Spooks want to go fishing in Oyster database
Pearl-diving in London's smartcard beds
The UK's spooks have sought full automated access to Transport for London (TfL)'s "Oyster" smartcard network, further extending the amount of travel data available to the government.
The Observer said this weekend that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has confirmed that the clandestine services have requested full Oyster access, and would target other cities' smartcard travel schemes as they come online.
At present they can request details of an Oyster user's transactions - and hence, time-slugged locations - on an individual basis only, rather than having free rein to search the system as they please. This could include mining the entire database to look for suspicious patterns, and tracking named individuals.
It isn't difficult to avoid Oyster monitoring, as one need merely pay cash when using public transport. The smartcard scheme is significantly cheaper than cash, however, and many righteous citizens might resent paying extra for privacy. Of course, there's always the option of registering an Oyster card under a false name and only ever topping up by cash. Or simply buying a pay as you go Oyster at a ticket window.
Driving in TfL's central area of responsibility offers no escape, since the congestion-charge numberplate-scan camera net was hooked up to the secret terror police following a series of "bomb" outrages in which no bombs were used and only terrorists were hurt. Other cities are also looking at their own electronic traffic management schemes, while the UK motorway system has a handy network of ANPR cameras.
The ICO apparently refused any further comment on the progress of the Whitehall debate regarding MI5/SS and MI6/SIS access to Oyster, citing "national security" concerns as the reason for conducting the discussion in secret.®
@ Andrew Meredith
"All of the totalitarian new laws, all of the cultural sabotage (like destroying the rural post offices for eg) and a massive EU tax burden .. all courtesy of the EU."
Have you any reference for that? In my limited experience, parts of The Continent are so rural as to make an English village look more like a town by comparison ..... yet they all have local post offices. And again in my limited experience, Continental people don't bend over and accept things so readily.
Personally, I'd be more in favour of Scotland, Wales and the Regions of England seceding from the UK and joining the EU as independent nations.
EU .. not such a good idea
@ ge [[Let's join the EU properly and get Euros so all that Brent Crude can no longer be priced in dollars. ]]
Actually .. lets not .. All of the totalitarian new laws, all of the cultural sabotage (like destroying the rural post offices for eg) and a massive EU tax burden .. all courtesy of the EU.
Look up the definition of Fascist, then compare and contrast with the recent actions of the EU over the consti^H^H^HLisbon Treaty.
Europe in general and GB in particular became a major international force, out of all proportion to country size when we were a loose collection of mostly friendly countries. The closer we come to the United States of Europe, the lower down the league table we slip. If we try and imitate the federal systems in the massively failing USA or the completely defunct USSR, guess what will happen to us.
"Why are people so paranoid"
You and the rest just dont get it do you ?
If i signed a dotted line saying you can monitor everything i do, i wouldnt complain, so:
1 . this is against my own decision
2. as soon as you do something wrong they have you by your number not by name ready for lockup.
3. Politiricians come on the TV and promise fake promises they dont deliver ie. EU refrendum blah blah blah - They ignore the advice of the voters ie the war, road charging blah blah - Blair and his illegal war crimes blah blah
and yet you expect us all to sit here and take it like mugs be made a criminal without actually commiting a crime and yet the real criminals the ones in power get away with it ? they just quit ? get a new job as EU Peacemaker WTF is going on in this free world ?