The Senior Lecturer argues for corporate reading of all our emails

To take another example, every time a telephone company provides services to someone making bulk calls that seek to exploit the vulnerable in a fraudulent fashion it too aids and abets crime by failing to put the systems in place to prevent this happening. And the reason why they fail? Profit, of course, derived from the crime.

It’s the same with those delivering bulk mail that is fraudulent.

And the ISPs who deliver emails claiming to be from HMRC.

All these agencies claim to be bystanders whilst a crime goes on and that it is not their job to stop the abuse. I do not see why not. Prosecute just one director in a large company for aiding and abetting crime in this way and see what happens then. Alternatively, make them liable for the losses as banks are for insurance misselling.

So the phone companies, Royal Mail and others, the ISPs, now have to check the content of every call, letter and email, in order to absolve themselves from liability?

Well, yes, that is what he’s arguing. Companies should and indeed must read every one of our communications. Can you say “corporate panopticon”?

35 comments on “The Senior Lecturer argues for corporate reading of all our emails

  1. I don’t think there’s a case to be made for allowing them to read the content of emails, but sending emails claiming to be from (e.g.) HMRC or a bank while actually being sent from a completely different account is fraud and something someone needs to check up on.

  2. AndrewWS,
    How could an ISP determine if someone is falsely claiming to be HMRC or whatever without reading the email?

  3. So this ICAEW chartered accountant has accused Companies House of aiding and abetting crime and of being equivalent to email spammers and telemarketers. Is that what an ICAEW chartered accountant ought to be doing?

  4. @AndrewWS

    And how would ‘the system’ know who an email claims to be from if it doesn’t read it?

    Gmail, for example, does header spoofing to allow you to send & receive from more than one account with your Gmail interface. My company also uses it to ensure that users replying to our emails do so to a monitored address, and not to the automated system which sent the email.

    There are lots of legitimate reasons to spoof email senders. There is no legitimate reason for my ISP to read my private email, unless I request them to.

    As often happens, an IT illiterate has stumbled upon a problem and proposed a solution which, if it worked, would cause deleterious unintended consequences in areas where the proposer is completely ignorant.

  5. Maybe it could be a paying service provided by isps? So that morons can protect themselves without inconveniencing those of us who are comfortable deciding on their own.

    Or maybe there could be some software created which would protect users. You could call it anti-virus or some such.

  6. ISP are probably not even allowed to block or even read emails under privacy and net neutrality laws which the left typically like

  7. What about an alternative Murphy site?

    Copy and paste all his musings and comments there but this time allow up all the comments that he has deleted. Everybody who comments on his blog to keep a copy so it can be posted on the alternative site after Murph has deleted it on his.

    Perhaps moderate direct insults so he can’t say he is being abused but that would still leave vast numbers of comments both refuting his nonsense and pointing out the inconsistent stupidity of the creature. All for the world and his wife to see.

    Call it ” Justice Tax UK”

  8. Jack Hughes said:
    “an IT illiterate has stumbled upon a problem and proposed a solution which, if it worked, would cause deleterious unintended consequences in areas where the proposer is completely ignorant.”

    To be fair to Murphy, that’s how he behaves on any topic, not just I.T.

    He’s just the same when he writes about tax.

  9. Simple solution – ban all communication from HMRC. Sorted.

    Anyway, good luck with phone providers monitoring all calls to “weed out” potential fake callers. I’m sure (almost) Murphy doesn’t want this, he is simply too stupid to think one step ahead for obvious consequences. I wonder if he gets into all sorts of idiotic scrapes in his personal life?

  10. @AndrewWS,

    Really? I can send you an email from Richard.Murphy@hmrc.gov.uk if you want.

    SPF and DKIM offer possible solutions however given that below is a real HMRC email (it has 6 different text sizes and fonts in the message), don’t count on it happening at their end!

    Subject: Re: STRF:CNR**CNR_SA_SEF (KMM****************)

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Thank you for your email.

    I can confirm that from 06/04/2016 you are not required to complete any further sealf assrssment returns unless your circumstances change.
    Regards

    Certificate of Residence Team
    HMRC Personal Tax Operations
    Please do not reply directly to this email

    Follow HMRC on Twitter at: @HMRCgovuk

    Regards
    Certificate of Residence Team
    HMRC Personal Tax Operations

    Original Message Excluded:

  11. There is an obvious solution, and that is to ban fraud.

    If the Tory government fails to do this, we will be entitled to ask why.

  12. AndrewWS

    but sending emails claiming to be from (e.g.) HMRC or a bank while actually being sent from a completely different account is fraud and something someone needs to check up on.

    By looking at the email address used. No need to read the email itself.

    It’s a little more complicated.

    My junk mail box currently has e-mails pretending to be from (reading the names literally) Natwest, Natwest Bank Service, Natwest Bank plc, Santander, Lloyds Bank, Lloyds Bank Documents, Companies House, Barclays, Danske Bank, HSBC, HMRC, HM Revenue & Customs, name.name@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk (that’s the “name”, not the e-mail address!) – I could go on, there are bucket loads..:)

    And if I look at the e-mail address behind these, a lot of them aren’t always completely unbelievable.

