* Posts by Jimmy

130 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Nov 2007


Johnson handed Home Office brief


@ AC 12:45 GMT

Your comments represent the greatest piece of historical revisionism since the Holocaust deniers were peddling their lies around the world a few years ago, implying that places like Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen were nothing more than comfortable rest homes for retired Jews. (See David Irvine et al.)

What we are now witnessing here in the UK is thirty years of Thatcherism finally crashing into the buffers of economic reality, with the painful prospect of another thirty years of payback for the citizens of this country.

When Blair, Brown and Mandelson devised their 'cunning plan' to steal the Tories thunder by adopting their economic strategy of privatisation, deregulation, and free markets they did so for reasons of short term political advantage with no regard to the long term consequences. So when they were elected in 1997 they followed through, selling off taxpayer funded public assets to their new-found corporate friends who promptly instituted the culture of Rip Off Britain with all the enthusiasm of someone who had been given a license to print money.

Unsurprisingly, even the people we elected to have oversight of the executive, our MPs, decided that they wanted a piece of the action in the shape of a hidden pay rise disguised as unaudited expenses.

So there you have it, forget all about party labels and tribalism and just acknowledge that they are human beings who are as susceptible to temptation as the rest of us. That is why we have evolved legal systems and laws to constrain the baser instincts of the greediest in society. When Thatcher kicked off her 'big bang' deregulation in the City of London financial markets she set in motion the runaway train that has ended in global financial chaos we see around us today. At the next general election if you can't find a Raving Loony Party candidate to vote for just turn over and go back to sleep.

Data-sniffing trojans burrow into Eastern European ATMs


@ Cameron Colley

It's hard to disagree with your assertion that a more obscure, proprietary OS would raise the bar in terms of security, but given the obvious intelligence and skills of the attackers combined with the potential rewards to be gained it certainly would not be an insurmountable obstacle.

The main vulnerability in the design and implementation of security and safety systems is our age-old friend - human frailty. The same frailty that is so easily exploited by those who are determined to breach the defences. We have all heard the old adage "We can make it foolproof but we cant make it idiot proof." which can also be rendered as "We can make it foolproof but we cant make it gangster proof."

The bigger the prize, the greater the effort that is expended.


ATM - Ask The Monkeys

With the technical ingenuity demonstrated by these budding capitalist entrepreneurs it clearly wouldn't matter which operating system was being used, provided that they could gain one-time physical access to install a hardware dongle in the machine.

Their main problem is to identify the most vulnerable individual among those who have authorised access to the innards of the ATMs. Step forward Mr. Security Guard who would be the guy with the lowest pay and the most responsibility for replenishing the empty cash containers. He may also have a poor credit rating, an ambitious wife, and a demanding girlfriend. Gotcha.

If 640 overpaid and under-performing parliamentary monkeys can be bribed with unaudited expense accounts why would Joe Bloggs want to resist temptation.

Gordon 'to sacky' Wacky Jacqui


Goodbye and hello.

As Jacqui drags her sorry ass out of the Home Office she leaves behind the team of 'special advisers' that Nulab installed to override and manage the objective advice offered by the civil servants. The unelected control freaks stay in post (at our cost) so don't look for any change of policy. Has anyone checked THEIR expenses recently?

Jacqui, your undignified exit becomes you beautifully. Not quite off the gravy train yet love, but we will sort that out for you very shortly.

Firefox users flip out over sneak MS add-on


Thought for today.

Thanks to........


Nils Hormel



AC@ 15:02 GMT

......for at least providing some useful pointers in their posts. All the partisan, fanboi sniping is great for entertainment but nothing beats information.

If they can break the law, why can't we?


Bush Telegraph.

The discomfiture, embarrassment and public humiliation of a bunch of self-serving con merchants has provided us with wonderful entertainment over the last couple of weeks, and given us chapter and verse evidence to confirm our long held suspicions about our elected representatives.

The danger is that our self-hugging sense of schadenfreude may be obscuring a more important and underlying truth. Take for instance the prime minister's thunderous comment about how MPs have been allowed to manage the handling of their own expenses: " The time has come to end self-regulation."

Well, knock me down with a feather duster if you like, but I think I just heard the global high priest of deregulation, self-regulation, light-touch regulation, and SFA regulation publicly admitting that you simply can't trust organisations in pursuit of financial gain to police themselves.

This is a very welcome act of humility from a man who helped to precipitate a global financial crisis and effectively wrecked the UK economy. All we need now is an act of public contrition from David Cameron to hammer down the final nail into the coffin lid of Thatcherism.

Is that my alarm clock going off?

Government rejects Lords' surveillance criticism


The government said....

""We take the protection of their personal information extremely seriously and we are committed to handling it safely and securely."

For a spectacular demonstration of the government's interpretation of the phrase "safely and securely" we need look no further than their current predicament caused by the loss of a hard drive containing a tetrabyte of MP's expenses data.

Given that they fought tooth and nail to resist various FOI requests to make this information public you might reasonably think that the scumbags would have made damned sure that their data was secured. But no, they swallowed the government's "safe and secure" mantra and are now paying a high price for their gullibility and elitism.

And even when the FOI requests were granted, MPs insisted that they should have the right to edit the data before it was published while at the same time dismissing public concerns about government spying with worn out cliches such as "nothing to hide, nothing to fear".

We have everything to fear from venal politicians who prefer the assurances of snake-oil salesmen to the considered advice of experts. Come the election we can do what these people fear most: vote for a third party in sufficient numbers so that they can exercise a restraining influence on the extremists of the left and right. As the least corrupt party could the Lib Dems fit the bill?

UK.gov international net clean-up plan gathers dust


Burnham? Burn them all.

"Nevertheless, he said the internet was "quite a dangerous place" and that it had been created "as a place that governments couldn't reach."

Thanks to his government's cavalier attitude to data security we now all have access to a place that was previously inaccessible to us. That place is the parliamentary cesspit where Burnham and his free loading political peers were arse-up and snout-down, feeding in the public trough while at the same time waiving through legislation that removed all restraints from businesses and financial institutions, thus precipitating the greatest economic crisis for a hundred years.

However, our political masters did manage to take enough time out from their feeding frenzy to create one new criminal offence for every day they have been in office. Naturally, none of these new statutes were directed at regulating their buddies in corporate Britain.

Instead they have been used to assemble the largest and most intrusive surveillance apparatus ever created, with the intention of profiling and spying on the private communications of ordinary citizens who are all now all designated as potential criminals/terrorists.

Burnham may have been preoccupied with other matters but surely it hasn't escaped his attention that there has been a political revolution in America. The good guys are running the show over there now and they can spot a political shyster like Burnham from a mile away. So, just stay home, Andy, and concentrate on your exit strategy. You know, things like lining up lucrative directorships and writing your memoirs.


Firefox users caught in crossfire of warring add-ons


And the winner is........

These two bruisers have been needling each other for quite some time now as you can see from this example on Maone's website.


Typically, the Italian Stallion issues a sincere and gracious apology to all the users of his software while the Russian Bear sits sulking in the woods because the frailty of his programming has been exposed. Hopefully the outcome of this childish feud will be that Wladimir strengthens the defences in his extension and Giorgio sticks to trading insults rather than sabotaging other people's code. If that happens then all 'Fox users will continue to benefit from the tranquil surfing experience of Adblock and the enhanced security of Noscript.

As others have indicated, the real bad boy on the block is Mozilla who have consistently failed to address the problem of extension validation and integrity. You would think that with all the Google money swilling around Mozilla at the moment some attention would have been paid to elephant in the room.

Jacqui's secret plan to 'Master the Internet'


@ Will the Tories Scrap It?

We've just endured twelve years of New Tory government during which the Old Tories sat on the sidelines, and apart from making the mandatory ya-boo-sucks interventions in parliament have never raised a whimper of protest against the assault on civil liberties or the economic fundamentalism we have been subjected to.

The one honourable exception was David Davis, the shadow home secretary who resigned from his post and fought a bye-election in order to protest against the government's plans to extend pre-charge detentions for terror suspects to a maximum of 42 days. Significantly David Cameron chose not to reappoint Davis to his shadow post after he won the bye-election.

That tells you all you need to know about the same Old Tories. Some of us are hoping for the emergence of a new wave of Raving Loony Party candidates at the next election so that we can exercise our democratic rights with a clear conscience.

Meet Phorm's PR genius


PII squared.

@ Chronos

"The bottom line to all of this is how do we control access to our PII (personally identifiable information)? Regardless of who the players are, once this question is answered to the satisfaction of the public we can then push legislation to ensure PII is treated with the respect and security it deserves by all comers and penalise those who don't in the appropriate manner. Until that is done, we're no safer regardless of whether Phorm dies or not."

Made me feel a bit ashamed of some of the self-indulgent rants I've posted here when I read your objective analysis and proposed solution to the problem of on-line privacy. Yes, all the hyperbole and emotional overreaction does obscure the extent of the threat we will face when our private communications are reduced to the level of a commodity that can be exploited and traded without so much as a 'by your leave' from anyone.

The real difficulty is that we have a government that is fully signed up to the concept of data exploitation, and a host of determined 'pirates' waiting in harbour, ready to set sail when they get the nod of approval from gov.uk. Faced with a coalition like this it is hard to see how we could implement an admirable concept such as PII in this country.

Given our government's abysmal track record with data integrity and security it surely won't be long before we are faced with offshore data silos offering access to the intimate details of every UK citizen for the price of a cup of coffee.

So I'm afraid it's back to the frustration relieving ranting against the identifiable conspirators, Smith and Ertugrul. A marriage made in heaven or a meeting of the needy and the greedy?


Rodent investments for Hammy.

While you are aimlessly pounding the beat and getting nowhere in your little spinning world you should have plenty time to reflect on new investment opportunities to add your toxic portfolio. At no charge to you may I offer the following.

Third runway at Heathrow to increase the availability of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

Government sponsored establishment of six new coal-fired power stations with the option to fit Carbon Capture and Storage technology if and when it exists. Pile into this because CCS is at least thirty years away.

Neonatal brain implants for all children, so that the government know who and where they are at any given time. Although this should be regarded as a long term investment, unlikely to pay off until Labour return to power in about thirty years time.

Next time you meet up with your sponsor, Kunt Ertugrul, please be sure to give him a good boot up the arse with the compliments of all his friends and admirers over here at El Reg.

IT Angle

@ Andy S.

There is no "hidden agenda of anti-Brown campaign", here. What you do have is a fully justified, up-front determination to punish the most illiberal, repressive, and incompetent government we have ever had. What you read in the comment area of El Reg is an entirely spontaneous reaction by users of the site to control-freak politicos who treat us like disposable cyphers whose only function is to subsidise the lifestyle of the rich and the greedy .

It's true that you won't find much anti-Tory sentiment here, but when we have a New Tory government next year you can be damned sure that they will be subjected to the same examination and criticism as the present bunch of halfwits if they try to implement the same shit as New Labour.

FFS, please don't ask what the IT angle is - this is the 21st century and we are living in a wired world. Get over it.

UK.gov to spend £2bn on ISP tracking


IMP consultation.

Here's a sample from the HO consultation document.

The Government would welcome responses on the following questions:

Q1 On the basis of this evidence and subject to current safeguards and oversight arrangements, do you agree that communications data is vital for law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies and emergency services in tackling serious crime, preventing terrorism and protecting the public?

Found on page 22

Q2 Is it right for Government to maintain this capability by responding to the new communications environment?

Found on page 22

Q3 Do you support the Government’s approach to maintaining our capabilities? Which of the solutions should it adopt?

Found on page 30

Q4 Do you believe that the safeguards outlined are sufficient for communications data in the future?

Found on page 30

If there are any other additional comments that you would like to make, and are unable to make that comment in response to these questions, please forward these to:

Nigel Burrowes

Communications Data Consultation

Room P.5.37

Home Office

2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF

Or by e-mail to: communicationsdataconsultation@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

The BBC has the full pdf document available for download at:


Go, Brown, go!


Science and Technology corrupted.

El Reg has never been a narrow exclusion zone where only the nuts and bolts of electronic technology are up for discussion, and thank goodness for that. It would be completely disingenuous to ignore the wider social implications of the business we are engaged in.

As we have discovered to our cost in the last decade, having your head up your ass is not the optimum configuration for the maintenance of a fair and just society. Although this is the posture that our government and its commercial friends very much hopes we will continue to adopt.

So I welcome the fact that El Reg continues to make available a space where the technically competent are able to provide informed commentary on the abuses of our technology by politicians and businesses.Viva El Reg!

Spy chiefs size up net snoop gear



The MI5/6 guys and their Home Office shills have struck pure gold with the current Home Secretary. Never before have they had such a gullible and obliging minister to do their bidding for them. It is well- documented that previous incumbents of this office when presented with the latest loony wish-list from the scaremongers would send them packing with an admonition to "fucking grow up", or words to that effect. As a former minister said when he took control of the HO, "It's not fit for purpose". The only thing that has changed since then is that we now have a minister who isn't fit for any purpose on this planet.

As per usual there is no rationale or real world justification for this level of intrusion into people's lives, just the same old NuLabour bullshit spin tactics to cover their abysmal ignorance and stupidity. Everyone knows that the business of seeking out the statistically insignificant few who wish to do us harm is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But we feel nothing but utter contempt when we see those who are charged with protecting us busily engaged in trying to build the biggest haystack in the world.

Brussels to sue UK over Phorm failures


Trickle-down or pissed on?

Mandelson's laws of Light-Touch regulation.

1 Thou shalt not impede in any way whatsoever an enterprise that is fully engaged in the wealth creation process which will eventually, by means of the trickle-down effect, enrich everyone.

2 For the purpose of wealth creation it will be legitimate to disregard old-fashioned concepts such as 'citizen's rights' and replace them with the more appropriate term 'consumer's obligations'.

3 Those who generate the nation's wealth will receive special consideration and easy access to government ministers when they feel they are being obstructed in their pursuit of legitimate profits.

Mandelson is quoted as saying "New Labour has no problem with people becoming filthy rich, provided they pay their taxes". So how did that work out, Pete? As we all know they did in fact become filthy rich at our expense and promptly off shored their profits so that they didn't have to pay any taxes. Who's a clever boy, then, Petey?

Phorm came late to the party having suddenly realised that UK inc. would welcome any old sleaze bag outfit with open arms. Did I forget to mention another one of Pete's great ideas, an open invitation to the Florida Mafia to set up forty 'super casinos' in the UK?

Thanks to our more civilised European neighbours we may yet be spared the attentions of the despised Phorm outfit. Here at home our best option looks to be a hung parliament with a strengthened Lib Dem party able to put the mockers on the other two 'greed is good' mobs.

BT blocks up to 40,000 child porn pages per day


CEOP and the real world.

@ james hedley

"Most of the time the IWF is doing useful stuff then. But I'd feel a lot better if someone were actually going out to shut down the sites on the blacklist, rather than the "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" approach of filtering."

It may be reassuring for you to know that there are in fact some real hard-nosed cops on the case of these sickos. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) is a national police unit that actively pursues and arrests people engaged in this trade and, more importantly, actually rescues children who are being exploited. Latest stats from their website - http://www.ceop.gov.uk/ - show 297 arrests and 131 children rescued.

Maybe if the resources devoted to the Jacqui Smith's PR exercise over at the IWF (stats 0/0) were diverted to this operation we would see an improvement in the overall detection and conviction rate for this crime.

An insight into how this kind of work effects the officers who are at the sharp end of this type of work can be found in this Times article.


Moderatrix quits El Reg: Latest


Choose shoes.

A derisory £30 for a pair of shoes? This kid has to be worth at least a pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos at £300.

Jacqui Smith pulls in another TV psych in violence probe


Gemini ascending.

In other breaking news.... the Minister for Science and Technology has announced that his department has retained the services of celebrity TV astrologer, Belinda Bogshite who will provide insights into the mysteries of particle physics. The minister said in a statement that he had been impressed by Bogshite's scholarly repudiation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which had previously been regarded as a key element in quantum mechanics.

Who'd a thunk it?


The silence of the lambs.

Surely this can't be the same Ms Smith who so blithely signed off on an unprovoked war on another country. The resulting savagery that this display of "shock and Awe" created, resulted in the violent death and mutilation of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, men, women and children.

The stink of hypocrisy from this bigoted little Feminazi is enough to make me want to throw up in her face.

Wacky Jacqui spanked by husband

Thumb Up

Insert party of choice.

Just another pair of political chavs living on enhanced state benefits while lecturing the rest of us on our moral standards. Even as we speak Jacqui's "paid researcher" is probably scrambling through the dustbins trying to recover those carelessly discarded doodles and scribbles that may bring down more ignominy on the head of his stupid "employer".

ID cards not compulsory after all, says Home Office


@ Estariel

Sorry to hear about you cracking up, mate. Can I recommend that you apply some NuLabour Soothing Balm with its ingredients of honeyed words, fragrant blatant lies, a whisper of disinformation, and a teasing piquancy of avarice, greed and self-interest.

The Health and Safety leaflet enclosed with the product includes a list of more than 600 MPs who can attest to the beneficial effects this relaxing and healing balm has had on their personal well-being. The product will be widely available until the next general election. Apply sparingly.

Estariel, we know perfectly well that you couldn't slide a fag-paper between the policies of Labour and the Tories. The next election isn't about policies, my friend, its about Crime and Punishment.

Boffins sniff keystrokes with lasers, oscilloscopes


I'm feeling vulnerable today

Mines the one with the on-screen keyboard and wireless mouse. How do the spooks reconcile wet dreams with sleepless nights?

Privacy watchdog barks for federal Gmail probe


And, obviously.......

......leave those two tick-boxes unchecked.


@ BlueGreen

IIRC In previous versions of Firefox these two tick-boxes allowed you the option to download the database or connect directly to the Google server each time you visit a new site. What happens now with the options being changed to

1) Tell me if I'm visiting a suspected attack site.

2) Tell me if I'm visiting is a suspected forgery.

is ambiguous to say the least. Fellow paranoiacs may consider this lack of clarity and the fact that Mozilla is awash with Google cash to be good enough reasons to take evasive action.

Click the search box drop down menu and select Manage Search Engines. Delete the Google search engine and select Get more Search Engines. Search for and install Scroogle SSL.

But hey, maybe that's just boring old me, with nothing to hide, nowhere to go and fuck all to spend.

Industry ponders fate of Wacky Jacqui's überdatabase


Spooked again

All assurances from the spooks and government that the actual content of communications will not be scanned should be regarded with the same scepticism as statements such as " We abhor torture in all its forms and would never, ever authorise its use under any circumstances."

As we are now discovering, what this really means is " except in cases where we believe national security may be at risk. " Well, with MI5 being our national security agency, that's their asses well and truly covered against everything. And besides, for a small consideration the dirty work can be outsourced to less fastidious agencies in other countries. It worked for Pontius Pilate didn't it?

So UK tax payers can confidently look forward to the day when one of New Labour's satellite partners is slurping up public funds while they drool over your private correspondence.

Scottish Parliament pr0n law faces angry opposition


@ Sarah

Lack of clarity is no excuse. Mea culpa. I have absolutely no problems with feminist aspirations to achieve equality of remuneration and the removal of the so-called 'glass ceiling' which impedes the promotion of women in many organisations, but hopefully not in the hallowed halls of El Reg! Neither do I have a problem with their insistence that they should be respected as individual human beings and not treated as chattels to be bought, sold, and abused by men.

But as you know there is an uglier side to the feminist movement in the form of the rabid man-haters who are prepared to pre-judge and condemn anyone with testicles. When these extremists are in a position to draft legislation we end up with loony-tune laws such as the current proposals to criminalise people simply for being in possession of an image.Or the legislation that can result in a man being sent to jail for having sex with a prostitute who may have been illegally brought into the UK. Being ignorant of the fact that woman has been trafficked into this country is not a valid defence. You have balls therefore you are guilty. Thank you Ms Smith.

Thumb Up

MacAyatollah is loose aboot the hoose.

Just as in the UK parliament, the feminist writ runs large in the Scottish legislature and with the same deadening effect. The very concept of criminalising possession of an image, any image, is "one giant step for mankind" - backward into medieval darkness.

The complete absence of any rationale behind the proposals betrays its origins in the finely honed mind of the chief bigot herself, the hapless Jacqui Smith. For example, what is the purpose and desired outcomes that this law is meant to achieve? It certainly won't improve the scandalously low conviction rate for rape crimes or protect one single child from being the victim of real, actual, sexual exploitation. Maybe the real intended beneficiaries of this piece of horse-manure are all the dead animals who will be saved from the unwelcome attention of necrophiliacs. .

MSPs who endorse this kind of infantile nonsense should be publicly flogged through the streets of Edinburgh.

BBC botnet investigation turns hacks into hackers


And now for something completely different.


Here is the news from the BBC. Botnets are very bad for you. In other news today it was reported that Lord Mandelson of Custard Green has given assurances that he only intends to privatise 49% of the BBC which would give the Corporation access to high quality content from other providers. A spokeswoman for the Greedy But Needy channel said she welcomed the proposals of her friend Mandy and, quite frankly couldn't wait to get her hands on all that lovely licence fee income.

A judgement today in the European Court ruled that proposals by the UK government to implant RFID chips in the brains of new-born babies was abhorrent and totally illegal. Gordon Brown and the Daily Mail have condemned the ruling as an unwarranted interference in the affairs of an independent sovereign nation.

Our lead item in this evening's bulletin contained an unsupported assertion that Botnets might not provide you with a life enhancing experience. The BBC would like to issue an apology to anyone who has been offended by this item. Under new restrictions it is no longer permissible for the Corporation to provide evidence to support such clearly nonsensical claims.

And now, the weather from Worzel Gummidge.

UK's net radicalization plans are 'crude, costly, counter-productive'


History lesson.

"The process kicked off almost 14 months ago, with an address by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who declared that the internet was no longer a "no-go area for government and the law".

Radicalism in all its forms, political, economic, and religious, simply means a departure from the common centre, shared by many, to the extremes occupied by the few. If a left-of-centre political party under the banner of the New Labour Project enthusiastically embraces and extends the wilder excesses of Thatcherism does that not represent political extremism of the worst kind? And when the same party joins hands with a bunch of god-botherers and neo-conservatives to wage unprovoked war on another country, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, what do we call that? A crusade, an oil-grab or a pre-emptive security strike?

Who knows, but maybe if NuLabour hadn't decided that Iraq was no longer a "no-go area ".they wouldn't have provoked the most radical backlash of extremism we've ever seen. NuLab should take note of recent history before embarking on another crusade to take ownership of the internet. The backlash is pending, Jacqui.

Thankfully the Americans have taken their country back from the crazies and are now embarked on cleaning up the mess that they inherited. High time we too took back our country. The Raving Loony mob have had their chance.

Court rules airline secret security list is stupid


Keep on walking.

The point of all this 'security' theatre at airports is to reassure passengers that your government cares and is actively and visibly intervening at the point of departure to protect lives. Same rationale as ID cards and mega databases and with the same outcome: at least some of the highly motivated bad guys will still get through to their target.

Statistically air passengers are more likely to die as the result of a bird-strike, component failure, structural failure or a collision between aircraft, either on the ground or in the air. And all this despite rigorously enforced maintenance schedules, pre-flight checks and the deployment of anti-collision radar etc.

Once you take the first step on the road to madness you have an obligation to keep on walking, so owners of sharp-edged credit cards, debit cards, ID cards and store cards can confidently look forward to a mass recall and the issue of rubberised replacements. Thank you for flying with Wacky Airlines, your security is important to us.

Vatican vetos 'dot god' domain


@ .paperscitizen

Sarah Bee is the sole arbiter of content on these comment pages and has much to put up with from boring old farts, fanbois, religious cranks, atheists, politicos and sex maniacs.

It is a well known fact around here that certain key phrases such as "P****s, please" and "M**s**ual cycle" can trigger severe self-harming bouts in this vulnerable young woman. In the most recent incident colleagues found her seated at her work station banging her head on the desk because some inconsiderate twat had used the dread phrase "N*L**our" for the hundredth time that day.

Scandalous rumours circulating on the internet regarding her sexuality have yet to be repudiated, but no doubt when she has fully recovered the lady will allay our concerns.

Firefox update tackles critical memory bugs


Has a permit been obtained?

Does Ma Grundy at the Home Office know that El Reg is sponsoring another one of its public willy-waving contests?

Browser Fan-boys, please think of us children before you comment.

MPs vote to keep addresses private (theirs, not yours)


The House is in sitting.

The nature of our relationship with our elected representatives needs to be urgently updated. Sir Fred Goodwin, he of the £700,000pa pension, knows a thing or two about politicians and what they really stand for. So I suggest that Fred's fully extended middle finger best defines how we too should treat our sleepwalking MPs. Sit on this, you useless bunch of tossers.

Prime Minister's health records breached in database attack



Oh, the exquisite, shuddering, orgasmic pleasure to be derived from the discomfort of the arrogant ruling elite. I tell you, it's almost better than sex without a rubber.

The architects of The New World Order and the database state hoist with their own petard, exposed as credulous morons wandering around in an evidence-free zone where only opinion, belief, faith and conviction are allowed to prevail. Mere facts, evidence and experience count for nothing in the eyes of this dismissive clique of New Scientologists.

Even the spectre of the City of London crashing and burning around their ears won't persuade them of the error of their ways because zealots are always convinced that "there is no alternative". Which at least leaves us with the delicious prospect of another moment of schadenfreude when their uber database inevitably goes tits-up.

Y'all have a good laugh, now.

El Reg suffers identity crisis


More than confectionary from Mars?

The confused but ever perspicacious amanfromMars has rumbled me on two of my AC posts leaving me feeling vulnerable and exposed. Does this mean that El Reg's venerable "security through obscurity" model is broken and needs to be upgraded to three-factor authentication?

Will our telepathic Martian friend please confirm by means of a statement witnessed by a Public Notary that he is not in the paid employment of the Bitch from Redditch.

Small ISPs reject call to filter out child abuse sites


Just another day at The Office.

Yes, there is a very real problem here in the sense that somewhere there are very real children who are being vilely abused by adults for the purpose of commercial gain and sexual gratification.

Please don't expect the smug, self-satisfied moral guardians at the Home Office to actually address this problem in any practical way whatsoever because that is clearly not on their agenda.

{The Home Office said the IWF blocklist was a "considerable success" and that it will continue to consider what further action might be needed.}

The Home Office may consider blocking images of the criminal abuse of children to be a success story but in reality it is simply a cover up for their total lack of focus and their abysmal failure to address very serious criminal activity in any meaningful way. Reality check coming up: How many children has the HO policy prevented from being sexually abused? Zero, zilch, none.

El Reg readers will recognise that we are on a well-trodden HO path here. In this country we have a statistically insignificant number of religious fanatics who intend to do us harm. Our security services claim to know who they are and where they are so it's safe to assume that every aspect of their lives is under heavy surveillance. But no, because along comes the upper echelon of the HO hierarchy with another one of their jolly wheezes so that we end up with the mother of all databases. Fifty million UK citizens will be subject to in-depth surveillance of their communications in an attempt to detect potentially subversive behaviour, or so we're told. This is the perfect response from an organisation that is not only "not fit for purpose" but also sincerely believes that the shortest distance between two points on a plane is a parabolic curve. Not fit for toilet paper.

What are the security threats?


Invisible elephants in the room.

Maybe I'm being a little bit naive here but it seems to me that there are two startling omissions from that tasty little graphic:

1. Interception of external network traffic by government (UK) agencies.

2. interception of external network traffic by government sanctioned commercial enterprises such as Phorm and Nebuad.

I realise that the general drift of the article is directed at corporate enterprises who will be tunnelling their traffic through VPNs but surely the majority of businesses fall into the Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) category where such technology is not as widely deployed. But that may turn out to be not such a big problem after all.

Given the UK government's slavish grovelling to the demands of the business community it wouldn't be too surprising if we discovered that a clause had been inserted into some obscure bill, say The Restoration and Maintenance of Ancient Monuments act, which would confer total immunity from network interception on all businesses for all time. Ever.

Now citizen, bend over and assume the position while one of our partners puts it to you in the nicest possible way. No, you can't have a feckin' anaesthetic.

Gadget-buying Taliban 5th column in Blighty - shock!


Pie in the sky.

Just when my Paranoiameter had settled down into the green sector I open up El Reg and find myself having to deal with this shovelful of shit.

C'mon guys, don't you realise that there are thousands of us on Maplin mailing lists who will now be tagged as potential terrorists when the government's uberdatabase starts spinning its algorithmic wheels out there in cyberspace.

What's more, it will be a double whammy when the heuristic engine picks up on the fact that Maplin is an anagram of M Palin, a notorious right-wing political extremist. (The 'M' stands for Megalomaniac.)

We are all doomed, I tell you, doomed.

Blunkett and ex-CPS chief turn on Home Office


For what we are about to receive........

........may we be truly watchful. Two-time loser Blunkett has popped up over the radar horizon during the past few weeks, giving several interviews to the media in an attempt to resurrect his political credibility. Whether his new-found respect for the rights of UK citizens is a true conversion on the road to Damascus or just a typical load of New Labour bullshit only time will tell. But you can be sure that it wouldn't be happening unless he had received the nod from Brown himself.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch house the Wacky one is being dissed and set up for a fall by the party spin machine. Is there any connection between the resurrection of Blunkett and the imminent demise of Jacqui? Do bears shit in the woods?

One of Blunkett's more sceptical interviewers can be found over here:


Ruling: Gov reports into ID scheme must be disclosed


NuLabour - over and out.

The government's reluctance to release this information into the public domain is perfectly understandable because it will reveal,among other things, the results of the cost-benefit analysis they are obliged to carry out prior to the introduction of any major new legislation.

On the cost side of the equation the numbers are unquantifiable; just think of a number and divide by four to sweeten the pill. In the course of time reality will assert itself and the original estimate will be multiplied by a factor of between 4 and 6.

As the alleged benefits of the card have been trotted out and demolished one after another by the informed criticism of experts, they have had to revert to full-on NuLabour authoritarian mode whereby trifling things like evidence, expertise, and common sense are cast aside in favour of political dogma.

Authoritarian governments move in incremental steps: today, the card and tomorrow the legal requirement to produce it at the demand of any jumped up jobsworth who feels like it.

But I'm sure we will never, ever be in danger of any kind again if only we carry our little plastic tokens with us everywhere we go.

On the other hand we could choose to exercise our democratic right to collectively shove our tokens up NuLabours arse via the ballot box so that we don't have to put up with any more of their shit.

Minister trashes ex-spook chief's liberty warning


Tom a Hawk

Tom McNulty clearly ticks all the NuLabour boxes that qualify him to succeed the Wacky Wonder.

1. Contemptuous dismissal of someone who is infinitely better informed about a subject than he is himself.

2. Dogmatic adherence to the party line that private citizens must be regulated with brutal Stalinist discipline while the so-called wealth creators are let off the leash in order to create nothing less than the worst economic crisis for a hundred years.

3. Replaces rational, evidence-based policy making with the conviction-based politics of Thatcher.

4. Fully subscribes to Mandelson's dictum "New Labour has no problem with people becoming filthy rich", although to be fair he did add "provided they pay their taxes".( But, being a hell of a lot smarter than the NuLabour dummies, the filthy rich promptly off-shored their tax liabilities to tax havens like the Cayman islands.)

5. Fully paid up member of the Pontius Pilate sect within NuLabour: We do not torture people, we get other people to do it for us.

Perfect CV for Tom - the man's a shoo-in.

Scots and pilots brace against ID cards


@ It wasnt me

"When you finally get get your independence, and I hope you do, please can you take back the one eyed moron?"

"In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king." Erasmus.

Being a courteous nation we are always happy to assist the afflicted such as yourself. Please allow me to escort you across this busy junction before you incur another self-inflicted injury. I believe yours is the one with the white stick on the hook and the dark glasses in the pocket.


Crime and punishment.

Resistance is futile. Electoral punishment on an unprecedented scale is the only answer. Bury them for the next fifty years.

Just don't waste your time scanning the election manifesto of the incoming Tory administration for the the bit that states "we will revoke all the repressive measures inflicted on the British people by the previous government", because it ain't gonna happen.

But just think how good you are going to feel, having exercised your last remaining right to punish the greedy self-serving bastards who brought this country to its knees.

Total number of criminal offences created by NuLabour affecting private citizens = 3600

Total number of criminal offences created by NuLabour affecting businesses and financiers = 0

Do the math.

Pilots boycott gov ID cards


Game, set and match.

Osama bin Laden, your work is done, victory is assured thanks to the activities of your one true disciple and fellow terrorist, the blessed Jaqui Smith. Given your traditionally disrespectful attitude to women I suspect that even you must find it ironic that one of your greatest achievements will be attributed to a female follower.

Who would have believed that one woman would be able to circumscribe the liberties and freedoms of a whole nation while assuring them that they were being wrapped in a cocoon of impenetrable anti-terrorist safety measures.

But enough of these trivialities, Osama, for I have news of an independent, self-financing group of economic terrorists operating within the British government. Their morally bankrupt philosophy of unrestrained, unregulated greed and avarice has finally run its course and brought the economy to its knees. With friends such as these what need do we have of Jihad?

So, as you can see, my work too is complete and I beg your permission to rejoin you and my brothers in the caves. The life of a troglodyte is so much more appealing than a bare existence on this miserable little island,

Regards, Farouq

Parliament probes privacy law


Jack's back!

In 2007 MPs were actively campaigning via a private members bill to exempt themselves from the Freedom of Information act.

An email from Labour's influential parliamentary committee urged its backbench MPs to support a private member's Bill that would prevent the public using the new right-to-know legislation to see MPs' correspondence. Jack Straw said,."it would drive a coach and horses through the relationship that we have with constituents. It is all very well for some people to say that there are some exemptions, but the truth is that the way that some journalists and the Information Commissioner are acting means that that intention is not being met in practice"

Okay, so now we know where you're coming from Jack, we can appreciate what a jolly good wheeze it would be to set up a committee selected from this self-serving elite which, on the basis of recent revelations, probably has more to hide than any other group in the country - except the bwankers, of course.

It's tough being an MP, living on enhanced state benefits and struggling to get along on £63,000 a year plus unaudited expenses. Surely they are entitled to a little privacy in which to bemoan their lot.

Why conventional protection fails against web threats


Secured or skewered?

If the name of the game for network security companies is 'data integrity' then they can quietly shut up shop and get in the breadline with the rest of the newly unemployed.

Here in the UK we have the New Labour data mining corporation proposing to create an über database that will record details of every email, phone call, web search, and url accessed by every citizen, Any assurance by the government that actual data content will not be archived would have the same value as their fairytale promises about the strength of our economy. And it doesn't inspire confidence that the main proponent of this Orwellian nightmare is a delusional woman who insists, despite a complete lack of evidence, that everywhere she goes to in this country she is met by throngs of people begging her to issue them with ID cards. Naturally, not available on YouTube.

Obviously this scheme requires the cooperation of internet service providers who have already demonstrated their willingness to climb into bed with data mining parasites like Phorm. No problem there for govUK, it's a walk in the park.

So having had our data stolen by this unholy trinity of rapists, can someone please explain what is the point of the Network Security industry? Are they going to sell us band-aids and field dressings?

Stop'n'search gets touchy-feely


To Matt Bryant

Your original post appeared to be a model of restraint right up to the last sentence where you just couldn't resist digging into your bag of conservative clichés to produce this rubbish:

"Maybe that's because, unlike you, I'm not given to paranoid delusions of a police state."

Paranoia is a serious psychiatric illness in which the patient suffers from irrational fears and suspicions. Your attempt to characterise people who express healthy scepticism about the activities of politicians and businessmen as being paranoid is a typical conservative smear tactic.

Maybe if complacent citizens such as you hadn't been asleep on watch for the last ten years this country wouldn't have been reduced to the status of a third world economy.

Next time you go for one of your nocturnal strolls along the embankment just bear in mind that the home secretary has stated that she would be afraid to venture out at night in London unless she was accompanied by her armed minders. Paranoid? And we have it on no less an authority than the Information Commissioner that we are " Sleepwalking towards a surveillance society in this country. Paranoid?

I've only got one cliché in my liberal bag and I'm proud to produce it in the presence of sleepwalkers :Complacency is the enemy of freedom.


Jacqui calls Vodafone man to run massive snoop database


Tlm Hayward, your work is done!

It's never a good career move to embark on one of Jacqui Smith's vanity projects - as others have discovered to their cost. But given that in the midst of a government inspired economic meltdown there isn't really a big market for system architects, nobody will blame you for signing up to this roller-coaster ride.

You should be aware of the extensive research carried out at Microsoft Research Labs by Horvitz and Leskovec in 2006-7 which clearly shows that in a wired world we are all connected to each other by no more than a few tenuous links. A summary of their work is given in this quote from a Guardian article:

"Researchers Eric Horvitz and Jure Leskovec used records of 30 billion electronic conversations among 180 million people in various countries to establish a database that logged all Microsoft Messenger traffic for 2006. They considered two people to be acquaintances if they had sent one another a message, and looked at the minimum chain lengths it would take to connect 180 billion different pairs of users in the database. They found that the average length was 6.6 hops, and that 78 per cent of the pairs could be connected in seven steps or fewer. But some were separated by as many as 29 steps.

This research confirms the work of others in the field and is also applicable to e-mail and other forms of communications."


The original research paper is available here:


So how does this play out against the government's proposal to create an ever expanding superdatabase that will be continuously crawled over and analysed in an attempt to identify suspicious communication linkages? Well, once you throw the 30 billion spam messages that are automatically generated each day into the melting pot, it doesn't take an Albert Einstein to work out that the number of 'false positives' generated will very quickly overwhelm the resources of the UK Security Services, to say nothing of the storage capacity of the database. Have a nice day, Tim.

El Reg readers feel free to contact your MP and advise him that he has been put on a watch-list for having known links to paedophiles in Peckham, pornographers in Prestatyn, pederasts in Picadilly and prostitutes in Perth. If your MP is of the NuLabour persuasion don't even bother, they're all in another movie - Silence of the Lambs.