BBC Radio 4 Today programme interview with Home Secretary David Blunkett

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To some people it may seem to be obsessive to analyse each word uttered by a politician, but when that politician is the controversial Home Secretary David Blunkett, a certain amount of kremlinology is required, to cut through the media spin and popularist playing to the mob, which this poweful politician indulges in. We want to know where next he is planning to shift the delicate balance between freedom and a police state, presumbaly with "good intentions".

Hence our interest in the interview he gave on the BBC Radio 4, Today Programme, on Saturday 13th November 2004.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today3_terror_20041113.ram

The BBC no longer seem to be providing online transcripts (or even printed ones) of their flagship Today programme, presumably to cover their CaRears after the Hutton Inquiry and/or for cost reasons.

Here is an unskilled transcription (hat's off to professional stenographers who seem to be able to sort out the mess of interruptions and simultaneous voices) of the 11 minute interview with Home Secretary David Blunkett about ID Cards and the his counter spin against the "climate of fear" stuff that the BBC has been highlighting recently in series such as The Power of Nightmares

In order to understand all the oblique references and jargon in this inteview, you do have to be pretty clued up on UK political and legal issues, and also on the limitiations of technology, which most people (including the participants in this interview, at least with respect to technology) are not.

The segment can be heard, for a while, until it disappears into the archives, via Real Audio (the Beeb cut a special deal with RealMedia so that you can download a version of the RealMedia player from the BBC website which is not infected with advertising)

BBC Radio 4, Today Programme, Saturday 13th November 2004

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today3_terror_20041113.ram

JH: = John Humphrys, the presenter and chief interviewer of the Today programme.
DB: = Home Secretary David Blunkett

"JH:
28 minutes to 9
Is the Government deliberately scaring us about the threat from terrorism, so that it can bring in increasingly draconian laws ? That's been suggested, but the Home Secretary David Blunkett is making a speech today to say that it is wrong. Mr Blunkett's on the line, good morning to you.

DB:
Good morning, nice to talk to you John.

JH:
It's certainly the case isn't it that er some of the things being proposed are pretty draconian ?

DB:
No they're not. They're sensible, pre-emptive measures. Pre-emptive in the sense that we live now in a rapidly changing world, where people's fears are greater, not just in terms of terrorism, but fear in their own neighbourhood and community, and we've been able to establish stability and security in terms of the economy, and people's economic family life, we need to be able to do that in their immediate environment, and internationally, and in dealing with terrorism.

JH:
That's a bit of an admission that you've failed, isn't it ? Put aside the terrorism, as you say, quite separately, fear is greater in their homes and communities, after nearly eight years in power.

DB:
It it's greater because of rapid economic and social change, including globalisation, it's greater

JH:
Really ?

DB:
Yes, it's greater because we see things now, accross the world, because of instant, er, satellite. er, television, that we never did immediatly before. We have seven day week, twenty four hour, instant communication, all of this underpinned by a changing culture, a lack of respect, the inability of parents to parent properly, the binge drinking that is a phenomenon


JH: [same time]
You're confusing an awful lot of things there

DB: [same time]
over the la', over the last No No I'm merely..

DB:
We always have good conversations on a Saturday morning, so let me just

JH:
(continue ?) go on

DB:
Well people do not open their hearts, and minds, and hear messages, particularly Progressive messages"

The speech he is giving today is to the Labour party Progress "think tank"/magazine annual conference at TUC House


"if, underpinning that, subliminally, is a fear of what's happening around them, and if they're more insecure when they go out, and they walk on the street, if tthey fear, because of the eleventh of September, and its aftermath, what is happening in terms of the , er, the new forms of threat, from outside, then we have to provide that stability and security, if they're going to be abale to the messages about opening your hearts and minds to other,"

Was it Richard Nixon, or one of his team who said "If you have them by the short hairs, their hearts and minds will follow" ?

"about reducing the fear of difference, about being able to create a civilised and caring

JH: [interrupt]
Alright

DB:
and compassionate society

JH:
One one of the things that you want to do, obviously, is Identity Cards , and then the, er, National Identity Database, and, in many respects, some people believe anyway, the database is, is , far and away the most offensive thing, er, if they don't like this legislation.

What you're doing, is creating a whole pile of new offences, aren't you, including things like, refusal to, an obey, to obey an order, from You, failure to notify the authorities about a damaged Card, failure to notify the Secretary of State of any change in personal circumstances, a whole new raft of law, but we can now break, and face quite severe penalties

DB:
Well of course, all all of those apply to, to the Driving Licence,"

No they do not all apply to the current Driving Licence - you do not risk getting fined if your driving licence is accidentally damaged or if the computer systems designed to read it fail to do so, for whatever reason, totally out of your control, which is the case with the Government's ID Card proposals.

