Passion and Dalliance blog: Why you need balls of steel to operate a Tor exit node

| | Comments (24)

This blog posting about the experience of a former Tor exit node server operator in the UK, is worrying:

Passion and Dalliance blog: Why you need balls of steel to operate a Tor exit node

I became interested in Tor in the spring of 2007 after reading about the situation in Burma and felt that I would like to do something, anything, to help. As a geek and lover of the internet it seemed the best thing I could do was to run Tor as an exit node to allow those under jurisdictions that censor the internet free access to the information they need. I had a lot of unused bandwidth and it seemed like a philanthropic use of it to donate that to Tor.

[...]

I totally believe in Tor. I think it is a magnificent force for the circumvention of internet censorship but there is a problem.

I was visited by the police in November 2008 because my ip address had turned up in the server logs of a site offering, or perhaps trading in (I was not told the details of the offence) indecent images of children. The date of the offence was about one month after I started the server so it looks as though the site in question had been under surveillance for more than a year.

It was what is known as a 'dawn raid' and, amazingly enough, my children were still asleep when it occured. Thank God.

I explained to the officers, who we had heard threatening to break the door down before we let them in, about Tor but they had never heard of it. My wife says she thinks they were about to arrest me before that. I was not arrested. I was told not to touch the computer and it was placed, considerately, in a black plastic bag and taken away for forensic examination.

I was OK at first. I knew that somebody had gone through my server to access that material and that I was not guilty of any offence but as the weeks wore on it started to get to me.
I was overwhelmed by horror to be implicated in such a thing. I was desperately worried about my family. One of the officers had told my wife that Social Services would be informed as a matter of course and there was a possibility that my children would be taken into care.

The low point came about two weeks after the visit by the police when I totalled my car. I was distracted, stressed and unable to accurately assess the road conditions. I ploughed into a hedgerow at speed, destroying the car which we had just bought, but, luckily, walked out of it with only bruised ribs.

I didn't have the money to hire a lawyer so I just sat the thing out. From time to time the police called with an estimate of when the investigation would be finished but none of that meant very much because those dates came and passed with no resolution.

Eventually, four months after the visit, I picked up a voice message from the police inviting me to call back. When I called I was told that no evidence had been retrieved and the machine would be returned to me.

I think, in retrospect, I was desperately naive to run a Tor exit server on a home computer but I didn't believe that an ip address in a server log would be enough evidence to warrant seizing equipment.

My wife, God bless her, was absolutely marvellous throughout the whole thing and never doubted me.

I have read with interest about the need to make Tor faster and that that largely depends on having more nodes but there is no way I can contemplate offering my ip address as a service to internet anonymity any more.

It was very frightening for me to be implicated in a serious crime.

As a parent of very young children I have an extensive network of friends and contacts in my neighbourhood who also have children. As we know the subject of paedophilia is not one that can be debated with any rationality at all in the UK. It is surrounded by hysteria. I was terrified that people would find out that my computer had been taken because of that - 'no smoke without fire'.

I don't know what can be done about any of this. To my mind running an exit node is extremely high risk. I think Tor is important but I don't have any ideas about how to support it at the moment.

Why are there are still any untrained Policemen in the UK, who are being allowed to conduct internet crime related investigations, without having first learned about open proxy servers, Tor and other techniques ?

They need to be disciplined and retrained, and their senior managers need to be named and shamed, as they are an unacceptable risk to innocent members of the public, and the real criminals must be running rings around them.

Surely if major UK ISP's are now only offering a censored CleanFeed system, then there is no excuse for the Police to harass their customers in this way ?

24 Comments

As a sometimes Tor user and someone that has been thinking about starting a Tor exist node at home for much the same reasons this is quite a worrying read. Especially as if I run it on something other than a dedicated server (which I'd rather avoid) getting the server taken away for any length of time would be more than just an inconvenience.

hmm so you told the police that you were just running a proxy and they still confiscated your pc. You then berate the police for not taking your word for it that you werent a pedophile even though your ip was found in a server log...

Dude wtf, if it was that easy don't you think every pedophile would use the same excuse. Of course they had to check your pc for evidence...

I am no fan of the increasing level of hysteria and authoritarianism in the UK but I do believe that crimes like pedophilia should be investigated and I think your reaction to this incident is misguided. You are lucky they didn't just charge you anyways. If anything, this shows the police aren't as crazy in the UK as we are led to believe.

@fapfapfap,

You do realise that paedophilia is not a crime, correct?

Crimes which paedophiles may commit include sexual contact with a minor, or perhaps posession/distribution of child pornography.

Some amount of precision is necessary in describing what the police were investigating.

This makes me much *more* likely to run a Tor exit node, since nothing came of it -- just not on my personal daily-use machine. I'd take precautions: run it on its own computer, and have a big label on it that says "TOR NODE" and its IP address. When the cops come with a warrant, hand it over and bid them a nice day. Then raise a huge stink in the press until you get it back. :-)

Dangerous business, dangerous business. Dangerous business when you do stuff that the government consider you shouldn't be doing (even if its legal like running a tor exit node). Indeed, it'd be pretty silly to run a tor exit node, in the same way it'd be pretty silly to, say, mention Tian'anmen Square in a web site in China. Pretty silly.

Dangerous business, dangerous business. Dangerous business when you do stuff that the government consider you shouldn't be doing (even if its legal like running a tor exit node). Indeed, it'd be pretty silly to run a tor exit node, in the same way it'd be pretty silly to, say, mention Tian'anmen Square in a web site in China. Pretty silly.

Like reporters going to a demonstration. The police are going to charge and they'll be charged too and smacked around a bit because it was pretty silly that they were there. They thought, hey, I'm free press, I have my rights and people have the right to know. Until they feel the stick. Then they still have their rights, and a bleeding contusion. Serves them well.

>You are lucky they didn't just charge you anyways.

On what grounds? Are you positively nutters?

It's questionable (to me at least) whether an IP address in a log alone should be enough evidence even for search and seizure. One could have a computer infected with a botnet or trojan type virus, allowing outsiders to gain control of the system, one could have a wireless router and never read the directions (while a paedophile sat in a car outside their house downloading kiddy porn one night). One could be running a tor exit node, an unconfigured squid proxy, a box with weak SSH passwords, or a whole host of other things. That said, I agree they should look into alleged possession of child pornography and I can't think of any other way they could have looked into it other than seizing the equipment and examining it. Unfortunately, I have a strong feeling they would have charged him immediately had they found even one image, without ever looking to see if others may have had access to his equipment remotely. This is where things get scary.

I'm especially horrified at the length of time it took. That's absurd.

The police knew exactly what they were doing.

Its part of an effort to shut down the network so that the only Tor exit nodes are those run by Intelligence services.

i just want to say some thing "great job"

download youtube video's on the fly... in any format

http://youtubeddl.com

dirict download from youtube server

" I'd take precautions: run it on its own computer, and have a big label on it that says "TOR NODE" and its IP address. When the cops come with a warrant, hand it over and bid them a nice day. Then raise a huge stink in the press until you get it back."

So you believe the during the police raid, they will only confiscate the computer that has been marked with tape?? LOL good luck with that!

@ Anon on March 21, 2009 5:03 AM -

The police knew exactly what they were doing.

Not in this case they didn't.

Its part of an effort to shut down the network so that the only Tor exit nodes are those run by Intelligence services.

There are so few Tor exit nodes in the UK, far fewer than in say just the city of Berlin in Germany - usually fewer than 20, and at weekends, down to perhaps only half a dozen,

The Police or intelligence agencies could easily just copy all the Tor exit node internet traffic (with a warrant signed by the Home Secreatry under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers ACt 2000). They could certainly get hold of any or all of the YK based Tor exit nodes' relevant ISP log files, also in secret.

This would probably cost less than the Police overtime for a "dawn raid" and the forensic examination of a single Tor server seized from someone's home or office.

See the various websites which list all the Tor nodes e.g.

https://torstat.xenobite.eu/index.php?FilterIsRunning=1

and filter by "GB" and "Exit Node" and "Running"

N.B. The vast majority of Tor users in the United Kingdom will not be exiting from the 20 or so UK Tor exit servers, but almost certainly from the 1500 others which are overseas.

These Tor Exit node connections change randomly every 10minutes or so anyway..

You do realise that paedophilia is not a crime, correct?
Crimes which paedophiles may commit include sexual contact with a minor, or perhaps posession/distribution of child pornography. http://trypu.com

@ fapfapfap - Note that apparently there was no arrest, but private property was "seized", seemingly without a warrant anyway - we do not have the equivalent of the US 4th Amendment to the Constitution against unreasonable searches and seizures here in the UK

@ dhr - it is one of the many Orwellian Thought Crimes, along with many other dissident political or social communications, which the Tor cloud might be used to make it a bit more difficult for even a powerful snooper to trace.

Why are there no police raids on the hundreds of thousands of trojan malware infected broadband connected home PCs, which are also spamming adverts for, or actually sharing and distributing, such illegal content ?

You do realise that paedophilia is not a crime, correct?
Crimes which paedophiles may commit include sexual contact with a minor, or perhaps posession/distribution of child pornography. http://youtubeddl.com

You're lucky this occurred in the UK where even though the police may be untrained they can still occasionally be civil.

If this had been in the US you would have been tasered, your children taken away and probably convicted because evidence would have been manufactured against you to save face.

If you are single, independently wealthy and have excellent counsel on retainer, running an exit node is a very honorable thing to do. Otherwise do not consider it.

What's the problem? The police had reasonable intelligence to get a warrant, they investigated (without arresting you), they found you hadn't committed the crime, they gave you your stuff back.

95% of intel like this that comes into UK forces leads to a quantity of indecent images of children being recovered from the computer, along with a forensic trail showing how they got there. I know this because I examine these computers day in, day out.

This post shows, if anything, that the system works.

And as for the comment at the bottom of the story about a 'censored CleanFeed system' - if you really believe that that would stop anyone from getting anything, then you're deluded.

tien, you are just feeling the squeeze that many of us have felt. I raised the issue of inappropriate (verbal) behaviour of a student teacher at my kids school with the headmistress. what happened after was an education in how the system works. got called back from work out of the blue several days later by my missus 'get back now- social are here to take away the kids'. Got back 4 social workers + 2 coppers waiting outside - no comment except 'social are here to interview you'. found myself accused of being an alcoholic wife and child beater and, get this, 'hostage taker' . i don't drink, which was apparently 'evidence of it being a hidden problem' - 6 hours of interrogation after which as no evidence a regime of monitoring which went on for a year was instituted. where did all this come from - the headmistress made the accusation, the hostage taking came from 'her being buttonholed in her office while i made wild accusations regarding her staff' -not true, I raised the issue politely and it was in a room with other folk present.
anyways it cost the marriage, the missus couldn't handle the surveillance - car outside the house for 3 months, surprise inspections - once at 11 at night with cops to get kids out their beds to check on them. As the surveillance went with the kids I ended up taking them on on my own - social were round after the split to see if the missus would now 'give the evidence they needed' - seems the whole thing was designed to split us up on the grounds she wouldn't testify if 'living in fear'. now I live with the kids on the at risk register so social have 24/7 access if they want it, although it hasn't been excercised since shortly after the split it isn't something you can have removed. the teacher was apparently 'disciplined under internal code' details of which i am not permitted to know.
point is these folk know well how to hurt you if you have kids and the adage of nothing to hide nothing to fear is a complete lie. nothing to hide simply means no reason to stop looking (read turning you over).
in my opinion the raid you experienced was done as it was to close you down as a tor node, and for no other reason. the child pornography threat is now levelled at anyone who has a computer, cf the raid on the two brothers in north london. accusation was thrown in at the beginning when the computers were seized and later retracted in a very small article in the press. back in the 70's we had a family friend who'd escaped from the eastern block. he commented back then that if you were targeted you could expect to be accused of being a pederast in the press. he pointed out that it was game over for your life regardless of its veracity as no one would risk being in contact with you anymore. my condolances on what happened - its politics, nothing more.

@ flopsy -

What's the problem? The police had reasonable intelligence to get a warrant,

Unless you have personal inside knowledge of this particular case, that is not not evident from the blog article under discussion.

they investigated (without arresting you),

You are perhaps confusing Spy Blog, with the Passion and Dalliance blog.

they found you hadn't committed the crime, they gave you your stuff back.

Read it again. The blog posting does not say that the computer equipment has actually yet been returned, only that the police were willing to do so, sometime in the future. The expense and disruption caused by the inordinate length of time that innocent people's computer equipment is held for by the police and legal system,is one of the many current issues which needs to be vastly improved.

The fear of loss of business and other unnecessary "collateral damage" caused by law enforcement investigations, is a major factor in the under reporting of computer crimes.

95% of intel like this that comes into UK forces leads to a quantity of indecent images of children being recovered from the computer, along with a forensic trail showing how they got there. I know this because I examine these computers day in, day out.

Do you mean Tor exit nodes or home computers in general ?

Have you ever actually forensically examined a Tor exit node?

A Tor exit node is no different from any other internet router - it does not store the content of what is is passing from one IP address to another. Neither does it usually store any logfiles. What it passes to and from the Tor cloud is strongly encrypted, and the Tor exit node operator has no way of deciphering it, even under torture.

N.B. it is entirely possible for Tor exit nodes and/or open WiFi connections to be run deliberately by criminals in the hope of providing "cover" for their nefarious activities, but if that was the case, then the police should surely have other intelligence, and should have made an arrest.

The impression from the article is that they were on a "fishing expedition".

This post shows, if anything, that the system works.

No it does not, unless you think that an entirely avoidable "dawn raid" on an innocent person is somehow acceptable, either from civil liberties or from efficient police investigation viewpoints.

This could have been avoided by simply checking the IP address with widely published public lists of Tor exit nodes, something which it is utterly inexcusable for any policemen involved in internet crime investigations to be ignorant of, but which seems to be the case here.

And as for the comment at the bottom of the story about a 'censored CleanFeed system' - if you really believe that that would stop anyone from getting anything, then you're deluded.

You cannot have it both ways.

Either the (flawed) CleanFeed censorship infrastucture is of some use, in some cases at least, or it is not, in which case it must be dismantled, because it provides the infrastructure for political or religious censorship and discrimination, as well as its current purpose for "child protection".

A UK based Tor Exit node on an ISP using using CleanFeed would not (currently) censor access to, say the BBC Chinese language news website, but would stop Chinese or US based web surfers from accessing porn sites on the UK Internet Watch Foundation lists.

UK Tor client users would hardly ever connect out of the Tor cloud via a UK Tor exit node (there are simply too few of them), and then, only for about 10 minutes, before the node connection is randomly changed.


@wtwu:

Unless you have personal inside knowledge of this particular case, that is not not evident from the blog article under discussion.
I don't have any inside info on this, the intel that I referred to was that the user's IP address had accessed unlawful material. Yes, there are a few 1337 ways that this could have been done by someone bouncing off that IP, but when you hear a quack you look for a duck until you're got reason to look for something pretending to be a duck. As I said, a squillion jobs a year come in from IP referrals, and in all but one or two cases per year (speaking from a busy urban computer forensics dept) there is muck to be found, a trail telling how it got there, and a guilty plea after the report is presented to the suspect and his defence expert has replied with a 'yeah, you're pretty much fcked'.
The blog posting does not say that the computer equipment has actually yet been returned, only that the police were willing to do so
OK, but he didn't say that it was being withheld from him either. Once the exhibit is OK'd for return, it's usually just a matter of collecting it.

