August 2008 Archives

Chapter 46, The Bastion Saint-Gervais, The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas, 1844 - text available online via Project Gutenberg:

"But why did we not breakfast at the Parpaillot?"

"Because we have very important matters to communicate to one another, and it was impossible to talk five minutes in that inn without being annoyed by all those importunate fellows, who keep coming in, saluting you, and addressing you. Here at least," said Athos, pointing to the bastion, "they will not come and disturb us."

"It appears to me," said d'Artagnan, with that prudence which allied itself in him so naturally with excessive bravery, "that we could have found some retired place on the downs or the seashore."

"Where we should have been seen all four conferring together, so that at the end of a quarter of an hour the cardinal would have been informed by his spies that we were holding a council."

"Yes," said Aramis, "Athos is right: animadvertuntur in desertis."

"A desert would not have been amiss," said Porthos; "but it behooved us to find it."

"There is no desert where a bird cannot pass over one's head, where a fish cannot leap out of the water, where a rabbit cannot come out of its burrow, and I believe that bird, fish, and rabbit each becomes a spy of the cardinal. [...]"

During the Parliamentary summer recess / news "silly season" the Home Office are going through the motions of Yet Another Public Consultation.

This one is entitled: Consultation: Transposition of Directive 2006/24/EC (.pdf - 47 pages)

This title seems to be deliberately obscure, but it is in effect about the planned increase in Mandatory Data Retention of Communications Data . This follows on from the European Commission's "policy laundered" Mandatory Data Retention scheme, which affects the 450 million people in the European Union states, but which was steered through the EU bureaucracy by the then British Home Secretary Charles Clarke, during pne of the the UK's 6 month turns at the presidency of the EU.

Several of the larger EU countries cried off fully implementing this scheme for 18 months, but they all implemented the bits dealing with conventional landline telephones and faxes, and mobile phones, as of 1st October 2007 - see SI 2007 No. 2199 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2007

Included in the Consultation Document is a new Draft Statutory Instrument, which rolls up all the provisions of that SI 2007 No. 2199, and adds in the vague terms "internet access" and "internet e-mail" and "internet telephony", without clarifying exactly what they mean in detail.

N.B. there is no Data Retention of web site URL visits under this proposed implementation of the European Commission scheme,

However, that does seem to be the way in which the Home Office is dreaming, as part of the Interception Modernisation Programme

See The Register - UK.gov to spend hundreds of millions on snooping silo and, back in July, when Information Commissioner mildly criticises the Home Office's centralised communications traffic database plan

We have heard from people who have attended Home Office briefings to ISPs and Telcos, and they really do seem to imagine that they can inflict a massive secret database, which includes the content of emails etc. as well as the Communications Data logfiles, and that they can get industry to pay for most of it.

A new GCHQ careers recruitment website seems to have been launched this week at www.gchq-careers.co.uk

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This is again, like the MI6 Officers website (see our previous blog article - Yet Another MI6 Secret Intelligence Service recruitment website), a Government website which has been outsourced to a recruitment agency, in this case to TMP Worldwide

For no good reason, this website does not bother to use a ".gov.uk" domain name for credibility, and it could therefore be potentially vulnerable to typo squatters and fake confidential CV phishing websites.

Again, there is a bit of Flash, but at least the job vacancy pages and the email alert subscription pages do actually seem to be run from an SSL / TLS encrypted webserver.

However, the fact that the SSL encrypted sessions are running from the".i-grasp.com" domain, might, very reasonably, put off some IT security aware candidates from applying via this method, but, unfortunately, some of the advertised vacancies only allow online applications.

GCHQ also seems to be competing for some of the same potential recruits as the Secret Intelligence Service MI6 and the Security Service MI5.

"i-grasp.com" is a subsidiary of StepStone Solutions, who seem to be a multi-national recruitment software company, with offices from the USA, Latin America, most of Europe and including the Russian Federation, the Middle East and Asia.

Does this mean that they have wide experience and are highly professional in online recruitment, or does it mean that copies of all the personal details and confidential CV's of key GCHQ staff will be available to foreign intelligence agencies, directly or indirectly through their international branch offices ?

Why does this www.gchq-careers.co.uk website use third party, USA based Google Analytics code for tracking visitors ? Even if GCHQ cannot do a better job at analysing web site visitor data, surely they should be running such software in house, rather than leaking information to foreign companies and intelligence agencies ?

