ACPO "Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer, incorporating the Step Down Model" - no data deletion until you are 100 years old ! About 6000 different criminal offences.

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The Association of Chief Police Officers has published

"Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer, incorporating the Step Down Model" (.pdf) version 1.3, 16th March 2006.

1.3 The Retention Guidelines are based on a format of restricting access to PNC data, rather than the deletion of that data. The restriction of access is achieved by setting strict time periods after which the releveant event histories will 'step down' and only be open to inspection by the police. Following the 'step down' other users of PNC will be unaware of the existance of such records, save for those occaisions where the individual is the subject of an Enhanced Check under the Criminal Records Bureau vetting process. In those cases the data should be dealt with as intelligence and only disclosed where the relevance test has been applied, on the authority of the Chief Officer

This "step down procedure" really means that once your data has been sucked into the Police National Computer, it will never actually be deleted, except under the most exceptional circumstances. Given the need for disaster recovery and backup systems for this bit of the Critical National Infrastructure, the data may never be truly deleted even if it is so ordered to be done.

How can this be deemed to be "proportionate and necessary" under the Principles of Data Protection ?

Why are the records of people who have been Acquitted of an alleged offence to be retained until such innocent people become 100 years old ?

Note that these Guidelines, like all ACPO Policies, are not legally binding on Chief Constables, who may choose to ignore any bits of it that they wish to, but probably most of them will comply, most of the time..

The Nominal Records of the Police National Computer system is slowly being transformed by already delayed Information Management, Prioritisation, Analysis, Co-ordination and Tasking (IMPACT) computer system

This new Data Retention policy effectively destroys the original intent of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 , whereby "spent" convictions, for minor offences i.e. those attracting less than 2 years in prison, are meant to be expunged from the criminal records, so that they will not dog you for the rest of your life if you are not a habitual criminal who continually re-offends. Back in 1974, when the Police National Computer was created, it was not capable of recording Criminal Convictions etc. but its functions and capabilities have been expanded over the years.

This sort of "function creep" should be borne in mind in any discussion about the National Identity Register centralised biometric database.

1.5 It is recognised thay the introduction of these guidelines may have implications for the business of the non police agencies with which the police currently share PNC data. Work is already under way to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the needs of all stake holders.

Who exactly are these other "non police agencies" with which this data is currently shared ?

Surely this will lead to an increase of parallel, partial copies of the PNC database being duplicated by these other "non police agencies", over which there is no public
control and acountability ?

How about some public consultation on this policy, and not just secret talks with "stakeholders" i.e. vested interests ?

2.5 The Criminal Justice Act 2003 amended PACE providing the police with the additional power to take DNA samples and fingerprints without consent, from all person detained at a police station having been arrested for a recordable offence. Where such an arrest results in no further action being taken, the individual is referred to as a 'CJ Arrestee'.

Where is the justification for treating "innocent until proven guilty" "CJ Arrestees" like this ?

3.1 When a nominal record is created or updated on the PNC by virtue of an individual being the subject of a Conviction, Penalty Notice for Disorder, Acquittal or CJ Arrestee, the record will contain relevant personal data together with the details of the offence which resulted in the record creation. The record will be retained on the PNC until that person is deemed to have attained the age of 100 years of age. Where a subject is shown to have more than one date of birth, th earliest date will be used to determine when 100 years of age has been obtained

Apart from the physical impossability of actually having more than one date of birth per person, presumably this refers to different identity documents or databases which contain errors.

This is an extraordinary statement of Principle. How can this be deemed to be "proportionate and ncessary" under the Principles of Data Protection ?

Why are the records of people who have been Acquitted of a an alleged offence to be retained until such innocent people become 100 years old ?

The records of the offences for which someone has been Acquitted should not be a Police record, but a Criminal Justice / Courts record, and then only for the purposes of preventing a future double jeopardy re-prosecution for the same alleged crime.

N.B. this is one of the long established principles of English Law which the notorious disgraced ex-Home Secretary David Blunkett weakened with his Criminal Justice Act 2003. but since, even under this Act, the decison to prosecute in the face of "compelling new evidence" (usally DNA analysis or re-analysis from "cold cases") lies with the Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecutions and not the Police, there is still no justification for Acquittals to be retained for so long on the Police National Computer.

4.32 Chief Officers are the Data Controllers of all PNC records referred to above created by their force. They have the discretion in exceptional circumstances, to authorise the deletion of any conviction, penalty notice for disorder, acquittal or arrest histories, 'owned' by them.

4.33 ACPO has approved an 'Exceptional Case procedure' to assist Chief Officers in the exercise of this discretion (see Appendix 2).

Chief Officers have the discretion to authorise the deletion of any specific data entry on the PNC 'owned' by them. They are also responsible for the authorisation of the destruction of DNA and fingerprints associated with the specific entry. It is suggested that this discretion should only be exercised in exceptional cases.

[...]

Following the recent widespread media covverage relating to the retention of DNA, it is anticipated that during the next twelve months, there will be a high volume of requests.

[...]

It is not recommended that any proactive exercise is undertaken to determine potentially exceptional cases, however the DNAFRP will be incontact with forces to establish examples of deletions which have already taken place.

There should be exactly such a proactive review of the existing PNC records, for the sake of restoring lost public confidence and trust in this "Big Brother" Police State database . It should not be a one off exercise either, but there should be an ongoing, independent review of such data.

PersonOutcomeSentenceOffenceStep down
Non-police
Users
Delete
AdultCustody6 Months or moreA
B
C
N/A
35 Years
30 Years
Subject deemed to have reached 100 years of age
Young PersonCustody6 Months or moreA
B
C
N/A
30 Years
25 Years
AdultCustodyLess than 6 MonthsA
B
C
N/A
20 Years
15 Years
Young PersonCustodyLess than 6 MonthsA
B
C
N/A
15 Years
10 Years
AdultNon-custodyA
B
C
20 Years
15 Years
12 Years
Young PersonNon-custodyA
B
C
15 Years
12 Years
10 Years
AdultCautionA
B
C
10 Years
5 Years
5 Years
Young PersontReprimand or WarningA
B
C
10 Years
5 Years
5 Years
Adult or Young PersontPND
Acquittal
CJ Arrestee
DecriminalisedOther
(Lie on file, sine die etc)
A
B
C
On
Resulting

What about sentences of exactly 6 months ? Are these rounded up or down for the Data Retention period ?

The rest of this document is made up of a huge list of category A, B and C offences, which shows just how complicated and repetitive the Home Office legislative onslaught has been on our freedoms and liberties.

Category A - pages 18 to 55 = 37 pages @ about 30 per page= about 1100 offences

Category B - pages 56 to 98 = 42 pages @ about 30 per page= about 1260 offences

Category C - pages 99 to 228 / 229 = 128 and bit pages (mostrly about 30 per page, but some at 25 per page) = about 3600 offences

Approximately about 6000 offences !

This is far too many offences - no human being can remember all of these !

Note how many offences there are which are essentially similar, but which have not been repealed.

N.B. There may be a few offences which have been replaced by recent legislation, but which are already on the database.

Unfortunately, the document does not have any cross references to the actual Act of Parliament where the offence is defined.

How many people have been charge with these of the Category A within living memory or are ever likely to be so charged ? e.g.

  • 11.7.37.1 Permit premises to be altered intending they be used for the production of chemical weapons

  • 6.1.1.13 Slaying lord high treasurer

  • 6.1.1.20 Compassing, contriving, planning or advising imprisonment or restraint of the sovereign's heir or successor

  • 6.12.173.1 Knowingly cause a nuclear explosion

  • 8.2.1 Embracery
    (offence of attempting to influence a jury or juror)

  • 6.1.2 Misprision of treason ( "where a person knows that treason is being planned or committed and does not report it as soon as he can to a justice of the peace or other authority. The offender does not need to consent to the treason; mere knowledge is enough.")

How can people tell who is drunk and who is insane and by how much ?

  • 13.3.21 Supplying firearm to a drunk person

  • 11.3.25 Supplying firearm/shotgun/air weapon to insane person.

  • 11.3.25.1 Supplying firearm to insane person.

Some of the Category B offences appear to be nonsensical:

  • 7.2.15 Distributing recording of threatening, abusive, insulting sounds to stir up racial hatred

  • 7.2.16 Showing recording of threatening, abusive, insulting sounds to stir up racial hatred

  • 7.2.17 Playing recording of threatening, abusive, insulting sounds to stir up racial hatred

What "sounds" (not "words" or "visual images") can possibly stir up "racial hatred" ?

Some of the Category C offences seem to be impossibly rare prosecutions:

  • 11.6.30 Hiring part of a crossbow to a person under 17

  • 12.26.9.1 Drive cattle furiously to the obstruction/danger/annoyance of residents or passengers

  • 4.3.26 Possession of gold filed from coins

  • 4.4.13 Uttering a medal resembling current coin

  • 4.6.5 Contributing to bankruptcy by gambling

  • 4.6.6 Contributing to bankruptcy by speculating

  • 5.572 Possessing or have on premises any stolen dog skin after a previous summary conviction

  • 5.5.83 Stealing as servant

  • 12.13.70.1 Wrestling, fighting or struggling with any untrained bull

Others seem completely contrary to the Human Rights Act fundamental human right of free expression, and the modern Internet. Do our friends at the Open Rights Group know about offences such as:

  • 12.2.52 Make literary work knowing or believing an unauthorised broadcast was to be made

  • 12.2.52.2 Make dramatic work knowing or believing an unauthorised broadcast was to be made

  • 12.2.52.3 Make musical work knowing or believing an unauthorised broadcast was to be made

  • 12.2.52.2 Make artisitic work knowing or believing an unauthorised broadcast was to be made

This massive list of offences does not yet include the literally dozens of serious, presumably Category A offences, which have been inflicted on us through Acts like the Terrorism Act 2006 and the Identity Cards Act 2006 and the Immigration, Asylum and Nationailty Act 2006, all of which received Royal Assent on 30th March 2006.

"8.7.25.1 breach of an anti-social behavior order" is a Category C offence, brought in by the Anti-Social Behavior Act 2003 which amended the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

However there are two types of controversial Anti-Social Behavior Orders, the ones which are imposed as a sort of bail condition following conviction of another offence, and the particularly evil ones which are imposed without any criminal conviction whatsoever. Breach of either type of ASBO could lead to up to 5 years in prison.

How long are such ASBOs retained on the PNC Nominal Index if they are not breached ?

Surely the ASBOs are actually recorded on the PNC ? If not, then where ?

Another area of controversy - there are no offences under the Hunting Act 2004 which banned fox hunting with dogs, mentioned in this list either.

There is no mention of Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 Control Orders, either as an offence if they are breached, or for how long data about them, or associated with them is to be retained - remember that persons (including British citizens) subjected to such Contol Orders by the Home Secretary have not been charged, let alone convicted of any crime in a Court.


Neither are there any of the controversial Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 offences to do with demonstrations without prior written consent in the Designated Area of up to 1 kilometer in a straight line around Parliament Square, or the Designated Areas around Military Bases or other Crown Land e.g. Buckingham Palace etc.

DNAFRP contacts:

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead (Hampshire)
ACPO Chairman of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Portfolio Group.

Assistant/Deputy Chief Constable Adrian McAllister (Lancashire)
ACPO Recording and Disclosure of Convictions Portfolio Holder

Telephone: 023 8074 4637

Email: dna_frpproject@hampshire.pnn.police.uk

Address: DNA and Fingerprint Retention Project,
Kings Worthy Court,
Court Road,
Kings Worthy,
Winchester,
SO23 7QA

1 TrackBacks

Gareth Preston, who has commented on our blog posting about the ACPO Data Retention policy (including the "Step Down Model") for thePolice National Computer, lost his job at the Security Industry Authority (which licenses security guards and nightclub ... Read More

33 Comments

ACPO is rapidly becoming a State within a State.

Yet another label, I'm now a "CJ Arrestee" :-(

It's not the kind of answer I was looking for, but at least now I know what the data retention period is for the non-conviction info listed on the PNC. If I live that long, I'll have to check by requesting another data subject access from the Met on my 100th birthday.

br -d

According to this, "Attempted Suicide" is still an offence (1.7.3.1)?

Thankfully mine wasn't reported to the police.

Thanks for posting this, I've passed links to my colleagues.

I'm not sure if struggling with an untrained bull or possessing stolen dog skin is more attractive...what about trained bulls?

@ Duncan - of the 6000 or so offences listed, there must be quite a lot which have now been Decriminalised or have been replaced by more recent legislation, but which still exist on old criminal records.

There has been such an avalanche of criminal offences created by the current Labour government that nobody, not even the Police force, has an accurate list of them all.

What "sounds" (not "words" or "visual images") can possibly stir up "racial hatred" ?

There have been occasions when opposing football fans have made hissing noises at Tottenham fans, allegedly in reference to the gas chambers. There is also the example of monkey chants aimed at black players.

@ Paul - those examples could well be "threatening, abusive" or "insulting" but how can they actually "stir up racial hatred" ?

Especially as a "recording" rather than a face to face chant or taunt ?

Has anyone ever been arrested for this, let alone convicted ?

I was seeking to illustrate, rather than validate the statement. However one could argue (perhaps unsuccessfully) that an aspect of racial hatred is the portrayal of the target as sub-human, something which monkey chanting is intended to convey. One could conceive of situations in which a recording of crowds making monkey chants was used to intimidate black people or to reinforce a message of racial superiority, but as Jim Murphy would say, "that's just a debating point".

Playing a recording of Wagner outside a synagogue could be a 'sound' designed to stir up racial hatred. Certainly has the potential to create a Breach of the Peace.

@ HG - surely even the British legal system makes a clear distinction between "sounds" and "music" ?

In what way can a Wagner concert actually "stir up racial hatred" ?

How are the Police meant to be able to tell if such a Wagner concert was recorded by, say, Daniel Barenboim or even if the music is actually by Wagner, note for note ?

Another set of offences missing from the list of about 6000 recordable offences on the Pololice National Computer seems to be anything to do with selling honours or peerages under the

Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925

Presumably this means that Des Smith and whoever else who gets arrested e.g. perhaps Lord Levy or Lord Adonis etc. in the current NuLabour scandal, will not actually have their DNA samples taken on arrest.

Work this one out then! I was arrested by a disgruntled police officer in 2004 for section five of the public order act. NB: My first time ever to be in trouble with the police in my life.

Then now (2006) I get a CRB check or police check and guess what. Not only have I got a caution for a section five public order offence, I have also got a section three in the name of Gary Paul Preston arrested on the Isle of Man in 2002. It took the CRB 65 days to amend this certificate. So how did it happen?

Well that police man who arrested me along with his mates. Did not create me a record on the PNC, instead they added my name and offence to Gary Pauls record, so he is I and I is he.

Yes, if I was ever in trouble with the law again and was pnc'd by the officer it would look like I was telling him fibs when I would say I am not Gary Paul

I have read all comments here with interest and wish to add my own dilema.

I am a UK citizen living and working in Taiwan, I am also married to a Taiwanese national, we married in london.

Currently I remain in Taiwan with a resident visa that has been issued to me based on my employment only and not based on my marriage.

I am in my second year of employment in Taiwan and I have to renew my visa and work permit every year as well as undergo a medical check.

If I were in Taiwan with a spouse resident visa based on my marriage then every three years I am required to renew it. However, to apply for a spouse resident visa based on my marriage I am required to supply a police criminal record check. My dilema is below and it goes to show just how stupid the UK system is.

For example, the last conviction was 10 years ago. Prior to that a previous conviction of 3 offences 24 years ago resulting in a sentence to 3 months in prison to run concurrent, whicj adds up to 9 months but only served 3 months but released early due to good behaviour.

Surely if it were simply the case that spent convictions under the rehabilitation period then the person with spent convictions doesn't need to reveal them, right?

Then why is it when having said the above........ when a previous offender requests PNC for a criminal record check does the previous history show up?

Surely a person has rehabilitated enough as 10 years have passed since their last conviction and have in fact rehabilitated enough to have there criminal history deleted from file.

To enable people, who have offended, suffered the appropriate penalty and reformed, to be legally entitled to rehabilitation, by concealing their official records”or having there history removed from file.

2,Either a person is reformed well enough and his sentence is spent, or he is not; and that is that. A person with a spent sentence is perfectly entitled to become a judge, a nanny, a prison warder, a scout master or the Archbishop of Canterbury, correct?

Consequential penalties, which come from having an official record, are so severe and have such a penalising effect for life it is unacceptable that they are not spelled out as part of the sentence.

It seems rather odd to me that as a previous offender was to lets say fill out an application form for a spouse resident visa based on a marriage to a foreigner and whom wishes to reside in his/her country ticks a check-box when filling out a spouse visa application form stating that they have no criminal convictions then they would actually be providing false information.

I say this because to apply to reside in another country one would have to supply a police criminal record check and upon obtaining this information "all previous criminal history held on the PNC is supplied AND I MIGHT ADD WITHOUT ANYTHING RELATING TO THE WORDS AS "spent convictions" Do you see my point?

Providing a PNC check with past convictions to obtain a spouse visa would have an adverse effect on the persons application as I doubt that any country recognises the words SPENT or IN FACT KNOW there meaning, also take into account that they had already submitted a form to their spouse's countrys representative office indicating they had no criminal record and yet upon submitting a police record check it would stipulate differently.

Maybe someone has been in the same situation as has managed to get around it but when making enquiries at both the Metropolitian Police and PNC all they say is you may benefit from legal advice???

Just exactly why spent convictions are not deleted from the PNC systems after the rehabilitation period and just how long are the details retained on file for?

Is there a possibility that they could all be removed because according to some information I obtained last year it states the life retention of a criminal record comes about from the conviction and sentencing at Richmond on 12/8/82
for 3 offences of burglary.

Sentence was 3 month imprisonment for each offence, the sentences
to run concurrently.

This sentence fulfills the requirement of ACPO weeding rules. Meaning that the criminal record remains on file for life until I die or turn 100 years of age.

Can anyone shed any light on this for me please as to whether or not I can legally apply to have a clean slate on my record.

Well guess what the police done to me?

They added me to another Mr Prestons Police National Computer Record i.e. a previous offenders, instead of making me my own Police National Computer Record within 24hrs of my arrest.

I lost my Job over this,however it is now all sorted out and I have been given a new arrest/summons number 06/217537U.

All I can say is that two little girls named Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman have lost their lives due to the "Police" giving false information into the Police National Computer Police Forces who condone this should be named and shamed,

The force that feed false infomation about me onto the Record of a Mr Gary Paul Preston was the Gwent Police...

I for one am disgusted this is clearly "white collar crime" likewise they should not be allowed to get away with fabrications like this it costs lives...

I have just submitted a complaint to the information commission regarding the new ACPO bullshit guidelines, there is no way you can check if you offence has been stepped down or obtain a copy of your record in basic or standard check format, contact me if you have a similar problem. As with guidelines they are not law and what we need is this process reviewed and a new act issued.

@ Paul - Good Luck !

Remember that ACPO claim that they are not a Public Authority , especially for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), despite being subsidised with taxpayers money by the Home Office.

You might have to re-submit your complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office, aimed at your own specific Police Force, each of which is covered by the FOIA and the Data Protection Act.

The complaint made has been submitted to the Info Commissioners Office listing Notts Police and the CRB. Cheers

Paolo204 at yahoo dot co dot uk

If you read the contributors list on the inside page of this document you will see the likes of liberty and NARCO, just had a formal reply back from NARCO saying the ACPO Guidelines took no notice of any suggestions and "wasted there time" by completely ignoring them. That’s the police and a labour administration for you.!

..does that mean if an offence is 'stepped down', it wont show on an enhanced CRB disclosure?

If my caution comes up on a CRB after 10 years what do I do to get it rightfully removed?

@ Marjorie - in theory, according to the quotation at the top of the article:

Following the 'step down' other users of PNC will be unaware of the existance of such records, save for those occaisions where the individual is the subject of an Enhanced Check under the Criminal Records Bureau vetting process. In those cases the data should be dealt with as intelligence and only disclosed where the relevance test has been applied, on the authority of the Chief Officer

How well this works in practice, is a mystery.

Does the CRB wait until there is a request for an Enhanced Disclosure, do a lookup on the PNC, and then wait for all the individual Police Forces to come back with individual confirmations that each item on file has been signed off for "intelligence disclosure" by each of the 60 or so Chief Constables of the various Police Forces, or by people acting with their delegated authority ?

Or does each Police Force mark up their Police National Computer records with "permitted for Enhanced Disclosure" flags beforehand ?

Can their IT systems actually automatically "age" records through the "step down" procedure as time passes, or is it all done by hand ?

Thanks for answering. Considering I was cautioned by the police force that lost Ian Huntley's records I can only presume they're not so hot ont the efficiency! Its frustrating to have been given a caution and promised it would be deleted after five years, only to be told four and a half years in that oops you've got another five years whacked on. It hardly seems fair?

Thanks for the quick replies, it's appreciated.

So in theory an enhanced CRB disclosure would more than likely reveal convictions that have been 'stepped down'?

If convictions have been stepped down and appear on an enhanced disclosure is there any recourse?

So this came into play officially on 31st march 06. Does anyone know when this will actually be implented. Will it only apply to records created on or after the 31st March 06?

Hi Guys/Girls
I have applied to emigrate and infomation disclosure has been requested. I have actualy stated the offences I have been convicted for on the form.
I have 4 convictions one of assault from over 20 years ago. As there are more than 3 I understand 20 years need to elapse before deletion. But I have been informed all will stay on for life as I have a conviction for violence is this true. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

According to an email reply we got today, it seems that the Criminal Records Bureau is still in the process of "considering the implemntation" and "consulting with the relvant bodies" about the "step down model", so, presumably, for now, the old rules apply.

See Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosures and the ACPO "step down model" for the Police National Computer

In response to wtwu. Thanks for that, with a bit of luck my caution will expire under the old rules and be deleted before the new model is implemented. It may be worth me requesting a subject access check in five months to see if it really has gone? Here's hoping!

It seems unjust to me that people who were given cautions and informed by legal aid and the police that if they accepted them, they would last a set amount of time and then be deleted can just be told, u-ho we changed the rules, sorry!

If the law is supposed to be a deterrent how can people who've already broken it go back in time and not do what they did because the punishment is now more severe?

Also maybe people with a borderline case wouldn't have accepted the caution but taken their chances in court - they're taking away a persons right to weigh up their options.

If double jeopardy protects someone from being tried twice for the same crime, surely altering a punishment that has been decided upon, stated and issued shouldn’t be justifiable either?

...do you think it is likely that 'stepped down' convictions will still show on an enhanced CRB?

I have three that were 'stepped down' in 1996 and have to complete an enhanced CRB soon for my employer, who doesn't know about my past.

Please help, I am worried sick that my past will come back to haunt me over 20 years later )-:

@ Marjorie - why not write to or ring up the Criminal Records Bureau helpline and ask them ?

See the CRB contacts page

They are meant to explain these things to the public.

wtwu, thank you so much. I have just used their contact form to make my enquiry. As soon as I receive a response I will post it here.

I was falsely accused of a serious crime by a drugged up criminal, for her own peverted reasons. Following 15 months of police investigation and around 4 months on bail, the case was rightfully dropped. However, I now find my DNA, fingerprint & general records being kept forever. I don't even believe that they would be deleted after 100 years, should I somehow live that long! It's an absolute disgrace that this is possible & that the police can take & retain such data forever, purely under the act of arrest. Let's face it, you can be arrested for virtually anything nowadays, even mistaken identity (ie looking like an alleged criminal). It's obviously their covert way of building up their databases, as they realise that they cannot get away with inforcing it on all citizens at the current time. It's Orwell's 1984 alright, just 20 years or so later than he predicted!

Visit my site and read the full Criminal Records Bureau report. They clearly say it was the Gwent police.

And ohh make sure you have a cup of tea or coffee as it is a long report. A step by step report from the start to the end. It's what I like to call termonlogical bulls**t.

@ Gareth - our planned comment has expanded into a full blog posting.

See When did Criminal Records Bureau clerks become "Agents" ?

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

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Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

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FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

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

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Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

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

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."

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

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers