First they came…

first they blocked the child porn, but i did nothing for I am not a pedophile…
… then they blocked the small breasted women, but i did nothing for fear of being called a pedophile…
… then they blocked all adult sites, but I did nothing as they were “protecting the children”………
…. then they blocked all objectionable writing, but I did nothing as it was in the “general publics best interests”…
…. then they blocked all free music, but I did nothing as it might be copyright infringement….
…. then they blocked my writing, because i was not sanctioned by the government. and no one did anything because it was too late…

It has started, we now have un-elected officials deciding what we can and cannot see on the internet. Except we don’t know what they are filtering. They won’t tell us that. The Department of Internal Affairs calls it filtering, suck a nice unobtrusive name for C E N S O R S H I P.

But hang on a minute, in the Dirty Doctor of Palmerston North case a judge said that if the child porn is from overseas it is not really the same as if it was here in NZ so not that big on the scale of offending. Welcome to the end of freedom of expression and the start of Net Censorship. Welcome to the true avbent of the Nanny State. Now they are deciding for us, without reference to us what we can and cannot look at on the internet.

My tolerance for this government is fast expiring, ok it is nearly in need of resuscitation. Now, I’m no kiddie fiddler or child-porn advocate, anyone who knows me knows I despise them. In fact I personally dobbed a creepy Scout Leader and got him chucked out. He subsequently moved to Auckland and last I heard was trying to become a Teacher. Lovely. But having a big filtering filtering god knows what on the internet, because they won’t tell us needs to be knocked on the head.

To make matters worse, read this story of how the Iranian Government shut down dissent. For all those people who had a little green box on their Twitter accounts, read this and be afraid.

“Collecting interception data is a process which takes place in the ‘background’, assuring that the intercepted target (end user) is never aware of a possible interception,” the manual describes. “The maximum number of simultaneous active interception sessions is 50,000.”

This manual has been read by police officers in Tehran. It ended up in my hands through the back door.

“Nokia Lawful Interception Gateway”, reads the cover page. This has been rumoured for a long while. Nokia Siemens Networks has supplied Iran with telesurveillance equipment, the details of which I have tried to track down since last summer. Now, one of the products that NSN supplied to Iran has been leaked to Fifi. This system enables just the type of surveillance that NSN has denied participating in.

It looks bad. The package gives users extensive power to monitor citizen mobile phone as well as mobile internet usage.

But it isn’t illegal. Similar systems monitor our own telecommunications. The question isn’t about Iran, but more broadly about what kind of surveillance is permitted ? or mandated ? in the networks we use. Who controls them?

So what? I hear you say. Well it just so happens our biggest Mobile player and also a rather large ISP has exactly the same gear as the Iranian mobile networks. I know this because I asked Paul Brislen.

Vodafone Conversation re: Nokia

Nokia Lawful Interception Gateway (LIG), Has the Government?

So, I sent the article to Paul Brislen and he confirms that they have the gear mentioned in the article, in fact their entire network is provided by Nokia. He thinks it is funny. Well read on;

Nokia Siemens Networks refused to reveal what they had sold to Iran. “Just this small add-on”, the company’s media relations office replied again and again when I questioned them about it. “I don’t recall its name right now”, said Communications Manager Riitta M?rd. “It has nothing to do with internet surveillance.”

In fact, at least three separate systems were exported to Iran. Nokia built a GSM network; the GSM network was provided with the LIG system that I acquired; and the LIG has been upgraded with the “add-on” that M?rd described. M?rd remembers the name of the system now: Monitoring Centre (PDF). It’s a test platform that, according to M?rd, only is only suitable for monitoring telephone calls.

The commotion caused by the NSN trading with Iran has been mostly about the Monitoring Centre. The actual problem now seems to be the more extensive LIG.

And this is where it gets interesting, even for the ordinary Western mobile phone user normally untouched by Iran’s political storms. LIG, with its extensive monitoring capabilities, or a comparable system by a different manufacturer, is monitoring all mobile voice and data networks around the world, including here in Finland.

And that dear friends is how a government can shut down dissent overnight. Now you know how the Iranian government managed to shut-up the freedom movement.

In fact, it is precisely because of us Europeans that these extensive monitoring systems first became legal and then mandatory worldwide. Europe has spearheaded the transition from more restricted surveillance methods to extensive systems like the LIG: systems that store all of the target’s communications data during surveillance for future investigation.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who indeed? Now do you all see why we need a constitution like this. This sort of nonesense is why we need the protection of a constitution especially the First and second amendments. Now watch then implement a more draconian s92a that that which we think there should be. The hugley ironic thing for me is the penalties for breaching copyright is 12 times higher than a “serious breach of the foundation of our law”, that being name suppression. Name Suppression is just one affront to our rights as citizens. Little by little they are being eroded away.