6 thoughts on “Brits to spy on email?

  1. Actually, the video may well be correct, but it may not be apparent because they don’t explain all the details.

    If I were to sniff e-mail traffic, I may be able to see what IP the e-mail originated from and the destination IP which, I agree with Greg, is definitely not the same as having the snail mail information since all I know from the IP addresses are typically which ISPs are doing the hosting.

    However, with the ISPs providing the information, the UK government may also have the data of who holds the IP address of both the sender and receiver (since all ISPs are supposed to provide the information). It really depends on how much information the ISPs are providing.

  2. This video sweeps half the issue under the carpet so brazenly it’s almost beautiful. Simply put, what happened to web browsing? Cos the final analogy deals solely with email. The analogy is ridiculous too – in the presented scenario my ISP is equivalent to the postmaster, and in neither case should information be logged or sent to the security services.

  3. @Unbound:

    AFAIK, most e-mail (at least that hosted by ISPs) is still in POP – a plain text protocol. I don’t know how many people use POPS or IMAPS.

  4. @sqlrob
    How could POPS or IMAPS provide safety against government spying? All they need is cooperation with your provider, be it direct access to your account or to the private key. Only end-to-end encryption can offer protection.

  5. From Peter Wright’s book, “Spycatcher” (1987):

    For five years we bugged and burgled our way across London at the
    State’s behest, while pompous bowler-hatted civil servants in
    Whitehall pretended to look the other way.


    Denman’s proudest memento was a framed letter which hung on the far
    wall. It was addressed to a prominent Communist Party member whose mail
    was regularly intercepted. When the letter was opened the Post Office
    technicians were amused to discover that it was addressed to MI5 and
    contained a typewritten message, which read: “To MI5, if you steam this
    open you are dirty buggers.” Denman classified it as “obscene post,”
    which meant that legally he had no duty to send it on to the cover

    The British people may behave with dignity and decorum, but their civil service bureaucrats are slime. One of the NSA’s “Echelon” stations is in England, at Menwith Hill.

    Why be surprised that country with CC camera on every street wants to spy on people’s email? They’ll do people’s rights what Scotland Yard did to Jean Charles de Menezes life.

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