December 2012 Archives

This wannabe spy case highlights the incompetent use of a mobile phone and a lack of basic security by the Royal Navy.

The Metropolitan Police were involved in the actual arrest since MI5 the Security Service does not have the power of arrest and they have released some details about the case:

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Petty Officer jailed for selling secrets

12 December 2012

A Petty Officer was jailed for eight years today (12 December) at the Old Bailey for planning to hand over top secret information to the Russians because the Royal Navy had passed him over for promotion.

"A Petty Officer" This Metropolitan Police Service press release is in contrast to those involving Police Officers, who are always described as former Police Officers by the time they are convicted of a crime.

Edward Devenney, aged 30, wanted to 'hurt' the navy and spent three months cultivating a relationship with men he believed to be Russian agents.

But unbeknown to communication specialist Devenney the 'Russian agents' worked for the British Security Service and had filmed and recorded their discussions with him at a hotel shortly after they had initially met at the British Museum.

Devenney pleaded guilty to one count of misconduct in a public office by offering to obtain information about the workings and operations of the nuclear submarines he worked on, during an earlier hearing at the Old Bailey.

He had also pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Official Secrets Act 1911 by covertly taking photographs of the Top Secret code encryption system on board the nuclear submarine HMS Vigilant.

This is actually a genuine use of the much abused tag "Top Secret"

MPS Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Osborne, Senior National Co-ordinator Counter Terrorism said:

"Devenney abused his position of trust and responsibility by taking photographs of a Top Secret encryption system. He then spent three months cultivating a relationship with men he believed to be Russian Agents offering to pass on whatever information they may find useful.

"His actions had the potential to cause substantial harm and damage to the security of the UK. It is only thanks to the joined up working between the Met Counter Terrorism Command, British Security Service, and the Ministry of Defence that more serious consequences did not result from his actions."

Devenney, who joined the Royal Navy in May 2000, was a high level vetted communication specialist, who had served on three Trident nuclear submarines.

In early 2011 he was withdrawn from a training course for promotion to Chief Petty Officer because of poor performance and later that year joined HMS Vigilant.

So why did the Royal Navy nuclear submarine personnel vetting and psychological support people not detect that he was unhappy ?

The Belfast Telegraph reports

Earlier Devenney told the Old Bailey he had grown disillusioned with the Royal Navy after his chances of promotion were dashed by defence cuts.

He claimed to have just been cleared on a rape charge at the time, and said he was drinking heavily and suffering bouts of depression.

Devenney said he asked for his promotion training course to be deferred for a year but his absences without leave and conduct had led to a warning that he would be sacked if it continued, the court heard.

Why are drunken sailors allowed anywhere near nuclear missile submarines ?

Lots of spies and Covert Human Intelligence Sources have been recruited from vulnerable people who have been passed over for promotion.

On 17 November 2011 Devenney made his first attempt to contact the Russian Embassy in London by making 11 calls to four different phone numbers at the Embassy.

Has there ever been a time since the invention of the telphone, when calls to and from the Russian Embassy have not been under constant surveillance ?

When the Russians stupidly cut themselves off from the civilised world in the Soviet era, the only way to telephone anyone their government / intelligence agencies was via their local Embassy, but that situation changed several years ago.

Wannabe spies can now make direct dial calls to landline and mobile phones almost anywhere in the world or contact Russian diplomats via Twitter or email. etc.

Two days later he used his mobile phone to take three photographs of Crypto material onboard HMS Vigilant which he downloaded to his laptop. Crypto material is the electronic key used to encrypt highly classified messages so they can be sent securely to UK Armed Forces, and NATO partners.

What possible excuse is there for anybody to have a mobile phone on them when on a nuclear missile submarine ?

Why are crew, dockyard staff and visitors not checked for mobile phones etc, using airport or prison style metal detectors and / or "see through your clothes scanners", both when entering or leaving the submarine ?

The BBC reports

Two days later, he took his phone onto the submarine HMS Vigilant and took photos of code material for the military's "crypto" secure communications system - again, his lawyer said, after a heavy night of drinking.

This material was kept in a safe secured by a combination lock and key which was in turn kept in a secure compartment with restricted access.

He was supposed to have access to the room but not the safe.

'Falklands' folder

The material - if put together with other intelligence - might have allowed another country to crack the encrypted communications of the British military including communications with Nato partners.

