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    MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

    This is a discussion on MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade within the General chat forums, part of the Community channel category; MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade - BBC News MI5 has secretly been collecting vast amounts of data about ...

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      MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade - BBC News
      MI5 has secretly been collecting vast amounts of data about UK phone calls to search for terrorist connections.

      The programme has been running for 10 years under a law described as "vague" by the government's terror watchdog.

      It emerged as Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled a draft bill governing spying on communications by the authorities.

      If it becomes law, the internet activity of everyone in Britain will be held for a year by service providers.




      Police and intelligence officers will then be able to see the names of sites suspected criminals have visited, without a warrant.

      Mrs May told MPs the proposed powers were needed to fight crime and terrorism but civil liberties campaigners warned it represented to a "breathtaking" attack on the internet security of everyone living in the UK.

      Track terrorists


      The draft bill aims to give stronger legal cover to the activities of MI5, MI6 and the police and introduce judicial oversight of spying operations.

      It confirmed that Britain's secret listening post GCHQ has been intercepting internet messages flowing through Britain in bulk, as revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, "to acquire the communications of terrorists and serious criminals that would not otherwise be available".

      It also revealed that the UK security services have been allowed to collect large amounts of data on phone calls "to identify subjects of interest within the UK and overseas", provided they comply with certain safeguards, set out in a supporting document also published on Wednesday.

      The draft bill aims to tighten up these safeguards and put the bulk collection of data on a firmer legal footing. Taken together with the other measures, the home secretary said the bill would give the security services a "licence to operate".

      In her Commons statement, Mrs May referred to the 1984 Telecommunications Act, under which she said successive governments had allowed security services to access data from communications companies.

      The data involved the bulk records of phone calls - not what was said but the fact that there was contact - with companies required to hand over domestic phone records.

      BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera said the programme, which sources said was used to track terrorists and save lives, was "so secret that few even in MI5 knew about it, let alone the public".

      'Not outside the law'


      The government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, told the BBC the legislation used to authorise the collection was "so vague that anything could be done under it".

      He added: "It wasn't illegal in the sense that it was outside the law, it was just that the law was so broad and the information was so slight that nobody knew it was happening".

      Mr Anderson has called for a "comprehensive" new law governing surveillance, which the government has produced with the wide-ranging draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

      The proposed legislation will be consulted on before a bill is formally introduced to Parliament in the New Year, Mrs May said. It will then have to pass votes in both houses of Parliament.Labour's shadow home secretary Andy Burnham backed the draft bill, saying it was "neither a snoopers' charter nor a plan for mass surveillance".
      Comment: As was pointed out on the Wright Stuff this morning, please remember that Governments are always willing to take something, but they never give it back. Also why is it they they are all too willing to have a complete record of all that we do, when it is those who have apparently been elected in a democratic society who specifically do not want us monitoring everything that they do?

      Another important thing which needs to be properly and openly explored is the safety of this data which MI5 and possibly the ISPs are required to keep. Would you really be happy with someone with a record like TalkTalk & Vodafone being able to keep this highly valuable information?

      Also if MI5 has been keeping the information for so long, why haven't they been openly tackling all this telephone fraud that's going on at the moment? It hasn't been said by the press or any of the politicians, but I would suggest that much of the money being scammed is going directly into the hands of terrorists. Too much is being syphoned off for it to be going into the hands of private individuals.


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    3. #2
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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      It's obviously been going in for at least ten years, I suspect considerably longer, as how else are they managing to foil the number of attacks they claim to.

      The problem with data security is not just this lot, it's everything. There need's to be far harsher penalties for breaches of data security, not a slap on the wrist and a 20K fine, hold the directors of companies accountable with a jail sentence if they are found to have been wanting, that will make them wake up.

      Not monitoring everything they do, are you sure about that? How about the number of government and other politicians who have been caught doing something they should not have been doing by the press?

      I asume by 'willing to take something, but they never give it back' you mean once laws are enacted they are never repealed? I refer to the following document m'lord..
      ( actually some of them looked fun! )

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catego..._of_Parliament


      It's not MI5's job to tackle telephone fraud, i.e. "I'm calling from microsoft" etc etc, that's the police's job, if they find evidence of terrorist activity, then it will get handed over. Of course, if no-one is allowed to monitor it in the first place then no-one will ever be brought to book.

      MI5 have enough to do going through your browsing history.
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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      This is utter nonsense.

      How likely am i as an individual to suffer harm as a result of a terrorist attack?
      To my knowledge there hasn't been one in the uk for over 10 years.

      How likely am i as an individual to suffer harm as a result of crossing the road?
      Answer: by comparison, very.
      Are the government insisting that all vehicle manufacturer's install black box recorders, with all the data showing everywhere a driver has been & when held for a year?

      This legislation won't help protect me in the slightest:
      Terrorist 1: "I see the uk is holding everyone's web history in the hands of private companies now".
      Terrorist 2: "Oh no, i better stop being a terrorist now then".
      It's not going to happen.

      Labour's shadow home secretary Andy Burnham backed the draft bill, saying it was "neither a snoopers' charter nor a plan for mass surveillance".
      If this isn't mass surveillance i don't know what is.

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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      This is utter nonsense.

      How likely am i as an individual to suffer harm as a result of a terrorist attack?.
      I'm sure all victims of terrorist attacks feel the same, those Russian's returning from Sharm surely thought that.

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      To my knowledge there hasn't been one in the uk for over 10 years.
      Surely that means the security forces are doing thier job, or would you rather they did not stop the odd mass killing just to prove a point?

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      How likely am i as an individual to suffer harm as a result of crossing the road?
      I assume you take precautions? So where is the difference?

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      Are the government insisting that all vehicle manufacturer's install black box recorders?
      No but I think you'll find that insurance companies give you a discount if you have a forward facing camera.

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      Terrorist 1: "I see the uk is holding everyone's web history in the hands of private companies now".
      Terrorist 2: "Oh no, i better stop being a terrorist now then".
      Far better the government tell people they are doing it than quietly log all the data secretly, then you'd have something to complain about.

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      It's not going to happen.
      Sadly it did, that's why they have brought forward this legislation.

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      If this isn't mass surveillance i don't know what is.
      Don't know, perhaps Kim Jong-Un can help you with that.
      James_Mitchell and lettice like this.
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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56
      Surely that means the security forces are doing thier job, or would you rather they did not stop the odd mass killing just to prove a point?
      If they're already managing to do their job, why do they now all of a sudden need to know everyone's web history?

      RevK's rants
      It is also pointless. Anyone who is "up to no good" for any reason can make use of any number of means to hide their communications, thwarting data retention and thwarting targeted surveillance - just install a TOR browser, for example. It is literally child's play, so we are giving up our rights to privacy for no reason.
      So please, give up this lunacy - just accept that privacy exists - people (including terrorists) can communicate secretly, it is a fact of life, and any steps to try and stop it will be unsuccessful and damaging to everyone else. We can concentrate efforts on the end devices, on social engineering, covert operations (getting undercover people in to the cells) and all of the good old fashioned ways of policing that already work well to make terrorism a lesser threat than bee stings in this country.

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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      If they're already managing to do their job, why do they now all of a sudden need to know everyone's web history?
      Erm, have you not noticed what's been going on recently in Syria/Iraq/Egypt/Tunisia/France/Libya/Turkey/Australia; the terrorism threat has increased significantly over the past three years.

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      I'll not waste my breath on that. Just let me say that if Privacy exist's then what are you griping about.
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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56
      Just let me say that if Privacy exist's then what are you griping about.
      If you really can't see it, then just let me say this is my final comment here.

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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      Quote Originally Posted by gymno View Post
      If you really can't see it, then just let me say this is my final comment here.
      No.. please carry on,I'm just getting warmed up.
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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56 View Post
      No.. please carry on,I'm just getting warmed up.
      RevK's rants: Snooper's Charter 101 Please share

      Quote Originally Posted by marjohn56
      I'll not waste my breath on that.
      It's the opinion of somebody who runs an isp marjohn56.
      Somebody who, this week attended a meeting at the home office to discuss such matters.

      To all of the normal people that read my blog. I am sorry this is another post on that snooping crap, but do please read it. I'll try and get back to 3D printing daleks or something real soon.

      There is a law that is being considered right now, and may be proper law some time next year.

      You should care about it! You can help fix it!

      It tries to update some of the existing laws, and make legal some of the stuff done by our "intelligence services". You know, James Bond stuff, except they don't just spy on our enemies (who exactly are they?) they spy on us as well.

      It tries to update some of the existing laws, and make legal some of the stuff done by our "intelligence services". You know, James Bond stuff, except they don't just spy on our enemies (who exactly are they?) they spy on us as well.

      It also tries to make some new powers to help the police. In theory these might help the police, and in general I am all in favour of helping the police, but it is not that simple.

      Might be worth a small bit of history - phone systems. Originally they were a bit mechanical, and even had operators at the start. Charging for calls used a "meter" that clocked up units. That was it. But things got smarter and people understandably wanted to know where all these units of charge came from, so the phone companies started logging the calls you made and created the wonder that is Itemised Phone Bills. We kind of take them for granted now, but I am old enough to remember a time when we did not have them. This was all done for the benefit of the phone company and arguably their customers.

      The fun then starts - the police realise that they can ask the phone company (there was only one) for details of phone calls made from a phone. In some cases this is really useful to some investigations. Later they were even able to ask about calls made to a phone, which is also useful. Of course, even before these itemised phone bills they could ask to "wire tap" a line so they could listen in. At one time this really meant connections to the physical line. This was for serious criminal suspects, obviously.

      These days it has got more complex. There are mobile phones, and the police can ask where phones were (at least based on cell towers). As time has gone on, the technology to "snoop" on us all has improved a lot.

      The big concern is where the line is drawn - how much snooping is too much, and there is a really big fear now that we are getting to that point. There is a bit of a clue when new laws actually have clauses to exclude MPs - even they feel that this would be too far for their comfort. The fact that someone knows the location of your phone, and hence probably you, every minute of the day for the last year is a tad scary.

      Where do we not have privacy?

      When we are out in public, we expect that the public can see us, and hear us, and know where we are.

      This is usually that we only expect a few people can see us, but they can tell others, so overall the idea that there are cameras all over the place is no huge surprise really.

      Basically, we don't have an expectation of privacy, that is what "being in public" means.

      The laws on photography are also quite clear - as a photographer I can take a picture of pretty much anything and anyone from a public place - I am just recording what I myself am quite legally allowed to see. (Yes, there are a few caveats on that, but not the point here)

      But where do we expect privacy?

      When we are at home, or pretty much anywhere behind closed doors, we expect privacy.

      Now there are those that say "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear", which is, to be frank, bull****. None of those people want a public web cam in their toilet or bedroom, strangely enough, and they won't tell me their card details and first pet's name either.

      So, I think we can agree that whilst some things we do are not basically private and we have no right to privacy, there are places where we can go and things we can do where we expect privacy and to be quite frank we are entitled to it.

      So how does this new law cross the line?

      These days when in private we may use of technology a lot - phones, computers, TVs, games consoles, and all connected to the Internet. What we do on the Internet says a lot about us.

      Now, with phone call records, the content of the call is not logged by the phone company. Unless you are a targeted suspect of a serious crime your calls are not being tapped, or at least should not be.

      The problem is that what we do on the Internet is a lot more revealing about us that what phone calls we make. Privacy International have loads on this (here) and a great video on metadata, which is supposed to be the what, when, who, how, but not the content of what you do on the Internet.



      The new law wants to collect a lot of this metadata about all of your Internet access. What is worse is that they want your Internet Service Provider to collect it and store it for a year and make it available to the authorities if they ask. Do you trust that your ISP will not get hacked? Even if they are pretty good now, they will become a juicy target for hacking very soon.

      Don't they need this to keep us safe?

      There are bound to be cases where knowing everything about everyone can help stop a crime, and if that is what you want then we really should go for cameras in your toilet and bedroom. There is a trade off to be had between the rights we enjoy, the way of life we want to live - with that degree of privacy, and with keeping us safe.

      But let's try some facts here shall we...

      • Terrorist attacks, one of the main justifications for all of this, remain one of the lowest threats to your life. There are way more people that died from suicide because of changes to the "Fit to work" assessments than died in recent terrorist attacks in Europe. The justification is scaremongering and bogus. Let me be clear - I do not need protecting from terrorists! What I need is protection from heart disease, cancer, and car accidents.


      • The recent terrorist attacks did not lack this data - they had suspects and even had people under surveillance - the area we need to focus on is not "getting the data" it is what we do when we have it. In fact, having more data will make things harder.

      But it gets worse - the Internet is just not like the phone network, and the logs they want don't exist. What logs they can get are likely to be unhelpful (they seem confused that a phone does not just connect to twitter, but actually stays connected all day every day). And over time they will get less and less data as changes in the Internet make it more secure (to combat criminals).

      It is also true that criminals can cover their tracks with ease. Simply using secure messaging systems like iMessage, but with a bit of googling you can be way more secure. So the real targets, the serious criminals, and the terrorists, can hide already and always will be able to hide.

      What can you do?

      One is to spread the word - share and repost this blog to your friends. I have a lot of techie friends and they really get this already - what we need is all of the normal people, the non techies, the people fooled by the "Think of the children" news headlines. People need to think - do I really need the government, and worse, my ISP, spying one me?

      Secondly, and this is more work, which is why spreading the word is important, contact your MP now. tell them you are unhappy about this. If you really want, look at my other blog posts and you'll find out a lot more, and even how to formally respond to the consultation and evidence processes, as i have done.

      You can also contact people like the Open Rights Group, tell them how you feel. Join up, and stand up for some of these last remaining rights which we all enjoy before they get eaten away bit by bit. AAISP are a corporate sponsor.
      All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
      Comment: I can easily see how somebody wouldn't want to waste their breath debating points made by someone working in the industry & instead use their breath on me.

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      Re: MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade

      IGoogle has more information about you than the government will ever have!

      Google is a global government conspiracy, were you not aware of that?
      I'm busy relaxing after a hard day, I'll read it later, rip it to pieces and then I'll respond.
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