Indy Letters page - Glen Watson confirms lack of Census 2011 confidentiality legal powers

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Census_Bus_NO2ID_450.jpg


The Independent newspaper is owned by by Alexander Lebedev a former KGB spy who was for a time on active service working at the Soviet Embassy in London. Somehow he does not attract as much "foreign controlled media" hysteria as his commercial rival the the Australian born US citizen Rupert Murdoch.

The Independent have published this misleading Letter from Glen Watson, the Census Director of the 2011 Census for England and Wales:

Letters: Perspectives on Israel and its place history

Friday, 25 February 2011

[...]

UK census data is protected

I must set the record straight on three points about the safety of the census information (letter, 23 February).

First, it is not true that EU legislation allows for census information to be shared with EU member states. No personal census information has been or will be provided to EU member states or EU institutions; only statistical tables and counts will be provided.

Weasel words.

Nobody is talking about the anonymised statistical tables and counts, provided that they are really anonymised and cannot be used to identify small groups or individuals when cross referenced with other public or private data sets.

Nobody is claiming that there are direct requests or demands for access to our Personal Data at the level of European Union Governments - this is all done via agencies much lower down the bureaucratic food chain:

We want to see proof that the Office of National Statistics and the Statistics Board have always refused (since 2007) and will continue to refuse (for the next 100 years) any Demands or Orders for our Personal Information from Police Forces or Intelligence Agencies etc. e.g. from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), which, having absorbed the former National Criminal Intelligence Service, acts as the clearing house for Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty requests from foreign police forces from all over the world.

SOCA certainly does supply European Union institutions with information on British citizens and residents e.g. to Europol the European Union Criminal Intelligence , FRONTEX the external border guard agency, SitCen the terrorism and security intelligence clearing house, OLAF the EU fraud investigators and the massive European Union wide Schengen Information System

Second, it is not true that raw census data may be acquired by the police, intelligence agencies, immigration authorities etc under the Statistics and Registration Services Act.

More weasel words. Nobody has ever claimed that the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 actually introduces new legal powers "the police, intelligence agencies, immigration authorities etc " to "acquire" our Sensitive Personal Data - they have hundreds of Acts of Parliament and thousands Statutory Instrument regulations which already give them such legal powers.

Until 2007 individual officers and bureaucrats were discouraged from doing so by, the threat of being personally liable for a criminal penalty of up to 2 years in prison.

That all changed with the vast range of Exemptions which which were sneaked in to the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 section 39. Confidentiality of personal information, which does precisely the opposite of its title, it removes any legal protection from snooping on individuals or data trawling in support of mass surveillance database systems.

(4) Subsection (1) does not apply to a disclosure which--

(a) is required or permitted by any enactment,
(b) is required by a Community obligation,
(c) is necessary for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Board to exercise any of its functions,
(d) has already lawfully been made available to the public,
(e) is made in pursuance of an order of a court,
(f) is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom),
(g) is made, in the interests of national security, to an Intelligence Service,
(h) is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or
(i) is made to an approved researcher.

Instead of protecting the public, this section 39 only protects bureaucrats from prosecution for betraying our Census Data, no doubt with the best of intentions, but nevertheless still betraying it.

There is now no legal protection to prevent the Census 2011 personal data databases or microfiches from being handed over in bulk, to the Police or an Intelligence Agency etc., exactly as happened with the London Congestion Charge data:

See previous Spy Blog article:

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith cripples the Data Protection Act regarding the London Congestion Charge ANPR Mass Surveillance scheme


The UK Statistics Authority and the Office for National Statistics will never volunteer personal information for any non-statistical purpose.

Very commendable, but insufficient for us to trust them with our data. They can be legally compelled to do so.

If disclosure is sought, we will always refuse to allow it, and will contest the case to the maximum extent possible under the law, using each stage of appeal in the courts if necessary, to ensure statistical confidentiality.

More weasel words and a waste of public money on lawyers and courts.

Labour's repressive and over-complicated terrorism, police and financial laws etc. have been deliberately worded to abuse words like "all" or "any", without restrictions in scope, which leave Appeal Court Judges no leeway whatsoever to apply proper proportionality and common sense to find in favour of anyone challenging them.

If the Office of National Statistics and the Statistics Board still had the legal powers of the old Census Act 1920, then they would simply be threatening to criminally prosecute the "police, intelligence agencies, immigration authorities etc" if they attempt to gain access to our Sensitive Personal Data collated by the Census. The fact that they are only vaguely promising to "contest the case to the maximum extent possible under the law, using each stage of appeal in the courts if necessary," is an admission that their former legal powers to preserve confidentiality have been crippled.

Third, it is not true that the US Patriot Act could give the US government access to personal census data. Under the contractual and operational arrangements, no employees of Lockheed Martin UK or of its US parent or of any other US company will be able to access personal census data. All of the data processing is done in the UK and all of the data will remain in the UK.

Glen Watson, Census Director, 2011 Census, Titchfield, Hampshire

Even more weasel words.

There are some groups of people organising protests against this Census simply because of the involvement of Lockheed Martin, a massive US military defense contractor which also happens to own subsidiaries which do non-military work for governments around the world as well.

The US Government could easily pressure Lockheed Martin to allow, for example, undercover CIA agents or foreign born intelligence assets, to be recruited into the core UK Census staff, because, as prime contractors, they will have full access to the CV's of all of the key technical and managerial people working on the project, regardless of the fact that they will be employed by nominally UK based companies.

As this job advert for a Census 2011 Infrastructure Support Analyst
clearly shows, Lockheed Martin will retain the technical ability to introduce spyware or to gain total access to the personal Census Data, if they wanted to.

Assist with the installation and testing of system and application patches as directed by client's technical Rapid Response Team, RRT, based in the USA.

The actual Census Data Capture Centre, with 1300 temporary employees, is housed in an 800,000 square foot warehouse located on the corner of Marshall Stevens Way and Westinghouse Road, Trafford Park, Manchester M17 1QP

http://www.secret-bases.co.uk/secret.htm#census2011

Lockheed Martin do not run this directly themselves, it is run by a nominally British company called

UK Data Capture Ltd
4th Floor
Cottons Centre
Cottons Lane
London
SE1 2QG
United Kingdom

Is it just a coincidence that much of the rest of the 4th Floor of the Cottons Centre, on the south bank of the River Thames, between London Bridge and HMS Belfast, is taken up by Control Risks, a Security / Risk company which employs many UK ex-military and intelligence services personnel ?

Will these spooks / ex-spooks have physical and electronic access to UK Data Capture Ltd. offices and electronic communications ? Or will these also be swept up as "interesting" collateral information by the commercial rivals and foreign government agencies who are spying on Control Risks activities ?

According to the Mail on Sunday, UK Data Capture Ltd is

Personal details in UK census to be processed by U.S. form which stole Obama's student loan records

[...]

UK Data Capture was formed by Vangent and Edexcel in 2007 specifically for the UK census, which will take place on March 27.

Its financial structure means that data handled by staff is not subject to the US Patriot Act.

Under the Act, introduced a month after 9/11, the US security services are able to demand data under the control of American companies or even simply accessible to them, if they believe it could help fight terrorism. Accordingly, Vangent Ltd - a wholly-owned subsidiary of its US parent company of the same name - has a 49 per cent shareholding in UK Data Capture, while Edexcel has a 50 per cent holding.

The remaining one per cent is held by a business consultant. The company is sub-contracted by Lockheed Martin UK, a subsidiary of another American firm, which is in charge of managing the census.

[...]

The [ONS] spokesman added: 'UK Data Capture is a UK-controlled and registered company. Vangent is a minority shareholder and therefore UK Data Capture is clearly not a subsidiary of a US company.

This arrangement was put in place to ensure that the Patriot Act cannot apply.

Guess where Vangent has its offices ?

It is also on the 4th Floor of the Cottons Centre !

This does appear to be a deliberate attempt to pretend that the US PATRIOT Act does not apply, whilst glossing over the vast range of UK "national security" legislation which now can be used to force the ONS to share our Sensitive Personal Data with organisations who were previously forbidden from getting access to it.

However, regardless of any "Spooks" scenarios, the real risk of the vast US Government bureaucracy getting its paws on our Personal Census Data is via its daily contacts with UK police forces, intelligence agencies and Central Government Departments.

(e) is made in pursuance of an order of a court,
(f) is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom),
(g) is made, in the interests of national security, to an Intelligence Service,



Glen Watson is, according to his official Office of National Statistics website biography

[...]

As Senior Responsible Owner for the Census he is responsible for all aspects of the design, planning and delivery of the largest project undertaken anywhere in the UK statistical system.

[...]

Glen started his career in the insurance industry before joining the civil service and spending over 10 years in the Defence Analytical Services Agency in a variety of roles including military workforce planning, economic analysis, procurement and logistics support, health statistics and corporate information systems.

He is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a chartered statistician, with particular interests in project/programme management and statistical delivery.


1 Comments

On Sunday, Census Bus staff called a Leeds Council "Enforcement Officer" to try to get the NO2ID activists (illegally) "moved on" from their legitimate protest next to the Purple Census Bus.

Threats were made to "call the Police", who, very wisely, never turned up.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zbey556aSBM
[Sunday 27th February 2011, Briggate, Leeds]

A vital tool for peaceful demonstrators in the UK these days, is a video capable mobile phone or digital camera.

When it comes to Sousveillance, the jobsworth petty bureaucrats "don't like it up 'em".

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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.

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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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National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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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