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UK Home Office re-bans cheap call gateways because 'terrorism'

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Next!

VPN's, especially those that do not keep logs. Logging you to your VPN's gateway and nothing else is unacceptable. God forbid that your ISP can not keep a record of each and every site that you visit. 'Cause terrorism.

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Gimp

Data fetishism is not actually a rational policy. It's a disease of the mind.

And one day its sufferers will be diagnosed and treated as such.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Data fetishism is not actually a rational policy. It's a disease of the mind.

wir mussen alles wissen

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Re: Data fetishism is not actually a rational policy. It's a disease of the mind.

In "A Very British Coup" Tim McInnerny played a MI5 data-obsessive, monitoring everything. When his boss remarks "One day, Mr Fiennes, you will have the entire population under permanent 24 hour surveillance. Will you be happy then?" McInnerry replies warily "Happy? ... Satisfied..."

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Re: Next!

Well, they'd better hurry up and ban Amazon Web Services, then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Next!

patience, my friend, all, in due course. BU - rest assured, our fully dedicated and well-enumerated team are working on it, as we speak :/

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Re: Next!

Normally at this point someone would mention that a lot of people use VPNs as part of their job, and that if you work for a multinational company it's pretty much de rigueur.

However, the current government seems to be doing it's best to make sure that no other countries want to do business in blighty, so that's not a problem any more.

Maybe that's been May's plan all along?

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Childcatcher

"This direction is necessary to ensure that those charged with keeping families and communities safe have access to relevant and accurate information when they need it and when they have the appropriate authorisations in order to do their job."

So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?

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So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?

Yes. Yes, they are. All on their own with no-one to talk to.

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"So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?"

Yes, by definition.

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@Spud Certainly not using COMUGs anyway.

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"So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?"

That started with Gordon Brown's "Hard working families".

The inference is that singles or childless couple are obviously a bunch of shirkers :-(

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"This direction is necessary to ensure that those charged with keeping families and communities safe have access to relevant and accurate information when they need it and when they have the appropriate authorisations in order to do their job."

So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?

Correction, such people are the classic 'lone wolf' types are probably a danger anyway.

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@Teiwaz They are also called farmers.

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Happy

Despair

If you find yourself struggling with loneliness, you are not alone. And yet you are alone.

So very alone.

credit: https://despair.com/products/loneliness

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> So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?

No, they're terrorists. Probably a whole gang of terrorists, actually, or even a rogue state.

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Oh dear

"keeping families and communities safe..."

I worry whenever I see a line like that when the govt is talking about this sort of thing. It implies that without whatever surveillance / snooping / loss of rights / loss of freedom they are proposing, families and communities are not safe. Argumentum ad metum, scare the plebs, get away with anything.

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Facepalm

Re: Oh dear

It's probably an illegal ban, but UK is leaving every institution*, so they can.

(* They can leave UN and International courts a lot more easily than the EU)

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Re: Oh dear

Well if “families” doesn’t do the trick, they can always roll out “hard working families”.

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Re: Oh dear

Hard working families - so child labour will officially be back in a few years? ;)

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Re: Oh dear

Same also with the line "proper authorisations". We will need to apply (for a fee of course) for permission in order to be authorised (for a fee of course) to do anything for a limited amount of time. Authorisation revoked or not renewed, and you are out of a job, house and probably bank account too.

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Re: Oh dear

"Authorisation revoked or not renewed, and you are out of a job, house and probably bank account too."

deportation threatened, child benefit stopped, driving licence revoked

A Japanese woman living in London with her Polish husband has been threatened with deportation, had her child benefit stopped and driving licence revoked even though she is lawfully in the country under EU law, it has emerged.

You probably won't realise unless you have been through the process, but there's an international agreement about driving licences across civilised countries.

If you become resident in a new country for a long enough period, your existing driving licence can be surrendered in exchange for a local one, and you can do the same again if you go to any other country that has a reciprocal agreement.

The UK could be on extremely dodgy human rights grounds if that revocation results in a licence which is worthless worldwide.

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Just a quick correction . . .

"This direction is necessary to ensure that those charged with keeping families and communities safe have the NSA has access to relevant and accurate information when they need it it wants it"

There, FTFY.

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those charged with keeping families and communities safe...

