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United Kingdom Government Privacy

MI5 'Secretly Collected Phone Data' For Decade (bbc.com) 38

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's controversial Investigatory Powers draft legislation has acknowledged for the first time that British intelligence agency MI5 has been collecting huge amounts of data on phone calls since 2005. "The draft bill aims to give stronger legal cover to the activities of MI5, MI6 and the police and introduce judicial oversight of spying operations. It confirmed that Britain's secret listening post GCHQ has been intercepting internet messages flowing through Britain in bulk, as revealed by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, 'to acquire the communications of terrorists and serious criminals that would not otherwise be available.'

It also revealed that the UK security services have been allowed to collect large amounts of data on phone calls 'to identify subjects of interest within the UK and overseas,' provided they comply with certain safeguards, set out in a supporting document (PDF) also published on Wednesday." Nick Clegg, who was deputy Prime Minister until earlier this year, says that for a long time, government officials "refused to acknowledge that the democratization of the security state had become inevitable."

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MI5 'Secretly Collected Phone Data' For Decade

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  • Surprised? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Why are people still surprised by these revelations?

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      Why are people still surprised by these revelations?

      More importantly, why are people still surprised that no one cares about these revelations?

      Someone posted yesterday that he felt vindicated for his attempts to keep his company off the cloud after the Snowden story first broke. It just goes to show how disconnected security and privacy minded people are from the general public.

    • by Agripa ( 139780 )

      Will people be just as surprised to discover later that MI5 continued to collect all of this data and more after the law is changed to supposedly stop it?

  • by louic ( 1841824 ) on Friday November 06, 2015 @10:09AM (#50876347)
    If they openly collected telephone data they would not be called the SECRET service.
    • Hmmm the MI in MI5 & MI6 stands for Military Intelligence (Oxymoron's aside). Not sure where you're getting Secret Service from.
      • Hmmm the MI in MI5 & MI6 stands for Military Intelligence (Oxymoron's aside). Not sure where you're getting Secret Service from.

        MI5 and MI6 are now officially known as the Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service respectively.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 06, 2015 @10:11AM (#50876369)

    Citizens should be happy to share their data and help make this world a safer place.

  • Achtung Subject!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 06, 2015 @10:21AM (#50876415)

    You might become a terrorist, paedophile or marijuana user. The authorities are just trying to protect you from yourself.

  • is this different than the already discussed-many-times http://slashdot.org/?fhfilter=... [slashdot.org] ?
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Echelon was for 5 eye nations as a global shared look up database of words used, calls name, new name calling a name in a database, fax, email, phone service, voice prints, global sat phone use, banking, computer networks, language translation to vast digital storage.
      MI5 was more for UK eyes only and very protective of the eg Irish issues, methods and links with its own informants.
      A lot of that was never going to be shared or was for UK eyes only. The UK also offered what was once called a HOW - Home Off
  • Translation (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    We do what we fucking please. If deemed convenient, we push a law through making it legal.

  • All the spying paid off when they prevented a jet from being blown up over Egypt by ISIS.
    • That's another good point, what good does all this data collection do when the people you're looking for are 16-23 year old extremists that decided "last night" to ghost some plane full of randoms because the sermon was so moving the night before (which is what most of these "terrorists" seem to be...). You can't catch individuals using data collection when its done at random and on a whim.

      This all assumes the individuals doing this are well coordinated and planned out, which I think the reality couldn't be

  • God, I get it, okay? I get it! Everything I thought I knew was a lie! Do you have to remind me every week with another story of the five_eyes surveillance? Nay, every day?! Snowden save me, war is peace.
  • It really boggles my mind just how nonchalant all this has been broached by...well pretty much both america and the uk officials. I just don't get it, they haven't caught anyone (that we know of) via all this surveillance than how can its excuse as a security measure actually be taken seriously. Why is all this intelligence gathering necessary from a security standpoint. Its seems to me the sheer bulk of data will obfuscate anything of worth for the most part.....so what's the point?

    It's like secretly colle

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      re "Why is all this intelligence gathering necessary from a security standpoint."
      To run informants at every level of human rights groups, workers rights groups, peace protesters, environmental campaigners, anti war groups, animal rights groups, emerging digital activists.
      As front groups to soak up and re direct a lot of smart peoples efforts into useless busy work or track any new people who are wealthy, photogenic and charismatic.
      ie to redirect any people who had the time, smarts, fund and ability to ch

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