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Amadeus

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I'm calling BS on this, or how are they supposed to do this (on a technical level)?:

 

Licence fee detector vans to check on web viewers who watch BBC shows without a licence

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3726397/Licence-fee-detector-vans-check-web-viewers-watch-BBC-shows-without-licence.html

Detector vans will spy on families who watch BBC shows online without a licence, it was reported last night.

The broadcaster will deploy a new generation of ‘Wi-Fi detection vans’ from next month.

The BBC would not disclose how the new technology works. The report states that it has ruled out combing its own records of computers that have logged on to the iPlayer website to catch fee-dodgers.

A BBC spokesman said last night: ‘We’ve caught people watching on a range of devices but don’t give details of detection as we would not want to reveal information helpful to evaders.’

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Even if they could do that, surely it would violate common law which prohibits general warrants for search and seizures? (edited to say, that's the Police.......fairly sure the BBC have no lawful authority to conduct search and seizures???). If they have reasonable suspicion that you're breaking a law, and can back it up with evidence which itself didn't involve them breaking a law to get hold of it, they should report you to the police who can then go and get a warrant. Otherwise, the third party contractors they hire to knock on doors have no lawful authority to enter your home.

Edited by llap

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Must be similar to the old style TV detector vans which used to go around with super strong 'detection' equipment which even the CIA did not have.

Edited by mad_manx
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Even if they could do that, surely it would violate common law which prohibits general warrants for search and seizures? (edited to say, that's the Police.......fairly sure the BBC have no lawful authority to conduct search and seizures???). If they have reasonable suspicion that you're breaking a law, and can back it up with evidence which itself didn't involve them breaking a law to get hold of it, they should report you to the police who can then go and get a warrant. Otherwise, the third party contractors they hire to knock on doors have no lawful authority to enter your home.

 

Article says: "The technology is typically used by crime-fighting agencies but the BBC has been given legal dispensation to enforce the new requirement that people watching programmes via the iPlayer must have a TV licence." Would be interesting to see the exact legal explanation for this.

 

 

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It is suggested that BBC tv licensing will use cyber/electronic warfare tools to snoop on those watching their services on the interweb

 

I'm hoping for a brave Chief Minister like that young Gawne fellar to tell the BBC to fuck right off when it comes to doing that sort of thing over here

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They can't.

I was thinking that, at first, as I was reading this article at The Telegraph site. But the article says:

 

Researchers at University College London disclosed that they had used a laptop running freely available software to identify Skype internet phone calls passing over encrypted Wi-Fi, without needing to crack the network password. Miguel Rio, a computer network expert who helped to oversee the doctoral thesis, said that licence-fee inspectors could sit outside a property and view encrypted packets of data such as their size and the frequency with which they are emitted over the network travelling over a home Wi-Fi network.

That's definitely feasible. The time-base thing with CRTs was feasible too (I saw that demonstrated). The Register (still exists!) has an article here which takes apart The Telegraph story quite well.

 

Article says: "The technology is typically used by crime-fighting agencies but the BBC has been given legal dispensation to enforce the new requirement that people watching programmes via the iPlayer must have a TV licence." Would be interesting to see the exact legal explanation for this.

That bit doesn't actually need a legal explanation. Read that sentence again. The 'but' doesn't connect the two parts either side. "The technology is typically used by crime-fighting agencies" - probably true. "The BBC has been given legal dispensation to enforce the new requirement that people watching programmes via the iPlayer must have a TV licence". Also true. But the 'but' isn't doing anything.

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Miguel Rio, a computer network expert who helped to oversee the doctoral thesis, said that licence-fee inspectors could sit outside a property and view encrypted packets of data such as their size and the frequency with which they are emitted over the network travelling over a home Wi-Fi network.

 

As far as I'm concerned, going outside homes of entire neighborhoods and "viewing" (and probably keeping records of) their encrypted data, even if it's just size and frequency of packets of data, is illegal without a specific warrant against a named person or household. Or it should be illegal because it's definitely what I'd call a "general warrant", which at least a couple of hundred years ago was illegal in England. Was it during wartime internment of refugees that this common law was thrown in the gutter? You'd think with all the human rights legislation passed since the war, this would have been made illegal again. It's baffling. From the sounds of things they can do whatever they want and make it up as they go along. Is this "legal dispensation" set out in an official Act of Parliament?

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It would be far simpler to just make the iPlayer into a subscription service like Amazon, Netflix etc. Then gradually switch off the transmitters and stop bothering with the silly old licence fee. It's probably mostly increasingly only older people who still watch broadcast TV (hence the gradually).

 

And the govt could reallocate the spectrum.

Edited by pongo
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.

.

 

I'm hoping for a brave Chief Minister like that young Gawne fellar to tell the BBC to fuck right off when it comes to doing that sort of thing over here

Sarcasm of course?

 

Gawne must be the most pliable persuadable person in Tynwald. Listen to him being interviewed. He even talks himself round to an opposite view. It's like he has two people in his head throwing arguments at each other.

 

All very entertaining, if he wasn't in such a highly responsible and powerful position.

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It would be far simpler to just make the iPlayer into a subscription service like Amazon, Netflix etc. Then gradually switch off the transmitters and stop bothering with the silly old licence fee. It's probably mostly increasingly only older people who still watch broadcast TV (hence the gradually).

 

And the govt could reallocate the spectrum.

I can't see this happening, or at least not until there is an awful lot more resilience to the internet all over the country. The government would want to be able to communicate with the population in times of emergency and broadcast is the most effective way to do that so long as people have receivers.

 

As for the "i-player detector", that actually sounds more technically plausible than the old tv detector coat hanger vans.

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Why not just plug an Ethernet cable between your TV/STB/Desktop/Laptop etc and your router and bypass the who issue, either that or put up some 'Tempest' style chicken wire screens around your house to stop RF leakage ;)

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Oh they are fucking desperate aren't they.

 

Less than a month to go and they still haven't written to me to tell me I need a licence to watch their shite on catch-up TV.

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