September 2008 Archives

The controversial amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which were brought onto the statute book by the Police and Justice Act 2006, are finally coming into force this Wednesday 1st October 2008.

See: SI 2008 No. 2503 The Police and Justice Act 2006 (Commencement No. 9) Order 2008

The penalties for Section 1 unauthorised computer access offence ("hacking") is increased from 6 months to 2 years, making it eligible for Extradition from foreign countries.

The statutory limitation on this Section 1 is abolished (formerly a charge had to be brought no later than 6 months from an arrest, and nothing older than 3 years ago could be considered).

The incitement offences seem to have been taken out of Computer Misuse Act and shoved into the inchoate section of the Serious Crime Act 2007, the relevant amendments and appeals sections of which also come into force on 1st October.

See - SI 2008 No.2504 - The Serious Crime Act 2007 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2008, which brings in the Data Sharing powers, further destroying the Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, with respect to the nominated list of private sector anti-fraud organisations and companies.

See The next Home Office data security and privacy disaster ? Sharing all our financial details with private sector "specified anti-fraud organisations"

See also the other evils of the Serious Crime Act 2007:- Serious Crime Act 2007 - proof of how useless the Opposition is to Labour's repressive legal fantasies

There is also the ill defined attempt to criminalise Denial of Service Attacks, in one short paragraph, something which even the Private Members Bill in the House of Lords, sponsored by the Earl of Northesk, failed to clarify properly back in 2002. - see the Computer Misuse (Amendment) Bill 2002 (.pdf)

This has world wide scope and a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. With respect to the forthcoming National identity Register centralised database, the Identity Cards Act 2006 section 29 also attempted to define a Denial of Service attack offence, again with worldwide scope and up to 10 years in prison,

However all that does is duplicate the offence under the amended Computer Misuse Act, and in addition make it illegal for Trades Unionists or Computer Consultants etc to take industrial action i.e. to go on trike or work to rule, or to make any kind of mistake through action or omission, e.g. installing a faulty software upgrade, which might make it "more difficult or impossible to download information from a computer system run by the Secretary of State". This applies even to peripheral systems which are only connected to the core Home Office National Identity Register, which could be working ok e.g. any industrial actions or computer errors at private sector financial or airline companies which are linked to the NIR Verification Service.

See Trades Unions betray their members over Labour ID Card scheme

The other controversial amendment still seems to criminalise computer security research and defence software tools, making it illegal to download , write, amend or modify anything which could be used to commit a computer hacking or denial of service attack, regardless of actual malicious intent, even for exclusive use on your own computer system.

This will do nothing to deter the criminals who use such tools maliciously, but it will drive out law abiding computer security researchers from the UK.

Is the internet and e-commerce and electronic funds transfer and Information technology security generally, not important enough to deserve a proper, full, new Computer Misuse Act, brought up to date for the converging internet, telecomms and broadcast technology ?

Instead we have had a delayed, hodge podge of amendments to schedules ad sub clauses, across three other Acts of Parliament, none of which were the main thrust of those Bills, and which were consequently not debated or scrutinised in any depth, before being rubber stamped through.

Freedom Not Fear Day - Saturday 11th October 2008

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Freedom Not Fear Day - Saturday 11th October 2008

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It is not just in the United Kingdom that people are getting heartily sick of the repressive technological control freakery, which supposedly democratic governments are imposing on their populations, in wasteful, ineffective, often counter-productive "security theatre" attempts to "Be Seen To Be Doing Something" about political and sociological problems, like crime or terrorism.

The Open Rights Group and the No2ID campaign are collecting images for a photo-montage of the database surveillance state here in the UK

See: Capturing the database state: community photocall

N.B. if you are having trouble getting your Flickr photos to appear in public under the FNFBigPicture tag (apparently you need to upload at least 5 photos before they are shared in public), you can also email them to FreedomNotFear@no2id.net

The Manifesto of demands from the pan-European organisers of the Saturday 11th October 2008 Freedom Not Fear Day is quite interesting.

Which British politicians will sign up to support most of these demands, or indeed, any of them ?

