Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

Every phone call, email or website visit will be monitored by the government

April 25, 2009

Every phone call, email or website visit will be monitored by the state under plans to be unveiled next week in the UK.

By Tom Whitehead
Telegraph (UK)

The proposals will give police and security services the power to snoop on every single communication made by the public with the data then likely to be stored in an enormous national database.

The precise content of calls and other communications would not be accessible but even text messages and visits to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter would be tracked.
The move has alarmed civil liberty campaigners, and the country’s data protection watchdog last night warned the proposals would be “unacceptable”.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, will argue the powers are needed to target terrorists and serious criminals who are taking advantage of the increasing complex nature of communications to plot atrocities and crimes.

A consultation document on the plans, known in Whitehall as the Interception Modernisation Programme, is likely to put great emphasis on the threat facing Britain and warn the alternative to the powers would be a massive expansion of surveillance.

But that will fuel concerns among critics that the Government is using a climate of fear to expand the surveillance state.

Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, the country’s data watchdog, told the Daily Telegraph: “I have no problem with the targeted surveillance of terrorist suspects.

“But a Government database of the records of everyone’s communications – if that is to be proposed – is not likely to be acceptable to the British public. Remember that records – who? when? where? – can be highly intrusive even if no content is collected.”

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China denies claims it hacked into Pentagon computers

April 21, 2009

The $300 billion (£206bn) jet is being developed by Lockheed Martin and will be bought by eight other countries, including the UK.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported that hackers had broken into the project and siphoned off “several terabytes of data related to design and electronics systems”.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Telegraph (UK)

The leak could make it easier to defend against the plane, also known as the F35 Lightning II. However, the spies could not access the most sensitive material, which is kept on computers that are not connected to the internet.

F-35 Lightning II

Former US officials said the attacks appear to have originated in China, but there is scant concrete evidence because it is easy to mask identities online.

Chinese officials reacted angrily to the accusation, and a spokesman for the foreign ministry said: “China has not changed its stance on hacking. China has always been against hacking and we have cracked down very hard on hacking. This is not a Chinese phenomenon. It happens everywhere in the world.”

Attacks on the Pentagon are common, but are said to have escalated dramatically in the past six months, and coincide with growing speculation about China’s role in cyber espionage.

A report issued by the Pentagon last month said the Chinese military has made “steady progress” in its online warfare capabilities, a key field in which China can compete with the US.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington called the report “a product of the Cold War mentality” and said accusations of cyber crime were being spread to inflame opinion against China.

At the end of last month, researchers at several universities discovered the existence of GhostNet, a vast internet espionage network that was siphoning information from sensitive computers in 103 countries. One third of its targets were based in embassies, news media and NGOs. The researchers said the majority of GhostNet’s attacks originated from within China but stopped short of accusing Beijing of responsibility.


The security of the Joint Strike Fighter may have been breached before, according to a Pentagon report in 2008. The report said that “the advanced aviation and weapons technology for the JSF programme may have been compromised” because the Defence Department had not kept a close enough eye on the 1,200 contractors involved in the mammoth process. At the time, BAE Systems, the UK arms company, was named as one contractor that might have allowed details to leak. BAE denied that any information on the jet had been compromised.

The UK intends to use the Joint Strike Fighter as a replacement for the Harrier jump jet. More than 2,400 jets will be built in total.