An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#5731 - 11/10/09 12:58 PM State to 'spy' on every email and internet search.
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
How feasible is this, frankly? Considering how many millions of people there are in the UK using email, text messaging, and the internet.

Today's headline from a not-stupid daily national paper:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopi...web-search.html

If it were a tabloid I'd just laugh. But it's a serious paper. Tomorrow and the next day the tabloids will pick it up and run with it - they love scaring their readers.

Also, it's on the front page today, not buried at the back of the paper.

What do you think? PLEASE look at the link.

Thanks.

Top
#5732 - 11/10/09 01:13 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
It's a little confusing, but this sounds like it's a proposal which has not yet been passed, and has a great deal of opposition (especially when it comes to footing the bill, I imagine).

If this passes, I predict a British national pastime of leaking information about members of the Home Office will come into vogue, and that will quickly put a stop to it.

_________________________
---

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

Top
#5734 - 11/10/09 02:32 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet search. [Re: Bensheim]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
This appears to be a rather far reaching extension of existing laws governing telecommunication monitoring (who talks to whom and when) based on the industry’s billing databases. While clearly of use in ‘combating terrorism’, there equally clearly are serious issues with who can have access to these data, on whose authority this access is to be granted and for which purposes the information obtained may be used (to mention just a few concerns).

AFAIK, the content of the communications involved remains excluded from both the existing and the proposed legislation; this still requires separate and restricted judicial permission.
_________________________
alternaut moderator

Top
#5750 - 11/11/09 05:45 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
The monitoring and data storage is feasible provided enough money and resources are applied to the task and it appears they expect business to bear the brunt of the expense for data storage, and I would assume access. Typically the monitoring computers would be programmed to listen for specific keywords and phrases, specific communications patterns, and a list of suspicious addresses. Even the use of encrypted protocols could be a trigger for further investigation. Increased communications monitoring is being called for and discussed in the United States as well.

A bigger question is whether or not this type of monitoring would be useful. If the triggers for further investigation are set too low the volume of work could completely overwhelm the security agencies and if set too high it would be unlikely to provide anything except after the fact indicators or an aid in prosecution when an act has been committed. To me an even more important question is who will be monitoring the monitors to prevent abuse on the part of apparently well meaning officials.

All of this smacks to me of George Orwell's 1984. In the name of fighting terrorism there are all too many who are willing to sacrifice the freedom of others in the guise of obtaining security. I have recently seen in print a quote from an American congressman that his constituents would rather be safe than be free. His assertion scares the heck out of me. I am reminded of a quote from one of this country's founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.

There is and always has been a cost for freedom and a lot of Brits and Americans paid that price in blood on the Normandy beaches. Hopefully we won't permit international terrorists to cause us to forfeit that price.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#5755 - 11/11/09 10:23 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: joemikeb]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I completely agree Joe, well put, your entire post.

Thanks to the other who replied too.

I am surprised that this hasn't been taken up by the other papers in the UK today. As I said earlier, they love scaring their readers.

To me, even the threat of this surveillance, means that the Ters have won, again. They've already won in many respects: the stringent rules on taking liquids on board airplanes now, even when those "liquids" consist of toothpaste and moisturiser. This bit alone has made life far more difficult for me, who flies fairly frequently. Gone are the days of taking a small bag to put in the overhead locker, it is just far too inconvenient to pre-plan, buy separately, package separately, wave at security separately, all the various "liquid" items I need when travelling anywhere. So now I'm forced to put my bag into the hold and then wait for the airlines to lose it in transit - which has happened twice in the last year. 40 years of flying and never a lost bag until these new rules were enforced, thanks to them.

Another example where they've won. Anyone flying over US airspace whether they are going to enter the States or not has to be vetted by the US authorities, did you know that? So if for instance you're flying from London to Toronto you'll cross US airspace and are therefore regarded as some sort of "threat" even if you never go to the States.