You do not get fined for not registering for a Driving Licence, but the plan is to make the biometric registration process compulsory, even if carrying an ID Card at all times per se is not..

"and the difference between what we're doing in the future, and what we have in the present, is that there will actually be a verifyable identity, rather than someone being able to steal, and multiply your identity so, instead of a muddled system which can be , er, easily, er, flawed, and can be easily duplicated, we're creating something where we'll know who's in the country,"

So how exactly will this enable you be able to tell if Osama bin Laden is in the UK or not ??

"who's entitled to draw down on, what are the only free services of their type in the world, including the NHS, er, we'll be able to ensure that those who are here, can work legitimately, legally, pay taxes,"

Why do you need an ID card to pay taxes ? The Inland Revenue manages pretty well without one.

"and we'll be able to ensure that the Security and Organised Crime and Policing Agencies can use this sensitively, because we're going to pass, in the Bill, all the necessary security measures, er, Oversight measures, with the Commissioner, that we would expect in a free society, far more than in anywhere else in the world, and far more than you have with your Loyalty Card, where yes, er sh, shops, retailers know, where you've been, what you've shopped, what you've spent, we, we'll never know that, and nor should we."

The Inland Revenue have, in the past, grabbed Loyalty Card records from supermarkets to help in their investigations into possible tax frauds. The "safeguards" published in the Draft ID Card Bill, are totally inadequate

"JH:
mm, but, the problem with those comparisons is , the Driving Licence, in the first place, you need a Driving Licence in order to drive, if you choose not to drive, you don't have to have one. There are perfectly good reasons for having a driving licence, obviously. You need to have an ID Card in order to exist, in order to be.

DB:
No, you need a biometric ID Card, with your unique bio, er, biometric"

No! "biometrics" are imprecise digital copies - they are NOT "unique"

"on the database, in order to be able to"

No you do not NEED a biometric database, you could just have them solely on the SmartCard, with a Digital Signature against forgery.

"to establish your true identity"

No, you have to "establish your true identity" through your biographical footprint of other documents in the first place to register and enrol onto such a system. Your "true identity" can be stolen at this point with traditionally forged documents, if the criminal registers before you do, which is quite likely given the queue of 60 million people which the Government seems to be intent on registering.

"and to, sti, sto, to stop other people stealing it. The whole point

JH:(interrupt)
Managed without it in the past

DB:
The whole point of these measures, is not only greater Security and Entitlement"

David Blunkett never explains exactly how his ID card scheme will provide greater security.

The extra cost and bureacracy REDUCES my Entitlement to services that I already pay for, it does not increase it.

"but actually, also, to ensure that we link this with all that we're doing on Organised Crime, what we've been doing on Anti-Social Behavior,"

How many UNIDENTIFIED persistent offenders or nuisance neighbours have been or are ever likely to be served with an ASBO ? How many FALSE IDENTITEIES have they or will they use under the ASBO system ? Zero

Will the virtually unlimited ASBO bail conditions be used to force peple to carry ID Cards if so ordered, or to designate that people challenged in Dispersal Zones should have to identify themselves on the street with ID Cards ?

"what the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary are doing in terms of Global Security, and what Gordon Brown has been able to establish in leading us into the most secure and stable economy that we've had in the last century.

JH:
The the the basic charge against you, has come from people like Charles Kennedy, is that you've created a climate of fear, that, um, you can pass various forms of draconian legislation. And it isn't only politicians attacking you here, is it, it , it's many QCs, um, who worry about what you're doing to our system of justice. you want to change all sorts of things, you want to chane the burden of proof, talking about terrorism trials, and all that sort of thing, you want to change the burden of proof, you want to contradict some of the Cardinal Principles, of Criminal Justice, that's the charge against you, isn't it ?"

Is John Humphrys making "charges against" the Home Secretary or the Government or the Labour Party ?]

"DB:
No, I just want to protect Society from those who would take away our liberty and freedom, by using democracy to destroy it"

Who protects Society or Us from David Blunkett or his sucessors ?

"and, er, I shall be saying today, as you heard on your programme earlier on, in terms of , er, the, the Netherlands, that if we're going to protect our liberty and freedom, we've got to distinguish, between, between being tolerant of people's views and values, and intolerant of those who would actually destroy them from within, in other words, and I challenge Charles Clarke on this

Was this a Freudian slip ? Charles Clarke is a Labour Cabinet collegue, who presumably David Blunkett thinks is his rival for the "well, if not Gordon Brown, then perhaps I could be the "compromise" candidate with senior Cabinet experience for the job of Prime Minister when Tony Blair retires.

