Politics Technology

Privacy laws in the UK Suck Europe prepares for legal action!

privacy-protection-425x319It likely comes as a blow to the Government to find that UK is to face legal action in the European Courts for failure to comply with European Law in regards to privacy. The EU Directive requires that the UK (and other states in the EU) create a industrial regulator that will act as a guardian of privacy. The requirements that monitoring of Internet activity sticks within the permits of the law would be their responsibility.

Since the UK has failed to create such a regulator and given the high profile invasions of privacy such as BT’s trial of Phorm software against its user base to “provide better advertising” has lead to the EU Commission launching legal action against the Government to ensure that the privacy of the people is respected.

The EU Directives in question, ePrivacy Directive and Data Protection Directive in the opinion of the European Commision have been broken on two key points.

Firstly the aforementioned requirement of an regulatory body which should be independent needs to be setup to monitor the monitoring of interception of communications. This is the first point the commission is taking action over – creation of such a body will see the UK fall into compliance with this respect of the law.

Secondly, the UK Law in regards to permission for interception of communication has the vague requirement of the interceptor should have reason to believe that consent has been given. This does mean that under UK Law, consent does not actually need to be given only a reasonable believe that it is implied. Under the directives, consent must be given freely, and in knowledge of what is being given. This is a clear difference of opinion.

Many belive that with the information commisioner it should be able to cover the requirements of the regulator to cover and monitor and that the creation of a new body to manage this is a waste of tax payer’s money.At the very least however a significant shake up of the privacy laws of the UK may be in order.

The Gaurdian


Mi6 considered using semen to transmit messages

MI6 Headquarters BuildingIntelligence Services needed Personal Security (literally?)

British Inteligence Service during world war I considered using semen to produce invisible ink. That would not be detected by ordinary detection methods.

Secrecy is of course the most important principle of the intelligence gathering community. The problem however is that your enemy knows that your data is as useful to them as it is to you, perhaps more important actually. This is the main reason cryptographic technology was invented.

A Diary belonging to a senior official, Walter Kirke at GHQ in France during the First world war reveals that the chief of the Security Service, Mansfeild Cummings more affectionately known as “C” (not M, as James Bond films seem to want to refer to) had been making enquiries with London University to develop invisible ink.

This would be an excellent break through – you could write in plain text knowing that without knowing what kind of equipment or technique had to be used to read the letters your enemy could not interpreter the letter. The solution it seems was to start using bodily fluids in the form of semen to write the letter. The technique would allow one to disguise the fact that invisible ink was there as it is likely that writing on top using normal ink or writing offer the normal ink would not effect the readability of the letter. So anyone intercepting the letter would see say a letter from someone on the front lines to their parents about how much they miss them – it is unlikely a genuine sounding letter would be investigated further.

However there were some side effects one agent was informed he should only use fresh supplies of the ink after officers receiving the letter started to notice an odd smell coming with each letter. The guy who came up with the idea also became subject to jokes and had to be transferred.

The Guardian