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Theresa May Named UK's Internet Villain of the Year 58

An anonymous reader writes with news that Theresa May, the UK's Secretary of State for the Home Department, has been named the UK internet industry's villain of the year. She won this dubious honor for pushing the UK's controversial "snooper's charter" legislation, which would require ISPs to retain massive amounts of data regarding their subscribers for no less than a year. May championed the legislation without consulting the internet industry.

Conversely, "The MPs Tom Watson and David Davis were jointly named internet hero for their legal action against the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act. 'Surveillance has dominated both the hero and villain shortlists for number of years, and it was felt Davis and Watson were some of the best informed politicians on the subject,' the ISPA said."
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Theresa May Named UK's Internet Villain of the Year

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  • Just to be clear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @03:07AM (#50046863) Homepage Journal

    The ISPs don't care about their clients' privacy -- what they're objecting to is all the expensive hardware to gather and store all those records.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward do care about their clients' privacy. For a while they had an "as recommended by the House of Lords" link to a speech where parliament's upper chamber lists them as a company that will resist its "voluntary" scheme because it doesn't believe in censorship.

      (I don't work for them but I have been a happy customer)

    • Re:Just to be clear (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:30AM (#50047333)

      ISP shouldn't store our traffic.
      At best/worst they should only store the IP Address and MAC address to the customer start and and time, and our billing information. If the ISP charging via a usage meter then they can store how much data we use.

      It shouldn't care where we go or what we do. The government shouldn't feel complied to ask them other then via a Warrant to track back an IP Address, to a customer. And still that shouldn't be enough to convict, just a lead to follow.

    • The ISPs don't care about their clients' privacy -- what they're objecting to is all the expensive hardware to gather and store all those records.

      Sorry to rain in on your parade of self-righteous indignation, but why exactly should they do anything else? A democratically elected government tells them to spy on their customers, the same democratically elected government that tells them to ban smoking, to reduce carbon emissions, and to add safety features to their products; do you advocate that corporations

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        Some government regulations/laws are unconstitutional, including in quite a few nations, spying on citizens. Whether the government does it or it farms it out to private industry shouldn't matter, it is not legitimate.

        • The UK doesn't have a constitution. Much of continental Europe has constitutions that allow pretty much arbitrary spying on citizens given the right governmental excuses.

          Whether it is "legitimate" is for the courts to determine, not up to your whims or the whims of corporations.

          Finally, it is completely unreasonable to complain that corporations aren't fighting these battles for the people. Even though many corporations would actually like to fight for privacy, but they simply don't have the power and they

          • by dryeo ( 100693 )

            The UK has a Constitution, though some of it is unwritten (eg elections have to be held within 5 years except in exceptional circumstances with the consent of most all of Parliament, eg IIRC during WWI) and the rest is spread across various documents with the latest being the European Convention on Human Rights IIRC, which took away the supremacy of Parliament.
            While you're right about the courts being the final arbitrators, the corporations can be the ones who petition the courts for a ruling. Sadly you do

            • While you're right about the courts being the final arbitrators, the corporations can be the ones who petition the courts for a ruling.

              They can, and they do. That's why the major tech companies keep trying to push the envelope on encryption and being transparent about government requests. But if they step out of line too much with what the administration wants, they likely get in trouble.

              Penguinoid's cynicism and criticism of corporations was unwarranted: it's not the job of corporations to do anything, but

  • Redundant request? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @03:23AM (#50046893) Journal

    GCHQ is already collecting/monitoring the data, consequently, their request is a bit confusing if not redundat, isn't it?

    Do they need a backup to their own databases? Or they want to focuss on relationship databases that aggregate all the metadata? Or perhaps they want to focus on analysis of the data, rather than focusing on collection?

    • by msobkow ( 48369 )

      I suspect what they want is positive identification of anyone using a VPN connection.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2015 @06:12AM (#50047213)

      GCHQ only uses their data for specific things, and will otherwise not assist with criminal investigations.

      The aim is to create a police state, where everyone is already guilty, and it's just a matter of bringing up the evidence as needed.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      They want to transfer the cost of retaining that data to the ISPs. Well, they also want some data that GCHQ has to hack to get normally, because simply doing a full take of a major interconnect won't get you things like DNS lookups to ISP servers. It's easier just to force the ISPs to give them the data.

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      Every party has stood for election and said they're against the Interception Modernisation Programme and each that has gotten into power has subsequently had one or more home secretaries that have all backtracked once in that role and started arguing hard for it.

      If you want to know why, it's because they all got told what Snowden told the rest of us - that GCHQ is already doing it anyway, but that's it's completely illegal.

      The Interception Modernisation Programme is simply an attempt to make legal what is i

  • The Panopticon is inevitable given the existential threats of Daesh terrorists being groomed over the internet in our midst and the convenient truth that business has already owned peoples lives without protest. (With the exception of the hated European Union's attempts to limit it).

    All we can hope for now is that oversight of the agencies given snooping powers can be created - allowing a few bought off judges to rubber stamp access to peoples data is nowhere good enough. Also to restrict access to agencies with publicly sanctioned specific agendas and well trained staff - currently there is nothing to stop low level local officials from free access to peoples data and the corruption that this will create (See US policing tactics to steal money from people stopped in their vehicles).

    Theresa Mays party is fameous for its bad implementation of law so expect none of the above caveats to be implemented. They are well known as the party of Law and Order - which equates to laws written by the most vocal and insane right wing media.

