IMP continuing despite industry backlash

Posted on Feb 09 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on IMP continuing despite industry backlash

Back in November 2008 we published an article (Entanet opinion: Are we living in “1984”? ) about the government’s proposed plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a ‘live tap’ to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites.

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

We raised obvious concerns over the impact on privacy, the security of the data, the enormous cost involved and the feasibility of the project. Our concerns were echoed by LINX, a major UK peering organisation who stated “We view the description of the government’s proposals as ‘maintaining’ the capability as disingenuous: the volume of data the government now proposes CSPs should collect and retain will be unprecedented, as is the overall level of intrusion into the privacy of the citizenry.”

In December 2009 it emerged all of the UK’s mobile operators had also announced their concerns over the project. Vodafone, Orange, 3 and T-Mobile all voiced their concerns in the form of submissions to the government’s consultation.

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

Google finally stands up to China

Posted on Jan 13 2010 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

Is it the end of the road for Google.cn?

Yesterday on the official Google Blog, David Drummond, Google’s Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer announced that following a cyber attack in December Google is now considering withdrawing its operations from the Chinese market. Clearly there’s more to this though and we think market leaders should make a stand against the restriction that Chinese government censorship applies to Chinese web users.

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Through a thorough investigation since mid December Google allegedly has evidence to suggest that the attack originated in China and its aim was to access the Gmail accounts of several US, European and Chinese based human rights advocates. The company also has evidence to suggest that the attacks did not only affect Google, advising that an additional 20 large corporations in various industries including the Internet, media, finance and chemical sectors were also affected.

The Register reports that one of these additional companies was possibly Adobe, although the company has not confirmed whether or not the two incidents were related. Adobe also announced news of its attack via its corporate blog advising that they had become aware of “a computer security incident involving a sophisticated, coordinated attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies.”

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

Poll: The Government’s IMP is…?

Posted on Jan 11 2010 by Gemma Dickinson | Comments Off on Poll: The Government’s IMP is…?

The UK’s mobile operators have recently united against the government’s planned IMP (Improvement and Modernisation Programme) which will require all ISPs and operators to collect and store all IP communications.

We would like to know what you think about the government’s plans and have created a poll to capture your thoughts.

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

Knowledge is power – good or bad!

Posted on Nov 25 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Knowledge is power – good or bad!

Following our earlier articles regarding the rise of social networking and its potential privacy issues and our coverage of subjects such as cyber-bullying, when we heard the results of Ofcom’s latest report it raised a number of concerns.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Last month Ofcom released a report into children’s web access and their online habits.

The report shows that 35% of 12-15 year olds and 16% of 8-11 year olds now have access to the web in their bedrooms, up 20% and 9% respectively since 2007. Worryingly 60% of 12-15 year olds and one third of 8-11 year olds use the internet mostly on their own and one in five 5-7 year olds say they use the internet without an adult in the room.

From the parents’ point of view 45% of those whose children use the Internet at home state they have filtering software and controls in place but this leaves an obvious 55% of children using the Internet unsupervised with no parental restrictions in place.

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

Social Networking: Harmless fun or security risk?

Posted on Aug 04 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Social Networking: Harmless fun or security risk?

Updated: 19th November 2009

Leading social networking website Facebook has revised its existing privacy policy, stripping out technical and legal jargon and opting for a plain English approach. The new policy is also reported to encourage the use of Facebook’s privacy and security tools. Full details can be found at:

When you receive an unrequested sales call or a suspicious email do you provide them with your personal information? No, didn’t think so. Yet we appear more than happy to publish immense amounts of personal information online. Growth in the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and LinkedIN to name but a few, has led to growing concerns that those publishing their personal information online are unaware of the potential risks.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Tiscali recently commissioned a report into this issue and found that, of 2,505 people surveyed, the most common personal details published online are photos (68%), date of birth (49%), email addresses (40%) and 20% have even uploaded their job details. Worryingly the report also found that almost 1/3rd (30%) make their social networking profile public, whilst 13% were unaware of the difference between public and private profiles and an alarming 5% published their home address.

So why should we be worried by these stats? Well, information such as your full name, date of birth and address can easily be used by fraudsters to set up loans and credit cards in your name plus, by gathering detailed information about you, they can use this to try to persuade you that they are genuine and obtain more information from you such as your bank details. There are also more obvious security concerns over publishing things like you home address, telephone number or email address on the Internet.

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

ISP – Internet Service Provider or Police?

Posted on Jun 01 2009 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment
Tags : ,
Categories : Featured, Privacy, Security

While the protection of children from inappropriate content when they are online has been a key focus for many for some time, bullying tactics increasingly used by pupils against their teachers online is leading to claims that ISP’s should be responsible for policing Internet use.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

The recent announcement by the UK government that it is planning to crack down on online defamation is the result of mounting pressure from teachers about the growing tendency for children to use the Internet to attack them. This is undoubtedly a serious problem. We have heard of cases where students have set up facebook sites in their teachers’ names with the sole purpose of providing a platform for defamation of character and where pupils and even parents have discussed teachers in a derogatory nature online.

Such incidences show just how easy it is now for children to start using the Internet as a way of abusing teachers. A recent survey suggests as many as one in ten teachers have fallen victim to cyberbullying.

This of course is not just a problem in education – it is a massive issue in business as well. There have been many documented cases of email bullying and libellous statements being made via emails and IM. With the use of ‘social’ networking sites such as twitter also growing in business the prospect of individuals spreading inaccurate or malicious material about their competitors is very real.

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

Will the IWF make the Internet Safer?

Posted on May 08 2009 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Will the IWF make the Internet Safer?
Tags : ,
Categories : Featured, Privacy, Security

Many see the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF) block list as an important step in the fight against child exploitation online. The IWF block list is an extensive list of websites that contravene UK law many of which contain inappropriate images of children. The block list has been utilised by 95% of UK ISPs as a method of censoring offensive content from end users. The remaining 5% of UK ISPs are facing increasing pressure from the government and several charities to implement the list. So why haven’t they?

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

The remaining 5% is made up of primarily ISPs with smaller budgets. The high cost of the technology used to filter the offensive content therefore provides them with a moral dilemma. In addition their decision is complicated by concerns over the accuracy of the IWF list. Late last year a Wikipedia page was blocked due to an inappropriate image used on an album cover. This resulted in several users’ access to innocent Wikipedia pages being blocked.

Share this article:
Share
Read More »

Are we living in “1984”?

Posted on Nov 03 2008 by Neil Watson | 5 Comments
Tags : ,
Categories : Featured, Privacy, Security

Update: (10th August 2009)

The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s annual report has sparked fresh calls to control the amount of surveillance currently carried out on UK citizens. Read more in this ISPreview article

The question has been asked many times before, but just how did George Orwell foresee the future? Ok, so his timescales were a little off, but are we moving even closer towards a big brother culture? The government’s latest proposals suggest we are!

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

The proposal

Sir David Pepper, Director of the British intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has announced plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a ‘live tap’ to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites.

The GCHQ and its supporters argue this is a necessary step in the fight against terrorism and that the centrally stored data will enable the police and government organisations to collect vital evidence of what it calls ‘terrorist friendship trees’ to identify potential plots and collaborations.

So how far are they willing to go? “quite a long way” according to Geoff Hoon, Transport Secretary, who recently defended the plans on the BBC’s Question Time. He went so far as to suggest “If they are going to use the Internet to communicate with each other and we don’t have the power to deal with that, then you are giving a licence to terrorists to kill people.”

Share this article:
Share
Read More »