Whilst this might be reasonable for commercial recruitment, is this really how the people who will be privy to some of our most sensitive national security secrets, should be recruited ?

Why could they not run the i-grasp recruitment website software on a GCHQ managed web server, using a .gchq.gov.uk sub-domain name, with a matching Digital Certificate ?

It appears that the Home Office and their sub-contractor PA Consulting have put people's lives in danger, by losing an unencrypted memory stick, containing the personal name and address details of every prisoner in in the UK, about 84,000 people, and also the 43,000 most dangerous criminals.

How many murders, kidnappings , rapes, blackmail attempts etc. will this lead to, if this data gets into the hands of serious criminals or vigilantes ?

Why should anyone believe that the National Identity Register will not be compromised in a similar way, by exactly the same people i.e. the Home Office and their "delivery partner" PA Consulting ?

Remember that when, not if, something similar happens to your biometric fingerprint details on the National Identity Register, they will have been compromised for the rest of your life.

Why were PA Consulting mucking around with a copy, or multiple copies of live data containing tens of thousands of real records ? That is not required to develop a new "tracking system", until the very final testing stages of the project, at which point the full security and scalability of the system should already have been proven.

See the Home Office's Crime Reduction website description of JTrack, which seems to operate over the Police National Network.

Will anybody actually resign over this disaster ? It will cost a lot of money, to change the identities of Protected Witnesses and Confidential Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS), and innocent members of their families, many of whom will be on these lists, and some of whom are being actively hunted by other criminals.

See the whistleblower story in the Daily Mail:

New data fiasco as Home Office 'loses' secret records of worst offenders

By James Slack

Last updated at 11:28 PM on 21st August 2008

Secret personal details of Britain's most dangerous criminals have been lost by the Government.

The public could now face an enormous bill to protect paedophiles, rapists, drug runners and killers from vigilantes or rival gangsters.

The names, addresses, details of convictions and even jail release dates of almost 130,000 people were all in Home Office files lost when a computer memory stick went missing.


The spy business in the UK seems to be booming, at least so far as the creation of Flashy, if somewhat flawed, recruitment websites is concerned

There was a front page advertisement for MI6 Officers in The Guardian on Wednesday [hat tip to the Obsolete blog)] - see:

Guardian readers, Britain needs you
If nothing else, it's a good time to be a spy: it must be, MI6 is advertising on the front of the Guardian
* Richard Norton-Taylor
* guardian.co.uk,
* Wednesday August 20 2008 16:30 BST

This advert does not bother to point directly to the main MI6 / SIS website or to their www.siscareers.gov.uk website, which also includes vacancies does not bother with vacancies for technical IT and administration staff,

Incidentally, this website seems to be on a shared webserver, for which the SSL Digital Certificate has expired:

www.mi6careers.gov.uk uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is only valid for portal.qinetiq-tim.com
The certificate expired on 02/03/2008 23:59.

Exactly the same applies to the www.siscareers.gov.uk alias as well.

Given the amount of money they are spending on recruitment, is it really so difficult to pay for a current SSL Digital Certificate, to help to protect the confidential recruitment process from enemy snooping ?

Why is there still no SSL / TLS encrypted web form to allow people from around the world to securely contact the Secret Intelligence Service with intelligence tip offs, like even the MI5 Security Service or the US FBI or CIA websites have ?

Instead, there is now another website www.mi6officers.co.uk, which seems to have sub-contracted out to the BNB Recruitment Solutions plc. recruitment and outsourcing agency and their Flash happy recruitment meedja consultants TCS

What exactly is the justification for using a non ".gov.uk" domain name for this website ? Given the strong dual branding of both "SIS" and "MI6", why have these brand names (and the potential confidential recruitment process) not been protected by registering all the available combinations of "SIS" and "Mi6" and "officer(s)" etc. ? Surely it would have made more sense to keep this website within the ",gov.uk" domain name space to reduce the chances of fake recruitment CV phishing website attacks by foreign intelligence agencies etc.?

Apart from the use Flash (although, thankfully, there is a HTML version), the website also uses the large display touch screen mobile phone metaphor.