Point taken about the length of time to do analyses. This is totally out of order and unacceptable, but it's all down to money. Forensic analysts take time to train and that training is expensive. Every police force in the UK is swamped with computers awaiting examination, but a police force only has so much money and a hell of a lot of priorities. Speaking for our department, if there's a business need to get a machine back then we bend over backwards to accommodate that need. This is partly because we appreciate that other people's lives are involved, partly out of fear of civil lit., and partly because we're not assholes and we try to do right by people. Believe this or don't, it's up to you.

Do you mean Tor exit nodes or home computers in general ?
Computers in general. I don't think that this raid was avoidable, as you say. There was no way to know the computer was running a Tor node until it was examined, and for that it had to be seized.

I know that 'dawn raid' sounds very sinister and evil, but it's just the best time to do it - you can catch the person before they go to work, then you have time to search the house, get the exhibits back to base and do a quickie forensic preview before interview, then the suspect's bailed and back home in time for Coronation Street. It's only dawn at certain times of year anyway, generally it goes on at about 6.30.

This could have been avoided by simply checking the IP address with widely published public lists of Tor exit nodes
It's just not reliable enough. These referrals come to the UK from anywhere in the world, and can be a year old. Bear in mind that some of the jobs we're talking about involve very, very nasty people who are doing horrible things to innocents. The police would be negligent if they relied on an unverified historical list of IPs run from god knows where by god knows who. The fault, if there's anyone at fault, lies with the criminals who exploit a truly good and noble idea like Tor for their own selfish ends.


You cannot have it both ways. Either the (flawed) CleanFeed censorship infrastucture is of some use, in some cases at least, or it is not, in which case it must be dismantled

I don't want it both ways, I'd like to see it gone. It stops no one who wants to get child abuse images from getting them, it's just a tick in a government box. Dismantle it and no criminal would even notice it was gone. The very idea is ridiculous and unpleasant.

@ Flopsy

Speaking for our department, if there's a business need to get a machine back then we bend over backwards to accommodate that need. This is partly because we appreciate that other people's lives are involved, partly out of fear of civil lit., and partly because we're not assholes and we try to do right by people. Believe this or don't, it's up to you

What do you think of the Jim Bates computer forensic expert witness case, which had a Judicial Review hearing today ?

The former National Hi-Tech Crime Unit used to publish a Confidentiality Charter for Businesses, trying to re-assure them about this, but all that has disappeared nowadays, as has a lot of public trust in the police etc. under this Government and its unaccountable quangos.

The police would be negligent if they relied on an unverified historical list of IPs run from god knows where by god knows who.

Every Tor client gets updates of this list (simple, easily searchable text files) from the Directory servers, which have no way of telling whether the client is under the control of the police etc. or not.

There is no reason why the police should not compile their own trustworthy copy of the history of Tor exit node IP addresses, especially since so many police and intelligence agencies actually use Tor for conducting investigations without blabbing out their own *.pnn.gov.uk, *.met.police.uk, *.gmp.police.uk etc. IP addresses.

The free Vidalia front end even comes with a GeoIP based mapping tool which shows you through which countries your Tor circuit is currently hopping

On a slightly tangential topic, what do you think of the Jim Bates computer forensic expert witness case

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/17/ore_bates_arrest/

which had a Judicial Review hearing today ?

Does his embellishment of his CV invalidate all of his technical testimony over the years (both for the prosecution and for the defence) ?

Creating a sort of SLA would be difficult in practice, because some exhibits simply have to be held onto for a long time, and it's not always possible to clone data to give them back. Again speaking for our place, we like to return stuff partly because we haven't got the storage but if it's an indecent images job then we can't give it back until it's been cleared - otherwise we'd be committing the offence of distribution. We get a lot of requests from suspects and their families for schoolwork, finance data, family photos etc and we generally provide them with a DVD as soon as we can.

I know that few people on a site like this want to believe it, but we're not monsters. I'm a Guardian-reading pinko type, and I'm working with the nicest bunch of people I've ever worked with at the moment, after 15 years in various sectors of the public and private sectors.

Your idea about checking Tor lists isn't without merit, but it can't just be used as a 'get out of an investigation free' card. If a warrant is executed and the suspect says straight away that he's running a Tor node, then the relevant IP could be quickly checked against the lists and the focus of the investigation may change accordingly, but there's still got to be a forensic analysis done of any seized equipment. Anything other than that is just giving carte blanche to commit any criminal act online. It's just one of the risks of running a Tor node, and it's very sad but it needs to be taken into account by anyone choosing to run a node. As I said, don't blame The Man, blame the criminals. Oh, and I don't know of any forces using Tor - the RIPA authorities needed to do so would get insanely complex, because we'd be passing potential intel through unknown computers. Seriously, the thought of having to explain it to our Force Intelligence Manager is bringing a grin to my face now.

Mr Bates...it wouldn't be professional of me to comment, especially hiding behind anonymity on here. He was one of the godfathers of computer forensics in the early days.

@ flopsy -

Creating a sort of SLA would be difficult in practice,

Difficult perhaps, but unless there are rapid, effective error correction procedures, to quickly apologise for, and financially compensate innocent people who have been falsely accused, either through error or malice, then the Police and intelligence agencies and politicians are part of the problem, not part of the solution to serious crime and terrorism etc.

The senior managers should recognise that mistakes are inevitable, and then they should Do The Right Thing, instead of always spinning the media and trying to cover their bureaucratic backsides.

Oh, and I don't know of any forces using Tor - the RIPA authorities needed to do so would get insanely complex, because we'd be passing potential intel through unknown computers.

I doubt if you could ever use it as Evidence in Court, but surely a serious crime or national security intelligence investigator risks tipping off the operators of, for example, a criminal or terrorist website or email server etc., by not hiding their real IP address. They may even be blocked from accessing it in the first place, either by the target server, or by nanny censorship software in place in their own organisation.

More subtly, the content displayed by a particular website can easily be tailored to be different, according to which IP address block or which even GeoIP based country location that your IP address seemingly belongs to. This might also rule out using any UK based IP address at all, to investigate something apparently located in, for example China or the Ukraine etc.

Unless investigators use Tor clients, then they cannot access encrypted Tor Hidden Services, which are slow and not well indexed, but some of which certainly do contain some dubious and possibly illegal content.

Seriously, the thought of having to explain it to our Force Intelligence Manager is bringing a grin to my face now.

Explain it you should, as he or she needs to be as aware of the advantages and limitations of Tor and other such tools.

I do not see how RIPA red tape is needed at all - anybody is allowed to download and install the Tor client, which, when fired up, automatically downloads and periodically updates all the Exit node details, i.e. name, IP address, which ports are open according to the Exit Policy etc. to a couple of text files on your local hard disk.

Surely the Police do not have to fill in the bureaucratic RIPA forms, when they run a public WHOIS lookup, or a Google search engine query, or visit any other public website, so this would be no different.

The Tor project itself provides tools and lists of Exit nodes for people who want to block them e.g. Wikipedia does not allow user registration or edits via Tor (reading articles is ok)
e.g.
https://check.torproject.org/cgi-bin/TorBulkExitList.py

Your idea about checking Tor lists isn't without merit, but it can't just be used as a 'get out of an investigation free' card. If a warrant is executed and the suspect says straight away that he's running a Tor node, then the relevant IP could be quickly checked against the lists and the focus of the investigation may change accordingly, but there's still got to be a forensic analysis done of any seized equipment. Anything other than that is just giving carte blanche to commit any criminal act online.

Running a Tor exit node or open Wifi access point etc. should not be a "carte blanche" at all.

However a "dawn raid" should not be authorised simply on the basis of the apparent IP address information, without taking into account Tor and other possible open proxy servers, and which has not been first checked with easily available tools.

The IP address information intelligence / tip off should be checked against the Tor exit node lists (and open WiFi access point lists or other list of open proxies) before a Data Protection Act section 29 request for the Communications Data subscriber details is made.

Such checks could and should be made at the same time as the (not always up to date) public WHOIS lookup on the IP address is done to determine to which ISP or other organisation or company the IP address in question is allocated to.

This should be part of the checklist used when evaluating the credibility of the original technical intelligence or tipoff, according to the National Intelligence Model Code of Practice i.e. the 5x5x5 Intelligence Report Form

If the investigators still then want, or need, to get a search warrant, then so be it, but such elementary checks, which take only a few seconds, would save wasting their valuable time and public money, and do less damage to public trust, in cases like the one being discussed above, where, seemingly the only suspicious intelligence was IP address based.

Mr Bates...it wouldn't be professional of me to comment, especially hiding behind anonymity on here. He was one of the godfathers of computer forensics in the early days.

This is just the sort of situation which you are very unlikely to be able to comment on at all, without career threatening consequences, without making use of anonymity tools.

The Judicial Review apparently seemed to go quite well from Jim Bates' point of view, and Spy Blog will keep an eye out for the publication of the judgment, which is expected after Easter.

It seems than in this case criminals called police made a dawn raid. Occasionally, it is difficult to see the difference between the police and the criminals. It is morally disgusting to see a policeman defending his fellow criminals.

EU citizen has right to access justice and the police denied that with improper conduct and being slow. The offending country has an obligation to pay a compensation to the victim of the state even if its legislation is insufficient in the matter. If the legislation is insufficient, I would require a higher compensation to motivate the sloppy legislature.

About this blog

This United Kingdom based blog attempts to draw public attention to, and comments on, some of the current trends in ever cheaper and more widespread surveillance technology being deployed to satisfy the rapacious demand by state and corporate bureaucracies and criminals for your private details, and the technological ignorance of our politicians and civil servants who frame our legal systems.

The hope is that you the readers, will help to insist that strong safeguards for the privacy of the individual are implemented, especially in these times of increased alert over possible terrorist or criminal activity. If the systems which should help to protect us can be easily abused to supress our freedoms, then the terrorists will have won.

We know that there are decent, honest, trustworthy individual politicians, civil servants, law enforcement, intelligence agency personnel and broadcast, print and internet journalists etc., who often feel powerless or trapped in the system. They need the assistance of external, detailed, informed, public scrutiny to help them to resist deliberate or unthinking policies, which erode our freedoms and liberties.

Email & PGP Contact

Please feel free to email your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on.

blog@spy[dot]org[dot]uk

Our PGP public encryption key is available for those correspondents who wish to send us news or information in confidence, and also for those of you who value your privacy, even if you have got nothing to hide.

We wiil use this verifiable public key (the ID is available on several keyservers, twitter etc.) to establish initial contact with whistleblowers and other confidential sources, but will then try to establish other secure, anonymous communications channels, as appropriate.

Current PGP Key ID: 0x122B3C4FD0BD0FB3 which will expire on 1st October 2018.

pgp-now.gif
You can download a free copy of the PGP encryption software from www.pgpi.org
(available for most of the common computer operating systems, and also in various Open Source versions like GPG)

We look forward to the day when UK Government Legislation, Press Releases and Emails etc. are Digitally Signed so that we can be assured that they are not fakes. Trusting that the digitally signed content makes any sense, is another matter entirely.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

Links

Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog

WikiLeak.org - ethical and technical discussion about the WikiLeaks.org project for anonymous mass leaking of documents etc.

Privacy and Security

Privacy International
United Kingdom Privacy Profile (2011)

Cryptome - censored or leaked government documents etc.

Identity Project report by the London School of Economics
Surveillance & Society the fully peer-reviewed transdisciplinary online surveillance studies journal

Statewatch - monitoring the state and civil liberties in the European Union

The Policy Laundering Project - attempts by Governments to pretend their repressive surveillance systems, have to be introduced to comply with international agreements, which they themselves have pushed for in the first place

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

ARCH Action Rights for Children in Education - worried about the planned Children's Bill Database, Connexions Card, fingerprinting of children, CCTV spy cameras in schools etc.

Foundation for Information Policy Research
UK Crypto - UK Cryptography Policy Discussion Group email list

Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

European Digital Rights

Open Rights Group - a UK version of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a clearinghouse to raise digital rights and civil liberties issues with the media and to influence Governments.

Digital Rights Ireland - legal case against mandatory EU Comms Data Retention etc.

Blindside - "What’s going to go wrong in our e-enabled world? " blog and wiki and Quarterly Report will supposedly be read by the Cabinet Office Central Sponsor for Information Assurance. Whether the rest of the Government bureaucracy and the Politicians actually listen to the CSIA, is another matter.

Biometrics in schools - 'A concerned parent who doesn't want her children to live in "1984" type society.'

Human Rights

Liberty Human Rights campaigners

British Institute of Human Rights
Amnesty International
Justice

Prevent Genocide International

asboconcern - campaign for reform of Anti-Social Behavior Orders

Front Line Defenders - Irish charity - Defenders of Human Rights Defenders

Internet Censorship

OpenNet Initiative - researches and measures the extent of actual state level censorship of the internet. Features a blocked web URL checker and censorship map.

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

Reporters without Borders internet section - news of internet related censorship and repression of journalists, bloggers and dissidents etc.

Judicial Links

British and Irish Legal Information Institute - publishes the full text of major case Judgments

Her Majesty's Courts Service - publishes forthcoming High Court etc. cases (but only in the next few days !)

House of Lords - The Law Lords are currently the supreme court in the UK - will be moved to the new Supreme Court in October 2009.

Information Tribunal - deals with appeals under FOIA, DPA both for and against the Information Commissioner

Investigatory Powers Tribunal - deals with complaints about interception and snooping under RIPA - has almost never ruled in favour of a complainant.

Parliamentary Opposition

The incompetent yet authoritarian Labour party have not apologised for their time in Government. They are still not providing any proper Opposition to the current Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government, on any freedom or civil liberties or privacy or surveillance issues.

UK Government

Home Office - "Not fit for purpose. It is inadequate in terms of its scope, it is inadequate in terms of its information technology, leadership, management systems and processes" - Home Secretary John Reid. 23rd May 2006. Not quite the fount of all evil legislation in the UK, but close.

No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

Public Bills before Parliament

United Kingdom Parliament
Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

House of Commons "Question Book"

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

FaxYourMP - identify and then fax your Member of Parliament
WriteToThem - identify and then contact your Local Councillors, members of devolved assemblies, Member of Parliament, Members of the European Parliament etc.
They Work For You - House of Commons Hansard made more accessible ? UK Members of the European Parliament

Read The Bills Act - USA proposal to force politicians to actually read the legislation that they are voting for, something which is badly needed in the UK Parliament.

Bichard Inquiry delving into criminal records and "soft intelligence" policies highlighted by the Soham murders. (taken offline by the Home Office)

ACPO - Association of Chief Police Officers - England, Wales and Northern Ireland
ACPOS Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland

Online Media

Boing Boing

Need To Know [now defunct]

The Register

NewsNow Encryption and Security aggregate news feed
KableNet - UK Government IT project news
PublicTechnology.net - UK eGovernment and public sector IT news
eGov Monitor

Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

Stand - email and fax campaign on ID Cards etc. [Now defunct]. The people who supported stand.org.uk have gone on to set up other online tools like WriteToThem.com. The Government's contemptuous dismissal of over 5,000 individual responses via the stand.org website to the Home Office public consultation on Entitlement Cards is one of the factors which later led directly to the formation of the the NO2ID Campaign who have been marshalling cross party opposition to Labour's dreadful National Identity Register compulsory centralised national biometric database and ID Card plans, at the expense of simpler, cheaper, less repressive, more effective, nore secure and more privacy friendly alternative identity schemes.

NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID bulletin board discussion forum

Home Office Identity Cards website
No compulsory national Identity Cards (ID Cards) BBC iCan campaign site
UK ID Cards blog
NO2ID press clippings blog
CASNIC - Campaign to STOP the National Identity Card.
Defy-ID active meetings and protests in Glasgow
www.idcards-uk.info - New Alliance's ID Cards page
irefuse.org - total rejection of any UK ID Card

International Civil Aviation Organisation - Machine Readable Travel Documents standards for Biometric Passports etc.
Anti National ID Japan - controversial and insecure Jukinet National ID registry in Japan
UK Biometrics Working Group run by CESG/GCHQ experts etc. the UK Government on Biometrics issues feasability
Citizen Information Project feasability study population register plans by the Treasury and Office of National Statistics

CommentOnThis.com - comments and links to each paragraph of the Home Office's "Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme".

De-Materialised ID - "The voluntary alternative to material ID cards, A Proposal by David Moss of Business Consultancy Services Ltd (BCSL)" - well researched analysis of the current Home Office scheme, and a potentially viable alternative.

Surveillance Infrastructures

National Roads Telecommunications Services project - infrastruture for various mass surveillance systems, CCTV, ANPR, PMMR imaging etc.

CameraWatch - independent UK CCTV industry lobby group - like us, they also want more regulation of CCTV surveillance systems.

Every Step You Take a documentary about CCTV surveillance in the Uk by Austrian film maker Nino Leitner.

Transport for London an attempt at a technological panopticon - London Congestion Charge, London Low-Emission Zone, Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, tens of thousands of CCTV cameras on buses, thousands of CCTV cameras on London Underground, realtime road traffic CCTV, Iyster smart cards - all handed over to the Metropolitan Police for "national security" purposes, in real time, in bulk, without any public accountibility, for secret data mining, exempt from even the usual weak protections of the Data Protection Act 1998.

RFID Links

RFID tag privacy concerns - our own original article updated with photos

NoTags - campaign against individual item RFID tags
Position Statement on the Use of RFID on Consumer Products has been endorsed by a large number of privacy and human rights organisations.
RFID Privacy Happenings at MIT
Surpriv: RFID Surveillance and Privacy
RFID Scanner blog
RFID Gazette
The Sorting Door Project

RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

Genetic Links

DNA Profiles - analysis by Paul Nutteing
GeneWatch UK monitors genetic privacy and other issues
Postnote February 2006 Number 258 - National DNA Database (.pdf) - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

The National DNA Database Annual Report 2004/5 (.pdf) - published by the NDNAD Board and ACPO.

Eeclaim Your DNA from Britain's National DNA Database - model letters and advice on how to have your DNA samples and profiles removed from the National DNA Database,in spite of all of the nureacratic obstacles which try to prevent this, even if you are innocent.

Miscellanous Links

Michael Field - Pacific Island news - no longer a paradise
freetotravel.org - John Gilmore versus USA internal flight passports and passenger profiling etc.

The BUPA Seven - whistleblowers badly let down by the system.

Tax Credit Overpayment - the near suicidal despair inflicted on poor, vulnerable people by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown's disasterous Inland Revenue IT system.

Fassit UK - resources and help for those abused by the Social Services Childrens Care bureaucracy

Former Spies

MI6 v Tomlinson - Richard Tomlinson - still being harassed by his former employer MI6

Martin Ingram, Welcome To The Dark Side - former British Army Intelligence operative in Northern Ireland.

Operation Billiards - Mitrokhin or Oshchenko ? Michael John Smith - seeking to overturn his Official Secrets Act conviction in the GEC case.

The Dirty Secrets of MI5 & MI6 - Tony Holland, Michael John Smith and John Symond - stories and chronologies.

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Blog Links

e-nsecure.net blog - Comments on IT security and Privacy or the lack thereof.
Rat's Blog -The Reverend Rat writes about London street life and technology
Duncan Drury - wired adventures in Tanzania & London
Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher

David Mery - falsely arrested on the London Tube - you could be next.

James Hammerton
White Rose - a thorn in the side of Big Brother
Big Blunkett
Into The Machine - formerly "David Blunkett is an Arse" by Charlie Williams and Scribe
infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
Louise Ferguson - City of Bits
Chris Lightfoot
Oblomovka - Danny O'Brien

Liberty Central

dropsafe - Alec Muffett
The Identity Corner - Stefan Brands
Kim Cameron - Microsoft's Identity Architect
Schneier on Security - Bruce Schneier
Politics of Privacy Blog - Andreas Busch
solarider blog

Richard Allan - former Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam
Boris Johnson Conservative MP for Henley
Craig Murray - former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, "outsourced torture" whistleblower

Howard Rheingold - SmartMobs
Global Guerrillas - John Robb
Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

Nick Leaton - Random Ramblings
The Periscope - Companion weblog to Euro-correspondent.com journalist network.
The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
Policeman's Blog
World Weary Detective

Martin Stabe
Longrider
B2fxxx - Ray Corrigan
Matt Sellers
Grits for Breakfast - Scott Henson in Texas
The Green Ribbon - Tom Griffin
Guido Fawkes blog - Parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy.
The Last Ditch - Tom Paine
Murky.org
The (e)State of Tim - Tim Hicks
Ilkley Against CCTV
Tim Worstall
Bill's Comment Page - Bill Cameron
The Society of Qualified Archivists
The Streeb-Greebling Diaries - Bob Mottram

Your Right To Know - Heather Brooke - Freedom off Information campaigning journalist

Ministry of Truth _ Unity's V for Vendetta styled blog.

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

W. David Stephenson blogs on homeland security et al.
EUrophobia - Nosemonkey

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

War-on-Freedom

The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

Database Masterclass - frequently asked questions and answers about the several centralised national databases of children in the UK.

Shaphan

Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

Brit Watch - Public Surveillance in the UK - Web - Email - Databases - CCTV - Telephony - RFID - Banking - DNA

BLOGDIAL

MySecured.com - smart mobile phone forensics, information security, computer security and digital forensics by a couple of Australian researchers

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

UK Liberty - A blog on issues relating to liberty in the UK

Big Brother State - "a small act of resistance" to the "sustained and systematic attack on our personal freedom, privacy and legal system"

HosReport - "Crisis. Conspiraciones. Enigmas. Conflictos. Espionaje." - Carlos Eduardo Hos (in Spanish)

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

Corruption-free Anguilla - Good Governance and Corruption in Public Office Issues in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the West Indies - Don Mitchell CBE QC

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

PJC Journal - I am not a number, I am a free Man - The Prisoner

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

The Caucus House - blog of the Chicago International Model United Nations

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

The 4th Bomb: Tavistock Sq Daniel's 7:7 Revelations - Daniel Obachike

OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

Justin Wylie's political blog

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

Georgetown Security Law Brief - group blog by the Georgetown Law Center on National Security and the Law , at Georgtown University, Washington D.C, USA.

Big Brother Watch - well connected with the mainstream media, this is a campaign blog by the TaxPayersAlliance, which thankfully does not seem to have spawned Yet Another Campaign Organisation as many Civil Liberties groups had feared.

Spy on Moseley - "Sparkbrook, Springfield, Washwood Heath and Bordesley Green. An MI5 Intelligence-gathering operation to spy on Muslim communities in Birmingham is taking liberties in every sense" - about 150 ANPR CCTV cameras funded by Home Office via the secretive Terrorism and Allied Matters (TAM) section of ACPO.

FitWatch blog - keeps an eye on the activities of some of the controversial Police Forward Intelligence Teams, who supposedly only target "known troublemakers" for photo and video surveillance, at otherwise legal, peaceful protests and demonstrations.

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
Mayor of London Blog
London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

Cool Britannia

NuLabour

Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at http://nuclear-weapons.info

Syndicate this site (XML):

Follow Spy Blog on Twitter

For those of you who find it convenient, there is now a Twitter feed to alert you to new Spy Blog postings.

https://twitter.com/SpyBlog

Please bear in mind the many recent, serious security vulnerabilities which have compromised the Twitter infrastructure and many user accounts, and Twitter's inevitable plans to make money out of you somehow, probably by selling your Communications Traffic Data to commercial and government interests.

https://twitter.com/SpyBlog (same window)

Recent Comments

  • N.N.: It seems than in this case criminals called police made read more
  • wtwu: @ flopsy - Creating a sort of SLA would be read more
  • flopsy: Creating a sort of SLA would be difficult in practice, read more
  • wtwu: @ Flopsy Speaking for our department, if there's a business read more
  • Flopsy: @wtwu: Unless you have personal inside knowledge of this particular read more
  • wtwu: @ flopsy - What's the problem? The police had reasonable read more
  • anon: tien, you are just feeling the squeeze that many of read more
  • flopsy: What's the problem? The police had reasonable intelligence to get read more
  • jk: You're lucky this occurred in the UK where even though read more
  • sam: You do realise that paedophilia is not a crime, correct? read more

Categories

Monthly Archives

October 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

UK Legislation

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

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

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

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

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

UK Intelligence Agencies

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

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

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

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

gchq_logo.gif
Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

logo-nca.gif
National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

da_notice_system_150.gif
Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

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

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

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

Campaign Button Links

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

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

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

FreeFarid_150.jpg
FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

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

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

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

Open_Rights_Group.png
Open Rights Group

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

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

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

irrepressible_banner_03.gif
Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

anoniblog_150.png
BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

ngoiab_150.png
NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

homeofficewatch_150.jpg
Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

rsf_logo_150.gif
Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

committee_to_protect_bloggers_150.gif
Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders_are_NOT_Terrorists_logo_150.jpg
Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

nocctv.gif
No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

phnat-logo-black-on-white_150.jpg

I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

power2010_132.png

Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

Cracking_the_Black_Box_black_150.jpg

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

surveillance_72.jpg

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

wblogocrop_150.jpg

WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers