The secretive Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has published its
SOCA Annual Report 2008/09 (.pdf) (72 pages)
The Times recently published a comment, with which we agree:
The budget for Soca is about £400 million, compared with the £2.5 billion a year designated for counter-terrorism, leading to criticism that the Government has never taken organised crime seriously.
SOCA has its own telephone interception capabilities, which it uses on behalf of other Police forces, and it is heavily involved in the Home Office's mass snooping plans like te Interception Modernisation Programme:
Maintenance of an effective interception and call data capability, managing the challenges of interception modernisation effectively.
Telephone intercept intelligence and communications data played a role in all significant SOCA operations, and in many where SOCA provided support to other agencies' criminal justice casework. This was notably the case with police forces throughout England and Wales, for whom SOCA continued to provide telephone interception services. Many of those forces had seconded police officers to SOCA to carry out this work, under SOCA supervision. The roll-out of new systems and improved coordination of the use of SOCA's range of covert collection capabilities meant that these resources were better focused and more efficiently deployed. With regard to maintaining capability into the future in the face of fundamental technological changes, SOCA continued to be a key contributor to the Home Offce-led Interception Modernisation Programme
The most interesting section of the Report, which hints at crime problems which neither SOCA nor the Police nor any other UK Government department, are providing the general public with timely, detailed crime prevention advice on, is Appendix III: SOCA Reports and Assessments 2008/09
Production of a steady flow of well-informed Assessments and other reporting that identifies for government and others where changes in policy, legislation or practice would reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime.
In addition to the annual UK Threat Assessment, in 2008/09 SOCA produced 182 assessments and reports for law enforcement, government and others, a 44% increase on the previous year. Those issued are listed an [sic] Appendix III to this Report. These were designed to inform policy makers and provide support for operational activity where timeliness and relevance were critical.It was therefore pleasing that readers expressed themselves content with their usefulness and timeliness.
The list of 182 titles of documents, stretches over 8 pages, with 19 of those listed as Title Confidential
In order to provide something for web search engines which do not index (.pdf) files, here is a web page version of this list of titles, in a new window.
However the majority of these titles are not censored , and might be of interest to Spy Bog readers, for crime prevention and deterrence, academic and journalistic purposes, and to see if SOCA is actually being advised properly about the realistic capabilities of, say telecommunications technology etc..
A selection of potentially interesting titles:
- Technology Enabled Crime: The Use of Information and Communications Technology by Serious Organised Criminals March 2009
- Fiscal Fraud: Accommodation Addresses as a Fraud Enabler March 2009
- Technology-Enabled Crime Recent Developments in the Governance of Internet Domain Names and the Potential Impact on Criminal Use of the Internet March 2009
- Money Laundering: The Creation of Complex Financial Structures by Specialist Money Launderers March 2009
- Criminal Finance and Profits: Service-based Money Laundering through Music Tours and Nightclub Events February 2009
- Internet Crime: Activities of a Russian-language Online Criminal Forum February 2009
- Suspected Criminal Use of Pre-Paid Cards reported in SARs in 2008 February 2009
- Criminal Use of Electronic Currency Systems and Stored Value Cards January 2009
- Class A Drugs : Command-and-Control Communications Structure Identified January 2009
- Suspicious Activity Reports Data Matching January 2009
- Proceeds of Crime: Analysis of Suspicious Activity Reporting from UK-Registered Online Betting Exchanges January 2009
- Internet Crime: Activities and Identity of Internet Criminal November 2008
- Prisons: A Method of Smuggling Contraband into HM Prisons, including Class A Drugs November 2008
- Cross-Cutting Threats: The Abuse of the Pseudo Trader Unique Reference Number (TURN) System by Serious Organised Criminals November 2008
- UK Borders: Use of Corrupt Airport Workers by Serious Organised Criminals November 2008
- The Threat to SOCA from Private Investigators and Others Seeking Unauthorised Access to Information October 2008
Do SOCA interpret every legitimate request for information as a "threat" ?
- UK Borders: The Dutch Law Enforcement View of the Risk from General Aviation October 2008
- Commercial Burglary: The Theft of High Value Communications Hardware ("Blades") October 2008
- Criminal Finances and Profits: Use of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Within Bookmakers to Launder Criminal Finances and Profits October 2008
- Identity Fraud: The Use of Identity Fraud as an Enabler in Serious Organised Crime September 2008
- Internet Crime: Implications of New Restrictions Imposed by Canadian Internet Registration Authority for Law Enforcement Requests for Information September 2008
- Criminal Techniques: The Changing or Cloning of IMEI Numbers in Mobile Telephones by Criminals August 2008
- Criminal Techniques: The Use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) by Serious Organised Criminals August 2008
- Internet Crime: How the Russian Business Network (RBN) has attempted to Evade Law Enforcement and Industry Countermeasures May 2008
- UK Borders: The Use of the UK-Ireland Border by Serious Organised Criminals April 2008
- Organised Immigration Crime: Serious Organised Criminals' Attempts to Ingratiate Themselves with UK Authorities April 2008
- Class A Drugs : Analysis of UK Mobile Telephone Number Featuring in Multiple Heroin Trafficking Operations April 2008
- UK Borders: How Serious Organised Criminals Exploit Vulnerabilities in the UK's Border Controls April 2008
Unfortunately, for now at least, SOCA is exempt from the list of Public Authorities which have to comply with Freedom of Information Act Requests.
Some of these titles would appear to be useful to the supposedly informed public debate about Communications Traffic Data, Intercept as Evidence, and RIPA reform public consultations and Government policies.
Will any Parliamentary Committees or individual Members of Parliament probe SOCA about what these publications and assessments actually mean in detail ?