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Article posted Nov 11 2008, 4:44 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: The Independent Print

Government black boxes will 'collect every email'

Home Office says all data from web could be stored in giant government database
By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor


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 traffic.

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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Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
dave

Posted: Nov 12 2008, 5:57 PM

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<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.>

Decoding the Tavistockian gibberish black boxes to symbolise dark and invoke fear. The independent hasn't learn't, this is what they want the public to know.

In effect they are frightened of the Internet, frightened of free thinkers, frightened of the truth and they want to discourage people as far as they dare from even whispering the truth, to encourage people to bury their heads in the sand so they can be abused with impunity. Why else would the state want computers more powerful than everyone else's put together, because they have something to hide, their true history and intentions.

I would recommend telling the truth in emails, it doesn't matter who is listening as their lies cannot compete with the truth if you sincerely search for it and share it.
PaulAnderson

Posted: Nov 16 2008, 4:46 AM

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The lies/truth battle is at a tipping point in my view, and black boxes - which are probably as real as TV detector vans anyway - won't make any difference. The truth is spreading at an increasing rate, world change is near, it won't be long now.
Chris

Posted: Nov 16 2008, 5:30 AM

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"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda." - George W Bush (Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxnegxNEDAc)

The nice thing about the truth is once one truth is realized the whole world of lies collapses.

There is no going back. Certainly this is not a time to be paralyzed by fear, there is a renaissance occurring. The internet is largely to thank for it.

It is important not to underestimate your enemy though. The powers that be are working very hard to heavily censor and eventually shut the internet down and they are not waiting around to do this. It is important we "hold their feet to the fire" on every issue which concerns us.

A week or so ago I ordered some pizza for delivery, the pizza which came was rather awful, one of the toppings was literally fermenting. My first thought was to call up and bitch, I squelched it though thinking I'll just never order from them again. Being as I am though, I just couldn't let it go! So I called up and asked for the manager. I told him what occurred and asked him if he cared at all or am I just wasting my time. Long story short, he personally drove out to my house to return my money in full. This is a microcosm.

Now that said, he was not a psychopath, he was actually concerned not to send out complete trash. It is different with the people at the top though because they are sociopathic/psychopathic, they are cold and calculated and there is no reasoning with them.

To effect them and the world as a whole we need to apply pressure to everyone and anyone who holds any sort of responsibility. As the society as a whole become more intolerant of low standards or for that matter of abuse and subjugation, we will become more free and liberated. It all starts with each person individually refusing to be "tolerant", refusing to "go with the flow" and refusing to "go along to get along".


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