The controversial 3rd "technical trial" by British Telecom of their Webwise / Phorm deep packet inspection, snooping and cookie faking system built into their ISP infrastructure, starts tomorrow Tuesday 30th September 2008.

BT_Webwise_Phorm_trial_300.jpg

If you are unlucky enough to have been "selected" involuntarily for this trial, then please let us know, as there are several technical tests and techniques which can be run to learn more about the Phorm scheme, to see if BT have actually improved on the highly intrusive snooping and cookie faking and advert hijacking system.

They vaguely promised that they would magically develop a way of opting out of the scheme, which did not involve having to install a permanent tracking cookie in each web browser / computer whose broadband internet connection is being intercepted by this commercial trial.

These commercial trials and any deployed systems should be opt in schemes, rather than, as now, forcing you to opt out repeatedly, and compromising your internet anonymity.

See nodpi.org (No Deep Packet Inspection), Bad Phorm and Dephormation and The Register: BT's third Phorm trial starts tomorrow for more details.

Where are the Most Menacing CCTV Spy Cameras ?

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There are now generations of children who have never known life without CCTV camera surveillance in the United Kingdom.

We are no safer from crime as a result of the millions of such cameras snooping on much of our lives.

Long gone are the days when the snoopers could only afford, or were only content, with just a single spy camera.

Reductions in the price of the technology and power hungry function creep has led to ever more menacing and ugly CCTV spy camera installations throughout the United Kingdom, which seems to mirror the cancerous growth of multiple surveillance systems in our Database State and Surveillance Society.

Have any Spy Blog readers recently seen , or photographed, anything creepier than this 7 headed Surveillance Hydra ?

CCTV_x_6_b_300.jpg

As with most such systems, there are far more Cameras than Warning Signs - no warning signs at all, actually.

Guess which Ultra High Security premises require this Alien War Machine to guard them ?

There is still time to email / fax your Member of the European Parliament e.g. via WriteToThem.com, ahead of tomorrow's vote on some dubious amendments to some forthcoming European Union telecommunications and internet legislation.

See The Open Rights Group for details: ask your MEPs to vote for Telecom package amendments 133 and 138

La Quadrature du Net has a wiki with the Telecom Plenary Package Amendments in question.

Our letter to the several London MEPs:

Spy Blog does not usually get involved with blog tag memes, whereby one blogger nominates a few others to comment on a particular topic, and then to pass on the same meme to others, chain letter style.

However, we have been involved in the Streisand Effect, in defence of the right to free speech of political bloggers and the public in general, regardless of the fact that they might be expressing political views which we disagree with.

It appears that our previous support for Tim Ireland, Boris Johnson, Bob Piper and others affected by "collateral damage" aimed at former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, in the notorious Schillings / Alisher Usmanov affair (see also Matt Wardman's coverage of that issue) seems to has resulted in Spy Blog being put under a sort of geis, or obligation curse.

We have been challenged by the Miserable Old Fart blogger in Wales to support a Labour blogger Kezia Dugdale in Scotland, who has been forced to take down a blog article at short notice, as a result of bullying legal threats from Glasgow based "media lawyers" Bannatyne Kirkwood France & Co hired by a millionaire Scottish Nationalist Party Councillor Jahangir Hanif, even though there has, as yet, not been any libel action or court order.

This political censorship seems to have been as a result of Kezia being one several bloggers who published what seems to be the full letter from Noor Hanif , the 17 year old daughter of Jahangir Hanif, to the leader of the SNP Alex Salmond, which paints her father as a violent, devious, domineering bully, as well as puncturing some of the spin and gloss put out by him regarding the AK-47 incident in Pakistan, for which he has been temporarily suspended from the SNP. Parts of the letter have been quoted in National and Scottish newspapers and it has been referred to in debate in the Scottish Parliament.

This letter was removed from this site after Councillor Hanif's solicitors intimated their intention to raise a summons in the Court of Session for interim interdict. The firm of Bannatyne, Kirkwood, France and Co., gave this site 15 minutes to remove the letter.

15 minutes ? Such bullying is reminiscent of the notorious Schillings in London or Lavely & Singer in Los Angeles.

See Tim Ireland's write up of some the recent media coverage of the Jahangir Hanif scandals.

We are a bit unclear about the differences between libel law in Scotland and in England & Wales. There certainly have been cases where an English High Court Injunction has been perfectly legally broken by newspapers in Scotland, so, presumably, the reverse must also be true.

The libel laws in the United Kingdom, which allow expensive lawyers to bully poor people, especially those expressing their right of free speech on the internet, despite the guilt of their rich clients, must be reformed as soon as possible.

When will rich clients demand their money back, with interest and damages, after hiring "media lawyers" who only succeed in stirring up the Streisand Effect, and spreading the information which they are trying to suppress on the internet, to a much wider audience, than if they had simply ignored it ?

For experienced bloggers, especially those who use RSS or Atom syndication feed aggregators to read lots of blogs only when they get updated e.g. Bloglines, the original blog articles on Kezia Dugdale's Soapbox, on SNP Watch and by Jim Millar, are still easily available for now in the blog aggregator recent history caches (which will soon expire).

For those of you who cannot be bothered to do this, you can judge the Noor Hanif letter for yourselves, as it is available on the controversial WikiLeakS.org supposedly anonymous whistleblower publishing website.

N,B. the WikiLeakS.org website is currently was unusably busy as a result of an alleged leak of US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's private Yahoo emails.

Our previous article BBC Panorama - GCHQ mobile phone interception and tracking and the Omagh bomb attack and speculations, seem to have been broadly correct.

The half hour broadcast programme itself, did not really add any extra factual details to the Sunday Telegraph article.

However, the BBC Panorama programme website does have an interesting transcript of full interview with Ray White (.pdf) (110Kb) , the former Assistant Chief Constable in charge of Crime and Special Branch for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who features heavily in the programme.

This interview also reveals some of the other material, e.g. details of communications traffic data and intercept recordings, and other reports and transcripts which the BBC journalist John Ware seems to have been given access to.

Ray White and John Ware discuss:

  • The matrix of friends , families and associates which gets hoovered up when a particular telephone number comes under suspicion and telephone interception and communications data traffic analysis.

  • The difficulty of picking up the significance of coded phrases, which, even if intercepted might be plausible sounding construction work or taxi service related phrases.

  • The very limited phone capability of, what was then the Royal Ulster Constabulary's Special Branch, compared to GCHQ.

  • The inadmissibility of telephone intercept evidence , or even reference to it , under the Interception of Communications Act 1985, which was in force at the time.
    (N.B. the same restrictions and mindset continue today under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000).

  • The sensitivity of the possible disclosure of any cross border monitoring of communications, brought home recently by the Capenhurst Phone Tap Tower case, which reached the European Court of Human Rights, which found in favour of the human rights organisations Liberty Human Rights and their Irish equivalents, the British Irish Rights Watch and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties - see the Spy Blog article Liberty wins a minor European Court of Human Rights judgment against the UK Government over telephone and electronic data interceptions

  • The political aspect of any such disclosures with respect to the ongoing Peace Process between the United Kingdom and Irish republic governments and the factions in Northern Ireland.

  • The possible pressures which timely cell site analysis etc. might have been able to put even experienced terrorists under, during the Police interrogations, had anybody actually been arrested in the immediate aftermath of the bomb attack.

  • Mention of problems regarding data entry into the Holmes system, the major inquiry data system linked into the Police National Computer.This has ow been upgraded to Holmes 2)

  • Issues of evidential disclosure versus the protection of intelligence sources

  • The possible relaxation of the ban on the use of intercept evidence, now that so many other countries use it against Al Quaeda etc.

Why do the Daily Mail's online picture editors keep mis-identifying images of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) headquarters building at Vauxhall Cross, at the corner of Vauxhall Bridge and the Albert Embankment, on the South side of the river Thames in London, with that of the Security Service (MI5) ?

The latter is at Thames House, on the North side of the River Thames, at the corner of Lambeth Bridge and Victoria Embankment, near to the Houses of Parliament.

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See the official gallery of images of Thames House on the Security Service MI5 website.

Both buildings are completely different visually, but, in recent months, the Daily Mail has now twice mis-identified the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS / MI6) building at Vauxhall Cross as being the Security Service MI5 headquarters.

e.g. Today's article about First Division Association civil service trades union representation at both of these intelligence agencies (obviously with a "no strike" agreement in place);

The spy who came in from the union meeting: MI5 brings in 'relationships support' for staff

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Spy central: The MI5 headquarters near Vauxhall Cross on the River Thames

The EXIF metadata in the original of this image only says:

Credit : © Reuters

Previously, to illustrate Quentin Letts' article on the Intelligence and Security Committee on the 18th of July: Some custard pies for our shadow spook-watchers they used the caption

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MI5 headquarters - above scrutiny?

The EXIF metadata for this image is a bit more informative:

Object Name : picture NICK SKINNER.London views taken from roof of Millbank To
Keywords : LONDON BUILDINGS, LONDON SKYLINES, MI5.
Date Created : 2002:09:22
Originating Program : AMB eLib
By-line : NICK SKINNER.
City : London
Province-State : London
Country-Primary Location Name : United Kingdom
Original Transmission Reference : IP*1919671
Source : Daily Mail
Caption-Abstract : picture NICK SKINNER.London views taken from roof of Millbank Tower..MI5 headquarters.

This metadata captioning also mis-identifies the building, but that really is no excuse for a London based mainstream media organisation, which regularly publishes articles about these two intelligence agencies.

Obviously, we did try to leave a Comment on the Daily Mail blog style website, back in July, simply pointing out the error, but, as many other people have found, the comment moderation / censorship, which appears to have been sub-contacted out to a third party company, is insultingly useless, and there are no comments displayed at all.

Other people also seem to be having problems with the Daily Mail's website handling of comments and online images e.g. Tim Ireland: The Daily Mail: let's kick arse and take names and Beau Bo D'Or: Daily Mail Steals Another Image and Accuses Me of Google Bombing

The Associated Newspapers management need to sort this out, because it is damaging the online reputation of the Daily Mail brand.


Here we go again.

The Birmingham Post reports that:

West Midlands Police search for lost memory stick

Sep 15 2008 By Mark Cowan

POLICE in the Midlands have spent four days searching for a computer memory stick said to contain top-secret information on terror suspects.

The black 4GB stick was lost after being taken out of Castle Vale police station by an officer on patrol last Thursday.

Officers have raided at least one property in the hunt for the device.

Back in 2005, we warned that the unelected, unaccountable quango, the Association of Chie Police Officers and the Home Office were creating, by stealth , and without any public debate or consultation, a new National Automatic Number Plate Recognition Database which could retain the vehicle movement data of millions of innocent motorists, for excessive periods of time, i.e. up to 6 years.

See: ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) Data Retention guidance by ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers)

Our fears seem to have been confirmed by this report in today's Guardian newspaper, which seems to show that the entirely predictable scope or function creep of the project has already happened. "give them an inch, and they will take a mile".

Given the recent data security and privacy scandals, how can the public be confident that the private details of millions of innocent motorists, and the privacy of their journey patterns, has not already been lost or stolen on unencrypted laptop computer, USB memory device or CD or DVD ?

How can we be sure that this national database is not accessible online by unuthorised people, or by corrupt or incompetent authorised insiders, whether they be Policemen, civilian staff or sub-contractors or consultants etc ?

When the planned mass surveillance camera and communications infrastructure is fully deployed, the National ANPR Database, combined with commercial systems such as Trafficmaster, will present a serious potential risk to the safety and security of VIPs at risk of kidnapping or assassination, to high value commercial vehicles (e.g. armoured vans full of cash) at risk of hijacking or armed robbery, and to military weapons or explosives convoys, including nuclear weapons convoys etc. All of these usually travel via pre-planned alternative routes, which will be revealed, remotely, in real time, by such a system.

Fears over privacy as police expand surveillance project

Database to hold details of millions of journeys for five years

Paul Lewis
The Guardian,
Monday September 15 2008

The police are to expand a car surveillance operation that will allow them to record and store details of millions of daily journeys for up to five years, the Guardian has learned.

A national network of roadside cameras will be able to "read" 50m licence plates a day, enabling officers to reconstruct the journeys of motorists.

Police have been encouraged to "fully and strategically exploit" the database, which is already recording the whereabouts of 10 million drivers a day, during investigations ranging from counter-terrorism to low-level crime.

The forthcoming BBC Panorama television documentary Omagh - What The Police Were Never Told scheduled to be broadcast on Monday 15 September on BBC1 at 8.30pm might be of interest to regular Spy Blog readers.

The Sunday Telegraph article

The words that might have saved Omagh

Could a coded message intercepted by intelligence have prevented the biggest atrocity of the Irish Troubles, in which 29 people died? Despite two trials, and millions of pounds spent, still no one is in prison for the Omagh bombing. In a special investigation, John Ware asks why covert monitoring failed - and why this and other pieces of evidence were not passed on to police hunting the killers

By John Ware
Last Updated: 1:32PM BST 14 Sep 2008

This does ask some hard questions about the inept or deliberate lack of communications between the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Service MI5, and the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (called the Police Service of Northern Ireland since 2001).

The article, and presumably the documentary, does, however, include some technical nonsense about mobile phone tracking .

The article and documentary appear to publish the details of actual Intercept transcripts and some of the Communications Traffic Data details,

The article also claims that 6.4 million telephone records were trawled through by the Police. What exactly has happened to that data, almost all of which has nothing to do with the investigation ? When, if ever, was it destroyed ? Or has it already been lost or stolen on an unencrypted hard disk or other portable memory device or media ?

Will the former senior Police officers who have been talking to Panorama now be treated like other whistleblowers by this Labour Government, with criminal prosecutions under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 section 19 Offence for unauthorised disclosures. which is currently in force, or the Interception of Communications Act 1985 Schedule 2 Disclosure of messages etc., which was in force in 1998, or failing that, under the Official Secrets Act 1989 ?

Where will the next UK Government security and privacy data loss disaster occur ?

Given how inept the Home Office has failed to implement policies of Data Minimisation (as recommended in the Data Sharing Review by the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas and Dr. Mark Walport), and in its lax supervision of the data handling and security practised by its sub-contractors like PA Consulting, we are very worried by the potential for disaster which will come into force on the 1st October

Statutory Instruments 2008 No. 2353 - Disclosure Of Information The Serious Crime Act 2007 (Specified Anti-fraud Organisations) Order 2008

Specified anti-fraud organisations

2. The following anti-fraud organisations are specified pursuant to section 68 of the Serious Crime Act 2007--

(a) CIFAS;

(b) Experian Limited;

(c) Insurance Fraud Investigators Group;

(d) N Hunter Limited;

(e) The Insurance Fraud Bureau;

(f) The Telecommunications United Kingdom Fraud Forum Limited.

How many unencrypted databases, laptop computers, USB memory devices, CDROMs etc will these organisations, or the public bodies which disclose information to them, manage to lose or have copied by corrupt insiders ?

Sections 68 - 72 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 allows for such notorious data security bunglers as HM Revenue and Customs, or any other public body, to hand over, in bulk, our most sensitive personal financial information to the private sector companies and industry sponsored not for profit organisations.

The Common Law Duty of Confidentiality has been crushed:

(2) The information--

(a) may be information of any kind; and

(b) may be disclosed to the specified anti-fraud organisation, any members of it or any other person to whom disclosure is permitted by the arrangements concerned.

(3) Disclosure under this section does not breach--

(a) any obligation of confidence owed by the public authority disclosing the information; or

(b) any other restriction on the disclosure of information (however imposed).

Note the evil use of the words "any" and "however imposed"

This means that not just purely financial data can and will be shared, but personal names, addresses, medical records (e.g. to insurance companies) , sexual preferences, political allegiances etc. could also be shared, "for the prevention or detection or prosecution" of fraud.

There is a worthless restriction on these infinite powers:

(4) But nothing in this section authorises any disclosure of information which--

(a) contravenes the Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29); or

(b) is prohibited by Part 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (c. 23).

However, neither of those bits of legislation place any restrictions on public authorities whatsoever, once the magic words "for the prevention or detection of crime" or "national security" (which includes the vague term "economic interests of the United Kingdom") have been uttered.

There is meant to be a Statutory Code of Practice regarding the exercise of these infinite powers, under section 71 Code of practice for disclosure of information to prevent fraud , but that, of course, is still secret, and has not been debated by Parliament or the public.

Given that it is the inept Home Office which is responsible for supervising this further expansion of the surveillance state, there has to be a genuine fear that millions of innocent people's financial information will be put at risk.

This Order should be revoked until there has been a full public debate on the alleged safeguards in the secret Code of Practice, and until the Home Office has demonstrated that it can handle even its own data securely and properly, before allowing even more data belonging to innocent people to be shared and put at risk.

There must also be robust mechanisms to protect innocent members of the public, including generous financial compensation and prompt public apologies and political resignations, when, not if, it all goes horribly wrong - these seem to be utterly lacking at the moment.


UPDATE:

Thanks to Guy Herbert of NO2ID Campaign for making it clearer, that the Data Protection Act has been amended by this Serious Crime Act 2007 section 72 Data protection rules to further reduce the protection of everyone's sensitive personal data

72 Data protection rules

In Schedule 3 to the Data Protection Act 1998 (c. 29) (conditions for processing sensitive personal data), after paragraph 7, insert--

"7A (1) The processing--

(a) is either--

(i) the disclosure of sensitive personal data by a person as a member of an anti-fraud organisation or otherwise in accordance with any arrangements made by such an organisation; or

(ii) any other processing by that person or another person of sensitive personal data so disclosed; and

(b) is necessary for the purposes of preventing fraud or a particular kind of fraud.

As a reminder, here is the Data Protection Act 1998 section 2 Sensitive personal data:definition:

2 Sensitive personal data

In this Act "sensitive personal data" means personal data consisting of information as to--

(a) the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,

(b) his political opinions,

(c) his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,

(d) whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the [1992 c. 52.] Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),

(e) his physical or mental health or condition,

(f) his sexual life,

(g) the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or

(h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings.


NUJ video - Press Freedom: "Collateral Damage"

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The National Union of Journalists has today released a press release and an online Flash video, which gives a glimpse of the deliberate targeting of even fully accredited media photographers who are covering political protests and dissent in the UK.

NUJ film shows police obstruction of journalists

The nine-minute video, called Press Freedom: "Collateral Damage", includes examples of the police obstructing journalists in their work.

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N.B. this is not a directly embedded Flash video object, which otherwise would act as a web bug, effectively allowing the Flash video hosting site, and whoever is snooping on them, to track visitors to the Spy Blog website, even if they are not actually interested in watching the video.

This film features Jeremy Dear, the General Secretary of the NUJ, who has tried to engage with the Home Secretary and senior Police chiefs over this matter, seemingly with little effect, and the photojournalist Marc Vallée, who was knocked unconscious and hospitalised by the Police whilst covering a demonstration in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square.

As the video says, there are no laws preventing the Police from taking photographs in public, just as there are none which prevent professionals or members of the public from doing so either.

If professional photographers, who regularly document political demonstrations and protests feel intimidated, then what about the "chilling effect" on the freedom of members of the public who might try to snap a picture on their mobile phone or digital camera , now that there are Government and Police propaganda campaigns which demonise street photographers as if they were all terrorist suspects ?

The targeting and harassment of photographers e.g. "we know your name" etc. is more than just overzealous individual policemen, it seems to be a deliberate policy.

What is this Police surveillance footage and other data e.g. mobile phone Communications Traffic Data), which is not taken as evidence of acts of violent public disorder actually being used for ?

Who has access to this data ?

When, if ever, is this surveillance data destroyed ?

Is it it all just a waste of Police manpower and public money ?

The Home Office and the senior Police management need to stamp out this public and community relations disaster, which is just creating contempt, fear and hatred of the Police and the Government..

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