Feeds

How to dodge RIP

Report shows how

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Updated A report due to be published tonight will explain how to dodge the government's email snooping bill via a few simple steps.

The paper, courtesy of Web security experts Ian Brown and Brian Gladman, shows you don't have to be an Internet genius to bypass the proposed controls in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Bill. It says criminals will easily be able to circumvent the email monitoring controls in RIP, therefore making the proposed legislation unworkable.

The report has already been distributed to MPs ahead of this evening's House of Commons debate on the RIP bill.

Brown, an Internet security expert at University College London, and Gladman, an ex-Ministry of Defence information security expert, claim the interception technology needed for the government's email monitoring plans is already obsolete.

Speaking to The Register, Gladman said: "The underlying concern in RIP is that it is going to spend a lot of taxpayers' money for no effect. It is easy for criminals to get around it."

The report labels the powers in RIP "technically inept", and goes on to list several ways that even cyber virgins would be able to evade the interception devices, or "black boxes", which some ISPs in the UK will have to install.

It outlines four main ways of dodging the bill. The first is pretty simple - use a smaller ISP. The government has said it will only fit black boxes in some larger ISPs.

Second is to use a server overseas and use the diffie-hellman technique. By signing on to this, through sites such as http://www.mail2web.com, email can only be intercepted at either the server or the end-user's computer, but not in between.

Another option involves the growing use of ADSL and cable modems - with these, people can stay online and not need servers. The final method uses the emerging Internet protocol IPv6, which renders black boxes redundant - all data is machine encrypted by default.

"It's so easy for criminals to get around this it's just not true," said Gladman. "This is not going to work - it will impact on honest people, drive away business and harm e-commerce, but will not catch criminals and will waste a lot of money in the process."

Gladman also pointed out that, despite the enormous amount of time and energy spent on RIP, the Government was still unable to protect Internet users from the security debacles at Powergen last week - when customer names and credit card numbers were exposed on the Web.

"We both feel this bill is ridiculour, it will undermine trust and is already impacting on business. And the worrying thing is that the government is carrying on regardless," said Gladman. The report will be published on FIPR's Website at 19.00 BST.®

Related Stories

RIP branded 'zombie legislation' as it passes Lords
RIP Bill: Full Coverage
ISP RIPs up UK domicile

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.