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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday November 06 2014, @09:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the war-on-error dept.

The Guardian reports:

Theresa May has reportedly moved to quash an attempt by her cabinet colleague Sajid Javid to improve mobile phone coverage by warning that the plans could aid terrorists, according a leaked letter.

[...] May argues in the leaked internal Whitehall letter that Javid’s plans to end “not-spots”, by allowing customers to roam between rival networks, could aid criminals and terrorists. The Times reported that May’s objections centre around concerns that roaming would make it more difficult for the agencies to track suspects.

In the letter, extracts of which have been published in the Times, May says that national roaming “could have a detrimental impact on law enforcement, security and intelligence agency access to communications data and lawful intercept”.

Related Stories

4/20: Half-Baked Headline 75 comments

takyon writes:

It's that time of the year again. Time to talk about drugs and the war on them because some stoners declared a holiday or something.

A recent article in Harper's Magazine includes the following gem that sums up the modern Drug War's origins. The journalist interviewed John Ehrlichman, one of the Watergate co-conspirators:

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

[Oh yes, it continues...]

Theresa May: UK's Next Prime Minister? 28 comments

from the tyrant dept.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May is favored to become the new leader of the Conservatives and the UK's next Prime Minister following a first round of voting, the elimination of Liam Fox, drop out of Stephen Crabb, and the earlier drop out of Boris Johnson:

Home Secretary Theresa May has comfortably won the first round of the contest to become the next Conservative leader and UK prime minister. Mrs May got 165 of the 329 votes cast by Tory MPs. Andrea Leadsom came second with 66 votes. Michael Gove got 48. [...] Further voting will narrow the field to two. The eventual outcome, decided by party members, is due on 9 September. Following the result, frontrunner Mrs May - who campaigned for the UK to stay in the EU - received the backing of Mr Fox, a former defence secretary and Brexit campaigner, and Mr Crabb, the work and pensions secretary, who backed Remain.

[...] Mrs May - who has said she will deliver Brexit if PM - said she was "pleased" with the result and "grateful" to colleagues for their support. She said there was a "big job" ahead to unite the party and the country following the referendum, to "negotiate the best possible deal as we leave the EU" and to "make Britain work for everyone". She added: "I am the only candidate capable of delivering these three things as prime minister, and tonight it is clear that I am also the only one capable of drawing support from the whole of the Conservative Party."

Update: The race to lead the Conservative Party and become the next Prime Minister of the UK is down to two women: Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom:

UK Prime Minister Repeats Calls to Limit Encryption, End Internet "Safe Spaces" 88 comments

Some things in life are very predictable... the Earth continues to orbit around the Sun and Theresa May is trying to crack down on the Internet and ban/break encryption:

In the wake of Saturday's terrorist attack in London, the Prime Minister Theresa May has again called for new laws to regulate the internet, demanding that internet companies do more to stamp out spaces where terrorists can communicate freely. "We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed," she said. "Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide."

Her comments echo those made in March by the home secretary, Amber Rudd. Speaking after the previous terrorist attack in London, Rudd said that end-to-end encryption in apps like WhatsApp is "completely unacceptable" and that there should be "no hiding place for terrorists".

[...] "Theresa May's response is predictable but disappointing," says Paul Bernal at the University of East Anglia, UK. "If you stop 'safe places' for terrorists, you stop safe places for everyone, and we rely on those safe places for a great deal of our lives."

Last month New Scientist called for a greater understanding of technology among politicians. Until that happens, having a reasonable conversation about how best to tackle extremism online will remain out of reach.

End-to-end encryption is completely unacceptable? Now that's what I call an endorsement.


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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @09:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @09:39AM (#113467)

    I wonder what they've got on her...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @09:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @09:41AM (#113468)

    Step 1: forbid the terrorists from speaking English.
    Step 2: shoot all the non-English speakers.

    Terrorst problem solved, guv!

    • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Thursday November 06 2014, @10:42AM

      by zocalo (302) on Thursday November 06 2014, @10:42AM (#113478)
      Or from owning phones bought outside the UK with international roaming enabled, apparently. Any such device is already going to lock onto the strongest signal it can find and roam onto that network, doing exactly the kind of thing Theresa May is so unhappy about. So, yes, once again, the public gets the shaft on something that might provide beneficial in so many ways because of the terrorists. Never mind that anyone with half a clue must know by now a mobile phone is like a tracking beacon so the only "terrorists" getting tracked like this in the first place are likely to be either so incompetant they are probably not a threat, are competent and are not currently worried about being tracked, or are not actually terrorists in the first place.
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Thursday November 06 2014, @10:00AM

    by Lagg (105) on Thursday November 06 2014, @10:00AM (#113473) Homepage Journal

    I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record about this but these people just don't care anymore how transparent their "teh terrorists!" crap is. They know it's transparent and they know that you know it is, but they just don't care. Especially in the UK. How depressing.

    -- [] 🗿
  • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday November 06 2014, @11:31AM

    by isostatic (365) on Thursday November 06 2014, @11:31AM (#113483) Journal

    I'm sure the daily mail loves her, but I'm always reminded of Norah Satie, hopefully we're close to the breakdown []

  • (Score: 1) by Darth Turbogeek on Thursday November 06 2014, @11:35AM

    by Darth Turbogeek (1073) on Thursday November 06 2014, @11:35AM (#113485)

    She actually said this utter crap?

    ..... No words. Seriously just how can you respond to someone so fucking stupid?

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday November 06 2014, @06:54PM

      by edIII (791) on Thursday November 06 2014, @06:54PM (#113607)

      She's not stupid. She, along with many others in positions of power, have absolutely no regard in any way, shape, or form, for their fellow citizen's human rights of anonymity and privacy.

      She FULLY knows that it doesn't aid terrorism at all. "Aiding terrorism" is just a code word:

      "Aiding Terrorism":

      To engage in, enable, or otherwise promulgate views and information, granting the ability for a citizen to obfuscate their communications preventing government from being able to monitor and control said use.

      Governments and intelligence agencies have already discovered the fruits of Big Data programs sifting through all the metadata collected. They've already *seen* first hand the rather dramatic evolution in their capabilities by adding more and more data.

      Our real problem is that is has almost nothing to do with terrorism. These programs are used to input the desired patterns and logic, and then be presented with a "short list" of actors involved in your "situation". Do we really think the "input" is "find the terrorists"? Do we really think *they* have ever put that input in? I don't. They didn't find Osama for 10 years, and that *might* be because they weren't freakin' collecting any information from those locations in Pakistan. If *only* we had been capturing his web browsing activity and phone calls, we could have picked him up getting take-out down the street right?

      So if these truly amazing tools, being a product of our ever increasing sophistication, are only as valuable as the information being fed into it, just what are we feeding into it?

      All communications data we can get our hands on regarding our fellow citizens . Just by its very nature it's a piss-fucking-poor terrorist detector since it can only work on information gathered through traditional channels, and terrorists are using anything but traditional channels. The theory is that by understanding all of the communications occurring in a country, we could isolate communications with terrorists externally, and somehow isolate terrorists communications with endpoints and routes entirely within that country. Except, it doesn't actually work very well in practice and is defacto security theater.

      Most of the tools we have success with finding terrorists (your standard tools used before computerization), don't require the collection of metadata in mass surveillance.

      One big huge information system that erases our privacy, just to detect a couple of edge communications in a tiny drop of captured communications. It's the stupidest use of resources imaginable for the goal of capturing terrorists.

      Also, who gives a crap about terrorism anymore? It's ISIS now, and they evolved way past just simple terrorism now. Do we need these tools to find ISIS? Do these people like this twatwaffle bureaucrat not own a globe?

      No, this lady understands what she is saying. You don't understand what she is saying.

      She is saying that you shouldn't be able to hide yourself from her eyes for any reason, and is calling on all of us to alter our technologies and abrogate our contract with human rights and freedoms to enable her to serve us, and she will use every logical failure in the book to do it.

      Well, I don't know about you, but she and the others can kiss my heinie hole, since they don't serve us at all. They serve themselves. Repeatedly. How many examples of malfeasance do we need before it's proven that officials will always abuse information capabilities like this to serve their own interests?

      Take a good look at her again, Comrade. You don't see the piggish features and the walking on two legs? She cares nothing for you, and will send you out to be made into glue, since you are only an animal to her now.

