Tag Archives: hacking

Why you should be bothered about the Snoopers Charter

Late last year, the UK Parliament passed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. This law builds on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Acts and the Data Retention Laws. This law allows the Government to store all our electronic communications traffic, read the content and meta data and co-opt the product and service vendors to help them. I describe this in more detail below.

The Law was written in the aftermath of Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) ruling in the Schrems vs. Facebook case that the EU’s Data Retention Directive and hence the member state implementations were in contradiction to the EU’s human rights law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Parliament had considered aspects of these proposals twice before under the two previous administrations and rejected them.

This article looks at the new Law, criticises it on Human Rights grounds in that it jeopardises the right to privacy, the right to organise, the right to a fair trial and rights to free speech and on IT Security grounds in that the new regulation of encryption products jeopardises access to electronic trust and privacy. It also examines the likely impact of the recent CJEU ruling on the legality of its predecessor law, and in passing, likely conflicts with last year’s passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the European Union.

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Labour’s front bench and surveillance.

big brother is watching you

The Labour Campaign for Human Rights organised an event at which Kier Starmer, Labour’s shadow spokesman on the Investigatory Powers Bill, he introduced himself, and pointed to his record as a Barrister where he has been involved in a number of cases prosecuting the government, the police and the intelligence agencies and his time as DPP. He says his experience shows him the “the reality of the crimes to be fought”.  (This is not necessarily a scarce resource if you came to adulthood living in the UK in the eighties, or were working or travelling in London on 7th July 2005.) The rest of this article looks at the critiques made by the guest speakers and audience; it’s a piece of reporting, not a polemic, there’s plenty of those around. Basically the view in the room was it’s not fit for purpose, the new powers are too extensive, the old powers are too extensive, the proposed oversight remains too weak and the powers are not necessary, effective or proportionate. Those of us in the Labour Party can also add, the question where did this come from as Party policy.

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Britain’s over reaching content filters

The UK’s Web site blocking rears its ugly head again. I was pointed at Der Spiegel who reports that Three and Vodafone are blocking the Chaos Computing Club‘s domain. The Chaos Computer Club is a grass roots technology association most well known outside Germany were it is based for its annual Congress held in Hamburg. Equally well known for not being a porn site. The Spiegel article is in German and I translated it using Google translate. I have hosted a copy here, and you can see google’s rendering here. The remainder of the article looks at over-blocking, including IT security resources as obscene, and the market share of the various UK carriers.

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