Identity Cards Bill blog - clause by clause analysis and comments

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We have set up a parallel Identity Cards Bill blog to promote clause by clause analysis and discussion of the Identity Cards Bill currently going through Parliament.

We have to do this, because our politicians in both Houses of Parliament, mostly do not even bother to read all the clauses in a technically complicated Government Bill, such as this one.

Even fewer of our MPs seem to bother to try to understand the implications and knock on effects that the attempts by the Government to grab infinite and often absurdly wide powers by abusing the English legal language so as to give no scope or leeway for case law precedents to be made in the courts. There are several appalling examples of this sneaky trick in the Identity Cards Bill as well.

A Movable Type weblog is not ideal for this sort of complicated groupware analysis, (we have found new ways to break Microsoft Internet Explorer's renderings of Cascading Stylesheets) but then neither is a WiKi or any other web based, easily available, allegedly collaborative software. At least people will be able to use Trackback and Search Engine links to the various clauses and comments.

Why don't political parties have such facilities to scrutinise legislation collaboratively (even with a political bias) available online on their websites ?

We also welcome any comments from people who think that a paricular clause or the whole Identity Cards Bill is actually a good idea. However, we doubt if many people who actually examine the Government'sroposals in detail, as set out in the Bill, will honestly be able to provide any evidence or references to suppport such an viewpoint - please prove us wrong.

8 Comments

Nice idea :-)

I've done this, in a less comprehensive form, on various online debating forums, and it always seems to lead those in the opposition to see the Truth of the matter, but this will be a much more long term and collaborative project, and can only be beneficial.

The only disheartening aspect of it is that the more you read of this and other bills, such as the Civil Contingencies bill or the EU "iron" constitution, the more you see the way various elements wish our freedoms to go, and the more futile resistance seems.

For instance, who would have though that the US, that "land of the free", would adopt plans for "internal passports" as they just recently have?

Things progress quickly, and in unison....

I don't understand the paranoia: ....
I started on this sequence by looking at the website for Oyster Card - and ended up with this lot!!

I live in Dorset and frequently go to London to visit my family (brand new Grandson).

I have an Oyster Card - have provided the required personal details for the purpose of obtaining this card and have no problem with the details I have provided.

As to ID cards: I have no doubt at all that every British resident should have one. This is one of the few countries in the world that doesn't have an ID Card.

So, where's the problem? The card may have a 'chip' containing personal details ... also medical, blood-type, identification, next-of-kin and so on.

Time to kill this paranoia/xenophobia. If you've nothing to hide, an ID card can work FOR you!!

Tony,

Swanage

Tony,

We've all got something to hide - our private lives. With Blunkett's ID card you won't have a private life! So given that we've all got something to hide, according to your argument an ID card WILL NOT work for you.

Seems like the scum more commonly known as the Conservative Party are now going to support the ID card in principle. I thought they were 'Her Majesty's Opposition': Well bloody-well oppose, you bunch of morons! You've already let the country down once on Iraq, when as the opposition you failed us by supporting the government. Now you're up to it again. Who does one turn to for support against government policy these days? I hope the Conservatives are totally wiped out at the next election. They don't deserve the mantle of 'political party'.

>I have an Oyster Card - have provided the required personal details >for the purpose of obtaining this card and have no problem with the >details I have provided.

An Oyster Card is not a *compulsory* ID card, which is what is being proposed for everyone over the age of 16 i.e. over 48 million people in the UK initially.

The personal details you supplied for your Oyster Card are supposed to be only for the purpose of refunding money that you have stored on it should it get lost or stolen, and any normal credit card details, if that is the method through which you paid for it. None of these are stored on the Oyster card itself, and Transport for London is forbidden from passing them on to central government departments e.g. Inland Revenue, or other commercial companies without your permission, under the Data Protection Act, except for the exemptions for specific ongoing police investigations.

None of this applies to the National Identity Register.

The list of data that the National Identity Register (c.f. Schedule 1 of the Bill) will hold on you is far more extensive and intrusive than this e.g. all your previous addresses, both in the Uk and abroad, not just the current one.

>As to ID cards: I have no doubt at all that every British resident >should have one.

Why ? What good will it do ? How exactly will you be any safer ?

What about the 400 million other European Union citizens who will be allowed to visit the UK for up to 3 months without having to register for an ID Card ?

>This is one of the few countries in the world that doesn't have an >ID Card.

There are no countries with existing ID cards, all of which are less complicated and cheaper than the proposed UK triple biometric National Identity Register, where the ID Card has made any difference whatsoever in reducing terrorism, illegal immigration or benefits fraud etc. which the Government is claiming as the objectives of the Identity Cards Bill.

>So, where's the problem? The card may have a 'chip' containing >personal details ... also medical, blood-type, identification, next->of-kin and so on.

No, the Government is *NOT* proposing to put medical information like blood type and next of kin on the ID card chip, it has specifically promised not to do so ! The British Medical Council and the NHS are completely opposed to the storage of medical data on this non-medical system. Ambulance crews always check for blood type with their automated equipment, which only takes a few seconds, no matter what any "medical records" or SS style blood group tattoos claim.

If people with infectious diseases (even illegal immigrants) do not come forward for treatment because of a fear over who might see their medical records, then it becomes a potential public health disaster.

There is already a massive multi-billion pound NHS project which will make up to date medical records available, in theory, only to trained medical personnel treating you. There is no reason why the national Identity Register should attempt to duplicate this expensive system, and, in practice, it would always be out of date if this was attempted, with fatal results for some people.

