Feeds

Spooks want to go fishing in Oyster database

Pearl-diving in London's smartcard beds

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.