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Privacy Tactic – Top spook: ISP black boxes NOT key to UK’s web-snoop plan We fully expect Google, Facebook and Twitter to hand over your data


Google, Twitter and Facebook are “expected” to hand over your data.

Ex-MI6 man Charles Farr, who heads up the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, dismissed claims that Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) probes are the “central plank” of the government’s Communications Data Bill currently being scrutinised by Parliament.

Instead, he insisted that cooperation with communications service providers (CSPs) such as Google and Facebook was key to the proposed surveillance legislation.

Police, spooks and the taxman – among other authorities – would need to use packet-capturing black boxes when CSPs declined to provide access to communications data where it is suspected that criminal activity has taken place, said Farr.

If CSPs refuse to provide those authorities with access to such data, a black box would be placed on a network where such information could be hoovered up.

“Through the bill we’ll only be able to access communications data. CSPs will hold unencrypted data on their systems, we’ll need to work with them,” Alcock said.

“It’s very easy to separate content from communications data,” he added before offering reassurance to the committee of politicos by saying “we won’t be applying systems that cannot reliably do that”.

Peter Hill – the Head of Unit for Pursue Policy and Strategy Unit at the Home Office – stressed at the meeting that many CSPs were only too happy to cooperate. The reason for the new legislation, he added, was that “the data that we need is not available rather than that it’s not being shared with us”

Farr had earlier defended Home Secretary Theresa May’s draft communications bill – dubbed a snoopers’ charter – by saying that clarity was needed about what data providers should retain. He said a “technical problem” existed with the current Data Retention Directive (DRD) and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

“The lack of data is then compounded by a legal problem because the DRD is not clear about what information should be retained,” he said.

In Conclusion:

  • Google sells your Gmail email account for $25.
  • Facebook and Twitter sell your Tweets and comments.
  • They are all monitored by governments, employers, new girlfriends, insurance companies.
  • Consider what you “publish” – as it could cost you your job.😦
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