Back on topic (not that that was off-topic per se). When you consider however fleetingly the sheer logistics of this, it becomes ridiculous. In the UK alone there are millions of people sending emails and texts and surfing the net. At a guess 99.99% of that traffic is banal, anodyne, stultifyingly boring workaday irrelevant so-what rubbish in this context. Should MILLIONS of ordinary innocent people be put under surveillance in the "hope" of catching some Ters? PAH. What makes "them" think that Ters won't disguise their messages in anodyne communications anyway? Poems, quotations from books, song lyrics have meant things to the recipient/s for donkey's years!

For instance: Les sanglots longs. Des violons. De l'automne signalled the start of Operation Overlord to the Resistance in 1944. It's just a poem in another context.

Who is going to sift through all the bilge which would result from these measures? Who is going to decide what is and what is not a "threat?" Especially considering this Government's past form on losing millions of items of private data. It makes me so angry that the Brits are so passive, so docile and obedient when they should be rising up and saying NO, FFSAKES!

Yeah well, thanks for reading. mad

Top
#5757 - 11/11/09 11:11 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Ever since inane and relatively counterproductive surveillance measures were established over the past several years vis-à-vis Internet communications and telephone conversations – and as the spirit moves me, usually in response to learning about such ill-advised proposals as the subject of this thread – I inject catchwords and catchphrases into my communications (eg, Allahu akbar!, da bomb, Mahmoud), just to waste some Big Brother's time in monitoring me.
If everyone did that, it would soon overwhelm the system wherever found.
F'em all! mad
_________________________
That must be wonderful; I have no idea what it means.
— Molière

Top
#5758 - 11/11/09 12:38 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
...the stringent rules on taking liquids on board airplanes now, even when those "liquids" consist of toothpaste and moisturiser. This bit alone has made life far more difficult for me, who flies fairly frequently.

You'll be interested to hear that the European Commission declared yesterday that the easing of this restriction planned for April 2010 will be postponed by 4 years due to delays in the development of the scanning technology required. Increasing numbers of European parlementarians are expressing their displeasure at the delay, and refer to US plans to ease restrictions in 2011 ("If the equipment is good enough for the US, why not for Europe?"). The lobby of airport operators, not keen on making sizeable scanner investments 'too soon', is said to have influenced the delay.
_________________________
alternaut moderator

Top
#5787 - 11/12/09 07:45 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Is it feasible? Yes, it is; the information the proposal would require storage of is really only header information (the dates, times, IP adresses, phone numbers, and so on of electronic communications, not the content of the communications)--with as cheap as mass storage is, and given the fact that this would require ISPs and telephone companies to shoulder the burden of keeping the record, it's certainly feasible. In fact, it's not even that difficult.

It's scary as hell, though. If past history is any indication, the UK government would pass such a measure as an anti-terrorism law and then use it for everything but.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
#5793 - 11/13/09 06:50 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: tacit]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: tacit
It's scary as hell, though. If past history is any indication, the UK government would pass such a measure as an anti-terrorism law and then use it for everything but.

Amen and I say again AMEN! That kind of power is virtually irresistible to police and security agencies. That has happened and is happening in the United States and we have more constitutional protections than the British. And just in case you may wonder, I am not by any stretch of the imagination, either a conspiracy theorist or paranoid.


Edited by joemikeb (11/13/09 06:52 AM)
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#5797 - 11/13/09 09:09 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
RE we have more constitutional protections than the British

Maybe yes, maybe no. But when did that ever stop or even slow down the G-men?
_________________________
That must be wonderful; I have no idea what it means.
— Molière

Top
#5802 - 11/13/09 10:22 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: grelber]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
As I said the power is irresistible.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#5804 - 11/13/09 12:03 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Jawohl! Indubitably.
_________________________
That must be wonderful; I have no idea what it means.
— Molière

Top
#5813 - 11/14/09 04:44 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
dboh Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
The bigger point is whether or not a program like this would even be effective. I mean, if they can't even catch the obvious clues (like a 9/11 hijacker insisting that he doesn't need to know how to land an airplane, or a shrink at Walter Reed inappropriately proselytizing to patients and doctors), then how are they supposed to detect the subtle hints?

Top
#5814 - 11/14/09 10:16 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: tacit]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: tacit
Is it feasible? Yes, it is; the information the proposal would require storage of is really only header information (the dates, times, IP adresses, phone numbers, and so on of electronic communications, not the content of the communications)--with as cheap as mass storage is, and given the fact that this would require ISPs and telephone companies to shoulder the burden of keeping the record, it's certainly feasible. In fact, it's not even that difficult.


Not the contents, so that's ok then? No one knows who is sitting at the keyboard or who is actually on the mobile phone so in a multi-person household it could be any of them. (Leaving aside the issue of stolen devices when it could be anyone at all.....)

Thought: supposing some fine upstanding and blameless citizen had a good friend in the military and thus contacted them frequently. Would this make the fine upstanding and blameless citizen somehow suspicious because they were in regular contact with the military? If yes, does that not make all friends and relatives of those in the military somehow some sort of "threat"?

If routine contacts with the military were to be tracked - which is easy what happens next? Poker-faced men banging on the door demanding to know why? If they can access mobile phone records they can get your real address from the mobile phone provider.

Quote:

It's scary as hell, though. If past history is any indication, the UK government would pass such a measure as an anti-terrorism law and then use it for everything but.


It's potentially as scary as hell. It's potentially a breathtaking invasion of privacy. But there is no concept of privacy any more, it seems, or rights to such. As I said before, they've won. Everyone suffers because of a few brainwashed murdering robots in the name of what? Religion?

The world has changed and for the worse. I despair sometimes and can feel myself turning into one of those "shut the doors and leave me in peace" hermits, near-permanently enraged and depressed at what they have done to so many hitherto cheerful and optimistic souls.

The Brits (and I am one) are particularly pisswilly about their loss of freedom. I'd rather live somewhere where people get up and shout "I'M AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT TAKING ANY MORE OF THIS!" The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has something to do with this line of thought.


Top
#5815 - 11/14/09 10:19 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: dboh]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: dboh
The bigger point is whether or not a program like this would even be effective. I mean, if they can't even catch the obvious clues (like a 9/11 hijacker insisting that he doesn't need to know how to land an airplane, or a shrink at Walter Reed inappropriately proselytizing to patients and doctors), then how are they supposed to detect the subtle hints?


AFAIK - I've read "Inside 9/11 What Really Happened" by Der Spiegel, the 9/11 hijackers concentrated on learning how to change course in mid air. Not insisting that they did not need to know how to land.

Who is Walter Reed?

Other than that, I agree with you as already posted wrt poetry. See above.


Edited by Bensheim (11/14/09 10:21 AM)

Top
#5816 - 11/14/09 11:39 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
Jay-bird Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: south east fla
walter reed It is an army hospital in Washington D.C<
_________________________
Jay

I-Mac 2.4ghz Intel Core 2 Duo 3gb/500 O.S..10.6.8

Top
#5817 - 11/14/09 12:12 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Jay-bird]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
And the man after whom the place is named is (from Wikipedia entry):

Major Walter Reed, MD, (September 13, 1851 – November 23, 1902) was a US Army physician who in 1900 led the team which postulated and confirmed the theory that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes, rather than by direct contact. This insight gave impetus to the new fields of epidemiology and biomedicine and most immediately allowed the resumption and completion of work on the Panama Canal (1904–1914) by the United States.

Top
#5820 - 11/14/09 12:44 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: grelber]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: grelber
"....as the spirit moves me, usually in response to learning about such ill-advised proposals as the subject of this thread – I inject catchwords and catchphrases into my communications (eg, Allahu akbar!, da bomb, Mahmoud), just to waste some Big Brother's time in monitoring me."
F'em all! mad

Good one.

That reminds me of a Johnny Carson show about 30 years ago. He was interviewing the very comical country performer Roger Miller and, as bombs on planes were just starting to be an issue, Carson asked Miller if he worried about such things - doing as much plane travel as he did.

Miller replied that he used to worry but didn't anymore. He said: "I read a statistic that said the chances of being on a plane with a bomb are about a million to one. So I figure the chances of being on a plane with two bombs must be at least two million to one. So, now I always take a bomb."

ryck


Edited by ryck (11/14/09 12:46 PM)
Edit Reason: Grammar
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#5920 - 11/18/09 06:25 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
Originally Posted By: tacit
Is it feasible? Yes, it is; the information the proposal would require storage of is really only header information (the dates, times, IP adresses, phone numbers, and so on of electronic communications, not the content of the communications)--with as cheap as mass storage is, and given the fact that this would require ISPs and telephone companies to shoulder the burden of keeping the record, it's certainly feasible. In fact, it's not even that difficult.


Not the contents, so that's ok then?


Nope. It's not OK at all; just technically trivial to implement.

Which is one of the things that makes it even scarier. From a technical standpoint, it is embarrassingly easy to do.

Originally Posted By: Bensheim
Quote:

It's scary as hell, though. If past history is any indication, the UK government would pass such a measure as an anti-terrorism law and then use it for everything but.


It's potentially as scary as hell. It's potentially a breathtaking invasion of privacy. But there is no concept of privacy any more, it seems, or rights to such. As I said before, they've won. Everyone suffers because of a few brainwashed murdering robots in the name of what? Religion?


To be fair, it really doesn't matter why the people who commit these acts are doing it. Religion is a very popular reason for people to commit acts of atrocity, no doubt about it--but people can and have done the same thing for political, social, and economic reasons as well.

Originally Posted By: Bensheim
The world has changed and for the worse. I despair sometimes and can feel myself turning into one of those "shut the doors and leave me in peace" hermits, near-permanently enraged and depressed at what they have done to so many hitherto cheerful and optimistic souls.


The world has changed, both for the better and for the worse. Sure, there are many nations where the basic foundations of privacy and liberty are under attack, but that comes and goes in cycles; remember the 1940s and 1950s in the US? The Red Scare, where eating at the wrong diner or knowing the wrong person could have you branded a 'communist' and blacklisted? The pendulum swings back and forth, but each time I think the backward swing doesn't go quite as far and the forward swing goes a little further.

Hell, you can rightly say that privacy is under attack, but prior to the 20th century you could reasonably argue that privacy didn't exist at all! And what rights did a Medieval serf have?

Originally Posted By: Bensheim
The Brits (and I am one) are particularly pisswilly about their loss of freedom. I'd rather live somewhere where people get up and shout "I'M AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT TAKING ANY MORE OF THIS!" The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has something to do with this line of thought.


Give it time. The pendulum will swing forward again. People who are frightened, whether it be of Communists or terrorists, are easily manipulated and easily abused, but the blind panic never lasts forever.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
#5931 - 11/19/09 01:52 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> AFAIK - I've read "Inside 9/11 What Really Happened" by Der Spiegel, the 9/11 hijackers concentrated on learning how to change course in mid air. Not insisting that they did not need to know how to land.

Why the hell even mention that???!!!

The point was that those guys did not want to learn how to "fly" planes, only to maneuver in mid-air, and the FBI agent who raised the issue was told that his fears were inconsequential, and they were not followed up on.

Security since the WTC went down has been based not on what terrorists may be expected to do, but on what they've already done. (It's a darn good thing that what'sisname hid that bomb in his shoe and not in his jockstrap!)

By way of example, an individual with a few fine point Bic Stick pens and hi-top sneakers with laces is an armed camp, but airline security can be guaranteed to look past that until someone gets stabbed to death or garroted.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#5938 - 11/19/09 03:40 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: artie505]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
You might be interested in reading The Lies They Told, a NY Times review of "THE GROUND TRUTH, The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11" by John Farmer.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

Top
#5947 - 11/19/09 08:56 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: artie505]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: artie505
By way of example, an individual with a few fine point Bic Stick pens and hi-top sneakers with laces is an armed camp, but airline security can be guaranteed to look past that until someone gets stabbed to death or garroted.


I don't travel much anymore but until a couple of years ago it was cross country a couple of times per month. The one thing that sticks in my mind is how unreliable "airport security" actually is. Something that would set off an alert at one airport would not at another....and sometimes it would vary even at the same airport.

I have a Swiss Army Knife that I always carry except, when I fly, it's left at home. On one flight I was already en route when I reached into my pocket for something else and, you guessed it, felt my SAK. That's a pretty big chunk of metal for a scanner to miss.

So now I was on a flight with any of a number of options if I wanted to be nasty - can opener, cork screw, awl, et cetera.

"Take me to Cuba or the wine gets it."

ryck


Edited by ryck (11/19/09 08:58 AM)
Edit Reason: Grammar
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#5948 - 11/19/09 10:17 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: ryck]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Don't get me started on inconsistent airline security. Oh you just did.

At my home airport you have to take your shoes off before going through security X-rays. No matter how many times you change planes en route, you do not have to take your shoes off after that either outbound or homebound.

At my home airport despite obediently putting a few "liquids" in a transparent bag and waving them at security and having them scanned separately, then they hold me up by analysing the contents. No matter how many times you change planes en route, you do not have your liquids analysed after that either outbound or homebound.

No! they are not sharing information all along my routes which vary every time I fly. They are not telling the hub airport that Bensheim's shoes and "liquids" are ok so no need to hold that passenger up. It would be nice to think they have that degree of co-ordination.

A tiny almost microscopic screwdriver still sealed in the purchase packaging and never used (this is for mending spectacles) had travelled around the world with me, blamelessly, for years. One day security at my home airport took it from my hand luggage and put it in the Dangerous Items bin. They stole it, in other words. 'That item has been around the world and no-one has ever said a thing, including yourselves only three weeks ago!" I exclaimed. Their response was that it should have been confiscated years ago, in that case. After that as I watched, they stole another passengers NAIL CLIPPERS.

Tell me, how do you murder someone on an airplane with nail clippers? What would a really determined person do? Manicure them to death?

Back on topic: Because the UK government is running out of legislation time before the general election next year (Hooray), the thread-starting proposed measures have been put on the quote "back burner" unquote.

Ryck, so what happened next? Did you have to ditch your SAK en route? Do tell. Here's another conundrum. Every time I pass through security a man tells me to take the cigarette lighter out of my hand luggage and put it in my pocket because "It's safer that way." I oblige and when I'm out of his sight I put it back in my hand luggage. WHY? Because his instruction is stupid! The lighter is activated with a button on top. Therefore the lighter could activate with any vigorous motion against that pocket - say, a seat belt rubbing against the button........<rolling eyes>


Top
#5954 - 11/19/09 04:38 PM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: Bensheim]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
Did you have to ditch your SAK en route?


No. As soon as I got to my meetings I arranged to have it couriered home. I wasn't about to have it seized on the trip back as it was a gift from a daughter several years ago and has considerable sentimental value.

And I never again made the mistake of taking it with me.

I had a colleague who put the plastic knife, provided with his airline meal, into his briefcase. When he checked in again it was seized and no one was listening to the argument about "But that's what you give me when I'm on the plane!"

Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and keep on walking.

ryck
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Time Machine on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#5973 - 11/20/09 01:37 AM Re: State to 'spy' on every email and internet sea [Re: ryck]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
I particularly like what this XKCD has to say on the subject of airline security. smile
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  alternaut, cyn