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Are you supporting terrorism by questioning the Draft Communications Bill?
Monday 03 December 2012 18:03:03 by Andrew Ferguson

With two reports expected on the Draft Communication Bill over the next few days we can expect to see lots of politicking from those who are for and against the bill. It seems Theresa May has got in early via an interview with The Sun, where she makes no qualms about what she thinks of those questioning or plainly opposing the bill.

"Anybody who is against this bill is putting politics before people’s lives. We would certainly see criminals going free as a result of this. There will be paedophiles who will not be identified and it will reduce our ability to deal with this serious organised crime."

Home Secretary Theresa May speaking to The Sun

The bill aims to make the major communication providers in the UK retain information for a minimum of 12 months that is best summarised as:

  1. Who are people talking to online
  2. Where are these people
  3. When when did they talk

The Bill seeks to ensure that providers retain IP logs and other weblogs for a 12 month period, and reading evidence it appears in many cases providers are not keeping data to a sufficient standard, which as a side effect backs up people who complain about things like copyright infringement letters and are claiming to have never used a torrent type tool. Of course keeping weblogs that are the complete http header, with post and get parameters would expose a wealth of information, but as we understand things it is likely to just be the url up to the first /.

By and large people are not worried about groups like MI5 and the MI6, or the new National Crime Agency having access, but most worries arise due to feature creep and the possibility that many other arms of the government, both national or local may make a case for gaining access.


Posted by Saurus over 4 years ago
That line of argument by Theresa May was used very effectively by Herman Goering of the Nazi Regime in the 1930's and again by Tony Blair et al in the 1990's and its all a pack of lies, deciept and sleight of hand, it sets the same tone as a very nasty regime in East Germany know as the Ministerium fuer Staatssicherheit aka the Stasi where they spied on, imprisoned, tortured and killed their own people!
Posted by ian9outof10 over 4 years ago
There comes a point where the terror ceases to come from other cultures, and instead is generated from within our own society.

I don't live in fear for my life on a daily basis. But I do fear what the government will do next, or which of my rights will be taken away next, after an interested party ballots for policy change.
Posted by batfastad over 4 years ago
Who needs nurses, hospitals, teachers, graduates anyway. Let's spend £3bn on this instead. Everyone knows serious criminals use addresses over plain text. Idiots.

The people who make these decisions should pay for it themselves. Personally, I'd like my money back please.
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 4 years ago
I think what May meant to say was- “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (J Gobbels 1897 – 1945)
Posted by tommy45 over 4 years ago
@batfastad very good point you made there, in hard times government claiming poverty blah blah, blag, But it can somehow find money to implement things such as these, the money could be better spent, this is no more than a complete waist of public money, May should be sacked!! better still kick the con/dems before the full term ,time to stop their lunacy
Posted by prlzx over 4 years ago
A Bill can be full of the best intentions and those those proposing it can be acting in good faith, but neither of these automatically leads to a well thought out draft that considers all the implications.

In the case of technology legislation or indeed any legislation on a topic outside the expertise of the *majority* of elected Members, the need to question what is being proposed is all the more important and so should never be cast as being on the "wrong side".
Posted by mandrake127 over 4 years ago
A tory politician writing in the Sun !!! (just about says it all really.)
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
I think may doesnt understand how things work, isp's cant realistically log irc, msn chat, yahoo chat etc. especially when its encrypted. Isp's are also not rsponsible for sites such as facebook and as such cant log who is talking to who.
Posted by iridium over 4 years ago
Why do we accept this ?
If Royal mail were being invented today, the government would want the equivalent to have the powers to open your mail before you do, make a copy, and THEN send it to you.
Why do we put up with a digital version of privacy violations ?
The government have enough tools in their arsenal to catch criminals, leave us all alone.
Posted by vicdupreez over 4 years ago
I can see this causing a mass exodus of people hosting services in the UK. I myself have my boxes elsewhere (because I got a better hosting deal) so I would not consider bringing them back in a hurry if this sticks around...
Posted by davidinnotts over 4 years ago
Good one, Saurus! If the Nazis did it, it must be wrong? There's a common-sense failure here - I'm sure that Goering went to the toilet daily, so...

Theresa May has made a valid point, and as we're in a democracy, she's expecting challenges which WILL be heard. Maybe the key point is to ask "How much ought we to give up our right to total privacy to stay safe?" If you truly believe that our government is no different to the Nazis, I think that I want protection from you!
Posted by davidinnotts over 4 years ago
... So having ISPs securely (ie, offline?) store just enough data just long enough so that we can defend ourselves from accusations of theft, fraud and terrorism if it comes to that is a good thing, surely? Or do some of us have net activity that would shame us if it were known? And let's do talk about keeping it truly secure - even from the government.
Posted by nstrudwick over 4 years ago
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Posted by privatise over 4 years ago
The Power of Nightmares
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