UK government hacking its citizens' computers...legally.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by HazelGod, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. HazelGod

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  2. Rubenesque

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    I know I should be absolutely furious about this... but I'm not. I think because it's unlikely anyone will ever suggest or suspect that I'm a threat to national security and even if they did there's nothing on my computer that I'm even the slightest bit worried about anyone seeing.

    I just can't help thinking that if they catch one suspected terrorist by doing this then it's a job well done.

    Sorry
     
  3. transformer_99

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    That would worry me, the biggest offenders of the law are those that are in the position and authority of interpreting and upholding it. I think or hope this would be limited to those that really pose a threat to national security or are career criminal offenders. To do it to somebody's garden club or soccer mom wouldn't make any sense, then again there's a lot of people with ulterior motives that go beyond the call of duty.
     
  4. eddyabs

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    Any experiences or suggestions you can share with the residents of fair Albion HG? Correct me if I'm wrong but under the Patriot Act the US Government has been legally hacking citizens' computers for 7-8 years now.

    ''Section 216
    The Patriot Act substantially changes the law with respect to law enforcement access to information about computer use including Web surfing. Reaching for an analogy from the old rotary dialed telephone system, the Act extends provisions written to authorize installation of pen registers and trap and trace devices, which record outgoing and incoming phone numbers, to authorize the installation of devices to record all computer routing, addressing, and signaling information. The government can get this information with a mere certification that the information likely to be obtained is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.
    Today, with more than fifty million U.S. households online, when more than 1.4 billion e-mails change hands every day, when computer users surf the Web and download files using phone lines, mobile devices, and cable modems, the government can learn a tremendous amount of information about you from where you shop to what you read to who your friends are through the use of so-called transactional records. The potential for abuse, for invasion of privacy, and for profiling citizens is high. That’s why it is disappointing that the authors of this provision settled for an incredibly weak standard of judicial oversight. A better analogy might have been to the provision of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act governing access to the stored records of Internet service providers, which permits a judge to satisfy herself that there are specific and articulable facts that the information sought is relevant and material to the ongoing investigation. This is a provision that Congress should review as part of its sunset process and amend.''
     
    #4 eddyabs, Jan 6, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2009
  5. dong20

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    It's not quite the same thing, Eddy. The RIP Act has essentially the same provisions.

    I don't doubt such things occur in a more clandestine fashion though, although I have no proof of this, obviously.
     
  6. B_Nick8

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    This is so far beyond frightening that it's paralyzing. I wonder how long it will be before it's being thought about being done here despite the fact that its' prohibition is enshrined in our Constitution. Or was, until George Bush's so-called Patriot Act.
     
  7. B_Nick8

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    Oh, and it's not 'paranoia' when I suggest that your complacency here is very, very dangerous. It's an awfully short step from the protection of a country's citizens to the control of them. You can never know what you should be worried about; that will be the problem.
     
  8. HazelGod

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    No, Eddy...you should read the actual legislation rather than rely on others' analyses of its ramifications.

    Don't get me wrong...I'm no fan of the USA PATRIOT Act, in either of its incarnations. It's definitely in the same category as the UK law I cited in the OP, just not quite as insidious. However, if you examine the actual provisions, you'll see that Sections 216 and 217 deal with the tapping and interception of telephonic and electronic communications, and the first paragraphs of the sections document the process by which agents of the government must demonstrate to a judicial authority the evidence in support of such an order's necessity.

    The distinctions are that no agent of our government here is statutorily authorized to remotely access or investigate the contents of any citizens' computer system; and if our police have reason to believe you're involved in criminal activity involving computers, they'll present their affidavit to a judge and obtain a warrant to seize your hardware...which they'll take back to their facilities and examine directly.

    From my cursory examination of the UK law going into effect, judicial oversight is shockingly absent. Your state's police agents need no supervisory authority to arbitrarily and covertly rifle through your digital storage.
     
  9. Elmer Gantry

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    On s lightly differnt tangent, but somewhat related, the Australian govt is currently trying to do a similar thing except via the ISP's themselves under the guise of "paedophile protection". Under this act, the internet will directly be filtered by the gumbyment to prevent access to sites it deems "inappropriate".

    Sound familiar?
    China - The Great Firewall of China

    This nonsense of creating a fear centre to establish more draconian control of the population is getting a bit old. Suffice to say, the internet filter act is encountering a great deal of robust debate and will struggle to get up. However, it was telling to see the look on the face of Stephen Conroy (the minister responsible) when confronted by a lot of public resistance including hostile questioning from the press. The look on his face was something like shock and he must have been thinking "They told me this would be easy".

    The internet is about the only part of our "free" and "democratic" societies that still works. The media is fucking useless. The internet shold be protected.

    Getting back to this latest development, the UK has the least reason to be installing these sorts of civil liberites abuses. The total lack of judicial oversight is extraordinary. Poilce and security agencies can't be relied on to make these sorts of decisions in a fair and just manner. It's not in their nature and they have a way of justifying abuses of this nature in the prusuit of suspects.
     
  10. eddyabs

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    I stand corrected HG.

    It is an accumulation of fear and mistrust that will be New Labour's legacy.

    Hardly surprising, yet terrifying. Roll on the General Election.
     
  11. Jason

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    The election can't come too soon. We've got a government that has shown it is prepared to abuse its constitutional position. The arrest of MP Damian Green in the Palace of Westminster and without a search warrant comes to mind as an example. We have a government drunk on power and a prime minister who tells us he is saving the world. If they have legislation in place to hack computers you can be sure they won't use it to catch terrorists - they will use it to victimise someone who has breached some politically correct tenet of our socialist masters. :mad:
     
  12. HazelGod

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    I've heard from many quarters that nations of the world take their cues from the USA. Sadly, that seems to be very much the case with the worst lies and abuses of the Bush Administration.

    I can only hope that the reversal of his policies by the incoming Obama administration also finds its way to other countries as well. The trend of democratic societies toward totalitarian control under the red herring of a "war on terror" has been truly disturbing to witness, both here and abroad.
     
  13. Elmer Gantry

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    It's disgraceful to see our own ex-prime miniature, who was sent packing at the last electin, in Washignton this week to receive, and please don't laugh, a "Presidential Meal for Peace" or some such bollocks from The Shrub himself.

    Shameless.

    Anyhoo, don't hold your breath waiting for Obama to turn the clocks back. I've a feeling it'll be more of the same, we'll just feel better about ourselves this time.
     
  14. B_Marius567

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    I watch BBC world news and bbc gives me more news then cnn.
     
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