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open.gov.uk vs RIP

By Vila in News
Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 01:19:29 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

So Need To Know posted this snippet about searching open.gov.uk for the phrase "eyes only". Off I went, and lo! Most interesting stuff turns up : for instance, this document, which describes the British armed forces' IP networks. It's good to see that the Blair government's commitment to an open, democratic e-society extends to a firm rejection of the principle of security through obscurity.

Confusingly, though, when the RIP bill becomes law (soon) I'll soon be eligible for harsh and arbitary legal sanctions -- five years in prison, seizure of all my assets, that sort of thing -- for refusing to surrender my PGP keys. UK ISPs are also about to become liable for the cost of sniffing all their traffic and passing it on to the security services, a tactic also employed by the Russian government, so it's possible that the large amount of secret-looking data I've just been browsing has already tripped a switch somewhere in MI5 and I'm already being monitored. It's almost as if the left hand didn't know what the right was doing. But of course, that can't be it.


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open.gov.uk vs RIP | 13 comments (13 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Much more interesting than the long... (1.00 / 1) (#4)
by dash2 on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 09:32:22 AM EST

dash2 voted 1 on this story.

Much more interesting than the long-winded rant about "privacy" now on the front page. It would be nice to have a bit more about what the RIP bill does, though.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.

None of the tentacles of power ever... (none / 0) (#5)
by the Epopt on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 10:14:38 AM EST

the Epopt voted 1 on this story.

None of the tentacles of power ever know what any other the other myriad tentacles are doing.
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.


Important to the community... (none / 0) (#6)
by kefaa on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 10:41:28 AM EST

kefaa voted 1 on this story.

Important to the community

The current worst part of the machi... (none / 0) (#2)
by _cbj on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 11:24:04 AM EST

_cbj voted 1 on this story.

The current worst part of the machine. Should be publicised and attacked from every angle.

They arent actual secret documents ... (none / 0) (#1)
by inspire on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 11:27:14 AM EST

inspire voted 1 on this story.

They arent actual secret documents though, are they?

I mean, there are government departments that dont like publicity. Any conspiracy theorist worth their salt knows that. Knowing MI5's IP space and posessing the NOC list are two entirely different things...
What is the helix?

Re: They arent actual secret documents ... (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 03:40:53 AM EST

I mean, there are government departments that dont like publicity.

Depends. One interesting tidbit that I came across when I was going back over my security advisory archive concerned M$ Front Page back in 1998.

At the time it was discovered that whenever you remotly updated your web page, M$ FP would also conveniently create a *world* *readable* copy of it in a backup directory with the extension _vti_cnf. Even more bozotically, if the sys-admin remotly updated their password, it would do the same with the system password file ( don't you just hate 'security through obscurity'?).

There was a time when you could safely assume that any page that popped up in a search engine was there because someone had made the descision to put it there in a publicly accessible place.

These days, it seems to be just as likely to be something that a 'user friendly' system will just do automatically and which won't be noticed simply because the sys-admins are too busy with other things.

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.

[ Parent ]

The imminent infringement on person... (none / 0) (#7)
by fross on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 12:09:47 PM EST

fross voted 1 on this story.

The imminent infringement on personal rights by the UK government in an attempted crackdown on encryption could set a nasty precedent for the rest of the world.

Re: The imminent infringement on person... (none / 0) (#9)
by squigly on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 03:30:38 AM EST

Curiously enough, there's strong government opposition to the charter of Human Rights, which I believe has an article about privacy in it. In theory a democracy shouldn't allow this to happen since these people aren't going to be the government forever.

People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
OK, it's the second time NTK droppe... (none / 0) (#3)
by stx23 on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 12:22:14 PM EST

stx23 voted 1 on this story.

OK, it's the second time NTK dropped that one in the memepool, but the author makes it noted why this is important, mainly that the Government have such a basic understanding of the tech involved that no-one there figures that you might want to protect sensitive information. Further digging on the site shows graphical representations of some routers involved in the aforementioned LAN, perhaps to allow you to know what the box you're trying to 0wn looks like...
The revolution will not be webcast.

Re: OK, it's the second time NTK droppe... (none / 0) (#8)
by Vila on Sun Jun 04, 2000 at 02:29:44 PM EST

Follow-up: typical, twenty minutes after posting I found this: it seems other people can make the same mistake. US military secrets are accessible on the web, according to CNN.

[ Parent ]
more info on RIP at stand.org.uk (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by robin on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 09:33:35 AM EST

stand has more information on this bill, including a useful summary and some interesting links. The Operation Dear Jack [Straw] photostory is mildly amusing as well.

If you're in the UK you might like to adopt your MP while you're there -- make youself available for educating them about crypto. Oh, and you can fax them a note from the site as well -- probably less impact than a real paper letter, but still worth doing if you have concerns.

W.A.S.T.E. (do not antagonise the Horn)
Right to Silence? (none / 0) (#12)
by Digambaranath on Tue Jun 06, 2000 at 08:24:39 AM EST

I'm pretty naive about legal matters, but doesn't the RIP violate the suspect's right to silence? If I remember rightly, with the exception of offences covered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, if questioned by the police I should have the right to clam up completely if I want, so how can I be forced to give up my PGP key?

Re: Right to Silence? (none / 0) (#13)
by Nick Ives on Fri Jun 09, 2000 at 03:33:28 PM EST

You seem to have forgotten that we lost the right to silence in the UK.
'You have the right to remain silent although anything you refrain from mentioning in questioning which you later rely on in court could harm your defense'.
Just one example of how civil liberties in the UK is taking a back seat to 'protecting the public'.


[ Parent ]
open.gov.uk vs RIP | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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