Archive | UK

»Theresa May to shut down the internet as we know it«

“Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet,” it states. “We disagree.”

The Independent: Theresa May to Crete New Internet that would be Controlled and Regulated by Government »

Pull the various tech-related manifesto pledges together and – if the polls are correct and May wins a majority in next month’s election – the Conservatives could have a mandate from the British public for a significant extension of internet regulation, all based on the idea that a government’s duty to protect citizens exists just as much on the internet as it does in the real world.

Buzzfeed: Theresa May Wants To Regulate The Internet »

“Balances” freedoms? Freedoms aren’t supposed to be “balanced.” They’re supposed to be supported and protected. And when you have your freedoms protected, that also protects users. Those two things aren’t in opposition. They don’t need to be balanced. As for “obligations for businesses and platforms” — those five words are basically the ones that say “we’re going to force Google and Facebook to censor stuff we don’t like, while making it impossible for any new platform to ever challenge the big guys.” It’s a bad, bad idea.

Techdirt: Theresa May Plans To Regulate, Tax And Censor The Internet »


The Internet after UK elections?

UK Prime Minister and noted authoritarian Theresa May has promised that if she wins the upcoming general election, her party will abolish internet access in the UK, replacing it with a government-monitored internet where privacy tools are banned and online services will be required to vet all user-supplied content for compliance with rules about pornography, political speech, copyright compliance and so on — and search engines will have to employ special British rules to exclude banned material from their search results.

BoingBoing: Theresa May promises a British version of Iran’s Halal Internet »


UK: AI to decide who gets bail

Get arrested in Durham, England, and artificial intelligence could help decide whether you’re held in custody or sent home—but it’s not yet clear if the algorithm is more accurate than police officers when it comes to assessing whether someone is likely to reoffend.

So, basically, if someone will be detained or not is to be decided by the behavior of others.

Vice Motherboard: An AI Will Decide Which Criminals in the UK Get Bail »


No reasonable ground to uphold arrest warrant for Assange

It is now the last day in April, five months since Assange was questioned about the rape allegations in Britain. However there is no word from Sweden either of the case against him being dropped or of the rape charges against him being pressed.

Meanwhile the European arrest warrant been not been cancelled, and the extradition request to Britain has not been dropped, even though their purported purpose – to have Assange questioned about the rape allegations – has been fulfilled in Britain.

Meanwhile the British authorities have taken no steps to review their grant of the Swedish extradition request notwithstanding that the purported purpose of that request – to return Assange to Sweden so that he could be questioned about the rape allegations there – has been fulfilled in Britain.

The Duran: The Swedish and British case against Julian Assange grossly abuses his human rights and basic principles of justice »


“Big Brother in the U.K.”

The United Kingdom’s Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority is not part of an agency tasked with fighting terrorism. It’s a licensing body that “regulates businesses who provide workers to the fresh produce supply chain and horticulture industry, to make sure they meet the employment standards required by law,” according to its mission statement.

Nevertheless, under a new mass surveillance law, high-ranking officials in this agency will have as much access to the private internet information of British citizens as agencies that actually do fight terrorism. So will officials in the U.K.’s Department of Health, its Food Standards Agency, and its Gambling Commission, along with dozens of other government bodies.

Reason: Big Brother in the U.K. »


UK to roll out Big Brother data base

The broadly defined clause 30 of the Digital Economy Bill contains provisions for a “single gateway to enable public authorities, specified by regulation, to share personal information for tightly constrained reasons agreed by parliament, where its purpose is to improve the welfare of the individual in question. To use the gateway, the proposed sharing of information must be for the purpose of one of the specified objectives, which will be set out in regulations.”

Ars Technica: UK government’s huge citizen data grab is go—where are the legal safeguards? »

By the way, this discussion has been going on for decades…

Youtube »


Sweden – not so neutral, after all?

Possible targets might be the administrators of foreign computer networks, government ministries, oil, defense, and other major corporations, as well as suspected terrorist groups or other designated individuals. Similar Quantum operations have targeted OPEC headquarters in Vienna, as well as Belgacom, a Belgian telecom company whose clients include the European Commission and the European Parliament. (…)

Significantly, while WINTERLIGHT was a joint effort between the NSA, the Swedish FRA, and the British GCHQ, the hacking attacks on computers and computer networks seem to have been initiated by the Swedes.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Swedish intelligence agency FRA – together with British GCHQ – declined to participate in the European Parliaments hearings on mass surveillance.

The New York Review of Books: The Swedish Kings of Cyberwar »


Frosty relations between UK and German spy agencies

The Snowden revelations on US NSA spying in Germany still poison relations between UK (and US) intelligence community and their German counterparts.

The Daily Mail:

Relations between British and German spy chiefs have hit rock bottom because London says its counterparts in Berlin cannot be trusted to keep secrets. (…)

The source said: ‘It has now reached the point where there is virtual radio silence between the two biggest and most important intelligence services of the western world and the BND of Germany.

‘Germany is worried because it needs the umbrella protection of these agencies. It is virtually blind without it.’

This also concerns German requests for information demanded by the German Bundestag’s (parliaments) committee on mass surveillance:

Both the UK and America refused to send any of the requested files to Germany. Included among them was a demand for information about a 2013 operation handled by both countries – and in co-operation with the BND – which was, and remains, top secret but was known to involve a massive surveillance programme on suspected Islamic terrorists across Europe.

Britain fears a ‘big debate’ in the German parliament which would lay open secret sources and intelligence gathering techniques.

To complicate matters even more, the German Bundestag is searching for a »Wikileaks mole« – said to leak information from the said NSA investigative committee.

The Daily Mail » German spies ‘can’t be trusted’: Relations between the UK and Berlin intelligence chiefs hit after comments by London »

Berliner Morgenpost » Bundestagspolizei sucht Wikileaks-Maulwurf im Parlament »


UK: State now allowed to lie in court

(D)espite the establishment of a parallel system of secret justice, the IPA’s tentacles also enshrine parallel construction into law. That is, the practice where prosecutors lie about the origins of evidence to judges and juries – thereby depriving the defendant of a fair trial because he cannot review or question the truth of the evidence against him.

The Register: The UK’s Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court »