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The Guardian newspaper (Thursday 21st August 2008) claims a Front Page Exclusive story with three articles and a bloated 350Kb .pdf image scan of a single page:

MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain

Exclusive: Sophisticated analysis says there is no single pathway to violent extremism

Background: the makings of an extremist

Explainer: counter-terrorism strategy

Why has the Americanism "Explainer" crept in to The Guardian ?

Picture: the MI5 briefing note

N.B. this is only a 350 Kb .pdf image scan of the the front page of the Restricted research document, not, as you ight have expected, the full document itself. This provides only a few paragraphs more than the 30Kb jpg graphics file used to illustrate the first article. (which shows the top half of the report's front page)

There are no claims about the provenance of this document, except for the phrase:

according to a classified internal research document on radicalisation seen by the Guardian.

To our suspicious minds, this makes it more likely to be a cynical bit of Whitehall propaganda spin and media briefing, rather than a principled leak by a courageous whistleblower.

Will this briefing be used to help to justify secret snooping and surveillance on millions of innocent people's travel and communications, no matter how expensive, inefficient, inept and disastrously error prone, this is likely to be ?

One Obvious Question not mentioned in the "Key Points" or in The Guardian's articles, is to what extent "radicalisation" is influenced by the cockups and mistakes whereby heavy handed or inept Police and Security Agency actions, which sweep up innocent or neutral or marginal terrorism supporters, and who refuse to promptly admit, publicly apologise and make generous financial compensation for their mistakes, contributes to the conversion of these people and their relatives, into more extreme supporters or into actual terrorists, exactly as used to happen in Northern Ireland.

The Sunday Telegraph "Seven" magazine, has an article about the illegal Harassment of Photographers by officious jobsworths:

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Has our increasingly paranoid society declared war on the humble 'weekend snapper'?

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 17/08/2008
Page 1 of 3

An amateur photographer is chased by the police after taking pictures on the seafront; another man is frogmarched away when using his camera in a town centre. Since when did carrying a camera in public provoke so much suspicion and hostility? Sam Delaney reports. Illustration by Ulla Puggaard

[...]

This article brings together first hand and other recent reports of illegal harassment of innocent photographers, by private sector security guards, by Police Community Support Officers and even by supposedly fully trained Police Constables, all of whom are flouting the law, not only by demanding that photography should cease, or that photos should be deleted, but also in some cases by demanding "ID".

All of this is illegal, but normal law abiding members of the public are often intimidated by the fluorescent jacketed officious jobsworths.

Would anyone be interested in joining in with others in a bit of Sousveillance to name and shame some such jobsworth little hitlers ?

Email us, ideally using our PGP public encryption key, and after having read our Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers etc. guide

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting the results of a Freedom of Information Act request, originally to the Home Office, now being dealt with by the Ministry of Justice, regarding exactly where it is actually illegal to take photographs in, of, or near "sensitive buildings" which have been designated as Prohibited Places under the Official Secrets Act 1911.

This is not at all clear, given that even some Government and Military buildings are no longer actually owned by the Crown, or have foreign based owners, due to various Public Finance Initiatives and tax avoidance schemes by property developers.

See the Spy Blog UK FOIA request category archive MoJ - Prohibited Place - Official Secrets Act 1911

Draft Constitutional Reform Bill Clause 43

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As we get further disillusioned with what passes for effective Parliamentary scrutiny of this Government's never ending output of ever more complicated legislation, which seems to be a substitute for actually achieving anything positive, we did notice that some of our worries about the Draft Constitutional Reform Bill are shared by some other people

Joint Committee on the Constitutional Renewal Bill report

CLAUSE 43

361._One particular issue of Parliamentary accountability arises in clause 43 of the Draft Bill which allows the Minister by affirmative order to "make such provision as [he] consider[s] appropriate in consequence of this Act". Under clause 43(2) that order may "amend, repeal, or revoke any provision made by or under any Act".

362._Democratic Audit told us the purpose of clause 43 needed clarifying. They argued that even if the provision were limited to amending this Act, "any alterations should require full Parliamentary procedure". (Ev04, para 6) The Justice Committee recommended that we look at "the totality of the provisions of the Bill, considers whether any of them could be made more specific in order to reduce the area in which Clause 43(1) would operate."[192] The Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (DPRR) told us that the order-making power "should expressly be confined to the amendment of Acts passed before or in the same session as the bill." DPRR also recommended that "it should be made clear whether incidental or supplementary provision may be made under subsection (1) of clause 43." (Ev70, para 6)

363._We agree with the House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee that the power in clause 43 (to make consequential provision) should be limited to the amendment of Acts passed before or in the same session as the Bill.

We await any actual Government amendments to this Bill, with a sense of increasing resentment and frustration.

Thanks to a recent email correspondent, for reminding us about this. We had actually seen this when it was published online, but could not summon up enough enthusiasm to write a blog article about, what, after all, is only a Committee Report, of the sort which is usually ignored by this Government.

See also:

Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill - short call for evidence by June 12th 2008

and

Danger ! Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill Part 6 tries to remove even the limited constitutional safeguards of the "destroy Parliament" Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006

According to the junior Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson, a blogging pioneer amongst Westminster politicians, who is meant to be in charge of some of the Government's IT system strategy, there was supposed to be a new version of the Prime Minister's website launched today.

See:Tom's premature congratulations on his blog: Number 10 Downing Street web site

We were hoping to check to see if the "email the Prime Minister" feature, which has been defunct since June, was now available again.

However, either there has been the usual Government IT cockup, or perhaps the site is under Russian or Chinese "cyber attack" , since all that is displayed is an error message along the lines of

Number_10_Downing_Street_website_relaunch_failure_12_August_2008.jpg

http://www.number10.gov.uk/

Internal Server Error - Read

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Reference #3.5a140712.1218559037.373074

Given the amount of money wasted on Government IT systems, is it really too much for the public to expect that the people and systems in charge of the Number 10 Downing Street website should be able to deliver something which is sufficiently robust to withstand IT cock ups or cyber attacks ?

The Mail on Sunday has an interesting Government leak / briefing:

Anti-terror patrols secretly stepped up at power stations

By Jason Lewis
Last updated at 12:43 AM on 10th August 2008

Massive expansion of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary is being secretly planned to protect Britain's most vulnerable terrorist targets.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that it will be transformed into the Critical National Infrastructure Police and mount armed patrols around all key installations nationwide, including power stations, phone and computer networks, oil and gas pipelines, ports and airports.

Secret negotiations also include taking over responsibility for protecting Government buildings and key economic targets.

[...]

The existing Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure defines the Critical National Infrastructure as:

The national infrastructure is the underlying framework of facilities, systems, sites and networks necessary for the functioning of the country and the delivery of the essential services which we rely on in every aspect of our daily life. Examples of essential services include the supply of water, energy and food. Failure of this infrastructure and loss of the services it delivers could include severe economic or social damage and/or large scale loss of life.

There are nine sectors which deliver essential services: energy, food, water, transport, telecommunications, government & public services, emergency services, health and finance. Within these sectors there are key elements that comprise the critical national infrastructure. These are the components or assets without which the essential services cannot be delivered. These components may be physical or electronic. .

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary is already responsible for guarding all nuclear power stations and other nuclear installations.

The 800-strong force also protects nuclear material when it is moved around the country and investigates any attempt to steal or smuggle atomic material. Its officers are routinely armed and it has 17 regional headquarters, mainly at nuclear plants around the UK.

Richard Thompson, a former Foreign Office counter-terrorism expert who has served in Iraq, took over the force in June last year and has been carrying out strategic reviews to prepare for its expanded role.

The intention is that the force, which has a £50million-a-year budget, will have more officers and take over policing other power stations, critical telecom buildings, gas installations, fuel dumps, airports and other key terror targets

What about Bio Safety Level 3 and 4 genetic and biological research laboratories, with dangerous human and animal viruses, bacteria and other pathogens ?

What about Air Traffic Control Centres like Swanick ?

What about Railway signaling centres ?

Armed patrols around the City of London financial district ?

It is also expected to take over protecting Britain's main sea ports, some of which have their own tiny forces, such as Dover Port Police which has 50 officers.

Why should this not be part of the new proposed UK Borders Force instead ?

The Critical National Infrastructure force is expected to be announced as part of Security Minister Lord West's review of Britain's preparedness for terrorism.