      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cafebabe on Thursday November 06 2014, @12:39PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Thursday November 06 2014, @12:39PM (#113490) Journal

    So, roaming currently defeats surveillance? Any foreign GSM SIM provides roaming and European regulations make this option quite affordable. So, if a terrorist wants to avoid being tracked, they should use a foreign GSM SIM. Likewise for anyone who really cares about their privacy.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MrNemesis on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:34PM

      by MrNemesis (1582) on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:34PM (#113506)

      Indeed, I had no idea that GCHQ's panopticon was so weak as to be defeated by something that's been in the GSM network since the year dot.

      Reading between the lines, all I can think of that would make anything harder would be a slight change in the monitoring procedure so that when a flag it put on terrieristX who subscribes to networkY you'd also need to submit to networkZ as well. Since there are only three major networks in the UK (vodafone, O2 and EE [themselves a coalition of orange and t-mobile]) this would make next to no difference.

      More telling is the glee the mobile operators are displaying at the prospect of a speed bump. They've already had their outrageously overpriced roaming charges to/from europe limited, and they've been just as scared of having to open up their towers to access from everyone in the UK. A cynical person might wonder if the incumbent mobile networks had had a quiet word in the gov's shell-like to do anything possible to stymie such a move under any pretence whatsoever, and May always gives great value for money in that regard.

      "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
  • (Score: 1) by purple_cobra on Thursday November 06 2014, @12:49PM

    by purple_cobra (1435) on Thursday November 06 2014, @12:49PM (#113492)

    Cheese helps terrorists too! Ban cheese!

  • (Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:10PM

    by WizardFusion (498) on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:10PM (#113496) Journal

    Cars help terrorists move around different locations - we should ban them


    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:45PM (#113509)

      Actually, pen and paper allow terrorists to write down and exchange messages which cannot be caught by remote surveillance at all! We urgently must forbid pen and paper, or teh terrorists will win!

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday November 06 2014, @05:27PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday November 06 2014, @05:27PM (#113575)

        That's why you have the cloud, citizen.
        You do not need local storage. Local storage could be used to store improper or unpleasant thoughts, citizen.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @11:49PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @11:49PM (#113694)

          If you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to fear.

          If you've something to hide you shouldn't even be here.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by WillR on Thursday November 06 2014, @03:18PM

      by WillR (2012) on Thursday November 06 2014, @03:18PM (#113535)
      I was just thinking how pathetic a government functionary from 100 years ago would have sounded, if she had the same attitude...

      "May argues in the leaked internal Whitehall letter that the London and North Eastern Railway's electrification plans - which would allow trains to travel long distances without coal and water stops - could aid anarchists, saboteurs, and criminals by letting them effortlessly outrun constables on horseback."
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:10PM (#113497)

    If they did exist, they would be running all over the world spreading Ebola.
    The Gatun Dam in Panama would have been blown up by now.

    So fucking tired of people waving a "what terrorists COULD do" flag.

    Can we just shoot these people and save the world?

    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday November 06 2014, @05:25PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Thursday November 06 2014, @05:25PM (#113573)


      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 1) by Captain Black on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:48PM

    by Captain Black (2283) on Thursday November 06 2014, @01:48PM (#113512) Homepage

    .. Are the British Government, specifically Theresa May, using scaremongering "think of the children" and "because terrorism" language.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @02:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 06 2014, @02:02PM (#113516)

    and if the entire population doesn't commit suicide, that might help terrorists, as well.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by wonkey_monkey on Thursday November 06 2014, @04:11PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Thursday November 06 2014, @04:11PM (#113559) Homepage

    UK Home Secretary: Project to End Mobile "Not-Spots" Could Aid Terrorists

    They do seem to be having a pretty hard time terrorising, or even injuring, anyone in the UK using the existing mobile networks.

    Not that there's a minimum acceptable number of deaths from terrorism, but when you've got 0 of those in the past 12 months in the UK[citation needed]*, versus how ever many hundreds it is from alcohol, random acts of violence, car accidents... well, you know where I'm going with this.

    *Wikipedia lists five terrorist incidents in the UK since 2010. All five occurred between April and July 2013. Four were committed by the same person. Grand total: two deaths.

    systemd is Roko's Basilisk