SNP Data Gathering Hypocrisy

Like almost every millennial, Mhairi Black was tweeting nonsense last night. Her target? The very standard Tory operation to gather data on sympathetic voters. Linking to a CCHQ-run website calledGet Brexit Done – Tell your MP to back an election, Black wrote:

“The Tories have launched a data mining website called get-brexit-done.com

Under the giant SEND button there’s then some tiny text explaining that by clicking the giant send button, you’re consenting to CCHQ emailing you everything they’re up to, which seems dubious at best.”

SNP MPs and MSP piled in on the shocking discovery, condemning the non-branded data mining and the emails it sent to remain MPs. The same MPs who, until 2018, were responsible for a website called www.ref.scot – a totally unbranded website bar a tiny sentence at the bottom saying it was promoted by the SNP.

The SNP also have six campaigns running on their own party’s website, which similarly collect your name, email address and postcode once you press SEND. The greatest hypocrisy, however, is the SNP criticising the Tories’ data strategy, when only one year ago they were found out to have been buying data on British voters from NationBuilder for seven years – a company accused by Facebook of violating its users’ privacy.

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Surely Shameless Shami Won’t Sellout on Surveillance

shami2

All eyes on Labour’s new Shadow Attorney General when the House of Lords votes on Theresa May’s Investigatory Powers Bill this week. Last year, when she was a principled defender of civil liberties as director of Liberty, Shami strongly opposed the Snooper’s Charter. She said last November:

“Our every move is already tracked by CCTV cameras, but if the draft Investigatory Powers Bill becomes law, we won’t be safe from the prying eyes of the government and the police.”

In February she added:

“The Government needs to pause, take stock and redraft. The case for unprecedented powers to bulk hack, intercept and collect our private data has not been made.”

Labour are now briefing that Shami will follow the whip and abstain on the vote this week. Is there anything Baroness Chakrabarti won’t say or do in exchange for her gong?

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MPs Emails’ Accessed by GCHQ

MPS EMAILS HACKED THERESA MAY

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
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Snoopers’ Charter Explained: All Your Data

SNOOPERS

Big Brother Watch have released a series of fact sheets explaining the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill, better known as the Snooper’s Charter. The principal areas of note are as follows:

Internet Connection Records: • Telecommunication Services will be asked to keep a log of all of our online activity for 12 months.

• Every website you visit and the time, location and information about your device will be stored.

• ICRs will be used on production of a warrant by the police, intelligence agencies and other organisations including HMRC and the NHS.

• There are no specific requirements regarding how securely the information must be held.

Equipment Interference: • Your computer, phone or tablet could be made vulnerable by malicious software.

• You will never know if you have been the target of a hack.

• Even if you are not hacked a business or organisation you have innocent dealings with may be the target of a hack.

Communications Data

• Whenever you make a call, send a text, send an email or go online you create communications data.

• Your communications data can reveal every aspect of your online life.

• The Government wants Telecommunication Services to keep all your communications data for 12 months.

• The police, the tax man, the NHS and local councils can all request access to your communications data.

Interception: • Interception is the process of spying on texts, emails and internet activity or the listening in on telephone calls.

• Targeted intercept is specific, bulk intercept is broad.

• Without an indication of who bulk interception will be used against, anyone who uses the internet or a telephone could be vulnerable to their data being looked at or listened to.

• Any evidence gathered through intercept cannot be used in a court of law. It can only be used as part of a secret investigation.

Bulk Personal Datsets: • Bulk personal datasets are files of information on all UK citizens.

• Very little detail is provided about what datasets can be requested and used.

• BPDs contain information and details about people not suspected of terrorism or crime.

• The Home Secretary will sign warrants for use, Judicial Commissioners will only have the opportunity to review the decision.

Authorisation:• The Home Secretary already signs an average of 6 warrants a day on top of her other Ministerial duties.

• The “double lock” is more of a “rubber stamp” as the decision to authorise a warrant will be made by a Secretary of State and the Judicial Commissioner will only “review” the decision.

• We will be the only country in the “Five Eyes” alliance which will not have true independent authorisation. • Judicial authorisation rather than review will prevent any political abuse of the warrantry process.

Warrants: • A warrant is needed before any of the powers can be used.

• The detail of a warrant, including the operational purpose can be changed after a warrant has been approved sometimes without any further approval.

• Each request must be seen to be“necessary and proportionate”, but these terms are broad and open to interpretation.

Big brother is hacking…

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How Much of Your Browsing History Will Spooks Be Able to See?

Readers shouldn’t buy the spin of a Theresa May climbdown on the Snoopers’ Charter over the weekend. The Investigatory Powers Bill still leaves significant scope for snooping. The list of what spooks will still be able to do is chilling…

  • GCHQ will be able to see which websites you’ve visited, without a warrant. If they want to see which individual webpages you have viewed they will need permission from a judge. That means they will know if you’ve logged on to Order-Order.com, but will need a warrant to see what pages on the site you visited.
  • Tech firms will have also have to keep records of your social media activity for 12 months, documenting when you sent emails and when you connected to social media sites.
  • Spies can still search the internet and social media activity of everyone in the UK if they obtain a warrant. This means that whilst spies can see you went on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc, and which device you used to do it, a warrant will be required to read your private messages.

Forget the talk of ‘curbs’, ‘restrictions’ and ‘climbdowns’, spooks are being given massive access to your browsing history…

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GCHQ Can Snoop on Politicians

gchq-always-listening-to-our-customers

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the only judicial body with the power to investigate MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, has ruled today that it’s completely fine for spooks to snoop on the communications of MPs. The ruling lays firmly to rest any pretence that the Wilson Doctrine – the principle that MPs’ and peers’ phones should not be tapped, holds any water with GCHQ. If it ever really did…

“We do not accept that the Wilson Doctrine was ever absolute. The policy or general policy of which Mr Wilson spoke was one of not tapping the telephones of Members of Parliament. It seems unlikely to us that such policy, particularly once RIPA was passed by Parliament, with its statutory justification for warrants by reference to the necessity for the interests of national security or the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime etc , was intended to rule out any tapping of such telephones or other similar direct surveillance and certainly not any incidental interception. It is difficult to see how there could be an absolute policy which would rule out interception of any communications with parliamentarians, as opposed to a policy relating to those involving confidential communications with constituents etc.”

Maybe MPs will be more interested now they know all their calls, texts and emails are being logged…

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