May we have an urgent statement on internet security? Several experts have called for everyone to change their internet passwords because of a virus that has infected many websites. Indeed, earlier today I tried to change my password to “Labour’s economic policy”, but it was judged to be too weak.

Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris attempts some infosec-infused twitter humour in the House of Commons. (Loses points for misidentifying the Heartbleed bug as a “virus”.)

Sussex constabulary is undertaking a trial of the Aeryon Skyranger to assess the contribution it might make to the policing of Gatwick airport. This trial is an operational matter for the chief constable.

In determining the storage and use of data obtained through this trial, the force will be subject to a duty to have regard to the surveillance camera code of practice issued as guidance under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Damian Green - government drones expected to follow the surveillance camera code of practice?
Following the blocking of Twitter in Turkey, grafitti advertises alternative DNS resolvers as a way to bypass the block.
Should a UK government decide to block Twitter, this advice would be less effective.
It’s not an outlandish suggestion that the UK would do so. In August 2011, during the rioting in London and across the UK, it was reported that the UK government was investigating the capacity to block access to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook during emergencies.
As of February 2013 this capacity was effectively available, with every major residential broadband provider voluntarily implementing a network-level site blocking plan. These systems utilise either full “Deep Packet Inspection” (used TalkTalk and mobile networks) and DNS interception and manipulation (BT, Sky, Virgin). They inspect your DNS or web traffic regardless of whether you’ve opted-in to parental controls because the same technology is also being used to block sites accused of copyright infringement under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.
There are many technical mechanisms that can be used to block access but blocking DNS resolution is usually the easiest.
So, regardless of which DNS server a user selects, a UK government that ordered Twitter blocked could do so, for the bulk of the country, in such a way that merely changing DNS resolvers would not bypass.
These systems have been implemented in the UK without legisaltive mandate, and without clear accountability or independent scrutininy.
Please consider joining Open Rights Group to support our work standing up for digital rights.

Following the blocking of Twitter in Turkey, grafitti advertises alternative DNS resolvers as a way to bypass the block.

Should a UK government decide to block Twitter, this advice would be less effective.

It’s not an outlandish suggestion that the UK would do so. In August 2011, during the rioting in London and across the UK, it was reported that the UK government was investigating the capacity to block access to social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook during emergencies.

As of February 2013 this capacity was effectively available, with every major residential broadband provider voluntarily implementing a network-level site blocking plan. These systems utilise either full “Deep Packet Inspection” (used TalkTalk and mobile networks) and DNS interception and manipulation (BT, Sky, Virgin). They inspect your DNS or web traffic regardless of whether you’ve opted-in to parental controls because the same technology is also being used to block sites accused of copyright infringement under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

There are many technical mechanisms that can be used to block access but blocking DNS resolution is usually the easiest.

So, regardless of which DNS server a user selects, a UK government that ordered Twitter blocked could do so, for the bulk of the country, in such a way that merely changing DNS resolvers would not bypass.

These systems have been implemented in the UK without legisaltive mandate, and without clear accountability or independent scrutininy.

Please consider joining Open Rights Group to support our work standing up for digital rights.

I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I had just written began to self-delete. The cursor moved rapidly from the left, gobbling text. I watched my words vanish. When I tried to close my OpenOffice file the keyboard began flashing and bleeping.

Writing The Snowden Files: ‘The paragraph began to self-delete’

Without doubting the abilities and activities of the surveillance services, we can’t help but suspect some more mundane explanation.

Communications Act 2003 Section 127