back to article UK 'emergency' bulk data slurp permissible in pursuit of 'serious crime'

Bulk collection of data from phone calls and emails by carriers acting under government orders could be permissible in the pursuit of “serious crime”. That’s the preliminary ruling in a case brought by Brexit chief minister David Davis against PM Theresa May before the European Union’s highest court. The ruling suggests bulk …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

    I'll wager that it will include dropping litter within the year.

    just another example of gubbermint scope creep in action.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      We're all serious crimenals now.

      For example, I just misspelt 'criminals'. Obviously all my internet communications need to be monitored from now on, to make sure I don't become a serial serious criminal and a threat to the orthographical health of the wider population.

    2. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      Would that include criticism of Theresa May?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Meh

        Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

        The Government may now use the justification that since there may be at least one unidentified potential terrorist in UK population, this constitutes an emergency and so it is perfectly legal to hoover up everything.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

          leaving an axe unattended and providing driving licenses.

    3. 's water music
      Coat

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      I only do crimes for teh lulz so no can has my datas* plz

      *do you see my light-hearted crime there?

    4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      It doesn't matter. If something is not a serious crime then it must be a humorous crime. I am sure we will get new laws to protect us from humorous crimes and a panopticon to hunt down everyone who says thing that might cause offence. I feel confident that I can say "Theresa May doubleplusgood duckspeaker" without getting a free trip to joycamp until after Brexit.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      To paraphrase a certain legal jackass, serious crime is whatever the government of the day says it is.

    6. sysconfig

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      Judging by the looks I get from my neighbours, having your bin out more than two hours before or after it's supposed to be picked up is pretty serious already. (out = end of your driveway, not even on the pavement)

    7. Mark 65

      Re: Exactly what defines 'serious crime'?

      What defines serious crime you ask? Crime >= dog shit and dodgy parking.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    "strict safeguards..." "Legislative processes.."

    Isn't that exactly what DRIPA is designed to circumvent.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Department for Exiting the EU for clarification but hadn’t received a response

    It's summer, you know. Holiday, chill-out, and stuff.

    Why, is there something urgent they need to deal with in the meantime? Other than ordering stationery at specially bulk-discounted £1 per page price?

  4. Cynical Observer
    Mushroom

    Reasonable Suspicion?

    IANAL

    One slant on this might be that HM Gov cannot get away with simply slurping everything on the basis that it might one day be useful - rather than the body wanting access to comms data will need to establish a reasonable suspicion and present a case to some form of judicial oversight process. Problem is that that was one of the things the former Home Sec. didn't seem overly enamoured of.

    It's analogous to the old fashioned application for tapping a telephone line - there is a suspect (or person of interest) and a judge signs off on a focused, constrained warrant. Anything gathered outside the scope of the warrant ranges from wholly inadmissible to precarious at best.

    One way or another, right now it can only be read as a set back for the wholesale

    ....That is until we trip merrily over the Brexit rainbow.

    RIght.... popcorn anyone? Looks about ready ------->

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No such thing as "safeguards"

    There is no valid excuse for ANY increase in powers unless the transparency and accountability issue has been fixed, and by that I don't mean streamlining the process to retrospectively change the law like they did with GCHQ.

    Bluntly put, unless senior people* start going to jail for abuses of data held by any government outfit I don't think we can consider that the required accountability is in place to support any more investigative powers.

    *: instead of scapegoated minions

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: No such thing as "safeguards"

      "Bluntly put, unless senior people* start going to jail for abuses of data held by any government outfit I don't think we can consider that the required accountability is in place to support any more investigative powers.

      *: instead of scapegoated minions"

      Plump goats chance of that, 'buck stops here' at the decision making level was shot years ago and a pedestrian got in the way. Now it's all scapegoat barbecues at the tax payers expense.

      1. Dave 15

        Re: No such thing as "safeguards"

        Agreed.

        Heaven knows what that chap yesterday had really done or not done but the police now have to be notified a day before he has sex... no trial, no prosecution, no anything just a direct intrusion into his private life because they **think** (cough... police think, an oxymoron surely) that he **might** (who might not) be a **threat** (of what) in some sexual context (apparently he did go to some bdsm club... but then they haven't banned that 50 shades have they)...

        Who the hell can trust the government or police? Certainly not me.

  6. Shades

    Starting To Make Sense

    Davies goes up against the UK government in the High Court over legislation driven by Theresa May. And loses.

    Ironically the Eurosceptic MP goes to the big bad EU's Court of Justice over the same legislation and pulls out of the action before the eventual ruling against it. (Withdrew during the lead up to the referendum? Can't be seen to be taking advantage of the EU when you're rallying against it!)

    He then finds himself in Theresa Mays government as Minister for Brexit; otherwise known as the Minister for The Fall-guy When It All Goes Titsup.

    Theresa May may be a vile woman with a history of saying one thing and voting for another (or is it vice-versa?) but I think many have underestimated her as a political opponent!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Starting To Make Sense

      The biggest thorn in the gubbermint path toward total slurping is the ECHR.

      This is nothing to do with the EU. taking the UK out of the ECHR laws would be a very wrong move IMHO.

    2. Cynical Observer

      Re: Starting To Make Sense

      @Shades..

      Ironically the Eurosceptic MP goes to the big bad EU's Court of Justice over the same legislation and pulls out of the action before the eventual ruling against it. (Withdrew during the lead up to the referendum? Can't be seen to be taking advantage of the EU when you're rallying against it!)

      His name was still on the case in early June when the last of the hearings was held. It's believed that he removed his name from the case once he was appointed - to be mentioned on the case it as odds with the concept of Cabinet Collective Responsibility.

      So it would seem it became a "You Choose! Brexit or Privacy rights.... Which is more important?"

      Now we know.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Starting To Make Sense

      Theresa May's approach is to fill the departments she want to keep control of 'personally' with inexperienced candidates, Liz Truss, Justice Secretary and Amber Rudd, Home Secretary. May is going for a 'totalitarian lite' form of running 'her' Goverment departments. (Though, you could argue you have to start somewhere to get more females into Cabinet)

      May speaks clearly, calmly, with authority, but I get the impression there is little substance behind those words in terms of competence of the subject at hand, there is a hight percentage of bluff going on.

  7. Graham Marsden
    Alert

    Damn these Europeans...

    ... for interfering with our Government's Right to snoop on us all and stop them doing whatever they deem necessary to protect us from terrerrists!

    Now that we've voted for Brexit, we can be certain that we will be *so* much safer with the British Bill of Rights that Theresa May will Allow Us...

  8. Yugguy

    Even the Beeb agrees

    Well, one of their columnists anyway.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36803542

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And so begins the new permanent emergency. Because we're at war with Eurasia. Always have been.

  10. FuzzyWuzzys
    Facepalm

    Rght well that's that f***ed then!

    "if it’s done legally and with safeguards."

  11. MrTuK
    WTF?

    Female Stalin running the country with Stasi (GCHQ etc to look after her !)

    Just enjoy being in 1984 and be quiet !

  12. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    We Need a Graph....

    ...........depicting the rise of 'serious crime' and the decline 'ethical government'....

  13. Leeroy

    Newsagent police poster.

    I seen a poster on the shop door of a newsagents today it read 'Any crime committed against the owners of this company will be treated as a hate crime. 'Plus some more bollocks about protecting the community etc. Boils down to some person pinching a Mars bar can now be arrested for hate crime. Where do I buy my ticket off this planet ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Newsagent police poster.

      I personally prefer white chocolate. I guess this means I'm a racist...

    2. Shades

      Re: Newsagent police poster.

      Careful there, you sound like one of the element of Brexiters - that every Brexiter claims they're not* - that are probably the reason the sign had to go up in the first place.

      I think the distinction you're failing to recognise is that the sign is referencing the shop owners themselves, not the items owned by the shop owners.

      This is just a hunch but I'm guessing the shop owners aren't white and/or British nationals?

      *Yes, I know... Not every Brexiter is a racist, but every racist is a Brexiter. Now, where have I heard that before?

    3. Domino
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Newsagent police poster.

      Leeroy: I seen a poster on the shop door of a newsagents today it read 'Any crime committed against the owners of this company will be treated as a hate crime.'

      In Nottinghamshire chat up lines are apparently now a hate crime, unless you are homosexual I guess..

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-36775398

      The force defines misogyny hate crime as: "Incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman."

  14. JassMan
    Joke

    Sounds like Davis is the consumate politician

    And obviously a consumer as well, since he knows which side his bread buttered on.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Governments don't commit "hate crime"

    The funny thing is that governments and their agents never commit "hate crimes". No matter how frightful and repulsive their acts, they are always undertaken in sober cold blood. The terrorist on the ground may be emotionally motivated, but the chap in the air-conditioned cockpit at 15,000 feet is icy calm as he pushes the button to fire the rocket or release the bombs. Even more so the possibly rather bored fellow, to all intents and purposes playing an advanced video game, as he sends a Hellfire missile on its way towards a bunch of rather vaguely seen people who might be carrying weapons (or is that an umbrella?) And then there are the people at the top of the tree, as they sit in their comfortable offices and conference rooms, planning the destruction - all for the noblest of reasons, of course.

    I am sure they all sleep very well at night.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Governments don't commit "hate crime"

      "Even more so the possibly rather bored fellow, to all intents and purposes playing an advanced video game, as he sends a Hellfire missile on its way towards a bunch of rather vaguely seen people who might be carrying weapons (or is that an umbrella?)"

      While his kind Uncle Sam feeds ten trillion in change

      Into the total entertainment combat video game

      - Roger Waters.

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