Sir Ian Blair interviewed by Sir David Frost - partial transcript: more terror laws, "bubonic plague threat" and "iris scan" ID cards - partisan comments during the General Election.


Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has made some controversial partisan remarks on BBC television, on the supposed need for even more terrorism laws (as if there are not far too many already), and which add to the "Climate of Fear" by raising the possability of bubonic plague attacks.

He also called for "iris scan" ID cards, another New Labour Party only policy, right in the middle of the General Election campaign.

Partial transcript from BBC1 television "Breakfast with Frost"
Sunday 17th April 2005:

"DF - Sir David Frost, TV interviewer IB - Sir Ian Blair , the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police

DF: [voiceover]
The case has shed more light on this, on the terrorist threat here, and I have been discussing this, and other issues with Britain's, most senior Police Officer, Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

We talked in his office at Scotland Yard, and I began by asking him what general conclusions he drew, what lessons he drew , from last week's events:"

"IB: There, there's real clarity, now, that, er, Al-Quaida affiliates are targetting Britain, that's the first thing.

Secondly, I think we always have to mourn, the death of, er, Stephen Oake.

Thirdly, the important point is to say, this is one individual, arhh, this is not the whole Muslim community. Ninety nine point nine per cent of Muslims and ninety nine cent, per cent of Asians are law abiding people."

For such a "Politically Correct" Policeman, he should not be confusing "Asians" with "Muslims". There are billions of "Asians" who are non-Muslim and millions of Muslims who are non-Asian

99% is, presumably meant as a tabloid figure of speech and does not actually represent the true percentage of "law abiding" and "law breaking" amongst the UK population as a whole, nor of any particular ethnic or religous group.

Equating "breaking the law" generally with "terrorist crimes" is wrong as well. Assuming for a moment, the his predecessor as Commissioner of the Metroplitan Police, Sir John Stevens guesstimate of "up to 200" Al-Quaeda suspects is remotely correct, and even rounding this up to say a couple of thousand hard core Irish terrorist sympathisers, a few animal rights extremists and other assorted nutters, would give an estimate of 2000 out of 60 million UK population i.e 99.99997 % of the UK population are not any sort of terrorist.

"and we've got to support them in that, and understand the diff, what is it that drives a tiny number of young men and women, into extreme violence.

And lastly, I think, it really does start to look at, how does the legal system deal with cases of this sort. It's been a very long time coming to trial, er, it was a hugely long trial, and I think there, I think will be a number of questions to be asked it, whether the Law is quite right."

Why should the Law be changed because of one single trial or political media furore ? There is a well established history of producing Bad Laws this way.

"DF: How could the Law be improved to deal with this threat ?

Well I think, er, the way that Al-Quaida operates, is in a sense of very loose knit conspiracies, and in comparison to the United States, for instance, or Continental law, er, the way English law has developed, it doesn't like conspiracies, it likes, actual, offences."

So what, exactly, is wrong with that fundamental principle of English justice ???

"and where one person does something, another person does another thing, that, it's only when they add up that, er, they become a conspiracy. I think that's when you, loo, look for the kind of aquittal that we've seen.

Umm, I think we're just going to have to just look again, to see whether there's some other legislation, around "acts preparatory to terrorism" or something of that nature, that's what we'll have to do."

The report by the Newton Committee of Privy Councillors on part 4 of the Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, made some sort of vague recommendation last year along these lines, which the then Home Secretary David Blunkett dithered over.

The question should be asked if Sir Ian Blair has actually bothered to read the existing extremely draconian and catch all provisions of the existing Terrorism Act 2000

Which possible "acts preparatoty to terrorism" are not already covered by:

What about the equally draconian Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, which includes catch all wording regarding hoaxes involving "noxious substances", anywhere in the world

You cannot get anything more catch all and overbroad than the existing

Section 115 Sections 113 and 114: supplementary

(1) For the purposes of sections 113 and 114 "substance" includes any biological agent and any other natural or artificial substance (whatever its form, origin or method of production).

(2) For a person to be guilty of an offence under section 113(3) or 114 it is not necessary for him to have any particular person in mind as the person in whom he intends to induce the belief in question.

When the wretched Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 is also considered, what possible excuse can there be for calling for even more repressive anti-terror legislation ?

"DF: So, it, would be where they are anticipating or planning, that, at the moment, they can't really be nailed

IB: [same time as DF]

whaor it's been very difficult

as we've found

tha, that's what, I mean, the, the law, is difficult, the defence is made more easy, and so on."

Sir Ian Blair seems to be confusing the idea of the Police / Prosecution Case with "The Law". The Defence is equally also "The Law"

It is totally unacceptable for a senior public servant to be calling for partisan political changes to the law, during the General Election period.

"DF: And , in general, what more do we know about Al-Quaeda, from this, [indistinct - sounds like "dip"] ?

Is the famous figure of two hundred, or several hundred Al-Queda, affiliates, sss, still about right ? Do you think ?

Wuh, we think it's somewhere in that area, I mean, it's the number of people who went to the camps, and came back from the camps"

Presumbaly in Afghanistan under the Taleban, before November 2001

"and then what do we know about those that have, err, are supporting, [indistinct - sounds like "sprez man" ??? did he mean "terrorism"]

Al-Quaeda is not a classic terrorist organisation, in the shape of "cells" and so on, it is groupings, loose knit affiliates, it's often asymmetric"

Classic terrorist "cells" have always been recruited from "loose knit" affiliates and groupings, often with family or tribal ties - how exactly is Al-Quaeda different from this ?

"when, the famous one, I think, is worth looking at, is the attempt, by, er, North, er, African terrorists, to attack the Russian Embassy, in Paris, about events that happened in Moscow, relating to Chechnya. Now that, is a very, difficult conspiracy to understand."

Presumably this is a reference to the equally non-existant ricin plot in Paris, involving Menad Benchellali, and family, which, significantly, also mentioned "Nivea cream tins"

"DF: Do you feel nervous about all these events, you, you said, there's obviously, the, the Election is a, enormous opportunity, in a way, for, er, terrorists ?

Well, it must be, I, I mean, there's no specific intelligence that the Election will be targetted, let's make that clear, but, the terrorists, you know, have memories, they understand what happened in Madrid, they saw the impact, of what happened in Madrid, and we therefore have to be alert, not alarmed, but alert, all the time."

The "impact" of Madrid, is, presumably, the slightly surprising change in Government, where the electorate chose not to rally around the sitting Government at a time of national crisis. Whether this was due to the terrorist act itself, or the spin, disinformation and preconceived "it must have been ETA" initial reaction by the Spanish authorities and Government, is unclear. It is unlikely that the Spanish people as a whole were actually terrorised into submitting to an Al-Quaeda politcal agenda, since they do not have one which which is sane, and neither would the British people be either.

They may well think twice about the alleged competence of the likes of Sir Ian Blair of New Labour politicians, should there be a major terrorist outrage, and that, presumably is one of the reasons why there has been so much hype and spin on this issue during the lead up to the Election

"And of course, we have this year, the EU Presidency, and the G8, and so there are, a number of issues, which make, er, this job, certainly interesting.

Ken Livingstone, we were talking about, er, terrorism, er, said on the programme here, "I think we're more at risk, of, um, dying from Bird Flu, than by being blown up by terrorists". what's the truth , or otherwise, of that ?

Well, I'm not an expert on Bird Flu

Hahah [chuckle]

not my department [chuckle]

DF: [chuckle]

but do I think there's a risk of terrorism ? Well I think we've just seen that with Bourgass. Is it inevitable that they'll get through ? No it isn't. Is it inevitable that they're gonna try ? Yes it is, 'cos we know they have tried, they're here, they have tried, we have people who have been tried and convicted, and we have people who are awaiting trial, aarh., you know, this, is, inevitable, that this, island, is, at, at risk.

There was one thing, about, umm, people themselves, being carriers, of, of, er, err, a deadly drug, and, and instead of it being a suicide bomber, it's a suicide person."

What a remarkable question Sir David ! Drug ?

"IB: I mean those are, those are parts, of the, of the things that we must fear, I mean that's the infection of somebody with bubonic plague, and how long it, it takes before they show the symptoms, and then the people they have been next to, err, catch it later on. Ahhm, I mean so far we've seen no evidence of that, but of course it's a pos, remains a possability."

Admitting to not being an expert on Bird Flu does, it seems, allow him to talk about bubonic plague !

Bubonic Plague ? Before and during World War 2 the Japanese military war criminals experimented on live Chinese and Korean prisoners and attempted to develop porcelain bombs or aerosol sprays with plague infected lice, against the Chinese, research which was dropped as being impractical by the USA afterwards.

Is Sir Ian Blair seriously expecting us to believe that Al-Queda has access to this biological weapon, and to such a methods of dispersal and infection ?

London is not as infected with black rats or lice as it was in the Middle Ages.

Was this the sort of ill informed scenario planning desktop wargame that Sir Ian Blair was involved in the recent Atlantic Blue anti-terrorist wargame, held under the auspices of the Metroplitan Police during the week of the calling of the Election and the Pope's funeral ?

How does mention of bubonic plague or any other biological weapons, not also a contribution to the "Climate of Fear" spin and disinformation ?

"Err, I think that what we do have to understand, though, is, that these very extraordinary, possabilities, are much less likely ,than actually just classic bombs. I mean that's what they did in Madrid, that's what they did in Ankara,"

Ankara ? Does he really mean Istanbul ?

"that's what they did in Casablanca, these are just bombs, not even suicide bombs, because you don't need suicide bombs, you just need bombs.

I think that's what we've got to be more concerned with, although we've got to watch out for the wilder extremes."

So the Al-Quaeda threat to the UK is not, after all, significinatly different from that posed by the IRA etc., if Sir Ian Blair is now discounting the risk of suicide bombs here.

The "Climate of Fear" security measures and legislation have all raised the spectre of suicide bombers here in the UK

There has been a singular lack of discoveries of bomb making equipment or explosives or even firearms associated with alleged Al-Queda terrorists, found in the UK since September 2001, apart from a single bag of ammonium nitrate fertiliser in a storage unit in West London.

"DF: With this additional battle on terror, do you need, still need more police officiers, do you still need more resources ?

Well, there's two answers to that, no, no public servant like myself, is ever going to sit here, Sir David, and say, oh no, we don't need any more, we'll be fine


I do believe we , that we are still, a long way short of the total numbers that we need. But on the other hand, we have built up very considerably in the last in the last five years, and, you know, parties, of, of all sorts, have backed us in that process. From when I started as a Deputy five years ago,"

Deputy Commisisoner of the Metropolitan Police

"we've got five thousand more Police Officiers, two thousand more Community Support Officers, and three thousand more Police Staff, that's quite a big number. We are, interestingly now, the largest employer in London.

What about, immigration ? We were talking about the Law, earlier, errm, are we getting on top of, err, immigration difficulties ? You asked for a special force, of course, that's what you's do about it.

Yeaaah, when the aahm, Serious and Organsised Crime Agency, as it now is was being discussed,"

The Act of Parliament has been nodded through, but SOCA does not start operations until next year.

"I think the whole of AC.., the Association of Chief Police Officers was keen on a, some kind of [indistinct - sounds like "biss"]


border control.

Immigration is not my field, Crime is my field, and I think one of the things that we have to look at, in relation to the Bourgass case, is that while, err, he was obviously an Asylum overstayer, or whatever, ah, we've got trials coming up, of people who are, British Citizens, so I think the Immigration thing is ancillary, it's not the main issue.

Is the fact that the, err, ID Card, Bill, fell, uuhm, because of the, the Election, and so on, was that a bit of a blow, for you ? 'Cos that's an important aid. Would you hope that the Home Secretary, would instantly, err, restore that, of whichever party ?"

N.B. there is only the New Labour party which is pressing for an ID card scheme "instantly", so this is a very controversial answer in the middle of a General Election

Some people asre calling for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair over this matter.

"IB: I think that, there has to be, err, further consideration of that.

I mean that I wasn't particularly keen on ID cards, until recently, until I bagan to understand the way in which Identity Theft"

"Identity Theft" or "Identity Fraud" is not the same as illegal immigrants having multiple real, false or forged identity documents, as is relevant to the Bourgass case.

ID cards are not the solution to "Identity Fraud"

"and the fact that what you or I, or many of the viewers would recognise as "forgery" does not exist anymore. There are no more printing presses in basements."

Oh yes there are !, especially for "high quality UK Passports" created by ex-Soviet bloc KGB forgers now working on the black market.

"The documents that are being produced are exactly identical to the, real documents, just unauthorised"

If they are identical, and not actual forgeries, then they must have been issued falsely, through false supporting documents, corrupt officials etc, which an ID Card system will also suffer from.

"And so we have to go to a place, where we do know who people are. And we now have the technology, I think, through "iris recognition" to go to that, er, and I think that would be very helpful."

Not an expert on infectious diseases, on immigration, and, it seems, ignorant of passport forgery and biometric technology as well.

"I mean, one of the things about, some of the Belmarsh detainees, and indeed Bourgass, is we do not know who, he is. We have many names

He's had five names

We have no idea. At one stage or another, we have got to start with a position, where we do know who people are."

No you do not, not for the vast majority of innocent people you do not !

What actual difference did it make to our safety, under which alias Bourgass was arrested and convicted ?

An ID card system should not be simply an extension of the police criminal records system, with everyone considered to be a suspect or a potential future criminal

Could Sir Ian Blair or the Labour Party or the Home Office please explain how even a perfect United Kingdom ID card and/or Passport system would have had any effect whatsoever on the activities of Kemal Bourgass and the 8 other illegal immigrants, who had only one cheap fake United Kingdom Passport (and one genuinely issued UK Passport), out of approaching 30 fake or false foreign identity documents between the nine of them ?

How many Metropolitan Policeman can determine whether or not a foreign passport or identity card is genuine or not ?

How can imposing a massively expensive, complicated and intrusive ID surveillance system on all the rest of us, make anny difference to these illegal immigrants and terrorist suspects ?

"DF: And err, what about the battle with drugs ? errm, Are we winning that battle, at the moment, or, is it a tie, or what ?"

Presumably Sir David does actually mean drugs this time and not infectious diseases like his previous question

"IB: I, I fear it is probably something like a tie. I mean to say that we are winning, would be, ahh, ahm, ahh too much. We are doing very well, we're working very closely with other agencies, but there are, sss, big, sweeping, movements of drugs, in from, err, Colombia, and the West Indies, and in from, err, Afghanistan, through Turkey, and so on. and the only way to combat those is far back, I mean when they've arrived here, it is much more difficult."

So no truck with any attempts to reduce demand for drugs in the UK.

"Umm, I , I think that drugs remains a huge scourge, and, and it produces misery and criminality and we've got to do everything we can to stop it.

[interview continues]"

About this blog

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.

The hope is that you the readers, will help to insist that strong safeguards for the privacy of the individual are implemented, especially in these times of increased alert over possible terrorist or criminal activity. If the systems which should help to protect us can be easily abused to supress our freedoms, then the terrorists will have won.

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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


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London 2600

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Identity Project report by the London School of Economics
Surveillance & Society the fully peer-reviewed transdisciplinary online surveillance studies journal

Statewatch - monitoring the state and civil liberties in the European Union

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

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

ARCH Action Rights for Children in Education - worried about the planned Children's Bill Database, Connexions Card, fingerprinting of children, CCTV spy cameras in schools etc.

Foundation for Information Policy Research
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Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

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Digital Rights Ireland - legal case against mandatory EU Comms Data Retention etc.

Blindside - "What’s going to go wrong in our e-enabled world? " blog and wiki and Quarterly Report will supposedly be read by the Cabinet Office Central Sponsor for Information Assurance. Whether the rest of the Government bureaucracy and the Politicians actually listen to the CSIA, is another matter.

Biometrics in schools - 'A concerned parent who doesn't want her children to live in "1984" type society.'

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Front Line Defenders - Irish charity - Defenders of Human Rights Defenders

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OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

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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The incompetent yet authoritarian Labour party have not apologised for their time in Government. They are still not providing any proper Opposition to the current Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government, on any freedom or civil liberties or privacy or surveillance issues.

UK Government

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

No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

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United Kingdom Parliament
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House of Commons "Question Book"

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.

FaxYourMP - identify and then fax your Member of Parliament
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They Work For You - House of Commons Hansard made more accessible ? UK Members of the European Parliament

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)

ACPO - Association of Chief Police Officers - England, Wales and Northern Ireland
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Online Media

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Need To Know [now defunct]

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Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

Stand - email and fax campaign on ID Cards etc. [Now defunct]. The people who supported have gone on to set up other online tools like The Government's contemptuous dismissal of over 5,000 individual responses via the 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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UK ID Cards blog
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CASNIC - Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card.
Defy-ID active meetings and protests in Glasgow - New Alliance's ID Cards page - total rejection of any UK ID Card

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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Citizen Information Project feasability study population register plans by the Treasury and Office of National Statistics - 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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National Roads Telecommunications Services project - infrastruture for various mass surveillance systems, CCTV, ANPR, PMMR imaging etc.

CameraWatch - independent UK CCTV industry lobby group - like us, they also want more regulation of CCTV surveillance systems.

Every Step You Take a documentary about CCTV surveillance in the Uk by Austrian film maker Nino Leitner.

Transport for London an attempt at a technological panopticon - London Congestion Charge, London Low-Emission Zone, Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, tens of thousands of CCTV cameras on buses, thousands of CCTV cameras on London Underground, realtime road traffic CCTV, Iyster smart cards - all handed over to the Metropolitan Police for "national security" purposes, in real time, in bulk, without any public accountibility, for secret data mining, exempt from even the usual weak protections of the Data Protection Act 1998.

RFID Links

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Postnote February 2006 Number 258 - National DNA Database (.pdf) - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

The National DNA Database Annual Report 2004/5 (.pdf) - published by the NDNAD Board and ACPO.

Eeclaim Your DNA from Britain's National DNA Database - model letters and advice on how to have your DNA samples and profiles removed from the National DNA Database,in spite of all of the nureacratic obstacles which try to prevent this, even if you are innocent.

Miscellanous Links

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

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

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

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

Former Spies

MI6 v Tomlinson - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6

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

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

The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

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

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

James Hammerton
White Rose - a thorn in the side of Big Brother
Big Blunkett
Into The Machine - formerly "David Blunkett is an Arse" by Charlie Williams and Scribe
infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
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Chris Lightfoot
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Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

Martin Stabe
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
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


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.


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 - 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


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

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Follow Spy Blog on Twitter

For those of you who find it convenient, there is now a Twitter feed to alert you to new Spy Blog postings.

Please bear in mind the many recent, serious security vulnerabilities which have compromised the Twitter infrastructure and many user accounts, and Twitter's inevitable plans to make money out of you somehow, probably by selling your Communications Traffic Data to commercial and government interests. (same window)


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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

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
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."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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

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.

FreeFarid_150.jpg - 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)

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).

Amnesty International's campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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."

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

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."

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

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


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."


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

wblogocrop_150.jpg - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers