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UK Government Wins Villain of the Year 201

Anonymous Cowpat writes "The BBC is reporting that the UK Government, or rather their six month presidency of the EU, has been awarded the Internet Villain of the Year award by the Internet Service Providers Association for being the driving force behind the new EU data retention laws. These require that ISPs and other telecomms providers keep records of the time\date & recipient of every communication made by their subscribers."
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UK Government Wins Villain of the Year

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  • Tor? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZiakII ( 829432 ) * on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:56PM (#14796790)
    Wouldn't using something like Tor make all logs worthless?
    • Re:Tor? (Score:4, Funny)

      by ZiakII ( 829432 ) * on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:06PM (#14796865)
      Wouldn't using something like Tor make all logs worthless?

      On a side note.... don't install this on a military computer just to check your yahoo mail.... it will get the computer taken and sent to Quantico, VA after it makes a connection in Brazil.....opps........and they will then discover that you managed to reset the xadministrator password (stupid NMCI)
    • Re:Tor? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jon Luckey ( 7563 )
      Tor [] can be pretty scarey, but I'm not sure he would make logs worthless.
  • by Meneth ( 872868 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:57PM (#14796797)
    Sweden's Minister of "Justice" has also been pushing for the retention laws.
    • IMHO, it doesn't really matter who is the first one to get such laws passed.

      All that matters is it gets passed.

      Once that happens, the laws will spread through Europe & eventually overseas... all in the name of "harmonization"

      It's a kind of backdoor way to get laws passed in your country that would otherwise be unacceptable to the populace. The Bush Administration (maybe Clinton did it to, I dunno) is the most recent example I can think of.

      They encouraged restrictive European laws that would never have f
      • It's a kind of backdoor way to get laws passed in your country that would otherwise be unacceptable to the populace. The Bush Administration (maybe Clinton did it to, I dunno) is the most recent example I can think of. They encouraged restrictive European laws that would never have flown in the U.S. of A. and once they were passed in Europe, U.S. law had to be "harmonized".

        I think you are forgetting your patriot act, which got passed in the U.S. Those laws are pretty restrictive in every sense and restr

    • Yes, the same minister also pushing for aggressive surveillance of crime suspects -- of course to stop terrorism. Because Sweden is such a horribly obvious target for terrorists, you know. He's got a "no" from the Swedish Council of Legislation already due to the privacy issues involved, but think it will still get through soon enough and will continue to push for this, using his best G W Bush impression.
  • by Don_dumb ( 927108 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @05:59PM (#14796814)
    We're number one, we're number one, we're number one
  • The Customer Wins! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Saxerman ( 253676 ) * on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:01PM (#14796827) Homepage
    "At the end of the day ISPs are not law enforcement agencies so they should not have to pay for it all," [a spokesman for the Internet Service Providers' Association ] said.

    And, of course, they won't need to as they'll merely pass the savings (sic) to their customers. While politicians might be willing to merely call this the 'cost of doing business in the age of terrorism' I call it yet another stab into the heart of freedom and liberty.

    • That happens in every other field too. It's called "shit runs downhill" and is one of the major principles of military life, office life, school life, and plumbing.

      PS: Nice sig. Hope you brought your own towel.
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:06PM (#14796859)
    If all the companies are required to maintain this extra information, that would force the hard drive companies to produce higher capacity hard drives while driving down the unit cost. Who wouldn't mind paying $50 USD per terabyte?
  • by LazySlacker ( 212444 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:08PM (#14796882)
    thats the least of it.
    • id cards
    • extradition for crimes commited on our soil
    • extradition with out reciprocal agreements
    • Gitmo, an 'Anomaly'
    • an attempt at almost indefinate detention without trial
    • security services (or anyone) not allowed to link recent attacks here to a certain invasion

    It would appear that if you want to get legislation past PM Blair - just add a terorist threat - or say your name is Bush (guess who with have the extradition agreement with with).
    I'm not even starting to list domestic issues (well I guess id card is domestic) and will completely skip Iraq itself.
    • "It would appear that if you want to get legislation past PM Blair - just add a terorist threat - or say your name is Bush (guess who with have the extradition agreement with with)."

      And if your name's Gates, you can get every government I.T. project and dinner at No. 10.

    • To be fair, isn't this an EU policy that just happened to go through when Blair was in charge of the EU? That doesn't really mean much in a system that takes months for stuff to process and go through. Why blame the UK for an EU policy? That's like blaming a State for US-wide laws.
    • Actually, the last two are also domestic issues...

      You forgot RIPA, of course - hand over your encryption keys or go to gaol, tell anyone the demand was made and go to gaol...
  • I've been following consumer and privacy rights issues for quite some time now. The issue that ISP's are REQUIRED to log personal information is an interesting one.

    First and foremost, I consider the Internet to be a type of "public" space. I am reasonably certain that anything I do on the Internet can and probably will end up in someones log file. Whether or not such information can be used against me is what really concerns me.

    Second. It is reasonable to expect that ISPs do in fact keep logs of i
    • It is reasonable to expect that ISPs do in fact keep logs of information. What they log and how they do it is generally up to them.

      They only really *need* to keep enough logs to be able to bill customers correctly and deal with disputes that might arise. Presumably, "keep records of the time/date & recipient of every communication made by their subscribers" means tracking email, IM (of all kinds), ftp, telnet, ssh, http, https, &c. I mean, it would be trivial for a terrorist cell to use anony

    • I see what you are saying but there is a bigger picture than privacy. The laws are obstensibly about how to deal with those who incite violence, that problem is as old as the human race itself. History has shown time and again that the answer is not to silence them but to educate ourselves to recognise those who manipulate our fears into vengence.

      Here's one that was spotted in Sydney the week before the Alan [] Jones [] riots that caught the attention of international media late last year. The fact that our to
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:15PM (#14796943) Homepage Journal
    I'd like to accept this award most humbly.

    Some have said "You can fool some of the people all of the time."

    Luckily for us, it turns out all you have to do is just go up to a queue of people, put on a stern face, say "Terrorist", and they'll all happily give away all the rights that people died to gain in just a quick nip of time.

    Now, on behalf of us and our ally Oceania, I'd like to thank you all, and ask you please show your papers and salute with stiff arms as we play our national anthem, "Brittania, Brittania, Uber Alles!"

    Thank you.
  • Anyone else find it incredibly ironic that many conservatives in the US enthusiastically support him? I'm constantly amazed, as a libertarian, by the number of conservatives who cannot separate his support of the invasion of Iraq from his general policies. Blair and his labor party should serve as a reminder that socialism is not all about fluffy welfare states. Rather, the socialist state can also be very intrusive, and rather often is in fact rather intrusive on the basic rights of the public.
    • Re:Ah Tony Blair (Score:2, Informative)

      by UdoKeir ( 239957 )
      Tony Blair is not a Socialist. His government is more right wing the the Conservative one that preceded it.
    • For better or worse, it's a different country. You might not like Blair, but would you rather have someone like Tony Benn?
    • Re:Ah Tony Blair (Score:3, Informative)

      by jimicus ( 737525 )
      Blair and his labor party should serve as a reminder that socialism is not all about fluffy welfare states.

      Blair and his Labour party are nothing to do with socialism. The abolition of Clause 4 [] and granting tax breaks to businessmen [] (even though it was later revoked - at least our judges have balls) don't sound very socialist to me.

      What we essentially have in today's Labour is the old conservative party only slightly less rabid.
    • That is an incredibly ignorant comment. Blair's government is by no means socialist! It is now significantly more right wing economically than the Conservative government that it deposed (if not yet as corrupt). In terms of authoritarianism it is probably about equal: though it has eroded many civil liberties, it has brought in new ones (such as gay rights).

      In any case, the government's social policies can be independent of its economic policies. See The Political Compass [] for an alternative (compared to lef
    • Anyone else find it incredibly ironic that many conservatives in the US enthusiastically support him?

      What a lot of dreck - you US so-called "libertarians" make me want to vomit. You are so so dumb - as a libertarian socialist and a former member of the British Labour Party before Tony Bliar converted it to "New Labour", I can assure you Bliar's government has nothing to do with socialism.

      The only difference between them and the Bush administration is that Bliar's government is more economically fiscally

  • Myopia (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lheal ( 86013 ) <(lheal1999) (at) (> on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:17PM (#14796950) Journal
    Perhaps a little review is in order:
    1. China seeks not allow its citizens even to know what privacy means, and puts journalists in jail for using the web to speak out.
    2. Something over 90% of the email I get is falsely titled advertising from people I've never met and will never meet trying to sell me products I don't want. And so:
    3. The communications companies want to double-bill for bandwidth.
    4. There is an active market for system exploits, bot armies, and malware-driven popup ads.
    5. The U.S. wants to keep DNS root server rights to itself. This is not such a big deal to me, but other people got worked up over it.

    With all of that, the EU wanting to make sure data is kept, not forever, but just long enough for most normal criminal investigations to take place doesn't bother me much. If they did other stuff with it, that would be a problem, but just making sure it's there seems prudent.

  • by deacon ( 40533 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:19PM (#14796974) Journal
    Really, when will enough be enough? Or are there so many state "workers" voting to keep things as they are that you have no escape?

    First they took your guns, and you sat in the pub and said it was for the good of the people.

    Then they effectively took away your right to self-defense (they took away the means in step one), and you locked yourself in your bathrooms when the burglars break into your occupied house.

    Then, they sent letter to the shopkeepers telling them not to bother reporting thefts of less than 75 pounds and not to detain thieves.

    Linky:,,2-2006060516,00 .html []

    You have cameras installed in every orfice, officious busybodies poking noses into your every affair.

    Your medical system is refusing treatment to patients who are over weight (gasp) or smoke (the horror) in order to save money. An un-assimilated population of immigrants is holding up signs saying "wait for the real holocaust"

    What will it take to push you over the edge, the banning of cricket?

    Wake up, it is already too late, and you better get cracking on fixing things.

    • I can't say things are much better here in the US. But any way you look at it it's true. Mod parent insightful.
    • Using the sun news paper as a reference to your post is quite possibly the worst example of close mindedness or ill thought out opinion posting I have ever seen.

      The sun news paper rates up there with fox news (as I understand fox news to be) in the US. Fear and Anger. Fear and Anger. Fear And Anger.

    • First they took your guns
      You just lost the interest of 99.9% of the British population. You should be aware that outside the US, and perhaps Switzerland and one or two other countries, the notion that people have some kind of natural right to own guns is taken about as seriously as the assertion that people have a natural right to own nuclear weapons.
    • by Martz ( 861209 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @07:22PM (#14797411)
      Being a UK citizen - and once being happy we got rid of the Conservative goverment with a Labour victory, I've become very annoyed and angry at the situation. I've written numerous letters to my MP, who has made plenty of promises and shown to be good at writting replies to me - perhaps nothing more. It does require a huge amount of effort from an individual to change things, and this combined effort can make a difference.

      I was reminded of it tonight watching a satirical comedy current affairs show, when the last demonstration/protests which actually influenced the Goverment into changing a decision - was for lowering the homosexual age of content. [The gag of the story was that it wasn't 16 year olds males demonstrating, rather it was millions of 40+ single men with leather trousers and pierced ears]. Millions of people marched, the goverment listened - and the law was changed. Democracy worked?

      The lastest demonstrations were at the G8 summit, whereby the day after the London underground/bus bombings took place - whilst all of the countries security was focused in Gleneagles. Before *that*, up to a million people demonstrated in London against the invasion of Iraq. So many many people were on the streets, a huge turn out which took an enormous amount of effort for people to make - people traveled several hundred miles to be there, which is a mean feat in itself in the UK anyway).

      If the goverment won't listen to a few hundred thousand people (minimum, 1 million max) who peacefully demonstrate, execute their primary right to disagree with the goverment decision as strongly as possible - what can be done? How many people does it take to reverse a decision, or to even get a referendum on it?

      The control and balance does need to be taken back, but people have too much to lose these days. They aren't directly interested in anything which isn't going to effect their bank balance or routine. Back in the day perhaps, the average family might have a lot less, be more hardup and actually demonstrating and protesting publicaly and peacefuly wouldn't be much more effort than their general hardships. Now-a-days (pipe in mouth, slippers on and reminiscing about the war..) we have it too easy that we order pizza thats cooked less than a mile away, delivered by scooter, and posted through our letterboxes. We are lazy, and we do not care/

      What chances do we have while we have it so easy, such an appeased population. :(

      I disagree with the examples in your post, but you are actually pointing in the right direction I think. As long as you make a noise, even if it isn't for the right reasons - just at the moment.
    • Things are much worse than that. We've started locking up innocent people indefinitely [], using anti-terrorist laws on Holocaust survivors [] and have introduced a Hitleresque dictatorship law [].

      Next on the agenda is the world's most intrusive mass surveillance system [] and a law to bypass Parliamentary scrutiny [].

      We are heading towards a police state faster than 1930s Germany and probably less than 0.1% of the population are doing a thing to stop it.

      It's scary to see how quickly the defences against fa

  • Kill the pidgeons! (Score:3, Informative)

    by chris_sawtell ( 10326 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:30PM (#14797033) Journal
    They are bound to use the bird-flu scare to kill millions of birds when the real intent is to stop this sort of thing:- [] /28/pigeon-empowered-wireless-internet/ []

    The problem for all 'governments-of-the-day' who enact stupid legislation is that there is always a way around the 'problem'. There is also clandestine high frequency high speed RTTY.

  • CONtrol (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sane? ( 179855 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:32PM (#14797048)
    What you don't seem to understand is that its all driven by a fear of not being 'in control'. How can you be 'in control' if you can't access what people are saying, what they are doing? How can you understand them if you don't know their innermost thoughts?

    UK government is scared by that they don't understand, Islam, Internet, anything that has passed their arts education by. They don't understand and therefore they need 'more information' to feel that they have 'kept on top' of the problems that confront them.

    You know that feeling when you are swimming, but its not working out and you are getting lower and lower in the water, swallowing more and more water? That's the UK, and when they realise it, the US governments.

  • by packetmill ( 955023 ) on Friday February 24, 2006 @06:37PM (#14797087)
    This round anyway. We Americans must admit our defeat, but we'll get you twats next year when we convince google to hand over those logs.
  • So what? They have to keep logs they were probably already keeping anyways. The big deal is going to be what they are required to do with them BEYOND just keeping them around. If the powers that be can demand access to all of them, or only demand logs involved in whatever they are investigating, etc. Given the ammount of real problems on the net, I'm not entirely convinced that making it easier to track people down for doing these things is all that bad. I certainly would like to see a reduction in th
    • So you are saying that they made people keep logs that they can't access?

      There is a lot of crime outside, maybe we should make peoples stay in their homes.

      Also, I doubt very many ISPs kept logs around for very long.
      • I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure banks are legally required to keep a transaction history (beyond just not wanting to upset their customers). The lawmakers would be the ones to tell them they have to keep it. That doesn't mean the lawmakers can just come in and grab everyones transaction history just because they want to. They have to go through a process to gain access to the specific transaction histories they want for their investigation, and have to show why they need them.

        The "AAHH LOG EVERYT
        • My point is that keeping logs "just in case" is no different from keeping people home "just in case".

          If I am walking down the street and go into a store, and that store 'logs' me, I don't have a problem. If I was 'logged' every time I just walked down the street, I would have a problem.

          Also, if stores were forced to log me, that would be an issues as well. You can open a bank that doesn't give logs to the government, but don't expect FDIC, or any other government help.
          • Well, kinda the nature of the beast with the web. Really, you ARE logged every time you walk down the street, its just in an entirely different way. People are logging you. For example, looking at porn on the net for example, isn't terribly different from looking at porn in a public park. There is just an illusion of privacy because you are at home doing it. In the park, people will see you doing it, and may or may not remember specific details about who you are and what you were doing. The difference
  • Those of you hot under the collar [and impatient] POP QUIZ: What does you ISP log now, and how long does s/he retain it? Have you asked?

    I read TFA & elsewhere the word "retention". No-where does it mandate that information not being captured will suddenly have to be.

    I do not expect ISPs will have to log all TCP/IP traffic (ala tcpdump). They'd need massive new firewall logging servers. Insteady, they will just have to keep their sendmail and login files for two years. And phone billing info likew

  • Clearly, this is part of a vast righ-wing conspiracy. Karl Rove is trying to divert attention from the Chimpler's Cabal of Evil (TM), and their complete disregard for even the most basic of human rights, by intimidating the ISPA into calling Britain the villain of the year, when that title should obviously be awarded to Bushitler. QED. BTW, if you need to be reminded that this post is sarcastic --- well, you know you've spent too much time on Slashdot when...
  • They may have to keep all that information, but at least it's legal to keep it in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying, "Beware of the Leopard."

    At least I think so.
  • Unless the penalty for noncompliance is very large, it may be cheaper to ignore the law. Also, complying with the law would probably expose an ISP to more legal risk than noncompliance would.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.