Bonum Certa Men Certa

Labour Party Should Transfer Its Web Site and Communications Back to the United Kingdom

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Jul 06, 2024,
updated Jul 07, 2024

Freedom of information

The "take back control" (Brexit) rhetoric overlooks the real issues.

Earlier today: [Meme] [Teaser] Microsoft's Covert Control of the British Government

THE TIME to write about this issue seems right because Australia’s government is outsourcing to the US (GAFAM) under the guise of "clown computing" as if there is something so immensely novel, unbelievable and seductive about proprietary Web UIs for some servers, which one can build for oneself in one's own nation...

Same thing in the UK.

There are also legal ramifications here. But does the law also apply to those who are meant to enforce it? Or are they exempted? They exempt themselves. Because power won't hold power accountable.

On the same day we had a General Election and the winner turned out to have also outsourced to GAFAM we preferred not to talk about this, at least "not yet".

Was advice needed from some British firm/s? If so, what was the advice? To outsource everything to America? Microsoft resellers are abundant here. This problem isn't limited to Labour, but today we focus on Labour and its outsourced Web site, which routes via the United States. Imagine British Web users having to go through American companies (for E-mail, sites etc.) to contact the British government. Does that make sense? The case-insensitive site may seem like IIS, but it is Clownflare-walled, so it's hard to check/verify and there are no other signs of Microsoft, except for E-mail (spf.protection.outlook.com, presumably routed outside the UK).

$ host labour.org.uk
labour.org.uk has address 104.18.7.235
labour.org.uk has address 104.18.6.235
labour.org.uk has IPv6 address 2606:4700::6812:7eb
labour.org.uk has IPv6 address 2606:4700::6812:6eb
labour.org.uk mail is handled by 0 labour-org-uk.mail.protection.outlook.com.

One day in the future we'll publish a deeper dive into how Microsoft and the US government both harvest E-mails sent to and from the UK, assuming people use Outlook anything (at either end; usually it's not a choice). It's probably the same with GMail. This has "political" and "industrial" espionage written all over it. This should not be happening.

An associate has joked that they use "no e-mail, instead they are playing Microsoft Outlook -- and that goes via the US -- and is unreliable with double-digit losses."

That's the E-mail part.

What about the site?

The associate has found "geolocation shows that the clownflare hosting for 104.18.7.235 is in the US thus every click routes via the US and across the Atlantic [...] a second gelocation service shows that the clownflare hosting for 104.18.6.235 is in the US too, in California specifically. But geolocation metadata can be and often is faked so that is not reliable; checking traceroute..."

$ traceroute 104.18.6.235
traceroute to 104.18.6.235 (104.18.6.235), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
[snip]
2  * * *
3  * hls-b4-link.ip.twelve99.net (62.115.143.50)  21.25 ms  18.703 ms
4  cloudflare-ic-369089.ip.twelve99-cust.net (213.248.94.67)  33.542 ms  39.669 ms  19.391 ms
5  104.18.6.235 (104.18.6.235)  18.083 ms  18.128 ms  18.055 ms

The geolocation data for 213.248.94.67 (4 above) is inconclusive.

This one is conclusive:

$ dig mx labour.org.uk | grep -v '^;' | grep MX
labour.org.uk.          261     IN      MX      0 labour-org-uk.mail.protection.outlook.com.

Or

$ dig mx labour.org.uk | awk '$4 == "MX"'
labour.org.uk.          295     IN      MX      0 labour-org-uk.mail.protection.outlook.com.

Checking Netcraft shows '403 forbidden' for Labour's home page so no data is available.

To see what's wrong with Clownflare don't try Google Search. "Clownflare" or "Cloudflare" (mind spelling) won't matter; any information on reasons to avoid it or boycott it are obscured by pro-Cloudflare SEO+PR or highly irrelevant trash. To enumerate briefly what is wrong with such a 'service': it's spying, it's a Man in the Middle (risk to security), it discriminates and censors a lot. There are many more reasons .

So they discriminate against certain people accessing their site (and their privacy is severely impacted). They also share all communications with a foreign country and a very hostile company while at the same time receiving inferior service levels (so we're looking at both legal and technical perils).

Microsoft too is a Man in the Middle.

"The misplaced trust in Outlook ensures disenfranchisement due to many lost mails," our associate has noted.

Will this improve over time? One can only hope. Almost nobody still uses Microsoft for mail.

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