Why is there still no ban on the Taleban in the UK ?

| | Comments (10)

The recent Daily Mail furore over the recent BBC Newsnight tv interview with Taleban (or Taliban) leaders in Afghanistan appears to have missed a whole dimension of to the story.

Yesterday, the very lucky to still be in a job Home Office Minister of State for Policing and Security, Tony McNulty, provided Written Answers to several Parliamentary Questions about Proscribed Terrorist Groups. He managed to gloss over the fact that neither the Taleban in Afghanistan nor any Chechen terrorist groups have ever been, or are now, on the official list of Proscribed Terrorist Groups under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 3 Proscription

This means that it is still perfectly legal to belong to, or to claim to belong to or support, to arrange meetings of, or to wear distinctive clothing or uniforms associated with, the Taleban in the United Kingdom.

By virtue of the extra-territorial jurisdiction powers added to the Terrorism Act 2000, by the The Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003 Part 2 Terrorist Acts and Threats: Jurisdiction which was brought into force in April 2004, and the pointless repetition of these same extra-territorial powers in the Terrorism Act 2006 section 17 Commission of offences abroad this also applies to any British citizens or residents overseas e.g. in Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Home Secretary John Reid, and his predecessors Charles Clarke, David Blunkett and Jack Straw have all failed to Proscribe the Taleban, whilst maintaining the ban on obscurely named Irish terrorist groups, which were splinter factions of, or aliases for, Republican and Unionist terror groups e.g. the Red Hand Commando, which are no longer active.

This is despite the Terrorism Act 2006 section 21 Grounds of proscription and section 22 Name changes by proscribed organisations widening the scope to Proscribe groups or organisations which have never, themselves, actually been involved in any terrorist violence at all, but are only involved in the ill defined idea of "glorification".

Despite all these anti-terrorist legal powers, somebody in Whitehall appears to be protecting the Taliban.

Are there any Whitehall whistleblowers out there who will make public why the Taleban is being protected by the UK Government in this way ? Is it due to some unfathomable policy, or is it due to sheer incompetence ?

Until John Reid gets his finger out, and Proscribes the Taleban, he is simply uttering worthless NuLabour slogans, when he pretends to be "tough" on , say, "terrorist websites" or "denying the use of the internet to terrorists", claims which he repeated at the secretive G6 conference in Stratford on Avon this week.

This lack of a Ban on the Taleban, also makes a mockery of the the current ongoing Extradition Act 2003 saga of the British muslim IT technician Babar Ahmad, who , like the NatWest 3 bankers (David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew) or Gary McKinnon the computer hacker, is also facing extradition to the USA, without being able to challenge any prima facie evidence in a UK court. They all could and should, have been charged and tried, and if found guilty, convicted, here in the UK, which is where they physically were when they allegedly committed the offences they are accused of i.e. none of the extradition cases involve flight from custody or escape across international borders.

Babar Ahmad is accused, by the US authorities, of running websites hosted in the USA, which broke President Clinton's sanctions against Afghanistan, He is not facing any terrorism charges or any other charges in the UK, and it is unclear to us how the principle of dual criminality has been applied fairly in this case, since, neither the Taleban, nor any Chechen rebel groups, which his websites did support (without any evidence that they directly raised any money for these groups) were Proscribed Groups in the UK either circa 1999 - 2000 or today. There is obviously insufficient evidence to charge Babar Ahmad with any of the vast range of Terrorist Offences under UK law, and it is a disgrace that the UK and US Governments have been involved in "jurisdiction shopping".

Unlike the others we have mentioned, Babar Ahmad has never been granted bail, and has been languishing in prison since August 2004, awaiting extradition to the USA, where he faces the real prospect of ending up in Guantanamo Bay or under similar Military rather than Civilian judicial restrictions, which would preclude him getting a fair trial in the USA, for alleged offences, which have nothing to do with the USA, but with Afghanistan and Russia, neither of which countries have sought his extradition.

10 Comments

As I understand, the Taliban was simply the name for the fundamentalist religious regime of Afghanistan. As an organisation, it no longer exists, although there are still scattered groups of religious adherents. Afghanistan has returned to its pre-Taliban state of 'warlords' controlling various fiefdoms. 'Taliban' has become a blanket term used by the government and media to refer to anyone fighting the UK military occupation (mostly warlords and patriots), despite the fact that it no longer exists as such.