    • Theresa Mays party is fameous for its bad implementation of law so expect none of the above caveats to be implemented.

      Wait she works for the Labour Party now?

      I don't think there's any evidence that suggests either of the two largest parties are materially better than the other at botching implemtation of laws.

      They are well known as the party of Law and Order - which equates to laws written by the most vocal and insane right wing media.

      Remind me which party decided to start overturning the burden of proof th

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Sunday July 05, 2015 @09:26AM (#50047577) Homepage Journal

      The solution, the only possible solution, is to encrypt everything and make some mass surveillance impractical. We can't do much about all the cameras and databases, but we can make sure that our activities online are very hard to spy on. It will never be impossible, but if GCHQ has to spend vast amounts of money and attack British companies to get what they want, and end up with very little for their efforts it will curtail their activities.

      They will of course try to ban technology that bothers them, but if we make it ubiquitous and a basic part of common internet infrastructure they won't be able to.

  • I'm surprised the "evil overlord award" didn't go to David Cameron.

    Then again, maybe he's too obvious a winner.

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      Cameron? The only award that fat fuck deserves is the "Who Ate All The Pies? That Pedo Apologist!" Award.

    • He is sensible enough not to personally talk about this issue.

      • by msobkow ( 48369 )

        Oh? And claiming that the UK will make encryption illegal or decryptable by GCHQ isn't a threat to the internet for UK citizens?

        Believe me, Cameron is quite willing to shove his foot in his mouth up to the knee...

      • Re:I'm surprised (Score:5, Informative)

        by Teun ( 17872 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @04:57PM (#50049033) Homepage
        Uhh, Cameron himself said he wants to scrap the European Human Rights Act. []
        This European Convention on Human Rights has nothing to do with the European Union and pre-dates it by decades. Its institutions and courts are completely separate.

        The Act covers all the rights included in the European Convention.

        These rights are: Right to life, right not to be tortured or subjected to inhumane treatment, right not to be held as a slave, right to liberty and security of the person, right to a fair trial, right not be retrospectively convicted for a crime, right to a private and family life, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression, right to freedom of assembly and association, right to marriage, right to an effective remedy, right not to be discriminated against, the right to the peaceful enjoyment of one’s property, and the right to an education.

        The European Convention on Human Rights was the brainchild of Conservative Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
        Its chief author was the right-wing Scottish Conservative lawyer Sir David Maxwell Fyfe.
        Churchill needs no further introduction. Maxwell Fyfe is otherwise known in history for his forensic cross-examination of Goering at the Nuremberg trials, and for declining to intervene (when Home Secretary) in the hanging of Derek Bentley in 1953.
        It is surely one of the most bizarre turns in politics that it is right-wing Conservatives who now oppose a treaty which their direct political predecessors created. There is nothing left-wing, excessively liberal, wet (or whatever) about freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom from government expropriation of private property, the right to due legal process and all the rest of the treaty.

        Freedom from state oppression is not an exclusively, or primarily, left wing credo.

        Doing away with this 'horrible' act will in my view fit nicely with the ideas Mrs. May is voicing in the name of the Cameron government.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:14AM (#50047303)

    It's not going to change anything. She has the power, along with the other Surveillance Age supporters, to pass any laws she sees fit to impose their will. Meanwhile you keep tickling a fire-spitting dragon that will, sooner or later, grow bothered enough to turn around and swat you out of existence. If you saw the birth of the web back in the '90s, I have a message for you: that internet is dead. Forever. Those who killed it wield power you could not even begin to imagine. The vast majority of the populace does not care or will play along out of feat or apathy. They have won. It's over. I know that losing a war - especially THE war for the only cause you ever knew and embraced - is hard, especially when you know that there is not going to be any other one, and that we lost without even firing a shot, but that's what happened. We live in the Surveillance Age now. We will die in it. Those of us who have children have better raise them to live in it as well, because they will live and die in the shadow of ubiquitous surveillance as well. Same with their grandchildren. Unless some unspecified catastrophe wipes away all digital technology, the grip of tyranny will never, ever let go. Get over it.

    • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday July 05, 2015 @07:31AM (#50047335)

      Thanks for saving me the typing.

      She won't give a shit. Most people voting for her don't understand what crime she committed and even think it's something great because ... terrorists, child molesters, whatever, I don't keep track of the boogeyman du jour.

      Name her what you want. She'll laugh it off 'til someone misses the brakes accidentally next time she crosses the street.

      • Name her what you want. She'll laugh it off 'til someone misses the brakes accidentally next time she crosses the street.

        Crosses the street? That's for plebes. Her chauffeur will drive her there.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I'm currently fighting this bitch. I want to get married and have my wife come to live with me in the UK, but she has decided we would be an unfortunate statistic for he so is blocking us. I'm kind of amazed nothing has happened to her, because we are hardly the only ones. There are thousands of families being ripped apart to satisfy her numbers, and more than one or two suicides. When people are desperate bad things happen.

    • I think I'll just pop out and top meself after reading that.

  • []

    Cameron reaffirms there will be no âoesafe spacesâ from UK government snooping

  • We in Australia have just passed legislation requiring ISPs to retain users' "metadata" for 2 years. So there. []

    Kind of ironic, considering that we're well behind the rest of the world in just about everything else internet-related. Our country is going to shit under the current conservative government, and that's not hyperbole. See asylum seekers, mining companies, Murdoch penetration, climate change denial; name the doo-doo, we're deep in it.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors