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The Communications Data Bill - probably the worst bill to be proposed by Government

I suppose I have a disadvantage when considering legislation relating to the internet. Perhaps I know too much about how things work. There are still traces on the internet of work I did on https in 1995. Although the allocation of the port 465 for an SSL implementation of SMTP was provided by IANA at my request as you can see from This page this was made defunct later by the introduction of STARTTLS which is to be fair a much more port efficient way of dealing with encryption for email.

The Joint Committee on the Draft Bill produced a report. I have now read the report. In that report it says:

297. The Home Office knows that not all overseas CSPs will comply with retention notices. It is for this reason that the notices issued under clause 1 may require United Kingdom CSPs to keep third party data traversing their networks. United Kingdom CSPs are rightly very nervous about these provisions. The Home Office has given an oral commitment to United Kingdom CSPs that the Home Secretary will invoke the third party provisions only after the original data holder has been approached and all other avenues have been exhausted. The Home Office has also given a commitment that no CSP will be asked to store or decrypt encrypted third party data. These commitments should be given statutory force.

Note the emboldened penultimate paragraph. I personally don't try to ensure that my mail and internet accesses are encrypted. However, I do deal with people who are "on the run" as a result of nonsensical decisions by the family courts in the UK - I am dealing with quite a few cases at the moment. You cannot trust the state to make rational decisions all the time. Hence giving too much power to the state is dangerous.

It remains, however, that I don't think that modern encryption is that easy to break. I don't think it is practically possible within a sensible timescale without a massive commitment of technology (like all the computers in the world using spare cycles to decrypt one session).

I would think, therefore, that if this bill comes in then practically everyone will ensure that their communications are encrypted. That will mean that there will be almost nothing that isn't. Organisations such as twitter routinely encrypt communications (try typing in and watch it change to So if that happens then the proportion of data transmissions available to be recorded will go down to something like 5% or even less.

The principle of recording who everyone is talking to all the time is wrong. RIPA already gives quite a few powers to public authorities. I cannot see any benefit to anyone from bringing in a Communications Data Bill anything like the one proposed. In fact I cannot see the benefit of a change in the law to anyone other than vendors of data storage.


Jake Maverick said…
bloody hell
RIPA is blatantly disgsuting piece of legislationa nd efefictely gives them same powers anyway, this one just makes it easier....if i still had soemwhere to live i wd still be knockjing holes in the ceiling looking fo rthe cams and the 'other'....but that's why you rolling out wifi to stop that aren;t you john...? nevr mind if everybody gets cancer....
since when did ISP become CSP anyway? so out of date here...just curious....

and that's the point isn't it....most people are morons, getting it rammed in quick, so it's the norm before the educated masses get out of the unis and that and start becoming people with can't destroy them all like you did to me and so many others...

and what's th epoint of encruption...?CISPA coming inand no point what nation does what internet is an international network so perverts reading my mail from both sides of the pond regardless....just legalising what being done anyway....

although torturing people, shooting them repeatedly int he head and 60 minute makeover aren't technically legal yet are they? how can one find? you ask these psychos who they are you visciously beaten up and worse, same with what act of parliament and where can i have indpeendlty fact any attempt at communication leads to threats and always vioelnce, regadless of whether you capiytulate or not...

man on his bike....? and he was supposedly part of the govt....

Mr Moat, a man few eyars before his time....

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