>Time to kill this paranoia/xenophobia.

Xenophobia is the "fear of foreigners", and is one of the "unspoken" emotions that the Labour and Conservative politicians are trying to manipulate with their talk of ID cards. Opposing inept and intrusive ID Card plans is not xenophobia.

>If you've nothing to hide, an ID card can work FOR you!!

Some forms of ID card can make your life easier, usually small scale, voluntary ones, but NOT the kind of system that the Government is proposing, which is why we so strogly oppose the plan.

You may think that you have "nothing to hide", but with the proposed ID Cards, the presumption of innocence is gone, you, as an innocent , law abiding taxpayer will have to continually "prove " your "innocence" , your "entitlement" to services which you are already entitled to, over and over again.

Meanwhile, the illegals will continue to ignore the ID Card system, as they do now.

If, as is planned, this ID Crd is used to deny access to public services (if you do not have one), then each time you "prove" who you are (or at least that you match the details on the ID Card which you present, which is not the same thing), then there will be a centralised audit trail transaction, which will reveal, to some faceless bureaucrat or computer administrator, your pattern of movements and lifestyle.

You may not have anything to hide now, but can you be sure that the fact that you visited a certain medical clinics at a certain time and date e.g. pregnancy advice, AIDS, cancer etc. is not being sold to the tabloid media, who will then try to infer "juicy" personal details about you ?

You may vey well have things to hide in the future.

There is no way to protect this sort of personal data from corrupt insiders or well funded criminals or foreign intelligence agencies etc., who will see the National Identity Register as a very valuable target, worth devoting massive financial and human resources to attacking.

Military personnel, police officers, or MI6 James Bond secret agents etc. would have their fingerprints, iris scans, real name, home address, previous home address (probably the address of close family members) etc etc . stored on the NIR, possibly from the age of 16, before they were recruited into sensitive jobs. Any corruption or computer security weaknesses (which are inevitable in a system of this size and complexity) would put their lives at risk, and reduce their operational effectiveness both in the UK and overseas.

Good response to a very standard Pro ID supporter Wtwu.

One still has to wonder how exactly an ID card can "work for you", and also why it is that some people can't seem to see that it's not us that have something to hide - it's the government trying to create the centralised database of everyone in the country that have things to hide, something which can quite easily be seen by reading their Bill.

In addition, i would recommend to Tony from Swanage, that you should, before you count us all as "paranoid or xenophobic", read some of the information available on the ID card from various websites etc (www.no2id and this site are good ones) and then the bill itself.


Even if you are the most pro government person around, i am sure that, if you carfeully consider the implications of what is written, you cannot fail to see at least a little something which makes you uneasy....


Something worth considering here, is that the ID Card itseld is not the intention of this scheme - that is only the more publically acceptable aspect .

It has been since the draft bill first appeared the intention to setup a national fingerprint/iris database for the purpose of allowing, not ID card checks, but direct biometrical verifications, wherever we are told now that the ID Card will be used.

Does anyone here feel comfortable, or see the justification for, having your iris or fingerprints taken on the street by a policeman with a portable scanner (already in use for immigrant id system), at the doctors or hospital, or wherever else this system creeps its functio into?

Can anyone here tell me that this is actually necessary, and manage to avoid self deception?

what about the average family of 4 ??? the card is proposed to be around £50 - £80 each.... thats over £200 whena driving licence or passport is more than adequate ........its a scam and a rip off.......just to fill a big hole in the governments money pit.........it will not deter terrorists...... its not law to carry one and you can produce it in 7 days..... as if a terrorist will turn up!!!! get real its a scam

it didnt stop the madrid bombing and they have id cards there!!!

good point Mike, as if a terrorist would appear at a police station to produce his/her id card, if its not law to carry one what is the point?

Isnt it about time David Blunkett went back to his sleazy life and sex scandals in the paper!

He is in the Enfield times this week trying to build bridges and still going on about id cards. i will not be carrying one, it is a fiddle, plus why are we all paying 90p for fuel!!! it wasnt like this a few years back with the tories

Shut the channel tunnel too, that will stop the stowaway problem

moan over sorry!

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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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No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

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Read The Bills Act - USA proposal to force politicians to actually read the legislation that they are voting for, something which is badly needed in the UK Parliament.

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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Online Media

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NIR and ID cards

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.

NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID bulletin board discussion forum

Home Office Identity Cards website
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CASNIC - Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card.
Defy-ID active meetings and protests in Glasgow
www.idcards-uk.info - New Alliance's ID Cards page
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International Civil Aviation Organisation - Machine Readable Travel Documents standards for Biometric Passports etc.
Anti National ID Japan - controversial and insecure Jukinet National ID registry in Japan
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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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Every Step You Take a documentary about CCTV surveillance in the Uk by Austrian film maker Nino Leitner.

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Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

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Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

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BLOGDIAL

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

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geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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Famous for 15 Megapixels

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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

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Recent Comments

  • lee smith: good point Mike, as if a terrorist would appear at read more
  • mike reid: what about the average family of 4 ??? the card read more
  • jymjim: In addition, i would recommend to Tony from Swanage, that read more
  • jymjim: Good response to a very standard Pro ID supporter Wtwu. read more
  • wtwu: >I have an Oyster Card - have provided the required read more
  • Alan Tench: Tony, We've all got something to hide - our private read more
  • Tony: I don't understand the paranoia: .... I started on this read more
  • jymjim: Nice idea :-) I've done this, in a less comprehensive read more

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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