Devastating technical rebuttal to the Snoopers Charter


The Snoopers Charter is the UK Tory government's proposal to force ISPs to retain records of all their customers' online activities, and the government has used the excuse of the Paris attacks to call for its immediate passage despite the fact that the £175m/year the government has budgeted to defray ISPs' costs is not even close to enough to pay for the massive surveillance effort, meaning that Britons' ISP bills are set to soar if it passes. Read the rest

David Cameron capitulates to terror, proposes Britain's USA Patriot Act


The UK Prime Minister has seized on the tragic deaths and injuries in Paris as an excuse to terroise Britons into allowing him to pass his Snoopers Charter, a sweeping, badly written surveillance bill that will end security research in the UK, cause Internet bills to soar, and riddle critical software with back-doors, threatening anyone who reveals these vulnerabilities, even in court, with a year in prison. Read the rest

I-Spy Surveillance Books: a child's first Snoopers Charter


A timely entry from the Scarfolk blog, which documents the doings in a small, sinister English town caught in a loop between 1970 and 1979: the I-Spy Surveillance books, which "transformed the tedium of surveillance into play, encouraging children to routinely observe and record the actions, speech and private correspondence of people who the government deemed to be enemies of society. These included 'free-thinkers, beneficiaries of welfare and other degenerates. [...] Extremists, potential extremists, and those whose profound lack of extremist attributes is extreme in itself, are also worthy of suspicion and censure.'" Read the rest

Britons' Internet access bills will soar to pay for Snoopers Charter


The UK government has budgeted £175m/year to bribe ISPs to magically divide their customers' "data" and "metadata" and store a year's worth of the latter. This isn't even close to the real cost of creating and maintaining the massive storehouses of highly sensitive data on every Briton, and so ISPs are warning government and the public to expect much higher broadband rates in the future in order to recoup the cost of mass surveillance. Read the rest

UK Snooper's Charter "would put an invisible landmine under every security researcher"

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Respected UK tech elder statesman and journalist Rupert Goodwins blasts the UK government's plan to impose secret gag-orders on researchers who discover government-inserted security flaws in widely used products, with prison sentences of up to a year for blowing the whistle or even mentioning the gag orders in a court of law. Read the rest

UK law will allow secret backdoor orders for software, imprison you for disclosing them


Under the UK's new Snoopers Charter (AKA the Investigatory Powers Bill), the Secretary of State will be able to order companies to introduce security vulnerabilities into their software ("backdoors") and then bind those companies over to perpetual secrecy on the matter, with punishments of up to a year in prison for speaking out, even in court. Read the rest

Here's the kind of data the UK government will have about you, in realtime


UK Home Secretary Theresa May has announced legislation that will force ISPs to preserve the records of all of your online interactions and give them up to practically anyone in government, with little to no judicial oversight. Read the rest

A Freedom of Information request for UK Home Secretary Theresa May's metadata


When UK Home Secretary Theresa May introduced the new, sweeping UK spying bill this week, she reiterated her claim that metadata is like an "itemised phone bill" and does not contain anything harmful. Read the rest

British government will (unsuccessfully) ban end-to-end encryption

Home Secretary Theresa May has introduced the long-awaited, frequently assayed Snoopers' Charter, and it is a complete disaster.

UK spies claim Russians know how to break the crypto they say is unbreakable, even on unavailable files

Mere moments after publications of an independent report condemning UK's mass surveillance programme, sources in the UK spy agencies -- who are pushing for massively expanded surveillance powers through the Snoopers' Charter -- leaked an evidence-free story claiming the Russians and Chinese had magically gained the ability to decrypt the files Snowden took with him from the NSA. Read the rest

There was a David Cameron who swallowed a fly...

In my latest Guardian column, I talk about the real danger from the UK Tories' plan to ban effective cryptography: not the initial mandate forcing companies to help spy on their users, but all the things we'll have to do when that doesn't work. Read the rest

@Theresamaybot: a twitterbot that puts you under suspicion and won't say why

A bot inspired by UK Home Secretary Theresa May's pledge to bring back the systems of unaccountable mass surveillance that the EU forced the UK to abandon. Read the rest

Triumphant Tories vow to ram through mass spying bill -- you can stop them!

Ed from the Open Rights Group writes, "The Conservatives have won an absolute majority in the General Election. The Home Secretary Theresa May has already said that she will use this majority to pass a new Snoopers' Charter." Read the rest

How Harper's "anti-terror" bill ends privacy in Canada

Michael Geist writes, "Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is fast-tracking a bill that eviscerates privacy protections within the public sector that represents the most significant reduction in public sector privacy protection in Canadian history -- he' blocking the Privacy Commissioner of Canada from appearing as a witness at the committee studying the bill." Read the rest

Anyone who makes you choose between privacy and security wants you to have neither

An excellent op-ed from the Open Rights Group: "When ORG defends privacy, we are fighting to protect people from abuses of power that leave them vulnerable." Read the rest

Shameless: rogue Lords sneak Snooper's Charter back in AGAIN

Last Friday, four rogue Lords copy/pasted the repeatedly defeated "Snooper's Charter" spying bill into a pending bill as an amendment, only to withdraw it on Monday after the Lords were bombarded by an aghast public -- and now, incredibly, these Lords have reintroduced the same language as a new amendment. Read the rest

Snooper's Charter is dead: let's hammer a stake through its heart and fill its mouth with garlic

We killed the dreadful Snooper's Charter last week, again, for the third or fourth time, depending on how you count -- now how do we keep it from rising from the grave again and terrorizing Britain with the threat of total, ubiquitous, uncontrolled state spying? Read the rest

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