September 2005 Archives

The Byzantine Empire used to appoint regional Governors who had no family or political ties to the province or region where they were to rule, in order to prevent a local powerbase from being established which might challenge the central political authorities.
The NuLabour Government seems to continuing this practice with the recent shuffling of senior Civil Servants:

[via Martin Stabe's blog}:

The Prime Minister's office Number 10 Downing Street has announced that:

"New Permanent Secretary Appointments announced

Today saw the verdicts on the long running court case in Madrid, where 24 suspected Al Quaeada terrorist cell members were on trial, for membership of a proscribed organisation, and some of them, on charges of helping in the September 11th 2001 attacks (not the March 2004 train bombings in Madrid, as most of these people were in custody by then).

Read the 447 page judgement (.pdf), obviously in Spanish.

Interestingly, the Spanish Judges rejected the "evidence" of mobile phone call conversations, as being "untrustworthy".

The BBC reports:

"But the judges dismissed evidence of recorded telephone calls used by the prosecution, saying they were misleading and often based on misunderstandings of the Arabic language."

The conviction of Andrew Rowe, sentenced to 15 years in prison for the "possession" of items which might be of use to terrorists seems to have echoes of the non-existent "ricin plot", especially in all the dubious "off the record" background details which the news media are adding to their accounts, after the reporting restrictions have been lifted.

Why did it take nearly 2 years for this case to come to court ? What higher priority cases does the UK Judicial system have to deal with than terrorism charges ?

London July attacks - CCTV

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How has the 80,000 CCTV tapes ?

One of the contributory factors to our blog posting How many "terrorist suspects" do you know ? How many "terrorist suspects" know you ? on 1st August, was the shocking and frightening treatment of David Mery whose story made it to the front page of The Guardian yesterday: "Column five: Suspicious behaviour on the tube"

Genuine mistakes can happen in the Police response to the terrorist attacks in July, but there is no excuse for all the the stress and the slur on the character of an innocent man. To be falsely accused of being a terrorist suspect is a very serious slander.

The Guardian has a report about the massive secret marketing database which Tesco, the UK's largest retailer, keeps on its customers, and which it is is apparently hoping to use on everyone else as well.

Their resistance to journalists' requests for their own personal data under the Data Protection Act shows that "they must have something to hide".

Who believes that Tesco etc. will not attempt to collate any National Identity Register numbers which they happen to catch sight of into this vast array of data ?

Tesco stocks up on inside knowledge of shoppers' lives

· Crucible database is exhaustive - and secret
· Government bodies are tapped for information

Heather Tomlinson and Rob Evans
Tuesday September 20, 2005
The Guardian"

Tesco is quietly building a profile of you, along with every individual in the country - a map of personality, travel habits, shopping preferences and even how charitable and eco-friendly you are. A subsidiary of the supermarket chain has set up a database, called Crucible, that is collating detailed information on every household in the UK, whether they choose to shop at the retailer or not.

The company refuses to reveal the information it holds, yet Tesco is selling access to this database to other big consumer groups, such as Sky, Orange and Gillette."

The Guardian has a .pdf version of the controvesial Draft Terrorism Bill 2005 online, something which neither the Home Office nor the Parliament websites could be bothered to do on Thursday.

Depressingly, this Home Office seems to be a repeating the same tactics as the controversial Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, i.e. a long and complicated portmanteau Bill, with some very controversial parts, such as the detention without charge extension from 14 days to 3 months, whilst also including masses of complicated new offences, almost all of which are already covered by existing legislation.

It will be intolerable if the Liberal Democrat and Conservative opposition parties get diverted in trying to obtain "concessions" about whether the power of internment without charge should be as long as 3 months or not, and they let through the rest of the clauses, such as the removal of the need for the Home Secretary to personally sign warrants under the Rgulation of Investigatory Powers Act -(delgation not to a Judge, but some faceless bureacrat or other), "on the nod", without proper debate, like they have done in the past.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Who could object to reducing road traffic accident deaths and injuries ?

Why not introduce a European Union wide plan called eCall, the pan-European in-vehicle emergency call system, which would make use of the forthcoming E112 Emergency Services phone numbers, with added Global Positioning Satellite and/or Mobile Phone Location based data, to automatically call the emergemncy services with location information and other data like the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle etc. in the event of a car accident, even if the driver of the vehicle is unconscious, and establish a voice call with an emergency operator if they are not.

All well and good, however, the latest plan which has been announced:

The 2nd eSafety Communication BRINGING ECALL TO CITIZENS(.pdf) (available in other European Union languages}

Where are the safeguards to prevent abuse of the system, for the vast majority of the time when your vehicle has not been involved in an accident ? The reliance on mobile phone technology means that the devices will have to establish a handshake with the nearest base stations, tracking every vehicle, even if no emergency call is being made.

Although Parliament has not yet come back after the summer recess, this Parliamentary Answer has been published, which shows just how confused and out of its deoth the Home Office is when it comes to new legislation and the Internet:

"House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 12 Sept 2005 (pt 89

Improper Use of Internet

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will list (a) UK and (b) EU (i) initiatives, (ii) programmes and (iii) laws under discussion concerning improper use of the internet. [16067]

Paul Goggins: The Government have always taken the view that all legislation must be robust enough to deal with offences whether they are committed on or off line. To this end there is a variety of legislation which deals with offences which can be commissioned utilising computer systems and networks, but which contain no specific reference to use of the internet."

So why is the NuLabour Home Office planning to introduce Interent specific legislation regarding terrorist related activities which are already criminal offences under existing draconian, catch all anti-terrorism laws ? Is this yet another case of "We Must Be Seen To Be Doing Something"

Channel 4 TV news is claiming "exclusively" that they have been told that tomorrow will see the publication of the new draft anti-terrorism legislation., which has allegedly got the support of the main Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition parties.

Channel 4 claim that the Labour Government will be supporting the Association of Chief Police Officers' call for detention without charge or trial to be extended to up to 3 months, from the curremt 14 days maximum under the Terrorism Act 2000.

This was the one issue on which the Liberal Democrats seemed to be worried about, before the summer recess, so if that is being presented, then perhaps all the rest of the controversial ACPO "shopping list" is also to be inflicted on us.

Why is life and liberty threatening anti-terrorism legislation always rushed through Parliament, without proper consideration , scrutiny or public consultation or a referendum ?

We await tomorrow's publication with a sense of fear and dread - the terrorists seem to be winning, by provoking our weak leaders into throwing away the very freedoms and liberties which the terrorists are hoping to destroy.

The BBC reports on the conviction of the British national Hemant Lakhani for 47 years in the USA:

Lakhani has always claimed "entrapment", a claim which seems to have some merit.

"Terror Briton jailed for 47 years

Briton Hemant Lakhani has been jailed for 47 years for trying to sell a missile to an undercover FBI agent.

Lakhani was convicted in April of attempting to support terrorism after being caught in a sting.

He was also convicted at the court in Newark, New Jersey, of weapons brokering, money laundering and importing goods using false statements.

The 69-year-old, from Hendon, north London, had denied the charges, saying he was a victim of entrapment.

Lakhani was arrested in August 2003 after offering a shoulder-fired Igla missile to an FBI agent posing as a Somali terrorist.

He was one of three people held after a two-year operation by the FBI, UK and Russian intelligence services."

How many terrorists were caught trying to buy surface to air missiles ? None - they were undercover FBI agents.

How many illegal arms suppliers with access to the latest Russian Igla shoulder fired SAMs were caught ? None - the dummy missile was shipped to the USA by the Russian authorities.

The other two people involved in the case seem to have been simply money laundering / tax evading middlemen.

Are airline passengers etc. any safer as a result of this case ? No.

Our somewhat lengthy comments on Part 1 of the Home Office paper to the EU Parliament - "Liberty and Security - Striking the Right Balance" -
Retention of telecommunications traffic data:

Right from the start, this section of the paper attempts to blur and confuse exactly what "Data Retention" is, presumably in the hope that the Members of the European Parliament and the public will fail to understand the difference between legal Communications Data Traffic Analysis, of say, mobile phone itemised bills, which are currently available to the authorities, and the proposals to retain such data well beyond the time that they would normally have been deleted or anonymised, in accordance with the necessary principles of Data Protection, which are the law in most European Union countries.

The Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the Director General of the Security Service MI5, has, unusually, published a speech which she gave to a secret celebration of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of AIVD ("Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst"), the Dutch equivalent of MI5.

Speech by the Director General of the Security Service, Dame Eliza Mannungham-Buller, at the Ridderzaal, Binnehof, The Hague, Netherlands, 1 September 2005

Is the publication of this secret speech meant to act as pressure on, or as support for, the NuLabour policies which Tony Blair and Charles Clarke are trying to force onto the European Union ?

A few of our comments on parts of the speech:

The United Kingdom currently holds the revolving office of the Presidency of the European Union.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke and the Home Office has presented a paper to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, outlining some of the dubious Policy Laundering that NuLabour seeks to impose on the 60 million people of the United Kingdom and on the 450 million people of the European Union as a whole.

Paper by the UK Presidency of the European Union: Liberty and Security - Striking the Right Balance (07/09/05)

Obviously the UK Government's habit of "dealing with the difficult part of the policy in the title", as illustrated by the first "Yes Minister" episode back in 1980 still seems to be en vogue.

We will devote a posting to each of the following sections of this paper, as it illustrates just how wrong the balance between liberty and security is, that NuLabour are trying to impose on us, simply to Be Seen To Be Doing Something, and, presumably, as the result of behind the scenes lobbying by vested interests.

Introduction
Retention of telecommunications traffic data
Biometrics in identity cards and passports
A modern border control: using passenger name records
Closed Circuit TV
Conclusion

Download the paper as a PDF (371 KB)

Part 4 of the Home Office paper to the EU Parliament - "Liberty and Security - Striking the Right Balance" -
Closed Circuit TV

Part 3 of the Home Office paper to the EU Parliament - "Liberty and Security - Striking the Right Balance" -
A modern border control: using passenger name records

Part 2 of the Home Office paper to the EU Parliament - "Liberty and Security - Striking the Right Balance" -
Biometrics in identity cards and passports

The BBC reports:


"Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK

Six campaigners held at EU summit

Six civil liberties campaigners have been arrested outside a summit of European ministers on Tyneside.
A spokesman for the group NO2ID said two cars were driving towards the venue of the meeting in Gosforth on Thursday when police stopped them.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said four men and two women were held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage.

It comes on the second day of the three-day interior ministers' meeting.

About 70 EU ministers were attending the summit where host Home Secretary Charles Clarke was confident of securing a deal with his European counterparts on controversial counter-terrorist measures.

The NO2ID group said they were arrested on Thursday morning on the grounds they may cause a breach of the peace.

The campaigners, who were going to wear orange boiler suits and bar codes on their foreheads, had created a massive ID card to highlight what they see as an increasing restriction on civil liberties.

A spokesman for the group said: "The two cars were approaching the venue when they were stopped and searched under the spurious grounds that there might be a breach of the peace.

'Inquiries continuing'

"Before they could even protest about our civil liberties being eroded they were arrested.

"It is shocking that we could not have a peaceful protest in a peaceful country but this is what these ministers want."

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: "Four men and two women have all been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage and are currently in custody.

"Inquiries are on-going."

All of the NO2ID supporters that we have ever met have been entirely peaceful.

To be arrested before they even get to the EU Summit on some dubious "conspiracy to commit criminal damage", charge, is plainly an attempt to supress the democratic right to protest peacefully.

How are six people dressed in orange boiler suits with barcodes printed on their bodies, hoping to attract media attention, any sort of threat to the security of the EU Summit ?

The protestors should be released immediately, an a complaint should be made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Yhe mainstream media should ask Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who is responsible for the "security" of the EU Summit, about how exactly Civil Liberties are not supposedly being threatened by his misguided proposals outlined in his speech yesterday, and by his Government's curtailment of the right to free speach, and freedom of assembly and peaceful protest.

Home Office ID Fraud / ID Cards disinformation

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Using a cross cut shredder to obfuscate the personal details sent to you on junk mail and on utility bills, credit card statements etc. before you throw them away. is excellent advice.

However to conflate such common sense advice against so called "Identity Fraud" (a term which is not covered by any one single criminal offence) with propaganda claiming that the NuLabour ID Card and centralised biometric database scheme is somehow going to have any effect on such fraud, is rubbish, and the Home Office civil servants must be deeply embarassed by it.

It seems that the NuLabour political commissars and spin doctors are at it again, in the run up to the new session of Parliament:


"SHREDDING THE RISK OF ID FRAUD

Reference: 136/2005 - Date: 7 Sep 2005 12:16

A leaflet to advise the public on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft and what action to take if you have been a victim was launched today by Home Office Minister Andy Burnham."

The Home Office has announced the appointment of 5 non-executive directors to the board of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which is headed up by the Chair Sir Stephen Lander and Director General Bill Hughes and ex-MI5 and ex-MI6 people like David Bolt and Paul Evans (presumably they are Executive Directors).

The Observer has, mysteriously, gained access to a Confidential letter from William Ehrman, the Director General (Defence & Intelligence) at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He was also the temporary Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, and will soon be taking up his post as the United Kingdom's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China in Beijing (currently Sir Christopher Hurn).

"Revealed: MI6 plan to infiltrate extremists


Read the letter from the head of the intelligence arm of the Foreign Office here (pdf)

Read the memo from the FCO's Islamic issues adviser here (pdf)

Martin Bright, home affairs editor
Sunday September 4, 2005
The Observer

British intelligence officers planned a 'black propaganda' campaign against Islamic extremists, infiltrating their groups through the internet, documents leaked to The Observer reveal."

The Department for Education and Skills seems to have been landed with the job of publishing a Consultation on behalf of the NuLabour Nanny State, which seeks to justify the controversial collection and sharing of rumours, suspicions, "soft intelligence" etc. , not just on "Children at Risk" but on all 12 million children in the UK and on their parents or guardians, and which destroys the common law duty of professional advisor/ client confidentiality. Even the Information Commissioner is worried about this scheme.

"CROSS GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE - SHARING INFORMATION ON CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

This document seeks views on a draft of the first cross-Government guidance on information sharing in respect of children and young people.

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.

We know that there are decent, honest, trustworthy individual politicians, civil servants, law enforcement, intelligence agency personnel and broadcast, print and internet journalists etc., who often feel powerless or trapped in the system. They need the assistance of external, detailed, informed, public scrutiny to help them to resist deliberate or unthinking policies, which erode our freedoms and liberties.

Email & PGP Contact

Please feel free to email your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on.

blog@spy[dot]org[dot]uk

Our PGP public encryption key is available for those correspondents who wish to send us news or information in confidence, and also for those of you who value your privacy, even if you have got nothing to hide.

Current PGP Key ID: 0xA165A29480CFAA4C which will expire on 6th September 2014.

pgp-now.gif
You can download a free copy of the PGP encryption software from www.pgpi.org
(available for most of the common computer operating systems, and also in various Open Source versions like GPG)

We look forward to the day when UK Government Legislation, Press Releases and Emails etc. are Digitally Signed so that we can be assured that they are not fakes. Trusting that the digitally signed content makes any sense, is another matter entirely.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

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)

Links

Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog

WikiLeak.org - ethical and technical discussion about the WikiLeaks.org project for anonymous mass leaking of documents etc.

Privacy and Security

Privacy International
United Kingdom Privacy Profile (2011)

Cryptome - censored or leaked government documents etc.

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
UK Crypto - UK Cryptography Policy Discussion Group email list

Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

European Digital Rights

Open Rights Group - a UK version of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a clearinghouse to raise digital rights and civil liberties issues with the media and to influence Governments.

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.'

Human Rights

Liberty Human Rights campaigners

British Institute of Human Rights
Amnesty International
Justice

Prevent Genocide International

asboconcern - campaign for reform of Anti-Social Behavior Orders

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

Internet Censorship

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."

Reporters without Borders internet section - news of internet related censorship and repression of journalists, bloggers and dissidents etc.

Judicial Links

British and Irish Legal Information Institute - publishes the full text of major case Judgments

Her Majesty's Courts Service - publishes forthcoming High Court etc. cases (but only in the next few days !)

House of Lords - The Law Lords are currently the supreme court in the UK - will be moved to the new Supreme Court in October 2009.

Information Tribunal - deals with appeals under FOIA, DPA both for and against the Information Commissioner

Investigatory Powers Tribunal - deals with complaints about interception and snooping under RIPA - has almost never ruled in favour of a complainant.

Parliamentary Opposition

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

Public Bills before Parliament

United Kingdom Parliament
Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

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
WriteToThem - identify and then contact your Local Councillors, members of devolved assemblies, Member of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament etc.
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
ACPOS Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland

Online Media

Boing Boing

Need To Know [now defunct]

The Register

NewsNow Encryption and Security aggregate news feed
KableNet - UK Government IT project news
PublicTechnology.net - UK eGovernment and public sector IT news
eGov Monitor

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

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

Home Office Identity Cards website
No compulsory national Identity Cards (ID Cards) BBC iCan campaign site
UK ID Cards blog
NO2ID press clippings blog
CASNIC - Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card.
Defy-ID active meetings and protests in Glasgow
www.idcards-uk.info - New Alliance's ID Cards page
irefuse.org - 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
UK Biometrics Working Group run by CESG/GCHQ experts etc. the UK Government on Biometrics issues feasability
Citizen Information Project feasability study population register plans by the Treasury and Office of National Statistics

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

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

Surveillance Infrastructures

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

RFID tag privacy concerns - our own original article updated with photos

NoTags - campaign against individual item RFID tags
Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products has been endorsed by a large number of privacy and human rights organisations.
RFID Privacy Happenings at MIT
Surpriv: RFID Surveillance and Privacy
RFID Scanner blog
RFID Gazette
The Sorting Door Project

RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

Genetic Links

DNA Profiles - analysis by Paul Nutteing
GeneWatch UK monitors genetic privacy and other issues
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
freetotravel.org - John Gilmore versus USA internal flight passports and passenger profiling etc.

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

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

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

Former Spies

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

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

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

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

Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

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

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

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

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

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

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

War-on-Freedom

The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

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

Shaphan

Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

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

BLOGDIAL

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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia

NuLabour

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

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

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

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UK Legislation

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

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

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

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

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

UK Intelligence Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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Serious Organised Crime Agency - have cut themselves off from direct contact with the public and businesses - no phone - no email

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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