste of space lot, to wield the "more surveillance" stick.

    Answer: half a week.

    As has been said already, the murderers were all already monitored for terrorism, and subsequently, recently removed (lack of means I think) from the "really dangerous" list, by someone who is really not going to be promoted* ...

    Therefore, more surveillance would have achieved nothing, in this case, as interpretation was the problem, not monitoring means.

    In the next 2 years, we'll probably have, in France, as a Hollande legacy, every single copper (national or not) being able to tap into every citizen's communications, without any judge to even be aware. Heck, probably any civil servant (that's a lot of people) will be able to do this in 2 years, as easily as looking for online geography maps ...

    Fortunately, they won't be able to tap into TOR communications. If you're french, use TOR, for every single internet connection, even

    * I take this back. He's already given a huge promotion, as a gift for not telling how he fucked up. France rewards incompetence.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: half of the week only

      Ah the TOR argument. I am far from the paranoid type but I can say this with some certainty.

      If all your communications are tapped you can essentially scan every TOR exit node can you not? If you use any TOR exit in the EU they can then map the common bits from each exit point and then have you.

      So monitoring everything in a way could be a case of trying to defeat TOR.

      1. regadpellagru

        Re: half of the week only

        You need to read, AC, or work for NSA.

        Have those 2:

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    They're marching in support of freedom of speech!

    Obviously that means we need to watch everyone more, like the Stasi did.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: They're marching in support of freedom of speech!

      Ahhh. But these clever blighters are going to remove and otherwise erode our freedom of speech (terrorist have the right as well as anybody else) and in doing so they will have to worry less about protecting it.

      I even saw a pundit compalining about the lack of surveillance cameras in Paris as opposed to London. Where I live I can travel miles without being spied on.

  8. Teiwaz

    Again, the answer seems to be 'we need more powers'

    You'd almost think this latest inciident was the latest in a long tine of such either orchestrated or 'allowed to happen' to further the goals of some shady global dark agency with an agenda and a detailed game plan.

    Either that or the politcos have so little clue they think if they pump all the information on everyone in the world it will create a computer system that can predict the who when and where of any crime like in Minority Report.

    Perhaps accurate for Cameron, who seems to think CSI is a docu on real policework.

  9. Shaha Alam

    time to open up a security firm in France

    the gravy trains about to roll in lads.

  10. JassMan

    Competence or Incompetence

    The incompetence of the French police in not using data they already had, was only exceeded by the terrorists themselves in their "synchronised" attacks. Synchronised out of time by about 5 hours is like the rotation of the moon around the earth being synchronised with the earth around the sun. Steve Bell's cartoon in the Guardian at the time summed it up with the the terrorist saying "Why are the f*ckers still laughing at us?". This doesn't even take into account that if they had waited a month Charlie would have died a natural death due to bankruptcy and is now likely to bounce back stronger than ever.

    Hopefully Charlie Hebdo will be able to continue with their new found support and attack incompetence wherever it occurs.

    It is also a shame that some imam didn't point out to the brothers that committing suicide while shooting at people doesn't make you a martyr.

    Note to would-be martyrs: Look up the story of Alban (now a saint) and Verulamium.

  11. Graham Cobb Silver badge

    They want Facebook to monitor our speech?

    How can they, when these lives have been lost defending free speech, possibly be asking internet companies to monitor and report what we are all saying online? It is just sickening!

    Will Charlie Hebdo's next cartoons be reported to the government by their email company as subversive?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Once more, with feeling

    (And maybe the last time before some low-level functionary can just type in a query to find out who that disrespectful fucker JustaKOS is)

    Predictably, they use a convenient set of deaths to push an agenda which will only add to the haystacks they already can't sift for the really dangerous people.


    1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: Once more, with feeling

      At least this should mean the end of the speculation about Theresa May as a future Prime Minister. What was needed, on this day of remembrance and outrage, was something statesmanlike and thoughtful. Instead we got a grubby political land-grab. End of Mrs. May's campaign.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Once more, with feeling

        (Oops - looks like the down-voter has arrived.)

        Anyway, it would be nice to think that TM has dropped herself in it, but I doubt it. We have had a consistent approach in this area from Blair through Brown to Cameron, and from all the Home Secs that have been put up to front these measures.

        TM is just the latest spokesdroid - do voters really care? I don't think so and, besides, if they did care, who could they vote for outside of the top 3 parties (who are all singing from the same sheet)?

        It's a steamroller, and it won't stop.

  13. P. Lee

    May I add my voice to the choir

    I'm sure its just as effective as marching...

    To the governments of the world:

    No more data sharing. Snowden did not do a bad thing. You use terror in an attempt to manipulate public opinion far more frequently than those you call terrorists. You have done far more to destroy my freedom than any Islamic terrorist. There are many murders, every day - they are all tragic, not just those politically motivated. You can't beat terrorists, except by ignoring them. I shall ignore you and your requests for more power and encourage others to do the same, as I would the Islamists.

    To the security services:

    A bad reputation and lack of trust is a very difficult thing to shake. The only way to protect your reputation, is not by covering up your wrong-doings, but by only doing right. When nut-jobs come together to kill people, knowing they too will likely be killed, there is precious little anyone can do about it except grieve and refuse to be manipulated. I don't really care if you don't catch them all - I can't realistically expect you to. Put your ego over your job aside - we recognise that the occasional murder it is a cost of freedom.

    1. dan1980

      Re: May I add my voice to the choir

      "To the governments of the world . . . you have done far more to destroy my freedom than any Islamic terrorist."

      Every time I hear one of these politicians talking about how we must protect 'our way of life',the only question is which part of our 'way of life' they are planning to sacrifice next.

      1. Mark 85

        Re: May I add my voice to the choir

        the only question is which part of our 'way of life' they are planning to sacrifice next.

        Not their "way of life" but the rest of us.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: May I add my voice to the choir

      There is nothing to support those premises and more information to counter them. There are genuine issues on how governments and the police share information. However, it is when such information is miss used that should be of concern.

      The crime rates have gone down include murders. It thus various programs that this is accomplished through. This sharing of data has to do with exchanging information on how to reduce crime rates.

      Security services exist for security. The important thing with those services, including government is that are rights are not violated by those services. Specifically, to improve security we do not have to compromise our rights.

      1. dan1980

        Re: May I add my voice to the choir


        "Security services exist for security."

        There is nothing to support that premise : )

        Couldn't resist - sorry. (That's my immaturity . . . )

        "However, it is when such information is miss used that should be of concern. . . . The important thing with those services, including government is that [our] rights are not violated by those services."

        Well, this is the thing. What we know is that our rights have been, are being and will continue to be violated. Frequently, grossly and apparently with an arrogant disregard not just for the rights being violated but also for the people having those rights violated - us.

        That arrogance is the biggest problem because it sets our governments and these agencies as above us - we are the ignorant masses who don't understand just how good we have it and how lucky we are. We should just shut up and trust them because they are smarter than us and know what's best for us and you can't go to that concert because I said so; that's why.

        With that attitude of self-importance they feel they are not answerable to us - the rules that apply to us don't apply to them because, well, you get the idea.

        With that in mind - the sure knowledge that our governments ARE and WILL CONTINUE TO violate our rights - we have to ask ourselves whether the potential benefits of these programmes out weigh the assured intrusions into our everyday lives and what many consider to be the fundamental tenets of our collective way of life.

        In other words, we must ASSUME that our rights will be violated and decide if the supposed benefits are still worth the cost. Yes, one can theorise about the ways that these programmes might be conducted more responsibly and without violating our rights but it's pointless to defend an unrealistic ideal version of something - we have to look at what we have and judge it on the reality of how it works now, not how it could, one day, maybe, if only, wouldn't it be better if it did, if everyone comes around, work.

  14. dan1980

    Subjecting all your citizens to mass surveillance and increasingly intrusive investigations?

    Yep - that's certainly what "being committed to freedom and not giving into fear" looks like.

  15. sena.akada

    So in a very rough nutshell, they plan to protect citizen's right to free speech by further eroding citizen's rights to privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And 'trust us' has worn so thin now it must qualify for investigation as a novel material.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, more like; in a nutshell, they plan to protect citizen's right to free speech by removing the means of free speech.

  16. big_D Silver badge

    Heavy seismic activity

    There must be heavy tremors around Benjamin Franklin's grave these days...

    1. Crisp

      Re: Heavy seismic activity

      We could wrap him in copper wire and replace his headstone with a magnet and solve the energy crisis in one fell stroke!

  17. Chairo
    Thumb Down

    Again doing the terrorist's job?

    What those terrorists hate most, is our liberal society which allows free speech and expression.

    Our governments plan to reduce them.

    The terrorists will be happy to hear this. Mission accomplished, right?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Again doing the terrorist's job?


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Again doing the terrorist's job?

        ...and knowing that their methods work isn't exactly going to discourage the fuckers.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    We don't need more surveillance of society as a whole...

    The two brothers who perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo attack were both on French security services' radar. Both had been known to travel or want to travel to such exotic holiday destinations as Yemen and Iraq, where they were trained in useful skills such as armed combat and intelligence.

    The gentleman who shot up the kosher grocery had been in and out of prison many times, and was a known Islamic extremist and associate of the Charlie Hebdo attackers.

    The fact is that "we" knew who these people were. They had at various points been under surveillance.

    The same thing was true of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. And the same thing was true of the Lee Rigby murderers.

    I don't see how flooding the intelligence services with more false leads from "654 million websites" is going to help make the population safer, when they can't keep an eye on the actual known/suspected militants they already know about.

  19. Pen-y-gors

    Which part of...

    "Certainly - let's see your court order" do governments, police and the 'security' services fail to understand?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They've got plenty of data, just not enough humans to process it. What are they expecting, a message saying "I'm doing to do xyz" passed to them?

    Someone jokes they're going to blow up an airport if they "don't get their shit together", end result? conviction.

