Story 2014-11-04 2TWS GCHQ head says privacy is not an absolute right

GCHQ head says privacy is not an absolute right

by
in legal on (#2TWS)
story imageUS technology companies have become "the command and control networks of choice" for extremists, the new head of GCHQ has claimed. Writing in the Financial Times, Robert Hannigan says some US tech companies are "in denial" about how their services are being misused. He also said UK security agencies needed support from "the largest US tech companies which dominate the web".

Mr Hannigan argues that the big internet firms must work more closely with the intelligence services, warning that "privacy has never been an absolute right." What say the |.ers?
Reply 19 comments

Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 4, Insightful)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-04 18:31 (#2TWT)

Mr Hannigan is an extremist and proof that better surveillance does not help against extremists.
Everyone who tries to erode civil rights is an extremist. But people are dumb. How many people
die in car accidents every year? According to Wikipedia: 32,999 in 2010 in the USA alone. How
many terroristic acts? How many died in terroristic acts in 2010 in the USA? 15 people.
According to:
http://reason.com/archives/2011/09/06/how-scared-of-terrorism-should
it is four times more likely to be killed by a lightning bolt than by a terror attack.
I doubt that in other countries the ratio is much different.

Would internet surveillance help to prevent terror attacks? Hardly. And I suppose the whole population
has to be monitored to solve, who did the last/next school shooting.

Again: There is only one 'crime' for which an all-over internet surveillance is necessary: Copyright violations.
Ok, to a lesser extend libel. But certainly not terrorism, drugs, or child porn.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 3, Insightful)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-11-04 20:41 (#2TWW)

You started off so beautifully in that post before blowing your foot off with a shotgun with the last couple of sentences. Just leave well enough alone. You have 99% of your potential audience convinced,then with the last sentence or two you introduce unrelated subjects which then fracture the cohesive and diverse audience you just built.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-04 21:10 (#2TWX)

I don't agree. One of the most important parts to expose extremists is to discover their motives. For a general internet surveillance there are not too many possible motives, which justify that kind of effort. Especially since it is not very popular.
As I pointed out, terrorism is not a sufficient explanation. There are far too few terror acts and most of them are
unorganized and not of the kind where internet surveillance would help. So not much of a career move here.
Child porn? More or less the same. Drugs? Sure, the small time street dealer has to coordinate with his upstream provider
when and where to get his next delivery. I am sure this is done by email. Most other types of cyber criminality leaves a money trail. Those can be followed even now. Fear of a revolution? Democracy works quite well. Most relevant countries have at least two parties. If one becomes unpopular, the opposition gets a chance. Masses are mollified. Rinse repeat. So the upper 10000 have nothing to fear. Snowden prevention? Maybe, but those attempts to control the net are much older than the Snowden even.

Now, if you factor all this in, tell me, what remains as motive? What remains where internet surveillance actually makes
sense? Where it could work? Who is willing to invest millions of $ to lobby lawmakers? Who is willing to stifle upcoming new
business models, which could create a new boom, e.g. like the vcr did when it become popular? Who does not care about
public appearance?

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-11-04 22:08 (#2TWY)

Well, of course *you* don't agree. In related news, Mohamad Ali, and your younger brother both think they are the greatest: film at 11.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 2, Insightful)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-04 22:27 (#2TWZ)

True. Or course I don't agree. And yes, if this were all I said, it would be quite lame. But I think I also explained in detail, why I don't agree. Don't you have a response to that part?

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 2, Insightful)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-11-05 15:09 (#2TX7)

On second read, maybe you didn't understand what I was saying at all.

You have a goal X. Right? You want to convince people that X should be done. So you do your research and find reasons 1-5 in support of your argument to do X.

Argument 1 will be supported by 99% of people it makes sense.
#2 65% of people will agree
#3 40% of people will agree
#4 20% of people will agree
#5 5% of people will agree.

So the best way to convince people to do X is to focus on #1, without even mentioning 2,3,4 or 5.

Make sense? I thought you understood what I was getting at. But your reply continues to argue 2,3,4 & 5. So maybe you didn't.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-05 15:25 (#2TX9)

I think we are talking a bit at cross-purposes. What you say is 100% true. If I have a goal I'd try everything to convince as many people as possible. To do that I would use whatever promises me the most success. However, on the receiving end of such a manipulation attempt I don't care what makes sense for most people. I want to know what the goal is. And the goal is not internet surveillance. This is only a means to an end. So, what is the goal?

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 14:31 (#2TXQ)

Are you asking what your goal is? Or what the government's goal is?

I assumed that your goal was to have less internet surveillance.

I also assume that the government is actually acting in good faith, in attempting to prevent terrorism. You might not believe that, but I still think that's largely true. The intelligence agencies were mercilessly criticized for not knowing or acting on tips prior to 911. Of course having that much unchecked power leads to abuses,which is why we need to reduce their powers and add meaningful checks, balances and accountability.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 17:30 (#2TXX)

Are you asking what your goal is? Or what the government's goal is?
What the government's goal is.
I also assume that the government is actually acting in good faith, in attempting to prevent terrorism.
Ok. I don't believe this. I just think they are paid by the content industry. 100% in line with SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP or whatever the acronym of the day is.

