back to article 5 years, 2,300 data breaches. What'll police do with our Internet Connection Records?

Police forces across the UK have been responsible for “at least 2,315 data breaches” over the last five years, according to research by Big Brother Watch, prompting concerns about the increasing amount of data they're holding. Titled Safe in Police Hands? the 138-page report is released today after months of requests made by …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you have nothing to hide . . .

    . . . you probably don't exist.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you have nothing to hide . . .

      If you give me six gigabytes from the drive of the most honest of men, I will find something in it to have him hanged.

      1. Adair Silver badge

        Re: If you have nothing to hide . . .

        Six gigabytes!

        Bloomin' 'eck, that would be enough to have them hung, drawn, and quartered, their head put on a spike over the gates of the city, their family sold into slavery to the googleplex, and their existence erased from the record. And all at taxpayers' expense.

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: If you have nothing to hide . . .

          "Bloomin' 'eck, that would be enough to have them hung, drawn, and quartered, their head put on a spike over the gates of the city, their family sold into slavery to the googleplex, and their existence erased from the record. And all at taxpayers' expense."

          There will be no cost to the taxpayer. The Ministry of Information Retrieval will, as usual, charge the family for any and all of the costs associated with Information Retrieval.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you have nothing to hide . . .

        Give a man 6gb of data and he'll find a way to hang you with it. Give a man your hard drive and he'll format and populate it with his own pr0n.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A senior police officer was on the Radio 4 "The Bottom Line" programme last week. He was defending the imposing of civil restraint orders after people had been found "not guilty" in court.

    Breaching a civil restraint order is a criminal offence. Some of the quoted restraints were on what (legal) material you could view on the internet - or when you could have consensual sex with another adult.

    His argument was that where there was no evidence to support a charge or prosecution - people should be convicted on their potentially "pre-crime" activities. Internet browsing being reckoned a major source of such "evidence".

    That would lead to a situation where the usual "insufficient evidence to charge" - becomes "convicted - just in case".

    1. Steven Jones

      A "civil restrain order" (CRO) is nothing to do with criminal cases. CROs are issued when a judge considers that an application to a court for a hearing is vexatious. For example, when an individual tries to sue another on the same issue when the case is considered to have no merit.

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/civil-restraint-orders--2

      I've also no idea what such a subject would be doing on the Radio 4 programme "The Bottom Line". That's a business-orientated programme which doesn't normally deal with legal issues beyond those that are relevant to businesses. Nor can I see where it was discussed last week (which was about the business implications of Brexit).

      1. Otto is a bear.

        It was Today

        I listened to the interview on the Today programme on my way to work,it was also repeated on a news bulletin. It was actually about a Sexual Risk Order, which is designed to keep people with predatory behaviours under control. Otherwise, yep it's one hell of a thing to do to someone who has not been convicted of a crime, and should require an extremely high bar before it's applied. Like all of these things, it's bound to be misused, for "Political" and "Tough on Crime" excuses.

        So far as Police Data Protection goes, it's not the IT but the people, and the same applies to any organisation, that holds data about us, Private or Public, it is quite common practice in the NHS, DWP, HMRC, Councils and Police to "Look up a mates details" for a mate. Quite often without the mate asking. So beware if you ever date someone from the Police, HMRC, DWP or Council, because they will check you out, or someone else will.

        It would be possible to put lots of checks on the systems to stop, or make more difficult, these kinds of behaviours, but then the systems would become unusable, trapped in a mire of bureaucracy.

        Misuse is a tiny proportion of access to these systems, and there has to be a balance of risk.

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

          "..a tiny proportion of access" "..and there has to be a balance of risk"

          Funny how that works.

          They risk a slapped wrist for pulling someone's life history

          You are guaranteed to have your life history spewed out of the all the computer systems they have access to.

          That's your idea of "balanced" ?

          Doesn't sound too balanced to me.

        2. Dylan Byford

          Re: It was Today

          I don't think you need to get stuck in bureaucracy with this, you just need proper transparency over how your data is being accessed. We can already see what data organisations hold on us but it is not a technical impossibility for them to share with us information on who has accessed that data and what their role is, when they accessed it etc (the reason why they accessed it would be more onerous, of course).

          I have suggested similar with the care.data programme - give us a portal where we can see exactly who has accessed my health record and what organisation they come from. In addition, which organisation has my health record been shared with. It would make people think twice before hitting that search button.

      2. Justicesays

        The OP is somewhat confused, the legal instrument in question is a "Sexual Risk Order", and it was discussed on the Radio 4 show "law in action", which was on before "the bottom line".

      3. Otto is a bear.

        You have to admit...

        That the fact that Mrs.May is the least worst option, says a lot, can you imagine what Gove would do. I've heard him described as a Maoist Tory, who like to destroy things to rebuild them in his own image.

    2. Schultz
      Go

      situation where "insufficient evidence to charge" - becomes "convicted - just in case".

      You make that sound like such a bad thing, even though that little situational change would make all the difference and we could live in a world where rainbow colored unicorns could freely and safely roam the streets.

      Wait, did I say rainbow colored unicorns? I mean straight white unicorns. High time we start looking into those suspicious deviant unicorns!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theresa May is Watching You

    The last PM we will ever have? All hail the Supreme Leader.

    Presumably, allowing personal data of unpersons to be leaked online would only help the Supreme Leader to vapourise bring to justice said unpersons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Theresa May is Watching You

      A version of Servalan, minus the exotic wardrobe. Best get cracking on a version of Orac...

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Theresa May is Watching You

        And minus the verbal elan.

        1. VinceH

          Re: Theresa May is Watching You

          Project Orac

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Theresa May is Watching You

        A version of Servalan, minus the exotic wardrobe.

        Yes, but there's an interesting picture of her coming out of number 10 in a dress that probably wasn't intended to create the impression of large-jugged see through laciness:

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3674858/Tory-leadership-hopefuls-relaxed-KARAOKE-session-grilling-fellow-MPs-night-Stephen-Crabb-singing-Don-t-Stop-Now.html

        Bwahahahaaha! Try and get that out of your head now! Hopefully that's not put anybody off their stroke.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Theresa May is Watching You

          I saw the server name in the URL and made the correct decision. My head is still empty.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Pint

            Re: Theresa May is Watching You

            I saw the server name in the URL and made the correct decision. My head is still empty.

            I knew that the source would put off those lacking in moral fibre! But I encourage you to reconsider - it's worth it to imagine her seeing the same picture and asking herself "WTF was I thinking when I chose that?"

            1. Mark 85
              Devil

              Re: Theresa May is Watching You

              There's only one thing that can be said about that link: "That which has been seen cannot be unseen". I'm going to have nightmares for a month now. At least it wasn't Hillary... they might last a year for that one.

            2. Hans 1
              Stop

              Re: Theresa May is Watching You

              >- it's worth it to imagine her seeing the same picture and asking herself "WTF was I thinking when I chose that?"

              I dared to a look, and ... nothing wrong with that dress, not something I would wear, then again, I am a man.

              The sad thing is that she is there to get a job done and NO, she is not in the fashion business.

              You sound like the cretins who keep track of the dresses celeb's wear, then call foul when the celeb (usually female) dares to wear the same dress/shoes/whatever twice or did not keep track of some other celeb who wore that same dress/whatever the other week/month/year.

              This has to stop!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Theresa May is Watching You

                You sound like the cretins who keep track of the dresses celeb's wear, then call foul ....

                Are you new round here? Most of the commentariat are highly intelligent, borderline aspergers sufferers, who neither know nor care who the celebrities of the day are.

                But we do know that politicians are incompetent self serving deserve every possible insult. Now, if you want to side with Mrs May, then feel free, but I'm guessing that you won't get much support round here.

      3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Theresa May is Watching You

        Will an Oric Atmos do?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Theresa May is Watching You

      You are not addressing her correctly. It should be:

      The High Chancelloress Teresa May.

      Time to put Chaikovsky's 1812 Overture on the stereo once more.

  4. John Robson Silver badge

    They'll put them on the internet

    But it's OK - because they'll know who has looked at them with the next round of data...

  5. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Reminds me of

    Insider trading... this time it's information regarding something besides stocks and such, but seems still profitable?!

  6. Thatguyfromthatforum

    They're all widows sons anyway, they've taken an oath to protect each other first and foremost.

    The justice system should be spelt "the just us" system, because the plebs are accountable and the enforcers seldom are.

  7. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    The only time they will do anything is when one of these bloody stupid Plod accidentally drops misused info into the inbox of some bunch of terrorist nutjobs and a load of coppers get injured or maimed, or worse said terrorist nutters starting going after coppper's or MP's families. Maybe then they will start to take data security a bit more seriously. I don't want it to come to that, it's shouldn't but the way they carry on it's more than likely going to happen sooner or later.

  8. adam payne

    I have a feeling a process of re-training will occur soon.

  9. nuked
    Holmes

    “at least 2,315 data breaches”

    ...and these are the ones that got caught.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well obviously

    If there are 800 members of staff who've used the Snooperbase for inappropriate personal reasons, that's needs to fixed right away. Zero is the only acceptable number, Theresa May will make it all totally legal so there are zero violations. Problem solved!

    Look this is tip of the iceberg stuff, the only time a problem would be flagged is if it had obvious technical omissions, e.g. omitting a case number on the form to assign the search too. 99% of the misuses will never be noted because the person who would challenge them is never made aware of the search of their private data.

    It would have to be egregious to be even noted as worth checking up on.

    I think if, whenever a policeman makes a request for someone's data, target automatically receive a notification 3 months later a lot of this shit would end right there. Want to *really* investigate a crime, get a delay on it from a court before 3 months. If it wasn't part of an investigation then there's no reason a person shouldn't be informed that their private data was accessed.

    If you're doing nothing wrong, what do you have to hide, Mr Policeman.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why PND took so long to go live

    The Bichard report called for a national shared police intelligence system following the Soham murders, to be put in place by the end of 2005. It (the Police national Database) eventually went live in June 2011. The reason for the massive delay was less about technology and more about getting 43 entirely separate police forces in the UK to share their intelligence. This was the first time that information about people who'd never been accused, charged or convicted of anything would be made available to other forces. The Police Information Assurance Board was crapping itself because it was all too aware of the huge problem of unauthorized access, sharing and leakage in existing systems.

    The biggest delay to all this: 42 forces that categorically didn't trust the Metropolitan Police with their data.

    Rightly so.

  12. scrubber

    "prompting concerns about the increasing amount of data they're holding"

    Even if there were no breaches, I'd still be extremely concerned about the increasing amount of data they're holding.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: "prompting concerns about the increasing amount of data they're holding"

      ^^^ this

  13. Slx

    Well as they've always said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    A lot of these powers have no real checks or balances and seem to be wide open to being abused.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you have nothing to hide . . .

    We can fit you up.

    - Superintendent Harry 'Snapper' Organs of Q Division

    1. Lotaresco

      Re: If you have nothing to hide . . .

      FAY: The British police force used to be run by men of integrity.

      INSPECTOR TRUSCOTT: That is a mistake which has been rectified.

      Joe Orton, Loot

  15. Huw D

    On a brighter note

    We have a potential answer to the question "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So after repeatedly demonstrating their unfitness for purpose, why the fuck are they being given an expansion of powers/data?

    If I, as a fairly law-abiding citizen feel compelled to go dark just to protect myself/my clients from the consequences of these fucking idiots inevitably misusing/getting compromised/losing/etc. data then what the fuck do you think actual criminals are going to be doing?

    1. Hans 1

      >If I, as a fairly law-abiding citizen feel compelled to go dark just to protect myself/my clients from the consequences of these fucking idiots inevitably misusing/getting compromised/losing/etc. data

      Contradiction, right there (in the minds of MI5) ... law abiding and "go dark":

      Clerk: Something fishy, here, sir, don't you think ? This guy is using heavy grade encryption on his home connection.

      Serg': Indeed, I need a full checkup on this guy by noon tomorrow, everything, family, mistresses, whereabouts ...In short, everything, I wanna know when's the last time that guy had diarrhoea!

      The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe

  17. A Ghost

    Ho hum.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Teresa May, 'difficult women' aka - Control Freak.

    The problem appears when you put your head above the parapet, write critical letters/emails to your local Police Force regarding their operation duties.

    i.e. Lazy Cash Cow positioning of Speed Cameras outside Schools on Sunny Saturday afternoons when there are no children on Pavements, stating its becoming increasing difficult to drive on Britain's roads without incurring fines- (its all sticks and no carrots), with a bar being set lower and lower (lowering of limits), until it clips enough heads to generate revenue, without upsetting the masses.

    Basically, putting the Point, I'm not a bloody robot or wishing to live in 'Britains' Open Prison', which it has become and to maybe, target real dangers such as speeding past a school during school run times, when there are Kids on pavements.

    Police then 'theoretically' can research you from you name within the locality, access your vehicle records, and place a marker on the ANPR system, to make sure the next ANPR Hadecs3 stealth camera you go past on the M4 / M5 or M25 at 1mph above the limit, you definitely get a £100 fine in the Post.

    Of course all 'theoretical', but it does make me wonder why I suddenly now have a NIP for 80mph on the M4, driving at 9.30pm on a Sunday Evening, after driving the same length of Motorway day in day out, at roughly the same 'slow' inner/middle lane speed for years. Then one or two critical emails, and I suddenly have a NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution).

    Teresa May's big brother is about connecting the dots, to make you suffer, if you speak out.

  19. GCHQ are the enemy

    This shouldn't surprise anyone as the police are so corrupt. The worse are in London, New Scotland Yard. These cockroaches are everywhere. If the public really knew what some of them get up to..

    Organized stalking or gang stalking, a covert psychological harassment program used against someone who has become an enemy of individual or government. There are criminals within Scotland Yard at the highest levels who are involved in this crime.

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