Big Brother Coming to the UK?

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Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:40 pm

This is from the BBC news site and gives the set up;

Civil liberties groups have criticised plans for the government to be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK.
Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications in real time under new legislation set to be announced soon.
The Home Office said the move was key to tackling crime and terrorism.
Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire told the BBC the plan was not for "some great big government snooping exercise", but a change designed to allow police officers to "continue to solve crime. We absolutely get the need for appropriate safeguards and for appropriate protections to be be put in place," he added.
The Home Office has said it plans to legislate "as soon as parliamentary time allows."
Conservative backbencher and former shadow home secretary David Davis said it would represent a "very big widening of powers" which would cause a "lot of resentment".
Anyone wishing to monitor communications up to now had been required to gain permission from a magistrate, he told the BBC, and this would make it easier for the government "to eavesdrop on vast numbers of people. What this is talking about doing is not focusing on terrorists or criminals, it's absolutely everybody's emails, phone calls, web access. All that's got to be recorded for two years and the government will be able to get at it with no by-your-leave from anybody."
Nick Pickles, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, called the move "an unprecedented step that will see Britain adopt the same kind of surveillance seen in China and Iran".


Labour when they were in power tried something not so exstenive as this and were defeated by a the opposition parties combining.
The Conservative shadow home secretary at the time, Chris Grayling, said the government had "built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter-terrorism and serious crime".
Yet now the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are proposong this- which goes way beyond what they opposed Labour from setting up.
This one needs to be defeated and opposed at every turn.
I see no difference between this and if the government had announced they were setting up a group to intercept and open everyone traditional mail; letters and parcels- before sending them on- that would have caused outrage- this should be treated the same. Still its yet another reason to get the hell away from this frightening Westminister Government.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mirabella on Sat May 10, 2014 12:02 pm

Oooh -- I hope so... ... .. Oh - not the Big Brother I was thinking of..  Sad 

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat May 10, 2014 1:54 pm

this already happens here and nobody cares. Its solved some major crimes, ie mafia and corruption, so its a win win for normal law abiding people. If you have nothing to hide, why worry.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by bungobaggins on Sat May 10, 2014 2:37 pm

Thought you guys already had Big Brother with all your CCTV. Suspect

Mrs Figg wrote:If you have nothing to hide, why worry.

I'm sorry Figgy, but I just hate this sentiment.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by halfwise on Sat May 10, 2014 3:34 pm

If I understand the American system correctly, a mathematical algorithm flags conversations as suspicious, then a judge must give permission to see the actual communication. Mind you, these are specially set up secret judges which has an air of star chamber shenanigans, but at least it's not an open channel approach. I would think Britain would set up something similar.

As far as privacy goes, I'd like the process a bit more open to inspection and question so that there are better safeguards against abuse, but I'm about as comfortable with it as I am with wire tapping for suspected criminals. The only difference is how the evidence is collected to justify listening in before clearance is given.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 10, 2014 4:08 pm

For me there are two issues which make collecting and keeping info on everyone a bad idea.

Firstly do you get corrupt politicians and governments?- yes all the time, and such a government could do with that sort of information what Hitler and Stalin could only have dreamed of.

Secondly are governments competent at maintaining and keeping safe personal data? Answer not in the slightest, they are a massive bumbling bureaucracy who without need for corruption and conspiracy lose stuff all the time, are hacked, have information stolen or simply lost.


So it comes down to whether you think these two things can be adequately safeguarded against ever happening- I dont think they can be, ergo its a bad idea to spy on everyone for the greater good.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by halfwise on Sat May 10, 2014 4:20 pm

Governments already have long had information Stalin and Hitler could only have dreamed of. The same argument could have been made against licensing cars, guns, instant retrieval of addresses and information, etc. There's always a risk with greater technology in the hands of government, but they are fighting the risk of the same technology in the hands of those who mean harm right from the onset.

Your concerns are very valid, but nothing new. New safeguards have to be devised for every new technology; unless you prefer your government to not protect you at all you can't tell it to keep it's hands completely off. But what they do needs a level of transparency, this is what Edward Snowden was all about.

Benjamin Franklin said that those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither. It sounds nice, but though we deserve enough freedom to commit a crime, we don't deserve enough freedom to get away with it.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 10, 2014 4:31 pm

Governments always take as much power as they can get away with, not what is necessary.

I see no more justification for the storing of personal emails of everyone than had in the past they decided to open every piece of written mail, make a copy of it, and store it in a big warehouse somewhere along with copies of every telegram ever sent.

Such ideas were muted in the past and always, rightly they were seen as a step way to far in government involvement in private life.
Indeed it was seen as so unnecessary and dangerous that they went so far as to make it illegal to tamper with the mail or read private correspondence.

Emails are just modern letters and telegrams, but this time the government sense they can get away with claiming a power they have always been denied in the past.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat May 10, 2014 6:14 pm

ok I get what Petty and Bungo are saying but seriously what damage could most peoples text messages and emails do against us? if a gvt wanted hypothetically to spy on us, how on earth could what people are having for their tea be dangerous. Internet already knows everything about you, do we shout thats its undemocratic and we are being spied on? no we dont, we are willing consumers, we give the internet our personal information, we give Amazon our bank details, we join FB and Tweet all our verbal diarrea, we do Selfies and complete strangers get to know our views about politics religion etc, we walk down a Street covered by cctv and are thankful when thugs who mugged an old lady are caught, its alright being antsy about BB but they are really not interested in Joe Bloggs until Joe Bloggs starts buying pressure cookers and TNT.
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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat May 10, 2014 6:26 pm

The difference for me Figg is between public and private, choice and no choice- if I am in a public place then I expect and understand the sense in CCTV.

And if you give information to a website it is your choice to do so. What information you share about you is up to you.

What the government is proposing however is to keep a record of what you do in private as well as public and to take information about you and from you without your knowledge or consent.
That is a whole different kettle of smelly fish altogether.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by David H on Sat May 10, 2014 6:28 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:Internet already knows everything about you, do we shout thats its undemocratic and we are being spied on?

A very good point! And as a matter of fact I'm a lot more concerned about the private data mining of the internet by companies that make money by selling MY information than I am by government spying. I wish I could go back and NOT fill out some of the surveys I helpfully participated in 15 years ago, and whose data is now public information for anybody who wants it Mad 

Unfortunately there's so much nefarious activity going on in the cyberworld that governments need to develop bigger guns than the bad guys. There just needs to be more transparency in the process. That's what police uniforms have always been about. They provide transparency. Sure there's always been a place for secret police, but I don't want to live in a country where secret police are the norm.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by halfwise on Sat May 10, 2014 7:03 pm

People in the NSA just chuckle when people worry about them thumbing through their private emails for voyeuristic purposes.  There's just too much for them to find anything without a purposeful search. Sure, it's much easier to issue a google type search than to set up a traditional surveillance operation just to see what the cute woman down the street is up to. Safeguards have to be built in so that identifying data can't be linked up without outside oversight and agreement.  Until Snowden I believed that was what was done; I do hope that's being done now.

I feel the data has to be collected, but only if personal identifiers and other information is kept separate the way bomb ingredients are: only assembled when necessary.  Encryption can be used so that only the computer pattern recognition algorithms can put them together until a red flag goes up.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by RA on Sat May 10, 2014 7:04 pm

The way I view it, government will always seek to gain more power at the expense of its citizens; little by little they'll do this until met with outrage. It makes sense that the government would need some more power in this digital age of the internet, but I don't think giving them a pipeline to monitor everything and everyone in real time is the answer either. Think about it: How effective can that method really be? There's no way anyone can analyze that volume of information and get anything sensible or useful out of it.

It sounds to me like any other law which grants government sweeping power: A piece of legislation that's going to "stop the bad guys", just allow us to monitor you and everyone else 24/7 to make sure you're not a criminal.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by halfwise on Sat May 10, 2014 7:13 pm

Except that that's exactly what the government has been doing with some measure of success, though with some overstepping. I have hopes (perhaps forlorn) that Snowden's actions will bring about structural safeguards and clarity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by RA on Sat May 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Snowden's actions reveal something: that the government was able to lose very high clearance level information and that they only now talk about safeguards is precisely because they were found out. The US government was more than happy to violate the fourth amendment ad infinitum without anyone's knowledge.

I just question how effective it can really be when the price is any sense of personal privacy; we may not think of it like that because it's just the internet and we can't actually see the person listening in (and we choose for the most part what information we give), but violating the fourth amendment (at least in the US) in such a way sets a dangerous precedent.

What if it wasn't the internet? What if a law was being proposed that allowed police to search anyone and everyone's houses whenever for no reason? It's not likely that many would face jail time because most people are law abiding, but does that mean everyone should be treated as criminals until proven otherwise? I'm sure if police could just show up and search anyone's house at any given time that there would be a lot criminals caught, but does that justify doing the same to everyone else? It just feels wrong to me.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by RA on Sat May 10, 2014 7:41 pm

There's also taking into account that not every government official is clean and while an agency may have no use for a law abiding citizens information, a dirty official or hacker may. It's another thing to consider, allowing literally all of your information that's actively being gathered in real time (on a level that's unprecedented) to sit in one place. It gets hacked and upwards of millions of people's information is in the hands of hackers to with it what ever they please.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mirabella on Sun May 11, 2014 12:04 pm

No, not that one...  Rolling Eyes 

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by halfwise on Sun May 11, 2014 1:12 pm

It's a worry. Backdoors are always left open and some code writers can't be trusted. I think the only way to keep things safe is if you have one group working on storing personal identity markers, another group working on storing whatever info is collected that's affiliated with that personal information, and a third group working on code that separates the two upon collection and encrypts the relationships. Only somebody in this third group would be able to put the pieces together, but if storage is not allowed this minimizes the risk.

It's not being done this way, of course, which means that single people like Edward Snowden have the ability to read communications not stripped of identifiers. Not a good thing.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Amarië on Sun May 11, 2014 2:46 pm

I'm aspamming!  cheers 
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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 11, 2014 3:11 pm

I personally think all this ho-ha over digital surveilance is completely ott. There are far better ways of controlling a population, just use the Stazi, secret police, the Inquisition, the Nazis, Stalinists, or the Hoover stuff in the 50s.  They used informants, every Street, every town, no one was safe, there would be someone watching their neighbours, running off to the authorities screaming 'witch!' or 'Red Commie!' Its cost effective and blanket coverage, theres too much digital information to sift through, it would be like a scene from Brazil (the movie) no, I wouldnt worry about who is listening on your phone, its when your next door neighbour has a glass to the wall, then you can worry.
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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun May 11, 2014 3:33 pm

Security tip- live in a barrel, its really hard to press a glass against a curved wall  Nod 

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 11, 2014 3:35 pm

Moon  this is my security tip. scare em off with a howling windy moon
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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun May 11, 2014 3:41 pm

Im not sure you parading about your villa flashing your posterior for the windows will have the desired effect Figg  Shocked  You may find you attract attention like a light does moths.

Mine on the other hand scares me let alone others and should do the job (you can always hire me as a stunt bottom)

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 11, 2014 3:54 pm

I wonder if there really are stunt bottoms? might Google it.

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Re: Big Brother Coming to the UK?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun May 11, 2014 6:46 pm

That might not be wise, well not if your anywhere public at least.  Shocked 

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