Update on the European Commission plans for EU wide internet censorship

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Last August, at the during the Labour Government's "Critical Threat" hype and media spin hysteria over the alleged "liquid binary bomb" threat to aeroplanes, the overreaction to which, included arbitrary minor changes in the bureaucratic regulations regarding passengers' hand luggage restrictions, caused chaos and millions of pounds of economic damage. The thousands of passengers who flew without their hold luggage, which flew on without them as a result of this chaos actually increased the danger from a Pan Am flight 103 Lockerbie style terrorist bomb on an aeroplane, rather than a suicide mission.

At the time, the former Home Secretary John Reid was feeding "tough on terrorism" soundbites to the mainstream media, along with Vice President of the European Commission Franco Frattini, who promised some sort of European Union wide policy on "banning websites" containing "bomb making" instructions, or other "terrorist" related information.

We wrote to Franco Frattini and asked 17 Questions, to which we got mostly "too early to say yet" replies regarding specifics:

With Franco Frattini's recent threat or promise of a European Union Policy of some sort by this October, we wrote again, asking for an update and about the promised "public" consultation process.

Last week we received a bit more of a reply, (apologies for the delay, but reading the new novel Spook Country by William Gibson took priority), especially as the response was sent as a couple of Adobe .pdf image scans, presumably to discourage any simple cut and paste copying of the text.

Neither the European Commission,nor the UK Home Office seem to aware of, let alone willing to have an informed public debate on the pros and cons of the more subtle idea (or perhaps policy) of "Cyber-Herding" see

Cyber-Herding: Exploiting Islamic Extremists Use of the
Internet
(.pdf) by USAF Captain David B. Moon, which does not advocate crude "Great Firewall of Europe" web censorship, and which chimes with some of our ideas on the problem.

Below is the letter from Jonathan Faull the public relations spokesman for Vice President Franco Frattini, claiming "considerable progress" since last August, and a list of Non-Governmental Organisations which have been sent a Questionnaire regarding the "inciting, aiding or abetting terrorist
offences",

See also the next blog posting European Commission - Questionnaire on inciting, aiding or abetting terrorist offences

The Letter:

EUROPEAN COMMISSION

DIRECTORATE-GENERAL JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND SECURITY

Director General

Brussels, 25 JUIL, 2007
DG JLS/CGS/km D(2007) nnnn

[name]
[address]
[email]

Dear [name]

Thank you for your e-mail of 5 July 2007 addressed to Vice-President Frattini on banning of bomb making websites. He has asked me to answer on his behalf. Considerable progress has been made since your letter of 24 August 2006 which makes it possible to update the information provided to you on 28 September 2006.

Concerning your questions on the revision of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism, let me explain that the Commission issued three different questionnaires in 2006: a questionnaire to Member States on 26 June 2006; a questionnaire to national European and international NGOs dealing with human rights issues, bar and lawyers' associations, publishers, broadcasters and journalists' associations, internet service providers, telecommunications companies, and other relevant industry on 20 November 2006, and finally, a questionnaire to Europol, Cepol and Eurojust on 11 December 2006.

For those readers who are not familiar with these European Union agencies:


  • EUROPOL = European Police Office, based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

    "Europol, the European Police Office, was set up in 1992 to handle Europe-wide criminal intelligence. It is based in The Hague of the Netherlands, and its staff includes representatives of the national law enforcement agencies (police, customs, immigration services, etc.).
    photo

    Europol's aim is to help the EU member states co-operate more closely and effectively in preventing and combating organised international crime, in particular:

    1. drug trafficking
    2. immigration networks
    3. vehicle trafficking
    4. trafficking in human beings including child pornography
    5. forgery of money and other means of payment
    6. trafficking in radioactive and nuclear substances
    7. terrorism"

  • CEPOL = Collège Européen de Police – European Police College, based in the UK at Bramshill Police College (and nuclear bunker emergency seat of UK Government) in Hampshire, between Basingstoke, and Camberly.

    "CEPOL was established by the Council of Ministers (Decision of 22 December 2000). Its aim is to help cross-border training of senior police officers by optimising and reinforcing co-operation between relevant national institutes and organisations. CEPOL also aims at supporting and developing an integrated EU approach on the cross-border problems faced by its Member States in their fight against crime, crime prevention, the maintenance of law and order and public security."

  • EUROJUST = European Judicial Cooperation Unit, is also based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

    "Eurojust is a new European Union body established in 2002 to enhance the effectiveness of the competent authorities within Member States when they are dealing with serious cross-border and organised crime. Eurojust stimulates and improves the coordination of investigations and prosecutions and also supports the Member States in order to render their investigations and prosecutions more effective."

N.B. Incredibly, there does not appear to be any involvement from the one European Union agency which might employ some people with some actual technical expertise and industry experience in the areas of Internet and Telecommunications i.e. ENISA,the European Network and Information Security Agency, based in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, in Greece which

    "serves as a centre of expertise for both Member States and EU Institutions, to seek advice in Network and Information Security matters.

    As such, ENISA supports the capability of the Member States, the EU-institutions and the business community to prevent, address and respond to Network and Information Security problems.

    To this end, ENISA activities are focused on:

    1. Advising and assisting the Commission and the Member States on Information Security and to address security-related problems in hardware and software products in dialogue with industry
    2. Collecting and analysing data on security incidents in Europe and emerging risks;
    3. Promoting risk assessment and risk management methods to enhance our capability to deal with information security threats.
    4. Exchange of best practices in Awareness-raising and co-operation between different actors in the information security field, notably by developing public / private partnerships with industry in this field.
    5. Tracking the development of standards for products and services on Network and Information Society.
The recipients of the second questionnaire (attached) were:

European Publishers Council
European Newspapers Publishers Association
European Association of Magazine Publishers
Association of Commercial Television in Europe
European Federation of Journalists
European Broadcasting Union
European Internet Service Providers Union
European Competitive Telecommunications Association
European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association
GSM Europe
European Cable Communications Association
Union des Avocats Européens
Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe
OSCE
Council of Europe
SOS Attentats
Les familles du CD10 UTA en colère

"Les familles du CD10 UTA " refers to the families of the victims bomb on flight UTA 772 which exploded over the Sahara desert in 1989, blamed on Libyan state sponsored terrorists.


Deutscher Opferschutzbund Djerba e.V.
Associazione italiana vittime del terrorismo
Asociación 11M Affectados de Terrorismo
Fundación Victimas del Terrorismo
South/North Armagh Victims Encouraging and Recognition
Victims Support
EU Civil Society Contact Group
CONCORD Europe
European Network against Racism
OSI-Brussels
Amnesty International
Justice in the UK
Privacy International
Statewatch
Human Rights Watch
Fédération Internationale de Droits de l'Homme
International Commission of Jurists
Interights
Article 19
Open Society Justice Initiative
Institut des droits de l'homme des avocats européens (IDHAE)
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF)
Platform of European Social NGOs
The Europeans throughout the World
European Citizen Action Service
Réporteurs san Frontières
Europen Group of National Human Rights Institutions
European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia

In February 2007 this became the FRA, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency, based in Vienna, Austria.

Federation of European Explosives Manufacturers European Chemical Industry Council

Further to the consultations above

Sending out a single Questionnaire (see next blog posting) full of open ended questions legal , without any actual detailed policy proposal options to act as straw men to engage with this list of NGOs, does not count as a proper public consultation throughout the European Union How many of the organisations have actually replied ?

and intensive research efforts, the Commission considers that the European Union should make a step forward in the direction of the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1624.

The full text of Security Council Resolution 1624 agreed on 14th September 2005, is in a UN press release, which also reports that "The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair", was the world leader who "tabled the text on terrorism".

This would ensure that the new modus operandi of terrorist groups, and in particular,the use of the internet for terrorist purposes,

Neither transnational terrorism, nor the use of modern communications technology is particularly "new".

is covered by the Framework Decision on combating terrorism, and that there is a consistent approach between the UN, the Council of Europe and the EU.

The Commission plans to revise the Framework Decision on combating terrorism to include parallel offences to those introduced in the Council of Europe Convention for the prevention of terrorism

1 Council for Europe Convention on the prevention of terrorism of 16.5.2005

This is what the then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott signed in Warsaw, when he and his Labour Government colleagues failed to sign the other major Convention presented at that COE summit, namely the i.e. sex slaves and exploited illegal migrant workers, which the UK has now belatedly signed, but still not ratified, and there has been precious little "Action".this appears to be because the Home Office bureaucracy prefers to treat sex slaves etc. primarily as illegal immigrants or criminals rather than as victims of organised crime.

- public provocation to commit terrorist offences and recruiting for terrorism training - including their commission via the Internet. Therefore, the dissemination of expertise on bomb-making would be outlawed insofar as it amounts to training for terrorism and is committed intentionally and illegally.

Which still provides no answer to our Question 5 from last year:

"5) What about "dual use" information and training materials, such as that which it is a legal obligation for industrial employers and academic research institutions to provide and publish, under Health and Safety legislation e.g. in the United Kingdom, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations which detail the correct and safe ways to handle explosives, chemical toxins and biological agents, and which are of equal value to terrorists ?

http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/

    QUESTION 5

    As stated before, we are still at the early stage of a the beginning of consultations and it would be premature to speak about a specific solution. Nevertheless, we must insist we can assure you that we will take due care of the needs of the industry and the scientific community as well as those of health and safety authorities. Providing information with scientific purpose should never be confused with the transmission of expertise with a terrorist intention.

How, exactly, can such a distinction be made ?"

The Commission also intends to provide for a high level of human rights protection and,in particular, freedom of expression, as set out in the Council of Europe Convention for the prevention of terrorism. The legal measures adopted will therefore be subject to the principle of proportionality, with respect for legitimacy of the aims and their necessity in a democratic society, excluding any form of arbitrariness or discriminatory treatment.

The existing UK Terrorism Act 2006 is so widely draghted, that it probably already covers any wording of any new laws which the European Commission could come up with, but, like all the other UK terrorism legislation, it does not, in practice, actually clearly and unambiguously comply with "the principle of proportionality, with respect for legitimacy of the aims and their necessity in a democratic society, excluding any form of arbitrariness or discriminatory treatment."

Concerning the consequences for the private sector and internet services providers in particular, the legal measures planned by the Commission would not entail any modification of the Directive on electronic commerce2,

2 Directive 200/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market (Directive on electronic commerce) OJ L 178, 17/07/2000,p. 1.

The criminalisation of public provocation to commit terrorist offences, recruiting for terrorism and training for terrorism at European Union level would build upon the existing regime of the Directive: its limitations of liability would be respected in respect of public provocation tocommit terrorist offences, recruiting for terrorism and training for terrorism. The existing rules of the Directive on liability would therefore apply, including those concerning illegal information or activities and the possability for law enforcement authorities to request internet service providers to prevent or terminate an infringement.

In other words "common carrier status"for telcos and ISPs, so that they are not sued as publishers of illegal information, but this does nothing to protect the position of say, of a blog or discussion forum, which is not being run for profit.

I hope this information will be useful

Yours sincerely

Jonathan FAULL

Annex: Questionnaire on inciting, aiding or abetting terrorist offences

Commission europépenne, B-1049 Bruxelles / Europese Commissie, B-1049 Brussesl - Belgium. telephone (32 -2)299 11 11.

Office: LX 46 06/105. Telephone: direct line (32-2) 29 58658 Fax: (32-2) 296 76 16

Remember, that once the legal framework and technical infrastructure for European Union wide internet censorship is in place, in this case for anti-terrorism purposes, there will be little to prevent future "function creep" and expansion of such censorship at the whim of politicians and bureaucrats, who probably sincerely believe that they intend to do good.

Such powerful potential tools of repression must not simply be created without properly informed public debate, throughout the entire European Union on the principles, technical practicality and cost effectiveness of specific, detailed policy proposals since they are unlikely to ever be dismantled once they have been created.

See the next blog posting European Commission - Questionnaire on inciting, aiding or abetting terrorist offences

4 Comments

Dear Sir,
It is a great dicission from European commissioner for Justice and Security.
We appericited this law and like to work
for promotion of these likemind matters in future.
This dicision will be very helpful to protect European peoples and institutions
and we are blindly with you.

The information disclosure required by CoSHH (the UK Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations) are as nothing compared to what will be/is required under REACH.

This European Regulation (on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and restriction of CHemicals) was passed by the so-called parliament, and came into effect as the law of the land in all member states a month or two ago. There can be no debate about it in the UK Parliament. The UK was represented for these negotiations by the Department of Fields, Floods, and Food, who currently seem unable to look after their own laboratories!

REACH will treat all chemicals as though they were new ones, and require vast amounts of information to be gathered about reactivity and safety. In the interests of "public safety" all this information will be published by the European Chemicals Agency on its web site. This regulation will make it illegal to use a chemical for purposes other than the offical authorised ones, but I can see that having as great an effect as ID Cards will on being a terrorist in the first place! You can see what World Weary Detective thought about that at:
http://tinyurl.com/2rw5em

If implemented as the European "colleagues" really want it to be, REACH will destroy the European chemicals industry.

Haven't the EU heard of censorship thwarting technologies such as Tor.

Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications that use the TCP protocol. Tor also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, safety, and privacy features.

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.

Incognito r200 is released. Several packages have been updated:

* Tor 0.1.2.16
* Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird 2.0.0.6
* NoScript extension 1.1.6.12

The Incognito CD allows you to anonymously use the Internet almost anywhere you go. In case you didn't know, sites can record what you are looking at via your IP address. In additional others with the ability to ease drop on the Internet (which is quite a lot of people) can record what sites you like to visit and in many cases what you post, etc. Technologies are in development and use to keep your identity to yourself with such projects as Tor. Incognito is a CD you can boot that has several Internet applications (Firefox, IRC, Mail, etc) pre-configured to use Tor. For most computers everything is automatically configured and you're ready to go. You can even copy the CD to a USB drive.

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

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UK Legislation

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

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

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

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

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

UK Intelligence Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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

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

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

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

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

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

Campaign Button Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Open Rights Group

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

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

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

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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

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

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers