Friday, March 21, 2014

One way of fixing it

Yahoo has discovered a way of getting out from under the eyes of the UK's intrusive surveillance state: move to Dublin. And Britain's spies are not happy about it:

Theresa May summoned the internet giant Yahoo for an urgent meeting on Thursday to raise security concerns after the company announced plans to move to Dublin where it is beyond the reach of Britain's surveillance laws.

By making the Irish capital rather than London the centre of its European, Middle East and Africa operations, Yahoo cannot be forced to hand over information demanded by Scotland Yard and the intelligence agencies through "warrants" issued under Britain's controversial anti-terror laws.


"There are concerns in the Home Office about how Ripa will apply to Yahoo once it has moved its headquarters to Dublin," said a Whitehall source. "The home secretary asked to see officials from Yahoo because in Dublin they don't have equivalent laws to Ripa. This could particularly affect investigations led by Scotland Yard and the national crime agency. They regard this as a very serious issue."

This is what happens if your government is too intrusive: companies which can make use of the free market in legal jurisdictions and move somewhere safer. Of course, GCHQ will simply snoop Yahoo users traffic from international cables - but that information won't be able to be used in court. So GCHQ spying has directly undermined the UK's law enforcement efforts. I'm sure the people of the UK - whose lives are affected a lot more by ordinary crime than fantasy "terrorists" - feel a lot safer.