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onasuma
2009-04-27, 04:10 PM
So, with all the swine flu around, I was slightly anxious about mass paranoia and fear, and then I read this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8020039.stm

Copy and pasted for the lazy:



Plan to monitor all internet use
By Dominic Casciani
BBC News home affairs reporter

Facebook
Social networks: Data recorded - but not content

Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.

The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.

The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database.

Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database.


Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers and paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime
Jacqui Smith
Home Secretary

But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.

The Home Office will instead ask communications companies - from internet service providers to mobile phone networks - to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism.

Ministers say they estimate the project will cost £2bn to set up, which includes some compensation to the communications industry for the work it may be asked to do.

"Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers, paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime," Ms Smith said.

"Advances in communications mean that there are ever more sophisticated ways to communicate and we need to ensure that we keep up with the technology being used by those who seek to do us harm.

"It is essential that the police and other crime fighting agencies have the tools they need to do their job, However to be clear, there are absolutely no plans for a single central store."

'Contact not content'

Communication service providers (CSPs) will be asked to record internet contacts between people, but not the content, similar to the existing arrangements to log telephone contacts.


REASONS TO CHANGE WHAT CAN BE KEPT
More communication via computers rather than phones
Companies won't always keep all data all the time
Anonymity online masks criminal identities
More online services provided from abroad
Data held in many locations and difficult to find
Source: Home Office consultation

But, recognising that the internet has changed the way people talk, the CSPs will also be asked to record some third party data or information partly based overseas, such as visits to an online chatroom and social network sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Security services could then seek to examine this data along with information which links it to specific devices, such as a mobile phone, home computer or other device, as part of investigations into criminal suspects.

The plan expands a voluntary arrangement under which CSPs allow security services to access some data which they already hold.

The security services already deploy advanced techniques to monitor telephone conversations or intercept other communications, but this is not used in criminal trials.

Ms Smith said that while the new system could record a visit to a social network, it would not record personal and private information such as photos or messages posted to a page.

"What we are talking about is who is at one end [of a communication] and who is at the other - and how they are communicating," she said.

Existing legal safeguards under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act would continue to apply. Requests to see the data would require top level authorisation within a public body such as a police force. The Home Office is running a separate consultation on limiting the number of public authorities that can access sensitive information or carry out covert surveillance.

'Orwellian'

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "I am pleased that the Government has climbed down from the Big Brother plan for a centralised database of all our emails and phone calls.

"However, any legislation that requires individual communications providers to keep data on who called whom and when will need strong safeguards on access.

"It is simply not that easy to separate the bare details of a call from its content. What if a leading business person is ringing Alcoholics Anonymous, or a politician's partner is arranging to hire a porn video?

"There has to be a careful balance between investigative powers and the right to privacy."


DATA CONSULTATION

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Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "The big problem is that the government has built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter terrorism and serious crime. Too many parts of Government have too many powers to snoop on innocent people and that's really got to change.

"It is good that the home secretary appears to have listened to Conservative warnings about big brother databases. Now that she has finally admitted that the public don't want their details held by the State in one place, perhaps she will look at other areas in which the Government is trying to do precisely that."

Guy Herbert of campaign group NO2ID said: "Just a week after the home secretary announced a public consultation on some trivial trimming of local authority surveillance, we have this: a proposal for powers more intrusive than any police state in history.

"Ministers are making a distinction between content and communications data into sound-bite of the year. But it is spurious.

"Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so - all without a warrant."

The consultation runs until 20 July 2009.

Yeah, Im pissed off.

OverWilliam
2009-04-27, 04:15 PM
And so it begins.

Dogmantra
2009-04-27, 04:16 PM
I was thinking "oh, it's not too bad, it doesn't record the contents of the communications." then I read this bit:
"Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so - all without a warrant."
Now I'm angry... NERD RAGE!

Exeson
2009-04-27, 04:27 PM
Whats so bad about that?

I mean this hacks me off really, I know ethics and all that but does the average citizen actually think that they matter so much that someone in the government is going to look them up?

I mean get over yourself. Really, you are not important enough for people to look you up. And even if they did look you up what's the problem? they are going to see who you are friends with and what you have been saying to them? Boo-frickin'-hoo.

And the argument that this is just the beginning of something worse sure, and when it actually becomes this big government conspiracy theory thing then things will kick off. Until then what do I care of some old git in Whitehall can see that I told James that I found it really painful when one of your ass pubes bridges the gap??

Haruki-kun
2009-04-27, 04:29 PM
Privacy is disappearing. We all saw it coming. It's something we traded in exchange for communication.

onasuma
2009-04-27, 04:33 PM
Whats so bad about that?

Invasion of privacy.


I mean this hacks me off really, I know ethics and all that but does the average citizen actually think that they matter so much that someone in the government is going to look them up?

Whether they look me up or not, I dont want information about what I do stored unless im happy to give it out. My occupation, criminal record and such i believe to be fair game for a data base, but the fact Ive wasted the last 9 months of my life playing on tf2 is not something the government needs to know.


I mean get over yourself. Really, you are not important enough for people to look you up. And even if they did look you up what's the problem? they are going to see who you are friends with and what you have been saying to them? Boo-frickin'-hoo.

Again, I dont care if they arent ever going to look me up, I just dont want them to have the ability to, should they wish to.


And the argument that this is just the beginning of something worse sure, and when it actually becomes this big government conspiracy theory thing then things will kick off. Until then what do I care of some old git in Whitehall can see that I told James that I found it really painful when one of your ass pubes bridges the gap??

