Sir John Stevens News of the World article adds to the "climate of fear"

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The recently retired Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir John Stevens now seems to be paid to write a "hard hitting" column (presumably designed to raise circulation through sensationalism) in the Rupert Murdoch controlled News of the World tabloid Sunday newspaper.

He seems to be set on adding "column inches" multiplied by the undoubted "weighting factor" of the News of the World's large circulation into the Home Office's vicious circle "media feeback loop", which apparently is used to justify and prioritise their anti-crime policies and budgets.

Is it a mere coincidence that his controversial column which appears on the same day as both the Conservative and Liberal Democrats have party conferences, and right in the middle of the guillotined debate in the House of Lords on the Prevention of Terrorism Bill ?

This certainly looks like a continuation of the "climate of fear" spin and disinformation which he did nothing to deny whilst in office.

It is important that this political spin is deconstructed, so here goes:

"News of the World Sunday March 6, 2005 page 13

Forget Human Rights.. Kick Out The Fanatics
by Sir John Stevens
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner

As you read this there are at least 100 Osama Bin Laden-trained terrorists walking Britain's streets.

The number is probably nearer 200... the cunning of al-Qaeda means we can't be exact."

So where are these figures from ? Are these meant to be actual terrorists or just "fellow travellers", sympathisers or just friends and aquaintances of actual terrorist suspects ?

Are they all Al Quaeda ? The recent arrests in say, Coventry have been apparently against Kashmiri independence terrorists.

"But they would all commit devastating terror attacks against us if they could, even those born and brought up here."

So why did the British born "shoe bombers" Richard Reid and Saajit Badat not attempt to blow up an aircraft in UK airspace ? Reid flew to Paris and Badat planned to fly to Amsterdam and attack transatlantic flights (not British carriers) heading for the USA.

The first of the recent British "suicide bombers" Omar Khan Sharif and Asif Mohammed Hanif, who actually detonated a device and attacked Israel, not the United Kingdom.

Could it be that even fanatical Islamic extremists often do obey the Koran and do not consider it worthy or polite to attack the society in which they and their families actually live and were brought up in ?

"Thankfully, even larger numbers of undercover agents, moles and special deep-cover surveillance teams risk their lives daily to track and monitor the evil in our midst.
So far they've managed to frustrate Bin Laden's followers and many are awaiting trial as a result.

But as Professor Paul Wilkinson, a world expert on terrorism once said: "in a football match it's not the goals that are prevented that anyone talks about or remembers, it's the one that's scored.

And though they haven't yet subjected Britain to horrors such as 9/11 or the Madrid bombings, make no mistake - they would if they could.

If I heard on my car radio that they had pulled off a terrorist atrocity at last, I'd be horrified but not the slightest bit surprised.

Dangerous

Which is why it is vital that the government's new Prevention of Terrorism Act is enacted as soon as possible. Any delays can only give comfort to the terrorists in our midst waiting to attack us."

We dispute that the Control Orders would be of any use against truely dangerous terrorists. How, exactly, does an electronic tag prevent you from committing a suicide attack ?

"It would bring in tough control orders against suspected terrorists or their leaders, who, under existing laws, can't be prosecuted."

Why not exactly ? Perhaps because there is no actual evidence ? Surely if someone is a "leader" of "terrorists" there must be evidence, there are certainly plenty of vague, catch all provisions in the existing anti-terrorism legislation.

"The new PTA has had to be rushed in because the Law Lords have ruled that, under the Human Rights Act, a group of al-Qaeda's spirtitual leaders who have been locked up in Belmarsh prison for several years should be freed."

Some of the Belmarsh detainees may well be "spiritual leaders", others appear to be, from the leaked reports, petty credit card fraudsters who only supported the fight against the brutal Algerian government.

The reason for the extraordinary haste in which the Government is trying to rush the legislation through Parliament without proper scrutiny, has nothing to do with the Law Lords judgement made in December.

The Government knew that the "emergency legislation" which it rushed through Parliament in December 2001 would very likely fail the Human Rights test, They were told so very clearly at the time. They did not bother to try to get any better legislation onto the statute books in the intervening years.

The Newton Committee of Privy Councillors reported over a year ago, which again should have warned the Government to consult properely about what better legislation should be produced. They could have brought forward a Draft Bill for detailed scrutiny last year, but they failed to do so.

There is absolutely no reason that the Prevention of Terrorism Bill could not have been brought forth in January and had a reasonable time for discussion and debate. The "rush" is entirely down to Government incompetence and contempt for Parliament.

"Depite all our intelligence, they decided that because of their "human rights" these figures must be set free to continue propagating their perverted brand of Islamic fundamentalism because we had no hard evidence we felt safe in producing in court against them."

We can understand why the security services might be reluctant to reveal intelligence assets such as informers etc., but if the people held without trial in Belmarsh are only "spreading their perverted brand of Islamic fundamentalism", then Sir John Stevens is saying that they should be locked up or deported simply because of their religous or political beliefs. If they are actually communicating these beliefs and are calling for violence, then surely there is evidence of that which can be used in a proper prosecution and trial, which is exactly what even the odious Abu Hamza al Masri ("The Hook") is facing at the moment ?

The precedent of locking up people or deporting them without trial, simply for their religous or political beliefs, and the legal mechanisms that would be used to enforce such a policy would be equally applicable to any of the rest of us, at the whim of a politician desparate to cling to power. The Prevention of Terrorism Bill is not simply aimed at the dozen or so Belmarsh foreign born detainees, it is aimed at any British person as well, wheteher Islamic extremist or not. This Bill must not happen in the UK.

"I have read every word of the evidence and intelligence against them. I know that for the safety of the innocent people in this country they should remain under lock and key.

They simply should not be at liberty in this country. It is madness. for the safety of the vast majority, occaisionally we will have to accept the infringement of the human rights of high-risk individuals."

How long should these people "remain under lock and key" ? Indefinately, until they die ? Or until they no longer pose such a threat ?

Even the Home Secretary Charles Clarke claims that, according to the advice from the Security Service and the Police, the Belmarsh detainees no longer pose a major threat to the UK, and he is not even proposing to apply for "house arrest" Control Orders should this Bill be passed.

Should we believe Sir John Stevens or Charles Clarke ?

How do known terrorist suspects, without money, weapons, explosives, or the element of surprise, pose such an extraordinary threat to the people of the United Kingdom ?

"I have some reservations about some of the detail, true.

I don't see how a policy of House Arrest can practically work. I agree that it shouldn't just be a politician who could who could decide if someone should detained without trial - should be a senior judge."

If even Sir John Stevens does not see how "House Arrest" can work in practice, and does not believe just a politician should issue Control Orders, then why is he supporting this Prevention of Terrorism Bill ? The Bill consists almost entirely of procedures for "derogating" Control Orders for "House Arrest" and ways to deny a suspect a full court hearing, or showing the evidence against him, before a judge.

"I am equally strongly against opposition demands that evidence obtained by what you might call "undercover" means should be openly and routinely revealed to obtain conventional convictions."

Neither the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru or any of the other Opposition parties have called for "undercover informer" or "Confidential Human Informant" testimony to be produced in open court.

They have called for the use of "intercept evidence" i.e. phone and email taps to be used where appropriate, and where human agents are not compromised. We accept the Government's claim that this is unlikely to result in more than a handful of cases that could be brought to court - amazingly real terrorists are suspicious of phones and emails, and tend to use code words and phrases in foreign languages.

"It could be used in special cicumstances, perhaps, but only in very limited and controlled ways.

The lives of incredibly brave agents working often under deep cover in what are dreadfully dangerous situations would without doubt be at risk. The main opposition to the Bill is from people who simply haven't understood the true horror of the terrorism we face."

Most telephone or email tappers do not face any more danger than the rest of us.

Surely placing any sort of Control Order or making any arrest under anti-terrorist legislation is equivalent to tipping off a terrorist cell that they have been infilitrated or are under surveillance, assuming that innocent people are not caught up in the "guilt by association" nature of "intelligence" ?

"I've hear opposing politicians say "We didn't need these new measures to fight the IRA when they were bombing our cities. Why do we need them against this lot?"

The difference is no Provo ever strapped a bomb to their body, walked to somewhere like Trafalgar Square and blew themselves and 100 innocent passers-by to smithereens"

There have never been any suicide bombers who have managed to kill that many people with "strap on" explosives, suicide car bombs, yes.

The IRA did send young and easily manipulated or fanatical bombers on "suicide" missions where there was a high probability of "an own goal" e.g. the idiot who accidentally blew up himself and a London double decker bus in the Aldwych outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The IRA did kidnap the families of petrol tanker drivers, and rig them with explosives and force the driver to park up by a police station.

The IRA did nearly kill the Prime Minister and the Cabinet on at least two occaisions the Grand Hotel Brighton bomb against Mrs. Thatcher and the Downing Street mortar bomb attack on John Major.

Al-Quaeda have not come close to emulating any of these "old fashioned terrorism" attacks in the UK.

For most of the IRA campaign, we also faced a fanatical, ideologically motivated international organisation intent on totally destroying our way of life, and imposing a repressive police state on us. They had access to unlimited weaponry, including nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and had intelligence information obtained by targeting and infilitrating even our Security Services, as well as having sympathisers and fellow travellers and agents of influence and sedition within our society.

Has everyone who is discussing Al-Queada as "the greatest threat" to our lives and liberty, simply blanked out the Cold War with the Soviet Union from their memory ? Or are people now re-writing history and claiming that there was no real threat from the Soviet Union and the Communist religion after all ?

Even with the combined threat of the IRA and "Loyalist" terrorists and the Soviet Bloc and their Comintern tentacles, no British Government felt the need to introduce "House Arrest" or any other detention without trial (apart from the disasterous and abandoned Internment policy restricted to Northern Ireland, which simply trained and recrutied more terrorists and organised serious criminals) or "Control Orders", applicable potentially to everyone in the UK.

"Last week I attended an interpol conference in France to discuss bio-terrorism.

We've never had to consider the prospect of the IRA flooding London Underground with poisonous gas or exploding an anthrax bomb in Manchester..."

Is Sir John claiming that these were/are real credible threats ?

Sir John appears to be repeating the scaremongering hype of the alleged Osmium Tetroxide "poison gas threat" to the Tube.

There is no evidence of Al-Quaeda having access to weaponised anthrax. The anthrax attack on the USA in 2001, appears likely to have been by some US Government insider.

Both of those scenarios have had to be considered as possible Soviet attacks, so where are the Civil Defence Contingency Plans and Budgets to deal with them ?

"More than three years after 9/11, I am still shocked by new developments in the al-Qaeda threat. Some of the reportd that crossed my desk in the last few months alone made my hair stand on end. That dreadful day in September 2001, I was on a plane heading for New York when I was called to the cockpit to be told of the Twin Towers attack, the jet turned back to Heathrow and I was rushed to a meeting with the Prime Minister and the security services.

I remember one man there warning the PM: "The world will never be the same again". As a police officer who'd spent who'd spent 30 years fighting the IRA, I didn't understand why he was saying it. Now I know he was right and I was wrong.

The world has changed forever and for the worse"

Perhaps he foresaw increased budgets and powers for his secret intelligence empire ? Perhaps he correctly foresaw the goading of the lackadaisical US Government to strike out against "terrorists targets", especially the Temporary Autonomous Zone that they had allowed Afghanistan to become.

The terrorist threat to the United Kingdom after September 11th 2001 is, objectively, no worse than it was before. Only the attitude of powerful USA and UK politicians and governments, who willfully ignored the warnings, has changed.

"I remember the shock on the faces of Mr Blair and his Cabinet as experts from Scotland Yard's anti-terrorism branch, MI5 and MI6 gave their first post-9/11 briefing on the size of the homegrown threat. I shared that horror.

As more intelligence flooded in after the invasion of Afghanistan, and Bin Laden's terrorist training camps were examined for clues to the "graduates", the more grim those reports we gave become and the more dismayed Mr Blair was.

Peaceful

Ever since our fears have been fuelled, not least by the huge amounts of intelligence given to us by most Muslims in this country, who are appalled by the atrocities some commit in the name of Islam.

That intelligence proves that these fanatics must not walk our streets. They must be locked up - or kicked out of the country."

"kicked out of the country" even if they are British citizens ? Kicked out to where, exactly ?

But under the same human rights laws, drafted many years before western society ever dreamed of evil such as 9/11 could be carried out in the name of religion, that is banned too.

The European Convention on Human Rights was drafted partly by British lawyers, when memories of the truely evil Nazi and Soviet genocides, mass starvation, pogroms, slavery, torture, "medical experiments" etc. and the repressive laws and police states which allowed these true horrors to be perpatrated by so called governments against their own people and those of other countries.

The September 11th 2001 atrocities were, in terms of mass casualties of innocent civilians, rather smaller than many that happened on multiple occaisions during World War 2, in the Nazi extermination Camps, the Soviet gulags and death marches, let alone actual battles between military forces or aerial bombing raids on cities. The number of September 11th 2001 casulaties is even less than the daily totals of those who were butchered and raped by their neighbours with low tech weapons like knives or blunt instruments or fire, during the Partition of India and Pakistan, the Indonesian or Cambodian or Rwandan genocides.

The big difference was that millions of people and their politicians around the world felt connected to the September 11th 2001 tragedies via television and the media and the internet.

To claim that these evil surprise attacks were somehow the worst atrocities ever, is utterly wrong, and actually quite naive.

"Human rights are being too skewed towards the individual - this small group of evil individuals being freed in particular. Judges need to be reminded it's their job to protect not just these hardcore fanatics but society as a whole.

That is you and your family and your friends who simply want to live a peaceful unthreatened life."

Human rights are human rights and are indivisible and irrevocable, no matter how evil the individual. To deny that is to become as evil as the enemies we are trying to protect ourselves from.

It behooves even Policemen and Politicians to remember that their job is not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" when they attempt to strike the balance between security and civil liberties.

They should also remember that many British people have risked their lives and indeed sacrificied their lives in order to defend our human rights and civil liberties from regimes or ideologies which threaten our core democratic values.

"If the fanatics currently detained in Belmarsh and elsewhere are freed, as the Law Lords have instructed, most of them should be deported immediately. These men are much too dangerous to be freed unrestricted on to the streets of this country.

Whatever the human rights lobby say, we should do it for the safety of the vast majority of people in this country. The world has changed. We need to take new steps for new threats.

We might be considered to be part of "the human rights lobby", but we are at least as concerned about the threat of terrorism as anyone in the Police or Security Services or even the Politicians.

Making bad laws which will help to the terrorists to destroy our core democratic liberties and freedoms by taking on the appearance and , in the future, risking the actual establishment, of a Police State by power hungry politicians, is not what we consider to be being "tough on terrorism", rather the reverse.

"This new Act must be passed as soon as possible"

It is entirely reasonable to call for the deportation of undesirable foreigners. The Home Office under David Blunkett seems to have failed to even have bothered to try to see if other countries would accept people branded by, but not convicted as terrorists by the UK Government. Charles Clarke's Home Office does seem to be flapping around in desparation to do this now.

Has Sir John Stevens actually bothered to read the text of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill ?

One has to wonder, since it does not contain any measures to deport foreigners anywhere. The Home Secretary already has these powers, subject to not colluding with the death penalty or torture, so the failure of this Bill to be enacted would make no difference whatsoever to any deportations of the people being held in Belmarsh without trial.

Our best defence against the Al-Wueda or other fanatics is to re-affirm in public that even if they do somehow manage to cause hundreds or thousands of casualties, or manage to assassinate our leaders, or cause large scale economic damage, even during the forthcoming Election campaign, they will still have failed to destroy our society and our core values of freedom and liberty.

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TrackBack URL for this entry: http://spyblog.org.uk/mt5211/mt-tb.cgi/410

I have been gestating this entry for some days - probably since mid-Saturday in fact, since I first heard a breathless announcement on BBC News24 that former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens was the author of an article to appear nex... Read More

4 Comments

One thing to say - institutional racism. The Met has been found guilty of this on numerous occaisons under Stevens's watch. No surprise he gets picked up by the News of the World. What is surprising is how clearly stupid this guy is, judging from your analysis. People like this are out there protecting us? Now that IS scary!

I have just finished reading sir john's book.." not for the faint hearted"..brilliant! No further comment needed!

Could u please send me email ID of Sir John Stevens, former chief of London’s Metropolitan police

@ Vijay - Sir John Stevens is now Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington

You can send him a polite message via the new WriteToThem facility which emails or faxes Peers of the Realm as well as Members of Parliament, MEPs, and other local politicians etc.

He is also currently in the news due to his official Metropolitan Police Service investigation of the death of Princess Diana Operation Paget (.pdf)

If you have any relevant information for this inquiry, you can contact Lord Stevens care of the office of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner:

commissioner@met.police.uk

(unsolicited file attachments are deleted)

Obviously any such email addresses are likely to be heavily monitored for anti-terrorist security purposes.

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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