back to article Apple on the attack against British snooping bill. Silicon Valley expected to follow

Silicon Valley is expected to launch an attack on the UK's Investigatory Powers Bill, following reports that Apple has submitted evidence that it claims puts at risk the “personal data of millions of law-abiding citizens". The bill intends to give police and security services access to the records of every UK citizen’s …

  1. Pen-y-gors

    Slight correction

    the powers laid out in the bill could will be misused


    1. Absent

      Re: Slight correction

      Has there every been an enforcement power that hasn't been misused at some point?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slight correction

      Surely the point is that they are already being misused and this is retrospective legalisation of SOP.

      You know, once upon a time it was the Conservative Party that disapproved of overreaction to terrorism and of mass surveillance. I think that both the Conservatives and Labour have been infiltrated by control freaks. Labour is currently fighting an internal battle over this with the anti-control freaks slightly in the lead. It really is time for the social libertarians in the Conservative Party - they do exist - to speak up more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Fault Finding

        Re: Voyna i Mor

        If we swap out component parts (MPs, political parties, etc) and the fault (over reaching fascist state) still remains, then the fault wasn't with the component part.

        What remains is the intelligence service, media and civil service.

        Since this seems to be a highly organised and effective international effort to spy on citizens I'd rule out the civil service.

        So we now have the Murdock empire and intelligence services (five eyes) as the likely puppeteers.

        My money is on the latter.


        <tin foil hat>

        1. Mike Richards

          Re: Fault Finding

          I've always assumed there is something in the Home Office water supply that turns right-thinking people into authoritarian monsters. Of course, for the likes of Straw, Blunkett and May, they're already most of the way there.

          Can anyone think of the last genuinely enlightened Home Secretary? Ken Clarke, or do we have to go back to Roy Jenkins?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Slight correction

        "I think that both the Conservatives and Labour have been infiltrated by control freaks"

        Not so much infiltrated as politics being a natural career choice for them.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @Doctor Syntax -- Re: Slight correction

          Or perhaps the FLA's have umm... shall we say.... certain information on the distinguished members that probably shouldn't fall into the wrong hands?

          Seriously, the agencies want this info, they collect it and process it. It's a given that any organization that faces restrictions will fight those restrictions with every weapon they have in the arsenal.

      3. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

        Re: Slight correction

        Not just that, they made reduction of snooping one of the items in their election manifesto. Lying bastards? Surely not!

    3. harry1867

      Re: Slight correction

      the powers laid out in the bill could will are being misused


  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Because Silicon Valley looks after UK (and EU) customer data so well they wouldn't want that data to be mis-used.

    So, how is the new Safe Harbour agreement getting on SV?

    1. sysconfig

      While you have a point, Safe Harbo(u)r was scrapped mainly because government agencies in the US can essentially do whatever they like with the data, and no company (who signs up for Safe Harbo(u)r) could possibly guarantee that the personal data is protected.

      The IPB puts the UK at odds with the ECJ's ruling. Lack of oversight, mass surveillance, easier access to (not just meta) data... You indeed would have to question the sanity of policy makers.

      Also, mass surveillance evidently didn't help in the Paris attacks. Whether or not other plots were really thwarted, we don't know. We are supposed to believe they did. On the other hand, the FBI admitted just recently that mass surveillance didn't really help (sorry, don't have the source at hand; maybe someone else can add it).

      So whatever the agenda of $megacorps might be; the more opposition and publicity the IPB gets, the better.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "The IPB puts the UK at odds with the ECJ's ruling."

        If it doesn't get squashed between now & Royal Assent it looks like it will get squashed by another trip to the ECHR.

        1. Bernard M. Orwell

          "If it doesn't get squashed between now & Royal Assent it looks like it will get squashed by another trip to the ECHR."

          Unless, somehow, we withdraw from the EU and ECHR between now and then...

          ....good thing there's no move to do either...owait...

          1. Vimes

            Withdrawing from the ECHR isn't going to happen any time soon given the impact it would have on devolved governments and even the NI peace process itself. It's a mess and they haven't got a hope in hell of sorting it out to their satisfaction. You only have to look at how they've dealt with this to see that it's clear they know this too.

  3. Slacker@work


    So how does this differ from the Patriot act and why have Apple et al not been kicking up a fuss for the last few years??

    1. dogged

      Re: Confused...

      It doesn't appreciably except for the timing. When the USA PATRIOT act (epic naming, guys, not cheesy at all) was introduced pretty much all of America was convinced that Osama bin Laden was going to fly a 747 into their personal trailer with all their guns in it the within the next 45 minutes so SIGINT and law enforcement could ask for anything at all and get it.

      None of the big IT players had any chance against that and Google were probably hoping to be awarded the contract since that's their business model anyway.

      Things are a little different now.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          Re: Confused...and Google were probably hoping to be awarded the contract

          I disagree. Every swipe at G00gle is entirely necessary.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This may be a radical idea but season of goodwill and all that, how about we just stop trying to force people to live the way we want them to and let them live how they want?

    Then we'd not need to snoop into everyone's notionally private communications and viewing pleasures because there'd be more happy people who feel it less necessary to make other people less alive just to prove a point...

    Or, more concisely, stop being utter twats to each other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: let them live how they want?

      While I more or less agree with you how are you going to cope with cases like those that Greville Janner is alleged to have indulged in.

      Of course you and I should be free to watch the odd titty vid (most titty vids are odd) without the fear of some megalomaniac getting the low down on what we were wanking to and when. But there does need to be some limitations. As Mark Twain is often paraphrased as: "Freedom of speech does not give a person the right to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre."

      It's a question of balance, the proposed law is to my mind way out of balance. Politicians (of which ever lot managed to get themselves elected this time around) seem to want to be able to view everything, they want to ban unwanted technologies (which of course they don't understand) but as has been said, if you criminalise the use of encryption, then only criminals will use it. Someone who's prepared to blow up a bomb in a crowd of people isn't going to stop and think about whether they should use a banned crypto algorithm.

      The question for Theresa May should be, would you propose a law that mandated installing video camera in every bedroom in the country, starting with your own and then all the other politicians. If you feel that would be a breach of your privacy then please explain why you feel what you get up to in your bedroom is in anyway different to what I get up to online. Let's face it for half of your working life you've been planning the down fall of the elected government, I sure you plotted some of that while in your bedroom.

      1. Denshi

        Re: let them live how they want?

        "As Mark Twain is often paraphrased as: "Freedom of speech does not give a person the right to shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre.""

        You may find it helps your argument to get your quotes correct. The above quote has nothing to do with Mark Twain, it comes from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.'s opinion on a Supreme Court case in defence of the idea that criticising government strategy (specifically the draft) during a time of war should be classified as sedition rather than protected free speech. As such I'd treat the sentiment with some suspicion.

        Which isn't to say I don't agree with the rest of your argument.

        1. ecarlseen

          Re: let them live how they want?

          Mega-props to you for actually knowing the rather noxious context of that quote (its extensive misuse is a peeve of mine). It's also worth noting that Holmes walked back on that idiotic notion, albeit too late to do any good.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: let them live how they want?

        The price of freedom is the requirement to take responsibiltiy for your own actions, I didn't advocate a society of no laws, I suggested we stop trying to impose our idea of society on peoples who have their own.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      uprated for the correct terminology of 'Twats'

    3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Not a radical idea at all, but remember: the guy who's birthday this season is (allegedly) all about was nailed to a tree for suggesting exactly the same.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He may well have been nailed up but I'm not the messiah, just a very naughty boy.

  5. Slx

    Simple solution would be to withdraw iCloud services and Gmail, Twitter etc etc from the UK.

    The government would get a dose of political reality in a few days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Excellent business model

      I wonder how long it will be before companies feel obliged to do just that?

      They can use Google as a reference and start callling this policy the "China card".

      Or something the policitians will need to start calling: the "revolution in the streets" option as cybernauts, faced with no access to their cat pictures, begin swarming into the streets.....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Simple solution....

      "Simple solution would be to withdraw iCloud services and Gmail, Twitter etc etc from the UK."

      YES PLEASE!! public transport free of idiots twatting and fakebooking their every fart on the 3 hour journey to work

      "The government would get a dose of political reality in a few days."

      Yup, more intelligence in the population over time, less need for politicians

  6. DavCrav

    Welcome to the reverse American colonies

    Apple likes a bit of representation without taxation, apparently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the reverse American colonies

      Apple likes to keep all your data in it's walled garden, apparently

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Collect and Secure, the later being the weakness of any international corporate greed.

    An era of mistrust is upon us all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theresa May Reads Parliaments emails

    So we find out that they've been deceiving Parliament and doing mass surveillance of the Internet using a bill written in 1985, before the web ever existed.

    And only a few ministers knew about it, people like Cameron, Theresa May, William Hague, but Parliament and the people were kept in the dark. Even though Parliament was supposed to be informed, these people used the 'National Security' clause to keep it secret from them.

    And we learned the police had access 'to prove people innocent' because the Police can be told, but Parliament cannot.

    And it covers email too and no doubt Microsofts cloud.

    And William Hague moved Parliaments emails to Microsoft's cloud, all the while he kept his dirty little snooper secret from them.

    But he didn't tell Parliament. And now that little group of conspirators want to make it legal.

    Which simply confirms how illegal it was. If it had to be kept secret from Parliament, from the top lawmaking body, from the House of Lords, the highest court in the land, from the people, the Democracy, and yet everyone from police, to foreign NSA spooks were totally in the loop.

    So the question is, why are you still doing it spooks?

    You are challenging the authority of Parliament, this is not a take over, you are not here to seize power, you are there to defend Paliaments communications from foreign powers, protect our comms from illegal snooping, not be complicit with it.

    1. Grikath

      Re: Theresa May Reads Parliaments emails

      The word you're looking for is "Treason".

  9. alain williams Silver badge

    Will terrorists, etc, quake in their boots ?

    Oh, no - we can't plot to blow up the UK any more since we cannot use outlawed technology!

    Of course they won't -- who does Theresa May think that she is kidding ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fuss is all Advertorial

    Since when does Apple say anything whatsoever unless it is selling?

    The only change in the air is Apple's own insecurity, both types!

  11. Syntax Error

    Seems the intelligence services still manage the politician rather than the other way round.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The irony of it all

    Am I the only person here basking in the irony that the seemingly most staunch defender of the people's right to privacy from government mass surveillance is arguably the richest and most powerful corporation in the world?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We are being conned bigtime..!

    Remind me once again why everybody needs to be snooped on when multitudes of information proving

    the rogue faction within the CIA has created ISIS and is using it as a front to "justify" snooping.

    11/19: Reality Check: Proof U.S. Government Wanted ISIS to Emerge in Syria

  14. Sirius Lee

    Important to be precise?

    Of course no one wants a police state but reporting the IPB using, as you do, a phrase like "...access to the records of every UK citizen’s internet use without the need for judicial authorisation..." is surely pejorative. The bill proposes to make it possible for warrant-less access to the sites you visit but it stops short of allowing unfettered access to all the pages you see.

    I'm not arguing that even this is OK. I am arguing that going for the hyperbole, implicitly claiming a much wider reach than is proposed makes the reporting look foolish. You can do better and, so, make a stronger argument.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Coming soon, from your benevolent Government

    Telescreens for all.

    War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength

    1. Nattrash
      Big Brother

      Re: Coming soon, from your benevolent Government



      Might the reduction of roaming costs also be connected to that? And the EU policy change to now be able to login (and view) your media accounts where ever you are? You can travel conveniently with your Oyster card which you pay/ fill up with your credit card. Unless you of course travel in your car with the soon obligatory eCall system, after you filled it up with Apple Pay paid petrol. But of course that is just paranoia, thinking someone would snoop and judge your behaviour in that kind of way. Just like it is that there are so many cameras everywhere, that a person is able to travel/ move without being "recorded" somewhere some time.

      <i>Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was safer; though, as he well knew, even a back can be revealing.</i>

      So worried about retina/ biometry/ IR camera unlocked terminals, a "service" making sure that you are really you? Sure, you can call them telescreens if you want. Just as we might ponder on the fact whether there already is something there as a Thought Police, and surprise ourselves with who visionary Orwell was in 1948. Ever changing enemies and wars, started for ever changing reasons... Or the fact that history and/ or "truth" can be "corrected"; Ol' George would have loved PhotoShop! Doubleplusgood!

      Beauty of our everyday reality however is, the "Party" isn't distributing the Telescreens.

      In line with our civilisation we pay for them ourselves after marketing convinced us that we can't live without them...

      101 anyone..?


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