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Email Privacy in the UK


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nikstar101
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2009-01-09, 09:04

I am not sure if everyone is up on the latest UK Tech Legal news but it seems that come March every email we send or recieve in the UK will be recorded by our ISP and be accessible to the UK Government.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7819230.stm

Now it says that they are not going to record the content of the email, just the origin, destination and date/time. But this is part of a wider scheme to also record what websites you go to.

I don't really have anything to hide, as i don't download mp3 or movies and i am not planning a riot or any other form of chaos so they really aren't going to find much (apart from an abnormal obsession with applenova).

But this really annoys me. I understand that there are mental people out there, but most of us aren't. Therefore we are sacrificing the rights of the many to monitor the few.

The next question is, if your ISP record your emails, can they record the email send via webmail? Can the ISP tell the difference between email and all the other data? Such as if you use MobileMe the email, the server is at Apple and there is a secure connection between that and Mail. So can it record that info?? Surely all the destination info is encrypted so they can't read it??

If not then this all seems rather pointless as people will just start using secure email.

So whats other peoples views on this. I am wholey against this type of thing. Next someone will be opening my mail for me!
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Mugge
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2009-01-09, 09:23

The fear of terror and other bogeymen have long since made the UK policy on this area something to be ashamed of.

I read on the Register.co.uk that they were even planning on outsourcing the management of this database to a private firm. As if the UK hasn't had enough cases of compromised data.

George Orwell would have had a fit.

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nikstar101
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2009-01-09, 09:37

The problem with outscourcing it is that the government takes the flack even if the company looses that data. No one cares if EADS or who ever loose the data they still blame the government.
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Mugge
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2009-01-09, 09:46

I would be less concerned about the blame and more about where the data went.
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nikstar101
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2009-01-09, 09:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugge View Post
I would be less concerned about the blame and more about where the data went.
Yeah your right. Unfortunately as soon as an unauthorised person has the data, i imagine your chance of tracking it is pretty low. You may recover the original, but there are probably 30 copies by that point.

Government generally have awful contracts so the likely hood is that although a huge mega corporation will take on the deal, the person actually looking after the data will the Jims Data Co. who barely understands how a computer operates.
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Unch
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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2009-01-09, 16:15

I find it quite amusing that people (or more accurately - the media) are so up in arms about this when, in actual fact, the Government has been spying on us all and reading our emails for years.

There are many great bits of legislation that allow the government to trample over our privacy and online rights, some of which even contradict other laws such as the data protection act. This has all been going on for quite some time.

Under the RIP act, law enforcement agencies can force you to disclose any private keys used for encryption. Failure to do so is an offence that can carry a prison term. Worse, disclosing any such request to anyone is a criminal offence that could be punished by imprisonment (in fact, the maximum term for telling someone is higher than for refusing to provide the key!)

"It's like a new pair of underwear. At first it's constrictive, but after a while it becomes a part of you."
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nikstar101
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2009-01-09, 18:28

True, but most of these instances, a person has been specifically targeted. Therefore they must have been known in the first place. Now the plan is to record everyone's emails regardless if your are a suspect or not. Another example would be to say that the Police take the DNA of a suspect but now the government has decided to keep a database of everyone's DNA just in case. OK that might be a little more extreme but honestly at the rate things are going i wouldn't be surprised.

But the aim i was trying to get at is a technical one. Can ISPs tell the difference between web browsing and webmail or me using MobileMe? If not then surely people who want to do harm could communicate via these methods and not have their emails tracked?
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canyon_Carver
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2009-01-09, 18:44

Anyone who thinks ANY electronic communication is Private is an idiot.

All communications are monitored.
About a week after 9/11, they released that they had intercepted a series of cell phone calls moments after the planes hit linking AlQueda..etc...

Think of this: After 911 how many HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of cellphones started sending signals. How many people were dialing in and out of new york to relatives, to cousins.....

They were able to intercept and listen to the ones they wanted....within moments of the planes.

Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado is one of our national "listening" posts.

Infact, I would bet that this message has hit a few key words that will probably get pulled up by some database somewhere crawling the net for references...


Electronic media is not private, never has been, never will be.
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