Photography does NOT equal Terrorism

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Photography_equals_Terrorism_poster_Met_Police_HQ_London_min.jpg

This example of the Suspiciously timed Climate of Fear propaganda campaign by the Police in the run up to the Counter-Terrorism Bill debates is actually being displayed in a window of the Metropolitan Police Service headquarters complex at New Scotland Yard, which backs onto Victoria Street. The angle of the photo catches a reflection of the Labour Party headquarters, casting its malign influence, on this stupid political Climate of Fear propaganda against innocent photographers,and mobile phone users.

Met_Police_HQ_opposite_Labour_Party_HQ_min.jpg

39 Victoria Street, London, houses the Labour Party headquarters offices, but the building also houses offices of one of Aegis Defence Services Ltd, one of the largest UK Private Military Contractor companies supplying mercenaries (mostly intelligence analysts rather than bodyguards) to the Coalition Forces in Iraq.

Close nearby at 25 Victoria Street, above the Starbucks cafe (hidden behind the white coach in this photo), on the corner of Victoria Street and Abbey Orchard Street, towards Parliament Square, are the offices of the Conservative Party. [UPDATE - thanks to Sepoy Agent in the comments below - this is the former location, it has now moved to the 3rd floor of 30 Millbank, and part of the 5th floor of the neighbouring Millbank Tower (20 - 24 Millbank). The Labour Party used to occupy a couple of floors on the south side of the complex, and used the ground floor lecture theatre for election campaign press conferences, but did not occupy the 33 story tower itself, which has excellent panoramic views over London. Walking from there to the Houses of Parliament involves passing the Security Service MI5 headquarters at Thames House at 11 - 12 Millbank, and 4 Millbank, where the BBC and other TV news and political reports are produced]

Pedestrians and vehicles passing through this area, are monitored by countless inhuman CCTV camera systems, or by faceless operators in CCTV control rooms.

Keen photographer and back bench Labour MP Austin Mitchell has attracted the signatures of 190 other Members of Parliament for his Early Day Motion, regarding the illegal threats and harassment by officious police officers, police community support officers, council wardens and private sector security guards etc., who are abusing the freedoms and rights of ordinary innocent members of the public who take photographs in public places:


EDM 1155

PHOTOGRAPHY IN PUBLIC AREAS
11.03.2008


Mitchell, Austin

That this House is concerned to encourage the spread and enjoyment of photography as the most genuine and accessible people's art; deplores the apparent increase in the number of reported incidents in which the police, police community support officers (PCSOs) or wardens attempt to stop street photography and order the deletion of photographs or the confiscation of cards, cameras or film on various specious ground such as claims that some public buildings are strategic or sensitive, that children and adults can only be photographed with their written permission, that photographs of police and PCSOs are illegal, or that photographs may be used by terrorists; points out that photography in public places and streets is not only enjoyable but perfectly legal; regrets all such efforts to stop, discourage or inhibit amateur photographers taking pictures in public places, many of which are in any case festooned with closed circuit television cameras; and urges the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers to agree on a photography code for the information of officers on the ground, setting out the public's right to photograph public places thus allowing photographers to enjoy their hobby without officious interference or unjustified suspicion.

The BBC Radio 4 IPM programme covered this topic in April, see thei blog entry You've Been Framed. This is still relevant today, as there still has not been any action from the Government or the Police.

Police Community Support Officers and the general public seem to be hazy on what powers PCSOs actually have, compared with full Police Constables in Uniform, especially under the controversial Terrorism Act 2000.

PCSOs cannot conduct Terrorism Act 2000 Section 44 Stops and Searches on their own, without the presence and supervision of a real Police Constable in Uniform (plain clothes police cannot do this either).

Any "no reasonable suspicion", supposedly "random" Section 44 stops and searches can only be of your outer clothing and any bags etc. you are carrying.

Neither PCSOs nor real Police Constables can demand your Name and Address, or question you about anything else, under a Section 44 Stop and Search, even though, certainly in London, they try to do so.

PCSOs can ask you for your Name and Address if they reasonably suspect that you are engaged in "anti-social behavior" e.g. drinking alcohol in an area forbidden by local byelaw, or if you are underage. Real Police Constables also have such powers, for a much wider range of offences, but again, "reasonable suspicion" or an actual arrest is required.

See the Home Office's official List of Powers of Police Community Support Officers (.pdf)

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Schedule 17 repealed the power of arrest under the Official Secrets Act 1911 section 6, which covers photography of Prohibited Places such as military bases, dockyards, munitions works, minefields, and Government buildings ( i.e. the pre-World War1 list) and telephone exchanges and licensed nuclear sites 9added more recently by statute) etc. - see Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 3495 (C. 146) - The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitory Provision) Order 2005

Any other place could, in theory, be made into a Prohibited Place, by Order of a Secretary of State, but, of, course, any such current Orders, if they exist, are being kept secret by the Home Office.

You can be arrested for criminal trespass within the boundaries of these sites which have been Designated by Order, Protected Sites under SOCPA section 128. These section 128 Protected Sites (which were, for a while, called Designated Sites) now include the Ministry of Defence military bases and buildings. nuclear industry sites, Royal residences, intelligence agency buildings, the Houses of Parliament, MPs offices, and the Prime Minister's residences and offices,
Most Government buildings and telephone exchanges and private sector defence contractors etc. are not Designated as Protected Sites under SOCPA section 128.

If your permission to enter such Protected Sites includes a restriction on photography, then you become liable for arrest if you break that condition. The number of such SOCPA section 128 Protected Sites is far fewer than what was covered under the Official Secrets Act 1911.

This does not cover photography of the exteriors of such places, from outside of their section 128 Designated boundaries.

Airports and Ports and Railways also have restricted areas e.g. "airside" or on the railway tracks, where members of the public are not allowed to trespass without permission, for obvious safety reasons. Again, if you are given permission to visit these, on condition of no photography, then it becomes a criminal offence to break that photographic ban.

The London Underground has byelaws against the use of flash photography, dating back to the times when such photography required the burning of semi-explosive magnesium flash powder.

In London there are a couple of Commercial photography monopoly zones, under the control of the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London, which charge large fees (£200 +VAT per hour) for permission to film i.e. Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square - non-commercial amateur tourist photography and filming is ok,

There is no United Kingdom "privacy" statute law, and no restriction on photographing people (even Police Officers or Politicians) in public at all, except for the Sexual Offences Act 2003 section 67 Voyeurism and section 68 Voyeurism: Interpretationbut this only applies to "a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy," e.g. toilets, bathrooms, changing rooms and bedrooms.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 section 45 Indecent photographs of persons aged 16 or 17 amended the Protection of Children Act 1978, and applies to indecent photographs of Children which includes anyone under the age of Eighteen (not. Sixteen, the age of consent or marriage), whether these are in public or in private.

This also applies to all the new "see through your children's clothes" technologies such as Passive (or Active) Millimetre Wave imaging scanners, TeraHertz imaging scanners and low level backscatter X-ray scanners, all of which could be abused, in secret, for "child porn" purposes, and which which are being deployed in Airports and other public places e.g. Canary Wharf in London Docklands..

The catch all Terrorism Act 2000 section 58 collection of information, which is "of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism", and it does cover "photographs", but is also has a "reasonable excuse" defence.

Neither the Police nor PCSOs nor any private security guards, have any legal power at all to confiscate your camera equipment, film, digital storage media etc. in the street or public place, unless you are actually being arrested.

Even if you have been arrested, there are no powers whatsoever for a Policeman to erase, or to force you to erase film or digital storage media, and they might be committing an offence in doing so e.g. destruction of evidence or criminal damage.

A Court can, eventually, order the destruction of photographs, but that sort of situation does not apply on the street. It is a criminal offence to take photos inside a Law Court, of the defendants, judges, lawyers or witnesses (hence all the nonsense with "artists impressions" which appear in the mainstream media during high profile cases).

11 Comments

2nd thoughts - yr post could form the useful basis of a suitable statement for the intrepid street snaper to have should they be stopped / arrsted. haddocks blather is just hot air .Some snapper mag would surely be happy to promote a suitable cut out 'n' keep guide.

Well worth pursuing - for example what is the legal position if a PCSO (in a public place) asks to have a look at your pics ?

@ Edward - there is a 2 page .pdf available with some legal advice, which probably needs updating slightly, with regard to the new PCSO standard powers:

http://www.sirimo.co.uk/media/UKPhotographersRights.pdf

Urban 75 has an article which covers much of what is in that pdf:

http://www.urban75.org/photos/photographers-rights-and-the-law.html

@ Edward - there is the whole disconnect between what is legal and what actually happens in practice on the street.

Neither a Police Constable nor a PCSO should be able to go fishing through your Mobile Phone, for instance, without a warrant signed by the Home Secretary under the regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Section 1 Unlawful interception, and then only for the investigation or prevention of a Serious Crime i.e. one where you would expect a penalty of at least 3 years in prison for a first time offender if convicted. The penalty for such unauthorised interception of communications is up to 2 years in prison, even for Police Constables.

The Police can forensically examine your Mobile Phone / Camera Phone , laptop computer, digital camera, USB or Flash memory devices, etc. etc. if you have actually been arrested for something, with "reasonable suspicion", and that will not be done by the arresting officers on the street.

In practice, many people are coerced by the frightening experience of being stopped and searched, into meekly handing over their mobile phones etc. It is well worth activating a security PIN on your mobile phone / camera phone which usually is sufficient for such unauthorised snoopers to give up.

Not to detract from what you say, but the Conservative Party Headquarters is not at 25 Victoria Street. It left there over a year ago, and is now at 30 Millbank, part of the Millbank Tower complex, where, you may remember, the Labour Party used to be. Talk about swings and roundabouts.

@ Sepoy Agent - you are correct, of course - thanks for spotting the error - article updated accordingly

A PSCO stopped me from taking photos of the outside of Albany Street Police Station London. I told him I was trying to capture an image of the blue lamp. I told him he was exceeding his powers and that there was no legislation prohibiting my actions. He recorded the incident as a Stop and Search. He declared that terrorists took pictures of sites they were intending to bomb but refused to tell me the grounds for detaining me. Was I correct? I refrained from taking the pictures not from deference but because I had to pick someone up from hospital - I wanted to explore the situation to his ultimate conclusion.

@ Gary S - you are correct, the PCSO exceeded his /her legal powers.

Police Community Support Officers are not sworn Police Constables in Uniform,. They can only exercise their limited Terrorism Act 2000 stop and search powers when assisting a real Police Constable in Uniform (not in plain clothes) who is physically present at the scene.

See the later Spy Blog article NPIA Practice Advice on Stop and Search in relation to Terrorism and on the War on Photographers

It is obviously true that spies and terrorists and serious organised criminals do reconnaissance.

However the correct approach to that is not to "tip off" the enemy that you have spotted them, but to employ a covert surveillance team to track them in secret, to see if those low level, expendable individuals, lead you back to the mastermind and the rest of the plotters.

That is very different from a lone, unarmed PCSO being sent to confront potential suicide terrorists or armed criminals. without any accompanying armed police marksmen and bomb disposal teams.

What are they expected to do if they actually find someone carrying weapons or explosives ?

The National Police Improvement Agency, on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers, is very clear:

2.8 PHOTOGRAPHY

The Terrorism Act 2000 does not prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place. Officers should not prevent people taking photographs unless they are in an area where photography is prevented by other legislation.

If officers reasonably suspect that photographs are being taken as part of hostile terrorist reconnaissance, a search under section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 or an arrest should be considered. Film and memory cards may be seized as part of the search, but officers do not have a legal power to delete images or destroy film. Although images may be viewed as part of a search, to preserve evidence when cameras or other devices are seized, officers should not normally attempt to examine them. Cameras and other devices should be left in the state they were found and forwarded to appropriately trained staff for forensic examination. The person being searched should never be asked or allowed to turn the device on or off because of the danger of evidence being lost or damaged.

N.B. Being arrested under Section 43 is a very serious affair - this involves DNA sampling, fingerprints, photographse etc..

It does require "reasonable suspicion" that you are a terrorist, and even if you are released without charge, or brought to trial and found not guilty, you life could well have been ruined, as you will now be a terrorist suspect for the rest of your life.

You should complain, in writing, about the action of this PCSO, in the first instance to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service

FAO: Sir Paul Stephenson QPM
Acting Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
Metropolitan Police Service
New Scotland Yard
Broadway
London
SW1H 0BG

http://www.met.police.uk/contacts/

Demand a written apology, and for you name and address (if you supplied them) to be removed from any UK or foreign government terrorism intelligence databases, which the Stop and Search Form may have been fed into.

Ask for a public statement that the Acting Commissioner has ordered all of the PCSOs under his command to be retrained according to the existing law and the current NPIA guidelines.

Let us know if that works, but if not, then feel free to contact us for advice about further complaints procedures to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Metropolitan Police Authority, the Information Commissioner's Office, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation etc.

Surely the claim that taking photographs that might aid terrorists should be made very cautiously. If it were to be upheld that a street photographer could be arrested for such an offence then it makes the legality of CCTV extremely dubious. Unless a CCTV is demonstrably incapable of being used by a Terrorist then the Operator ought to be arrested. It may sound frivolous but is merely the equal application of legislation.

I understand that a person stopped under section 44 does not have to give their name and address, but can the police officer use the search to examine a driving license, for example?

@ bbuckle - under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, there is no power to demand your name and address, but in real life, it is not as simple as that on the streets of our cities.

By presenting you with a Stop and Search form, which is supposed to be evidence for your benefit, that you are not being constantly harassed, perhaps for racial reasons, the Police Constables or the Police Community Support Officers usually try to get you to sign it with your name and address details, which they keep a copy of. You do not have to sign this or to give your name and address, if they cite the Terrorism Act section 44 as the reason for the stop and search.

However, since the same form is used for other "with reasonable cause" stops and searches, where you usually do have to give your name (or risk being arrested and taken back to a Police station to be "identified") , the routine behaviour is to try to get you to fill in the form anyway.

Since the Police are allowed to search for "anything" which might be of use in preparing or committing an act of terrorism, they can and will snoop through your wallet with driving licence, credit cards, library cards, notebooks, diaries, address books etc.

They will usually also try to snoop through your mobile phone messages and contacts either manually (if you have not set a security PIN), or they will try to copy your SIM card and stored phone memory details with a mobile phone forensics kit.
e.g. the popular Cellebrite UFED System - Universal Forensic Extraction Device

The Police do not have any right to see what pictures you have taken of them on your digital camera or mobile phone camera under section 44.

If they "reasonably suspect" you of "hostile reconnaissance", then they have to arrest you under section 43.

They absolutely have no right to delete any digital photos, as that is tampering with evidence, a criminal offence. However, unless you have a friend who catches them doing this on camera, this is usually very difficult to prove.

When you are issued with a supposedly "voluntary to carry" ID Card, they will no doubt examine that as well.

When Driving Licences and ID Cards become "Designated Documents" under the Identity Cards Act 2006, then, since it is a Serious Crime to be in possession of someone else's Designated Document.

It seems inevitable that the Police will then be tempted to move on from a "no reasonable suspicion" Terrorism Act section 44 search, to a "with reasonable suspicion" check of your fingerprints on their new mobile fingerprint scanners, in order to check the validity of the ID Card you are foolish enough to be carrying, thereby betraying all of your personal details.

None of this is of any use against terrorists actually carrying firearms or bombs (none of which have ever been found suring a section 44 stop and search) , but it is of use for "gathering intelligence" and repressing peaceful political protests.

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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.

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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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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

  • wtwu: @ bbuckle - under section 44 of the Terrorism Act read more
  • bbuckle: I understand that a person stopped under section 44 does read more
  • Not A CCTV Fan: Surely the claim that taking photographs that might aid terrorists read more
  • wtwu: @ Gary S - you are correct, the PCSO exceeded read more
  • Gary S: A PSCO stopped me from taking photos of the outside read more
  • wtwu: @ Sepoy Agent - you are correct, of course - read more
  • Sepoy Agent: Not to detract from what you say, but the Conservative read more
  • wtwu: @ Edward - there is the whole disconnect between what read more
  • wtwu: @ Edward - there is a 2 page .pdf available read more
  • Edward Teague: 2nd thoughts - yr post could form the useful basis read more

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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