[LINK] UK attempt at imlementing 1995 US Gateway Echelon Proposal.

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Sat Nov 22 12:31:18 AEDT 2008


Im sorry about the lateness of the posting - It was buried in the US
Election Chaff.
I can see that if this gets off the ground, encryption will become a
larger industry quite rapidly.
I find it curious that the UK, the US and Australia are all implementing
slightly different aspects of the ultimate HAL scenario.
Don't call me paranoid, but I don't believe in coincidences. 

Now where is my PGP V2.1 Source.....


/Verbatim transcript follows:

Government black boxes will 'collect every email'

Home Office says all data from web could be stored in giant government

By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Internet "black boxes" will be used to collect every email and web visit
in the UK under the Government's plans for a giant "big brother"
database, The Independent has learnt.

Home Office officials have told senior figures from the internet and
telecommunications industries that the "black box" technology could
automatically retain and store raw data from the web before transferring
it to a giant central database controlled by the Government.

Plans to create a database holding information about every phone call,
email and internet visit made in the UK have provoked a huge public
outcry. Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, described it as
"step too far" and the Government's own terrorism watchdog said that as
a "raw idea" it was "awful".

Nevertheless, ministers have said they are committed to consulting on
the new Communications Data Bill early in the new year. News that the
Government is already preparing the ground by trying to allay the
concerns of the internet industry is bound to raise suspicions about
ministers' true intentions. Further details of the database emerged on
Monday at a meeting of internet service providers (ISPs) in London where
representatives from BT, AOL Europe, O2 and BSkyB were given a
PowerPoint presentation of the issues and the technology surrounding the
Government's Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP), the name given
by the Home Office to the database proposal.

Whitehall experts working on the IMP unit told the meeting the security
and intelligence agencies wanted to use the stored data to help fight
serious crime and terrorism, and said the technology would allow them to
create greater "capacity" to monitor all communication traffic on the
internet. The "black boxes" are an attractive option for the internet
industry because they would be secure and not require any direct input
from the ISPs.

During the meeting Whitehall officials also tried to reassure the
industry by suggesting that many smaller ISPs would be unaffected by the
"black boxes" as these would be installed upstream on the network and
hinted that all costs would be met by the Government.

"It was clear the 'back box' is the technology the Government will use
to hold all the data. But what isn't clear is what the Home Secretary,
GCHQ and the security services intend to do with all this information in
the future," said a source close to the meeting.

He added: "They said they only wanted to return to a position they were
in before the emergence of internet communication, when they were able
to monitor all correspondence with a police suspect. The difference here
is they will be in a much better position to spy on many more people on
the basis of their internet behaviour. Also there's a grey area between
what is content and what is traffic. Is what is said in a chat room
content or just traffic?"

Ministers say plans for the database have not been confirmed, and that
it is not their intention to introduce monitoring or storage equipment
that will check or hold the content of emails or phonecalls on the

A spokesman for the Home Office said that Monday's meeting provided a
"chance to engage with small communication service providers" ahead of
the formal public consultation next year. He added: "We need to work
closely with the internet service providers and the communication
service providers. The meeting was to show the top-line challenges faced
in the future. We are public about the IMP, but we are still working out
the detail. There will a consultation on the Communications Data Bill
early next year."

A spokesman for the Internet Service Providers Association said the
organisation was pleased the Home Office had addressed its members and
was keen to continue dialogue while awaiting a formal consultation.

Database plans were first announced by the Prime Minister in February.
It is not clear where the records will be held but GCHQ may eventually
be the project's home. 

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