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United Kingdom Privacy Security

PRESTON: The UK's "Big Brother" Comprehensive National Database System (theregister.co.uk) 57

gb7djk writes: The investigative journalist Duncan Campbell has written an article at The Register claiming that the UK Government has been secretly creating a database of all telephone calls, financial and travel records for the last 15 years. From the article: "Located inside the riverside headquarters of the Security Service, MI5, in Thames House, PRESTON works alongside and links to massive databases holding telephone call records, internet use records, travel, financial, and other personal records held by the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC), a little known intelligence support agency set up by Tony Blair's government in a 1999 plan to combat encryption and provide a national centre for internet surveillance and domestic codebreaking."
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PRESTON: The UK's "Big Brother" Comprehensive National Database System

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  • I've been living under the impression that all phone and internet traffic is at least logged and probably monitored.

    That some details of the operations come out from time to time doesn't alter the basic idea that this is what governments do.

    Did anyone think differently in recent years?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Don't try to act like you knew this was going on all along. Yeah, we all knew phone records etc. have been logged since forever, but nobody -- nobody -- knew the extent of the surveillance programs in existence since 00's.

      If this is "what governments do", and you accept that, I don't see how you could think of modern society as a free one. In a couple of years the West have lost *all* their moral high ground in human rights issues.

      Anybody remember how Nokia was criticized by the US and EU for selling standa

      • by Adam C ( 4306581 )
        It was common knowledge that we and the US would bypass restrictions on monitoring our own populations by monitoring the other and exchanging data. that went on for a very long time. of course today they just do what the hell they like and the law be damned.
  • Orwellian (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nerdyalien ( 1182659 ) on Thursday December 17, 2015 @06:46AM (#51135923)

    It is amazing how George Orwell predicted all these half-a-century or so ago.
    Even Yes Minister has one episode on a similar issue, that was three decades back.

    Are we ignoring warnings from the past? or decided to be selective in terms of learning from the past?

    • It was easy to predict that many governments would do this once the enabling technologies were available. I am surprised when people do not expect it. Control of their populations is a high priority of most countries. That is much more easily accomplished if you know who the potential troublemakers are, and have suitable blackmail material to keep them in line.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      We are using those warnings as blueprints. Our politicians are basically cowards, they won't stand up and day that we can never be totally safe and it's not worth the cost to go as far as we have.

    • by Striek ( 1811980 )

      1984 wasn't a prediction, or a warning. It was a prophecy.

  • a coincidence? I think not!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      More likely is that the name "Preston" is quite often associated with Big Brother in the UK (see here [wikipedia.org]), and MI5 has a sense of humour.

  • " BT data centres are also directly linked to NTAC for the supply of subscriber information, telephone call records, and domestic internet interception."

    i wondered why BT's internet service slowed down massively during peak hours (especially when children got home from school). now we know why. the system which farmed off the monitoring so that we could be spied on wasn't fast enough. hey fuckers: if you're going to spy on us, do it in a way that doesn't affect the profitability of the companies you're s

  • by Richard Kirk ( 535523 ) on Thursday December 17, 2015 @08:29AM (#51136143)

    Named after the robot dog in "A Close Shave?"

    Wendolene: "Daddy created him for good, but...he's turned out evil!"

    http://wallaceandgromit.wikia.... [wikia.com]

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