MPs Emails’ Accessed by GCHQ


MPs voting on the Snooper’s Charter next week might be swayed to oppose Theresa May’s anti-privacy laws by the revelation that GCHQ are already accessing their emails. New documents released by Edward Snowden show GCHQ not only intercepts MPs’ communications – it also scans them in bulk using security software installed to supposedly filter spam emails. GCHQ has been able to skirt around strict rules governing the interception of internal UK communications due to parliament’s decision to switch to Microsoft Office for its email service. This means private emails sent by MPs are routed through servers in Ireland and the Netherlands, with each one being scanned and recorded by GCHQ. MPs should remember they’re governed by the laws they create…

H/T Computer Weekly

Privacy International Launch Legal Bid Against GCHQ


Civil Liberty group Privacy International have today filed a legal claim against GCHQ, demanding that the government spooks stop collecting data from those who are not suspected of committing a crime. The existence of “Bulk Personal Datasets” that contain “personal information about a wide range of people” was revealed in Intelligence and Security committee report released in March.

The complaint was filed to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate GCHQ. For the first time this year, the IPT ordered the Cheltenham spooks to destroy illegally obtained documents. Let’s hope they’ve started a precedent…

Encryption Company Heads to Switzerland to Flee NSA


Philip Zimmermann, the creator of the world’s most popular email encryption software, has relocated his company Silent Circle from the US to Switzerland in an effort to avoid America’s spy agencies. Silent Circle, who are best known for their encrypted Blackphone, have been fighting an ongoing battle to keep their encryption services safe from the NSA. They even pre-emptively shuttered their secure email service Silent Mail to avoid being ordered to hand over customer data.

Silent Circle’s move comes amid rumours that there could be an exodus of UK tech companies if Digital Dave pushes ahead with plans to clamp down on encryption. Will we ever see a British Snapchat?

LibDems Promise to “End Online Privacy”

lib dems

The LibDems were forced to make a swift apology yesterday after an email sent to supporters promised to “end online privacy.” Thanks for clearing that up

Green Manifesto Sound on Surviellance

The Greens’ manifesto is out and despite its quirks, Techno is pleased to report that the tree-hugging hippies are pretty sound on one issue – digital rights. Highlights include:

  • Opposition to all all secret unaccountable mass surveillance replace RIPA
  • Replace the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act
  • Strengthen data protection laws
  • Oppose the sale of personal data from health or tax records
  • Support Open Standards in IT

Unsurprisingly there are some more outlandish digital policies including a pledge to “prevent patents applying to software.” Good luck with that…

Digital Dave Wings Policy

cameron obama

Digital Dave might have jetted off to the US to try and sign up his bro Obama to his crusade to outlaw encrypted communications, but it seems that the PM hasn’t been reading his Government’s own policy.

A key objective of The Cabinet Office’s UK Cyber Security Strategy (updated in December) is to “to help shape an open, vibrant and stable cyberspace that supports open societies” by ensuring “members of the public know what they can do to protect themselves, and are demanding good cyber security in the products and services they consume”. IE using encryption…

In fact the Home Office funded CyberStreetWise blog advises people to use encrypted websites when buying and selling online.

“It’s always best to use a major site which will use ‘https://’, this means they protect the information you send across their website. It’s easy to spot too, just look for ‘https://’ at the beginning of the web address and a little green padlock at the top of your browser.”

It’s almost as if the PM doesn’t know what he’s talking about…


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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”


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