Thursday, July 27, 2006

trying to break freedom, again

An interesting story about VoIP in today's Guardian really gets to the heart of the matter where police and government are concerned:

"At present, law enforcement agencies have great difficulty in tracing the origin of VoIP calls," wrote DS Macleod. "This poses significant threats to our democratic society and it is for this reason that the DCG believes that it must be mandatory for VoIP service providers to be required to retain adequate records in respect of calls made using this technology.

Just to make that a little more explicit, Matt Beal, BT's director of Core Convergence and Capabilities for their new '21st century network' (developed in consultation with GCHQ) says of the internet:

The network was never designed with identity in mind. When it was set up it was for the free and easy exchange of data.

YES! Free and easy! Please fuck off with your 'this poses significant threats to our democratic society' - you pose significant threats to our democratic society you morons. THIS IS DEMOCRACY, in full swing, in action. Free and easy thank you very much.

So let's get it clear. In the digital age VoIP is just a data service like everything else. You've had it easy in the past as analogue, fixed lines were easy to monitor and tap. This is not a given, this is not a pre-requisite of democracy, it's just the way things turned out. Now that the data is flowing in a free and easy manner you don't have control, technology has liberated us. Not only that, but these fears of terrorist and criminal usage of untracable methods of communication are founded on these people knowing less than your experts and therefore not being able to circumvent your surveillance. I don't believe this, you need only look at the history of hacking and encryption technologies (PGP for example) to know that there's probably someone out there clever than you.


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