UK.gov plans net surveillance by 2015
Government measures to massively increase surveillance of the internet will be in place within five years.
In its departmental business plan, published today, the Home Office said it aims that "key proposals [will be] implemented for the storage and acquisition of internet and e-mail records" by June 2015.
The plan is the latest incarnation of the Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP), a much-delayed initiative, backed by the intelligence agencies, to capture details of who contacts whom, when and where*, online.
The Labour government shelved IMP before the election, but it has been revived by the coalition, despite a promise to "end the storage of internet and email records without good reason".
Confusingly, today's Home Office document says it will "end the storage of internet and email records without good reason" via "proposals for the storage and acquisition of internet and email records".
It also pledges to introduce legislation "if necessary". While in opposition the security minister, Baroness Neville-Jones, sharply criticised any move to gather more communications data without primary legislation.
The government has said it will give details of its proposals before the end of this year. It is currently unclear whether it will retain the IMP label, but the aims of the programme are unchanged.
At Prime Minister's Questions recently, David Cameron said: "We are not considering a central government database to store all communications information, and we shall be working with the Information Commissioner's Office on anything we do in that area."
When Labour held a consultation on IMP it was not proposing a central database, but measures to compel ISPs to intercept and store communications data on behalf of the intelligence services and police. ®
*Communications data does not include the content of communications, which authorities require a warrant from the Home Secretary to access. Senior intelligence and police officers can authorise access to communications data themselves.
Inaugural TV speech and in the coalition document. Bastards.
"end the storage of internet and email records without good reason".
So they've basically discovered a "good reason", because knacker et al will have told them that they can't possibly deal effectively with the four horsemen of the infopocalypse - drugs, terrorists, organised crime and paedos, without "storing internet and email records".
I think it goes a little something like this :
"It's very simple home secretary, if we don't have this, all of Britain's children will be abducted by paedos before the year is out and we won't be able to do anything about it because we'll be so busy trying to arrest gangsters on crack. Then parliament will be blown up by terrorists. And I don't think we'd wish that to happen would we?"
And the Home Sec - though likely noticing that we are in fact not currently knee deep in bombed and mongled corpses - will nod sagely and go along with it, because all politicians are nasty, brutish, statist, authoritarian douchebags who sincerely believe that citizens are the chattels of the state.
Frankly the only real surprise is that anyone believed the dog fuckers in the first place.
Who pays for the storage?
Is it payed for pro-rata by the government (i.e. us), or the ISP (i.e. passed on to us)?
I'm not sure I understand how this is going to work. I can just imagine our "friends" at anonymous or somewhere writing a botnet payload which, as fast as it can, connects to (almost) random IP addresses. Then drops the socket.
For each connection the hapless ISP will need to store, at a minimum: date, time, source IP, dest IP, port number, duration of connection, bytes sent, and bytes received. That would probably be about 28 bytes (maybe more with IPv6) per connection. At least quadruple that if it's stored in a database.
I'm pretty sure it only takes a few milliseconds to connect and disconnect a socket. It probably wouldn't even add significant load to the PC running the "App". Let's assume it takes about 100ms per connection (and that we don't even multithread a number of them). So that's:
10 a second x 28 bytes = 280 bytes/sec = 984 KB/hour ~ 23 MB/day = 650+ MB/month per PC. Or, lets call it, 8 GB/year/PC.
Then multiply that by a few *million* PC's....
That's on top of the actual internet usage that PC's user may be making. I wonder how many years they will archive it all for?
Lots of questions... not many answers I'm afraid.
Feel free to correct my calculations if I've made a mistake. I'd hate to mislead anyone.
Politicians are chattels of the wealthy
The Other Steve wrote: "all politicians are nasty, brutish, statist, authoritarian douchebags who sincerely believe that citizens are the chattels of the state"
It's worse than that - this development confirms a growing suspicion that we will get the same government no matter who we vote for, i.e. democracy is a farce in the UK. We're being fed the line that we have to make do with less and less, yet there are abundant funds to splash out on these gold-plated surveillance schemes. Our taxes are increasingly funding the security of the wealthy and powerful, including footing the bill for the systems that will ensure the poorer majority are kept in their place. These systems are not primarily to be used against criminals and terrorists, but ordinary UK citizens.