One of the major security questions is whether, when his behaviour was clearly noticed as poor, he should have still been allowed to access secure rooms - especially after he had been drinking heavily.

On the 5 December, Devenney returned a missed call on his mobile and spoke to a man named 'Dima' who claimed he worked at the Russian Embassy and was instructed to respond to Devenney's earlier calls. Devenney hung up but then entered into a dialogue over text message.

Even though "intercept evidence" is not allowed to be used in a UK Court, there clearly must either have been Interception of Devenney's calls to the Russian Embassy, or there must have been an MI5 human intelligence source within the Embassy who took or overheard one or more of the 11 calls.

In his early messages a sceptical Devenney texted: "Your accent sounds remarkably fake and like British intelligence. #Entrap.".

So at this point, there had been no offer by Devenney to sell any secrets, so perhaps this was actually Entrapment.

However he continued to text Dima, and on 8 December he asked: "When can we talk about what I may be able to offer." He received the reply: "I call you next week".

But was the alleged "Dima" encouraging and grooming Devenney to betray secrets between the 5th and 8th of December ?

On 13 December Devenney was called by another man 'Vladimir' who claimed to be an associate of 'Dima'. Devenney told Valdimir that he wanted to communicate by text, rather than by phone, and told him: "Can't speak, at home. I'm disillusioned with my employers and feel let down by them. Think we can help each other".

"at home" ?? He sent SMS text messagaes to someone he thought was a Russian intelligence agent from his own home ? Are Communications Specilaists really so ignorant of Mobile Phone Location Data ?

Did he use an unregistered, pre-paid mobile phone or did he use a normal phone easily traceable to him ?

Devenney kept in regular contact with the two men and he arranged to meet Vladimir at the British Museum in London at 14:00hrs on Saturday, 28 January 2012 and they went on to a nearby hotel where Dima was waiting.

Which Hotel was it ?

During the course of the hour long meeting, Devenney told them:
= about submarines he had worked on, including details of a secret operation involving HMS Trafalgar and specialist personnel
= he was a Chief Petty Officer
= he was the chief systems technician for communication equipment periscopes, radar and electronic warfare equipment on HMS Vigilant
= HMS Vigilant's sailing dates.
= the precise due date of the arrival in Plymouth of the Trident class nuclear submarine HMS Vengeance.

Devenney said that he did not want money for any information. He felt he had been treated badly by the Navy after his officer training was cancelled and had thought of leaving but then got the idea that he wanted to "actually hurt" the service "but not too much so that I get caught".

Even if an initial disclosure to an intelligence agency is harmless, it will be used to blackmail you into revealing more secrets later.

Detectives from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command arrested Devenney on 6 March while he was on duty in Devonport. They seized the mobile phone he used to make the calls and to take the photographs, his laptop, and a spare key for the HMS Vigilant Communication Room which he should not have had.

A Communications Specialist who does not know about computer and mobile phone encryption and / or secure data erasure ?

In his initial police interview, Devenney was still under the impression that the two men he had spoken to were Russians. He told police his intention was never to pass on any information that could have been harmful to the UK but claimed he was trying togain credibility having reached an 'all time low in his career'.

Why were the Metropolitan Police doing these interviews, rather than the Ministry of Defence Police ?

During his last police interview Met detectives finally revealed that the 'Russian agents' were in fact members of the British Security Service and that the hotel meeting had been fully recorded. After hearing extracts of himself giving details about HMS Trafalgar, he said: "That was unbelievably stupid and I've no excuse for that."

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On Wednesday 12th December 2012, Spy Blog attended the launch of the WhistleBlowersUK.org website, which offers free, pro bono legal, journalistic and psychological help for whistleblowers. They intend to campaign on changing the inadequate laws and bureaucratic "shoot the messenger" attitude which pervades the UK's power structures.

WhistleBlowers UK give some independent, not commercially motivated, advice on securely contacting them, which is good, but which needs amplification and more detailed, practical, step by step guides.

Are You a Potential Whistleblower?

We will try to minimise the stress and impact of what you are contemplating by showing you the correct process to legally assess, document and reveal wrongdoing in your workplace / sector / environment. In order to protect yourself under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (1998), the Employment Act (2008), or even the Official Secrets Act (1989), you should follow certain procedures and you will find it much easier to gain credibility - in front of a very sceptical and fickle public audience who are riven by a multitude of political views and vested interests - if you do so.