You first replied to me: "You started off so beautifully...."
I wrote that Mr Hannigan is an extremist. Everyone who tries to erode civil rights is an extremist. This makes only sense with the second part, that all this is mainly done for copyright protection. Because if there really were a noticeable number of terror acts yearly with a high number of victims, and if internet surveillance really were a viable tool to prevent such terrorism, it would be a sensible thing to do and he would not be an extremist. The extremist part is that he tries to erode the civil and constitutional rights of millions for the protection of the profit of a few.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 18:24 (#2TXZ)

Do you understand how terrible that argument sounds?

This is how your argument sounds:

"They aren't protecting us from terrorists, they're trying to make us pay for movies and music! We want them for free!"

Maybe that's what you really believe, but you aren't going to get much support from the populace with it.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 19:22 (#2TY1)

Do you understand how terrible that argument sounds?
And how terrible is it when it is true?
"They aren't protecting us from terrorists, they're trying to make us pay for movies and music! We want them for free!"
You added "We want them for free". I never said that. But yes, if I have to choose between free movies, or a necessary police state to enforce copyrights, I know what I choose.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 19:59 (#2TY3)

No, that's what reasonable people will conclude from your argument. It sounds very selfish. Its not a good argument.

An even more critical interpretation:

"No don't protect people's lives, I want free stuff".

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 1)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-06 21:10 (#2TY4)

Reasonable people know that there is a hierarchy of rights. With civil rights and liberties on top. And one civil liberty is the right to privacy. So, if you can enforce copyright without violating the privacy of the whole population just because they could illegally download a movie... more power to you. If not... tough luck. The internet changes things just like the printing press did. Some benefit, other go the way of the Dodo.

And your
"No don't protect people's lives, I want free stuff".
is an evil strawman argument, since I previously said, that if a general internet surveillance really prevents terrorism and loss of life, it would be the sensible thing to do.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 2, Interesting)

by wootery@pipedot.org on 2014-11-05 11:35 (#2TX4)

it is four times more likely to be killed by a lightning bolt than by a terror attack.
The counter-argument to this is that the number of people killed by lightning is by nature fairly steady. The realistic worst-case for lightning deaths isn't that scary.
The worst-case for terrorism, however, is extremely serious. A 'bad year for terrorism' might involve abandoned nuclear submarines, poorly secured nuclear weapons, economic disaster, etc.

Re: Mr Hannigan is an extremist (Score: 3, Insightful)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-11-05 12:47 (#2TX5)

Not quite true, but also not quite false. Do you think that you can get a terror group, which is capable to utilize an abandoned nuclear submarine or poorly secured nuclear weapons, by snooping around in peoples private lives? Causing an economic disaster without leaving very visible traces, which cannot be followed without a general internet surveillance should be even more impossible.

Btw... terrorism was never as easy as today. One short trip to certain African countries could even the dumbest terrorist provide with enough material to do real damage. But again... Nothing which can be prevented or solved by playing big brother.

Want to save lives? The lightning argument is too weak? Put more cops on the streets. Pay and educate normal police better. 14,772 murder cases in 2010 in the usa. But of course it is much more important to fight to prevent the 15 terror victims a year.

"privacy has never been an absolute right." (Score: 1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-04 18:51 (#2TWV)

How about not having ones consitutional rights violated with complete wanton disregard...is that a right? How about having congress spied on and then have the spies lie about doing it...until they are caught? One might think congress would have some constitutional rights but it's gone so far not even they are safe.

Incompetent, ignorant pompous ass. (Score: 2, Insightful)

by tqk@pipedot.org on 2014-11-04 22:42 (#2TX0)

He (and Comey) are clueless figureheads with cushy jobs paid for by taxpayers. The FBI's own website recommends the use of encryption by mere users. Comey admits he isn't smart enough to know the difference between a backdoor and a front door. They're PR flacks at best.

The outgoing head of GCHQ swore up and down that there's no way their people would engage in mass surveillance, and that's true. They have the NSA do it for them, and they do it for the NSA.

Meanwhile, the DHS is pulling panty raids to shutdown trademark infringers, the FBI manufactures terrorist plots, and Congress just keeps on renewing the Patriot Act because, ... Who knows why?

Get a warrant, or STFU! Lazy, ignorant sluggards who can't be bothered with doing real police work. They swore an oath to defend the Constitution, yet I doubt they've ever even read it.

Re: Incompetent, ignorant pompous ass. (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-06 14:30 (#2TXP)

exactly! these people who want to weaken their whole country's security(or related economy) are the real terrorists and are traitors and should be prosecuted as such.

(r)evolution ... (Score: 1)

by scotch@pipedot.org on 2014-11-07 10:48 (#2TY9)

Once upon a time, throwing up ancient régime, people (tried to) establish a state body called governement to enforce their common good.
Today, governement try to impose his own agenda to the same people...
From oligarchy to democracy to oligarchy!
Time to try another round?