    For example, on an e-mail allegedly from “Companies House” with the subject header reading “Companies House Complaint”, a real e-mail address of “something@companieshousecomplaint.co.uk” is not as ridiculous as it might be.

    A Lloyds one was from “something@Lloydssecuremessage.co.uk” where the header was “Secure message”. And all sorts of slightly plausible variations….

    Ie, unless there is a whitelist of permitted e-mail “names” for e-mail “addresses”, and for a very, very large number of possibilities, then trying to blacklist by comparing the e-mail header with the underlying e-address is not a solution..:)

  13. Mr Ecks

    Wasn’t there a spoof blog ‘Justice for Taxes’ which actually had to be abandoned because the reality of Murphy’s deranged mind was actually beyond the author’s powers of satire?

  14. Hang on. Genuine question: is it Ritchie or I who is misunderstanding the definition of a ‘common carrier’.

  15. It’s not surprising Murphy wants ISPs etc to be scrutinising their clients in meticulous detail.

    He’s a detail man:

    CBC reporting
    People’s tax returns made public for review
    All sorts of registers of interests and ownerships

    All of which he wants to be able to review along with his daily inspection of his own stools.

  16. ‘All these agencies claim to be bystanders whilst a crime goes on and that it is not their job to stop the abuse. I do not see why not.’

    Of course you don’t, coz you are dumber than a red brick.

    Harrods sold someone a knife. They used it to kill someone. Prosecute Harrods.

  17. That blog WAS satire.

    What I suggest is Murp’s blog re-created–with all of his wonderful writings–but “as if” he had lost the power to delete comments.

    It would be wise to disallow the “You’re a ….” postings and just leave argument and refutation. He can’t then claim defamation etc. In fact HIS insults and defamations should be left intact also. People will soon see who is the idiot.

    As an anti-Murph tool I think that would stitch him up far more powerfully than satire.

  18. Mr Ecks,

    I think a couple of times such a thing has been attempted, but was abandoned as people couldn’t keep up with the volume of slurry to review.

  19. I’m willing to bet that a modern day Henry Root would be able to engage with and make an utter fool of Murphy and then be able to publish the damning correspondence.

    We’ve all seen that Murphy’s critical faculties disappear in self- preening with a bit of judicious preparatory brown-nosing of him.

  20. Wouldn’t Murphy’s British built operating system be able to handle all of these problems?

    Oh, it will. And soon.

    Rumor has it Murphy has been spotted on a park bench in Ely underlining (with crayon, of course) pages in a library copy of ‘BASIC For Dummies’.

  21. I don’t think he has any clue as to the scope of task, or how email even works. Google, perhaps, could do it. Your average ISP, no.

    Prosecute just one director in a large company

    He makes it sound like they are personally complicit in a crime. They’re probably more concerned about their power bill than whether a particular email is sent according to the header.

    It reminds me of Dr Evil asking the world leaders for ‘one… million dollars’. Totally clueless.

  22. Well along with his idea of monitoring bank accounts to find excessive consumption there will no longer be any unemployment but the country will go bankrupt as 50% of the working population will be employed as snoopers. Time he was sectioned for his own good.

  23. Is he in a tizzy because someone kept calling him to sell him some double glazing while he was trying to concentrate on his Grand Candid Theory of Everything?

  24. The driver for this is, I suspect, Murphy’s overweening vanity. People are being MEAN ABOUT HIM on the internet and on email and THIS MUST BE STOPPED. Unless prosecutions are brought and people face the full force of the law, it is possible, nay even likely, that people will continue to point at him and laugh at his idiocy and the specious, ill-informed dribble he produces. It is INTOLERABLE that a man of his status, a PROFESSOR no less, is forced to endure daily humiliation like this without someone being punished. Any one will do.

  25. Heard some muppet arguing the same thing on LBC today about companies selling armaments that are subsequently misused. “They should be prosecuted” is the rallying cry if the left and cognitively impaired.

    Prosecuted for what? Do we apply the same standards to car and van and lorry companies whose products are used by jihadis? Do we extend the principle to any use that the left don’t like or are we allowed to use things as we wish. This is about freedom and control at its heart not about spam and fraud.

    To prosecute those even tangentially involved smakes of the Stasi as mentioned above.

  26. Perhaps Spud should set up the Fair Email Address Mark and Fair Telephone Call Mark? All email addresses and telephone calls to be approved by him personally and routed through his white list data best which he will check manually.

    That should keep him busy for a while,

  27. And if the mail comes via an anonymous remailer? I suppose in The People’s Decomcratic Republic of Spudlandia those will be verboten.

  28. Isn’t this pure Fascism, again? The State directs private companies to snoop on individuals on its behalf.

  29. It sounds to me like The Spud has fallen for one of those, “This is Microsoft, there is a problem with your PC…” calls.

    …and now has an empty bank account and an inbox full of spam…

  30. Cheer up Dick, you can take on the job of a one man email clean up.

    There are only 269 billion emails a year so you can still squeeze in that “teaching” job.

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