@ Dick Cheney - the UK Government, the UK Military , the Press and Media, the US Government, the United Nations, the European Union, and the people who were interviewed by the BBC in Afghanistan and Pakistan. all use the term "Taleban" (or Taliban) to describe the enemy in Helmand province and in Kandahar in Afghanistan and in the border areas of Pakistan.

Who told you that they "no longer exist" ?

They were called the Taleban before they managed to take over the capital Kabul, and just because there is a different coalition of tribal warlords and opium barons in charge there now, does not mean that the Taleban, or their allies, were ever destroyed. Even when they occuppied Kabul, it was only Pakistan and Iran who officially recognised them as a Government.

They are not the same as Al Quaeda (or Al Qaida) or other Proscribed Terrorist Groups.

Why should the Taliban be proscribed?? What have they done against the UK apart from providing an exemplar of hospitality (show us the evidence and you can have our guest)??
Where is the evidence that Osama bin Laden was involed in 9/11 that we were promised by Colin Powell but was never produced??
Or is wtwu now on the "guilt by association" bandwagon??

@ sam_m - in what way do you think that the Taliban pose any less of a deadly threat to British people than most of the organisations on the current Proscribed Terrorist Groups list ?

Why should it be legal to support the Taliban in the UK, when they have killed British soldiers in Afghanistan, and have threaten to do the same to any other British people they can get a chance to attack ?

Why do you appear to be supporting an evil cult which tries to enforce its dictatorship to enslave innocent civilians through terror at the point of a gun ?

The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

@wtwu- My soul is constantly engaged in the struggle against evil.
Why do you describe the Taleban as "an evil cult", is it your unfamiliartity with another culture and values? Are the Taleban more evil today than they were in 2000/01 when the United States gave Afghanistan over 100 million dollars in aid?


The Taleban were then the governing faction in Afghanistan. It's estimated they controlled approx 90% of the country prior to "Operation Enduring Freedom".

Today the Taleban appear to be a militia fighting to control territory held by other factions and to expel occupying armies i.e. NATO. This does not make them terrorists and for the UK Govt to brand them as such would open a can of worms. (I may be crediting the UK Govt with a rationality it has not shown elsewhere.)

I presume when you say "an evil cult which tries to enforce its dictatorship to enslave innocent civilians through terror at the point of a gun" you are being ironic in the light of events in the middle east.

@ sam_m -

Why do you describe the Taleban as "an evil cult", is it your unfamiliartity with another culture and values?

Are the Taleban more evil today than they were in 2000/01 when the United States gave Afghanistan over 100 million dollars in aid?

The Taleban were evil i.e. they censored, beat up, raped, tortured and killed their civilian political or religious opponents in 2000 and the re-formed Taleban are still evil today.

There is no way that the US Government gave financial aid to the Taleban in 2000.

President Clinton ordered economic sanctions against them on the 4th July 1999
see Executive Order 13129 and various United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions followed from October 1999 onwards.

This is the excuse for the US Government claiming jurisdiction over Babar Ahmad. He is facing extradition to the USA, accused of running websites (hosted in the USA) which allegedly helped to raise finance for the Taleban and Chechen rebels, not for any alleged terrorism aimed directly at the USA. There is insufficient evidence to charge him with any terrorist offences in the UK.

You misunderstand the role played by Government "aid", if you think that it signifies approval of a regime by the donor country. South Korea is still giving "aid" to North Korea, despite their atomic weapon threats, in the hope of avoiding food riot induced panic which might lead to the North Korean dictatorship launching a war, to distract their population from starvation at home.

The Taleban were then the governing faction in Afghanistan. It's estimated they controlled approx 90% of the country prior to "Operation Enduring Freedom".

But they were never accepted as the legitimate Government of Afghanistan, except by the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, and grudgingly recognised the as the de facto rulers by Iran, primarily because they had to deal with the huge number of refugees crossing their borders with Afghanistan, fleeing from the fighting, and fleeing in fear, from the Taleban.

Today the Taleban appear to be a militia fighting to control territory

and to control the multi-billion dollar opium / heroin illegal drugs trade

held by other factions and to expel occupying armies i.e. NATO. This does not make them terrorists

They are not fighting
to establish a free, just and tolerant democratic society, are they ?

In what way are the Taleban any different, in this respect, from the only Afghani faction which is on the official list of Proscribed Terrorist Groups, namely Hezb-E Islami Gulbuddin ?

"Hezb-E Islami Gulbuddin (HIG):
Led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is in particular very anti-American, HIG desires the creation of a fundamentalist Islamic State in Afghanistan and is anti-Western."

and for the UK Govt to brand them as such would open a can of worms.

Good ! This should have been done years ago.

(I may be crediting the UK Govt with a rationality it has not shown elsewhere.)

"rationality" or a hidden agenda or incompetence ?

I presume when you say "an evil cult which tries to enforce its dictatorship to enslave innocent civilians through terror at the point of a gun" you are being ironic in the light of events in the middle east.

No irony intended - the Taleban are not the only evil cult oppressing people in the region.

@ wtwu- I'm not sure if you're acknowledging that the US gave the Taleban aid or not? It is widely known. Here's U.S. Congressman Ron Paul on it back in 01.


Another link for you on the people who've been put in power in Afghanistan subsequently.

And, something from the ladies RAWA (Scroll down for their news.)

If you've a particularly strong stomach you could Google the career of Ismail Khan in Herat.


I don't see that any of the current actions by NATO or the "West" are aimed at establishing a "free, just and tolerant democratic society" nor why they should be. Those values beg definition and the world is a complicated place.


I seem to have gone a long way off topic on a before and after OEF "six of one, half a dozen of the other". It was your use of the word "evil". Evil is the province of the Church, fighting it is not for Governments.
I'll resist stepping up on to the soapbox, any last word is yours.

Insightful analysis, especially because it was followed by immediate disinformation by a commentator: "the Taliban was simply the name for the fundamentalist religious regime of Afghanistan" which is fundamentally incorrect because the Taleban was and is around before and after the regime. Afghanistan and out-of-control tribesmen is a bargaining tool in foreign affairs vis-a-vis India and Pakistan, in which the UK is supposed to act as intercessor (when it's really the instigant on both sides) on behalf of the US. To this end, the apparent descent into savagery and barbarism of the old frontier-land has been carefully supervised, cultivated and engineered by the MI6 and CIA for decades. The Home Office knows about the large number of Afghans here who have fought with or trained with the Taleban, but chooses to do nothing, because it doesn't want to throw away its own trump card in Indo-Pak affairs (in which the sole intention is to make sure that there is no danger of a recession of hostilities/distrust between India and Pakistan) by upsetting the tribesmen in Afghanistan. The media and covert ops both focus on Afghanistan, when Afghanistan is merely a decoy or weapon to get at the real target, which is more like Punjab and Kashmir, which were split in 1947 and which remain a barrier to a peaceful future for both India and Pakistan. That's the answer to your post.

@ Ex-HO - thanks for your insights.

If it is all really about Kashmir, then why are there several Kashmiri terrorist / freedom fighter Groups on the Proscribed List, and under various Treasury financial sanctions ?

wtwu, it's not about Kashmir as such. It's about having the ability to destabilise the entire region of South Asia. The UK government wants to reserve the power to foster hostilities between India and Pakistan, in order to coerce those countries into a situation where they can come under the control of Washington. The primary motivation for this is the long-term depopulation of the subcontinent. The Kashmiri terrorist groups and their Islamist umbrella organisations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba do not turn up in the UK, and when they do they do not claim involvement with Kashmiri terrorism because Pakistan has ALWAYS officially denied supporting or turning a blind eye to them. Whereas Taleban fighters come to the UK in large numbers, and are quite open about their involvement.

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

  • Ex-HO: wtwu, it's not about Kashmir as such. It's about having read more
  • wtwu: @ Ex-HO - thanks for your insights. If it is read more
  • Ex-HO: Insightful analysis, especially because it was followed by immediate disinformation read more
  • sam_m: @ wtwu- I'm not sure if you're acknowledging that the read more
  • wtwu: @ sam_m - Why do you describe the Taleban as read more
  • sam_m: @wtwu- My soul is constantly engaged in the struggle against read more
  • wtwu: @ sam_m - in what way do you think that read more
  • sam_m: Why should the Taliban be proscribed?? What have they done read more
  • wtwu: @ Dick Cheney - the UK Government, the UK Military read more
  • Dick Cheney: As I understand, the Taliban was simply the name for 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