Facebook/Twitter etc "bans"

Peter Fairbrother zenadsl6186 at zen.co.uk
Fri Aug 12 22:15:42 BST 2011

Ross Anderson wrote:
> Adrian:
>> Surely it is more useful to read, and record, them and be inside their
>> decision-action loops and able to intercept them on the ground
> I was fascinated to read that the RAF supplied three helicopters to
> the police to help them track events.
> I wonder whether these were tactical sigint units. Modern kit can
> break A5/1 in tens of milliseconds, allowing real-time decryption of
> all the channels in a cell, and with directional antennas an airborne
> monitor can hoover up the traffic from quite a few cells at once.
> What you really need is to know where the looters are headed now, not
> where they were yesterday once Blackberry hand over the logs. 

Blackberry handing over logs, and the Police looking at them, would be 
legal of course, under RIPA S.1(5)(c).

BlackBerry Messenger archives open for inspection

However,as an aside, beginning with a quote from the above:

"When we asked RIM about this, the company provided the following 
statement: "Similar to other technology providers we comply with the 
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and co-operate fully with the 
Home Office and UK police forces" – so one can be reasonably certain 
that even if it wasn't logging everything before, it is now."

But surely that would be illegal?

Starting to log traffic so that the Police can see the logs would 
undoubtedly be interception (either monitoring traffic or modifying the 
system or more probably both) and it would not be lawful under 3(3) afaics -

"(b)it takes place for purposes connected with the provision or 
operation of that service or with the enforcement, in relation to that 
service, of any enactment relating to the use of postal services or 
telecommunications services."

> Real-time traffic analysis, including location analysis, of everyone
> in London, is much better done from an airborne platform than by 
> serving paperwork on dozens of different communications service
> providers.

Unless the helicopters big enough to carry a signal analysis staff they 
would need to forward their electronic take elsewhere.

I expect the actual traffic analysis being done by helicopter is more to 
identify suspected looters and track them - more in keeping with Plod's 
vision, and probably just as effective.

-- Peter Fairbrother

> Ross

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