Clive Robinson October 8, 2008 7:47 AM

It sometimes gives me pause to think why on earth people with secrets to keep (ie all of us) should trust a third party with whom we effectivly have no trust relationship with.

Skype like RIM and many others to come are just taking the “40 pieces of silver” and allowing their customers to be evesdroped on as a price of doing business…

The moral is either assume you are always being monitored, or take your oun security precautions and then assume you are still being monitored.

Is it paranoid to think this way?

No it is part and parcle of free market economics.

Matt Simmons October 8, 2008 8:25 AM

I just work on the assumption that if I’m on the internet, I’m being monitored.

With the amount of time I spend at where, where monitoring is specifically permitted, and the amount of time in hotels (unsecured wireless) and various other hot spots (unsecured wireless), you’ve got to watch what you do.

Of course, at home, who’s to say your internet traffic isn’t redirected to a filter? If the previous actions of the large telecom companies are any indication, just assume that unless you’ve got an encrypted tunnel, you’re under surveillance.

Of course, if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about cough cough

dot tilde dot October 9, 2008 2:52 AM

hey james, that’s a good one. better than my usual “nothing to hide? get naked then!”


supersnail October 9, 2008 2:56 AM

Its not like the Peoples Republic of China are doing this covertly.

If you are in China you absolutly know when CNN are broadcasting an article critical of the Chinese governement — the TV screen goes blank and reappears when more acceptable content is broadcast.

Clive Robinson October 9, 2008 4:23 AM

@ Matt, James, Dot tild dot,

“Of course, if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about cough cough

Asside from the old barister trick of missdirecting a jury (prove you don’t…) the Police have latched onto the idea of how “technology” can make inoccent people appear guilty of whatever they decide.

It works this way,

In London most people have mobile phones, credit cards, travel cards, store loyalty cards and ID/Key cards or “punch in” etc.

All of these leave a nice audit trail of not only of when but where you have been.

Most inoccent people cannot tell you without the assistance of supporting documentation (Diary / recipts / itemised billing etc). accept in the very broadest of terms where they have been and when. If it is more than a week ago let alone a month or a year most have absoulutly no chance unless it involves a regular activity or they had some cause to remember it.

In the past you had a right not to self incriminate yourself (ie not to say anything). This unfortunatly does not apply in the U.K. Any more it’s now “You have the right to remain silent, however if you do not say something that you later reley on in court…”. Basicaly it can be used to make a jury think you invented it.

So now comes the interesting bit, contry to what most people belive since RIPA and 9/11 & 7/7 the authorities have little if no difficulty in getting access to these audit trails (just asking in the right way in a lot of cases).

And in some cases such as logs of transportation usage there is noproblem at all they can get a list of people who could have been in the area.

Now if you are a criminal you are probably aware of this so can take the appropriate steps to ensure you have a story backed up by several audit trails…

But as an inoccent person you would have no need to do such things. The Police however can put preasure on you saying “we have a witness who can put you at the scene and saw you using your phone” etc. If you are not wise to this then with your natural uncertainty and a few other prompts from the police you may well become very scared. Now if you are a vulnerable person you may end up saying things just to try and get yourself out of it, and so you start on a long slippery slope that makes you look guilty.

The only way out of it is to keep asking for representation before you will alow yourself to be interviewed. And make sure you actually get somebody you know, and say as little as possible even then untill you have had time to use the audit trails so you know atleast the what where and when yourself.

Oh and if you think it’s a little fancifull, the “criminal hoodies” have already started swaping travel cards and mobile phones to cover each other.

Oh and the other way might have been to keep an electronic diary or some such with maybe some encryption, but guess what under RIPA you do not have the right to withold this. It is now questionable if “Priveledged information” (as described in PACE84 section 14) even applies any longer…

Do you honestly think I'd use my real name? October 9, 2008 7:51 AM

Of course I have nothing to hide. The police/prosecutor/unnamed national security agency searched. Since the experts couldn’t find anything, obviously, it doesn’t exist.

TheFinn October 15, 2008 9:56 AM

NSA spies on U.S. citizens in America, and Google collects probably nearly as much information about people as NSA does (ok, a little exaggeration perhaps).

Anyway…according to some other article I read it was Skype that spied on the users, not the Chinese government:

Idiotic because the Skype CEO had initially been “surprised” about the news. What a liar.

In any case this news article sounds similar to the one about the UN workgroup: headline saying something about China spying or wanting to restrict freedom, but reality is that the story involves other players.

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