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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:02 pm 
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'Yes' to Swedish Surveillance Law
2008 06 19

Swedish lawmakers voted late on Wednesday in favour of a controversial bill allowing all emails and phone calls to be monitored in the name of national security.

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The vote, one of the most divisive in Sweden in recent years, had initially been scheduled for early Wednesday but was postponed after more than one-third of MPs voted to send the bill back to parliament's defence committee "for further preparation."

After the committee required that the centre-right government safeguard individual rights further in an annex to the law to be voted on in the autumn, the bill narrowly passed with 143 votes in favour, 138 opposed and one parliamentarian abstaining.

Critics have slammed the proposal as an attack on civil liberties that would create a "big brother" state, while supporters say it is necessary to protect the country from foreign threats.

The new law, set to take effect on January 1st, 2009, will enable the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) -- a civilian agency despite its name -- to tap all cross-border Internet and telephone communication.

But although the government said only cross-border communications would be monitored, all communications risk getting caught in the net since some internet servers are located abroad and FRA would need to check all emails to determine whether they have crossed the border.

Under the current law, FRA is only allowed to monitor military radio communications.

The Defence Ministry, which hammered out the proposal, insists the new legislation is necessary in today's changed world, where communications are increasingly transmitted through fibre-optic cables.

The government holds a slim seven-seat majority in parliament, and with the left-wing opposition vehemently opposed to the proposal, just four "no" votes within the coalition could have sunk it.

A number of the coalition members had voiced deep concern about the bill before Wednesday's revision was made, while opponents in parliament, along with hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the building, faced a nervy wait for the result.

"This law is rotten to the core. (It) is about violating integrity. Regardless of what words they use, it will do exactly that," one of the demonstrators, 32-year-old Magdalena Berg from Gothenburg, told Swedish public radio.

Critics of the new law, including human rights activists, journalists, lawyers and even the former head of the Swedish intelligence agency Säpo, had before Wednesday's revision argued that it did not go far enough in safeguarding individual rights.

Unlike police, FRA will, for instance, not be required to seek a court order to begin surveillance.

The government on Wednesday insisted it had addressed these concerns with the last-minute revisions to the law that among other things added further independent and parliamentary controls to FRA's work.

Former Säpo chief Anders Eriksson, who currently heads up the Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection, was not impressed.

"I think the law needs to be re-written. It is not enough to create a few checks and balances ... It is the law itself there is something wrong with," he told Swedish radio before the vote.

Article from: http://www.thelocal.se/12534/20080618/
http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=4088

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Mr_Green_Genes wrote:
'Yes' to Swedish Surveillance Law
2008 06 19

Swedish lawmakers voted late on Wednesday in favour of a controversial bill allowing all emails and phone calls to be monitored in the name of national security.


good thing I moved to the usa, where people are still free to do what they want! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:15 pm 
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my IP went under . . .
cya folks,
ttfn
et cetera

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:37 am 
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UK government to spy on phone, email, browsing, of entire population

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The government of the United Kingdom leaked its plans yesterday to launch a program which will monitor every British citizen's emails, internet browsing records, and telephone conversations. While a specific plan has not been reached, UK ministers agreed on spending up to £12 billion (USD$21.2 billion) on the new spying system. More than £1 billion (USD$1.76 billion) has already been spent.

They believe the program, which will create a massive database for storing the information and installs thousands of probes, is necessary to fight threats to national security. One of the reasons cited for creating the database is to keep links between terrorists intact before they are wiped from systems, which often hold any needed information only temporarily.

Under the UK's current law a warrant is required to intercept communications, but that will change with the implementation of the new database.

Critics like Michael Parker, an anti-ID card activist, have called the proposal 'sinister', and accused the UK government of 'stalking' British citizens. "If an individual carried out this sort of snooping," Parker said, "it would be a crime".

But other critics like Dominic Grieve, Shadow Home Secretary, have a different concern. The government has a record of leaking sensitive information, making such a database insecure—which could be dangerous in the wrong hands. "Seeing how significant an increase in power this would be, we need to have a national debate and the Government would have to justify its need," he finished.

A public debate is being considered after the request of the UK's Information Commissioner, who has warned that the program would be unacceptable to most of the UK's citizens.

Details will be given in the Queen's speech next month.

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/UK_government_to_spy_on_phone,_email,_browsing,_of_entire_population

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Giant database plan 'Orwellian'

Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as "Orwellian".


Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology.

And she promised that the content of conversations would not be stored, just times and dates of messages and calls.

But the Lib Dems slammed the idea as "incompatible with a free country", while the Tories called on the government to justify its plans.

Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.

The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request - but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.

Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.

Without increasing their capacity to store data, the police and security services would have to consider a "massive expansion of surveillance," Ms Smith said in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research earlier.

'Vital capability'

She said: "Our ability to intercept communications and obtain communications data is vital to fighting terrorism and combating serious crime, including child sex abuse, murder and drugs trafficking.

"Communications data - that is, data about calls, such as the location and identity of the caller, not the content of the calls themselves - is used as important evidence in 95% of serious crime cases and in almost all security service operations since 2004.

(...)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7671046.stm

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:18 pm 
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Your ISP is watching you

Did you know ... BT wants to monitor your online activities to serve you targeted ads? Don't let it spy on you


A man walks through a shopping precinct. Tiny cameras capture his every move. If he so much as turns his head to glimpse into a shop window, that action is recorded, next to a reference number that identifies him uniquely among the many shoppers around him. As he walks through the crowded mall, the advertising billboards subtly change to suit his profile, flashing aeroplanes and knitted sweaters to replace the beach towels and lipstick intended for the woman in front of him. He ducks out of the precinct, looks around him, then walks down a side street to the door of a VD clinic. But the cameras are still watching him. Silently, passively. But watching him all the same ...

This is not a novel by Philip K Dick: it is happening right now. The only difference is that it's not happening in the physical world, it's happening online. Since last autumn, BT – under the "Webwise" banner – has been trialling a technology called Phorm, which dials direct into your internet service provider's network and intercepts communications between you and the websites you visit, using information about the sorts of things you are viewing to serve you targeted ads.

From shopping and watching TV to keeping in touch with friends, seeking advice about our health and finances and even meeting prospective partners, what we do over our internet connections now reveals more about us than any other single activity we engage in. But despite this, the world wide web is most commonly seen as media. And with media comes advertising. We tolerate the advertorials, double-page spreads and ever longer ad breaks because we understand that this activity funds the production of our newspapers and favourite TV shows. But should we tolerate Phorm?

Thanks to hard work from campaigners at the Foundation for Information Policy Research and the Open Rights Group, and activists at dephormation.org.uk and nodpi.org, we now have that choice. The Information Commissioner's Office has ruled that BT must ask the explicit permission of its customers to "opt in" before enrolling them into its Webwise trial (rather than the pernicious "opt out" clauses so beloved of marketers and junk mail operatives). Here's why I think every last one of those customers should actively count themselves out.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are not media companies. They do not get to decide, or even influence, what we watch, who we talk to or what we buy online. If they did, the world wide web would never have got off the ground. We would not have eBay, Amazon or Google, because back when these publicly listed companies were just glimmers in the eyes of their pioneering founders, ISPs would have put up barriers against entry to "their" market, charged punitive rent for access to "their" cables and "their" (our) eyeballs at the end of them. For the world wide web to work, ISPs must be neutral about the content that flows across their wires. That principle of neutrality extends to Phorm – if ISPs start intercepting the communications between us and the websites we visit online, spying on our activity to give themselves an unbeatable advantage in the ad sales market, the media companies that rely on selling ads to survive will suffer irreparable damage.

Instead, ISPs must continue to be viewed as providing infrastructure, and infrastructure of a very special kind. Like the MP, the journalist, the doctor and the priest, ISPs have the power to know the intimate details of our lives. They should be prevented from abusing that power, and shielded from the power of those (like the Home Office, with its widely reported plans to "modernise" the state's interception capability) who would seek to force them to break their confidence with us. If this does not happen, it is not only the digital economy that will suffer, it is modern liberty itself.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/02/privacy-civil-liberties

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:55 pm 
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I have noticed this in action on my own computer, for the last year now. Strangely specific advertising or suggestions based upon words in my emails, names of people I know and make reference to, music I listen to, porn that I watch, blah blah blah.

Creepy.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:58 pm 
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yes big brother frank is watching over all of us .

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:39 am 
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Net firms start storing user data

Details of user e-mails, website visits and net phone calls will be stored by internet service providers (ISPs) from Monday under an EU directive.


The plans were drawn up in the wake of the London bombings in 2005.

ISPs and telecoms firms have resisted the proposals while some countries in the EU are contesting the directive.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said it was a "crazy directive" with potentially dangerous repercussions for citizens.

All ISPs in the European Union will have to store the records for a year. An EU directive which requires telecoms firms to hold on to telephone records for 12 months is already in force.

The data stored does not include the content of e-mails and websites, nor a recording of a net phone call, but is used to determine connections between individuals.

Authorities can get access to the stored records with a warrant.

Governments across the EU have now started to implement the directive into their own national legislation.

The UK Home Office, responsible for matters of policing and national security, said the measure had "effective safeguards" in place.

ISPs across Europe have complained about the extra costs involved in maintaining the records. The UK government has agreed to reimburse ISPs for the cost of retaining the data.

Mr Killock said the directive was passed only by "stretching the law".

The EU passed it by "saying it was a commercial matter and not a police matter", he explained.

"Because of that they got it through on a simple vote, rather than needing unanimity, which is required for policing matters," he said.

Sense of shock

He added: "It was introduced in the wake of the London bombings when there was a sense of shock in Europe. It was used to push people in a particular direction."

Sweden has decided to ignore the directive completely while there is a challenge going through the German courts at present.

"Hopefully, we can see some sort of challenge to this directive," said Mr Killock.

In a statement, the Home Office said it was implementing the directive because it was the government's priority to "protect public safety and national security".

It added: "Communications data is the where and when of the communication and plays a vital part in a wide range of criminal investigations and prevention of terrorist attacks, as well as contributing to public safety more generally.

"Without communications data resolving crimes such as the Rhys Jones murder would be very difficult if not impossible.

"Access to communications data is governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) which ensures that effective safeguards are in place and that the data can only be accessed when it is necessary and proportionate to do so."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7985339.stm

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:57 am 
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Phorm eyes launch after hard year

Online advertising firm Phorm is pressing ahead with plans to launch more than a year after it first drew criticism from some privacy advocates.


Phorm executives will meet with members of the public on Tuesday, following a similar meeting in 2008.

The service has proved controversial for some campaigners who believe it breaks UK data interception laws.

The firm received clearance from the Home Office and police closed a file on BT trials of the technology.

"We have been supported or endorsed by all of the leading stakeholders," Phorm chief executive Kent Ertugrul told BBC News.

"Ofcom, the Information Commissioner's Office, the Home Office, leading privacy advocates like Simon Davies, the advertising industry and publishers have all backed our service," he said.

He added: "We are very, very happy with where we are one year on."

Trawling websites

Phorm's system works by "trawling" websites visited by users whose ISPs have signed up to the service and for whom the technology is switched on, and then matches keywords from the content of the page to an anonymous profile. (...)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7988154.stm
___________________________________________________________

Web founder's 'snooping' warning

The integrity of the internet is under threat if online "snooping" goes unchecked, one of the web's most respected figures has told Parliament.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, said browsing habits could now be monitored as if someone had put a "TV camera in one's room".

Laws must be better enforced to ensure such "sensitive" data was not misused for commercial gain, he added.

Tory MP David Davis said privacy must be upheld without "crippling" the web.

'Sensitive'

Sir Tim's warning came at a meeting of MPs, peers and technology professionals, organised by the All Parliamentary Group on Communications, to address online privacy concerns.

Parliamentarians are worried about technology allowing firms to track which websites people visit and to share the information with companies for the purpose of sending what is known as "behavioural advertising".

Google has become the latest firm to launch a system to send advertisements to web users based on their online activities. (...)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7936625.stm

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:38 am 
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And The Holding Company is scanning your iris as you read this!
Help, Mr. Wizard!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:01 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Plan to monitor all internet use

By Dominic Casciani
BBC News home affairs reporter

Communications firms are being asked to record all internet contacts between people as part of a modernisation in UK police surveillance tactics.


The home secretary scrapped plans for a database but wants details to be held and organised for security services.

The new system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.

The Tories said the Home Office had "buckled under Conservative pressure" in deciding against a giant database.

Announcing a consultation on a new strategy for communications data and its use in law enforcement, Jacqui Smith said there would be no single government-run database.

But she also said that "doing nothing" in the face of a communications revolution was not an option.

The Home Office will instead ask communications companies - from internet service providers to mobile phone networks - to extend the range of information they currently hold on their subscribers and organise it so that it can be better used by the police, MI5 and other public bodies investigating crime and terrorism.

Ministers say they estimate the project will cost £2bn to set up, which includes some compensation to the communications industry for the work it may be asked to do.

"Communications data is an essential tool for law enforcement agencies to track murderers, paedophiles, save lives and tackle crime," Ms Smith said.

"Advances in communications mean that there are ever more sophisticated ways to communicate and we need to ensure that we keep up with the technology being used by those who seek to do us harm.

"It is essential that the police and other crime fighting agencies have the tools they need to do their job, However to be clear, there are absolutely no plans for a single central store."

'Contact not content'

Communication service providers (CSPs) will be asked to record internet contacts between people, but not the content, similar to the existing arrangements to log telephone contacts.

But, recognising that the internet has changed the way people talk, the CSPs will also be asked to record some third party data or information partly based overseas, such as visits to an online chatroom and social network sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Security services could then seek to examine this data along with information which links it to specific devices, such as a mobile phone, home computer or other device, as part of investigations into criminal suspects.

The plan expands a voluntary arrangement under which CSPs allow security services to access some data which they already hold.

The security services already deploy advanced techniques to monitor telephone conversations or intercept other communications, but this is not used in criminal trials.

Ms Smith said that while the new system could record a visit to a social network, it would not record personal and private information such as photos or messages posted to a page.

"What we are talking about is who is at one end [of a communication] and who is at the other - and how they are communicating," she said.

Existing legal safeguards under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act would continue to apply. Requests to see the data would require top level authorisation within a public body such as a police force. The Home Office is running a separate consultation on limiting the number of public authorities that can access sensitive information or carry out covert surveillance.

'Orwellian'

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: "I am pleased that the Government has climbed down from the Big Brother plan for a centralised database of all our emails and phone calls.

"However, any legislation that requires individual communications providers to keep data on who called whom and when will need strong safeguards on access.

"It is simply not that easy to separate the bare details of a call from its content. What if a leading business person is ringing Alcoholics Anonymous, or a politician's partner is arranging to hire a porn video?

"There has to be a careful balance between investigative powers and the right to privacy."

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: "The big problem is that the government has built a culture of surveillance which goes far beyond counter terrorism and serious crime. Too many parts of Government have too many powers to snoop on innocent people and that's really got to change.

"It is good that the home secretary appears to have listened to Conservative warnings about big brother databases. Now that she has finally admitted that the public don't want their details held by the State in one place, perhaps she will look at other areas in which the Government is trying to do precisely that."

Guy Herbert of campaign group NO2ID said: "Just a week after the home secretary announced a public consultation on some trivial trimming of local authority surveillance, we have this: a proposal for powers more intrusive than any police state in history.

"Ministers are making a distinction between content and communications data into sound-bite of the year. But it is spurious.

"Officials from dozens of departments and quangos could know what you read online, and who all your friends are, who you emailed, when, and where you were when you did so - all without a warrant."

The consultation runs until 20 July 2009.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8020039.stm

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:21 am 
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Care to guess which country's government makes the most requests for user info, and content removal, from the internet? (not counting China, of course).

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/securi ... s_cid=e064

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:25 am 
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UK spies 'intercepted webcam images of Yahoo users'

British spy agency GCHQ intercepted webcam images from millions of Yahoo users around the world, according to a report in the Guardian.


Yahoo denied prior knowledge of the alleged programme, describing it as a "completely unacceptable" privacy violation.

According to leaked documents, sexually explicit images were among those gathered - although not intentionally.

In a statement GCHQ has said all of its actions are in accordance with the law.

The operation, which was called Optic Nerve and was aided by the US National Security Agency, is alleged to have stored images between 2008 and 2010. In one six-month period in 2008, images from 1.8m users were gathered.

The report originated from documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

It suggested that sexually explicit content would be captured by the system.

"Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," it read.

"Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography."
'Whole new level'

"We were not aware of nor would we condone this reported activity," Yahoo said in an emailed statement.

"This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users' privacy that is completely unacceptable and we strongly call on the world's governments to reform surveillance law consistent with the principles we outlined in December.

"We are committed to preserving our users' trust and security and continue our efforts to expand encryption across all of our services."

A statement from GCHQ said it would not comment on matters of intelligence, but added: "All of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

"All our operational processes rigorously support this position."

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26367781

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