Kofi Annan warns not to sacrifice human rights in the fight against terrorism

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Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations has given a Keynote Speech at the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security currently being held in Madrid, Spain, which commemorates the 11th March anniversary of the terrorist bomb attacks there last year.

"The Panel asked me to promote a principled, comprehensive strategy. I intend to do that. This seems to me a fitting occasion to set out the main elements of that strategy, and the role of the United Nations in it.

There are five elements, and I shall call them the “five D’s”. They are:

  • first, to dissuade disaffected groups from choosing terrorism as a tactic to achieve their goals;

  • second, to deny terrorists the means to carry out their attacks;

  • third, to deter states from supporting terrorists;

  • fourth, to develop state capacity to prevent terrorism;

  • and fifth, to defend human rights in the struggle against terrorism."

Which States could Kofi Annan be referring to below ?

"Last, but far from least, the fifth D — we must defend human rights.
  • I regret to say that international human rights experts, including those of the UN system, are unanimous in finding that many measures which States are currently adopting to counter terrorism infringe on human rights and fundamental freedoms.

  • Human rights law makes ample provision for strong counter-terrorist action, even in the most exceptional circumstances. But compromising human rights cannot serve the struggle against terrorism. On the contrary, it facilitates achievement of the terrorist’s objective — by ceding to him the moral high ground, and provoking tension, hatred and mistrust of government among precisely those parts of the population where he is most likely to find recruits.

  • Upholding human rights is not merely compatible with a successful counter-terrorism strategy. It is an essential element in it."

2 Comments

From being a great movement for world peace
following WWII, the United Nations has
degenerated into a mere platform from which to castigate the prime economic movers in this world, namely the USA, the EU, Japan and soon, China.

The "Five D's" are a nonsensical joke. It is just meaningless pap and another opportunity to have a pop at all the countries which produce wealth for their citizens, making them targets for moronic religious zealots. Kofi Annan, along with the rest of his hangers on at the UN, is nothing more than a mouthpiece for greedy, grasping, bigoted and hypocritical governments of the so called "third world" who's main interest is feathering their own nests. He and his cohorts blame the economic powers, the USA and EU in particular, for everything from the cause of Aids to abuses of human rights. That's why none of these countries bother to listen to the UN any more and who can blame them?


The hypocrisy of lecturing countries at risk from terrorists, most of whom come from countries where the merest hint of social justice, equality, tolerance and political freedom is sufficient to be imprisoned or murdered, is quite simply breathtaking.


As an example of this hypocrisy, Ghana, Kofi Annan's birthplace, suffered endless political coups between independance in 1957 and 1981, at which time Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings became the lowest ranking officer ever to take office as a dictator.We will gloss over the murder and imprisonment of political enemies. Rawlings remained in power until the first internationally recognised free election in Ghana was held in 2000. Over 3% of the population are infected with HIV/AIDS and only 67% of women over the age of 15 can read and write. 31% of Ghanaians live below the poverty line. Although liberally blessed with natural resources (gold, timber, cocoa, oil, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, bauxite, aluminium and tuna fish)and a major illegal producer and supplier to Europe of cannabis, Ghana benefits from considerable debt relief and has received over 7 billion dollars in aid which, along with the debts of other African nations, the economic powers are about to write off. Crime is off the scale and political and commercial corruption is rife.


Ghana is considered to be one of the better coutries in Africa and with the resources it has it should be. Kofi Annan and his chums would serve the "third world" better by focusing their attention on the failings of these governments.


In addition, Kofi Annan's family has been implicated in taking backhanders when supplying UN medical and food aid to Iraq in exchange for oil during the run up to the Gulf war.The UN reflects the corrupt methods and nepotism of the countries which it now speaks for. Why didn't we hear Kofi Annan castigating Saddam or Mugabe or Saudi Arabia or Indonesia or the host of African countries where slavery is still tolerated and corruption is a way of life? Why not criticise his own country?


Time for the UN to quietly disappear. The US all but abandoned it years ago and the UK should too.


I don't know who produces this web site, but the general impression it gives is that our liberties are about to be subsumed under an avalanche of "evil" legislation. People of this persuasion are in a small minority in this country. One would be very hard pushed to argue that the majority of people in the UK are not in favour of identity cards or of holding suspected terrorists in prison, not forgetting the opportunity they have been given to leave prison and return to their own countries, which most have declined to do.

Like the majority in this country, I see only benefits in the introduction of identity cards and in ejecting suspected terrorists from here or placing them in custody if they refuse to leave. Given the choice, I would take it a lot further.

"From being a great movement for world peace
following WWII, the United Nations has
degenerated into a mere platform from which to castigate the prime economic movers in this world, namely the USA, the EU, Japan and soon, China."

You have to differntiate between the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations headquarters bureaucracy, the UN Security Council, and the various useful or semi-useful Agencies of the United Nations e.g. "Peacekeeping" , World Health organsisation, International Atomic Energy Agency, and the almost completely useless ones e.g. UNESCO.

"The "Five D's" are a nonsensical joke. It is just meaningless pap and another opportunity to have a pop at all the countries which produce wealth for their citizens, making them targets for moronic religious zealots."

The "Five D's" seem ok as a high level "mission statemment", of which there are plenty in the United Nations Organisation. Actually implementing any of them as cost effective, practical policies is another matter entirely.


"Kofi Annan, along with the rest of his hangers on at the UN, is nothing more than a mouthpiece for greedy, grasping, bigoted and hypocritical governments of the so called "third world" who's main interest is feathering their own nests. He and his cohorts blame the economic powers, the USA and EU in particular, for everything from the cause of Aids to abuses of human rights. That's why none of these countries bother to listen to the UN any more and who can blame them?"

Can you actually recall or point to an online source where Kofi Annan has personally blamed "the cause of AIDS" on the USA or the EU ?
He seems to be rather too experienced a diplomat to say such things.

"The hypocrisy of lecturing countries at risk from terrorists, most of whom come from countries where the merest hint of social justice, equality, tolerance and political freedom is sufficient to be imprisoned or murdered, is quite simply breathtaking."

There are some breathtakingly surreal things in the United Nations, like Libya being in charge of a Human Rights Committee.

"As an example of this hypocrisy, Ghana, Kofi Annan's birthplace, suffered endless political coups between independance in 1957 and 1981, at which time Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings became the lowest ranking officer ever to take office as a dictator.We will gloss over the murder and imprisonment of political enemies. Rawlings remained in power until the first internationally recognised free election in Ghana was held in 2000. Over 3% of the population are infected with HIV/AIDS and only 67% of women over the age of 15 can read and write. 31% of Ghanaians live below the poverty line. Although liberally blessed with natural resources (gold, timber, cocoa, oil, natural gas, diamonds, manganese, bauxite, aluminium and tuna fish)and a major illegal producer and supplier to Europe of cannabis, Ghana benefits from considerable debt relief and has received over 7 billion dollars in aid which, along with the debts of other African nations, the economic powers are about to write off. Crime is off the scale and political and commercial corruption is rife.

Ghana is considered to be one of the better coutries in Africa and with the resources it has it should be."

We do seem to agree on the tragedies caused by corrupt politicians and power elites. As you say, Ghana is not even the worst example of this, and neither is this confined to just Africa.

Transparency International publish various indicies ranking Government Corruption (or the perception of how corrupt they appear to be), a Bribe Payers Survey etc.

http://www.transparency.org

"Kofi Annan and his chums would serve the "third world" better by focusing their attention on the failings of these governments."

That is not their job. They are carreer international civil servants, not a New World Order Government.

"In addition, Kofi Annan's family has been implicated in taking backhanders when supplying UN medical and food aid to Iraq in exchange for oil during the run up to the Gulf war."

That is a scandal that requires more investigation and criminal sanctions, against all of those involved, including those in the "Western Governments" who knew , or who should have known exactly what was going on over a period of over ten years.

"The UN reflects the corrupt methods and nepotism of the countries which it now speaks for. Why didn't we hear Kofi Annan castigating Saddam or Mugabe or Saudi Arabia or Indonesia or the host of African countries where slavery is still tolerated and corruption is a way of life? Why not criticise his own country?"

He is is an international civil servant and diplomat, and the "main stream media" hardly ever bothers to report his press releases anyway, unless it is something to do with the Security Council.

"Time for the UN to quietly disappear. The US all but abandoned it years ago and the UK should too."
Bits of the United Nations have never worked as intended, or have been a political sop e.g. the General Assembly. There are other bits of it which even the USA and the UK governments find to be of vital interest e.g. the Security Council, International Atomic Energy Agency, World Health Organisation which would have to be re-created in some other form if the United Nations were to disappear.

What do you propose replacing the United Nations with, an expanded G8 or G15 or whatever bureacracy ?

Or are you proposing an isolationist policy such as that which crippled the forerrunner of the United Nations Organisation, the League of Nations ?

"I don't know who produces this web site,"

For obvious anti-spam reasons, this is not published in public here, but you are welcome to enter into private email correspondence if you wish.

"but the general impression it gives is that our liberties are about to be subsumed under an avalanche of "evil" legislation."

Technically, the avalanche of legislation brought in by this Government has already destroyed our civil liberties. Have a look at the articles on this blog about Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Emergency Powers. Cobined with the Terrorism Act 2000, the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, all the legal powers tha an elected dictarship could want are now on the statute books.

It is only because the current politicians and civil servants are not totally evil people, and that the country is relatively properous, that we are not living in a Police state.

That could easily change in the future, hence our opposition to the over broad powers which the Government has granted to itself, and our criticism of the lack of scrutiny, and the failure to think through the implications, by the "Westminster village".

"People of this persuasion are in a small minority in this country."

As are any of the people who think about or comment on political or technical issues.

A "web log", or "blog", or "website" offers a platform for the expression of your own minority views.

There are some people who share some of the views and questions raised by this website, judging by the thousands of visits the site gets every day.

"One would be very hard pushed to argue that the majority of people in the UK are not in favour of identity cards"

We might be convinced of the utiltity and desirability of a "gold standard" modern smart card based ID Card, such other countries like Sweden or Belgium are implementing, which can also be used for online internet transactions, but without a risky and expensive online centralised government database. However, that is not what is on offer from theis Labour Government.

Even the vaguely worded Government opinion polls which claim 70 or 80% "support" for the vague concept of an "identity card" are absolutely clear that the public is totally opposed to having to pay a fee for it. 60 or 70% are unwilling to pay even the first guesstimate of £35 a card, nobody, is willing to pay the £85 to £100 which the alleged cost has already risen to.

Most people who have been surveyed admit that they do not actually know about the details of what the Government is proposing, and have, as is to be expected, no clues about the strengths and weaknesses of "biometric technology", upon which this particular ID card scheme relies.

"or of holding suspected terrorists in prison,
not forgetting the opportunity they have been given to leave prison and return to their own countries, which most have declined to do."

Presumably this referrs to the foreign Belmarsh detainees who have now all been released on bail and are subject to the new Control Orders.

We have no problem with suspected terrorists being held without trial for a period whilst proper evidence is analysed and presented before a proper court of law.

"Like the majority in this country, I see only benefits in the introduction of identity cards"

Perhaps, like the majority, you have not thought too deeply about the actual scheme that the Government is trying to force on us.

It would be interesting to see your views on what benefits you expect from the Government's Identity Cards scheme, and how you think that these can possibly be implemented in practice at a reasonable cost.

For something like a National Identity Card, it is not a question of a simple 51% majority, well over 99% of the whole population need to be using it and it needs to be hugely more accurate than any existing Government database has ever been to have a slight chance of even "disrupting" , for example, terrorism or illegal immigrant working or whatever the current media spin slogan this week happens to be.

Nobody in the IT security industry can honestly see any way to secure the long term, infl;exible biometric identifier ID credentials, on which this Government scheme seems to rely upon, not just for a few years, but for the rest of your life and for several years after you are dead.

Even those who in opinion polls express an acceptance of the vague general concept of an "ID card" are completely opposed to having to pay even a £35 fee for one. The current estimate is over £85 or more per card, which, amounts to a hypothecated Poll Tax, applicable to far more people than the "Community Charge" ever affected.

Wouldn't the mimimum Government estimated cost of over £5.5 billion, excluding the massive cost of a national secure biometric card reader infrastructure, rather be better spent on other things ?

Do you really trust this Government (or its Tory predecessor) to be able to run a multi billion pound Information technology project without massive cost overruns, delays, failure to meet the project objectives, security breaches etc ?

Their track record with such projects is so bad, that it is a scandal that none of the people in charge of previous IT project disasters have not faced criminal charges for wasting literally billions of pounds of our money.

" and in ejecting suspected terrorists from here or placing them in custody if they refuse to leave."

The Prevention of Terrorism Act law now applies equally to British Citizens - where do you expect them to "leave" to ?

Do you not think that some actual evidence is required before someone is locked up ?

We have pointed out that it appears that there is going to be almost as many surveiellance resources devoted to policing compliance these Control Orders, as with intelligence aagency covert surveillance. The difference is that there is no prospect of the terrorist suspects leading the authorities to other possible conspirators, weapons, explosives, illegal money, etc.

Legally banning access to mobile phones or the internet is similarly counterproductive - they should be encouraged to use these easily legally monitored technologies, not forbidden.

With such law on the statute book, how can you be sure that it will not be used against you by a future politician, desparate to cling on to power ?

"Given the choice, I would take it a lot further."

How much further, and how would you protect the innocent from false accusations ?

"Posted by: Socrates admirer at March 12, 2005 02:06 PM"

Presumably the Ancient Greek Philosopher , rather than the former captain of the Brasilian World Cup winning football team ? 8-)

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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