Id care if someone was reading about my pubes in Whitehall.

Exeson
2009-04-27, 04:42 PM
Again, I dont care if they arent ever going to look me up, I just dont want them to have the ability to, should they wish to.

...

Id care if someone was reading about my pubes in Whitehall.

But why? Why do you care if they have the ability? Why is privacy so sacred?

Ok. I guess basically what I'm getting at is why is absolute privacy so important? Is it some sort of fear of admitting to people who you are? Is it really such a problem if an old idiot in Whitehall is able to see that I have a subscription to BDSM Monthly's online issue something? What is the diffrence between him knowing it and anyone else?

Nameless
2009-04-27, 04:44 PM
I can see the benefits of this, but itís just getting silly now. Itís enough to have cameraís watching us almost everywhere we go, but this is ridicules.

Life is full of risks but you canít just hide under your bed and not go out, itís the same with this. Sure, itís a threat but you canít take away people comfort and privacy because of it, and people will always find a way around it anyway.

onasuma
2009-04-27, 04:51 PM
Ok. I guess basically what I'm getting at is why is absolute privacy so important? Is it some sort of fear of admitting to people who you are? Is it really such a problem if an old idiot in Whitehall is able to see that I have a subscription to BDSM Monthly's online issue something? What is the diffrence between him knowing it and anyone else?

Yes, thats why Im here on the internet and not out clubbing.

Haruki-kun
2009-04-27, 04:53 PM
But why? Why do you care if they have the ability? Why is privacy so sacred?

Ok. I guess basically what I'm getting at is why is absolute privacy so important? Is it some sort of fear of admitting to people who you are? Is it really such a problem if an old idiot in Whitehall is able to see that I have a subscription to BDSM Monthly's online issue something? What is the diffrence between him knowing it and anyone else?

A) Privacy is important to some people. Just because it's not important to you doesn't mean it's not important to everyone else.

B) If what we're discussing is whether or not the government should do this, then I call that "discussing politics", so please excuse me as I leave the thread..

InaVegt
2009-04-27, 05:12 PM
But why? Why do you care if they have the ability? Why is privacy so sacred?

Ok. I guess basically what I'm getting at is why is absolute privacy so important? Is it some sort of fear of admitting to people who you are? Is it really such a problem if an old idiot in Whitehall is able to see that I have a subscription to BDSM Monthly's online issue something? What is the diffrence between him knowing it and anyone else?

I dunno about the UK, but in my country, privacy is a constitutional right that the government has the legal duty to ensure and protect.

Ninja Chocobo
2009-04-27, 05:19 PM
Holy blap. I was bitching about Cleanfeed turning Australia into a nanny state but then Britain one-ups us and turns into a police state.
...
Which is what I would be saying if it wasn't crimespeak.

Eldan
2009-04-27, 05:31 PM
Okay, maybe I'm missing something here, but if it bothers you so much, why not change it? I mean, make a law against it or something. It's still a democracy after all.

Ravens_cry
2009-04-27, 05:37 PM
Good luck with that Britain.
The Peopels Republic of China tries that, to limited success. And that's a country where they can shoot you, and charge your family for the bullet. And Britain doesn't even have a Death Penalty! So not only is it wrong on a very fundamental level, enforcement is going to be dubious at best.
What next, cameras on practically every street corner?
Oh wait, they do that already.
And how is this going to stop anything? It's like pushing back the sea with a toothbrush! As well, the Internet isn't really organized this way, it's more about language use then nation of origin. In fact, that's the beauty of it. I have had the joy to communicate with people from all over the world. Then, there's the question of jurisdiction.

Kaelaroth
2009-04-27, 05:38 PM
Okay, maybe I'm missing something here, but if it bothers you so much, why not change it? I mean, make a law against it or something. It's still a democracy after all.

... You are, indeed, rather missing the point. This is a law. For it. Being proposed, admittedly, but it's not like this a some crazy policeman yelling. The government's proposing this - a government the people of the UK elected.
Changing it is hard, actually. The only way to really stop it happening is for the current political party not to be elected. If the party stays in power (which I shall not discuss, for risk of breaking forum rules), then the bill can go on to actual discussion, and such, and though it could be denied, and the like, there's no conclusive way of stopping it rise five minutes later in a very slightly different form. And, actually, I don't think you've quite understood how modern democracy works: we don't actually run things. We merely get to have some say in who runs things for us. Public petition could (possibly!) stop the bill, but it's unlikely, and, frankly, it's more unlikely that people would even sign such a petition in the first place.

Eldan
2009-04-27, 05:45 PM
Right. Indirect democracy sure is complicated.

Kaelaroth
2009-04-27, 05:58 PM
Right. Indirect democracy sure is complicated.

And mighty tiresome, at times, too. :smallsigh:

BugFix
2009-04-27, 05:59 PM
But why? Why do you care if they have the ability? Why is privacy so sacred?

You're thinking about this from an individual perspective, this is a blanket policy. The answer you are looking for is that "privacy" is one of the mechanisms by which individuals' rights are guarded.

Think of it this way: what if you were responsible for doing something controversial, and someone offered you a list of everyone who disagreed with you, even the ones who didn't say so publicly. Would that be valuable to you? That's what this is about.

chiasaur11
2009-04-27, 06:03 PM
See, now I get what Stephenson was going on about in Cryptonomonicon.

Geesh. Not what I'd like to see happening to anyone, even if I'm pretty sure it's doomed one way or another.

Kaelaroth
2009-04-27, 06:07 PM
I'm pretty sure it's doomed one way or another.

We still have a chance. There's (most likely) going to be a British election before this can be done. And both of the other major British parties are against it.

reorith
2009-04-27, 06:16 PM
hahahahhahah britain. ooops, i'm gonna be late for the two minute hate. good thing i took my prozium because i'm not a sense-offender. this makes me want to email the anarchist's cook book to school children in wolsingham.

Stormthorn
2009-04-27, 06:21 PM
I hope that "all internet" bit doesnt extend to non-British people. That would be like the US openly announcing plans to wiretap British phones. (not that we dont do that. We probably do. We just arnt that crass about it.)

I really dont want the governments knowing what i do on my computer.

Dihan
2009-04-27, 06:26 PM
Hmmm...

The consultation ends on my birthday... If I have a good day then that'll be a good sign! :smalltongue:

Copacetic
2009-04-27, 06:45 PM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.

Pysch.

People, no one is going to be idle looking through this data base. It's to monitor and stop criminal activity. Privacy is never THAT important that it should allow these kind of people walk stalk the streets.

Saint Nil
2009-04-27, 06:55 PM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.

Pysch.

People, no one is going to be idle looking through this data base. It's to monitor and stop criminal activity. Privacy is never THAT important that it should allow these kind of people walk stalk the streets.

Quoted for Truth.

Their are more important things to find out that the nasty stuff you do when no one's looking.

Ravens_cry
2009-04-27, 07:07 PM
"Those who trade liberty for security deserve neither."

Collin152
2009-04-27, 07:16 PM
But they don't know what books you get from the library, right? Now that is a God given right of privacy. If I like children's "literature" it's my own business, consarnit!

Pyrian
2009-04-27, 07:26 PM
This is a political discussion, guys, or at least headed in that direction like a bullet train downhill.

Linkavitch
2009-04-27, 07:30 PM
Yeah, that's just wrong. good thing I don't live in England!:biggrin:

RS14
2009-04-27, 07:53 PM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.

Pysch.

People, no one is going to be idle looking through this data base. It's to monitor and stop criminal activity. Privacy is never THAT important that it should allow these kind of people walk stalk the streets.

Yes, it is. Such data collection makes fascism easy and tempting. Political dissidents, intellectuals, and other "undesirables" can be tracked, identified, and arrested. Think of the East German Stasi knowing everything you said online. I'm not saying the UK is there, not by a long shot, but I am saying that we must guard against any such possibility. Better to live in chaos and anarchy than slavery.

May I suggest Tor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network))? GNU PG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Privacy_Guard)? OTR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off-the-Record_Messaging)? Truecrypt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truecrypt)? Freenet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freenet)? All save Freenet are easy to use, and provide very good security.

Best of luck to you all.

BRC
2009-04-27, 08:29 PM
Here's the thing. Thinking about it, the effects of this program on John Q Public are going to be minimal. Think about how many web pages an average person visits in a day. Now multiply that by the internet-using population of Britain. Nobody has time to wade through that. Considering that people are going to be constantly using the internet, visiting sites, the database would have to be checked at the same rate it's growing in order to prevent it lagging behind. Really, the only use I can think of for a system like this would be to, if a certain web site is found to be used by criminals or terrorists or somthing, to search who visited it. Not to have the government look through your history and be disgusted by the web sites you visit.

Of course, that's not the point. The point is a right to privacy. Even if the government isn't going to look at your web history, much less use it for anything, the idea that they can, that the things you are doing on your personal computer, through your personal internet connection, are no longer personal.It's the message that the Government feels it has the right to snoop around. Now, obviously there is a big difference between "We're going to monitor internet connections" and Telescreens in every house, Just like there is a difference between a candle and the great chicago Fire. But they are the same general concept, and that's whats scary, to me anyway.

Jack Squat
2009-04-27, 08:41 PM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.



Pysch.

People, no one is going to be idle looking through this data base. It's to monitor and stop criminal activity. Privacy is never THAT important that it should allow these kind of people walk stalk the streets.

Actually, it is. I don't care if something that invades my privacy gets every criminal off the street. I'm not a criminal, I shouldn't be treated like one.

Any monitoring system like this isn't going to phase criminals. Career criminals know how to work the system. If this does anything, it's going to get the guy who's chatting with a girl that he thought was of age, the guy that buys a knife online, the one who frequents online communities that may discuss questionably legal ideas. It's not going to get the guy who walks through back alleys with his cronies and mugs someone walking by. That's just a fact of the system.

I mean, let's say that one in 1,000,000 people are online criminals. And lets say that this program is 99 percent accurate, meaning that 99 percent of the time, it flags the correct offender. This means that if you check 1 million people, 1 in 100 will generate a false positive. After all, it's 1% wrong. What does this mean?

If you randomly test 1 million people, you may only find one real criminal, but this program will identify 10,000 people as criminals. It'll perform with 99.99% inaccuracy.

the UK has about sixty million people. This means that software that's 99% accurate will identify 600,000 people as criminals. Going with the one in a million estimate, that means that to catch 60 people, you have to investigate 600,000 innocent people.

Now, these bits of software aren't anywhere close to 99% accurate, a lot are under 50%.

You're saying that people shouldn't care about their privacy, but any monitoring system like this is statistically likely to inconvenience millions of innocent people at least once by invading their privacy.

ÜSeerÜ
2009-04-27, 11:10 PM
On the issue of security and privacy...

It's important to keep them. If you have a system that shows your every action that is publicly available, there's a problem. By publicly available, I don't mean you can go to "InternetHistory.gov" and look up your neighbor, but the program will be used by regular people. People who may browse or look up people they know just for the hell of it. And who have no qualms about texting their friend about it, who just so happens to be the sister of your boss who then fires you for getting his daughter pregnant.

The point I'm trying to make, is yes it matters who can access your info, because it can impact your life majorly. Because there are things in this world that are still labeled taboo. To the playgrounder who mentioned that it doesn't matter if everyone knows they have a subscriptiopn to BDSM Monthly: To some people it does though. Especially if you're in a 'respected' position. Not because BDSM is inherently bad, but is viewed as such by many people.

So, fight this plan, and resist Big Brother!

Vaynor
2009-04-28, 01:36 AM
Whats so bad about that?

I mean this hacks me off really, I know ethics and all that but does the average citizen actually think that they matter so much that someone in the government is going to look them up?

I mean get over yourself. Really, you are not important enough for people to look you up. And even if they did look you up what's the problem? they are going to see who you are friends with and what you have been saying to them? Boo-frickin'-hoo.

And the argument that this is just the beginning of something worse sure, and when it actually becomes this big government conspiracy theory thing then things will kick off. Until then what do I care of some old git in Whitehall can see that I told James that I found it really painful when one of your ass pubes bridges the gap??

Question: Have you ever read 1984?

Don Julio Anejo
2009-04-28, 02:15 AM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.

Pysch.

People, no one is going to be idle looking through this data base. It's to monitor and stop criminal activity. Privacy is never THAT important that it should allow these kind of people walk stalk the streets.
Pschhh.. 8 out of 10 pedophiles in Canadian prisons molested either their own kids or kids of family members. The other 20% - kids they knew in real life (for example neighbours or students).

@Jack Squat: exactly. Career criminals will simply go around the system. Hell, in a week there will be internet guides on how to do it. Criminals will read them through a dozen proxies using a computer in an internet cafe, making them essentially untraceable and with knowledge on how to be even more untraceable. Regular people will visit the website out of curiousity, shrug and get flagged by the police as possible criminals. Because, you know, they read a guide on how to not get your email read.

While we're at it we should also flag people who read Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum as possible terrorists. Because they can learn how to commit terror from these books.

InaVegt
2009-04-28, 02:55 AM
Hell, in a week there will be internet guides on how to do it.

Correction: This information is already available (meant for the paranoid minded, but who knows who else does this.)

Several sorts of anonimity software exist that hide your data along the wire, and makes tracing you very difficult.

Of course, Big Brother Britain can just illegalise that, which would be the logical next step when they notice people using it, which they would do, as they track all data.

Khanderas
2009-04-28, 03:06 AM
Sneaky the way they use words like "an essential tool needed to track down paedophiles", knowing full well that it would pass easier with the public. Afterall who would not have them tracked down.

What it is really about is for them to do investigations on people that are not suspected of a crime. This is exactly like tapping everyones phonelines and randomly eavesdrop.

For me there is nothing fuzzy about it. There should be no investigations on my person until I am suspected of doing something or being involved in somone elses illegal activities. To let this slide is just giving them the inch so they can later on take a yard. Or however that saying goes. Giving up alittle now will lead to more later on.

Exeson
2009-04-28, 03:42 AM
Question: Have you ever read 1984?

I have actually but the point still stands.

We have nowhere near reached anything like 1984. Trust me, when we do I'll be one of the idiots with an improvised weapon who will try to do something about it.

The thing is take CCTV, that invades privacy just as much as this but everybody is used to it. Do you still even notice the cameras?

Dallas-Dakota
2009-04-28, 03:45 AM
And that is why we dutch have our own networking site.

Bouregard
2009-04-28, 04:00 AM
In Gemrany the governemnt tryed the same, they ordered all webmasters and serverowners based in germany to prepare to send the actual contents of their websites either printed or in .pdf to a central library. This didn't work well.

Their server crashed right the first day and officials stating "didn't expect that much data". I guess this all is n ot something serious I mean come on do you even know HOW MUCH DATA THAT IS? I'm curios how they plan to store it.
And as a second note: Most websites are not statiic and create themself via scripts and userinput with random aspects (advertisement). its practically impossible to log and store such things.

Oh and there is always the good old proxyserver if you didn't want that everyone can follow you.



Small update from germany. After the above mentioned failure there is now a new idea: german providers work together with the government to block sites with childabuse etc... But for smart internetusers this isn't a real problem and more of a governmentstatement: " We do something against childabuse! Vote us!"



The problem under all those freedom for security is that its hard to argue against it.
Because they can asume that you are for terrorism/childabuse/whatever if you are against their idea.

InaVegt
2009-04-28, 04:08 AM
I have actually but the point still stands.

We have nowhere near reached anything like 1984. Trust me, when we do I'll be one of the idiots with an improvised weapon who will try to do something about it.

The entire deal with trying to turn a democracy in a totalitarian state is to ensure that people do not notice what you're doing until it's too late.


The thing is take CCTV, that invades privacy just as much as this but everybody is used to it. Do you still even notice the cameras?

There's a huge difference here.

CCTV is tracking what happens on your own turf, the real world equivalent of things like GitP tracking our IP adresses, it's controlled by the person who owns the place the CCTV watches. It does not intrude on your personal space, and if a website/earthsite wants to, they can decide not to track anyone.

This new attempt at tracking is like the government placing cameras in everybody's home, every store, everywhere.

unstattedCommoner
2009-04-28, 04:42 AM
Id care if someone was reading about my pubes in Whitehall.

In the words of my civil procedure lecturer,

"Never write anything which you would feel embarrassed to have read out before the House of Lords."

bosssmiley
2009-04-28, 04:48 AM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.

Pysch.

Ah, the old [bogeyman of the week] trojan horse. The "Won't someone think of the children?!?!?" has seen more bad, illiberal laws enacted than almost any other argument.


People, no one is going to be idle looking through this data base. It's to monitor and stop criminal activity. Privacy is never THAT important that it should allow these kind of people walk stalk the streets.

Ever heard of mission creep? Google "RIPA + bincrime". Read about how the British state uses anti-terrorism laws to micromanage the lives of their citizens.


I have actually but the point still stands. We have nowhere near reached anything like 1984. Trust me, when we do I'll be one of the idiots with an improvised weapon who will try to do something about it.

Facecrime.
Thoughtcrime.
Newspeak.
The Party (and their Doublethink).
Viewscreens.
Room 101.
The Two Minute Hate (bankers this week).
Prolefeed media.
"We have always been at war with Eurasia."
You do watch the news, don't you?


The thing is take CCTV, that invades privacy just as much as this but everybody is used to it. Do you still even notice the cameras?

"Ah normalisation; is there any crime against liberty you can't make into a part of everyday life?

Also: politics. :smallannoyed:

Quincunx
2009-04-28, 05:45 AM
Right. Indirect democracy sure is complicated.

"Seconded" isn't strong enough a sentiment. . .

Can I get an AMEN!

(Hyping up the crowd in the style of an evangelical preacher is a cultural thing in some parts of the U.S. One of my war-game guilds, with leadership from that area, used to have the equivalent of a revival/pep rally/tailgate party before declaring war, and there was plenty of such language interspersed with it. I'll understand if you feel the need to scrub the reference, but there is no better linguistic match for my mood.)

I believe that I AM important enough to have ALL the laws of the land affect me--good, bad, and indifferent! I am not a second-class citizen! I am not a second-class human being!

potatocubed
2009-04-28, 05:57 AM
You do watch the news, don't you?

Take it from an ex-PR guy: you're considerably better informed if you don't watch the news.

Avilan the Grey
2009-04-28, 06:03 AM
But why? Why do you care if they have the ability? Why is privacy so sacred?

If you need me to explain it to you, then it is pointless to do so; you would not understand even if I tried.

At least in Sweden most ISPs have now gone public stating that they are or will be deleting all logs of use, so that if they are asked to provide logs they simply will not be able to.

Avilan the Grey
2009-04-28, 06:10 AM
Hmm. Yes. The right to keep my browsing history secret is far more important than helping the police keep child molestors and terrorists behind bars, you're right.

Yes it is.

This is, for example, why you are not considered guilty by default and have to prove your innocence, but instead is considered innocent until proven guilty.

As for the argument "it's for the kids": The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
(And some times just a desire to monitor people and pretend it's for good reasons).

...It will quite probably be so that the few years of human rights and freedom will be a footnote in history as the old days of controlling the citizens with an iron hand is coming back...

RMS Oceanic
2009-04-28, 06:32 AM
Hmm, my bellyfeel says this is doubleplusungood.

Now that the mandatory Orwell reference is done, I oppose this passionately. Privacy and presumption of innocence are sacred in my book. I think focusing on websites that encourage illegal activity would be a better way of doing this.

Om
2009-04-28, 06:51 AM
At the end of the way the question, as I see it, is simple: do you trust governments to safely and impartially safeguard the data they collect? I don't know how anyone can answer yes to that (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/1574687/Governments-record-year-of-data-loss.html)

rubakhin
2009-04-28, 07:42 AM
Whats so bad about that?

I mean this hacks me off really, I know ethics and all that but does the average citizen actually think that they matter so much that someone in the government is going to look them up?

I mean get over yourself. Really, you are not important enough for people to look you up. And even if they did look you up what's the problem? they are going to see who you are friends with and what you have been saying to them? Boo-frickin'-hoo.

And the argument that this is just the beginning of something worse sure, and when it actually becomes this big government conspiracy theory thing then things will kick off. Until then what do I care of some old git in Whitehall can see that I told James that I found it really painful when one of your ass pubes bridges the gap??

Well, imagine that there's a middle-aged man with an attache case in your room. He just sits there, in his little chair, coughing slightly, making notes on his notepad and talking into a headset while you go about your business. He's there while you're talking with your relatives on the phone, and when you're having an emotional argument with your SO, and when you're sleeping, and when you're doing, er, other things. That would make you pretty uncomfortable, right?

It's just that some people's attache case lines are set a lot lower. It's sort of hard to rationalize, which is why people are talking about "privacy" and "violation of rights" which probably don't mean anything to you. It's just that everyone's got a line and if the government goes under that line it'll get them right in the spine and give them the creeps. For some people it's public cameras, for some people it's wiretapping, some people (like you, I'm guessing) wouldn't get too freaked out unless things went full-blown Orwell. Even if it's something that could only theoretically happen to a terrorist living three thousand miles away. Trying to explain it is like trying to explain to someone why you think clowns are creepy or spiders are gross or whatever your phobia may be. You're pretty unlikely to accidentally come across a clown or have a spider drop on your head while you rest (well, depending on where you're sleeping, anyway). And the government is pretty unlikely to wiretap your ass. But the idea that there's a very slim possiblity that it could happen still gives you the willies, right?

Just try to remember that for a lot of people in the thread it's below their attache case line and adjust your perspective accordingly.

(Personally I'm not taking it that seriously. They don't have the technology or manpower to do that sort of thing and even if they did it'd get shouted down before they lifted a finger to make it policy. Also, I'm living in Americaland.)

Also try to remember that you don't go from a free country to Orwell instantly. Rights get chipped away bit by bit. And even if they're not significant ones, it's another step forward on the road to hell (however miniscule that step is) which is why everyone completely loses it when somebody suggests something like this. If you don't fight for the small rights of criminals and enemies, it'll be harder when the time comes to fight for your own important ones.

Saint Nil
2009-04-28, 08:03 AM
"Those who trade liberty for security deserve neither."

Easy too say when it only affects you. I don't know who you are, but I have a little sister, and I'll gladly sacrifice some of my freedom in order to protect her.

If it was only myself, I wouldn't care, but there are some things that are more important that your own content.

BRC
2009-04-28, 08:07 AM
Easy too say when it only affects you. I don't know who you are, but I have a little sister, and I'll gladly sacrifice some of my freedom in order to protect her.

If it was only myself, I wouldn't care, but there are some things that are more important that your own content.
But would you sacrifice your sisters freedom? If somebody from the government came and said "Hey, we think your sister is really special, so we're going to have some guys following her at all times to keep an eye on her." What would you say?

_Zoot_
2009-04-28, 09:25 AM
I really don't have much of a problem with the plan. I don't think that they would be able to pull it off as it would be a hell of a lot of work and even if they got the system up and running and then managed to maintain it, i don't think it would be of much use. They can't really hope that they will be able to catch many people by looking at what sites individual people are going to or who they are talking to. Most likely what they will do (as has all ready been said), is that if they find a site that is discussing/plotting/planning something illegal they will then search for people that have regally visited the site and then people that have been in contact with these people.

Even if they did look through peoples records, its not like they are really going to find much they mightn't expect to find, i understand why people are un-keen on the idea of the Government being able to look at what sites they may have gone to or what they may have said and to whom, but really, is there going to be anything that they haven't seen before?

Then again, i intend to be the next dictator of the world so this kind of civil control is right up my alley.....

Iain
2009-04-28, 09:51 AM
Yeah, that's just wrong. good thing I don't live in England!:biggrin:
Neither do I, but I do live in Britain.
Even ignoring worries about creeping totalitarianism, I'm against this on the principle that it's bad to have large databases of information on people when you don't need to. There's always a way for someone to mess up and make someone's life a misery, or for someone who shouldn't have access to the information to find a way to get it and abuse it for their own ends.
It isn't like public bodies in general have a great record on data security:
http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?scope=all&tab=all&q=data+breach

Felixaar
2009-04-28, 10:21 AM
Pfft. Neeeever happen :smallsigh:

RS14
2009-04-28, 11:00 AM
Easy too say when it only affects you. I don't know who you are, but I have a little sister, and I'll gladly sacrifice some of my freedom in order to protect her.

If it was only myself, I wouldn't care, but there are some things that are more important that your own content.

Except she's most likely to be abused by your own family, statistically speaking. The stereotypical pedophile luring her elsewhere over the internet is extremely rare, and I don't suggest you allow your government to seize dangerous powers without good reason---pedophilia is not such a reason.

Syka
2009-04-28, 11:34 AM
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.- A wiser man than I, Benjamin Franklin


I have a little sister and neices and stuff. But as far as pedophilia, kidnapping, and the like the odds are so against it happening by a stranger it's not even funny. I'd wager 75-90% of molestations are carried out by family members or friends of the family, most of the rest by people known to the family, and a very VERY small percentage by strangers. Same for a lot of murders, rapes, etc.

This security thing is just getting ridiculous. I have nothing to hide, but at the same time I want SOME control over whether or not certain things are known about me.

Cristo Meyers
2009-04-28, 11:38 AM
I have a little sister and neices and stuff. But as far as pedophilia, kidnapping, and the like the odds are so against it happening by a stranger it's not even funny. I'd wager 75-90% of molestations are carried out by family members or friends of the family, most of the rest by people known to the family, and a very VERY small percentage by strangers. Same for a lot of murders, rapes, etc.


Last I knew, Molestations would be most likely to be committed either by a family member or close friend of the family and murder/rape would be depend on the gender of the victim (I believe men are more likely to be murdered by a stranger and murdered in general, whereas women are more likely to be murdered by a significant other or friend)

Ravens_cry
2009-04-28, 01:16 PM
I have actually but the point still stands.

We have nowhere near reached anything like 1984. Trust me, when we do I'll be one of the idiots with an improvised weapon who will try to do something about it.

There's an old story about a frog.
Put the frog in a pot of boiling water, frog hops out.
Put the frog in a pot cold water, heat it up gradually, and you get frog soup.


The thing is take CCTV, that invades privacy just as much as this but everybody is used to it. Do you still even notice the cameras?
Exactly.
***
We should not wait till tyranny shows it's whole head, before we seek to fight it.
Of course, I don't live in England, though many of my ancestors were.

MalikT
2009-04-28, 04:12 PM
I don't like this. My business is my business. Nobody should know, if I don't make it public, what I do in my free time. Nobody should know what are my addictions, my fetishes, my political stands etc.

Luckily I don't live in Britain.

I already live in a police state poorly hiding under a mask of democracy.

chiasaur11
2009-04-28, 04:42 PM
There's an old story about a frog.
Put the frog in a pot of boiling water, frog hops out.
Put the frog in a pot cold water, heat it up gradually, and you get frog soup.


Of course, the story is a lie.

Frogs aren't morons. Just like Bulls are less clumsy in a china shop than most people.

Still, I agree this whole deal smells rotten. And will probably fail hilariously.

Ravens_cry
2009-04-28, 05:07 PM
Of course, the story is a lie.

Frogs aren't morons. Just like Bulls are less clumsy in a china shop than most people.

Still, I agree this whole deal smells rotten. And will probably fail hilariously.
Then frogs are smarter then people.
One of humanities greatest gifts is we can get used to anything. Despite utter atrocities Man has committed against Man, many of the people exposed and who survive such evils lead generally sane lives.
One of humanities greatest curses is we can get used to anything.
Expose us to evil in controlled increments and or by a sufficient authority, and we will generally go along with it.

The Holocaust is an example of both.

Yes, I am invoking Godwin's Law here, and rightfully so. The Holocaust did not happen overnight. Though famous, Cristalnacht was disliked by the German people. SO the Nazi's went for slower increments, taken away the rights of the Jewish people, piece by piece. Now, unlike the Nazi's, I do not see this effort is a concerted effort. But we should still oppose it none the less.

Antisemitism was quite prevalent in Europe at that time, the Jews were, in basic terms, an acceptable target. Now, unlike the Jews, pedophile is mental sickness, something pretty wrong. However, it can still be used as a bogyman, as is evident by some of the responses of my fellow posters. If one is accused of such behavior it can ruin their lives.
So even this plan, to 'monitor all Internet use' if put to its purported function, thinking of the children, can be used to serve tyranny.

averagejoe
2009-04-28, 05:37 PM
Antisemitism was quite prevalent in Europe at that time, the Jews were, in basic terms, an acceptable target. Now, unlike the Jews, pedophile is mental sickness, something pretty wrong. However, it can still be used as a bogyman, as is evident by some of the responses of my fellow posters. If one is accused of such behavior it can ruin their lives.
So even this plan, to 'monitor all Internet use' if put to its purported function, thinking of the children, can be used to serve tyranny.

Hold on, now, this is hardly the same thing. This isn't a case of a demographic being oppressed because of ideological differences or misunderstanding, pedophiles are feared because, well, they have sex with children. You're not making someone into an "acceptable target" when you say, "This person has a history of trying to have sex with children, and there is no reason to think they might not do so again; I am not going to let my child near them." The level of fear displayed and the amount of caution might be unwarranted, but keeping one's own children safe is always a serious concern. Monitoring the internet is a silly way to go about this, and probably not a morally acceptable way to do so either, but that hardly means that one can compare the persecution of a religious minority to trying to keep children from a group of people who are defined by the fact that they actively have tried/are trying to harm children.

Ravens_cry
2009-04-28, 05:50 PM
I can agree with that.
I think though we can agree that using a bogyman to take away the privacy and rights of everybody is wrong however. In some ways, what is been proposed here is worse as the Nazis were primarily interested in taking away the rights of Jews, and homosexuals, and Slavs, and basically anyone who didn't fit their idea a 'real' German. This is taking away everybody's rights in an attempt to do something that won't even work.

Groundhog
2009-04-28, 06:13 PM
Hmmm... I think that the money that they're spending on this would be better spent developing filters or something that would prevent children from running afoul of pedophiles in the first place.

RS14
2009-04-28, 06:16 PM
Luckily I don't live in Britain.


I wouldn't be so unconcerned. If your email passes through Sweden, it may be logged (http://www.thelocal.se/12534/20080618), for example. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the UK will handle it in the same way.

Despite living in the US, for example, a traceroute to giantitp.com appears to show my packets passing through Canada, for example. All this is to say that you shouldn't consider what you do online secure unless you take action through the use of Tor and encryption to make sure it is.



In some ways, what is been proposed here is worse as the Nazis were primarily interested in taking away the rights of Jews, and homosexuals, and Slavs, and basically anyone who didn't fit their idea a 'real' German. This is taking away everybody's rights in an attempt to do something that won't even work.
No, the right to life is more fundamental than the right to privacy. This is primarily worrying because it makes everything so easy for a totalitarian state. It's like giving up your right to free expression. Nothing good will come of it.

Edit:

Hmmm... I think that the money that they're spending on this would be better spent developing filters or something that would prevent children from running afoul of pedophiles in the first place.

You mean like... an AI? That could run on every message passing over the internet? That wouldn't break the bank to implement? That would determine the context with such accuracy that it wouldn't be an incredible nuisance to everyone trying to use the internet for anything?

Both Finland (http://www.effi.org/julkaisut/tiedotteet/lehdistotiedote-2008-02-12-en.html) and Australia (http://www.australianit.news.com.au/story/0,24897,25181408-15306,00.html) have or have tried filters. Both have been used for political censorship. Your idea is seriously flawed for this reason, as well as the technical difficulty.

Ravens_cry
2009-04-28, 06:22 PM
How about a serious effort to educate kids against this? Filters can be bypassed with pathetic ease.
Look at all the effort to make porn filters. How effective has THAT being? It will either block unnecessarily or not be effective. How will it be effective anyway? A computer only knows your age from what you tell it. I am sure at least one of the males in the audience plugged in 18 when they weren't.

StickMan
2009-04-28, 07:44 PM
All I'm going to say is that in the United States for those who do not know this part of our history, in the 1940 to the 1950 there was an event called the Red Scare. At the time people were so afraid of Communism that when Joseph McCarthy then a US Senator said he had a list of Communists he was given power to go after them. Any link to Communism could label you as a Communist. You could be jailed, fined and the lives of hundreds of people were destroyed before this nation came to its senses.

Now we see that most people did not have any connection to Communism and that even if they were that was there right.

If a database such as this one existed at the time I'm sure that the lives of Hundreds of thousands of people would have been destroyed.

It was 50 years ago and things have not changed that much. And as a History I see history repeat its self far to often.

For those who don't know about the second Red Scare in the US Wiki has some good information:
Red Scare/McCarthyism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Red_Scare)

Don Julio Anejo
2009-04-28, 07:55 PM
Or, how about, you know, not care?

The only place internet pedophiles exist is the media. It makes for an interesting story. A guy with a van wearing a trenchcoat and giving out candy to kids is too 80s nowadays and doesn't make for breaking news anymore. There's literally single, individual cases of internet pedophiles picking up children.

If you want to stop pedophiles, stop plugging money into this kind of crap and spend them on something useful. Like neurological research into pedophiles or development of treatment programs.

But since we all know it's not about pedophilia... Well, everyone's pretty much already said why it's bad. It's also from a legal standpoint essentially the same as wiretapping and recording everyone's phone and hence, probably illegal under most Western laws. Won't stop the bill from being implemented if it passes, but that's pretty much what it's like.

@Stickman: who says the Red Scare stopped in the 50s? There's one just like it going on right now, albeit with a different target. And a lot of shady, quasi-legal stuff (luckily not as bad as in this thread, but still) being implemented in the US in its' name. I think we all know what I mean.

Copacetic
2009-04-28, 08:14 PM
Thing is, this could save someone's life. Sure, it's not likely, but suppose they do. Even if it's the jerk that plays loud rock at 2:00 A.M. Then every single invasion of privacy is justified. Someone gets to see another sunset. Is dignity worth human lives?

Faulty
2009-04-28, 08:21 PM
Is dignity worth human lives?

Yes, yes it is. The stress that this could cause an entire population is worth more than the small number of lives it could possibly save. A free society where more people die is better than a restricted society where fewer people die, because of the increased stress that the latter puts on people. Most people aren't designed to deal with that kind of pressure and invasion without being brainwashed.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-04-28, 08:21 PM
Thing is, this could save someone's life. Sure, it's not likely, but suppose they do. Even if it's the jerk that plays loud rock at 2:00 A.M. Then every single invasion of privacy is justified. Someone gets to see another sunset. Is dignity worth human lives?
You know what else could save human lives? Chaining people to one place so they can't get around to commit crimes.

So would sentencing people by default unless there's enough evidence to acquit them. Because this way all the people suspected of criminal activity would be in jail. Along with 20 times as many innocent honest people.

Copacetic
2009-04-28, 08:31 PM
Yes, yes it is. The stress that this could cause an entire population is worth more than the small number of lives it could possibly save. A free society where more people die is better than a restricted society where fewer people die, because of the increased stress that the latter puts on people. Most people aren't designed to deal with that kind of pressure and invasion without being brainwashed.

You would rather let innocent people die then have your internet usage recorded? People can handle the stress of being video-taped in public, it stands to reason they can handle their internet usage being recorded as well...


You know what else could save human lives? Chaining people to one place so they can't get around to commit crimes.

So would sentencing people by default unless there's enough evidence to acquit them. Because this way all the people suspected of criminal activity would be in jail. Along with 20 times as many innocent honest people.

Is this throwing people into jail? Is this chaining people to a pole? No. This is having a measly part of your lives stored in a database. Would the neighbors know what sites you browse? No. It's not like they let this information out to the public.

Faulty
2009-04-28, 08:35 PM
You would rather let innocent people die then have your internet usage recorded? People can handle the stress of being video-taped in public, it stands to reason they can handle their internet usage being recorded as well...

I don't want my internet usage tracked. I don't want my phones tracked. I don't want to be taped. I don't want people listening at my door. I think freedom for all is ultimately worth the sacrifice of the probably small amount of lives that would be saved by its reduction. Personally, I think authority like that actually breeds crime. We'd be better off using money to figure out what causes crime, rather than curbing people's freedom.

Pyrian
2009-04-28, 08:41 PM
It's not like they let this information out to the public.It is inevitable that such monitoring programs will, at some point in time, come under the direct control of some truly sick and disturbed individuals. (Arguably, it will start there.) You will see innocent lives absolutely ruined by this sort of technology. "Who watches the watchmen?" And that's at a minimum. Once politicians have the ability to secretly monitor their own opposition, using that power to seize absolute power is only a matter of degree, not of kind. And at that point, your hypothetical ONE person saved will seem quite quaint.

Copacetic
2009-04-28, 08:43 PM
I don't want my internet usage tracked. I don't want my phones tracked. I don't want to be taped. I don't want people listening at my door. I think freedom for all is ultimately worth the sacrifice of the probably small amount of lives that would be saved by its reduction. Personally, I think authority like that actually breeds crime. We'd be better off using money to figure out what causes crime, rather than curbing people's freedom.

We obviously have very different ideas of the value of the human life. If blood is what you want for freedom, blood is what you'll get.

We know what causes crime; Poverty, hate, greed.

Roland St. Jude
2009-04-28, 08:46 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Please don't discuss real world politics on this forum. Thread locked.