I was just discussing second class citizenship on another thread. I forgot about the UK Government predilection for relegating anyone who fails to marry and breed to irrelevance. "People" is the natural word to use so choosing "families" ("Hard working", naturally) instead has to have an intentional subtext - presumably that HMG won't be that bothered if terrorists undertake some Aktion T4 on unemployed singles.

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Re: those charged with keeping families and communities safe...

Odd really, because the Home Office has been instrumental in fomenting Skype families.

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Yay for policy-based evidence making...

... because terrorism.

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Re: Yay for policy-based evidence making...

... and if the terrorists inconveniently find something else to do with their lives, PAEDOGEDDON!!! can always be dusted off to keep the bandwagon going. A VPN Sir? That stands for Virtual Paedophile Network I believe.

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Mushroom

Don't forget

"Think of the children"

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Re: Don't forget

That's what got Rolf Harris in deep water

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Re: Don't forget

Yeah, but somehow he managed to make his way to the bank and scramble out. Scared the life out of his parents so they taught him to swim pretty soon afterwards.

#OldAdvertsNewMedia

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End of MTR

Something which has done a lot to promote anonymity is the end of call termination revenue.

If (as I do) you have a mobile phone network there was a time when you got paid for handling calls. So if a customer on Vodafone called a customer on my network, the customer would pay Vodafone who would then share the money with me. I got paid for the bit of the routing which was mine.

This had many downsides. Not least an old-boys club on who got paid what and Ofcom stepped in and now transiting calls is all done for mutual benefit and under various obligations but no cash.

Taking the money out of the equation also removes the need to know who's calling. If I get a call I just deliver it. If I was being paid to deliver it and I found someone regularly not paying me I could sanction them by blocking calls they sent me. But there is no point running credit control when all callers are freetards.

Where this hurts is in tracking nuisance calls. A major way to spot spammers and scammers is to compare the SS7 billing info with the presented CLI and if they are lying, and if in particular you see huge volumes of bulk calls from the same place with clumps of different CLIs then you get suspicious.

In the modern VoIP world there isn't all the signalling info you need to do this. You need to employ other techniques to block the nuisance calls. Ironically the way we do this involves having to spoof CLI.

I'm not saying we should return to call termination revenue. but having lost it has removed the need to be certain who is calling.

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Anonymous Coward

I think it's really amazing that our government is so caring and considerate that it tries to protect me by wanting to know everyone I have contact with, when I contact them and for how long. It's also great that they want to track my car everywhere I go by it's number plate and track me by facial recognition. I'm sure they are doing it for my benefit and this will ultimately stop all terrorist from randomly blowing themselves said no one ever.

What makes this particular action even more contemptible is the way it's been slipped through the back door.

If this was about "terrorism" someone would have told them that the people that wish to blow themselves up will now avoid any of the things they are now using to try and find them.

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Joke

If terrorists were randomly blowing themselves more often, maybe they wouldn’t be so angry.

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I think it's really amazing that our government is so caring and considerate that it tries to protect me by wanting to know everyone I have contact with, when I contact them and for how long

.. whereas us asking for the same transparency from our government (where it is actually warranted until they stop pretending it's a democracy) is deemed almost subversive..

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Facepalm

VOIP over VPN?

It is not difficult to set up (say) a Linux Virtual Machine running the Asterisk Open Source SIP (Voice of Internet) Exchange + VPN server (e.g. OpenVPN) and then set up open source SIP clients (say Linphone) over VPN clients on two phones and use these. Make sure you have a fixed IP address and use that rather than any DNS look-ups. Oh and use (say) HTTPS ports instead of standard VPN ports. There are other high encryption (such as Tox). Technical users can inspect the source code and make sure that there are no government hooks for monitoring.

How are you going to monitor that? D'Oh!

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Black Helicopters

Re: VOIP over VPN?

Excuse me Sir, but you appear to be publishing information useful to terrorists. Please come quietly, we wouldn't want you to fall over. Repeatedly...

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Re: VOIP over VPN?

"How are you going to monitor that?"

Well that's rather the point. They can't monitor these COMUG thingies either, but they've banned them so now they don't need to solve that problem.

Just because it is easy to break the law doesn't mean the law is futile. Quite the reverse, in fact. The law becomes the preferred mechanism for enforcement when technical means break down. (Of course, there is also the option of "not trying to enforce" state-sponsored voyeurism, but that option doesn't appear to have occurred to them.)

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Re: VOIP over VPN?

Hi,

For VPN - this may be more difficult to implement a system where you are targeted if you use a VPN unauthorised.

If you use a VPN for work, then the relevant authority must know that you are using the VPN for work, so as not to flag you as a security risk.

Will the authorities therefore be scanning the network to see if you are using VPN's unauthorised ?.

The law will have to be changed to make illegal the use of a VPN, but how will this be policed - proactively, or once you come under suspicion ?

What if you encrypt your VOIP anyway (end to end app) - how will the authorities determine you have encrypted the VOIP to evade eavesdropping ?. (unless you are under suspicion).

My point is, all this banning and stopping people from having privacy, will not have an effect on the bad people, as there is always alternative methods.

As we have seen, it is a lack of resource in the relevant authorities that causes the bad people to slip through, and all this banning just delays the final solution - more resource.

Regards,

Shadmeister.

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Re: VOIP over VPN?

"all this banning and stopping people from having privacy, will not have an effect on the bad people,

Haven't you realised? This isn't about terrorists. The government is afraid of YOU. "Terror" is just the excuse they give for granting themselves more intrusion into your life, because...

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Holmes

Re: VOIP over VPN? @ TiddlyPom

Linux? Open source? HTTPs? VPN?

You are obviously a terrorist AND dangerous to children.

I claim my £5 in bitcoin.

Please report to no 10 downing street immediately, and join the orderly queue for reeducation.

(Upvoted)

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Re: VOIP over VPN?

I guess I'm just going to have to hack into one of my neighbour's IOT slipper warmers* and then VPN from there to talk to my comrades using VIOP.

By hack I mean log in as admin using the hard coded credentials that can be found using any search engine.

(*There is nothing nicer than coming home to a nice warm pair of slippers.)

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Big Brother

Re: VOIP over VPN?

This is nothing to do with breaking the law. This is to do with the fact that I want to be able to have conversations with my friends and family and know that I am not being spied on or having my conversation recorded by government spooks. The right to privacy is an important part of a democratic state. The state should have to go through due process in order to gather information on me not just spy on everybody because they can. I do not accept the 'if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear' brigade. Just look at levels of corruption within the Police and within Parliament. The right to silence (or privacy) is one of the few things that protect us from malign elements within the state which is why they (Police and Government) want to take that away.

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Re: VOIP over VPN?

"The right to privacy is an important part of a democratic state."

How do you describe a state where the population, every 4 or 5 years, choose governments (regardless of political ideology) that openly demand to breach their subjects' right to privacy, in order to catch paedo-terrorists.

This is the news we want you to hear, and we want to know if you hear anything else...

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Big Brother

Missed opportunity

Surely creating COMUGS run by 'front' companies for MI5 would have gathered useful information on a) Who is calling them and b) What they are saying (I assume a MITM decrypt is possible)

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Anonymous Coward

What's worse a terrist or a Govt cnut.

"As there are no COMUG operators in the UK today" Yeah, right, not been in too may datacenters then? They are so cheap you can have them spread out in many locations too, like your local corner shop.

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Big Brother

HMG "hardly littered with shining examples of openness and responsiveness."

We have hears citizens express such sentiments

And with our newly legalized powers we know exactly who they are, and will be applying appropriate measures when the time is right.

<signed>

Big Brother.

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Happy

All you need is . . .

to load up Telegram (www.Telegram.com) and you can chat away for free, send messages whilst knowing your comms are completely secure from GCHQ and the NSA.

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Re: All you need is . . .

Telegram's encryption is scientifically proven to be bollocks.

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Holmes

Re: All you need is . . .

There's an onion (router) site (which I've forgotten), sort of a better version of Prism Break, which lists a lot of privacy tools then carefully scrutinises them to determine exactly how private they are. The consensus seems to be that Retroshare pretty much covers everything quite well.

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Re: All you need is . . .

I believe you are thinking of Signal or Wire.

Telegram isn't secure and it isn't supposed to be since the "secret chat" feature is not the default and depends on an unproven algorithm. You use Telegram (or not) because you happen to like its other features, like easy to customise bots.

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