Part five of our commentary on Gordon Brown's speech to Chatham House

| | Comments (1)

The fifth and final part of our commentary on Gordon Brown's
Speech by the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, on "Meeting the terrorist challenge" given to Chatham House, 10 October 2006.

What does the Chancellor know about "Cultural action against terrorist extremism" ?

Cultural action against terrorist extremism

It is by fulfilling the responsibilities I have as Chancellor to seek to deny terrorists finance that I have become even more aware not just of the scale, complexity and sophistication of terrorist activity but its long term nature as a threat, bringing home to me the bigger, deeper questions we all have a duty to address.

The threat from Al Qaeda did not begin on September 11th - indeed the attacks on the twin towers were being planned as the United States was taking action with Europe to protect Muslims in the former Yugoslavia, and was leading the most concerted drive in decades for peace in the Middle East.

So why did the Labour Government effectively ignore this threat from 1997 until 2001 ?

Nor will the threat end with the withdrawal of international forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a totalitarian terrorism founded on animosity to our values.

We actually agree with this statement !

To root out terrorism we are rightly investing in our military and security forces and our police and intelligence services both at home and abroad - doubling our investment in security since September 11th to £2 billion a year.

"doubling our investment in security since September 11th to £2 billion a year."

The Chancellor cannot resist putting political spin and gloss, on financial figures which he, of all people, should be very familiar with.

Surely Gordon Brown is insulting the collective intelligence of his audience at the Royal Institute for International Affiars - Chatham Houseaand even our modest capacity for facts and figures, by implying that the current budget is running at £2 billion a year"

In fact, according to the 2006 report by the Intelligence and Security Committee and the Intelligence and Security Committee Report into the London Terrorist Attacks on 7 July 2005 (.pdf)

  • "The total Single Intelligence Account allocation rose from £1,313.7m in the 2004/05 financial year to £1,361.3m for 2005/06; £1,480.0m for 2006/07; and £1,553.0m for 2007/08."

Not all of this is spent on anti-terrorist "security", it also has to fund the Security Service MI5, the Secret Service MI6 and GCHQ, who all have other duties as well.

Some £85 million of extra counter-terrorism funding (mostly for the Metropolitan Police) was signed off by Gordon Brown after the July 2005 attacks.

This does not add up to £2 billion a year being spent soley on anti-terrorism security, right now, does it ?

And I want to pay tribute again to our police and security and intelligence services for their dedication in protecting us here in Britain, and our armed forces for their extraordinary bravery across the world: public servants whose courage is legendary, and whose work is magnificent - the best in the world - and daily they make us very proud.

And it is right that our armed forces should be properly rewarded. Already British forces do earn significantly more than their US counterparts and the majority of international forces. But the Secretary of State for Defence and I have agreed that we can go further and increase the award our forces receive when on operational service in the most dangerous conflict zones. This will seek to ensure that the extraordinary job our forces do and the risks they take and the danger they endure is once again acknowledged, making them amongst the best paid of any armed forces in the world.

It is extraordinary that no other NATO military forces, except those from the United Kingdom, have to pay income tax when they are on active duty overseas, yet only now is Gordon Brown promising to get around to eliminating this anomaly, in the future.

Because of our armed forces' courage, alongside America and other allies, since September 11th, many of Al Qaeda's leaders have been killed or captured, and their bases closed down.

Afghanistan has had its first full elections for decades, with millions of women voting and millions of girls back in school.

Why is the opium / morphine / heroin trade, which funds so much international Organised Crime and Terrorism, still flourishing in Afghanistan then ?

The Iraqi people are starting to see Al Qaeda for what they are - not interested in Iraq's future, but trying to exploit the fragility of its emerging democracy and the presence of international troops to spread its extremist message.

What we confront is not a conventional fight, and therefore cannot be won by conventional methods. So it is right that we tackle not just terrorism but the roots of terrorism. Nothing can justify terrorists' acts. But as we tackle injustices that breed resentment we must match our security strategy with an economic and political strategy too. And it is by showing we are not just fighting against terrorism, but fighting for peace and prosperity for all people across the world, of whatever religion, that we will extinguish the heat that ignites the extremists' fire.

How, is that going to be achieved by this Labour Government ?

The architects of the peace after 1945 knew, in the words of Dean Acheson, that peace and prosperity were indivisible.

First and most urgently we must act to put the Middle East road map back on track - and we must underpin that political road map with an economic road map, to show that we can address the widespread problems of poverty and unemployment and that politics can deliver for people in terms of jobs and hope for the future. I will continue to visit the region to push this economic agenda forward,

How exactly will expensive, taxpayer funded, foreign trips by the Chancellor, achieve any of this ?

Presumably this is part of Gordon Brown's "Prime Minister in waiting" performance on the world stage.

supporting Tony Blair and Margaret Beckett in their wider efforts - because securing peace in the Middle East will not only offer lasting peace and prosperity to Israelis and Palestinians alike, but do more than almost anything else to address the greatest grievance among moderate Muslims over the world.

But we now know also that Africa is home to a growing number of Al Qaeda cells. It is also the source of new immigration to Europe - men and women seeking a relief from their poverty by journeying to benefit from European prosperity in the absence of the African prosperity we should be helping to create. So with the equivalent of a modern Marshall Plan for Africa, we must work with the continent's leaders - and the next stage is our 'education for all children' initiative, together showing that globalisation is not a cause of injustice and poverty but a force for justice on a global scale.

Where is the money for this "Marshall Plan for Africa" coming from again ?

Why are there any poor people left in Africa after Gordon Brown's alleged "success" at the G8 Gleneagles summit last year ?

But above all, we need to do far more to isolate extremists who practice terrorist violence from moderates of all religions. What gives us hope that we will succeed is the fact that the values that respect the dignity of all individuals unite peaceful religions across the world, and that they can form the basis of a shared understanding about how to secure a prosperous peace for all, no matter to what religion individuals adhere.

We should remember from 1945 the united front against Soviet communism involved not only deterrence through large arsenals of weapons, but a cultural effort on an extraordinary scale.

Newspapers, journals, culture, the arts and literature sought to expose the difference between moderation and extremism.

Foundations, trusts, civil society and civic organisations - links and exchanges between schools, universities, museums, institutes, journals, books, churches, trades unions, sports clubs, societies - all formed a front line in this cultural effort.

How many KGB and CIA artificial "front organisations" were there, and how many genuine organic "cultural efforts" ?

What is so different now ?

And it was by power of argument, by debate and by dialogue that over time we changed attitudes and then changed systems.

Eh ??? Surely Gordon Brown is re-writing history again - no mention of the economic effects of the "Star Wars" arms race between the Soviet Union and the USA.

How many Communist fanatics had their "attitudes" changed "by power of argument, by debate and by dialogue" ?

Maybe he means former hardline Communist extremists, like the current Home Secretary and former Defence Secretary John Reid, who we do not believe has changed his authoritarian repressive police state mentality.

And so today the isolation of the extremists - and ultimately the end to terror - depends not just upon armies and treaties alone.

Success depends on what no alliances, no covenants, no charters, no laws can exclusively deliver permanently on their own.

It depends upon winning hearts and minds - the day-in day-out, week-in week-out month-in month-out, year-in year-out continuing and ever deepening work of isolating and confronting extremes, tearing down old prejudices, building new understandings and changing attitudes and views.

Is Gordon Brown threatening us with Permanent Revolution ?

This is a debate as much for our communities as for our Parliaments; as much for community leaders as for politicians; as much for each individual place of worship as for national and international faith leaders - and for all the institutions that represent the moderate majority not to ignore extremism but to confront it.

By showing we are not engaged in a war against any religion - and instead building a common humanity between moderates of all faiths in all parts of the world - our aim must be to tackle head on those who seek to drive a divide between the great religions of the world.

So today we have to argue not just against terrorism and terrorists but also against the violent perversion of a peaceful religious faith. And we have to recognise that the very existence of the internet and the exchange of ideas across it means that it is not only right now but necessary to engage these ideas openly and win the global battle for hearts and minds.

And it is an illusion to believe that if we leave today's extremists alone, they will leave us alone. Unless moderates can establish themselves at the centre of their communities and faith, extremists could grow in strength and influence. To leave them alone on the ground they might leave us alone would be an unpardonable error.

That means not just the security measures I have outlined but taking the debate, discussion and dialogue to all countries and all communities through media, culture, arts, and literature - in partnership with moderate Muslims and moderates everywhere - as we tackle at root the causes that risk driving people into the extremists hands.

It means we must seek to show that while we are engaged in a war against extremism, we are not engaged in a war against Islam. It means we must build on the conferences we are now holding with Muslim thinkers, encouraging debate and dialogue not just among community leaders but among young people, making it easier for them to make links with other young people with shared experiences and interests across the country and across the world.

Does this imply financial and moral support for the likes ofthe Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, when he fetes, at taxpayers' expense, allegedly extremist Islamic scholars like Yusuf al-Qaradawi ?

Within Britain the debate that Jack Straw has encouraged about the veil will continue. In the wider debate about diversity and integration, we should also emphasise what we in Britain need to have in common - the responsibilities we should accept as citizens, as well as the rights. I believe all who live in this country should learn English, understand our history and culture, take citizenship tests and citizenship ceremonies.

How many native born British citizens would fail such tests ?

And I believe that we should now focus on making sure that the quality and scope of citizenship and history education in all our schools give young people a basic understanding of the values and traditions of what it is to be British.

Does that mean that the teaching of British History is now to become a core part of the National Curriculum ?

Internationally, we must work not just with our allies but with independent international organisations that are dedicated to reform and democracy.

And it is our duty to support them, to provide funds where necessary, to open doors where necessary, to identify obstacles and remove them.

Is Gordon Brown planning to support the the democratically elected Hamas Government in Palestine, which has both an international charitable and welfare aspect, and also a terrorist one ?

Supporting civil society projects and scholarships in the Middle East, North Africa and across the world is important. Much is done by the Foreign Office directly. But the work of the British Council is of great importance too and I applaud the work the British Council does

Today we invest, as much as £100 million a year in supporting civil society in these areas but if there is more than can be done, we must do it.

The BBC World Service and its website is a trusted source of news and information for millions across the world. BBC World TV can be seen in 270 million homes in more than 200 countries. The BBC's Arabic TV channel begins this year. The BBC's proposed Farsi TV Channel is an editorially independent specialist TV service for the people of Iran. And I am pleased to announce that we are making available the resources for this today.

None of this is specifically part of the official UK counter-terrorism strategy - (CONTEST), is it ?

If Gordon Brown had any sense, he would be funding al-Jazeera satellite TV , both because of its large audience in the Middle East, and its willingness to discuss issues which are censored by the various regimes in the area.

SInce it was set up by BBC trained staff, and now includes a couple of British journalist sand broadcasters (even Sir David Frost), perhaps there is some covert funding and support for al-Jazeera, despite the threats to, and attacks on its staff and offices by the US Government etc.

But there is a further challenge not just for us, but for all of us across Europe to address and meet.

Al Qaeda's message - it's single narrative - aims to have global resonance - from Afghanistan to the streets of Britain, from the huts and slums of Africa and Asia to every one of the richest cities in every industrial country - a narrative that purports the West is waging a war on your religion, seeks to murder your people, steal your resources and corrupt your culture; that it is your duty and noble cause to defend your people against this attack.

This single narrative must be met by a clear headed and unified response.

If you substitute the words "Islamic extremism" for the word "West", is this Gordon Brown's "unified response" ?

"Islamic extremism is waging a war on your religion, seeks to murder your people, steal your resources and corrupt your culture; that it is your duty and noble cause to defend your people against this attack."

We must expose the hatred that drives the extremist ideology; expose that this is not a clash of civilisations nor of cultures; expose that on the one side stands all civilised societies founded on the dignity of all people of all faiths and on the other an extremist violent ideology where murderers take innocent lives for notoriety.

No room for any doubt then, is there ?

Presumably "either you are with us, or you are against us" ?

More than ever we need a unified response - to match the single narrative of the extremists and the terrorist networks

Indeed it is only by standing up for our values, by winning the battle for ideas, by showing the values of liberty, democracy, and justice

"liberty, democracy, and justice" - once

are the best ways of respecting the dignity of all individuals that we will prevent the indoctrination of future generations of terrorists.

Instead of which, the NuLabour Government policy has been to erode and destroy the "values of liberty, democracy, and justice ", through its repressive and often incompetently draughted anti-terrorism and criminal legislation and centralisation of state power.

They are being manipulated by the terrorists, into doing the work of destroying our society for them.

But too often from across the democratic world an uncertain trumpet sounds.

If Europe and America cannot come together with a clear and common message, and then together work more closely with all continents, then this weakness will in itself be a tacit encouragement to terrorism.

It already is, and Gordon Brown and his colleagues are complicit in this appeasement.

Of course there have been disagreements within and between countries on matters as important as the war in Iraq - and in democracies there will always be so.

But enduring American values and enduring European values both have, at their heart, the pursuit of liberty, democracy and justice

"liberty, democracy and justice" - twice

as essential to the dignity of all individuals and all peoples. And what unites us is far far greater and far more profound and fundamental than what divides us.

So just as we did in the last century, and just as we did after September 11th when America and Europe stood shoulder to shoulder, America and Europe need to come together with to agree yet again that our shared values are the common ground on which we build - and that together we must work with all countries,

How can you "work with" , say North Korea or Iran or the People's Republic of China ?

all continents and all faiths of the world to isolate terrorist extremists and prevent the indoctrination of a new generation of terrorists.

So every military dictatorship and repressive police state is now your friend, in the "war against terorrism" provided that they pay lip service to the "anti-terrorism" mantra ?

Does that mean that there is to be no intervention in Darfur against the Sudanese regime and their proxies, despite what Prime Minister Tony Blair promised in his Labour Party Conference speech ?

And such is the importance of the values that we share in common that there should be no future for anti-Americanism in Europe. Indeed we should explicitly state that American values and European values are as one in counter posing to extremist ideology that glorifies terrorism the values of liberty, democracy and justice

"liberty, democracy and justice" - third time.

"I have said it thrice : what I tell you three times is true!" -

The Bellman, The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll, 1876

When uttered by NuLabour politicians like Gordon Brown or Tony Blair, words like "liberty, democracy and justice" assume an Orwellian doublethink aspect, and they just seem to be mere slogans, to which they pay lip service to.

as essential to the dignity of all individuals - and we should be emphatic in saying that that we will work more closely together with all countries, all continents, and all faiths to win this generation-long struggle of hearts and minds.

And closer co-operation between America and Europe in addressing the roots of terrorism should lead to practical new approaches to isolating extremism which I plan to propose, and across continents encouragement for the broadest possible dialogue of all the faiths.

Exactly how will this plan stop British citizens from being radicalised and attacking us here in the UK ?

When can we see the details of this proposed plan ?

Conclusion

I started by saying that we face global challenge that must be met globally, with all the means at our disposal: military, security, political, economic and cultural.

Over nine years as Chancellor my aim has been that where there is instability there be stability. But we know also that there is another greater challenge-where there is insecurity there should be security, where there is fear, freedom from fear. And such is the threat that the message must go out: we will not yield, relax, rest, ever become complacent or lower our guard.

Our priority as a government: a Britain strong in security, robust in our resolve, resilient in any response,

Gordon Brown's NuLabour "verbless" nuspeak rhetorical style is less noticable when reading the text, but it still manages to annoy us.

so that as a nation we both defeat terrorism and isolate violent extremism wherever we confront it and whatever its source.

We apologies for the length of these postings about Gordon Brown's speech to Chatham House.

Since he is likely to be the next Prime Minister, at least until the next General Election, this speech is extremely worrying for those of us who do not think that the Government are doing a good job in countering terrorist threats, and who fear that the bureaucratic "Big Brother" Surveillance State is much more of a danger to our society, than any half baked plots by amateur terrorist wannabes.

1 Comments

Nice summing up of Browns Speech. The guy seems a bit out of touch with reality IMO. Some of the security ideas he talks about are very flash but would hardly put off a determind terrorist from blowing something up. Are we to be checked everywhere we go, supermarket, local stores, cinemas, cafes, getting on the bus, walking down the street. You only have to look at what a nightmare it has been in Isreal to show that a murderer with a bomb can always find something to blow up.
It has to be said that the killing of innocent women in children in Iraq has done nothing to put off potential terrorists, rather the reverse. Of course Blair/Brown would say we need evidence for that conclusion. The rest of us with simple common sense don't. The number of dead recently released on the news has been rubbished by the politicians involved. So lets be generous, cut that figure in half. That is still over 300,000 people... I am totally stunned that the government of the country I live in has been involved in anything like this.

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

  • eyes: Nice summing up of Browns Speech. The guy seems a 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