December 2009 Archives

The "security theater" of pretending that We Must Be Seen To Be Doing Something seems to have afflicted the Netherlands government, which is obviously embarrassed by the recent security failure at Schipol airport.

The Daily Telegraph appears to be hyping up "see through your clothes" / perv scans, as if they were some sort of magical solution to the perceived problem, even though there is no guarantee that the presence of such equipment would actually have prevented the attempted attack.

Detroit terror attack: hesitation over x-ray scanners risking lives

Ministers have been accused of putting lives at risk by failing to order X-ray style body scanners at British airports despite fears that al-Qaeda is planning a wave of syringe bomb attacks on planes.

By Gordon Rayner and David Millward
Published: 10:00PM GMT 30 Dec 2009

The scanners, which could have thwarted the attack by the Detroit bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, are already in use in countries including America and Germany, and yesterday the Netherlands and Nigeria announced they would follow suit.

But the Government said it had "no immediate plans" to deploy them, leading to accusations that ministers had been "caught napping".

Note the weasel words "leading to accusations that..." - accusations by which authoritative source, exactly ? Only this Daily Telegraph article and / or briefings by people who stand to make a lot of money out of the debacle.

The Daily Telegraph has learned that four of the £100,000 full body scanners are in storage at Heathrow Airport, following a previous trial, but airport staff are not authorised to use them.

Good !

That is because they do not work anywhere nearly fast enough - it takes over 10 seconds per person, per scan, to be used at airports without creating massive, vulnerable, queues or crowds of passengers

The United Kingdom's stupidly inflexible and catch-all without exceptions laws on Child Pornography also apply to such imaging scanners, when they are used on your children - defined as anyone under Eighteen years of age.

It emerged yesterday that a Somali man was arrested in Mogadishu last month as he tried to board an aircraft bound for Dubai carrying powdered chemicals and a syringe, in what appears to be an almost identical method to the one used by Abdulmutallab.

[...]


The Dutch government announced yesterday that full body scanners, which are already being trialled there with EU approval, will be introduced on US-bound flights within three weeks at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, where Abdulmutallab caught his connecting flight to Detroit on Christmas Day.

Even Nigeria, where Abdulmutallab began his journey, is to introduce them within weeks.

The company which makes the scanners told The Daily Telegraph that it could have 50 scanners installed at UK airports within three months.

The mainstream media really should examine the claims of companies with a large financial interest in selling such expensive and imperfect equipment to Governments and transport monopolies, at the taxpayer and general public's expense, with more than a pinch of salt.

Remember that US companies such as Rapiscan Systems which make Back Scatter X-Ray imagers, or US subsidiaries of UK companies like Qinetiq plc or the Smiths Detection division of Smiths Industries plc, which make Passive Milimetre Wave imagers etc., are immune from criminal or civil prosecution in the USA, if they are registered with the Department of Homeland Security, and their "security products" or "qualified anti-terrorism technologies" fail to detect a bomb, or if their devices actually harm the health of passengers or security staff, under the "Subtitle G" part of the misleadingly, Orwellian newspeak named "PATRIOT Act law, called the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002 (SAFETY Act)

Within Whitehall, officials believe that the Nigerian and Dutch authorities have announced the use of scanners in an attempt to mask security failings which enabled the syringe-bomber to board two aircraft without the device being detected.

Since even these imaging scanners are only a sop to the US media and authorities, and will not be used on every flight or on every passenger on a selected flight, this is more, expensive "security theatre".

Guns and explosives and illegal drugs are far more easily available in the USA, than anywhere in the European Union, so what measures are in place to protect the United Kingdom from United States originated flights ?

At the very least , the security measures should be reciprocal and identical at both ends of the transatlantic route.

The Times has more details on this November 13th incident.

Passengers to be scanned after details emerge about Somali bomb plot

The Times
December 31, 2009

Sean O'Neill, Rory Watson, Michael Evans, Philip Pank


A man was arrested last month when he attempted to board an aircraft in Somalia carrying powdered chemicals, liquid and a syringe, in a potential forerunner of the Christmas Day bomb plot.

Somali police said yesterday that they were still holding the man who was arrested by African Union troops at Mogadishu airport on November 13. He was trying to board a Daallo Airlines flight that was bound for the northern Somali city of Hargeisa, then Djibouti before landing in Dubai, which is a hub for international travel.

He tried to bribe his way on to the aircraft after being stopped.

Abdulahi Hassan Barise, a police spokesman in Mogadishu, said: "We don't know whether he's linked with al-Qaeda or other foreign organisations but his actions were the acts of a terrorist. We caught him red-handed."

If even Mogadishu airport security can catch someone "red handed" like this, obviously without access to any expensive "see through your clothes" image scanners, then what additional safety margin does such an imaging scanner actually provide, at vast expense and unnecessary privacy intrusion ? None.

The technology actually exists to exploit the "see through your clothes" parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but without the "child porn" / adult privacy intrusion aspects of image scanners e.g. the QInetiq SPO-7 Standoff Passive Object Detector.

Qinetiq_SPO-7_Standoff_Passive_Object_Detector_1_low.jpg

For some peculiar or devious reason, the unpopular and inept Labour government is, yet again extending its hugely wasteful, "voluntary" ID Cards / National Identity Register centralised biometric database scheme to the North West of England, but also encroaching on parts of Wales and Scotland

Were the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government consulted on this decision by the politicians and civil servants in Westminster ?

Presumably the "success criterion", which they have used to give the go ahead for this next phase of the rollout of the scheme, is simply the fact that the citizens of Manchester have not actually bothered to rise up and burn down the local Identity and Passport Service offices.

They have, instead,by all accounts simply not been interested in submitting to this "voluntary" scheme, and the Government has resorted to unsubstantiated propaganda statements about how "useful" these ID cards are meant to be, without daring to provide any quantitative evidence of their "success".

Even if the Manchester area ID Cards rollout had somehow been a huge success, it would still be too early to properly evaluate this as a pilot scheme after it had been running for only15 days from the 30th of November 2009.

However, on 15th December 2009, Meg "I've left my ID Card at home" Hillier, the hapless junior Home Office Minister, who has been lumbered with the task of pretending to believe in the the scheme, has signed another Order, which extends the Post Code Lottery to inflict the "voluntary" National Identity Scheme on the rest of the people in North West England from the 4th January 2010.

Statutory Instruments

2009 No. 3323 (C. 150)

Identity Cards

The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Commencement No. 6) Order 2009

[..]

Commencement

2.--(1) Section 2(1) and (2), and section 5(1)(b), of the Identity Cards Act 2006 shall come into force on 4th January 2010 in relation to any person to whom paragraph (2) applies, except to the extent that those provisions are already in force in respect of such persons.


What is the rate determining steps, or the critical resources which are behind this staggered rollout of the "voluntary" National Identity Scheme ?

It cannot be Training of Travel Company Staff to recognise and accept what the new ID Cards look like, simply on the printed "look and feel".

Without looking it up online, can you tell at a glance, which of the 3 colour schemes (
turquoise and green, blue and pink, lilac and salmon) has been arbitrarily chosen for the 3 types of ID Card, (identity card for British citizens, identification card for EU or EEA citizens living in the UK, Identity card for foreign nationals) and whether or not they are valid for foreign travel ?

There is still no online Verification Service in operation for private sector companies to be able to actually check the biometrics or to check that the information on the contactless / RFID chip has not been tampered with or forged.

There are no Biometric Readers linked to the National identity Scheme anywhere except in the Home Office's IT sub-contractor's testing laboratories and, presumably, in the couple of ID card applicant interrogation centres.

The new ID Card Post Code Lottery will now cover these areas:

The Labour government surveillance state has announced Yet Another Powerless Regulator, so that they can Pretend To Be Seen To Be Doing Something.

This time, the announced role of "Interim CCTV Regulator" is a part time one, given , without any public competition or scrutiny, to Andrew Rennison who should really be busy full time in regulating the Forensic Science Service and the various centralised biometric databases and evidence collection and analysis procedures e,.g. the National DNA Database and the IDENT1 criminal fingerprint database etc.

HC Deb, 15 December 2009, c113WS

Interim CCTV Regulator

Home Department
Written answers and statements, 15 December 2009

David Hanson (Minister of State (Crime and Policing), Home Office; Delyn, Labour)

I am today announcing the arrangements we are putting in place to take forward implementation of the national CCTV strategy and to approve an interim CCTV regulator with immediate effect.

CCTV enjoys a high level of public confidence in tackling crime.

Note the weasel words "tackling crime" - that does not mean successfully preventing or deterring crime.

Home Office research published in 2005 showed that over 80 per cent. of respondents supported the use of CCTV to deal with crime in their neighbourhood. A similar high level of confidence is reflected in the Ipsos MORI poll conducted last year and which we will be publishing shortly. CCTV played a key role in a number of investigations including the London terrorist outrages in July 2005

CCTV was a spectacular failure in preventing the terrorist suicide bomb murders and attempted murders in July 2005.

Reliance on poor quality CCTV images contributed to the mis-identification and shooting to death by the Police, of the innocent Jean Charles de Menezes. The failures of CCTV on the heavily surveilled London Transport Buses and Tube stations and Tube trains, gave the impression of a coverup by the state

and the Steven Wright murders in Ipswich as well as offences such as burglaries, robberies, violence and antisocial behaviour across the country. The changes are aimed at ensuring that those involved across the CCTV industry, whether from the public or the private sector, can be actively involved in the development and implementation of national standards on the installation and use of CCTV. Importantly, it also aims to maximise public engagement by raising public awareness of the benefits of CCTV and accountability of owners and users of CCTV systems.

We might believe that, if some CCTV systems were actually removed after they have been proven to be ineffective in reducing or preventing crime, or which constitute a disproportionate invasion of people's privacy or security in a particular location.

It is important that we retain and build on that high level of public confidence by demonstrating the important contribution to preventing and detecting crime and antisocial behaviour which CCTV can make.

Does that mean even more expensive, stupid, counterproductive propaganda, like the controversial, and heavily satirised Metropolitan Police terrorism fear Propaganda Poster lies about bombs, reconnaissance and CCTV cameras - updated 25th March 2009 ?

We have already announced in Building Britain's Future that we will make sure that local people have a say on the use of CCTV in their area and will be publishing guidance for crime and disorder reduction partnerships next year on communicating with their community on the role of CCTV in public protection.

Building Britain's Future is the failed Labour Government propaganda campaign, paid for by the taxpayer, launched in June 2009. Can you remember a single initiative or promise it made, without following the web link ?

It is also important that we address public concern about how CCTV is used. I am, therefore, pleased to announce the appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator, Andrew Rennison, as the interim CCTV regulator with immediate effect. The interim CCTV regulator will advise the Government on matters surrounding the use of CCTV in public places, including the need for a regulatory framework overseen by a permanent CCTV regulator, which enables the police, local authorities and other agencies to help deliver safer neighbourhoods while ensuring that personal privacy considerations are appropriately taken into account with supporting safeguards and protections. The establishment of a permanent CCTV regulator would rightly be a matter for Parliament. That is why we are, at this stage, considering the regulatory arrangements function through an interim appointment and the revised governance structure for implementation of the national CCTV strategy.

The interim appointment will be for a period of up to 12 months. The appointment is an important step in implementation of the national CCTV strategy. The interim regulator will work with the national CCTV strategy board on six key areas. These are to:

  • develop national standards for the installation and use of CCTV in public space;
  • determine training requirements for users and practitioners;
  • engage with the public and private sector in determining the need for and potential content of any regulatory framework;
  • raise public awareness and understanding of how CCTV operates and how it contributes to tackling crime and increasing public protection;
  • review the existing recommendations of the national CCTV strategy and advise the strategy board on implementation, timelines and cost and development of an effective evidence base;
  • and promote public awareness of the complaints process and criteria for complaints to the relevant agencies ( for example, Information Commissioner, local authority or private organisation) or how to deal with complaints relating to technical standards.

The appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator will bring to his CCTV role the expertise, knowledge, and standing he has gained in operating a suitable framework for forensic services.

The role of the Forensic Science Regulator does not involve dealing directly with complaints from the public, or censuring and punishing failures in various government and private sector forensic science laboratories and police forces etc. either., only in setting overall standards.

He will play a leading role in identifying and helping meet the needs of both users and the public.

While the interim CCTV regulator will not have responsibility for deciding whether individual cameras are appropriately sited or how they are used, he will be able to help explain to the public how they can complain about intrusive or ineffective CCTV placement or usage.

Therefore the CCTV "Regulator" has no power or staff or budget to investigate complaints and abuses, and no veto powers, or criminal sanctions to deploy against CCTV abusers.

So this is not, in fact, an independent Regulator, it is more of a part time official Government propaganda role, to try to fob off any members of the public who might complain.

Part of the process of promoting greater accountability is engaging directly with key stakeholders. We will shortly be establishing an independent advisory group with representatives from business, CCTV operators, community and third sector groups to monitor and provide direction on implementing the national strategy. The advisory group will advise the interim CCTV regulator and the national CCTV strategy board.

According to the National CCTV Oversight Body announcement (.pdf)

The National CCTV Strategy Programme Board is made up of representatives from Association of Chief Police Officers, Home Office, the National Policing Improvement Agency, the Local Government Association, the Ministry of Justice, Information Commissioners Office, British Security Industry Association, Security Industry Authority, Department for Transport, Office of Security & Counter Terrorism, Crown Prosecution Service and the Home Office Scientific Development Branch. The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is responsible for managing the delivery of the recommendations of the National CCTV Strategy.

None of these public bodies have a good record on the privacy, security or cost effectiveness of CCTV systems, have they ?

These arrangements provide for partnership working at strategic and neighbourhood level. Through these new arrangements, we intend to ensure that CCTV continues to be an important tool available to communities to help tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.

So why have these people not been properly consulted in previous years, before the massive expansion of intrusive CCTV installations was allowed to take place ?

Note that the Interim Regulator is not even tasked with producing, let alone making public, even an Interim Report, about these alleged "consultations" about CCTV, within his 12 months in office.


The Sun tabloid newspaper claims an exclusive report:

Exclusive

Laptop is stolen at MoD HQ

By JOHN KAY

Published: 12th December 2009

A MAJOR hunt was in progress last night after a laptop crammed with secret data was stolen from inside the Ministry of Defence nerve centre.

The machine, plus an encryption key to unlock highly sensitive files, vanished from the heart of the MoD's London HQ.

It sparked fears that a "mole" is operating there.

Last night a source said: "This has the potential to become one of the most serious security breaches at the Ministry for a very long time.

If that anonymous statement is true, then given the scale and sensitivity of the IT privacy and security breaches of recent years, it must be a real disaster.

"Laptops have been mislaid before, but not with encryption keys."

Too many of the previously lost or stolen laptop computers had no encryption whatsoever.

The computer was left in the HQ by a high-ranking RAF officer.

He was removed from the maximum security building and posted to another station while the incident is investigated.

MoD cops have been drafted in to probe the loss.

A Ministry spokesperson said: "An investigation is ongoing."

The Ministry of Defence still do not appear to have implemented their own Action Plan for securing laptop computers etc.: Report into the Loss of MOD Personal Data - Sir Edmund Burton Review and MOD's action plan in response to the Burton Report.

Mass_Photo_Gathering_Trafalgar_Sq_noon_Sat_23_Jan_2010_450.jpg

The I'm a Photographer Not A Terrorist ! campaign is organising a

Mass Gathering in defence of street photography


12 Noon
Saturday 23rd January 2010
Trafalgar Square

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! invite all Photographers to a mass photo gathering in defence of street photography.

Following a series of high profile detentions under s44 of the terrorism act including 7 armed police detaining an award winning architectural photographer in the City of London, the arrest of a press photographer covering campaigning santas at City Airport and the stop and search of a BBC photographer at St Pauls Cathedral and many others. PHNAT feels now is the time for a mass turnout of Photographers, professional and amateur to defend our rights and stop the abuse of the terror laws.


The Home Office has now published

Intercept as Evidence Report Dec 10th 2009 (.pdf 331Kb)
Sir John Chilcot, was chairing the Privy Council Working Group (comprised of politician lawyers and civil servants, but no actual IT experts) on "Intercept as Evidence", before being appointed to conduct the deliberately delayed, for Labour party political reasons, inquiry into some aspects of the war on Iraq,

Yet again, the UK security and legal establishment in Whitehall, has failed to produce an acceptable or practical policy on the use of phone and internet electronic interception, to be used as evidence, by both the prosecution and the defence, in criminal trials involving terrorism or other serious crimes.

  • How can this be, when every other country in the world, with the possible exception of the Irish Republic, can mange to do this ?
  • UK Courts can and do make use of Intercept Evidence which has been produced by foreign law enforcement agencies.
  • UK Courts also seem to accept evidence gained from intrusive surveillance hidden microphones or video cameras or other "probes" , which may well pick up one side or both sides of a phone conversation.
  • Nothing in the reports produced by this Privy Council Working group provides any safeguards regarding the use of intercept evidence used against British citizens, by foreign countries, in Extradition proceedings.

The Report sets out an obviously unworkable list of 9 criteria, which seeks to preserve the status quo.

There is an extremely dubious argument on the question of transcription and translation resources. Somehow the argument has been allowed that, for some reason, all current interception investigations would have to be transcribed and translated, to proper court evidential standards i.e. with extra effort being spent to record each and every unclear recording or the translation every word of a foreign language conversation.

Remember also, that not all serious crime cases actually involve any translation of obscure foreign language dialects at all.

Surely this extra effort is only necessary, in the minority of investigations, where a criminal case is actually being prepared for trial ? Why can this not be handled by staff who are not employed in front line work for the law enforcement or intelligence services ?

The media spin about this report, that somehow it is "too expensive" to store all the possibly exculpatory intercept material i.e. long hours of boring or innocent conversations, and not just the potentially incriminating bits, is so ridiculous as to be deliberately misleading, given the low cost of terabytes of disk space these days and the billions of pounds being wasted on ID Card databases and the mandatory retention of the Communications Data of millions of innocent people etc.

Sir Ken MacDonald, the former Director of Public Prosecutions has pointed out that the intelligence agencies and the police are already under a legal duty to bring to the attention of the courts any evidence they find which tends to show an alibi or the innocence of an accused person, perhaps there are cases where they have deliberately concealed this ?

If there are cases where people have been under electronic surveillance for years on end, without saying anything incriminating, then the totality of that non-evidence >strong>should be allowed to be presented in court by defence lawyers - perhaps some of them may actually be innocent of what they are suspected of ?

The Report mentions that there should be safeguards against "fishing expeditions" by defence lawyers, something which Judges already deal with adequately in all other types of court evidence. However there is no mention of the "fishing expeditions" and "data trawling" through innocent people's data, which the intelligence agencies and police appear to be involved in, something which the untrustworthy and technologically incompetent Labour Home Secretaries or Foreign Secretaries are meant to prevent, through a test of proportionality when signing an Interception Warrant.

The Report also mentions that the mock trials and legal advice over the last year or so, to test this flawed legal model, has involved over a hundred people, and cost over £2.5 million, all for nothing.

All in all, this yet another failure by the Home Office, for which Home Secretary Alan Johnson and his predecessor Jacqui Smith are to blame politically, although, the unelected and unaccountable Admiral Lord West of Spithead, who is nominally in charge of the Home Office's Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, must also share some of the blame.


Why has the Rt. Hon. Sir Paul Kennedy, the current Interception of Communications Commissioner appointed under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, allowed himself to be embroiled in the disgraceful MPs' expenses political scandal ?

The BBC reports:

18:28 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

MPs 'can appeal against expenses repayments'

[...]

Auditor Sir Thomas Legg sent out letters to MPs with his initial recommendations that they repay money, or provide more details, in October and they have been responding to him.

Appeal court judge

His final letters to MPs will go out next week, on 7 December.

It is up to the Members Estimate Committee to decide what to do about Sir Thomas's final recommendations, expected in early 2010.

It has asked former Court of Appeal judge Sir Paul Kennedy - who was also the government's Interception of Communications Commissioner - to consider written submissions by some MPs.

It says they must show "cause why there are special reasons ... that it would not be fair and equitable to require repayment either at all, or at the level recommended".

The appeals process is expected to be completed by 15 January 2010, after which MPs will be asked to vote on the committee's recommendation that they pay back the sums requested.

Sir Paul Kennedy is a former Appeal Court Judge, but surely there are plenty other such retired Judges available ?

There has been a vast increase in state snooping on Electronic Communications (thousands of warrants a year) and on Communications Data (hundreds of thousands of requests per year), which the Interception of Communications Commissioner is supposed to oversee, so where does he find the time to spare, to devote to MPs' expense claims ?

Will this mean that the Annual Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner is even shorter, and less detailed than usual ? Will it be, as in previous years, delayed beyond the statutory maximum of one calendar year after the data to which it refers ?

What was the point of appointing Sir Thomas Legg, and then later appointing Sir Paul Kennedy someone to potentially overturn his supposedly independent decisions ? Why was this process not set out fully and transparently in the first place ?

To the furious general public, this appointment by the Members Estimate Committee, looks like an "establishment coverup", since this retired Judge has no legal powers to punish errant MPs.

We also note that there obviously is not much work being done by Sir John Chilcot's "working group" on the admissibility of intercepted communications as evidence in court (currently forbidden by RIPA), since he is now busy with the Iraq war inquiry / coverup.

How much more damage can unelected Labour politicians like Mandelson do before the forthcoming General Election ?

Quite a bit it seems, if you read the appalling Digital Economy Bill, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which Mandelson is in charge of, but which he obviously does not even pretend to devote his attention to full time.

The Digital Economy Bill manages to ignore most of the recommendations for faster, better broadband infrastructure in the Government's own Digital Britain: The Final Report - 16 June 2009 produced by Lord Carter.

It is being heavily and criticised by digital rights and liberties campaign groups like the Open Rights Group and by law professors like Liilian Edwards on her panGloss blog etc. for the horrendous threat to grab unlimited "Henry VIII" powers to amend existing Copyright legislation simply by Order, without any public consultation or parliamentary scrutiny.

The stupid and counterproductive plan to disconnect internet users simply based on hearsay of unreliable, often shared public IP addresses, by greedy and inept foreign and UK corporations and their all too willing shyster lawyers, will lead to lots of innocent people being affected, without any effect on serious organised criminals. These vested commercial interests are attempting, yet again, to get pliant Labour politicians to circumvent normal civil court cases requiring proper standards of evidence, and an independent judgement of proportionality, in favour of some inherently unfair, nebulous regulation based, probably "lawyer- bot" automated legal threat system.

As with most Labour Government Bills, even after you have found two or three controversial sections, around which most media and Parliamentary opposition will focus, there are usually further inept or deliberately evil sections which have been sneaked in

However, one section of this wretched Bill which has not had much publicity, yet, is the section which attempts to throttle the Internet Domain Name Registration system with the cold dead hand of Government bureaucracy.

The Digital Economy Bill 2009 Clauses 18 to 20 will damage or destroy the UK domain name registration system, and perhaps that of some other countries as well:

Powers in relation to internet domain registries

18 Powers in relation to internet domain registries

19 Appointment of manager of internet domain registry

20 Application to court to alter constitution of internet domain registry

Some possible areas of UK Government regulation for the .UK domain name space

Some legal powers which might make sense, if the Government is really trying to protect the UK's critical national internet infrastructure, something which comes under the mantra of "the economic well being of the United Kingdom", which is one of the vague legal definitions of "national security".

  1. Where are the UK Government standards for Domain Name System security against hacking and denial of service attacks ?

  2. Where is the mandatory requirement for Disaster Recovery plans and procedures and backup data centre for UK based domain name registrars ?

  3. Why is there no provision for regular security audits by GCHQ / CESG accredited information security assurance experts, of the core Domain Name Server systems and also of the associated online credit card payment , and name and address data processing systems ?

  4. This Digital Economy Bill misses the opportunity of enhancing public confidence in the UK internet domain name space, by legally guaranteeing the chain of trust inherent in the Domain Name System, and especially in the move towards cryptographically digitally signed DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) technology, which is currently rolling out around the world's top level internet domain name registries.

  5. Why can't this Bill mandate the auditing of DNSSEC security and the digital counter-signature of the top level server Digital Signing Certificates, by an independent non-commercial UK Government public bodythe Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport itself, or even by GCHQ / CESG or even OFCOM ?

  6. Where is the legal protection against United Kingdom or foreign attempts by shyster lawyers to censor or deny service to UK based businesses or individuals, by attempting to seize or shut down a web site etc. not by serving a legal notice on the publishers or the actual operators of the web server, but on the Domain Name Registrar of its internet Domain Name e.g. like the unsuccessful attempt in the USA, to disproportionately censor the whole of the wikileaks.org website, because of a few documents, out of several million, on web servers in Sweden, alleging illegal tax evasion schemes operated by the Swiss Bank Julius Baer . This Digital Economy Bill should be providing legal protection from such disproportionate, malicious attack, which can involve disputes between two entirely foreign based parties.

  7. The BIll should should also provide legal protection for the current Nominet .UK domain name WHOIS opt out policy. Nobody should be coerced or forced into revealing the name and postal address or email details or financial payment details, of a private individual or non-trading organisation who have simply registered a domain name, without the registrant's informed prior consent, or without a Court Order.

  8. When a Domain Name Registrar is bought, sold or goes bankrupt etc., there must be enforceable legal protections on the privacy of this customer registration data - the Data Protection Act 1998 and the under resourced Information Commissioner's Office has been so weakened by later legislation (from a weak starting point), that it offers no real protection or assurance to the public.

This Digital Economy Bill does none of these things at all !

Instead,it attempts to regulate not just the .UK domain name space, but all other registries based in the United Kingdom.

There are no actual detailed Regulations published in this Bill.

Past experience teaches us that we cannot trust this Government to produce simple, practical or reasonable regulations on anything to do with computer or telecommunications or internet technology.

The Digital Economy Bill also forces Domain Registries to pay for the remuneration of appointed Government appointed "managers",and to bear the legal costs of any Court actions by the Government against them, regardless of whether they are found innocent of any wrongdoing or not, after false, malicious or petty accusations of wrongdoing.

If this Bill passes, then there is no technical reason why the UK Domain Name Registration industry will not simply pack up and move abroad, out of the clutches of Mandelson and his cronies, or else be destroyed by competition from foreign domain name registries - precisely the opposite of what the Digital Economy Bill should be trying to achieve.

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.

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

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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