Sunday, April 12, 2009

Draper's comment about email hacking amused me...

Having been out for the day yesterday, and getting a little bit drunk to the point of falling asleep so it seems, I have now just read Derek Draper defence of the emails from yesterday on Labourlist and this little bit caught my eye.
Imagine if all your emails suddenly became available to people wanting to damage you. That is, of course, the other question that needs to be asked: how were these emails obtained? Was criminal activity and hacking involved? Believe me, these are issues I will be looking at when I return from my holiday. "Blog wars" are one thing but hacking into people's emails is surely a step too far?
I wonder whether Derek is aware that the Government and party that he supports actually has an official policy of reading our emails if it wants? Or taking control of our computers remotely if it suspects us of something?

Putting that aside, I wonder if Derek Draper, or any of the others involved actually realise that sending an unencrypted email is like sending a postcard in the real world. Everyone who handles it along the way from sending to delivery can read it. Whether they actually do or not is another thing, but the idea that you need to be some sort of hacker is classic technofear hyperbole.

11 comments:

Houdini said...

Why does nobody make the point that Draper was once disgraced in a similar manner not that long ago.

How long until McBride is, Draper like, rehabilitated and brought back?

Demetrius said...

So what's new? Back in the 1940's signals intelligence and telephone security routines were commonplace for those who dealt with them. In the 1950's signals surveillance was routine on the banks of the Elbe. In the 1970's in the UK telephone tapping etc was extensive. Now my personal plan for world domination is %/+4*.....

curly15 said...

Is he having some trouble composing himself today?

Conand said...

Email and Internet privacy was one of Guido's main points from the outset, and I quote:

'It was deliberate timing to launch this assault on Downing Street this weekend to fill the holiday news vacuum. Nobody so far has commented on the irony that it was also this week that it became legal for the government to read all our emails.'

Dizzy says:

'I wonder whether Derek is aware that the Government and party that he supports is actually has an official policy of reading our emails if it wants?'

Well that was the really funny part. Right from the 'phone call with Sky News, Draper kept launching into a tirade about Email privacy. HE COMPLETELY FELL INTO GUIDO'S TRAP. Beauty!
The whole hacking thing is complete rubbish. It is fairly obvious that somebody at #10 blew the whistle and contacted Guido. They might have had unauthorized access to McBride or Watson's office computer. That ain't hacking though.
Lastly, I could be an ickle bit paranoid BUT: Draper's inference about a highly skilled Tory IT specialist seems only to point in one direction> Dizzy

Do you think?

Anonymous said...

I'm still amazed people use easy to guess passwords. Most emails are 'hacked' because guessing a numpty password isn't that hard.

Anonymous said...

Could there be anything in the theory that the timing of this story was influenced by plans for a new splash on MPs' expenses? http://www.redboxblues.wordpress.com

Sam Duncan said...

"Putting that aside, I wonder if Derek Draper, or any of the others involved actually realise that sending an unecrypted email is like sending a postcard in the real world."

I'd be willing to bet they don't.

In the last decade or so, the general population has enthusiastically embraced technologies that it doesn't have the faintest idea about. And the most enthusiastic are usually the worst.

I'm not suggesting your average bloke should know the intricate details of SMTP, POP3 and IP routing (I'm none too clear on some of them myself), but what we have right now is a situation a bit like people holding conversations on ham radio, blissfully unaware that anybody could be listening. And then they get outraged when somebody does.

I've seen stuff sent by email that would make your hair curl. Email clients should have encryption enabled by default. It's insane that on some of them it's not even immediately clear that it's even possible (let alone desirable).

Richard said...

Dear God. This has been going on since the 'good day to bury bad news' scandal on 9/11.

You'd think that the government would have had somebody in by now to show their staff how to press the button with the padlock on it before sending an email.

Are you still using PGP Dizzy, or are you worried that it'll get you a visit from the anti-terrorist squad?

scotch said...

Not going to step up and educate Draper to the wonders of PGP then, Dizz?

Paul Seaman said...

It made entertaining reading in the Sunday newspapers. But the great thing is that it did more harm to the sleaze merchants than to their intended victims.

“New” Labour was always unattractively paranoid and vicious. What is surprising is that they have been pilloried for it for ten years and more and still not got the message. More...

http://paulseaman.eu/2009/04/only-nlabour-thought-thered-be-mileage-in-gossipe/

Anonymous said...

Whatever makes you think that Draper has the least idea about technology?