Tag: cameron

Cameron advisor wants ISPs to spy for studios

Mike_WeatherleyDavid “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron’s top internet advisor has suggested that ISPs spy on their customers to work out which are downloading pirated content.

Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron also wants ISPs to censor the Internet better.

According to his report, ISPs have a moral obligation to do more against online piracy.

One would think that Weatherley would have worked out that sort of thing did not work very well. He has previously suggested that search engines should blacklist pirate sites which does not seem to have changed much.

So going “more draconian” seems to be Weatherley’s answer. The just-released 18-page report stresses that these companies have a moral obligation to tackle copyright infringement and can’t stand idly by.

The report uses information which has been helpfully provided by people with a history of providing accurate and not at all misleading figures – the pro-copyright groups including the MPAA, BPI, and the Music Publishers Association.

It offers various recommendations for the UK Government and the EU Commission to strengthen their anti-piracy policies.

One of the key points is to motivate Internet services and providers to filter content proactively. According to the report it’s feasible to “filter out infringing content” and to detect online piracy before it spreads.

“There should be an urgent review, by the UK Government, of the various applications and processes that could deliver a robust automated checking process regarding illegal activity being transmitted,” Weatherley said.

Weatherley added that ISPs should not just remove the content they’re asked to, but also police their systems to ensure that similar files are removed, permanently.

“ISSPs to be more proactive in taking down multiple copies of infringing works, not just the specific case they are notified of,” he said.

This type of filtering is already used by YouTube, which takes down content based on fingerprint matches. However, the report suggests that regular broadband providers could also filter infringing content.

Weatherley also said that protecting the rights of copyright holders has priority over a “no monitoring” principle that would ensure users’ privacy. If the monitoring is done right.

“There is also the question as to whether society will want to have their private activities monitored (even if automatically and entirely confidentially) and whether the trade off to a safer, fairer internet is a price worth paying to clamp down on internet illegal activity. My ‘vote’ would be “yes” if via an independent body.”

Cameron told to sling his hook on Tor

David CameronMonths after Prime Minister David “One is an Ordinary Bloke” Cameron said he wants to ban encryption and online anonymity, a Parliamentary report has told him to shutup.

A briefing issued by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology saying that the such an act is “neither acceptable nor technically feasible” which is about as close as you can get to telling Cameron to shut up short of a coup and a guillotine.

The briefing specifically referenced the Tor anonymity network and its ability to slide right around such censorship schemes.

While briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology are not legally binding it does mean that if Cameron pushes through any censorship bill it will be without the science behind him.

The briefing does explicitly state that there is “widespread agreement” banning Tor is not acceptable policy nor is it feasible technologically.

Tor has about 100,000 users at any given moment within the United Kingdom.

“There is widespread agreement that banning online anonymity systems altogether is not seen as an acceptable policy option in the UK,” the briefing explained. “Even if it were, there would be technical challenges.”

In 2012, UK police moaned that the Tor anonymity service was used by “many” pedophiles in order to trade child abuse images. However now it appears that they have changed their minds.

The briefing, quoting Britain’s Parliament by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) of the UK National Crime Agency said that Tor “plays only a minor role in the online viewing and distribution of indecent images of children,” according to the briefing,

Coppers have worked out that Tor is less popular among offenders because it decreases the speed at which images can be downloaded.

UK considers copying US on piracy

stupid cameronThe UK government is so impressed that the US has managed to increase piracy while locking up so much of its pirates it thinks it might try it.

Current thinking in David “One is an ordinary bloke” Cameron’s cabinet is that piracy crimes happen because the penalties are too light. And  the US where P2P pirates face huge sentences for getting caught, has no problem with pirates at all.

A new Intellectual Property Office (IPO) report reveals that many major rightsholders believe criminal sanctions for copyright infringement available under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) should be a lot tougher.

While the Digital Economy Act 2010 increased financial penalties up to a maximum of £50,000, in broad terms the main ‘offline’ copyright offenses carry sentences of up to 10 years in jail while those carried out online carry a maximum of ‘just’ two.

In 2014, Mike Weatherley MP, then IP advisor to the Prime Minister, said that this disparity “sends all the wrong messages”, a position that was supported by many major rightsholders. The current report examines data from 2006 to 2013 alongside stakeholder submissions, both for and against a change in the law.

It is important that you understand some of the language here. The word “stakeholder” actually means wealthy movie or recording studio which wants the government to tackle copyright infringement so it does not pay for it. Asking them if they think P2P pirates should receive tougher penalties is like asking UKZIP if Romanians should be sent home. In fact if you asked the stakeholders, “do you think that P2P pirates should be publically hung, drawn and quartered and boiled in oil?” they would nod enthusiastically.

“Many industry bodies argue that higher penalties are necessary and desirable and that there is no justification for treating physical and online crime differently. Other stakeholders suggest that these offenses are in fact different, and raise concerns about a possible ‘chilling effect’ on innovation,” the report reads.

But the report actually seemed to lean away from tougher penalties.

Court data from 2006-2013 reveals that prosecutions under the CDPA have actually been going down and that online offenses actually constitute “a small, and apparently decreasing, fraction of copyright prosecution activity as a whole.”

The Crown Prosecution Service didn’t bring a single case under the online provisions of the CDPA 1988 during the period examined.

This lack of case law is problematic by the Federation Against Copyright Theft. ACT has stepped away from public prosecutions under copyright law in order to pursue private prosecutions, because of this problem.

But making sentences tougher causes another problem. The Open Rights Group is worried that overly aggressive punishments that not only have the potential to affect those operating on the boundaries, but also those seeking to innovate.

In other words a person working on a new sharing technology which pushes the boundaries of current legality might face themselves being jailed for years.

“Many internet innovators, prosumers, online creative communities that create non-profit derivative works, fandom producers, etc. All these people – many of whom technically breach copyright in their activities – could find themselves facing prison sentences if making available carried a maximum sentence of ten years.”


Obama joins British calls for encryption back-doors

 revolutionPresident Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David “One is an Ordinary Bloke” Cameron are singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to the matter of encryption.

Obama has issued a statement that he can’t see why police and spies should not be locked out of encrypted smartphones and messaging apps.  Clearly he has not been paying much attention to the Snowden affair where it appears that the lack of encryption gave US and UK snoops huge powers over the lives of the great unwashed, while not making much difference to terrorists or criminals.

Apple, Google  and Facebook  have introduced encrypted products in the past half year that the companies say they could not unscramble, even if faced with a search warrant. That’s prompted vocal complaints from spy chiefs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

In fact Obama’s comments came after two days of meetings with Cameron, and were made with his loyal lapdog at his side.

“If we find evidence of a terrorist plot… and despite having a phone number, despite having a social media address or email address, we can’t penetrate that, that’s a problem,” Obama said.

He insisted that US tech-giants are on the side of the spooks.

He said that “They’re patriots.”  Standing next to a British Prime Minister claiming that people who are publically claiming they are working to stop UK and US spooks are actually working for them is a hugely ironic piece of disinformation.

Google, Apple and Microsoft have spent a fortune encrypting links to their networks to keep “tyranny” out. If they are patriots then they are unlikely to side with the British, if US history is anything to go by.

In the US, governments have long been able to access the contents of electronic communication, including phone calls, consumer email and social media, with warrants, through wiretaps and from technology companies themselves.

But the law that governs these practices is dated and doesn’t mandate tech firms incorporate such features into modern apps.

The president wants a technical way to keep information private, but ensure that police and spies can listen in when a court approves. He is on a hiding to no-where with this one. Bill Clinton tried for a “clipper chip” that would allow only the government to decrypt scrambled messages.

Security experts have long argued such systems would tigger anti-hacking tools, leaving computers exposed. An encryption algorithm with a master key, it is inherently weaker because it’s possible for an outsider to steal that master key and crack the code.

What is worrying about this particular transatlantic accord is that the UK is more likely to get it into law than the US.

Security experts have warned that you can’t have secure systems with backdoors and that if you bring in such rules you will be making it easier for terrorists to take control of systems.


UK pledges to increase snooping with US

spyThe UK and the US are using the massacres in Paris as a pretext for “increasing co-operation” on snooping on internet users.

Prime Minister David “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron said the two countries will set up “cyber cells” to share intelligence and conduct simulated attacks to test the defences of organisations such as banks.

Cameron is visiting Washington to tell them how to sort out their economy and security, and is due to have a second meeting with President Barack Obama today.

Cameron said that the two countries had  hugely capable cyber defences and the expertise and that is why they  should set up cyber cells on both sides of the Atlantic to share information, Cameron said.

The cooperation between Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency and the US National Security Agency will include joint war games, with the UK providing the Games Workshop figures and the US providing the rules, the polyhedral dice and the joints.

The first exercise later this year to involve the Bank of England and commercial banks in both the City of London and Wall Street. It is not clear who will be exercising but if you ask any bankers we have seen to do a push up the body bag count will be high.

“This is a real signal it is time to step up the efforts and to do more,” said Cameron.

The British leader said he also planned to discuss with Obama how the two countries could work more closely with big Internet companies such as Facebook and Google to monitor communications between terror suspects. This is of course something that Facebook and Google want nothing to do with, so chances are he will be talking about bringing in laws to force them.

One thing Cameron has not answered is that if the UK and US have such wonderful cyber ability and resources, how did the Paris attacks actually happen? It seems that the more snooping powers that the UK and the US demand, the less effect it has on the goal of preventing terrorism.

Cameron wants to read all internet communication

stupid cameronBritish Prime Minister David “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron is insisting that he should be allowed to read any internet communication on the planet.

Cameron claims that there are places on the world wide wibble where terrorists can hide and he wants a  “comprehensive piece of legislation” to close the “safe spaces”. To do this he wants authorities to be able to access the details of communications and their content.

Apparently all the surveillance powers Cameron already has were not enough to stop an attack similar to the one which happened in Paris taking place in Blighty.

Mr Cameron said the recent attacks in Paris showed the need for such a move and he said he was comfortable that it was appropriate in a “modern liberal democracy”.  After all he and his chums will not be snooped on.

Speaking at an event in the East Midlands, Cameron said he recognised such powers were “very intrusive” but he believed that they were justified to counter the growing threat to the UK, as long as proper legal safeguards were in place.

The coalition introduced emergency legislation last year to maintain internet and phone companies’ obligation to store their customers’ personal communications data and to give access to the police.

But an attempt to extend these powers to include internet browsing history and social media sites were dropped following opposition from the Liberal Democrats.

Legislation would be needed to allow for “more modern forms of communication.”

He would also legislate in the “more contentious” area of the content of these online communications. There should be no “means of communication” which “we cannot read,” he said.

Previous governments had backed away from going down such a route, Cameron said, but he believed this would have to change so that, “in extremis,” such material could be obtained with a signed warrant from the home secretary.

It looks like voting him out will not get rid of such a law either — Labour leader Ed Miliband said it was important for security services to “keep up to date with technology” but said it had to be “done in the right way”, with “basic liberties” protected.

“That’s why we said there needs to be an independent look at these issues, to make recommendations about what needs to be changed for the future,” he added.

In other words, it is not fair you letting Cameron look at your emails I want a peek too.

Liberal Democrat Civil Liberties Minister Simon Hughes said he would not support “blanket powers” that would take away the liberties of “innocent civilians.”

What no one seems to be understanding is that if any government brings in laws the terrorists will work out a way to avoid them and it will be ordinary people who cannot get around the laws who will lose their privacy.


Cameron’s porn filter deletes other sites too

stupid cameronBritish Prime Minister David “One is an Ordinary Bloke” Cameron’s porn filter is being used to purge the internet of a few sites that he does not want British people to see.

The alarm call was sounded by the German hacker site the Chaos Computer Club over the weekend which noticed that its site had been blocked in the UK.

Vodafone customers were also being stopped from accessing the ticket sales to this year’s Chaos Communication Congress.

The group claims that its sites were on a list which censors the open internet. These internet filters, authorised by Prime Minister David Cameron, are implemented by UK’s major internet service providers (ISPs) were supposed to stop porn from falling into the hands of children. But it appears that the list has been extended to include material deemed “extremist”.

Users can opt-out of censorship, or bypass it by technical means, but only a minority of users know how to bypass those filters.

Chaos points out that accessing its server directly via appears to work quite well, thereby rendering the censorship efforts useless.

CCC-spokesperson Dirk Engling said that he saw this as proof that censorship infrastructure – no matter for which reasons it was set up, and no matter which country you are in – will always be abused for political reasons

Tories blame ISPs for Sony hack

Mike_WeatherleyEver willing to blame ISPs for any problems in the world, the UK’s Tory government say ISPs are behind the Sony hack.

The Tories are trying to get ISPs to act as unpaid censors to stop anything that someone with a blue rinse might not want to see on the internet.  The ISPs have told them that they can’t be responsible for everything that appears on the internet, so the Tories are trying to convince the world that they really are.

Last week Prime Minster David Cameron claimed that the ISPs were responsible for terrorism because websites from terror groups could be found online.  Before that he claimed they were responsible for child porn, for similar reasons.

Now as the fallout from the Sony hack continues, the UK Prime Minister’s former IP advisor, as “facilitators” web-hosts and ISPs must step up and take some blame.

You would think that someone who advises a Prime Minister about the internet might actually know a little bit about it, but clearly Mike Weatherley MP does not have a clue.

He claims that the ISPs are encouraging internet piracy by allowing stolen films to go down their tubes.

“Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others’ Intellectual Property,” Weatherley wrote.

“Unfortunately, the theft of these films – and their subsequent downloads – has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.”

Of course Cameron’s internet adviser can’t provide detail on precisely why web hosts and ISPs should take responsibility for the work of malicious hackers.  Particularly when these ones appear to be state sponsored.

His theory is that something must be done and it is the ISPs who must do it. Of course he could equally have blamed the Prime Minister’s cat and come up with a more viable reason.

It is also tricky because in the UK almost every major torrent site is already blocked by ISPs.  So in this case it is just Weatherley opening his mouth and letting the wind blow his tongue around.

Cameron claims that ISPs are protecting terrorists

stupid cameronUK Prime Minister David “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron has been claiming that ISPs are responsible for the deaths of fusilier Lee Rigby.

Responding to a report by the intelligence and security committee, Cameron said that internet companies are allowing their networks to be used to plot “murder and mayhem”.

He demanded that internet companies live up to their social responsibilities to report potential terror threats and said there was no reason for such firms to be willing to cooperate with state agencies over child abuse but not over combatting terrorism, or anything else that he might not happen to likethat week.

The parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) concluded that the brutal murder of Rigby could have been prevented if a US internet company had passed on an online exchange in which one of the killers expressed “in the most graphic terms” his intention to carry out an Islamist jihadi attack.

However Cameron’s blaming the ISPs was probably more to cover up for the fact that the agencies had made a cock-up in their monitoring of Rigby’s murderers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.  He focused on a comment which said that if MI5 had had access to the exchange between one of the killers, Adebowale, and an extremist overseas, Adebowale would have become a top surveillance priority. By failing to alert the authorities, the company had, “however unintentionally,” provided a “safe haven for terrorists.”

The report did say that MI6 and MI5 had made errors but that the murder would have happened even if the errors had not.

This is one of the problems – terrorists are darn hard to spot at the best of times and these two were known as self-starter terrorists, whose connection with other terrorist groups is slight. The report says the two men appeared between them in seven different agency investigations but were for the most part regarded as low-level subjects of interest.

“Adebolajo was a high priority for MI5 during two operations: they put significant effort into investigating him and employed a broad range of intrusive techniques. None of these revealed any evidence of attack planning,” the report said.

Adebowale was never more than a low-level subject of interest and the agencies took appropriate action based on the rigorous threshold set down in law: they had not received any intelligence that Adebowale was planning an attack and, based on that evidence, more intrusive action would not have been justified.

However Cameron said there was no possible justification for US internet providers not to inform agencies of terrorist activity since they already cancelled the accounts of suspected terrorists.

This summer, the government updated its legislation to require internet companies to cooperate with the state and report potential terrorist activity, but he said the level of cooperation was not satisfactory, mostly because of a reluctance for ISPs to be involved with what would be a police state.

Given that the ISP in this case was based in the US, it would have been incredibly unlikely that Cameron cracking down on UK ISPs would have made the slightest difference.

However, he admitted there was legal uncertainty about the duty of internet companies based in the US to cooperate with UK agencies due to conflicting laws in the US.

“There were errors in these operations, where processes were not followed, decisions not recorded, or delays encountered. However, we do not consider that any of these errors, taken individually, were significant enough to have made a difference,” the report says.

Cameron: Free speech turns you into a radical

stupid cameronBritish Prime Minister David “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron has come up with a new reason to censor the internet – he thinks that all this free speech radicalises you.

Cameron said that people were not radicalised by poverty or foreign policy, but by free speech online.

What is a little spooky is that deranged ravings like this are being backed by the UK’s major Internet service providers – BT, Virgin, Sky and Talk Talk – have this week committed to host a public reporting button for terrorist material online, similar to the reporting button which allows the public to report child sexual exploitation.

They have also promised that any terrorist and extremist material is captured by their filters to prevent children and young people being radicalised.

Of course it is based on the premise that people are so stupid that they only have to read something on the internet to want to start cutting off people’s heads in the name of Allah.

The other problem is that while images of sexually exploited children are obvious, what makes for extremist or “terrorist” material, on the other hand, is almost subjective. Personally I think anyone who calls for the abolition of free speech is a terrorist, but I doubt I would get much support from shutting down the Tory Party website.

Cameron said:  “we should not allow the internet to be an ungoverned space.” But regulation and rules do not automatically create a panacea. The human body works rather well without being legislated by government, and no one thinks that it would be better off if it were told how many beats per minute the heart ticked. In fact legislating the internet has as much point as criminalising aneurisms. No matter how many laws you have, they will still happen, and the internet will find ways around any rules.

However, what Cameron fails to get is that allowing people to speak their minds is one of the reasons we are supposed to be different from the terrorists in the first place. Radicalisation is born of ignorance of truth and a rebellion against perceived controls. Creating more ignorance and more controls is only playing into the hands of those you disagree with.

Cameron is refusing to look at the root causes of radicalisation, which would be something far less simple and more entrenched than reading something on the internet. Radicalisation is more likely to be caused by the very alienation and isolation which these sorts of moves engender. Cameron insists it can’t possibly be poverty or UK foreign policy:

“And let us be frank,” said David Cameron. “It’s not poverty, though of course our nations are united in tackling deprivation wherever it exists. It’s not exclusion from the mainstream. Of course we have more to do but we are both successful multicultural democracies where opportunities abound.

“And it’s not foreign policy. I can show you examples all over the world where British aid and British action have saved millions of Muslim lives, from Kosovo to Syria – but that is not exactly the real point. In our democracies, we must never give in to the idea that disagreeing with a foreign policy in any way justifies terrorist outrages.”

He claims the root cause is an “extremist narrative,” while ignoring that for such a story to be accepted it has to have a fertile soil for seed to be planted. By blaming extremist preachers and the Internet Cameron is avoiding how responsible he is for creating the problem.

If you would like to see your ISP install a David Cameron button so you can report instances of Cameronism we suggest you write to your local MP. If we are going to have censorship, we might as well censor those who would censor us.

British people tell Cameron to stick his net filters

David CameronWhile the British Prime Minister David “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron is adamant that people want their internet censored by him to “protect their children” the population of Blighty is telling him where to shove it.

Broadband customers are overwhelmingly choosing not to use parental-control systems foisted on ISPs by the government. Take-up in the single digits for three of the four major broadband providers even though many have to opt into an uncensored internet.

An Ofcom report has revealed that the vast majority of new customers are not opting for the filters and the whole thing was an expensive waste of time.

Only five percent of new BT customers signed up, eight percent opted in for Sky and four per cent for Virgin Media. TalkTalk rolled out a parental-control system two years before the government required it and has had much better take-up of its offering, with 36 per cent of customers signing up for it.

Ofcom said about 40 percent of British homes would likely have children in them, but noted that customer demographics varied by ISP. BT said about 20-25 percent of its customer base has children “of a relevant age.”

Ofcom noted that previous research showed about 42 percent of British homes with children already had parental controls of some sort before the rollout. BT noted that about nine percent of its customers – which it said works out to 40 percent of its customers with young children use a device-based filter rather than the network-level filter.

In other words, those who wanted to “protect the children” had already done it and did not need any help from David Cameron. Probably these same people hire baby sitters and do not leave their children in pubs when they want a quiet night in.

Ofcom admitted that filters are easily ignored, but suggests it requires a “dedicated and technically competent user, supported by a range of advice available online”. Actually you can get around some of the filters can be dodged by using basic proxy services, including Google Images or Google translate.

All up, it is looking like most people do not want to be protected by David Cameron and are ignoring his attempts to censor what they watch.