back to article UK taxpayers should foot £2bn or more to adopt Snoopers' Charter, says Inquiry

The first Parliamentary report into the UK's draft Investigatory Powers Bill, commonly referred to as the "Snoopers' Charter", says it has great potential to damage the nation's technology sector and the public should therefore pick up the tab for the £2bn (US$2.85bn) or so it will require to implement the data-harvesting …

  1. et tu, brute?
    FAIL

    Really?????

    See title...

    1. BurnT'offering

      Re: Really?????

      Kickstarter?

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Really?????

      Look, either you pay your share of the £2B from your taxes (the the government then gives to the ISPs), or your ISP will have to charge you more to make it's costs back.

      What's that? You'd like a third option where you don't have to pay for the privilege of being spied upon? You and me both mate.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Really?????

        Look, either you pay your share of the £2B from your taxes (the the government then gives to the ISPs), or your ISP will have to charge you more to make it's costs back.

        What do you mean 'or'?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPB The first Parliamentary report into the UK's draft Investigatory Powers Bill, commonly referred to as the "Snoopers' Charter", says it has great potential to damage the nation's technology sector and the public should therefore pick up the tab for the £2bn (US$2.85bn) or so it will require to implement the data-harvesting legislation.

    So it's a stupid fucking idea therefore the public should pay for it? What are these twats on? How about not doing it? There's two billion good reasons not to; quite aside from the fact that it will do precisely fuck-all to increase security and is a gross violation of human rights and -frankly- everything Britain stands for.

    This particular section of the public cordially invites them to fuck right off and spin violently.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I read it as the committee saying, "hey, this is a badly thought out, badly defined and utterly stupid fucking idea and if you the Government want to go ahead with it then you will have to pay for it and justify spending ££billions of taxpayers money"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's all going to be taxpayer's money no matter which budget it comes from

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "It's all going to be taxpayer's money no matter which budget it comes from"

          I think John Brown's point is valid. If it's heaped on ISPs it's hidden, HMG doesn't have to justify the amount & they'll claim the fact it was 8x over estimate as the ISPs' incompetence. If it's a matter of public record they'll have to justify it and it becomes much harder for them to hide the real cost. Even better, if they stick to their estimate of cost and then have to fund it directly the Treasury has the chance to turn down extra funds whist the PAC & NAO have a chance to give them a good kicking.

          1. LucreLout

            If it's a matter of public record they'll have to justify it and it becomes much harder for them to hide the real cost

            "You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?"

            Independence Day explains the sort of funding shenanigans that will ensue far better than anything else I've yet heard.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            If it's heaped on ISPs it's hidden, HMG doesn't have to justify the amount & they'll claim the fact it was 8x over estimate as the ISPs' incompetence.

            Don't forget the government have form on this. Look at the energy sector. Because the welfare state is (despite its vast cost) shambolic and ineffective, energy suppliers have to pony up the "Warn Homes Discount". That's a third of a billion quid added to your energy bills each year. Then there's the Energy Company Obligation, to insulate selected properties that adds another £0.7bn to energy bills. Then you've got the Feed it tarrifs and renewables obligations, that force energy suppliers to over-pay billions each year for electricity from PV and wind power, currently around £5bn and rising fast. All of which together then create the very problem of high energy costs and fuel poverty that government complain about. By 2020, all of these state-mandated interferences will be an additional cost of at least £9bn a year (NAO, 2020 prices), and that's before the ridiculous bribes for nuclear are factored in. In overall terms, by 2020, more than a third of the costs of your domestic energy bill will be the assorted interferences by government in the energy market. And the liars, idiots and thieves of government have the audacity to claim that they are working to keep your energy bills down.

            But as a scheme for (1) spending other people's money without being in the slightest bit accountable, it's great for the wasters of Westminster. And (2) as a means of blaming other people for a problem created by government, it is equally marvellous.

            So, coming back to the Snoopers Charter, government are addicted to spending other people's money. They've run out of tax income, and even though in a few weeks they''ll be conducting a further huge raid on pension savers, that still won't be enough for Cameron's tax 'n' spend plans, so the additional costs of the Snoopers Charter will have to be loaded upon ISPs. And don't forget, that by loading the costs through your ISP, the thieves of government actually make 20% of the total costs, because YOU will be charged VAT on the Snoopers Charter costs added to your bill.

            There are no polite words to express the depths of my contempt and loathing for Cameron, his lickspittle parliamentary party, his Eton & Oxbridge chumocracy, and his big state champagne socialism.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        So what else is new? Has there ever been a well thought out, well defined project coming from the government? Or any government? I know that the US hasn't had any in a long time.. I think Apollo was the last one.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hehe...

        I read it as the committee saying, "hey, this is a badly thought out, badly defined and utterly stupid fucking idea

        Which means they will go through with it. Just like with smart metering.

        You are misunderstanding the mechanics of UK corruption. 2Bn fleeced of the plebs means a few millions landing in the right pockets of the approved contractors and suppliers chosen to implement it. Directorship here, directorship there, sponsorhip (100% legal) of a party here, sponsorship there.

        That actually is still more aboveboard than the financing of Partido Laborista Blairista which is done exactly as per "Evita":

        And the money kept rolling out in all directions

        To the poor, to the weak, to the destitute of all complexions

        Now cynics claim a little of the cash has gone astray

        But that's not the point my friends

        Check who are some of the sponsors of Blair foundaton. Make sure you are well seated so you do not fall off your chair.

    2. batfastad

      > everything Britain stands for

      sed 's/stands/stood/g'

      Sigh.

      Are we there yet? I want to get out.

    3. streaky

      The public is going to pay for it either way - that being said it's going to cost much more than 2Bn quid (a laughable figure). Either they pay for it from taxes or the ISPs (etc) will pass on the costs.

      And no kidding it's silly.

  3. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    So, basically...

    ... the Government are still completely clueless about the whole issue, but they think that if they stamp their little feet and demand the moon on a stick, the service providers can somehow wave a magic want and make all their dreams come true...

    (And, of course, the Government justifies all of this because of "Paedos and Terrorists and Drug Dealers, Oh my!")

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, basically...

      "Paedos and Terrorists and Drug Dealers, Oh my!"

      can i have my coffee back please? it's on the floor ...

      I suppose could take it a bit further and ask who is the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow? The chaps behind the curtain I think we know .....

      1. Graham Marsden

        @AC - Re: So, basically...

        > can i have my coffee back please? it's on the floor ...

        Well at least you missed the keyboard and monitor!

        > who is the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow? The chaps behind the curtain I think we know

        Call me David, Gideon Osborne and Treasonous May, of course.

        Pay no attention to NewsCrap, Greed4S, Screwco, Crapita et al lurking behind the curtain...

  4. David Pearce

    It gets messy when the computer the company is forced to interfere with is overseas and the act could get somebody executed for spying

    1. billse10

      a less important, but interesting extension - what if the company interferes with an overseas entity (indlvidual, or company, government etc), breaking that jurisdiction's law and then staff end up facing extradition? Who is extradited - the responsible manager? business owner? (even if they hate this idea and only doing bare minimum required by the law)

      Or will it be the civil servants who draft it, the Home Sec who introduces the law, the MPs who pass it (if they do) ? Ha. Ha. Ha.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        What about an employee of the ISP who (whilst not revealing any details to the public) refuses to help El-Governmenti hack some poor buggers laptop?

        Do they get sacked? Could they even claim unfair dismissal if they can't cite the reason without going to jail?

        At what point do morals outweigh (bad) law?

        At the risk of invoking Godwin, the Nazi's made it ok for their army to do lots of nasty things - many of the soldiers on the ground didn't want to do it, but they risked a bullet in the back of the head themselves if they didn't. However, this hasn't stopped a lot of people from being hounded to death by the international community.

        Whilst obviously not in the same league, what if (in the future) these kinds of immoral laws are made illegal on an international scale - do the people who were made to implement them get prosecuted?

        Seriously, we have a bunch of clueless twats (seemingly) in charge - they probably aren't even clever enough to realise they are being led around by the nose by the vested powers. It's shameful.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "What about an employee of the ISP who (whilst not revealing any details to the public) refuses to help El-Governmenti hack some poor buggers laptop?"

          Offshore that bit.

          Problem solved.

  5. Diogenes

    use existing budgets !

    It should come out of the existing budgets of security services, councils and anybody else that has asked for access (RSPCA etc)

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Trollface

      Re: use existing budgets !

      I disagree. Funding should come directly from MP's paychecks, with no compensating raise!

    2. Velv
      Black Helicopters

      Re: use existing budgets !

      Since some of the people who require access do not exist they do not have budgets that can be tapped.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rebekah Brooks knows what you wank to

    "The purpose is to allow law enforcement agencies to identify the communications service to which a device has connected. ....There are questions as to how collecting and storing ICRs is technically possible, and whether Data Retention Notices to retain all user ICRs are ‘necessary and proportionate’."

    Collecting ALL internet records on EVERYONE and handing them over for EVERY purpose can never be necessary or proportionate.

    Do you really want newspaper editors seeing into your private lives MPs? No? Yet that is what this does. David Camerons IP address visited Pig Fanciers forum! Cameron Loves Porkies!

    Then there's the question of political stability. It's necessary in a democracy to have privacy, Parliament cannot be spied on while it deliberates because foreign powers would seek to head off legislation they don't like. Political groups seeking power need protection from the parties in power. Journalists need to protect their sources, Judges protect their deliberations, Lawyers protect their confidential discussions.

    You learned that Obama gets a briefing on the private political discussions of leaders around the world. He knows their talking points before they give their speeches. Do you think he just reads and forgets and those are never acted on?

    If all men are equal why are some of them snoopers and some of them victims of snooping?

    How can Parliament control the snoopers if the snoopers control Parliament?

    And history shows countries 'turned', use their spy apparatus against their people. Parliament did not approve Charles Farrs 'magic' re-interpretation of legislation. And government after government has been elected under this surveillance regime kept it hidden from Parliament, but not from Charles Farr. We've been turned.

    With certain individuals having huge amounts of private data and leverage on officials vying for electing. The idea that they wouldn't use that power is naive.

    So Cameron is not our PM, he's the one chosen from the set of PM's permitted by the surveillance apparatus. If they didn't approve him, his embarrassing selfies would be over the tabloids. As so many other MPs have experienced.

    Snoopers Charter has been rejected many many times by Parliament, it is not law, you snoopers need to realize you've been turned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rebekah Brooks knows what you wank to

      "Then there's the question of political stability"

      I don't trust the current cnuts in government with this power. I absolutely won't trust some unknown future bunch of cnuts to have it. Especially in a country so determined to vote warmongers, bigots, crooks, racists and kiddy fiddlers into power.

      Whoever gets into power, we always lose, we can never trust them. And they never give up abusive power once gained.

      1. Zimmer
        Big Brother

        Re: Rebekah Brooks knows what you wank to

        ...and, of course, none of these ICRs (whatever they are) could possibly be faked either...

        ...not only is he watching, he's inventing everything you look at, too...===>

  7. streaky

    ICR

    Does anyone here know what an 'Internet Connection Record' might be?

    Give me unfettered access to any of the committee's connections and I'll happily produce what one might look like? :)

    I have clue enough to know they're both deeply invasive and utterly useless to law enforcement/intelligence at the same time?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: ICR

      Does anyone here know what an 'Internet Connection Record' might be?

      Well given the context of this bill is supposed to be about ALL communications, not just those across the Internet, what an ICR is and contains is also dependent upon the communications medium used.

      What is interesting is whether those scrutinising this bill that Smith, have tumbled this. I suspect not and hence why they are still looking it it wholly from the viewpoint of the Internet. So if the commitee have their wits about them, they would be massively extending the scope and timeline of their work into 2020, alternatively simply rename the bill and confine it's scope to Internet communications.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: ICR

        "Well given the context of this bill is supposed to be about ALL communications, not just those across the Internet, what an ICR is and contains is also dependent upon the communications medium used."

        If you communicate via carrier pigeon then, RFCs 1149 & 2549 notwithstanding, there wouldn't be any ICR so they'd have to rely on any other provisions of the bill that might apply. Ditto if you communicate by telephone.

        An ICR only applies to internet communications. There are plenty of serious objections to this bill without going off-piste looking for others.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: ICR

          @Doctor Syntax "so they'd have to rely on any other provisions of the bill that might apply."

          Precisely my point! By seeming to focus wholly on the Internet, these other parts aren't necessrily getting the scrutiny they need to ensure they are fit for purpose. Also because of the wide scope of the bill and a desire to keep things simple, I expect imprecise language is being used just so that a clause can have wider general application, leaving room for interpretation...

    2. Roj Blake

      Re: ICR

      The ICR is a list of all the domains you've connected to, but not individual URLs.

      So the spooks will know that you're a regular visitor to horsesex.com, but that's fine because they won't know a thing about your preferred style of bridle.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: ICR

        That would be reassuring, if true. But just knowing someone visited Facebook isn't useful, so the reality will be that the snoops will be recording that you visited www.facebook.com/MyLittleJihadist and Liked his rants. That page may not be of interest to the spooks now, but when they decide it's a target, they have a record of every UK visitor, no matter how innocent it was in the past.

        P.S. A Western style bridle, of course! Other types are for weirdos

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ICR

        The ICR is a list of all the domains you've connected to, but not individual URLs.

        And you believe them, for one fleeting picosecond? There's not a snowflake's chance in hell that this will be limited to domains. If you're generous, it'll be mission creep that extends it to URLs, but personally, I don't even believe that they'll start at that level, that's just the fig leaf for gullible.

        The interesting progression will be Sturmbahnfuhrer May's response when evidence of visiting a URL is deemed irrelevant in court because the Clown Prosecution Service can't prove what the content of the URL was at the time it was accessed. Do you think she will prove stupid enough and extreme enough to demand ISPs keep a changelog of the entire interent? I think she will.

      3. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: ICR

        I think that's confusing an Internet Connection Record with a World Wide Web Connection Record (it wouldn't be surprising if the Home Secretary was unaware of the difference). If I cause to be executed:

        jonathan@Odin:~$ ping 185.53.177.8

        have I created an ICMP ICR to horsesex.com that would be of interest to the plod? [1]

        If I did

        $ lynx 185.53.177.8

        I should certainly create an HTTP connection [2], but no objectionable images would be retrieved, so the WWWCR had better remember the browser's User Agent string, too. I would take a moderately large bet that the Home Secretary doesn't know what one of those is.

        [1] Source:

        jonathan@Odin:~$ dig horsesex.com

        ; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-3ubuntu0.7-Ubuntu <<>> horsesex.com

        ;; global options: +cmd

        ;; Got answer:

        ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 22088

        ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

        ;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:

        ; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 4000

        ;; QUESTION SECTION:

        ;horsesex.com. IN A

        ;; ANSWER SECTION:

        horsesex.com. 600 IN A 185.53.177.8

        [2] I haven't done so, and don't intend to, so I can't tell you anything about the site, or even if it responds on port 80!

        1. Seajay#

          $ lynx 185.53.177.8

          For all we know horsesex.com is an ASCI art horse porn site so you might still be in posession of an extreme image by doing that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ICR

          That is by far the best way to look up horsesex.com. Thank you for sharing.

          So people in government are actually getting paid to dream this stuff up?

          With taxpayers money?

          Are they trying to get the public to revolt?

          Once that happens, draconian web snooping will clearly be the only way forward.

        3. Vic

          Re: ICR

          [2] I haven't done so, and don't intend to, so I can't tell you anything about the site, or even if it responds on port 80!

          [vic@perridge ~]$ nmap -p 80 horsesex.com

          Starting Nmap 6.01 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2016-02-02 15:13 GMT

          Nmap scan report for horsesex.com (185.53.177.8)

          Host is up (0.13s latency).

          PORT STATE SERVICE

          80/tcp open http

          Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 7.20 seconds

          Yep. It does.

          Vic.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: ICR

      It doesn't matter what it is and it isn't really necessary to define it, they know that if an ISP doesn't come up with an ICR or furtle with apps so end-to-end encryption doesn't work (that way they can't be blamed when they can't decrypt), then it's going to get so rodgered that it's going to make the rest pull their finger out.

  8. batfastad

    Democracy

    So when do UK citizens get a say in all this, considering it affects all their lives?

    Or is it more along the lines of... "Don't worry your little head about it, tax payer #154192574. Mummy and Daddy Cameron-May will look after you!"

    That's not how democracy works dear boy... See you later at the golf/private supper club what!

    1. streaky

      Re: Democracy

      We live in a representative democracy so.. 2020? Slight issue - basically all he parties agree on essentially this issue because they're all equally clueless - not sure what the fix to that is.

      Good news: this committee seems to essentially agree with the sensible arguments against on definitions/funding etc.

      1. Roj Blake

        Re: Democracy

        IIRC the Greens are opposed to surveillance.

        The Lib Dems acted as a brake on it in the last parliament.

        Whilst Labour was definitely pro-surveillance under Blair, Brown and Miliband and most of the current PLP including Burnham are also in favour of it don't be surprised to see the Corbynites come out against it.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Democracy

          "don't be surprised to see the Corbynites come out against it."

          OTOH if they were to get into power they'd probably change their tune although in such circumstances that might be the least of our worries.

        2. batfastad

          Re: Democracy

          > We live in a representative democracy so.. 2020? Slight issue - basically all he parties agree on essentially this issue because they're all equally clueless - not sure what the fix to that is.

          >Good news: this committee seems to essentially agree with the sensible arguments against on definitions/funding etc.

          >IIRC the Greens are opposed to surveillance.

          >The Lib Dems acted as a brake on it in the last parliament.

          >Whilst Labour was definitely pro-surveillance under Blair, Brown and Miliband and most of the current PLP including Burnham are also in favour of it don't be surprised to see the Corbynites come out against it.

          So just in the nick of time then, after the Gov has done whatever it wants. Sigh.

          How about people actually voting or vetoing changes in their legislation, with exact diffs presented with plenty of time for analysis and consideration. Maybe a separate legislative cycle every 2 years, or something, I've still got to hammer out the exact details for my plan of Democracy 2.0.

          User Blair+Dave+Theresa is requesting permission to merge the following changes from branch "neoconlunatics:snooperscharter2018" into "legislationgovuk:master". Accept or deny?

          Sadly for most peons the choice is either vote for who your parents voted for or for who your newspaper tells you you should vote for. Because they've seen the film before and it's sh1t.

    2. BurnT'offering

      Re: So when do UK citizens get a say in all this

      @batfastad - If you want to make your opinions known, just send them in an unencrypted email with the subject line "Application for the role of ISIS suicide bomber"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know, I was thinking about this over the weekend ...

    As my wife and I enjoyed a quiet vape, and were chatting away, for various reasons, the following questions came up:

    1) What is the capital of South Dakota ?

    2) What is the capital of New York ?

    3) How far from Cape Canaveral to Houston ?

    4) Which is further East: Tallahassee or Pensacola ?

    (We are planning a holiday).

    That means in five minutes of downtime, we generated goodness-knows how much data - and metadata, and ICRs (or whatever) - from 2 mobile devices linked to our wifi.

    That's before you add the 2 tablets, smart TV, 2 PCs, and a spare phone.

    Our household alone must create enough data to take a second or two to sniff.

    Now add that to the other 59 in my road .... with *many* more devices than we have.

    They are going to drown in data. And when the next terrorist atrocity happens (planned openly on Facebook) they will still be sifting through last weeks data.

    1. streaky

      Re: You know, I was thinking about this over the weekend ...

      Ya, they're creating haystacks to look for needles in. Classic intel fkup in the making. The haystacks are full of things that look like needles that are actually sewing pins.

  10. Teiwaz
    Alert

    Britain as a Digital Powerhouse

    Me Arse!

    - With all the extra 'Digital' bureaucracy, surveillance and terroist paranoia, waste and nepotism, Britain will be a re-make of Terry Gilliams Brazil...

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Britain as a Digital Powerhouse

      Can they get you by the short and curlies if you've had a brazillian?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yum, yum must have all your data, yum!

    Cookie Monster

  12. nematoad Silver badge
    FAIL

    Oh, really?

    "...as legislators we need to be careful not to inadvertently disadvantage the UK’s rapidly growing Tech sector.”

    Nothing about protecting the privacy of the 99.9% of the population that has no reason to be spied upon. Just think of the commercial interests, they are the ones that matter in Cameron's world.

    And to think that they actually have the brass neck to say that we should foot the bill for all this stupidity!

    1. Teiwaz
      Big Brother

      Re: Oh, really?

      ""...as legislators we need to be careful not to inadvertently disadvantage the UK’s rapidly growing Tech sector.”

      - I think I can safely say 'a foot stamping on a human face forever' would more than "inadvertently disadvantage the UK’s rapidly growing Tech sector.”.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Oh, really?

      "Nothing about protecting the privacy of the 99.9% of the population that has no reason to be spied upon."

      The article carefully explains that that is the remit of another committee:

      the inquiry assessed it only in terms of its feasibility and cost, rather than whether its legal powers were proportionate to the threats they were intended to address. That second assessment is being made by the Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill which is likely to publish its report within the next fortnight.

      "And to think that they actually have the brass neck to say that we should foot the bill for all this stupidity!"

      That is actually a good move. If the cost was hidden by being pushed onto the ISPs we'd still be paying but through ISP charges. If it were public expenditure it would be subject to Treasury approval when it runs over their stupid estimate & scrutiny from the PAC & NAO.

  13. Brent Longborough
    Megaphone

    A better suggestion

    Two alternative suggestions. The language has been self-censored:

    1. Buy an island and lock Teresa May up there. (Elba?)

    2. Spend £2G on the NHS

    It took only two minutes to think these up. What are we paying our politicians for?

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: A better suggestion

      "1. Buy an island and lock Teresa May up there. (Elba?)"

      - Excellent - but why waste any Taxpayers money? The Falkland islands and some even smaller ones down that end of the planet are still British territory.

      2. Spend £2G on the NHS

      - Scrap every dumb idea, that wastes money, make MPs liable for excessive wasteful spending and we could afford more than that.

      It took only two minutes to think these up. What are we paying our politicians for?

      - I think we should be paying them much less, any 'personal evaluation' delivered on the current crop would see them with a 'not deserving of a rise this year', if not pointed toward the door in any struggling business in the UK today.

      1. Vic

        Re: A better suggestion

        'not deserving of a rise oxygen this year'

        I'm getting the hang of this correction malarkey...

        Vic.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: A better suggestion

      I nominate Rockall.

      1. Grahame 2
        Thumb Up

        Re: A better suggestion

        +1 for Rockall

        Lord Kennet said of it in 1971, "There can be no place more desolate, despairing and awful."

        And that was before Theresa the Terrible takes up residence.

  14. MoleStrangler

    They give mega companies tax breaks allowing them to keep more that their fair share of their profits and the gov holds the public hostage.

    The reason for tax is for governments to pay for stuff like national defence and education and healthcare and....these mega companies have no duty of care to how any country is to pay for and protect itself.

    So it's not in any governments or public interest or give these tax breaks when there is lots of stuff the country needs to pay for. Many of the companies enjoy a safe and protected country to conduct their business inside, because the public pays tax to pay for running and protecting the country and its citizens.

    It's only the short term interests of politicians and the people around them who benefit. Also those who run these companies who's main revenue stream is paying as little tax as possible. It's a game, but when the politics and the people in the politics get involved the countries interested are second to their careers and of those around them.

  15. John H Woods Silver badge

    if they collect every ICR ...

    ... a foreign power or bad actor can effectively run a DDoS on that system by infecting British network devices and either (a) vastly increasing their ICR production rate (a few orders of magnitude wouldn't be too hard); and/or (b) creating ICRs that will raise red flags (e.g. to known suspect sites).

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: if they collect every ICR ...

      1) Plant virus on machine

      2) Have machine generate ICRs which are known to get red flagged

      3) Virus self deletes

      4) Target is investigated for working with terrorists etc, with plausable enough evidence they did it that their public persona is tarnished indefinitely

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if they collect every ICR ...

        "2) Have machine generate ICRs which are known to get red flagged".

        Stop giving them ideas. They might just put down that copy of 1984 and pay attention.

        On the other hand, they probably already have this one in their box of dirty tricks.

      2. Vic

        Re: if they collect every ICR ...

        4) Target is investigated for working with terrorists etc

        That would be an effective DDoS against the security services themselves, since they'd spend their entire lives chasing red herrings - until they realise the data they're collecting is useless and start ignoring the whole thing. What a way to hide a real terrorist cell...

        Vic.

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: if they collect every ICR ...

          Classic counter intelligence work though, pretty much what we did to prevent the Nazis properly countering the Normandy landings

  16. Archie Woodnuts

    This country

    This f**king country. :(

    1. Teiwaz
      Devil

      Re: This country...

      "Ask not what your country can do for you,

      ask 'how far apart do you want my cheeks spread?'"

  17. batfastad

    Digital Powerhouse!

    Digital Powerhouse!

    Wait, how much do we have to pay in arbitrary back taxes that wasn't enforceable at the time?

    1. batfastad

      Re: Digital Powerhouse!

      And presumably the Digital Powerhouse will be centred around the same place as the Northern Powerhouse... London.

  18. PassiveSmoking

    Dear readers

    If any of you voted for these clowns at the last election I hope you feel suitable ashamed of yourself now.

    1. Vic

      Re: Dear readers

      If any of you voted for these clowns at the last election I hope you feel suitable ashamed of yourself now.

      It actually makes little difference. The other bunch of clowns tried to push through the same thing under a different name.

      Vic.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, good.

    Apparently paying £20.31/month for my 500 kB/s down, 100 kB/s up connection isn't enough.

    Fuck you, May.

  20. SolidSquid

    "We need our security services to be able to do their job and prevent terrorism, but as legislators we need to be careful not to inadvertently disadvantage the UK’s rapidly growing Tech sector.”

    Or, y'know, infringe on the rights of the general public. I realise making money is important, but it's not the *only* consideration with regards to whether this is a good idea or not

  21. PapaD

    I still wonder

    What information exactly will these systems get from people using VPNs?

    I suspect very little without some MITM chicanery.

    1. Teiwaz
      Unhappy

      Re: I still wonder

      "What information exactly will these systems get from people using VPNs?

      I suspect very little without some MITM chicanery."

      One chip at a time from the bedrock of western civilisation - They'll come for the VPNs like krystal knacht as soon as they've forced this little brick into the foundation of the future tyrannical police state.

      The only chicanery they'll use is another round of scaremongering about things 'going dark' blah blah peados, blah blah terrorists, dark days of the war, backs to the wall, young hippies roaming the streets looting raping and shooting...etc. plus please let us bring back hunting...

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I still wonder Re: VPNs

      Well, a VPN has to be terminated somewhere... So by the definition in the bill, whoever terminates your VPN is a CSP, which if they happen to be located in the UK will need to comply with this bill.

      Now if that happens to be your employer then they will need to have some means of eavesdropping the unecrypted communications, so the MITM will be within their (virtual) datacenter. Hence, I doubt people have fully worked through just who is impacted by this bill, preferring to focus on the more easily identifiable ISP's.

      What is interesting, is how they are going to eavesdrop on communications between an ATM and central computers; given my understanding is that communications are encrypted in the ATM keypad and only decrypted on the host processing the transaction...

  22. BenR

    I still don't understand...

    ... exactly why it is it's so difficult to simply go to a judge an ask for a warrant to snoop on someone's phonecalls, text messages and internet access. get said warrant, go to various companies, and those companies can - by way of a "software update" - push appropriate snooping software onto a specific device, rather than the deep-sea trawl approach they seem to be going for.

    As an added bonus, accountability and the ability to use whatever data they snoop in a court!

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: I still don't understand...

      Because it means doing stuff like convincing the judge that the target is a peado-terrorist and therefore worthy of a trawl

      but then that means producing stuff like evidence becuse "she looks like one" aint gonna cut it with a judge, no matter how many warts and noses you glue on

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: I still don't understand...

        Because that wouldn't allow you to do traffic analysis and that's the whole point of this exercise. Well, other than to legalise what GCHQ and palls do already.

      2. BenR

        Re: Boris and Julz

        All fair points. And I think me missing the <sarcasm> tags might not have helped...

        But the fact is that most of the concerns people have (or so it seems to me, and other than the obvious technical problems ofc) aren't about security services / police having access to this kind of data - it's about security services / police having *UNFETTERED* access to the data.

        Whack some accountability by the judicial system in there and job's a good 'un!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a thought.

    Alarmingly clause 99 of the Snoopers' Charter would oblige domestic communication service providers to assist the Government in its hacking activities, while clause 102 would make it a criminal offence for “any person employed for the purposes of the business of the relevant telecommunications provider” to disclose “any steps taken in pursuance” of this assistance.

    Does this also apply to antivirus/antimalware providers ?

    If you scan your PC for virii or malware, can it tell you it found any ?

    1. Teiwaz

      "If you scan your PC for virii or malware, can it tell you it found any ?"

      They'll probably want to have a mandated list of government sanctioned virii or malware, eventually removal of which will be counted an offence of the level equal to not taking your sedatives in Equilibrium, classifying you as criminal somewhere between young goat molestor and gerbil pervert.

      Won't really matter by that time, as most tech business will have left due to safe harbour concerns.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They'll probably want to have a mandated list of government sanctioned virii or malware"

        How will they be able to tell the difference between that & something planted by a black hat ?

        These things aren't signed by the authors and even if they were some enterprising black hat would just copy the signature.

        1. Teiwaz

          "They'll probably want to have a mandated list of government sanctioned virii or malware"**

          How will they be able to tell the difference between that & something planted by a black hat ?

          These things aren't signed by the authors and even if they were some enterprising black hat would just copy the signature.

          I never put forth the proposition that it would be an automated white listing. That would prevent people from transgressing without them actually transgressing. What would be the point of making something illegal if you couldn't keep score of how successful it is by the number of convictions.*

          */**(probably best to assume commentators on the Reg are being cynical and/or sarcastic by default)

  24. sysconfig

    If the draft bill really becomes law

    ...it's a just a question of time until this ends up before the ECHR. The fundamental right to privacy is thoroughly trampled upon with this bill - for everybody in the UK (and quite possibly outside, because when I use VoIP to call people outside of the UK, and therefore generate one of those obscure ICRs, their privacy is indirectly affected too)

    So please, if HM Gov want to go ahead with this, do it quick, before Joe and Jane Public will have their say whether or not we'll stay in the EU. I dearly hope the UK population is not going to vote for leaving the EU as that removes safeguards against their own government (namely European courts).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prevent terrorism

    Oh fuck you, prevent terrorism. The government is causing terrorism on an on-going basis.

    Corrupt arms deals with Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, propping up warlords in Afghanistan, siding with Israel, blinding going in and attacking everyone who was "Taliban" creating dozens of new enemies, creating al-Qaeda, creating ISIS.

    But of course this isn't about terrorism. Neo-liberal policies have completely failed, and the government are preparing themselves for inevitable mass civil unrest.

  26. CurrantSpanners

    Follow the money

    While Theresa May and cronies are, I suspect, technologically clueless, I cannot believe that they're stupid enough to believe that the snooper's charter will actually prevent terrorism. So what are their real motives for wanting all this expensive data slurping?

    Scratching my feeble head, I wonder who really wants these data? Hollywood? MPAA? Tax officials? Psychopathic megalomaniacs? Does anyone have any suggestions as to who might really be behind this? After all, aren't politicians only there to serve their paymasters? (And by that obviously I don't mean, us, the ordinary taxpaying citizens. Clearly we don't pay them enough.)

  27. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Maybe

    the UK can apply for some sort of EU grant programme?

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

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