"Nothing to hide, Nothing to fear" - RIPA

(Hugh) #1

Just wanted some opinions after having a rather interesting conversation with someone who believes that government accountability creates red tape and mass surveillance should be trusted implicitly as “they keep us safe”.

RIPA has some rather interesting nuances - if you happen to have an encrypted drive and you cannot decrypt it you can go to jail for 5 years. This raises some questions: product of the mind has been exempt (pretty much) from prosecution because you can’t prove what someone does or does not think - passwords arguably fall under this (and thus the 5th Amendment in the US…or not). How often have you forgotten a password? Deleted a private key? Lost a USB? (which could be your decryption key) If you cannot prove what is on the drive isn’t incriminating, in the US it is assumed that the data is incriminating. Which seems to go against “innocent until proven guilty”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_disclosure_law#United_States

Just interested to hear people’s viewpoints…


I really don’t trust any government institutions which claim that they need our data to “keep us safe”.

In the U.K. the conservatives seem hell bent on implementing the snoopers charter although they haven’t really mentioned it in a while.

I’m just waiting for the day that government collected data falls into the wrong hands and something major happens. What will be the narrative then I wonder?

(Leon) #3

They have not mentioned it because it’s already law. It’s been law since late last year.


The ‘nothing to hide’ argument is completely fallacious. Everyone needs privacy.

(Tommy Long) #5

I’m broadly fine with GCHQ/MI5/MI6 doing what they need to do, in regards to national security, and if you make what they do illegal they’ll just go underground to do it.

The problem is that inevitably more and more people get the information, first the Police for serious crimes (who doesn’t want to catch paedophiles?), then normal crimes (who doesn’t want to catch criminals?), then HMRC (who doesn’t want to catch tax evaders?), then your local Council (who doesn’t want to catch benefit cheats?). It might sound like I’m overhyping things but local Councils genuinely had people going through suspected benefit cheats bins a decade ago under RIPA.


How on earth did I miss this?


The problem is more than that - constant monitoring modifies how people behave in insidious ways, the population becomes more compliant. If you know you are being watched, you even tend to avoid things that you enjoy and are not illegal but perhaps slightly out there. Your entire browsing history is available to advertisers - you think the three letter agencies don’t have access to even more?

You are being watched. Everything you do on the net is monitored.

Privacy is a fundamental human right. And it is rapidly disappearing.


Your ISP keeps a log of every website you visit. In theory, they are not meant to store the full URL, but who knows?


The nothing to hide, nothing to fear mantra is misleading. Those who want to know what the population is doing rely on this knowing that there is a big difference between secrecy and privacy.

Echelon. Hello GCHQ :wave:


I was aware of that fact but I didn’t know that snoopers charter had been made into law. I must of been out that day :-/

(Tommy Long) #12

ISPs can’t record the URLs of HTTPS traffic anyway and two-thirds of traffic (through Chrome) is HTTPS now.


Glad to know @tommy5dollar thanks

(Tony Hoyle) #14

It only applies to the ‘big’ ISPs - the smaller ones don’t do this, and some of them actively refuse to…


If only more people chose to avoid shitty ISPs. At the moment the ISP market is a race to the bottom and you pretty much have to do nasty stuff just to stay afloat and be able to make a profit.


Teresa May wanted it whilst she was Home Secretary. She railroaded it through.

The Snoopers Charter has little to do with RIPA. RIPA is highly regulated, it’s not something easily gained, but used sensibly is more than sufficient for hunting paedophiles that the public expect the Police to do.

Hunting terrorists is more difficult which is I guess why they want it. It’s like the US’s Patriot Act, a Carte Blanche to do what they want and seems beyond any scrutiny. This is why WhatsApp and the like are so popular. There are browsers which not even the Police can get to, and people will find these and use these more.

Yet people seem surprised at how regulated China is, State sponsored surveillance, how different are the UK & the USA? We are just better at hiding it from the public.

(Hugh) #17

Disagree: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_Investigatory_Powers_Act_2000#Agencies_with_investigative_powers

Why does a “fire authority” need “Directed surveillance and covert human intelligence sources”?

I think this is more to do with people liking privacy than trying to blight the efforts of the Police.


Well RIPA is hard to get as it is massively regulated now, I know. Maybe in the past not so, but now yes.

I can’t answer why the Fire Authority needed a snout, I don’t know what case they were looking at. But to get RIPA it would I assume be life and death.

WhatsApp and other messaging apps are used to avoid the Police and the like. Text messages are secure to the layman with nothing to hide. It’s not like CSI Miami where they just log into a phone and read text messages, it takes decent knowledge, expensive equipment and access to the network.

Why would kids use what they think is a non traceable web browser to bully another child? So they think they won’t get caught. Hiding.

I understand what you’re saying. I don’t want the government being unnecessarily nosey, but then I’ve nothing to hide. But people use Messaging apps for ease, their ability to span the world for free, group chat, but also some use it to try their best to avoid detection. There is a very fine line.



Always funny to see those idiot politicians complaining how encryption makes it harder for police to catch criminals while in reality the most horrible terrorist attacks (like the Bataclan attack in Paris) were orchestrated completely in the clear via SMS on burner phones.

At the very least if crypto was actually used they would have a point, but in reality it’s only seldom used and more for the convenience of it (terrorists might use WhatsApp/Telegram just because there are no more conventional mobile networks in Syria so plain SMS doesn’t work) than its crypto aspect.


can you give me your email, WhatsApp and social media logins then?

(Hugh) #21

I’m sorry but this argument has been proved to be futile time and again. At the very least you essentially imply complete and utter trust in the government - really?