British Government Will Scan EnvelopesAdded: Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
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Along with emails, the UK government decided to control snail mail as well. The country’s Communications Data Bill, which was especially designed for electronics, might also be used to monitor the snail mail.
The suggested legislation means that Internet service providers will have to store information on all emails passing through their systems, but the matter is that this provision is worded in such a way that it could force the Royal Mail to do the same thing. If it does, this will remove the established belief that the post is sacrosanct at least without a court order.
Media reports claim the Home Office knows that the suggested legislation covers this part, but yet has no plans to force the Royal Mail to scan paper mail. However, this is still a bit worrying: the experts start to believe that if the Communications Bill gets through, it’ll be under some bogus pretext that its aim is to save the world from terrorists.
According to the Home Office, the draft bill would only maintain existing powers over postal data and only information about mail, not its contents, would be retained. It means that the Post Office would have to scan every envelope and store it for a year.
According to the Communications Bill, the Royal Mail, along with other postal services, would be asked to retain whatever written on the outside of the items sent for 12 months and provide them to the police, security services and HM Revenue and Customs upon request. The only question is how this could help in the spying market. It suggests that each letter should have data on the outside about who and where it comes from.
This could work if each letter or parcel was signed “Blofeld, C/- Volcanic Island lair, Scotland”. However, criminal capers don’t usually involve such wholesale giveaways, and a pedophile won’t mark his post with a sticker “contains snaps of kids being raped” on the envelope either. Nor the parcels containing anthrax would warn about their contents or wear the code of the terrorist who sent them.
The civil liberties groups called this bill a “snooper's charter”, while it is strangely a bankruptcy charter as well. The suggested legislation also includes provision helping postal services and other communications providers install new equipment to comply with the legislation. This “help” is estimated at £1.8 billion over the next decade.
June 23rd,2012Posted by:
Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
|posted by (2012-06-23 18:32:40)|
|SaM Bit of a mistitle? QUOTE British Government Will Scan Envelopes UNQUOTE.|
The article does not say they WILL scan snail mail.
|posted by (2012-06-23 18:51:31)|
|every one should send between 10 and a 100 emails a day of gibberish so to keep them happy|
stop this and get the country back to work thats what you are paid for
|yeah thats the UK law for you,it it written very vaguely,and based on a proposed single,function but in reality the same law can be used in a variety of ways that it was never intended for,and used to harass more people than it was really written/passed/intended for.|
Anyway the Royal mail does intercept specific mail posted by/sent to individuals who have not committed crimes but are only under suspicion of the possibility that they might commit one, when requested to by the authorities.This has been happening for a good 20 years,but you just dont know about it.
|@ Big_A_Little_A: It's not just in the UK that governments introduce vague bills and pass them into law. I've seen the same thing in Canada and Australia too. Then later when all the nasty little "side effects" become visible, instead of rescinding the bad legislation, the pollies start introducing new "exception" bills to close off (or sometimes open up) or otherwise mitigate the damage from the initial law, thus making the legal waters even murkier than before.|
|Don't you just love the way those incompetent and privileged idiots WE stupidly elect like to waste OUR money on legislation whose REAL purpose is to continue to protect those same privileged idiots from the hoi polloi?|
Government is elected to SERVE the people, NOT to spy on them, for whatever reason!!!!!
|By the people for the people is democracy,by the people to the people is fascism !!|
|posted by (2012-06-24 16:59:36)|
|I thought that was what pgp keys were for...|
|posted by (2012-06-25 20:57:05)|
|scan your tv channel scan for looking signals around it if you thing envelops can see you bud no all tv's scan more of 100 channels times and can be ahead on 200's or maybe more 1000's? if you get it you can see your door or your hand to picking mail for seconds 1,2,3 and wait or after take empty envelope with cardboard powder in it to trowed if you know what it is and after later tv news say was anthrax killing people along others for not be part of talk sheets of others.|
Here is my reply to the Home Office's spin that 'this is a minor change' to existing legislation.
Changing from requiring a warrant and giving a necessary reason; to a non-requirement for a warrant and non-necessity to present a valid reason for communications data is a major NOT a minor change and is rightly seen as a violation of individual privacy and a gross violation of the right to electronic communication without ANY un-warranted monitoring.
Internet service providers do not hold long-term web browsing records with good reason as most internet users would avoid any such ISP as a gross invasion of individual privacy and the right to a private life without unfettered government intervention.
Holding such records would be akin to holding individuals fingerprints and using a traceable microchip for all UK citizens, regardless of an individuals criminal or non-criminal intent/action.
Such monitoring at present only occurs in the very fascist and dictatorial states of Iran and China.
There was a huge public outcry against similar steps proposed by the previous Labour Government to the extent that any such proposals were withdrawn. It is to be rightly expected that there will be a similar public outcry this time also, which is also going to seriously hurt Government popularity.
I imagine that many a very wealthy businessman and very wealthy international corporations will be most unhappy about anything which tracks their communications data, especially where this communications data has or might have financial and secret business connotations.
It would also be a very small legislature change to subsequently add in the word content with very minimal publicity.
While I am totally against ANY un-warranted monitoring of electronic communication, email addresses also hold personal data, often easily identifying the sender and receiver of emails.
Personal privacy in regard to web browsing is paramount, for the safety of free speech, for legal adult web browsing without this being a matter of public record, and for legal perusal of politically orientated sites. Or else the ‘thought’ police scenario or political censorship might all too easily arise at any time in the future.
The political ramifications are vast. Opposition MPs and current Government MPs could not be sure that their email sending/receiving records, phone calling records and web browsing history would not be use for coercion or blackmail or if obtained by the press and media for who knows what.
Once the legislation was in place and used routinely, there are no safeguards as to use or misuse of the data. Councils routinely using supposed anti-terrorist legislation to snoop on householders over often very minor matters and it is most likely that something very similar will arise over use and misuse of communications data.
In investigating even very minor matters such as a dispute with neighbours, the Police will soon look at and possibly use communication data information against either or both parties to the dispute. As if they need any pretext, once they have unfettered access to this data.
Holding this data would also make it extraordinarily easy for content to be retrieved and examined and a 'retrospective' warrant obtained on the basis of information content in emails and phone conversations. Computer analysis of web pages browsed using whatever keywords they wish or might be deemed 'politically correct' would place hundreds of thousands of UK residents at risk of 'inference', 'the balance of probability' or pure unreasoned speculation. The fact that many 'adult' web sites direct adults to pages with content illegal in the UK automatically and unpreventably is particularly worrying as hidden scripts often redirect links other than intended by the web user to invisible to the user locations. Judges are not renowned for taking this inadvertent redirecting into account. The fact that most users will close the illegal web pages such accidental and illegal redirection of browsing causes immediately/instantly is of no legal effect. There is no record of how long the web page was viewed for. This would make searching for legal adult material fraught with the risk of prosecution because of the malicious behaviour of many 'supposedly' adult 'legal' websites and their malicious redirection of clicked links that seemed to link to legal content but actually link to sometimes very illegal content.
Loss of CDs and Theft of laptops holding very sensitive data is of the greatest possible concern in regard to communications data. It is all very well saying it will never happen, until it does, and is splashed all over the press and media. The likelihood is that such data loss or theft WILL occur and there is also the issue of bribery or corruption of individual Police or security agency staff to obtain such data.
One of the biggest problems with holding individuals web browsing history is that it will simply force terrorists, paedophiles/paedophile groups and serious criminals into using encrypted and outside of the UK communications, for instance VPN, Open DNS and DNS Crypt, or encrypted P2P data transfer - making detection 100% impossible. Even just using a non-UK and non-ISP DNS server makes it very expensive to trace a single internet connection, typically costing thousands of pounds.
At least at the moment it is possible with a warrant that criminal internet traffic might be tracked and traced. Forcing such traffic onto difficult to trace routing or worse, impossible to decrypt methods will mean a detection and prevention rate for most criminal activity and many internet crimes of ZERO.
There is also the problem with emails that non-UK based webmail companies will in no way comply with any such legislation and there will be no Police or Intelligence/Security services access to any email records by these companies, with or without a warrant - exactly as at present.
Then there is the undoubted prospect of the US media industry requiring/legally obtaining and using access to such communications data, and resulting in millions of intellectual property infringement law suits of UK citizens by US media giants.
Any such legislation is encompassed with the very highest risks to individual liberty. Once the dog is off its lead who knows who it might attack, where it might get or what might result. It is very much opening a Pandora’s box, not knowing what will happen next.
Put bluntly, this proposal is completely lacking in any intelligence and will almost entirely hinder intelligence gathering by the security services and the Police. It is completely ill-thought out and very badly considered in all respects.
It is appalling that the Home Office and HM Government just try to ‘spin’ this as a very minor change. It is nothing of the sort, it is the hugest infringement and affront to Human Rights, Rights to Privacy and a Private life, and to Individual Liberty.
The Police and the Intelligence/Security services can at present access ALL of the available communications data with a warrant. No doubt the public outcry will be even more considerably greater when it is realized that the necessary records that ISPs, and mobile and landline phone providers and email providers will have to keep will cost very considerably more in phone charges, line rental, and broadband charges.
The thought that they might similarly scan paper mail is horrific as they would immediately obtain content or some content.
The specific wording of not requiring a warrant and not needing to give any reason to examine sometimes very sensitive communications data under the 'pretext' of catching terrorists is fascist in the extreme and totally abhorrent to most law abiding UK citizens who wish for a private life without the threat of unwarranted invasion of privacy by the authorities. What next, councils asking the police (under the pretext of anti-terrorism) to supply councils with communication data about individuals? Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if this nastiest ever legislation were ever to see the light of day.
Once you have legislation that does not have the respect of a large portion of society, it makes a complete mockery of the law, and leads to far less respect for TRULY NEEDED laws, eg against violence to other persons etc.
The 'thought police aspect' is totally disturbing. We do not know what political agendas the Home Office might have nor the duress or undue influence threatened prosecutions might have on any individual to 'make them toe the thought line of the day'. Then some Police chiefs in some areas have other agendas, such as the promotion of gay rights etc. The whole issue is to do with the control of individuals within society by 'unseen' and secret manipulation derived from accrued communications data. If this legislation goes through, Free society is dead in the UK.
As you are aware, there is a very large public petition to stop this legislation. Mass public demonstrations may well ensue if this legislation is not withdrawn (with ensuing risks to social unrest and maintaining public order)
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