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Plans For Widespread Monitoring of Communication In Europe Revealed

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  • Just use encryption. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Problem solved.
    • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:24PM (#41445527) Journal
      The next step is to ban it. Do not wait until it is too late to show your disagreement.
      • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:32PM (#41445585) Journal

        How could anyone meaningfully ban encryption? First of all, financial security is built on top of encryption algorithms. Second of all, they're algorithms. I would be like trying to ban F=MA.

        • by FoolishOwl (1698506) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:36PM (#41445595) Journal

          Then they don't "meaningfully" ban encryption. They just use it as an excuse to harass, arrest, and interrogate people they don't like.

          • by penix1 (722987) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:42PM (#41445635) Homepage

            No, it would be more like you are guilty of whatever they are accusing you of BECAUSE you used encryption. Why would you encrypt it in the first place if you didn't have something to hide?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Such logic is already in use in the United States where people are arrested for supposed crimes and their unwillingness to hand over the passwords to their encrypted hard drives is used as prime evidence that they have something to hide.

              It's a wonderful Catch-22 they have pretty much everyone in. Protect your personal information from the bad guys and then they use the fact that you are using such protection to say that you must be involved in something illegal, otherwise why would you be encrypting your i

              • by gizmonic (302697) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:37AM (#41446321) Homepage

                The problem with that here in the USA is that people are completely clueless about their rights. The Fifth Amendment is there to protect the innocent from over zealous prosecution. The second someone on a jury buys the "why use it if you have nothing to hide" argument, they've essentially bought into the defendant being guilty and needing to prove innocence. Unfortunately, most of them can't think a thought deeper than the last 30 second commercial they saw, so good luck getting them to comprehend something with that level of importance.

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  Too true. I call the it the homo almost-sapiens phenomenon. It's an amazing idea; two species capable of interbreeding, homo sapiens and homo almost-sapiens, but one not quite a thinking man and, unfortunately, these are the ones in the majority.

                • by Shavano (2541114)
                  Worse! You won't bother to retain the keys to files you no longer need and you might trash those keys. When the government subpoenas your files in a case against your buddy, you won't be able to provide them. Now you're a co-conspirator and guilty of obstruction. No change in laws is needed to use them against you.
          • Gotta do something to keep those nerds in their place.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          How do you ban VoIP if your telco loves its international rates?
          You make the risk of been caught very chilling -
          Deep packet inspection of ports used, known data and some nice new equipment in every isp.
          You home, dorm, RV, boat, park bench is not a bank doing transactions every night for hours and the telco knows it.....
          A skilled user helps a new stranger in a chatroom who is a friend of a friend...
          First warning, a payment and invited down for a simple chat, some free IT advice and the app that caused
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Arancaytar (966377)

          The same way you meaningfully ban anything else - by arresting anyone who does it. "Check this box if you are living in a country that allows encryption" sounds like a joke to us, but in places where your traffic is already monitored, using encryption may well draw unfriendly attention from authorities. It's not like encrypted traffic is hard to recognize without taking other obfuscation measures.

          (Even in many countries where encryption is allowed, a court can force you to surrender your key.)

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          well, they do propose that they could order internet service providers to weaken the encryption on services they choose.

          what we need is NAMES.. NAMES of the officials behind this trainwreck.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by stanlyb (1839382)
        You mean, just like it is in France? Where using encryption to encode your mail is considered criminal?????
      • This.
        Many people just don't seem to care. It's either too difficult to understand, or they think they can find technological workarounds.

        Those who do understand the implications and who don't think workarounds are the solution should make as much noise as possible. I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean I want my government to listen to me all the time. It's none of their business.

      • There is probably not even a need to limit or ban encryption, because in a sense the Internet is already heavily regulated and not what it used to be. Thanks to all kinds of NATs, packet filters, and "intelligent" routers, the times when you could just connect one computer to another one to transmit information are long gone. Nowadays, if you want to be sure that your message reaches the destination without using a central server (which can be surveilled, subpoenaed, put under draconian laws, etc.) you nee

        • by Thiez (1281866)

          > There is probably not even a need to limit or ban encryption, because in a sense the Internet is already heavily regulated and not what it used to be. Thanks to all kinds of NATs, packet filters, and "intelligent" routers, the times when you could just connect one computer to another one to transmit information are long gone. Nowadays, if you want to be sure that your message reaches the destination without using a central server (which can be surveilled, subpoenaed, put under draconian laws, etc.) you

    • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:45PM (#41445655)

      They can still track who you talk to, who your friends are, what websites you visit, who you call (assuming your calls encrypted, if not what you talk).
       
      Encryption hardly solves the problem.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:56PM (#41446091)

        You should read about onion routing. Tor is one solution to this problem. It makes it impossible for outside parties to know with whom you communicated. The US Navy thought it would be a cool thing to aid dissenters in oppressive third world countries, not realizing it would also aid dissenters in oppressive first world countries.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)

        • by Artifakt (700173) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:33AM (#41446293)

          Onion routing and similar by the big dogs relies on there being lots of other users of such systems. If only a few Western government sponsored spies were using a Tor-like system in a place such as Iran, then the local authorities would be willing to devote a lot of their resources to trying to catch those few people. Devoting those same sort of resources to catching 10,000 people who turn out to be just trying to get locally illegal porn or pirate music to maybe get one spy OTOH is terribly wasteful. The Iranian government does not want to spend that many resources on prosecuting very minor crimes by the thousands or even millions just to get an occasional real spy, just like the United States would not want to conduct house to house searches of the entirity of New York City to catch one bank robber, or set up constantly relocating roadside stops every five miles all over every interstate highway and stop all commercial truck traffic, just to nab the occasional drunk.
                The problem here is, the Intelligence agencies that developed Onion routing knew there had to be a lot of trivially illegal, semi-legal and fully legal traffic to hide their uses, and in some cases, they actually spread information to aid that civilian development (as in your example of the US Navy). So, either laws against these systems will not pass because the government people proposing them will be called aside to explain why they shouldn't, or the laws will pass, but all the international Intelligence players will know those countries that passed them have switched to something else and hope to make it harder for the lagging countries to continue to use these methods by encouraging international adoption. Put more simply, if a law against onion routing software was actually passed in the US, it would prove the CIA, etc. were no longer relying on onion routing software, and everybody else's intelligence depts. would know this. But frequently proposing such laws only to have them come to nothing, leaves other people's agencies wondering just what the hell they are dealing with.

          • by PiMuNu (865592)
            Been reading Le Carre?
          • I think you've got it the wrong way 'round.

            That onion routing is not yet prohibited might be due to the fact that systems like TOR have been sufficiently subverted already (e.g. most fixed nodes could be run by cooperating intelligende agencies). The more users who use them, the harder it will become to break the system. Thus, in future onion routing will be prohibited if it gains widespread support.

            Not that I believe any of this, just wanted to lay out a slightly more logical conspiracy theory. :P

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Problem solved.

      OK: PPO6nmfecW SilmMYspZe jk5Yu8JN5r XXwzpkjaUz oB1u7K0WVS WgbkpXQbwG 7HdAEhmKKn YB65nrQk63 54ndFR5ihW gRpPFxSFo6

  • by GeneralTurgidson (2464452) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:10PM (#41445425)
    Are consultants and hardware manufacturers. The government has no idea what to do with this information, and its going to spend an enormous amount of money for what will end up being a data vault that is locked away because its too big of a failure to admit they were wrong in the first place to attempt this.
    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:13PM (#41445855)
      And then the wrong person gets elected to office and this vault becomes your living nightmare. The problem with this sort of data collection isn't the benevolent intent of the present, it's the malevolent intent of the future.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:36PM (#41446001)

        The wrong people are already in charge. EU Commission is appointed, not elected, They don't take their direction from EU voters, they take their direction, mostly it seems from non-EU governments and lobbyists. ACTA was the rule not the exception.

        I'm amazed they're using terrorism, the copyright lobbyists suggested CP as their primary weapon. Give us copyright filtering or you diddle kiddies:

        See this article:
        http://boingboing.net/2010/04/28/music-industry-spoke.html

        "Child pornography is great," the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. "It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites".

        The venue was a seminar organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm on May 27, 2007, under the title "Sweden -- A Safe Haven for Pirates?". The speaker was Johan Schlüter from the Danish Anti-Piracy Group, a lobby organization for the music and film industry associations, like IFPI and others...

        "One day we will have a giant filter that we develop in close cooperation with IFPI and MPA. We continuously monitor the child porn on the net, to show the politicians that filtering works. Child porn is an issue they understand," Johan Schlüter said with a grin, his whole being radiating pride and enthusiasm from the podium.

        • by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:21AM (#41447327) Homepage

          The wrong people are already in charge. EU Commission is appointed, not elected, They don't take their direction from EU voters, they take their direction, mostly it seems from non-EU governments and lobbyists. ACTA was the rule not the exception.

          And the last time I told people on /. that the EU was a defacto dictatorship in the making people called me insane because there was a massive organization over the top that's appointed. Hah. Yeah, sure I'm the crazy one. You know your post just scratches the surface, these are the same ones that pushed through the "monetary fiat" rule that lets them basically turn on the printing presses of every EU member and bankrupt them, without any say-so of the elected government. If I remember right, the amount they're allowed to print is somewhere around 1T per member state. Yeah, so...enjoy that...

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by kenorland (2691677)

            When you look at its 20th century history, Europe is barely democratic. Spain and Portugal were military dictatorships, East Germany was communist, as were many of the new states, and West Germany was rebuilt by ex-Nazis. Northern Ireland was a war zone. Large parts of Europe are in bed with one church or another. It's silly to expect a continent with that kind of history to have much of a commitment to liberty or democracy. To be sure, the European desire for peace, liberty, and democracy is strong,

          • by lordholm (649770)

            Well, not for no reason... in a dictatorship, using the modern meaning of the word as in "not a democracy", most people are afraid of opening their mouths. If they say the wrong thing, they will be dragged away in vans, during the middle of the night and disappear; or in the less murderous dictatorships, simply be tossed into jail or prison for an indefinite time.

            This is not about to happen in the EU anytime soon, so yes you need to be insane if you attribute these things to the EU.

          • by Teun (17872)
            I'm undoing moderation to refute your silly comment about the democratic status of the EU.
            The commission is, like in several EU nation governments, made up of bureaucrats, they are appointed by the democratically controlled governments of the member states.
            In many EU nations democracy is by way of an elected parliament controlling a government that in itself is not elected.
            And we cherish this principle of Trias Politica, an independent legislature (the parliament), an independent judiciary and an independ
            • by Mashiki (184564)

              Right then. Could you remind us then why the said appointed commission successfully managed to overthrow two democratically elected governments in the EU(Greece and Italy) on the threat of "no more money" unless the the heads of said governments left, and they held new elections. Separation of powers indeed. That's not separation of powers, and that's not democracy in action.

        • They don't take their direction from EU voters, they take their direction, mostly it seems from non-EU governments and lobbyists. ACTA was the rule not the exception.

          Actually, they take a lot of their direction from EU-based lobbyists, and many of those EU-based lobbyists are also messing up US politics. Yes, EU-based corporations are at least as bad as US-based corporations, arguably worse. And Europe also has strong churches and strong unions that want to get their slice of the pie too, and usually succ

        • by lordholm (649770) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @05:37AM (#41447531) Homepage

          The EU commission is not DIRECTLY elected, but neither is any other government in Europe. With the exceptions of a few presidents (most being powerless and appointed) no head of state/government is directly elected in Europe. De-facto, most governments are picked from parliament, though this is not a legal requirement in most states. The commission is in fact elected by parliament, although it is also at the same time appointed by the memberstates' governments. In most states in Europe, the prime minister is appointed (in some cases by the king/queen/president and in other cases by the speaker of parliament who is appointed in some other way), and then elected by parliament. This is actually not that much different. Although, it would clearly be better if the commission is taken from parliament from a democratic standpoint, some states does not seem to like the idea that much. But things are changing for the better.

          Following the Lisbon treaty, the Commission president will be selected from the candidates fielded by the European parties starting with the next EP-elections in 2014. In addition to this, the future group (consisting of some of the EU foreign ministers) have also fielded the idea that the commission should be selected by the commission president and subject to the normal parliamentary scrutiny of a memberstate government (and presumably with a requirement to have one commissioner from each memberstate).

          • by Anonymous Coward

            If I want to sack Gordon Brown, I can vote for David Cameron, there is a clear choice which causes the change.
            If I want to sack Barosso that's not possible. The EU elections are out of sync with national elections, the candidates for the EU job aren't even known at voting time, let alone who would vote for whom. So it's not 'vote for Labour is a vote for Barosso, a vote for Cons is a vote for ....' because you don't know whose standing and no party can tell you at national election time who they will vote f

            • You want to sack Barroso? Easy, vote for the ESP or ALDE. If the majority of the EP is to the left, the president of the commission will come from their ranks. Currently, the conservatives are the largest block, and so Barroso is the president.

              Of course, you are a Brit, so in any case, you can vote Labour, and that goes towards the ESP, or Lib Dem, and that goes towards the ALDE. If you vote Tory, well, you are helping the EP block containing the fascists and crazies -- it's true, they decided themselves th

            • If I want to sack Gordon Brown, I can vote for David Cameron, there is a clear choice which causes the change.

              You can't actually vote for David Cameron unless you are in Witney, Oxfordshire (which has had at least a 10% Conservative lead since its creation), and then only once every 5 years. And that would only be in elections for Parliament, not for Prime Minister.

              In the UK, the Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen, traditionally being the leader of the Party with a majority in the House of Commons (c

          • by Teun (17872)
            Your idea it would from a democratic point of view be better to have the commission taken from the parliament is to many Europeans at least contentious.
            The potential outcome would be a suspicion of collusion between the executive and the legislative.
            Luckily (?) Europe is so diverse and will probably remain so for a long time, that a one party lead government is not going to happen but hey, who would have expected such in post WW-I Germany?
        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          The wrong people are already in charge. EU Commission is appointed, not elected,

          Yes, appointed by our elected governments to serve them. They are civil servants. Of course we do have directly elected Members of the European Parliament too.

          They don't take their direction from EU voters, they take their direction, mostly it seems from non-EU governments and lobbyists. ACTA was the rule not the exception.

          The EU killed ACTA. It listened to its citizens opposition and made the right decision, despite heavy lobbying and pressure from the US.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Oh somebody understands what to do with it. Identifying the terrorists is a plausible use to sell some bleeding heart politicians and the public on it. In reality there is not algorithm heuristic or otherwise that is:

        A) Efficient enough to go through a large enough portion of the data to correlate enough information on today's computing and storage platforms

        B) Accurate enough to really spot the difference between a terrorist and teenager having a bad day. They might be good enough to flag 10's of 1000's

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:29PM (#41445947)

      They could always use it to source new episodes of CSI. "Zoom in on that packet! Right there, between the 1 and the 0 -- enhance that. We found the killer's digital fingerprint inside this captured packet. Gear up, let's go get this dirtbag!" Kidding aside, you're right but only to a point. There are few people who would deny that the Allied power's interception and decryption of the Axis' communications during WWII was invaluable in helping win the war. What isn't known is that many of those communiques still haven't been read. Even back then, the amount of information intelligence services had to sort through was enormous.