    Yet terrorists don't get caught out and when they do it's not always due to intelligence. The EDF march bombers got caught by screwing up their temporary car insurance application (wrong digit on the numberplate).

  21. nsld

    Dr Liam Fox?

    The same Dr Liam who resigned in disgrace after giving access to his mate the lobbyist when he was defence secretary?

    And we are expected to take his call for all our data at face value?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It should be obvious

    to anyone with a clue that authorities and all communication sources should be sharing data to reduce terrorism and digital crime, unless of course you are braindead, then it might not be so obvious to you.

    1. NumptyScrub

      Re: It should be obvious

      Anyone capable of reading will also be well aware that the people committing these heinous crimes were already known to the security services, and were demoted to "not interesting enough to keep an eye on" only a couple of months before this attack.

      Please, enlighten me how giving them unfettered access to read my Facebook account and emails could have prevented a tragedy perpetrated by someone in France that they knew about, but chose to stop watching?

      Apparently if you don't want to be monitored by your own government, all you need to do is associate with known terrorists, go get some proper terrorist training in the Middle East, then come home and don't do anything for a few months; they'll get bored and completely ignore you then. >.<

  23. Flywheel

    Blah blah blah

    As far as I can make out from the safety of my tin-foil hat, the only thing that's really wrong is that the so-called Security Services are so secure they just don't want to talk to each other. I believe the most-quoted post-massacre phrase last year was ".. security service were aware of these people..".

    If they're so aware then why didn't they share the data instead of wasting time on PFY playing around with TOR?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AC for obvious reasons

    When I applied for a data examination job with a certain government agency on the outskirts of Scarborough, I was turned down because I'd never used their systems before and they would have had to train me to know how to use them. Taking their cue from the private sector, they are only prepared to take people on who already know how to do their highly-job-specific job.

  25. Simon Harris

    Pure coincidence?

    A GCHQ advert appeared in the middle of the article when I was reading it.

  26. Scott Broukell

    Worth a listen

    The Beeb World Service have a half hour interview which provides some interesting background to IS called something like 'Bureaucracy and Brutality' available as an mp3. Slightly OT here but it really is worth a listen.

  27. Crisp

    What I don't get is...

    How is reading my email and browser history going to stop crazy people with guns?

    Are terrorists somehow firing bullets via the internet?

  28. Time-to-wake-up

    Pattern: problem, reaction, solution

    Alphabet soup agencies, don't you think this pattern is weighing a bit thin. It's not hard to see time and time again why the patsies who commit terror in the west are already on your agency watch list, because the agencies fund the patsies in the first place. ISIS anyone.

    It's the WW2 German Reichstag over and over and over again - problem, reaction, solution - where the agency that creates the problem provide the solution. All the needs is enough human muppet's to react in fear so to push their solution into law for no ones benefit but their own. For Paris it's now ISP's. God only knows what EU directive has already been created prior to and for the Paris event.

    Of course, we need these laws to maintain our Liberal society, free speech, media and democracy.....Yeah right, pull the other one. Hitler's Europe all over again.

    Muppet's (me included) wake up, stop reacting in fear and take positive control of your life.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I love the logic governments employ in these situations. Someone commits a terrible crime, and the first thing the government wants is all the law abiding citizens to give up their freedoms and privacy. Isn't our privacy and hence to a certain extent our freedom the very thing that governments are supposed to be protecting? And isn't it a fact that given that governments are run by people that a certain amount of corruption is inevitable. Therefore the more privacy citizens sacrifice the more likely, and the easier it will be for that criminal element that always inhabits governments will be able to harm the citizens? In other words this is a slippery slope that history has shown inevitably leads to government oppression, tyranny, and dictatorships. And in case you haven't been paying attention the US Great Briton, and Israel are already a long long way down that slope.

  30. scrubber

    Cameron: "Do we allow terrorists the safe spaces to talk to each other? I say 'no we don't."

    Dear David,

    1. They're not terrorists until they are convicted in a court of law of doing something terror-y. Until then they're citizens.

    2. The only way to deny possible-future-terrorists safe spaces to talk to each other, is to deny EVERYONE safe spaces to talk to each other.

    3. Your duty in government is not to protect us, please stop repeating that falsehood. Drug wars and the nanny state that way lie.


    Subject Under Surveillance

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: scrubber Re: Cameron: "Do we allow terrorists the safe spaces to talk....."

      Still being <CENSORED!>

  31. Chris Parsons

    And don't forget...

    ...think of the children.

  32. Old Handle


    This will more likely be used to silence internet equivalents of of Charlie Hebdo than prevent violent acts. Which means, the terrorists won.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: "The take-away from politicians on both sides of the pond today, once you set aside the posturing about freedom of expression: demands for greater surveillance of citizens' movements online are back on the agenda in a big way."

    The take-away from politicians in all Totalitarian states today, once you set aside the illusion of freedom of expression: demands for greater surveillance of citizens' movements online are back on the agenda in a big way.


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