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United Kingdom Government Privacy The Internet

48 Organizations Now Have Access To Every Brit's Browsing Hstory (zerohedge.com) 251

schwit1 quotes a report from Zero Hedge on Great Britain's newly-enacted "snoopers' charter": For those who missed our original reports, here is the new law in a nutshell: it requires telecom companies to keep records of all users' web activity for a year, creating databases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers. Civil liberties groups say the law establishes mass surveillance of British citizens, following innocent internet users from the office to the living room and the bedroom. They are right. Which government agencies have access to the internet history of any British citizen? Here is the answer courtesy of blogger Chris Yuo, who has compiled the list
Click through to the comments to read the entire list.
Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Security Service
Secret Intelligence Service
GCHQ
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Home Office
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
Information Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust
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48 Organizations Now Have Access To Every Brit's Browsing Hstory

Comments Filter:
  • I want acess too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stooo ( 2202012 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @03:32AM (#53375653)

    I want acess too

    • by LankyBoycie ( 726969 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @03:43AM (#53375707)
      Check the list, you've probably already got it...
      • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Give it time. Someone will expose it, and I'm guessing it'll be just like the gigantic leak in S.Korea. $20 says that you'll see politicians browsing history and it'll be every banned thing that your average pleb isn't allowed to see in the UK.

        Wonder if people are going to start whining that the source article is Zerohedge though and it's "fake news" like they've posted before, when people have linked to it.

        • by Builder ( 103701 )

          I believe that politician's history may be excluded from being retained. They're thinking of the children in Westminster.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
          I think that browsing history for elected officials is in the public interest and so can probably be requested via a freedom of information act request.
          • The American congress exempted themselves from the Freedom of Information Act. I suspect the British parliament has done the same. The people making the laws have an unfair advantage here; they don't have to put up with bull that everyone else does, they just pass a law saying it doesn't apply to them. They have their own government healthcare system, their own government bank, their own private parking lot at the airport, etc. That's one of the reasons they can't relate to their constituents: they're livin
    • For a few $, I'm sure you can find some lowly underpaid clerk who has access to those databases.

      Given that possibility, I would think a lot more than just the original list will ultimately have access to that data.

  • Police state (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2016 @03:34AM (#53375659)

    'Free', democratic Britain now has the tools the Stasi could only dream of, back when the West criticised such methods.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2016 @04:42AM (#53375863)

      "Health and Safety executive", in case you're dangerously surfing websites in a way that might generate RSI in your hand.

      "Home Office" is a political office, so you can imagine the 'Brit Hillary Clinton's' emails and web history being very very useful in political campaigns.

      "GCHQ" With GCHQ information sharing agreements, Brits web history is available to Trump's boys. They promised not to spy on politicians with this, but politicians web surfing data is in that captured data (there's no way of identifying it to filter it out), and you can bet Trump will ensure only Trump brand politicians elected in Britain now.

      "Food Standards Agency", well you might order an unhealthy take away via internet, and that Chocoloate Brownie recipe is totally unhealthy... you really shouldn't be looking at that.

      • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

        I am not going to defend it but my guess is that as both the Health and Safety executive and the Food Standards Agency both have investigatory powers they have been granted access to further that aim.

        Imagine a the trail from the rollercoaster ride at Alton Towers in 2015 showed that emails where being exchanged and web searches where being done about dodging Health and Safety regulations for example.

        One can also imagine investigations about food safety from E.Coli 157 or Salmonella etc. having an internet r

      • by ( 4475953 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @07:04AM (#53376217)

        Apart from the obvious destruction of democracy, this also looks like a gigantic security hole. It depends a bit on how access is regulated, but this sure looks as if spying on Brits by foreign intelligence agencies has also become way easier than before. It's almost impossible to imagine that there are no moles or 'bad actors' in those 48 organizations, let alone inside the individual ISPs who store all this data.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          It's not a question of if, but when someone hacks one of the ISPs that has to collect this data or the organisations that has access to it. I expect scummy newspapers are looking for people with access to bribe too.

    • I would suggest they use it. Until at least its banned using some facile "terrorism" argument.

    • Well obviously the Dept of Health needs access you your browser & search history so that they can diagnose that bowel cancer you don't know about
    • 'Free', democratic Britain now has the tools the Stasi could only dream of

      At least they're doing it openly, they've got that going for them.

      Most other countries deny doing it at all.

      (and don't think for a minute that means they aren't...)

  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @03:45AM (#53375713)
    If they didn't, I guess there will be an increase in demand for such services.
    • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @04:06AM (#53375767)

      You think so eh?

      Well, they don't need to ban TOR: companies like Google and CloudFlare already make sure you can't access vast swathes of the internet from a TOR exit node. The powers that be don't need to ban TOR because it's effectively been rendered useless by unaccountable privately-owned companies.

      In short, these companies do the government's bidding and they're pretty happy to do it - which, incidentally, is a trait of Fascism.

      • Could you TOR to a VPN?
        I imagine your internet connection would run appallingly but still it would solve it, right?

        • What's the point? If it's legal to use the VPN, then you just use the VPN directly without the added latency of TOR. If it's not legal to use a VPN, then the money trail is going to cause you problems even if they can't identify your traffic specifically. I'm sure there are edge cases, but I think for most people there's just no point.

      • Is this really the case? I'm not sure about Google, but I've had to fill out way too damn many Cloudflare captchas when using Tor and I can always get to the site in the end. I can't remember a single instance of Cloudflare actually refusing access to me as a Tor user.

    • You can't ban VPN. It's a standard feature used by many businesses to access corporate networks. There's no way you could stop people from using something that's so ubiquitous on the internet.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        They could ban failure to associate your VPN with a good faith business license number.

      • by Falos ( 2905315 )
        You waste our time with your technobabble, terrorist. Those corporations could be smuggling drugbombs.

        I mean, they'll still smuggle them, and they'll still communicate. We'll just spend millions (your millions) slowing them down slightly.
  • Of course this will only be used for the betterment of mankind.
    Not at all for controlling people and hiding government crimes.
  • The IP Bill isn't law yet and ISPs are not yet recording this information (at least, they're not admitting it). It's coming though :(
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2016 @04:16AM (#53375793)

    I'm not saying there's not an issue, just that the headline "48" is a bit over-the-top.
    Of those "48" separate organizations, the following 12 are really the same, or possibly two organizations, civil and military police:
    Metropolitan police force
    City of London police force
    Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
    Police Service of Scotland
    Police Service of Northern Ireland
    British Transport Police
    Ministry of Defence Police
    Royal Navy Police
    Royal Military Police
    Royal Air Force Police
    National Crime Agency

    Then there are the spooks (GCHQ etc), and lets face it, they'll have access whatever the law says.

    What's even more worrying is the ongoing creep of police powers into non-security organizations:
    Government departments (Health, Home Office, Transport, Work & Pensions, Economy etc.)
    HM Revenue & Customs
    The NHS, fire & ambulance services

    and the really weird ones:
    Food Standards Agency
    Gambling Commission
    Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
    Health and Safety Executive
    Information Commissioner
    Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation

    I'm surprised the council litter and parking wardens aren't in there :-(

    • Council litter and parking wardens will be in the next draft. Better add the Department of Pimps and Hoes, Slum-lords Commission, Authority on Terminal Stupidity, and the Vigorous Self-Abuse Executive too, just to be safe.
      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        In Australia the animal welfare agencies ended up on the list of groups with full access to internet metadata.
    • I'm not saying there's not an issue, just that the headline "48" is a bit over-the-top...

      and the really weird ones: Food Standards Agency Gambling Commission Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority Health and Safety Executive Information Commissioner Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation

      I'm surprised the council litter and parking wardens aren't in there :-(

      Uh, just the really weird ones alone dismiss any attempts to label this list as "over the top". At least the hackers will know exactly who to target, since I strongly doubt most of their security standards are strong enough to protect it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Monday November 28, 2016 @07:51AM (#53376427) Homepage Journal

      City of London police force

      Those guys are not normal police though, they are a semi-private force that serves big businesses based in the City of London. These days their main concern seems to be shutting down web sites that businesses don't like, for example.

      The other issue with the long list of police forces is that it is very doubtful that any of them have proper safeguards in place. The current scheme is that they have to ask one of their own people if it's okay, and they said "yes" at least half a million times a year before this legislation came in.

      Government departments (Health, Home Office, Transport, Work & Pensions, Economy etc.)
      HM Revenue & Customs
      The NHS, fire & ambulance services
      Food Standards Agency
      Gambling Commission
      Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
      Health and Safety Executive
      Information Commissioner
      Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation

      In the name of catching tax dodgers and finding people at imminent risk of suicide. Doubtless most accesses will just be checking up on lovers and selling dirt to newspapers.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )

      Of those "48" separate organizations, the following 12 are really the same

      No.
      That's like saying the FBI is the same as the Secret Service.

  • and take the risk of having, sooner or later, VPN ports (or even higher layers) closed?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2016 @04:23AM (#53375817)

    How can we now criticise China, North Korea and even Zimbabwe if they do the same ?

    • Making massively over the top false equivalences doesn't help. If anything it weakens the argument.

      Is the snoopers charter bad? Yes.

      Does it make us like the places listed? No. I can still say that Theresa May is a dreadful pm with impunity. No one will arrest me. Literally nothing will happen to me as a result. That is why we are nothing like North Korea.

      • by Bongo ( 13261 )

        Making massively over the top false equivalences doesn't help. If anything it weakens the argument.

        Is the snoopers charter bad? Yes.

        Does it make us like the places listed? No. I can still say that Theresa May is a dreadful pm with impunity. No one will arrest me. Literally nothing will happen to me as a result. That is why we are nothing like North Korea.

        This is a very interesting and nuanced point. We could say, that in principle, we should not trust the government. However, if you actually take that to its full conclusion, then you end up with mafias... as nobody trusts the government and so everyone has to find their own way of enforcing contracts and order. It takes you back to tribal warlords. So actually, we do trust the government in many ways, with police and taxes and so on. The "leviathan" as some call it. So we don't simply say that the governmen

      • by DarkVader ( 121278 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @09:07AM (#53376737)

        Nothing will happen to you YET for criticizing her. Not today.

        Right now, they're just going after people for things like BDSM porn, which you probably don't like. But with no real constitution, all it takes is one bad act of Parliament and you ARE like those places. The tools are already in place.

        Keep in mind that the US Constitution with its protections of rights held above ordinary law was written because of the bad things the British were known to do.

        • Keep in mind that the US Constitution with its protections of rights held above ordinary law was written because of the bad things the British were known to do.

          That's rather one-sided. The Constitution's model was based on key British documents that blazed the trail of removing the power to restrict certain rights from the King. It went further in many areas, but it was as much following the British path as it was a rejection of British actions (it was both!).

        • Nothing will happen to you YET for criticizing her. Not today.

          In other words it won't happen. Look seriously if your draw stupid false equivalences it makes you sound like chicken little and no one will take your seriously. The snoopers charter is travesty but there's no sign at all of not being able to say the pm is awful.

          none.

          Do we need to be vigilant? Hell yes. Do you put people of the entire argument with false, over the top comparisons? Yes.

          Like I said, comparisons to North Korea don't do you any fav

          • I hardly said it won't happen. I think Britain is on a path that absolutely WILL lead to tyranny if it isn't stopped. The constitutional safeguards to prevent it aren't in place. The people are disarmed. The laws to enable it are being enacted now.

            Ignore me and the rest of us telling you this at your peril.

            • Ignore me and the rest of us telling you this at your peril.

              Well you can keep ignoring me at your peril.

              If you make dumbass false equivalencies (and comparing us to North Korea is wild hyperbole) then your arguments will fall on deaf ears. If you want people to be listen to you, then you need to be reasonable.

              It's quite clear that no one in the UK is being taken to gulags and worked and tortured to death. That is literally happening in NK. If you claim it's happening hear, people will dismiss you and your a

              • Can you not read? Because it looks like you can't.

                I am not claiming it is happening now. No one is claiming it is happening now.

                We are warning you that when things start going wrong, they can get worse very, very quickly. We are warning you that laws like this are very dangerous.

                We're not saying Britain is like North Korea. We're saying it's not impossible for that to happen, and laws like this make it more likely.

                There was a novel written a long time ago. It was written by a British man, warning about

      • They might not go after you for criticizing Theresa May, but they might take a good hard look at your internet history and discover that you've done something else illegal. Of course that was all just discovered during a routine investigation that wasn't triggered by any action on your part. Modern society has so many laws that it's utterly impossible to know whether or not you're breaking one or not.

        If you've worked enough jobs you've probably had one where someone was let go because of a number of smal
      • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @11:13AM (#53377589) Homepage

        It isn't a false equivalence: instead, you moved the goal posts.

        First, we made fun of those nations because the government spied on everyone.
        Now we spy on everyone.
        So in response, we changed the argument. We claim that it was never really the spying that was the problem, it was that they were blocking free speech.
        Next, we block free speech.
        Then we can change the argument again: It wasn't the blocking of speech that was the problem, it was that they jailed people and held them without charges.

        In the US, we've been playing this game for decades:

        We now have a special jail where we can hold people without charges (Guantanamo Bay).
        But we can move the goal posts again. We still aren't as bad as those other guys, because they do it on their own soil!
        We used to make fun of Russia for requiring paperwork to travel, now we require it.
        But it wasn't the paperwork that was the problem! It was that they had special "watch lists." Now we have them.
        But it wasn't the watch lists that were the problem! It was that they had to all be personally inspected in order to travel. Well now we do to.

        As you can see, we have already gone down the slippery slope, we merely hide it by moving the goal posts. Eventually, the next generation will grow-up expecting this kind of stuff, having never known what it was like to be free. If you find yourself saying "well, we are nothing like place XXXX" then you should pause, reflect, and see if this is the same standard you applied a decade ago.

  • Behind the times (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Australia logs all internet traffic and phone use for two years. Get with it Ukers

  • by ukoda ( 537183 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @04:45AM (#53375881) Homepage
    The articles I have seen don't mention the legality of VPNs? That would be the first thing I would do on principle. If normal VPNs get blocked then I would move to tunnelling via SSH to a proxy on a server in a free country. That is what I used to do in China. So if VPNs are blocked are they going to block SSH to? To my mind it is impossible for them to truly block users from private Internet activity unless they are prepare to do it at the expense of legal businesses, like they do in China.

    Having managed a development team in China for a couple if years I know first hand how big the disadvantage Chinese developers are at because their access to decent sources of information are block. The way the Internet is broken there seriously impacts productivity there. If Britain really wants to know what everyone is doing then the technical steps they will need to take will impact the productivity of British businesses.

    It gets tiring watching law makers passing laws with no real understanding of how technology actually works.
  • "2 links on this site have been identified by the PropOrNot propaganda identification service as repeating, echoing, or referring their audience to Russian propaganda. They are highlighted in YYYs. See propornot.com for more information."

    PropOrNot [propornot.com] says Zerohedge is a Russian shill. Therefore everything ZH says is wrong, therefore this must be a good thing.

    It's amazing how technology can be used to help me decide what to read, think, and what's true. I can now safely ignore my Critical Thinking class
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2016 @05:06AM (#53375925)

    Sign this: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173199

    If 118,000 turned up outside Parliament, they'd have a big problem, but our problem is our apathy. The government know this and are taking advantage of our lack of commitment in taking the fight (for privacy!) back to them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrbester ( 200927 )

      Protests outside Parliament were banned years ago. Not that any would make the slightest difference; a million people turned up to protest the invasion of Iraq. When that proportion of a country's population travels to the centre of a city to protest and nothing comes of it, what's the point?

  • Now that the chance of this information being leaked is close to 100%, why not just release everything to the public?
    • Also I've been thinking that they left quite a glaring hole unprotected which is SSL (VPN/Tor can be filtered quite effectively, while filtering SSL makes no sense because it renders the Internet pretty much unusable).

      An extra law must be enacted which mandates the installation of a government issued SSL certificate to properly snoop on all your communications, otherwise a single Google query makes you more or less invisible: SSL web proxy.

      But then you realize that like with all dictatorships and oppres

  • when the previous home minister became prime minister. Theresa May is behind this rabid bill, she made speech after speech claiming that it was to stop: terrorists (you don't want to be blown up on the streets do you); drug dealers (scourge of humanity); arch criminals (but we don't include bankers in this list) and paedophiles (think of the children); the same sort of emotional froth that passes for politics these days - think: Brexit, Trump/Clinton, etc.

    The main problems with this killing of privacy are t

  • British government working hard to make this [wikipedia.org] dystopian society into a reality?
  • Requiring ISPs to maintain the records for a year: That allows "retroactive" warrants, plus it imposes substantial costs on ISPs with zero recompense. That's a nasty law.

    Allowing access without any sort of judicial oversight? That's full-on, true evil.

    You know what's stranger? We just hosted a visitor from the UK. I asked him what he thought of the Snooper's Charter. He had never heard of it. Apparently, there has been relatively little discussion of this outside of the technical press.

  • If it's real find a credible source, right now I'm assuming it's fake until proven otherwise. This is about as bad as using infowars or prisonplanet as a source.

  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @07:48AM (#53376415)

    They don't have access to EVERY Brit's browsing history:

    I live overseas! Only the Americans, Russians, Chinese, Israelis, and probably North Koreans have access to my browsing history.

  • This sort of bullshit will inevitably lead to better privacy tools. Thanks government of Great Britain for not being able to see 12 months ahead. I'll bet a lot of officials grinned ear to ear over this will high-fiving each other, "We've got them now!". I just wish I could be there for the egg on face moment.
    • The population of people NOT affiliated with governments and ISPs is MUCH greater by proportion.

      That means the odds are that the brightest minds are NOT working for governments and ISPs.

      Know what's smarter than a person with a computer?

      Another person with a computer.

  • by fish_in_the_c ( 577259 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @09:21AM (#53376829)

    UK consumers begin requiring strong encryption end to end on all their electronic communications from all products they purchase, beginning a new 'no snoopers' movement that seeps the country as the 'in vogue' political cause.

  • Hstory repeats itself.

    I'm not usually a grammar nazi, but History isn't a difficult word and it is the title of the submission "48 Organizations Now Have Access To Every Brit's Browsing Hstory"

    - just sayin.

  • Years ago I used to run a perl script that used a few words (from the 'words' file) and made a Google search out of them. I then fetched a random number of the pages on the results it got.

    Might be time to dust that off again.

  • 48 organizations now understand what Rule 34 means.

  • So, that one time you got drunk, and wondered "What's Autofellatio" and typed it into Google? Yep, that's why that Traffic Cop is looking at you funny. He's not judging, just trying to picture you blowing yourself.

  • Hmmmm..... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MitchDev ( 2526834 ) on Monday November 28, 2016 @11:04AM (#53377529)

    Sounds like time for a script that hits a new URL every few seconds (as an add-in for when you aren't using your browser).

    Time to flood these scumbags with so much useless data they drown to death in it...

    • Time to flood these scumbags with so much useless data they drown to death in it...

      Good idea. You can have some fun while you do it as well.

      Flagger is a browser add-on that automatically puts red flag keywords (like bomb, Taliban and anthrax) into the web addresses you visit. Install Flagger to make a statement: government surveillance has gone too far.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-... [mozilla.org]

  • Well, I wasn't expecting Great Britain to be the first one to fall, but it's not too off the mark with all the policies around public cameras and such...

    It'll only take the first leaks on politicians who decided to go for this, leaks around powerful corporation CEOs, general governmental leaks, blackmailing, database hacking of ISPs or those agencies, plus a whole bunch of problems that can and probably will happen from now on for them to regret it. It'll be too late by then, but you know how it goes.

    It's a

  • Cops always have access to the best porn!

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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