"JH: (interrupt)
Charles Kennedy. I doubt you challenge Charles Clarke on this.

DB (laughs)
Charl, Charl, I, I challenge Charles Kennedy on this. We've actually got to be able to distinguish , er, an open, liberal society, from Libertarianism, where Anything Goes, and where Selfishness and Individualism, are some, somehow presented, as though that is somehow Liberalism"

How will the leader of the the Liberal Democratic party Charles Kennedy view David Blunkett's definition of Liberalism ?

How will the Samizdata bloggers etc. view his definition of Lbertarianism ?

"and, er, um, Mark Oaten"

Mark Oaten is the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman.
Note how there is no mention of David Davis or the officiasl Opposition spokesman or the Conservatve Party's fence sitting on the issue of ID Cards.

"is quoted as being against ID cards, this morning,"

Another quotation to find for our collection. Strangely, there does not seem to be anything online from Mark Oaten dated "this morning", perhaps David Blunkett is keeping tabs on his political opponents (politcal intelligence and spin, obviously, rather than abuse of the Security Services)

"but he voted for it, in just less than a year ago in the Commons "

Are politicians not allowed to change their minds once the horrible detail of the Government's ID Database schemes became more apparent ?

"Now we've got to have a sensible debate about these matters"

Really, when and where ? Behind closed doors to special interest stakeholders at think tanks conferences charging over £100 a head entrance fee, like the nu Labour leaning Institute of Public Policy Research ID Card event this Wednesday 17th at the Royal Society along with speakers such as Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner

The cross party umbrella group which is coordinating opposition to the ID Card Bill plans NO2ID are calling for volunteers for a photo opportunity and peaceful demonstration to confront David Blunkett who will probably arrive in Carlton House Terrace, around 9.30am.

"if we're not to degenerate into circumstances where a Government would take Draconian and Oppresive action"

Is this a reference to the potential use of Civil Contingencies Bill Part 2 Emergency Powers which the Government is currently brining onto the statute books ??

http://www.spy.org.uk/cgi-bin/civilcontingencies.pl

"JH:
Well

DB:
because there would have been an incident, that would have literally undermined the sensible debate that you and I are having this morning"

Debate ??? Hardly !! The Home Office managed to reject all the suggestions in the Home Affairs Committee report, and even their own opinion polling shows that most people do not understand what a "biometric identifier" is, so how can they have an informed debate on the pros, cons, risks or the cost benefit of the Government's compulsory centralised biometric database plans ?

"and I have with Barristers, and I have with Judges, who don't come forward, with alternatives to what we are doing."

That is exactly what the Home Secretary and the huge Home Office bureaucracy are paid to do on our behalf.

"JH:
But you see it isn't just domestic politicians here making these, charges, may I remind you. you'll know it of course, Alvaro Gil-Robles, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights",

Alvaro Gil-Robles, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights has a website

"he talks about us taking steps that overstep the limits on the Pretext of the Fight Against Terror.

DB:
Yes, I met him, on Thursday, he says the same about my measures on Anti-Social Behavior and last night I attended two Community Meetings, in which people were asking for even greater power. and were rejoicing in the powers we had given the Police, so, he has a particular view, but we have a view from a situation where we want to prevent and protect our people, from any incident that would change the political climate"

So if ASBOs are popular with local lynch mobs, then Human Rights Commissioners can be ignored ?

"and if I wanted, and the Prime Minsiter wanted, to actually get engaged now, with a climate of fear , we'd create a Cabinet minister, as the Tories, are require, are requesting, who would be a Homeland Security Secretary or Tsar"

Is this an attack on the Bush Administration's panic measures ?

"who would have by their very nature, and their survival politically, to appear on television and radio virtually every day, and I could do it, put the Fear of God Up People"

Just like David Blunkett then.

"[indistinct] we're doing the opposite

JH: [interrupt]
But you're doing more than that in a sense, if you're changing, if you're challenging the Basic Principles of Justice, you're doing more than that.

DB:
But, but I'm not, I'm seeking a way through a situation, which three years ago faced us with international terrorists, who have been adjudged, through the Court of Suprerior Record, and the Appeal Court to have been at terrorists, actually threatening threatening our livelyhood"

"actually threatening our livelyhood" ?

This is interesting since neither the foreign detainees in Belmarsh nor their lawyers, have been told exactly what the actual terrorism allegations against them are.