He has been focusing on security around chemical, biological and nuclear material, which terror groups such as Al Qaeda are trying to obtain to use in attacks. Last night, Lord West acknowledged that expansion of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary's role was 'one of a number of options available"

[...]

Whilst it might make sense to have some 24/7 armed protection for, say, the Balgzand (Netherlands) to Bacton (Norfolk) gas pipeline terminal, this idea of the expansion of a secretive, unaccountable armed force, raises some Obvious Spy Blog Questions:

The Cabinet Office has now published a peculiar document, the so called National Risk Register (N.B. you may have to change the file extension of the downloaded file to be able to read it - .pdf.- 45 pages)

1.1 The National Risk Register sets out 'our assessment of the likelihood and potential impact of a range of different risks that may directly affect the UK' as promised in the National Security Strategy, published earlier this year. The publication of information on these risks, previously held confidentially within government, is intended to encourage public debate on security and help organisations, individuals, families and communities, who want to do so, to prepare for emergencies.

So why is it so vague about the actual risk probabilities, and why does it appear to have been censored ?

What is the Government's methodology for assessing the relative impact and relative likelihood of the vastly different "apples and oranges" risks across entirely different risk sectors ?

As a document upon which individuals or organisations could base any meaningful emergency response procedures, this "National Risk Register" is useless, and some bits of it seem to insult to our collective intelligence and memories.

Has this document been politically censored or are those in charge of Emergency Planning simply out of touch and deluding themselves as to the real risks ?

The first thing that should worry any reader of this document, is the misleading Figure 1: An illustration of the high consequence risks facing the United Kingdom.

National_Risk_Register_fig_1.jpg

1.11 It is also important to highlight that the risks shown in Figure 1 and detailed in Chapter Two are not the full range of possible risks to the UK, from the insignificant to the catastrophic. They are those risks that are deemed significant enough for inclusion due to their likelihood or impact or both.

The Relative Likelihood of these disaster scenarios seem to be wrong!

Is Pandemic Influenza really as likely as Severe Weather ?? Where are the numerical probability estimate figures which support this ?

Historically there have been far more Major Transport Accidents than Attacks on Transport

In this diagram, is the Relative Impact only in terms of human lives lost, and not financial damage ?

Animal Diseases, e.g. Foot and Mouth Disease, Prion disease contamination like Creuzfeld Jacob Disease have cost the UK economy billions of pounds in exports.

2.44 Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is spread by direct and indirect contact - it can even be windborne. In countries like the UK, where the disease arises only as the result of imported infection,

That is a false statement.

Both of the two outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease in Surrey in 2007, were entirely due to the UK Government, and not to any imported infection.

They were the result of biohazard security failings, due to incompetence and lack of investment by the British Government in running its own biological animal disease research laboratories at Pirbright. The second outbreak in Surrey was due to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs falsely declaring the initial outbreak as being over.

See the Health and Safety Executive's Final report on potential breaches to biosecurity at the Pirbright site [PDF 1.57MB]

The so called Climate Camp, currently being held in a field near to the proposed site of a future coal fired power station, has seen some frightening Police harassment of peaceful demonstrators.

It seems that the Kent and Metropolitan Police

They seem to have been been briefed by the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), which was set up by the unaccountable Association of Chief Police Officers, in order to provide intelligence on, and to police or svarious groups of peaceful demonstrators and protestors, some of which may have been infiltrated by violent extremists.

NETCU, have produced a booklet, marked "For Police Use Only", detailing the large and complicated set of laws, which can be used to arrest protestors with.

Surely this information about what is and what is not considered to be a lawful protest should be publicly available for everyone ?

The participants at this Climate Camp, may be deluded hippies or they may be sensible peaceful activists, with a convincing case to be made against the Government's inept energy policies, but the Police seem to be disgracing themselves by employing harassment tactics, even though these Climate Campers are well away from any highways, or neighbours, and are well away from the actual site of the as yet unbuilt power station, at which they plan to protest on Saturday.

Are they deliberately trying to lose even more public respect, through intimidation and harassment ? Surely this will only succeed in pushing peaceful activists towards violence ?

One of these booklets has fallen into the hands of the protestors, and has been digitally photographed and uploaded to the Indymedia website.

We had seen previous reports that the Police have been using a bit of Margaret Thatcher's anti-strike and secondary picketing legislation, not in actual trades Union industrial disputes, but as a general power against any sort of protest.
e.g. when Police Forward Information Teams of photographers and videographers aggressively pick out protestors and follow them about, this law has been used to arrest FIT Watch members, who do the same to the Police photographers.

It is wrong that this legislation is being used when there is no actual Trades Union strike involved at all.


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Surveillance Unlimited: How We've Become the Most Watched People on Earth by Keith Laidler.

UK £ 10.99
Icon Books
UK Publication May 2008
ISBN 978-184046877-9

We had hoped to publish this review several weeks ago, but there has been so much else to report on recently, that the inevitable delays happened.

This book covers topics which regular readers of Spy Blog over the years should be familiar with - mobile phone location system, dataveillance, electronic communications interception, communications data traffic analysis, RFID chips, web cookies, Automatic Number Plate Recognition, Identity Card databases, biometrics, CCTV surveillance and sousveillance, government data security and privacy incompetence, private sector aggregation of personal data for profit, etc etc..

We hope that some of our Spy Blog articles have helped the author to form his views and have acted as pointers for his research.

The author Keith Laidler seems to agree with our view that although there are aspects of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four, there is also now an uncaring bureaucratic machine which snoops on innocent people, and which inevitably makes lots of mistakes, with horrendous consequences for some innocent individuals, along the lines of Franz Kafka's nightmares in The Trial.

William Heath, on the Ideal Government blog has called this fascination of the New Labour government in the UK (and other) politicians for technological magic fixes to social and political problems, supposedly for the greater good, "mechanised compassion"

The Keith Laidler also rightly points out the scare mongering which has been used to justify ever more surveillance and snooping, following the September 11th 2001 in the USA, and the July 2005 terrorist attacks in London.

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is also used as describe how our love of new high tech consumer lifestyle is making us ever more dependent on communications systems and on large scale databases, and ever more vulnerable to the abuse of powerful surveillance technologies..

As with any book or article or blog covering a wide range of technologies, some minor errors of detail have crept inn e.g. the Onstar GPS tracking system does not directly link back up to a satellite, and the range of a UHF high frequency RFID tag is more like 30 metres than 3 metres, but overall the level of technical accuracy is excellent.

The chapter which gave us most concern was were the pages devoted to the possible involvement of the BBC in some sort of cover up regarding their reporting of the the World Trade Center Building number 7 fire and collapse. However, these are not "9/11 no planer / truther" conspiracy theories, but intelligent questions, which the author may well have had answered by the recent TV documentary on the subject, which came out after the publication of the book, where the missing BBC footage had been found (misfiled rather than destroyed).

The book gives some examples of people fighting back against all of this unnecessary or potentially evil surveillance, but as with the writing of Spy Blog the book seeks to get people to ask the right questions, rather than to try to prescribe detailed political or technological solutions, to problems which have no easy answers.

Each of the chapters has references to sources, many of which are world wide web URLs, and this helps to make the book essential reading for any student or policy maker who is researching our Surveillance Society in 2008.

It takes its place on our bookshelves alongside the 1996 book Big Brother: Britain's web of surveillance and the new technological order (ISBN 0 330 34931 7) by Simon Davies, of Privacy International.

We heartily recommend Surveillance Unlimited: How We've Become the Most Watched People on Earth to Spy Blog readers.

Contents

Part 1; The Watchers

A Day in the Life of the Database Citizen 3
Someone to Watch Over Me 9
Big Brother Has Always Been Watching 17

Part 2: Tyranny's Shopping Basket

IDENTITY The New Identity Crisis 29
RFID: Big Brother in Small Packages 59
LOCATION I: The Watchers 79
LOCATION II: Towards a Marauder's Map 107
Communication 119
Lifestyle 137
Correlation: Getting IT together 153
Ensuring Acquiescence: The Carrot and The Stick 171

Part 3: Do We Need It - Do We Want It?

Protecting Autonomy 197
Cumulative Impact on Society 207
Watching the Watchers: What Can We Do to Resist 221

Epilogue 237
References 243
Index 253

Publisher's Press Release:

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.

Current PGP Key ID: 0x80CFAA4C which will expire on 6th September 2014.

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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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Serious Organised Crime Agency - have cut themselves off from direct contact with the public and businesses - no phone - no email

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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