We can help you with the necessary confidential advice and assistance you will need in order to make the experience of whistleblowing worthwhile and create a positive outcome out of the negative situation you find yourself in at present. Most of all, do not be scared, you do have friends and supporters out there - you just haven't met us personally yet!
Talk To Someone With Experience In Your Field

If you wish to discuss your case, confidentially, with a fellow whistleblower who has experience in your particular sector (auditing, financial, medical, defence, or general commercial then please contact us on 0207 040 8224 and we will put you in touch with one of our members.

Concerns About Security And Confidentiality

The level of security that you adopt will depend upon the threat that you perceive to yourself, the capabilities of the organisation, the gravity of the information, and any implications arising from it, upon which you are intending to 'blow the whistle'. We are adopting a WORST CASE SCENARIO below - you may not need to take some or all of these precautions... BUT even with the best will in the world, whistleblowers in the past have been let down by allies, journalists and even regulators who have failed to take adequate precautions to protect their anonymity.

We have compiled a list of key points to help you protect your identity when communicating online or sharing documents with third parties.

In person

You may of course come to the Centre for Investigative Journalism offices, the temporary hosts of WBUK, at Gloucester Building, Gloucester Way, London EC1R 0BN.

By email

You will need an email address that has never been associated with you and which never will be associated with you. You need to set it up from a computer that has no link to you.

Do not use a computer, house or office network that you normally use. Generally, it is best to sign up for a Hotmail or any other popular free email account.

Make sure that this webmail accounty is based outside of the United Kingdom.

Ideally do not use Gmail / googlemail, which is strong on security but very bad for anonymity.

Only use this email address to make contact and correspond with one of our team. Ideally you will have a phone that we can call back (see 'by phone' section below). A message such as "call me John/Jane, you can call me securely on this mobile number, I have information/a story/ documents" will do.

Do not use your real name or any other identifiable information when registering the email account. Never access the special email from home or work - use an internet café or library. Normally, unless you work in an area of high security and government interest, using public wifi may be safe. Remember, you cannot reliably hide your electronic location, or IP address, from the network, although you can hide it from us and anyone who may be monitoring us. You can do this by using the 'Tor' service, or another anonymiser service. However, these tools could attract attention if you do so from places which may be monitored.

You can contact us at the following email address: info@whistleblowersuk.org

N.B. they have not yet published a PGP/GPG Encryption Key and there is no use of SSL/TLS encryption on the supporters email subscription form

Existing whistleblowers (who may well be contacted by others with similar experiwences) and their supporters should try to come along to the next CryptoParty London (or in other locations around the world) where expert users will guide them through the often somewhat daunting provess of configuring and using encryption and anonymity software and techniques, to protect potential whistleblowers and their evidence.

By phone

Do not use a mobile phone that you have used before, even if you use a 'Pay-As-You-Go' SIM card. The less smart the phone you use, the better. Buying a secondhand phone from a car boot sale or suchlike is the best advice we can give.

Do not use a smartphone with GIS services. If you need to contact us by phone, never use your own landline, mobile phone or any work phone - especially mobile phones issued to you by your employer. Using '141' 'conceal my number' isn't enough - the number is recorded anyway.

'Pay-As-You-Go' SIM cards and phones can be purchased from local shops for a few pounds; do not register the SIM, never give out the number and use it only for contacting 'Whistleblowers UK.' Alternatively, you can use public phones.

If you query is not sensitive you can contact us on this temporary number: 020 7040 8526.

WBUK should also publish publish a mobile phone contact number(s), which would be useful for recieving SMS text messages (less personally revealing than voicemail)

Buying and using a mobile phone also needs quite a few , common sense precautions and there are several things to be aware of to improve your anonymous use of such phones.

Similarly, there are some things to avoid when setting up "free" webmail accounts.

See CryptoParty London Bring & Swap ( .pdf)

After you make first contact

A member of the team will assess your situation and advise you. Should you wish to whistleblow, the advisor will discuss with you appropriate arrangements for meeting in person or for sending documents electronically (or as paper). We will, if required, make arrangements for you to disclose your information with a trusted journalist in the safest way possible.

Legal And Emotional Support

Once proper internal procedures for reporting wrongdoing have failed, employees bringing complaints have faced perpetrators or complicity in management and aggressive polices of harassment to hide wrongdoing and intimidate those who threaten to bring a complaint. We can support you during this difficult process by providing access to pro-bono legal and psychological advice.

Is Whistleblowing Right For You?

Several of the whistleblowers who have been involved in setting up this organisation say that while they wanted to change the world they live in, they would never wish their experience on their loved ones: "we didn't realise the heavy sacrifice involved when acting on one's conscience. We cannot recommend whistleblowing to everyone and sometimes the advice may be - find another way."

See also our Spy Blog:

http://ht4w.co.uk

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers etc.- Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc.

BBC Radio 4 Week in Westminster Saturday 8th December 2012 11:00am gives a glimpse by a couple of very experinced journalists who have served on a couple of Inquiries, which have not leaked their findings before the official publication of their reports.

BBC iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01p6n7x/Week_in_Westminster_08_12_2012/


Recently the government has had some success in keeping announcements secret as was the case with the appointment of the new governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. On the other hand Whitehall leaks occur with some regularity and even sometimes with approval. Is there a new impetus to preserve secrecy and if so how necessary is it in an open accountable society? Peter Riddell director of the Institute for Government and George Jones of the Leveson inquiry recount their involvement with secrecy.

Here is a Spy Blog transcript of the relevant programme segment.

N.B. nobody who debates the Interception of phone calls or of eavesdropping electronic audio or video "probes" should understimate the difficulty of producing accurate transcripts of audio conversations, - no software can do this 100% and humans (like us) usually have to reply sections several times, even of broadcast quality recordings like this one:

07:54

Sue Cameron [SC] The autumn statement didn't leak, well, apart from what you might call official leaks that were actually authorised by the Treasury. But there we no unofficial leaks. And a week earlier, Chancellor George Osborne had enjoyed a great moment of political theatre, with his surprise Commons announcement that the new Governor of the Bank of England was to be Mark Carney, currently Governor of the Bank of Canada. That news never leaked either and nor did the findings of the Leveson Inquiry into the press. So is government secrecy back in fashion ?

I discussed the secrets of secrecy with Peter Riddle, the director of the Institute for Government and journalist George Jones, one of Lord Justice Leveson's advisors. I began by asking Peter Riddle if Budget secrecy had been really tight in the past.

Peter Riddle [PR]: Absolutely, indeed, a Chancellor of the Exchequer had to resign, in 1947, Hugh Dalton, because he was crossing the Lobby and, er, a very distinguished political correspondent came up and said "is there a bit more on fags, a bit more on booze ?" and he kind of nodded and it appeared in what was then the Stop Press of the papers, which was [sic] technically appeared before he had made a Statement and he had to resign.

[SC]: How have things changed ? Have they changed because, Special Advisors and the Treasury itself are "leaking" much more or are explaining things much more to people ?

[PR]: I think there are two factors, one is an underlying one towards greater openness in government, reinforced by the internet, I mean there is far, far more information. There is a much more open public debate that the Treasury used to guard its secrets or forecasts, where now you've got an independent Office of Budget Responsibility which does the forecasts and lots and lots of people outside are, so it's no longer got a monopoly of the advice or forecasting on that. And there's a whole atmosphere where things are much more open, I mean not totally open, not as open as they pretend, but thet are much more open.

And the second thing is the issue of managing expectations and the Treasury want to be in there, influencing the way that the Budget will be recieved and that I think has trumped Budget secrecy, in the priority of Chancellors of the Exchequer. And you've had some ones who are very keen on getting the politics right, Gordon Brown and certainly now with George Osborne, so that's why, things come out, because they want to affect expectations.

SC: Now there is still, of course, a great deal of secrecy in other areas, George Jones, you were one of the Assessors, one of the advisors, in the Leveson Inquiry, and that did not leak, before it came out officially. What sort of precautions, were taken, to keep the whole Leveson proceedings secret ?

George Jones [GJ]: Well we were asked to sign up to quite a complicated and quite severe confidentiality agreement and also we were allowed to see in advance Witness Statements, but we could only read those through a secure link, on a computer . You couldn't print it off, so I could sit at home and I could read it, but I couldn't print it off in the old fashioned way and read a, a paper version of it. And then of course, when we began the actual draughting of the report, we had to go up to, a secure office in the High Court, in the Strand, where we could read sections of the Report, but we couldn't take them away with us, so, you put them back in an envelope when you had finished reading them. I think they were really worried that people when they get to a [sic fairly advanced age that I am, you would take it away with you, I'd sitting reading it on the train, fall asleep, either some body would take it away read it or I would leave it on the train.

Much younger, supposedly highly trustworthy people in Whitehall, also leave secret documents on the train e.g.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions James Purnell loses Cabinet ministerial "red box" correspondence on a train

Terrorist financing and money laundering Treasury documents left on a train - time for Whitehall mandarins and Ministerial heads to roll

Top Secret Joint Intelligence Committee current intelligence assessments left on a train

It meant a lot of travelling, but actually I think that way, keeping it secure in the building, means, it doesn't get mislaid and it does prevent leaks.

SC: But you said you could see Witness Statements on computers, could you see parts of the Report on computer at home ?

GJ: No, we couldn't, there was no emailing of any sections of it, so email traffic, text traffic, messages like that, weren't allowed for the, sensitive, elements of the Report. And of course, in the closing days, as we had to decide how much of the Report we would be prepared to sign up to and some of the more controversial elements over statutory underpinning and statutory backstops, they were very sensitive and of course that was the stuff which remained secure and didn't leak.

SC: Peter, you were on a Judicial Inquiry, one about rendition and Guantanamo Bay, although that was wound down, but were your experiences similar ?

Is even the name of the Detainee Inquiry headed by the retired senior Judge and Privy Counsellor Rt.Hon. Sir Peter Gibson (who resigned early from his position as RIPA Intelligence Services Commissioner) now a secret ?

See our Spy Blog Detainee Inquiry archive

The Detainee Inquiry was not a Judicial Inquiry although headed up by a retired senior Judge / RIPA Commissioner - it had no powers to compell witnessses etc. under the Inquiries Act 2005, unlike the Leveson Inquiry. After the inordinate delays to the Detainee Inquiry, Peter Riddle, reasonably enough resigned from it when he took up his current post.

PR: Yes, I mean, they wern't quite akin, ours was a Privy Council inquiry, which is a seperate legal basis, but the effect was very similar, to what George Jones describes and it dealt with some very sensitive Top Secret intelligence information, which we, saw. But you could only see it in the offices of the Inquiry, which were part of designated rooms which have a certain classification in Whitehall, where you can read secure stuff and you couldn't take anything away, there was no homework, so the only thing for which you got an email was entirely the mundane stuff about "We are meeting next Tuesday at ten o'clock" type stuff.

Even such "mundane" emails, sent through the government's own email system (to which the UK intelligence agencies have access to the Communications Data of, without any warrant or permsission from a Secretary of State - no judicial warrant reqired in the UK) would have been a critical leak of sensitive information, if those meetings had involved any evidence or face to face testimony from any intelligence service or other insiders who were acting as whistleblowers.

See Spy Blog letter to the Detainee Inquiry re: lack of whistleblower anonymity protection and immunity from prosecution

GJ: We were terribly worried that becaause we were an Inquiry looking into things , particularly phone hacking, blagging and accessing emails and that sort of thing, we thought, it would be a huge prize for some newspaper, if they could actually "hack" the Inquiry into phone hacking. So I think that was one of the reasons why, we kept such a tight grip on not sending stuff by email.

SC: Was it really justified, all this secrecy, you can quite understand it if you're dealing with foreign countries, with Guantanamo Bay, or with criminal offences, but things like whether you should have a legal underpinning to regulate the press, do you really have to go, is it really justifiable to have so much secrecy ?

Given the number of powerful people and vested interests trying to spin their way out of criticism by the Leveson Inquiry including some of them with access to Communications Data and perhaps even the contents of emailks or home or mobile computers or smartphones, this level of secrecy was necessary and it did no harm to the public.

GJ: Well, I think it is, because we could speak frankly and openly and we could say what we thought, and I think if you're going to reach a decision its very important, but don't forget that all the evidence , all the sessions, were televised. I mean anybody who followed the Inquiry, could clearly see the way that it was going, but I thiink when you come to reach key decisions and you want people to speak frankly, they need to do it, in a confidential atmosphere.

PR: In general, I think there has to be a "safe space", to use this ghastly cliche, where people are able to give advice, however, one wants as much as possible otherwise open. Also every one is aware of Freedom of Information Act, the one factor which hasn't been mentioned, and certainly in Whitehall they are very aware that, on many areas, the interpretation by the Information Commissioner mean that even more is being revealed than Whitehall would like.

Nothing of any value has come out of the Detainee Inquiry, no witnesses, nothing published - there is an interim report (wiythout having interviewed any witnesses) delivered to the Prime Minister David Cameron on 27th June 2012 but which is still being kept secret by Downing Street and the Ministry of Justice

Only our Freedom of Information Act request for the supposed intelligence agency witness / whistleblower protection from prosecution by the Cabinet Office and Attorney General might be if some use in a future Inquiry.

Witness but not whistleblower protection for the Detainee Inquiry into torture complicity of MI5, SIS, GCHQ

SC: Peter Riddle and George Jones
14:19

Still dithering over an overdue blog article about the CIA/FBI Petraeus affair in the USA and how a similar adulterous affair involving the British intelligence/military/political securocrat establishment it might play out here in the UK and the slightly different techniques needed in the UK to keep your emails and mobile phone data from betraying your illicit affair, compared with the various US articles on the subject.

In the meantime, it was annoying to have to read about the ConservativesForPutin debacle.

The original media interest seems to have been prompted by Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss, the research director of the slightly libertarian Henry Jackson Society think tank.

Moscow-on-Thames - Britain's Conservatives are rolling out the red carpet for Vladimir Putin's wealthy oligarchs.

There is nothing wrong with a group of Young Conservatives trying to promote better relations with Russia, whether for genuine ideological reasons or for selfish financially ambitious ones, given the number of rich Russians living in, what is for them, an offshore tax haven created for them in London by Labour's Gordon Brown and maintained by the current Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition government.

Question: How exactly did a new group, only set up in August, manage to attract several Conservative Members of Parliament and Prince Michael of Kent to support them ?

Following an alleged trip to Russia paid for by the Russian government for some members of the ConservativeFriendsOfRussia in September, they published in October an
article by their spokesman Richard Royal (@TheCommandante) who works in Public Relations for Ladbrokes bookies (and who denies that this trip actually took place)

There is some justified criticism of Labour MP Chris Bryant's inept chairmanship of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Russia i.e. that it could technically be disbanded because it was 6 weeks overdue in holding its Annual General Meeting, as per Parliamentary rules.

However, they stupidly illustrated this with a copy of the notorious old photo of the openly gay Chris Bryant published in 2003 on the Gaydar dating site, which was a landmark in brazen NuLabour's "I'm just going to brazen this out" attitude and which was perhaps a sign of the grudging acceptance or tolerance of such personal life scandals by the public .

The ConservativeFriendsOfRussia website now displays this message, although their Twitter feed (@CFoR1) is still online:

The Conservative Friends of Russia has taken the decision to suspend its website until further notice. Members and event ticket holders can contact info@cfor.org.uk for information

However, Spyblog did retrieve a copy of this article from the Google Cache (without the offending photo of Chris Bryant)

CFoR BLASTS CHRIS BRYANT'S RUSSIA APPG INCOMPETENCE

The article also mentions that Labour's Chris Bryant took over the leadership of the APPG from Liberal Democrat Mike Hancock, without mentioning his affair with Ekaterina Zatuliveter, another person with KGB / FSB relatives who was cleared by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, after an incompetent investigation by the Security Service MI5.

There is also implied criticism of money given to Chris Bryant and / or the APPG on Russia:

It was also recently revealed that Bryant has received nearly £17,500 in the last year from The Independent, owned by Russian billionaire father and son duo Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, and received £2,500 in 2010 from PR firm Bell Pottinger, which has counted Boris Berezovsky amongst their clients.

Lebedev (astonishingly, a former KGB agent based in the Russian Embassy in London, who used to monitor the UK press and media, who now controls the Evening Standard and the Independent newspapers) and Berezovsky are rich Russians who are opposed to Putin and his cronies.

Despite the denials by Richard Royal (@TheCommandante) of any undue influence or money from the Russian Embassy, this has very understandably raised the suspicion that the ConservativeFriendsoFfRussia were becoming Nashi style ConservativesForPutin

The Daily Telegraph:
I'm a victim of Russian smear campaign, says MP photographed in underwear

The Daily Mail reports: Prince snubs party after photo furore

Luke Harding, from The Guardian has more details, including the possibility of Yet Another Foreign Donors Party Funding scandal.

Tory blushes deepen over activities of Conservative Friends of Russia

How Kremlin got diplomats to woo Tories

The Guardian concentrates on Sergey Nalobin (@SNalobin), the 1st Secretary at the Political section of the Russian Embassy in London. Even if he did not have KGB / FSB relatives, anyone in that post would only be doing his job properly, in trying to influence a group like ConservativeFriendsOfRussia who seem to be in favour of better relations between the UK and Russia. Surely our Embassy staff try to do exactly the same thing in Russia and elsewhere ?

None of these articles draw any attention to the the fact the Sir Malcolm Rifkind is not just any old Tory grandee, he is a former Foreign Secretary and is currently chair of the the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, which is supposed to hold UK intelligence agencies to account on our behalf and is supposedly trusted with secret or top secret documents and information.

As such he is much more of a target by Russian "agents of influence" than was the Liberal Democrat Mike Hancock, a lowly member of the less sensitive Commons Select Committee on Defence.

It is not appropriate for him to be associated with any Friends of {insert Foreign Country] group at all, whether it is is Russia, the USA, China, Israel, France etc..
That applies to both "official" cross party All Party Parliamentary Groups and to unofficial, partisan ones like CFoR. No doubt the people get on to the Intelligence and Security Committee claim to have experience of and an interest in International Relations, but they should suspend all such "Friends of..." schmoozing and lobbying whilst they serve on the Committee, because of the obvious risk of the perception of a conflict of interest, or worse.

What if he had met with someone from the Russian Embassy or elsewhere who was under surveillance as an FSB or GRU intelligence agent ? Would the chairman of the ISC really put in a "contact report" to MI5 about the meeting ? Would MI5 then be justified in intercepting his electronic communications and data mining his communications data, on "national security" grounds, thereby "legitimately" evading the Wilson Doctrine against doing so ?

This would have the effect of making it even more difficult for any whistleblowers from within the intelligence agencies to contact the Intelligence and Security Committee in confidence regarding incompetence, corruption, use of torture etc.

Sir Michael Rifkind seems to have resigned from this group last Friday, but his involvement with them in the first place needs to be questioned.

  • When exactly did he sign up to be its honourary president ?
  • Why did he do so ?
  • Was it off his own bat, or was he influenced (inappropriately) by the intelligence agencies, to provide some credibility for the CFoR group, who could then be used to indirectly or directly help with MI6 intelligence or MI5 counter-intelligence operations against Russian targets, both in London and in Russia ?

Should Sir Malcolm Rifkind resign as chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee ?

About this blog

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

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

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

Email & PGP Contact

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

blog@spy[dot]org[dot]uk

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

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

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

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

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

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

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

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links

Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog

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

Privacy and Security

Privacy International
United Kingdom Privacy Profile (2011)

Cryptome - censored or leaked government documents etc.

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

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

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

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

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

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

Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

European Digital Rights

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

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

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

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

Human Rights

Liberty Human Rights campaigners

British Institute of Human Rights
Amnesty International
Justice

Prevent Genocide International

asboconcern - campaign for reform of Anti-Social Behavior Orders

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

Internet Censorship

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

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

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

Judicial Links

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

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

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

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

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

Parliamentary Opposition

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

UK Government

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

No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

Public Bills before Parliament

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

House of Commons "Question Book"

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

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

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

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

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

Online Media

Boing Boing

Need To Know [now defunct]

The Register

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

Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surveillance Infrastructures

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

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

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

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

RFID Links

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

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

RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

Genetic Links

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

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

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

Miscellanous Links

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

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

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

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

Former Spies

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

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

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

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

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Blog Links

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

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

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

Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

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

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

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

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

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

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

War-on-Freedom

The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

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

Shaphan

Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

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

BLOGDIAL

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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia

NuLabour

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

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

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

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UK Legislation

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

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

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

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

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

UK Intelligence Agencies

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

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

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

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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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