June 2006 Archives

How is it possible for the Metropolitan Police Anti-terrorism Branch SO13 to manage to lose a rucksack full of papers relating to current terrorism investigations ?

A laptop computer protected by UK Government approved Cryptography like Kilgetty or other hard disk encryption, would have been less of a risk, even if lost or stolen, than a rucksack full of papers.

Bag holding police anti-terror files lost in street
  • Rucksack had details of suspects and plots
  • Met imposes strict new rules on sensitive material

Hugh Muir, Sandra Laville and Richard Norton-Taylor
Monday June 26, 2006
The Guardian

Anti-terrorist police have been ordered to revamp security procedures after a bag containing details of bomb plots and suspects identified for surveillance was lost in the street.

The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, has imposed strict new rules on the carrying of sensitive material after files were accidentally lost in a rucksack in south-east London. Sources yesterday told the Guardian the files held important information and that anti-terrorist officers were desperate to get them back before they fell into the wrong hands.

[...]

It is all very well for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to claim that strict new procedures for handling secret documents have now been ordered, but these should already have been routine, following the incident only 2 years ago, when sensitive security documents relating to Heathrow Airport and the surrounding areas, were left at a petrol station,

The GLA website has published, the result of the investigation into the complaint about Ken Livingstone's remarks about the Reuben brothers property developers.

This has been published even before the official Standards Board for England has published it on their website.

The report by the GLA’s Monitoring Officer for investigation. Peter Keith-Lucas exonerates Ken Livingstone over the compaints about his original remarks on March 22nd, on the dubious grounds that Livingstone "genuinely believed" that David Reuben and Samuel Reuben were somehow Iranian and not Jewish,

Just how common are the names "David" and "Samuel" in Iran ?

Livingstone's previous run in with the Standards Board for England resulted in much wailing and gnashing of teeth and speeches and press releases denouncing the "undemocratic" Standards Board for England and the Adjudication Panel, which ruled against Livingstone, resulting in his 1 month's suspension as Mayor of London, a decision which is still awaiting a High Court appeal. Livingstone and his spin doctors wittered on about how an "elected politician" should only be answerable to the electorate, and to nobody else etc.

However, now that the Standards Board for England system of hearing complaints under the Code of Conduct which regulates the Office of Mayor of London, has ruled in favour of Ken Livingstone, there seems to be no word of criticism from him about them.. Livingstone has not rushed off to the High Court to seek a judicial review of this decision, "on pronciple", has he ?

Surely that makes him a hypocrite ?

It appears that Ken Livingstone's "foot in mouth" tendancies have resulted in yet another court case, this time for defamation:

Chavez visit to London causes lawsuit against Ken Livingstone By Aleksander Boyd

London 07.06.06 | On May 17th 2006 Ken Livingstone, Major of London, stated in front of London's Assemblywomen, Assemblymen and press present at a major's question time at City Hall "Aleksander Boyd is a supporter of terrorism against Venezuelan democracy" (sic). Livingstone saw fitting to make such spurious, unsubstantiated and wild accusation in the aftermath of Hugo Chavez's visit to London. As this was not the first time that apologists of the Venezuelan caudillo uttered such remarks against me I considered to issue legal proceedings, which have been initiated today.

I just got back from the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division where I presented a claim with the number HQ06X01639. In it I claim a) an injuction to prevent Ken Livingstone from further tarnishing my reputation by making defamatory remarks against me and b) £100.000 in damages.

[...]

Accusing someone of being a "supporter of terrorism", anywhere in the world, is now a very serious matter, as, if true, it could lead to arrest and prosecution under the controversial new Terrorism Act 2006 section 1 Encouragement of terrorism, which can lead to 7 years in prison and / or or a fine.

For the Mayor of London, speaking in his official capacity, to do so, is even more scandalous.

When is the High Court appeal against Livingstone's suspension as Mayor going to be heard ?

[thanks to www.redken.net]

This Saturday 10th June is set to see a large scale
Protest March and Rally against the Heathrow Airport expansion and night flights, supported by:

London Boroughs and Local Councils:

Campaign groups:

Will Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who is on record as opposing the plans for a 3rd runway, turn up to milk the press and media coverage ?

Locations and Timetable:

It has now emerged why there were conflicting reports about the state of the mobile phone network last July 7th 2005, in the aftermath of the terorist bomb attacks in London:

Report of the 7 July Review Committee (.pdf) of the Greater London Assembly.

"London's telephone networks experienced unprecedented volumes of traffic. Vodafone experienced a 250 per cent increase in the volume of calls and a doubling of the volume of text messages. There were twice as many calls on the BT network as would normally be the case on a Thursday morning. Cable & Wireless handled ten times as many calls as usual to the Vodafone and O2 networks - 300,000 calls were placed every 15 minutes, compared to 30,000 on a normal working day. O2 would normally expect to handle 7 million calls per day. On 7 July, 11 million calls were connected - 60 per cent more than usual - and this does not include unsuccessful calls."

This was all entirely predictable, given the experiences of New York on Spetember 11th 2001, and the large scale electrical power outage of 28th August 2003 in South London

However, there is is only so much a mobile phone network operator can do to temporarily and marginally increase their network capacity in an Emergency e.g. "call gapping" to arbitrarily prevent a percentage of dialed calls from actually connecting, (which doubles the radio capactiy at a Cell Base Station, but results in lower call quality) and perhaps , turning off the Handset to Cell Base Station Encryption etc. Since none of their "critical national infrastructure" was actually out of action as a direct result of the terrorist bombs, it appears that the mobile phone network operators' emergency plans did not kick in immediately, as they expected their networks to cope ok.

What is not acceptable is the apparent lack of coordination between the Metropolitan Police "Gold Command" who were nominally in charge of the emergency, and the City of London Police (presumably one of the "Silver Commands"), who for their own understandable reasons got the O2 mobile phone network to implent Access Overload Control (ACCOLC) , in an area of about 1 kilometer around Aldgate Tube station i.e. covering much of the City of London, in spite of the decision by Gold Command not to impose ACCOLC in the same area at the request of the London Ambulance Service.

Apparently the Emergency plan does not require the mobile network operator to seek confirmation from Gold Command for initiating ACCOLC,

What is the point of having a Gold / Silver / Bronze" emergency incident command and control structure if it is not actually in command ?

It also emerged that nobody appears to be sure how many key emergency workers are actually carrying mobile phones equipped with the specially issued SIM cards, which would allow their phones to work, when the general public is excluded from the network under ACCOLC.

From the tv news conference about the publication of the report by the Greater London Assembly:

Report of the 7 July Review Committee

into the response of the Emergency Services to last year's bomb attacks on the Tube and Buses,

It is clear that if a similar disaster were to happen today, very little would have been improved in the planned respose of the Emergency Services.

N.B. this report is not a substitute for a proper, detailed, independent Public Inquiry.

We have waited in vain for any clear explanation of the extraordinary Operation Vulture

Were the Operation Clydsdale rules of engagement in effect during today's shooting of a suspect during the dawn raid on the alleged "bomb factory" today in Lansdown Road?

The Guardian August 20, 2005

"the lesser-known Operation Clydesdale, which covers tactics on a planned raid against a suicide bombing suspect and which also authorises officers to shoot to to kill."

The premises are being searched by people in Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear protection suits, but on Sky TV News there are lots of people milling around in the vicinity completely unprotected.

A 5 kilometre air exclusion zone is in force.

One person is in hospital, but does not appear to have life threatening injuries, but, neither does it seem that he has been arrested.

A second man has been arrested.

Are Sir Ian Blair and the Metropolitan Police going to mess up the media reporting of this incident, just like they did after the Jean Charles de Menzes shooting last year ?

A local resident interviewed by the BBC points out that there had been a previous police raid involving several van loads of police, in the area several months ago, on the same day that suspected terrorists were arrested in Luton.

The BBC are claiming that 250 police officers were involved in this raid - which seems to be overkill.

About this blog

This website comments on the policies of the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority and actually pre-dates even the referendum which took place before these public bodies were set up.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your views about this website or news about the issues it tries to comment on:

blog @mayor-of-london.co.uk

If you need to contact us in confidence, use our our PGP public encryption key or an email account based overseas e.g. Hushmail

Please do not confuse this website with the tax payer funded Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority website.

Do not confuse that lot with the ancient office of the Lord Mayor of London either.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers

There are many good people trapped in the bureaucracies which run London. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies then you need be very careful these days. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g.

Links

Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

Wikipedia article on the London Assembly

The Evening Standard newspaper - fulfills its role by scrutinising the Mayor and the GLA etc. rather more effectively than the politicians and bureaucrats do.

Mayor of London press releases

London Assembly press releases

MayorWatch - commercial news site about the Mayor of London etc.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID - opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to NuLabour's plans for Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

asboconcern logo
ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
Encrypted MI5 web response form NuLabour's "Climate of Fear" is not the same as the real fight against terror.

gamesmonitor_logo_150.gif Games Monitor - "Games Monitor is a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes. We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of the Olympic industry. We seek to deconstruct the 'fantastic' hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the 'urban elites' in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional 'community stakeholders'. "

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area resticting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Act

Ken Livingstone Links

Syndicate this site (XML):

December 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31