Are these just petty credit card fraudsters who support obnoxious foreign jihadi charities etc ?

Perhaps David Blunkett really meant "our way of life" rather than "our livelyhood "

N.B. no charges of counterfeiting, or fraud seem to have been brought against these people, who are not exactly Osama bin Laden's closest co-conspirators or terrorist masterminds

"but in circumstances where to reveal the Security Information, which was International, would have put not only Ours, but Other Security Services at risk".

At risk of being exposed of having used torture, directly or indirectly via compliant police states ?

"now the reason I mention that, is because we couldn't remove those people from our country because, we were adhereing to Human Rights, because there, they would have been put to death or torture. What we are now seeking, is a way out of that situation, and we're waiting for the House of Lords Judgement in terms of the Derogation, that's the withdrawal

JH:
Can I

DB:
from a particular part of the European Convention"

The Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, rushed through without proper debate , except, for this controversial Part 4, which effectively suppressed all debate on the other controversial bits e.g. Data Retention or Information Sharing etc.

This involved technically declaring a State of Emergency, and "derogating" from the prohibition against detention without trial provisions of the European Declaration of Human Rights as incorporated in the Human Rights Act 1998

"JH:
can I ask you one more question ? Are we safer now, as a result of the war on Iraq ?

Note the BBC weasel words "war in Iraq" not the "war on Saddam Hussein's evil regime"

"DB:
We're safer, in the sense, that we have pre-empted, actions that would have been taken , we're safer once we 'ave actually secured the stability of Iraq for the democratic elections, because if Iraq degenerated, now, into the situation that Afghanistan was faced. under the Taleban,"

Why is the Taleban still NOT a proscribed terrorist group ?

"where they hosted, the terrorist camps, the training camps, the ability to go from Afghanistan, across the world to commit as they did, on the eleventh, er, er, ah, as they did in East Africa, those terrible crimes, ah, er, and then attacked the World Trade Center

JH: (harumph)
Well they didn't , er, do it, that had nothing to do with Iraquis

DB:
No, no, no, but I'm making the point that, de, degenerate into chaos, the, the situation would be replicated in Iraq, which is why I believe very strongly indeed, that we now have to settle this once and for all, and we have to take, with the Americans, whatever tough action is necessary, because the people who are destroying the chance of Iraqui peace and democracy, are almost universally those who are organising

JH: (interrupt)
Alright then, you don't think that we are sowing dragon's teeth with what we are doing there ?"

Ah!, finally a reference to the Classical Greek Myths and Legends

"DB:
No I d', I believe , well, we've done it,"

Is that a yes or a no ?

"and what we've got to carry it through, and you and I had a conversation on the 4th of April, in th emiddle of the war, when I said thatit was justified in terms of avoiding , it, er, Saddam hussein, once again calling the bluff of the world and beingthe kingpin in the region, if we want peace in the Middle East, we have to settle Iraq, make a peaceful and democratic Iraq, a beacon, which will then help us, and help the Americans to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians to the table.

JH:
David Blunkett, many thanks

DB:
Thank you."

Obviously David Blunkett cherishes his Today programme interviews, and he has been accused of announcing Government policy this way before announcing it in Parliament. Hopefully this trancript will be of service to him and various political speech writers and researchers in the future. Will this version end up in the Electronic Rebuttal Engines used by the various political parties ?

1 Comments

Yes, I too looked for the interview with the Ober Gruppen Fuehrer but's been (censored?).

I've emailed the Today programme as to why it's the only segment not available but I won't hold my breath waiting for a response.

William

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This United Kingdom based blog attempts to draw public attention to, and comments on, some of the current trends in ever cheaper and more widespread surveillance technology being deployed to satisfy the rapacious demand by state and corporate bureaucracies and criminals for your private details, and the technological ignorance of our politicians and civil servants who frame our legal systems.

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

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The Policy Laundering Project - attempts by Governments to pretend their repressive surveillance systems, have to be introduced to comply with international agreements, which they themselves have pushed for in the first place

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Home Office - "Not fit for purpose. It is inadequate in terms of its scope, it is inadequate in terms of its information technology, leadership, management systems and processes" - Home Secretary John Reid. 23rd May 2006. Not quite the fount of all evil legislation in the UK, but close.

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Bichard Inquiry delving into criminal records and "soft intelligence" policies highlighted by the Soham murders. (taken offline by the Home Office)

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Stand - email and fax campaign on ID Cards etc. [Now defunct]. The people who supported stand.org.uk have gone on to set up other online tools like WriteToThem.com. The Government's contemptuous dismissal of over 5,000 individual responses via the stand.org website to the Home Office public consultation on Entitlement Cards is one of the factors which later led directly to the formation of the the NO2ID Campaign who have been marshalling cross party opposition to Labour's dreadful National Identity Register compulsory centralised national biometric database and ID Card plans, at the expense of simpler, cheaper, less repressive, more effective, nore secure and more privacy friendly alternative identity schemes.

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Home Office Identity Cards website
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CommentOnThis.com - comments and links to each paragraph of the Home Office's "Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme".

De-Materialised ID - "The voluntary alternative to material ID cards, A Proposal by David Moss of Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL)" - well researched analysis of the current Home Office scheme, and a potentially viable alternative.

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Miscellanous Links

Michael Field - Pacific Island news - no longer a paradise
freetotravel.org - John Gilmore versus USA internal flight passports and passenger profiling etc.

The BUPA Seven - whistleblowers badly let down by the system.

Tax Credit Overpayment - the near suicidal despair inflicted on poor, vulnerable people by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown's disasterous Inland Revenue IT system.

Fassit UK - resources and help for those abused by the Social Services Childrens Care bureaucracy

Former Spies

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Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

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Blog Links

e-nsecure.net blog - Comments on IT security and Privacy or the lack thereof.
Rat's Blog -The Reverend Rat writes about London street life and technology
Duncan Drury - wired adventures in Tanzania & London
Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

David Mery - falsely arrested on the London Tube - you could be next.

James Hammerton
White Rose - a thorn in the side of Big Brother
Big Blunkett
Into The Machine - formerly "David Blunkett is an Arse" by Charlie Williams and Scribe
infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
Louise Ferguson - City of Bits
Chris Lightfoot
Oblomovka - Danny O'Brien

Liberty Central

dropsafe - Alec Muffett
The Identity Corner - Stefan Brands
Kim Cameron - Microsoft's Identity Architect
Schneier on Security - Bruce Schneier
Politics of Privacy Blog - Andreas Busch
solarider blog

Richard Allan - former Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam
Boris Johnson Conservative MP for Henley
Craig Murray - former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, "outsourced torture" whistleblower

Howard Rheingold - SmartMobs
Global Guerrillas - John Robb
Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

Nick Leaton - Random Ramblings
The Periscope - Companion weblog to Euro-correspondent.com journalist network.
The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
Policeman's Blog
World Weary Detective

Martin Stabe
Longrider
B2fxxx - Ray Corrigan
Matt Sellers
Grits for Breakfast - Scott Henson in Texas
The Green Ribbon - Tom Griffin
Guido Fawkes blog - Parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy.
The Last Ditch - Tom Paine
Murky.org
The (e)State of Tim - Tim Hicks
Ilkley Against CCTV
Tim Worstall
Bill's Comment Page - Bill Cameron
The Society of Qualified Archivists
The Streeb-Greebling Diaries - Bob Mottram

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke - Freedom off Information campaigning journalist

Ministry of Truth _ Unity's V for Vendetta styled blog.

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

W. David Stephenson blogs on homeland security et al.
EUrophobia - Nosemonkey

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

War-on-Freedom

The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

Database Masterclass - frequently asked questions and answers about the several centralised national databases of children in the UK.

Shaphan

Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

Brit Watch - Public Surveillance in the UK - Web - Email - Databases - CCTV - Telephony - RFID - Banking - DNA

BLOGDIAL

MySecured.com - smart mobile phone forensics, information security, computer security and digital forensics by a couple of Australian researchers

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

UK Liberty - A blog on issues relating to liberty in the UK

Big Brother State - "a small act of resistance" to the "sustained and systematic attack on our personal freedom, privacy and legal system"

HosReport - "Crisis. Conspiraciones. Enigmas. Conflictos. Espionaje." - Carlos Eduardo Hos (in Spanish)

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

Corruption-free Anguilla - Good Governance and Corruption in Public Office Issues in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the West Indies - Don Mitchell CBE QC

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

PJC Journal - I am not a number, I am a free Man - The Prisoner

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

The Caucus House - blog of the Chicago International Model United Nations

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

The 4th Bomb: Tavistock Sq Daniel's 7:7 Revelations - Daniel Obachike

OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

Justin Wylie's political blog

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

Georgetown Security Law Brief - group blog by the Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law , at Georgtown University, Washington D.C, USA.

Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
Mayor of London Blog
London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

Cool Britannia

NuLabour

Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at http://nuclear-weapons.info

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

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

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

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 restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

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

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers