Print 19 comment(s) - last by ClownPuncher.. on Nov 1 at 12:20 PM

Critics say the new system is not proportionate under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)

The UK has committed some Big Brother-like acts in the recent past, such as collecting citizens' email, phone and Web history. The Metropolitan police are now continuing such acts by launching a new technology that tracks all mobile handsets in a set area.

This surveillance system is referred to as "Listed X" under government protocol, and was made by Leeds-based compant Datong plc, which specializes in surveillance technology for law enforcement, military, special forces and security agencies.

The system has the ability to emit a signal over an area of up to 10 sq km. This signal returns the IMSI and IMEI identity codes of all mobile handsets in that area by acting like a mobile phone network, and the recipient of these codes is able to track the devices. Those with these uniqie codes can also intercept SMS messages and phone calls, collect information about the user and even turn phones off remotely.

The Metropolitan police, Britain's largest police force, is reportedly using this technology in order to be able to cut off a phone that is used as a trigger for a potential explosive device.

The new system has raised a lot of questions concerning citizen's privacy. According to Big Brother Watch, a privacy and civil liberties group, the Met police could use the technology for indiscriminate monitoring.

"It raises a number of serious civil liberties concerns and clarification is urgently needed on when and where this technology has been deployed, and what data has been gathered," said Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch.

Currently, all covert surveillance is regulated under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which says that intercepting communications is acceptable if a warrant is authorized by the home secretary and the action is necessary/proportionate. In 2010, 1,682 interception warrants were approved by the home secretary. About 552,550 requests were made that year.

"How can a device which invades any number of people's privacy be proportionate?" said Barrister Jonathan Lennon, specialist in cases involving covert intelligence and RIPA. "There needs to be clarification on whether interception of multiple people's communications -- when you can't even necessarily identify who the people are -- is compliant with the act. It may be another case of the technology racing ahead of the legislation. Because if this technology now allows multiple tracking and intercept to take place at the same time, I would have thought that was not what parliament had in mind when it drafted RIPA."

Datong currently sells its products to about 40 countries around the globe, including South America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The Met police paid £143,455 to Datong in 2008/2009 for ICT hardware, and in 2010, Datong announced its pro forma revenue in the UK was £3.9 million.

Source: The Guardian

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RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By kattanna on 10/31/2011 11:16:24 AM , Rating: 3
im not worried since im not a criminal the government would never use it against me

at least thats what they keep telling me...


RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By cjohnson2136 on 10/31/2011 11:21:15 AM , Rating: 2
I'm just glad I don't live in the UK :D

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By BZDTemp on 10/31/2011 11:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
Better than Oakland I guess :-(

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By wannabemedontu on 10/31/2011 11:50:49 AM , Rating: 4
LOL, it is absolutely no better living in the U.S.A. We have been spied on just the same, with no warrants, and that's only what we know of publicly. People still can't be this naive about being monitored here in the U.S.A., can they?

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By NellyFromMA on 10/31/2011 1:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
They can and are this naive :)

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By kattanna on 10/31/2011 3:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
They can and are this naive :)

aye.. we still have people falling for the onion articles as real, what does that tell you?

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By Omega215D on 10/31/2011 11:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
They are aware but if it's about "safety" then they are all for it. The same general public that needs warning labels on EVERYTHING. Still as long as our average citizen has X-Factor they won't care.

Here, watch this. Shut up....
Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. - Bill hicks, also featured on Adam Freeland's - We Want Your Soul.

Also, Fear is the mind killer...

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By ClownPuncher on 11/1/2011 12:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
The UK needs nome good ol' fashioned anarchy.

RE: Tech cool, Abuse Scary
By michael67 on 11/1/2011 3:20:25 AM , Rating: 2
Wonder if your handset still reacts to that ping, if you set you carrier your self in your phone, instead of the auto select from the sim info.

Just wondering....

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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