      The problem in the intelligence community today is not finding new ways of getting the data -- in fact, the technology to do that has been installed in every telco switch and every internet access point since not long after AT&T started replacing phone operators with banks of programmable relays. The effort required to get the data is trivial. The amount of resources required to store the data is less trivial, but we already have massive data centers sitting in remote parts of the United States doing nothing but storing said information for various law enforcement agencies -- not that they're hard to find, just look for images that have been cut and pasted from other locations on satellite imagery, if they bother to hide them at all.

      However, making use of that information has always been problematic -- and most intelligence failures, including 9/11, Pearl Harbor, Oklahoma city, and a very long list of military intelligence SNAFUs in this country can trace their origins to the lack of analysis of the data. Converting raw digital data into actionable intelligence still requires a lot of man power. A substantial portion of the NSA, FBI, and CIA's budget is dedicated towards the very simple task of translating. As in, converting say, islamic into english. A more substantial portion is dedicated to people analyzing those translations, sorting through the massive amount of information, and compiling it into situation reports, which are then either posted internally to wiki-like data stores, or forwarded up the chain of command and assembled into briefings where management decides if its actionable. Only a small portion of their budget is dedicated to capturing and storing data -- and yes, that also includes all the birds they have orbiting.

      Analysis of available information has always been the achilles heel of intelligence services. I doubt even 0.1% of the information stored in all those data centers is ever used. The rest just sits there, gathering dust, on the off-chance that someday, an analyst will push a button labelled "Tell me everything about X", and the drive with that information on it will spin up and spit it out into a report.

      • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:29AM (#41446269) Homepage

        The problem in the intelligence community today is not finding new ways of getting the data -- in fact, the technology to do that has been installed in every telco switch and every internet access point since not long after AT&T started replacing phone operators with banks of programmable relays. The effort required to get the data is trivial.

        Big-time wiretapping never went into US electromechanical phone switches. I had to look into this once. Until switches went digital, wiretapping was a huge pain for law enforcement. Court-ordered wiretaps required manual wiring at the distributing frame. New York Telephone billed law enforcement for wiretaps at leased line rates. When Guliani was a prosecutor going after the Mafia, they had serious budget problems paying for wiretaps. On one occasion, the FBI didn't pay their bill, and New York Telephone billed the party being wiretapped. That was one of the motivations for CALEA.

        There was a very limited capability to listen in remotely by using the Automatic Line Insulation Test equipment. That equipment normally cycled through lines in the pre-dawn hours, when cables are damp, applying test voltages across the line and between line and ground. (This is the cause of the early morning "bell tap" problem with some low-end phones.) ALIT could be used remotely to test or listen in on a line. But an ALIT unit in the crossbar era was three racks of test gear, and a crossbar central office would typically only have two of them for 50,000 lines. Sometimes telcos would let the FBI use one for a while, but tying it up for any length of time interfered with operations. So dial-up wiretapping was strictly for emergencies.

        Now we have wiretapping designed into everything.

      • by oboeaaron (595536)

        A substantial portion of the NSA, FBI, and CIA's budget is dedicated towards the very simple task of translating. As in, converting say, islamic into english.

        I can see the problem. Islamic language scholars are really hard to find. Similarly, during WWII it was difficult for the allies to keep up with the volume of sigintel from Europe, Africa, and other countries due to the shortage of individuals qualified to translate from the Lutheran and Catholic.

        -Pedantic Reader

        • by tibit (1762298)

          Winner of teh internets for today! Bravo! Gems like this appear every once in a while, and I've learned never to have any drinks near the keyboard while reading the tubes. Thanks for making my day.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:37PM (#41446007)

      The government has no idea what to do with this information

      I keep on hearing this from posters here on Slashdot and elsewhere in the blogosphere or anywhere there is commentary on the subject.

      "the data is going to be too big, to do anything useful with it" is a very common meme.

      But this is so far from the truth. Just look at what Google has done with the disparate information on the net. In a sea of data it is very easy to find identifiable information of individuals from very little.

      I started playing the "who is this guy emailing me, really" game after dealing with a bunch of "Craigslist Flakes". As a simple example: Just looking at X-Originating-IP in an email combined with Google can reveal a great deal of personal information about the sender.

      The editors of Slashdot can even try to extrapolate data on me right now. Submissions I've posted, pages I've visited. They can look for my ip somewhere else on the net and try to associate it with a name. It's not an exact science since they are only going by my IP and it sometimes changes. But as with all things, that can be worked out. To Slashdot I am not really an Anonymous Coward.

      The data collected by the government will be easily searched/correlated/whatever when they need it to be. It's not going to be too big.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Are consultants and hardware manufacturers.

      True. Page 7.

      8.Governments must subsidize competent NGOs that substantially contribute to reducing terrorist use of the Internet...
      10. Governments should subsidize the initial development of software...

      11. Governments should include Internet companies' track record [sic] on reducing terrorist use of Internet as a criterion in purchasing policies...

      But...

      [PP] The government has no idea what to do with this information,

      While true, the above sins by omission... you see, not even they (Clean IT) know what exactly is "the terrorist use of Internet"... and it's highly probable it is not in their interest for somebody to know: as a "private self/un-regulated police" not accountable to anyone, ambiguity helps their bottom line.

      [page 9] 3. All kinds of Internet companies LEA and NGOs, but not governments should promote the use of ...
      [page 10] g. Internet companies must be sufficiently (quantity and quality) staffed or supported to handle reports. Recognizing illegal, terrorist use of internet requires specialist knowledge on terrorism, (national) legislation and (national) cultural differences
      [Page 11] a. No wording of European standard service/business conditions or abuse policy should be recommended...
      c. Local law and what is considered as unwanted by local society must be a decisive factor. "Unwanted by local society" may refer to content that is fully legal and which may also be in line with terms and conditions of the relevant service provider

    • The Only People Who Benefit From This... Are consultants and hardware manufacturers.

      And where do you think the lobbying for this is coming from. The rumours going around in the UK are that the plans for mass Internet surveillance here are being pushed because a few of the big arms contractors have a huge number of "black boxes" for spying on internet connections, but most dictatorships either already have them, are difficult to trade with, or have been recently overthrown, so the companies are having to go

  • by kermidge (2221646) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:37PM (#41445601) Journal

    I made a real try at reading the doc in a dispassionate, scholarly fashion, but couldn't make it past page ten: I kept seeing in mind's eye the substitution of other words for "terrorist," leading to "anybody we don't like" and ending with "everyone except us." Knowing that this and the many similar plans would have been a Stasi wet-dream didn't help.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Knowing that this and the many similar plans would have been a Stasi wet-dream didn't help.

      Well... something needs to be done!!! It is unacceptable that Europe falls behind Iran [reuters.com] in providing a clear internet for its citizens.

      </sarcasm>

  • by Crypto Gnome (651401) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:48PM (#41445677) Homepage Journal
    An article from March 19, 2012 shows that The Ban On Encryption [copyisright.se] is already a Work In Progress.
    • Also: Similar Proposal in New York [lexology.com].
    • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:13PM (#41445853) Journal

      Don't forget about pumping the omnipresent cameras into facial recognition software, and dumping it all into tracking databases. This on top of character recognition tracking license plates.

      Oh, you're gonna get Godwinned. Hitler, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, these all approve.

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Don't forget about pumping the omnipresent cameras into facial recognition software, and dumping it all into tracking databases.

        I'd show the facial recognition cameras my arse, but it would probably show as a false positive on John Prescott [wikipedia.org].

    • An article from March 19, 2012 shows that The Ban On Encryption is already a Work In Progress.

      Good luck with that. Encryption keeps the cost of doing business on the internet low. Without it, transactions would have to be sent in the clear, which means they would be vulnerable to interception and manipulation. Realtime modification of IP packets (or recording of payload) is a trivial task -- most routers and managed switches have the ability to filter and mirror IP packets. If you make encryption illegal, you're handing even the dullest criminals carte blanche access to our financial accounts. Busin

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Monday September 24, 2012 @10:50PM (#41445703)
    The various groups such as the police, moral majorities, or whomever will keep badgering the politicians for these types of laws to "protect the children" or "protect our rights" but in reality these laws are all of the type: music leads to dancing which leads to the unspeakable. The only thing to finally put a stop to them is to enshrine privacy rights in whatever constitutions, bills of rights or whatever structure has the final common sense say in any modern legal system. A well written code should last for decades as it should not be technology specific just information specific. It should spell out what data the government can gather without a warrant. It should also spell out that corporations can only gather the information required for billing customers who have agreed to be billed. Any other information gathering should be a civil rights violation. So if the police record license plates as you drive by then boom they are busted. Or if we get some cool medical implants that record stuff and the hospital gathers it and passes it on to a drug company or insurance company then busted.

    Personally I would even like to see my grocery store stopped from gathering my shopping habits. Basically tally my total charge me and then forget that I was there. I want it so that the police aren't even allowed to ask for data from a company's computer unless they have a warrant. Not even a peek.

    If these things aren't stopped now then the new normal will be a government and corporations who will be able to know way too much about you. A grocery store that pulls up your phone IMEI and asks the phone company who you are. Then asks to see what sites you have been surfing to see what they can sell you. What is stopping the phone company and your ISP from selling this data?

    I can see a 13 year old boy called into the principal's office and expelled because of the "disgusting" sites they were surfing at home the night before. If the ISP were owned by some bible thumper what law is stopping them from handing this data to anyone? Right now as long as you put it into the terms of service where we all blindly click "I agree" the company should be pretty safe. Also those terms of service almost always blah blah about sharing with 3rd parties.

    My guess as to the main reason that this isn't done more is that most people don't have the skills to properly mix and match such different data sets. Plus some companies might be reluctant to really piss of their customers. But when any of these companies are on the ropes financially they will make any deal with any devil that comes along.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Personally I would even like to see my grocery store stopped from gathering my shopping habits. Basically tally my total charge me and then forget that I was there.

      You can do this today, if you want: Pay with cash. Don't use a store discount card.

  • Well the way things are going in the EU it doesn't seem likely it will be around in 10 or 12 years time. They are already breaking up in terms of monetary union. Besides which, every story like this attracts a whole flurry of comments like "OMG the government is gonna be watching us - time to go live on the moon" I dont see what is wrong with trying to stop people accessing information which is clearly only there to either assist in weapons making or to provide resources for people who want to cause widespe
    • by tibit (1762298)

      I dont see what is wrong with trying to stop people accessing information which is clearly only there to either assist in weapons making or to provide resources for people who want to cause widespead terror.

      You're wrong, plain and simple. What information is for depends on how someone intends to use it. By being an engineer I obviously have a lot of information about how to wreck infrastructure and otherwise terrorize a whole lot of people. Most engineers have such knowledge even if they pretend otherwise. You're like a 6 year old kid who anthropomorphizes things and says "bad information!". Sorry to break your childish bubble, but there is no information that is "clearly only there to do X". It's in your min

  • freedom lost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by reovirus1 (722769) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:03PM (#41445771)
    If they hated us for our freedoms, we must be pretty well liked by now.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Gosh darn it! There goes my fantasy that Europe is better than the US.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You actually ever believed that shit? Europeans have made an art out of fascism, police states and racial genocide.

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Europeans have made an art out of fascism, police states and racial genocide.

        But they get FREE HEALTHCARE!

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Europe is better because everytime our governments try somehing like this, the people have a chance to vote it down in the EP.

      • Hmm the whole thing about the EU Constitution and it's Fundamental Rights provisions not being binding makes it a bit less so, I think.

  • Anyone else read that? The part that pushes "internet companies" to REQUIRE and verify what they consider "real" identities, including "real" pictures of users on social-media sites? How can that not lead to, essentially, government-enabled internet stalking and the complete extinguishing of legally-protected anonymous speech?

    And who the fuck are they, or anyone, to declare what a "real" identity online means, or should mean?

    Whoever is involved in this effort must never work in IT or government ever, ever

  • ... that their suggestions are being carried out. Dumbasses should not have fought USSR. Else, we would see an United Europe, no more pesky football hooliganism, or migration for that reason. We should appreciate the Nazis for their foresightedness.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday September 24, 2012 @11:34PM (#41445981) Journal

    I've just found a 'radicalizing' document, clearly a piece of propaganda designed to convince me that Europe is a surveillance state run by some mixture of terrified ninnies and cynical grifters! But I can't find the reporting button to alert the proper authorities and have it taken down, what do I do?

  • Yes we need to be protected but not at the cost of our freedom.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    U-S-A! U-S-A! Oh, wait... WTF?

  • by fearofcarpet (654438) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:15AM (#41446527)

    Some day I am going to have to explain to my son how we managed to defeat a genocidal megalomaniac bend on world domination, narrowly avoid nuclear annihilation, and rebuild an entire continent in the 20th Century, but that in the 21st Century somehow pirates and terrorists are the biggest threat to Western Civilization. But my biggest fear is that he is growing up in a world where the bar for personal privacy, security, and liberty has been set alarmingly low.

    Those of us who experienced privacy in the pre-WWW, pre-datamining era--the before time, the long-long-ago--still have a viscerally negative reaction when we learn about how Company X is collecting information on us in some new-and-intrusive way. Even when it's to protect us from pirates and terrorists, we at least object to it even though we have, thus far, just rolled over, muttering under our breath as a glorified hall monitor looks at pictures of our naked bodies before we are allowed to board an airplane. And we still get angry when we find out that a government is spying on us and listening in to our conversations--digitally encoded or otherwise.

    People born after 2000 will have no memory of a smart-phone-free world by the time they are of voting age. They won't find it unsettling that you have to enter a credit card number before you can log into your iThing or that their toaster needs to know their birth date. Let's just hope that the elderly continue to have a disproportionate influence in electoral politics--at least until I die.

  • by Aryden (1872756) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @01:53AM (#41446733)
    Is onboard with this....

    Pirate Party Switzerland (Pascal Gloor, who also posted a blog about the Berlin meeting, in french) Link to his blog post [pascalgloor.ch]

    • by alexo (9335)

      The title says "I am anti-terrorism ..."

      And yet, we all know that "terrorism", similar to "child porn", is a bogeyman used to justify stripping the populace of whatever rights they still hold.

      Pirate Party my ass, he's a totalitarian scumbag just like the rest of them, and should suffer the same fate as the marketing division of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

  • Why do government always think that monitoring and surveilance is the key to preventing terror, solve major crimes etc.?

    Unless the go all the way and aim for the full Orwellian package with Big Brother, thought police etc. it will give nothing but a false sense of security. It's too easily circumvented, if it works at all. It is basically yet another form of security theater just like the 'security checks' at the airport, and it's just a futile and worthless waste of money.

    I think it's a matter of bad advic

  • ... and the real question is : why do the few want to monitor the many?
    There really is only one answer. It is so to commit wrongs against the public in all the many ways monitoring can provide such.

    Wars are started and played by the few with the bravery of being out of range.
    The results of war are proving to be far more damaging to the public than, if at all, the few instigating the wars.
    By monitoring the public and controlling the media a feedback loop for manipulation is created.
    Additionally should the fe

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