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Data Retention – a Significant threat to National Security


An interesting argument, is that privacy advocates and security agencies often align together, in the interests of national security.

GCHQ are against Smart Meters

Take smart meters and GCHQ.  The ability to switch off the National Grid is possible if smart meters were hacked, leaving the civilian population helpless during a wartime attack.  Therefore privacy for the civilian can mean a robust national security policy, a win win situation.

Telegraph Article “Snoopers Charter” is a risk to National Security

Here, we see the same synergy – what is good for the civilian, is fantastic for national security.

It reads:

If this “profiling engine” were ever hacked into, “it would constitute a significant threat to national security”. But Linx said its members had “significant doubts” about the feasibility of building the system.

In addition, the draft Bill is so written so loosely that it would allow ministers an “effectively unfettered and wholly inappropriate” discretion to decide on how much intrusion should be allowed into citizens’ private lives.

Malcolm Hutty, a spokesman for the trade body, said: “We don’t think the Government should be given unlimited powers to set monitoring obligations for ISPs simply because they don’t want public debate about the proportionality of what they wish us to do.”

Under the plans, ISPs would be required to store details of all customers’ web visits, email access and mobile phone usage for a year. The data would include the times of calls and messages and the user’s location but not their content.

In conclusion:

All digital data can and WILL be hacked – especially if it’s a large, centralised database.  Imagine this data store in the hands of a wartime opponent.

All dumb devices can be used as a weapon.  eg if you allow smart meters  to disconnect the national grid for swatches of the UK – imagine that as a weapon in the hands of the enemy.

Data at rest is an even easier target – especially if it’s been decrypted.   Code breakers would have a field day, put their feet up, put the kettle on and read all our unencrypted data, courtesy of the UK Government’s “Snoopers Charter”.

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