Only 11 suspects charged in the "liquid bomb plot" - first use of the catch-all Terrorism Act 2006 section 5 , were too many computers and mobile phones seized ?

| | Comments (12)

The BBC reports on the press conference in which it was announced that only 11 of the "liquid bomb on aircraft plotters" have been charged, out of the 25 people who had been arrested.

Another woman was released today without charge - is this suspect "J", who applied for a judicial review on the grounds that the District Judge did not specify the reasons for her continued detention as he should have done ?

This appears to be the first time that the terrifyingly vague new Terrorism Act 2006 section 5 Preparation of terrorist acts has been used, which could attract a penalty of life imprisonment.

There seems to be an extraordinary number of computers and mobile phones which have been seized, far more than seems likely would have been actually used in any such plot.

Susan Hemming, from the Crown Prosecution Service said that only 8 people had been charged with Conspiracy to Murder and under the new Terrorism Act 2006 Section 5 Preparation of terrorist acts

This seems to be the first use of this frighteningly vague and "catch all" power:

5 Preparation of terrorist acts (1) A person commits an offence if, with the intention of- (a) committing acts of terrorism, or

(b) assisting another to commit such acts,
he engages in any conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention.

(2) It is irrelevant for the purposes of subsection (1) whether the intention and preparations relate to one or more particular acts of terrorism, acts of terrorism of a particular description or acts of terrorism generally.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

Two people appear to have been charged with the "brother's keeper" thought crime offence of "failing to betray members of your family" to the police, under Section 38B of the Terrorism Act 2000, as amended by the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001 section 117 Information about acts of terrorism

Only one person, who is just 17 years old, is actually charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 57 Possession for terrorist purposes

11 other people are still being held without charge until at least Wednesday, including the brother of man named by the the alleged ring leader of the plotters, who is under arrest in Pakistan, wher ehe has been for several years.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, head of the Metropolitan Police's Anti-Terrorism Unit did not mention the seizure of any actual viable bombs or ready to go dis-assembled improvised explosive devices, exactly as we suspected when the news of the arrests was announced.

He did mention "bomb making equipment" of an unspecified "electrical components" variety and

"chemicals, including Hydrogen Peroxide"

Note that there is no mention of how concentrated this H2O2 might be, or how much of it has been found.

The stuff you can easily buy over the counter is far too weak (less than 5 % solution) to be of any use in the "movie bomb plot scenarios" which the media were wittering on about with supposed "binary liquid explosives" which could somehow be mixed onboard an aeroplane (without any cooling) to magically create enough explosive to destroy the aeroplane, in the few minutes that someone could have to themselves in the toilets, before the rest of the passengers and crew became suspicious.

Some of the practical difficulties are outlined in The Register

Peter Clarke gave some other details of what digital evidence has been seized:

"more than 400 computers, 200 mobile telephones and 8,000 items of removable storage media, such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs"

The Police have apparently

"removed some 6,000 Gigabytes of data"

It is at this point that we despair of the mainstream media.

Are they so innumerate that these figures do not immediately sound warning alarms to them ?

There were only 25 people arrested, including the 3 who have been released without charge, so that means that , on average, there are at least:

  • 16 computers
  • 8 mobile phones
  • 320 "memory sticks, CDs and DVDs"

for each of the alleged plotters who were arrested !

Are we seriously meant to believe that all of these computers and mobile phones have actually been used in this alleged plot ? We simply do not believe this.

Are these seizures, in fact, "collateral damage" to innocent people's computers and phones etc, which mostly have nothing whatsoever to do with the alleged plot ?

There are unconfirmed media reports, for instance of about 3 cyber cafés having been raided, but these seem to have been relatively small, with "only" 20 or so computers having been seized. Unless the cyber cafés operators and the alleged terrorist plotters are utter idiots, then the hard disks of these machines will not yield any useful information, due to anti-virus precautions , restricted customer access, except to specific shared areas, and the tendancy for such machines to be regularly re-built from the operating system upward from standard disk images, to counteract any viruses , porn and possible copyright infringements which the customers of cyber cafés or other public internet access points, tend to infect them with.

How can this really be "intelligence led" policing ?

Are these seizures really designed to attempt to re-make the case for 90 days detention without charge, which the NuLabour Ministers like Home Secretary John Reid and Chancellor Gordon Brown have been hinting at, but which did not impress the Home Affairs Committee very much according to their report on Terrorism Detention Powers ?

It is noticable that 11 people have been charged without the need to analyse "6,000 Gigagbytes of data", or "8,000 items of removable media" etc. using fingerprints, DNA and of course computer forensics.

It certainly does appear to be a plot of some sort, but we are still not convinced that there was such an imminent danger, which justified the raising of the national state of terrorist alert to CRITICAL, and which justified the millions of pounds of economic damage and the terrorist propaganda victory which resulted from the inept extra "security theatre" red tape which was inflicted on airports, on airliines, and on the travelling public.

12 Comments

The BBC report that J is Cossor Ali, who was charged today with failing to disclose information. I assume that this means her challenge to detention will be withdrawn.

Regarding the 8000 items of removable media, DAC Clarke stated that this included items "such as memory sticks, CDs and DVDs," and that there were 69 searches. This is an average of 116 per address - I expect that I have many more than this number of such items at home.

It would be be reasonable to assume that this includes many totally innocent DVDs, etc, given that US sources have been briefing that jihadi videos have been found spliced into these.

Clarke says "I can also tell you that since 10th August we have found bomb making equipment. There are chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items."

Does this mean that the the police have found cleaning fluid, bleach, nail polish remover, IPods and mobile phones?

Well, we won't know the answer to that question any time soon, as the BBC's Andy Tighe has stated that any prosecution may take up to a year to prepare. This sounds like internment to me.

@ ACM - There are 8 people, including Dhiren Barot who were arrested and charged, in August 2004 , who were also supposedly plotting an attack on Heathrow Airport (Or was it the Tube ? Or was it the financial districts of New Jersey and Washington ?).

They have still not yet come to trial, for Conspiracy to Murder, involving vague and unspecified Biological, Chemical, Nuclear or Radiological threats.

This case also involved an alleged "arrested too early" scenario, sparked off by an arrest in Pakistan.

This arrest, was also crowed about for political propaganda purposes during the US Presidential Election, thereby destroying any value the arrestee Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan had as a double agent.

See Terrorist suspects arrested too soon ?

@ ACM

This is an average of 116 per address - I expect that I have many more than this number of such items at home.

Do you have 16 computers and 8 mobile phones (not SIM cards, actual mobile phones) at home or even at work, to which nobody else has access, apart from possible co-conspirators ?

None of the press reports about the 19 suspects named by the Bank of England claimed that any of them were in jobs or businesses where one might expect to see so many computers e.g. computer repair or othe IT professionals.

Terrorists and criminals do use multiple mobile phones, but how stupid would it be for each plotter to keep 8 such phones in his or her possession, even cheap "disposable" ones ?

Would they not be far more likely to destroy such phones or throw them away or sell them on to someone gullible ?

There has been no suggestion in the press, that, unlike some of the initial suspects in the Madrid bombings, any of those arrested ran a mobile phone business. Even if they did, it would have to be wholesale rather than retail to justify the seizure of 200 phones.

The Times reports that the 17 year old (unnamed for obvious legal reasons) is charged with possession of "items", but these are neither weapons nor explosives nor even money etc.

The teenager is said to have had a book about improvised explosives devices, suicide notes and wills of co-conspirators and an annotated map of Afghanistan.


Why has he been charged with the Terrorism Act 2000 Section 57 offence of "Possession for terrorist purposes" instead of the Section 58 offence of "Collection of Information" ?

Could it be simply that the maximum penalty for Section 57 has been increased from 10 years to 15 years in prison, by Terrorism Act 2006 section 13 Maximum penalty for possessing for terrorist purposes , whilst the one for Section 58 has not ?

Abu "The Hook" Hamza al Masri is serving seven years in prison for incitement to murder, but he also is also concurrently serving three and a half years in prison, for a Section 58 offence.

This was for possession of a terrorist encyclopaedia, Encyclopedia of Afghan Jihad which may or may not have had such information in it originally (there was, apparently a missing volume), but which is still a book , nevertheless.

I love the huge figure of 6TB of data; suggesting that it would take ages to search through.

I will bet that most of this data is applications/operating systems and videos that can be reviewed in no time.

PS Can you now be chared under the terrorism act if you have a copy of the anarchists cookbook?

@ Jake Long - you can probably be so charged if all you have is a paper copy of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Bible or the Koran, it is all down to the "opinion" of a Policeman.

Presumbly all "dangerous intellectuals" with University Degrees in Science, Technology or Engineering or are
also at risk of a Terrorism Act 2000 Section 58 offence, or of a Terrorism Act 2006 offence, simply for the knowledge they have inside their heads.

You can be probably be charged for "thought crimes" e.g. not immediately suspecting members of your own family of terrorism and failing to betray them to the authorities, even when they and those authorities are physically in in a foreign country from you! This happened to the family of the the first two British suicide bombers who attacked a bar in Tel Aviv, with bombs they did not have when they left the UK.

You can be charged for attempting (and obviously failing) to obtain an entirely fictious substance which does not exist, from a con artist or an agent provocateur or through an alleged "journalistic sting" operation e.g. the "Red Mercury" trial.

It would be laughable if it were not so deadly serious for those people caught up in such nightmares, which should only be encountered in the writings of Franz Kafka ("The Trial") or Jaroslav Hasek ("The Good Soldier Schweik"), who wrote about the incompetent bureaucratic red tape under the Austro-Hungarian Empire Police State, around the time of World War 1.


Perhaps John Mortimer can do satitical justice to the topic in his forthcoming "Rumpole of the Bailey" book to be called "Rumpole and the Reign of Terror" ?

"Rumpole author claims UK is selling out to fascism"

@wtwu

Your figures are slightly misleading - the PCs and mobiles seized do not apply to the SUSPECTS they apply to the RAIDS.

If we assume that the three Internet Cafes have 20 machines each, that means an average of 5 PCs per address. Many are business addresses, so this does not seem unreasonable.

We also get an average of 3 mobile phones per address. This too seems normal.

So, the massive numbers paraded by the police seem perfectly normal!

@ ACM - Until more details emerge, then who knows for sure ?

Whichever way you look at the figures, it does appear likely that there has been "collateral damage" i.e. the seizure of computers and mobile phones and removable media belonging to people who are not involved in the alleged plot at all.

Taking the hard disks from the internet cyber cafés does seem like clutching at straws, assuming that their upstream traffic was being monitored and intercepted for website visits and email accesses etc. (not admissible as evidence in Court under RIPA).

One of the cyber cafés shown on the TV news had just the hard disk / systems units taken away, leaving behind the keyboards, mice and screens. Presumably there was video or informant based surveillance of the the fact that some of the suspects used those particular machines, otherwise, surely, there should have been fingerprint and DNA testing applied to tie in a particular suspect to a particular computer ?

Is it possible that one of the suspects works at Dixons and the police have simply raided a shop?

Is it possible the police think that commercial DVDs can contain secrets (remember the old days when people fussed about things hidden in JPGs? Or CDs - do you think some poor police person will have to listen to all the collected music of all these people?

@Jake Long - "PS Can you now be chared under the terrorism act if you have a copy of the anarchists cookbook?"

Yes.

The media have been libelling an innocent person, by publishing her photo, and claiming that she is the suspect Cossor Ali.

[The Guardian]

The Sun published an apology today, while the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and ITV News apologised yesterday.

Hopefully she will get substantial financial compensation.

The brother of the alleged Al Quaeda mastermind whose arrest in Pakistan is supposed to have precipitated the arrests, seems to have been now released without charge, along with nother suspect.

25 arrests (one on the day after most of the others), 5 people now released without charge, 11 jave charged, and 9 are still being held without charge.

8 of these are being held under the new Terrorism Act 2006 28 days mechnism after a decision by a High Court Judge.

[Reuters]

"were too many computers and mobile phones seized ?"

In the contents section of the book Psychology of Intelligence Analysis
Richards J. Heuer, Jr
, available from the CIA website, Chapter 5 is called "Do You Really Need More Information? (the answer is, no). A couple of quotes from the chapter: "This chapter questions the often-implicit assumption that lack of information is the principal obstacle to accurate intelligence judgments." And, "Once an experienced analyst has the minimum information necessary to make an informed judgment, obtaining additional information generally does not improve the accuracy of his or her estimates."

This begs the question: what intelligence analysis techniques are being used - if any? Prior to Richard Heuer, the CIA used something called 'prescient intelligence analysis': is this really the technique being used by the UK authorities in their War Against Terror? An outmoded and discredited technique?

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.

We wiil use this verifiable public key (the ID is available on several keyservers, twitter etc.) to establish initial contact with whistleblowers and other confidential sources, but will then try to establish other secure, anonymous communications channels, as appropriate.

Current PGP Key ID: 0x122B3C4FD0BD0FB3 which will expire on 1st October 2018.

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

Syndicate this site (XML):

Follow Spy Blog on Twitter

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

https://twitter.com/SpyBlog

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

https://twitter.com/SpyBlog (same window)

Recent Comments

  • Anon: "were too many computers and mobile phones seized ?" In read more
  • wtwu: The media have been libelling an innocent person, by publishing read more
  • sam_m: @Jake Long - "PS Can you now be chared under read more
  • J: Is it possible that one of the suspects works at read more
  • wtwu: @ ACM - Until more details emerge, then who knows read more
  • ACM: @wtwu Your figures are slightly misleading - the PCs and read more
  • wtwu: @ Jake Long - you can probably be so charged read more
  • Jake Long: I love the huge figure of 6TB of data; suggesting read more
  • wtwu: The Times reports that the 17 year old (unnamed for read more
  • wtwu: @ ACM This is an average of 116 per address read more

Categories

Monthly Archives

October 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

UK Legislation

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

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

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

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

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

UK Intelligence Agencies

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

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

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

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

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

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

gchq_logo.gif
Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

logo-nca.gif
National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

da_notice_system_150.gif
Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

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

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

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

Campaign Button Links

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

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

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

FreeFarid_150.jpg
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)

Open_Rights_Group.png
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).

irrepressible_banner_03.gif
Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

anoniblog_150.png
BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

ngoiab_150.png
NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

homeofficewatch_150.jpg
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."

rsf_logo_150.gif
Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

committee_to_protect_bloggers_150.gif
Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders_are_NOT_Terrorists_logo_150.jpg
Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

nocctv.gif
No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

phnat-logo-black-on-white_150.jpg

I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

power2010_132.png

Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

Cracking_the_Black_Box_black_150.jpg

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."

surveillance_72.jpg

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

wblogocrop_150.jpg

WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers