Recently in Harassment of Photographers Category

We will have plenty of criticism of the Home Office's reluctant
Review of counter-terrorism and security powers,hopefully sometime this weekend.

Here is a copy of the

Review of counter-terrorism and security powers - findings and recommendations (PDF file - 428kb)

for those of you who do not want to give the Home Office website (and the US owned , commercial Sitestat OnClick web tracking / snooping system which they employ) your IP address and web browser details etc.

Of interest to Spy Blog readers should be the forthcoming BBC Radio 4 Law in Action programme presented by Joshua Rozenberg

Broadcast times:

  • Tuesday 8th Jun 2010 16:00 BBC Radio 4 (FM only) .
  • Thursday 10th Jun 2010 20:00 BBC Radio 4

and online via the BBC iPlayer for a while thereafter.

1/4. Top legal journalist Joshua Rozenberg returns to present the first in a new series of the legal affairs magazine.

[...]

In this opening programme, he examines an issue that looks set to prompt widespread debate among the public as well as among those working in the criminal justice system. Increasingly the police are using digital cameras and intelligence tactics to create image libraries of campaigners and protesters. These are designed, senior officers say, to help the police prevent criminal acts from being committed. But critics see the creation and development of the photographic databases as potentially sinister, claiming that ever larger numbers of images are being added.

Joshua Rozenberg investigates how the police, the courts and those responsible for protecting personal data strike a balance between the need to safeguard civil liberties and the police's responsibility to prevent crime. Are there enough safeguards to protect the public from being unfairly linked with criminals? Is maintaining public order being used as an excuse to engineer a surveillance society? Or are the authorities simply taking the minimum steps to ensure a determined and well-organised minority of protesters bent on disruption do not wreck the lives of the law-abiding majority?

[...]

Allied with Forward Intelligence Teams is the snooping on and surveillance of. innocent public demonstrators and ordinary motorists etc. through the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology, which , worryingly for millions of innocent motorists, includes a flag on the Police National Computer, which could be so very easily misinterpreted,

See: Spy Blog ACPO policy on ANPR: The Management and Use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition

7 REASON - Protest could easily be abused for political purpose, or could be seen as such.

See also the The Guardian report about Project Champion

Surveillance cameras in Birmingham track Muslims' every move -

About 150 car numberplate recognition cameras installed in two Muslim areas, paid for by government anti-terrorism fund

[...]

There is some belated local opposition to this "Big Brother Surveillance State" abuse of technology: see the protest and petition and ANPR camera mapping website: Spy on Moseley

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

[...]

Unlike other CCTV schemes, this one has an altogether different and far more sinister purpose: it is connected to the government's 'Preventing Violent Extremism' agenda, or 'Prevent' for short. The Home Office funding came from the counter-terrorism budget of ACPO (TAM) - an acronym that stands for 'Association of Chief Police Officers (Terrorism and Allied Matters)'.

Project Champion is a surveillance exercise which utilises a grid of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which now encircles the predominantly Muslim areas of the city, notably Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath Wards. There are also nine camera points in Moseley, where this campaign of opposition began - hence the name of this website. It should be noted that opposition to this scheme is not limited to a few Moseley residents, but is a much wider issue.

These spy cameras will record every vehicle entering or leaving a zone that has been designated as Birmingham's 'Terrorist Quarter'. This is a Home Office initiative from central government. Big Brother is watching you. Especially if you are Muslim, or just happen to live in Birmingham's "terrorist ghetto."

Some of the offending ANPR camera locations in Moseley have been plotted onto a Google Map:

Project_Champion_Molesley_Birmingham_ANPR_map_450.jpg

We are waiting for the new Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government to fulfil its promises on the abuse of ANPR and CCTV cameras etc.

Hansard source (Citation: HL Deb, 3 June 2010, c11W)

Vehicles: Automatic Plate Recognition
House of Lords
Written answers and statements, 3 June 2010

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale (Labour)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have to restrict the use of vehicle registration number-plate recognition cameras.

Baroness Neville-Jones (Minister of State (Security), Home Office; Conservative)

In keeping with our pledge to safeguard freedoms and protect civil liberties we believe it important to ensure that the use of automatic number-plate recognition technology is proportionate in order to command public confidence. We will therefore be considering whether more needs to be done to strengthen controls and safeguards relating to its use.

We accept the need for the Police to use such technology to help them to do the job that we expect of them.

However, the bureaucracy and secrecy behind which they have been allowed to hide the use or abuse of such technology, is utterly wrong.

There are still no easy, transparent procedures for innocent members of the public to be notified of errors and to get such mistakes rapidly corrected, both on the original Police databases and on all the other ones to which such inaccurate and possibly libelous data is routinely propagated to, both in the UK and internationally.


hostile_reconnaissance_13Apr2010_450.jpg

Event:

Hostile Reconnaissance a pre-election rally on Terror Laws, Civil Liberties and Press Freedom

When:

7pm, Tuesday 13th April 2010

Where:

Friends House (formerly known as the Friends Meeting House) opposite Euston mainline Railway and Tube station.

Friends House
173-177 Euston Road
London
NW1 2BJ

Google Street View of the main entrance on the Euston Road.

N.B. for those of you who may wish to enter or leave more discretely, there is also a back entrance in Endsleigh Gardens. (Google Street View)

Agenda:

Hostile Reconnaissance

13th April, 2010

The London Photographers’ Branch is proud to announce a pre-election rally on Terror Laws, Civil Liberties & Press Freedom at 7pm on the 13th of April at Friends Meeting House in Euston.

The rally will be chaired by award winning photographer Jess Hurd and speakers include:

More speakers are TBC and will include high-profile photographers, journalists and lawyers who have dealt with the raft of terror laws that we face today.

Supporting the rally are the National Union of Journalists, NUJ London Central Branch and the I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! campaign group.

FacebookFacebook Event Google MapsGoogle Map

Remember that not a single real terrorist or mere terrorist suspect, who was not already under intense surveillance by the authorities, has ever been caught in the act of conducting" hostile reconnaissance" of potential terrorist targets.

SInce you do not need any special equipment to do so, even the most innocent tourist or business journey can be misconstrued as "hostile reconnaissance", once the dirty allegation of terrorism has been leveled at you.

Recently, there has been a bland and ineffective re-packaging of the old "Crowded Places" advice / training / "Climate of Fear" propaganda, which has been directly responsible for some of the slanderous incidents leading to harassment of innocent members of the public by various "useless jobsworths".

See the Home Office's Office for Security and Counter-terrorism's Working Together to Protect Crowded Places guidance

The main document:

Working Together to Protect Crowded Places guidance - March 2010 (.pdf)

See Chapter 4: Reducing Vulnerabilities: What works ? which mentions

  • Project Argus (general propaganda awareness interactive DVD session - 3 hours including coffee break),

  • Project Griffin Police and Security Industry Authority accredited security guards one day course.

  • Operation Lightning - "a police coordinated hostile reconnaissance operation, to identify those who might be concerned in terrorist activity and /or domestic extremism.

    N.B. We are also "concerned" about "terrorist activity and /or domestic extremism", but that does not mean that we participate in any !

See also the Spy Blog article

How much "war on terror" training for "tens of thousands" of people is the Labour government providing ? As little as 3 hours (including a coffee break)

How can , for example the notorious Terrorism Act section 44 stop and search without reasonable suspicion legal power, act as a deterrent, when the supposedly strictly limited geographical location and the supposedly limited time period is kept secret by the Home Office and the Police ?

Also of relevance to this "pre-election rally" is our (failed) Spy Blog Freedom of Information Act request:

ICO Decision Notice FS50198733 - Home Office: Terrorism Act 2000 s44 stop and search Authorisations


Spy Blog Hints and Tips for attending this sort of anti-surveillance state public event:

  1. Tell all your friends and family about the meeting, eben if they are not interested in attending themselves, at least have someone worry about you if you are late home from such a meeting.

  2. Although there will obviously be journalists at this particular event, tell any other journalists or broadcast media contacts you have about it - these issues affect them and their readers / audiences, it not not just a a London thing.

  3. Switch off your mobile phone(s) when you are within, a couple of blocks, or Tube or train or Bus stops from Euston. Even if you do not make or receive a voice call or send or receive an SMS text message or use your mobile phone internet connection, then your phone will register its Location every 10 minutes or so with the nearby mobile phone Cell tower base stations, simply to be ready for any such normal mobile telephony uses.

    This will generate Communications Traffic data including Location Based Services data, which will be trawled through, en masse, by various police and intelligence units with an interest in trying to identify and track some or all of the attendees of this meeting.

  4. Take note and photographs if possible, of anybody seeming to record or photograph vehicle number plates of nearby parked cars or the people entering or leaving the meeting rooms / building etc.

  5. If you are "stopped and searched" under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44, you do not have to give your name and address (although this can be demanded if you are actually arrested under the vast swathe of other legislation ).

  6. Remember that Police Community Support officers have no powers under the the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44, unless they are being physically supervised by a real , sworn, Police Constable in Uniform (plain clothes or undercover police also have no section 44 powers)

  7. Neither Police Constables nor PCSOs can demand that you delete any photographs or video you have taken on your camera or mobile phone (that is potentially "destruction of evidence") .

  8. This is a peaceful meeting, but just in case you are arrested, or stopped and searched etc. do have the contact details of a firm of solicitors who deal with criminal law and human rights etc. Say nothing until you have access to proper, independent legal advice.

  9. Do not rely on keeping these solicitors details in your mobile phone - that is one of the first things that will be taken away from you by the police - memorise them and / or keep them on paper as well.

  10. Set a security PIN code on your Mobile Phone. This will not prevent the police from examining it forensically if you are actually arrested, but it may be enough to prevent casual, illegal, snooping by Police Constables or by ill trained Police Community Support Officers.

  11. Delete all your stored SMS text messages (sent, received and draft). These can be forensically recovered or reconstructed from central records, but again, there is no need to give anything private away to nosey snoopers who might have your phone in their possession.

  12. Ideally, do not take your normal mobile phone to such a meeting - use a cheap / disposable, prepaid, unregistered mobile phone, with little or no Friendship Tree history or stored contacts or SMS messages.

  13. Leave your passport, driving licence, union membership card, credit cards, bank ATM cards, supermarket loyalty cards, airline travel miles, car breakdown service cards, library cards, club membership cards, business address cards or registered Oyster travel cards etc. at home. These will be used to obtain your name and address without your consent, if you are "stopped and searched" or arrested. Surely none of you will have been so stupid as to obtain and carry a new National Identity Card to such a meeting ?

  14. Since this meeting will be in the run up to the General and Local elections, do please make very clear your views on the creepy Labour Surveillance State and its counterproductive effect on innocent people, to any politicians who might be trawling for votes at or near the meeting.

  15. If you are going to publish any photos or articles or emails or blog entries or tweetsl or other reports about this meeting, especially if you are inspired to participate in or plan some sort of peaceful action against the Labour Government or Whitehall, or other tentacles of the surveillance state, then please bear in mind our 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.

It is very frightening that this "pre-election rally" meeting is needed at all, in our supposedly liberal western democracy.

The bureaucratic surveillance police state which this unpopular, inept, yet desperate to cling on to power Labour government, has encouraged, make these simple precautions worth considering, even for a peaceful public meeting.

ICO Decision Notice FS50198733 - Home Office: Terrorism Act 2000 s44 stop and search Authorisations:

Given the recent European Court of Human Rights judgement about the controversial and widely abused Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 "stop and search" without "reasonable suspicion" legal powers, and, without any measurable positive effect on terrorism, we think that the Home Office and the Information Commissioner's Office are both very wrong in their decision to refuse our modest Freedom of Information Act request.

See European Court of Human Rights Judgment against the Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and search without reasonable cause powers

More comments on this Decision Notice soon, when we have some feedback from our expert friends.

Reference: FS50198733

Information Commissioner's Office

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Section 50)
Decision Notice Date: 8 February 2010

Public Authority: Address:
The Home Office
Seacote Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P4DF

[...]

Summary


The complainant requested copies of all Authorisations for the power to stop and search issued under the Terrorism Act 2000. During the investigation, the request was refined as being for certain information contained within those Authorisations.

The public authority refused to release any information citing the exemptions at section
23 (Information supplied by or relating to, bodies dealing with security matters), section
24 (National security) and section 31 (Law enforcement). The complainant did not contest any information withheld by virtue of section 23.

The Commissioner's decision is that the exemption at section 24(1) is engaged and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. He finds that this exemption applies to all the remaining information sought by the complainant so the exemption at section 31 has not been further considered.

The Commissioner has also identified procedural breaches which are outlined in the Notice below. The complaint is therefore partly upheld.

[...]

59. As cited in paragraph 34 above, "... 'national security' means the security of the United Kingdom and its people". The Commissioner is of the opinion that releasing the requested information would cause specific and real threats to national security. He believes that the information could be used by terrorists to support and influence their activity. He therefore believes that any advantages gained by further informing the public would be significantly outweighed by the factors for protecting the public by maintaining the exemption. The complaint is therefore not upheld.

60. As the Commissioner finds that all of the remaining requested information (to
which section 23 does not apply) is exempt by virtue of section 24(1) he has not gone on to consider the exemption at section 31(1 )(a), (b) and (c).

[..]

The decision


66. The Commissioner's decision is that the public authority dealt with the following elements of the request in accordance with the requirements of the Act:

  • the requested information was properly withheld under the exemption at section 24(1) of the Act.

67. However, the Commissioner has also decided that the following elements of the request were not dealt with in accordance with the Act:

  • in failing to provide a response compliant with section 1(1 )(a) within 20 working days of receipt of the request, the public authority breached section 10(1);
  • in exceeding the statutory time limit for providing a response the public authority breached section 17(1).

Steps required


68. The Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.


Other matters


69. Although they do not form part of this Decision Notice the Commissioner wishes to highlight the following matters of concern.

[...]


Information Notice

75. During the course of his investigation, the Commissioner has encountered considerable delay on account of the Home Office's reluctance to meet the timescales for response set out in his letters. The delays were such that the Commissioner found it necessary to issue an Information Notice in order to obtain details relevant to his investigation.

76. Accordingly, the Commissioner does not consider the Home Office's approach to this case to be particularly co-operative, or within the spirit of the Act. As such he will be monitoring the authority's future engagement with the ICO and would expect to see improvements in this regard.

[...]

Download the OCR / edited text of FOIA Decision Notice FS50198733 as a Rich text Format document.

ICO Decision Notice FS50198733 (.rtf)

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (which is not a European Union institution) has ruled against this Labour Government and the Home Office's controversial and counterproductive Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 "stop and search" without reasonable suspicion powers.

Read the European Court of Human Rights Judgment:

CASE OF GILLAN AND QUINTON v. THE UNITED KINGDOM

(Application no. 4158/05)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

12 January 2010

[...]

87. In conclusion, the Court considers that the powers of authorisation and confirmation as well as those of stop and search under sections 44 and 45 of the 2000 Act are neither sufficiently circumscribed nor subject to adequate legal safeguards against abuse. They are not, therefore, "in accordance with the law" and it follows that there has been a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

[...]

The ECHR HUDOCS database is hard to link to, and slow, so here is a copy of the Judgment (.doc)

Will this obstinate, increasingly authoritarian Government and bureaucracy, simply ignore this ECHR Judgment, like they have done with the retention of Innocent people's DNA Marper case, which they lost over a year ago ?

Will some (but not all), Police Constables in Uniform, Police Community Support Officers and jobswoth private security guards, continue to ignore the memos from their superiors, and continue to abuse this counterproductive legal power, to harass Photographers, Tourists, Trianspotters and even Members of Parliament ?

The Information Commissioner's Office has, since mid-November 2009, been preparing a Decision Notice, which should really have been published by now:

See the Spy Blog UK Freedom of Information Act Requests HO Terrorism Act 2000 s44 Authorisations category archive

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.


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

| | Comments (0)

Obviously inspired by the Icelanders are NOT Terrorists! campaign, which highlighted just how inept and internationally embarrassing Gordon Brown and his henchman Alistair Darling's mis-handling of the Icelandic banking crisis, there is now another protest against this Labour government and its army of jobsworth apparatchik bureaucrats, who are making life hell for ordinary, law abiding photographers (i.e.most of the general public) , under the spurious pretext of "security theatre" / Climate of Fear.

phnat-logo-black-on-white-212x300.jpg

I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

This campaign blog also has a Bust Card for photographers to print out and carry, with some handy legal advice for Photographers (and for the very confused and poorly trained Police on the streets etc.), which is being improved through the comments.

N.B.they should also print out the 24 hour contact details for some firms of solicitors experienced in criminal and human rights arrests, criminal charges and legal appeals etc. since, iIf you are harassed and then arrested, you will probably no longer have access to your mobile phone or PDA electronics contacts address book.however , the Police will probably be snooping through this and copying it "for intelligence" purposes if they can.

See our Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers etc - new window">Hints and tips for Whistleblowers etc., especially the section on What to do if you are arrested as a whistleblower:

The Register reports:

Met warns officers off photographers

The return of copper plate photography?

By John Oates
Posted in Policing, 9th July 2009 12:59 GMT

The Metropolitan Police has issued guidance to its officers to remind them that using a camera in public is not in itself a terrorist offence

[...]


However, the actual Metropolitan Police Service Photography advice web page is not a comprehensive guide to the relevant legislation and legal powers, for an amateur or professional photographer and for the Police Constables and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) who are meant to enforce them fairly and proportionately.

The web page mentions the Terrorism Act 2000 section 43 (stop and search with "reasonable suspicion") , section 44 (stop and search without reasonable suspicion) and section 58A (eliciting, publishing or communicating information about current or former members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police constables , but not PCSOs etc.)

It sheds no light on where exactly the controversial Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 powers are actually in force, According to the Statute, they are supposed to be temporary,and strictly limited to a specific location and for a limited duration, not general purpose police powers available all everywhere, at all times.

However the Home office is still trying to keep the extent of the use of these powers secret from the public, thereby ruining any deterrent effect, and simply increasing the fear , mistrust and hatred of the Police - see the progress of the Spy Blog Freedom of Information Act request on this topic:

ICO serves an Information Notice on the Home Office re our complaint about the Terrorism Act 2000 s44 stop and search Authorisations

The Met Police Advice on Photography web page also omits mention of the Official Secrets Act 1911 Prohibited Places, which no longer applies to some buildings which it used to, before Gordon Brown;'s failed Public / Private Finance Initiatives tax dofge schemes.Former Government owned office buildings, including the Ministry of Defence and the HM Treasury buildings in Whitehall, and the Home Office now in Marsham Street, and the Ministry of Justice (in the redeveloped former Home Office buildings in St Anne's Gate /Petty France) are now owned by property companies based in foreign tax havens, which lease the poperties back to the Government. As such these buildings are no longer automatically "Prohibited Places" under the OSA 1911 , like they used to be, by virtue of ownership by the Crown, and they have not been specifically designated by a Secretary of State as being so.

However, there are Prohibited Places, where it is a non-arrestible criminal offence (prosecution of which still requires the permission of the Attorney General) to make make "models, plans, sketches" etc, including photographs, in the vicinity of, typically military bases which are stillowned by the Crown. Later legislation also designates any Licensed Nuclear Site i.e. nuclear power stations, research laboratories and re-processing plants etc, and any "aerodrome" owned by the Civil Aviation Authority i.e. Heathrow Airport etc.

See Current Prohibited Places under the Official Secrets Act 1911

None of these Prohibited Places actually ban photography by the public for innocent, non-espionage purposes, but the burden of proof seems to shift to the photographer having to prove his innocence.

What is also needed is a similar statement from the notorious British Transport Police, who, disproportionately, conduct even more unnecessary and counterproductive Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and searches than the Met Police do.

There is plenty of evidence that some Police forces seem to be trying to cover up their obnoxious policy of racial profiling, by indulging in even more stupid racial profiling to "balance the figures" on section 44 stops and searches etc. - see the Report on the Operation in 2008 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and of part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006 by Lord Carlile

In London, there are by-laws against commercial photography and filing, without prior permission (and payment of fees) in areas such as Trafalgar Square or Parliament Square, and on the whole of the London Underground railway Tube network.

Remember that Private Security Guards or even Police Community Support Officers acting on their own without a real , sworn, Police Constable in Uniform physically present, cannot exercise any of these powers, no matter how many yellow or orange high visibility vests or "official" Security Industry Authority photo id badges they sport.

See also the previous Spy Blog article: NPIA Practice Advice on Stop and Search in relation to Terrorism and on the War on Photographers

According to a Written Answer by the Home Office Minister Admiral Lord West of Spithead, the controversial "If you suspect it, report " terrorism propaganda campaign, involving posters and some local newspaper and local radio advertising, launched in March 2009, has cost at least £1.7 million, and the "anti-terrorist hotline" costs about £120,000 a year to run.

Spy Blog: Metropolitan Police terrorism fear Propaganda Poster lies about bombs, reconnaissance and CCTV cameras - updated 25th March 2009

This campaign includes this false and misleading poster, which claims a non existent link between public CCTV and protection against terrorist bombs:

"A bomb won't go off here because weeks before a shopper reported someone studying the CCTV cameras"

street_chemicals_cctv_450.jpg

In answer to a Question by Baroness Neville-Jones (Shadow Security Minister, Home Affairs; Conservative):

9 July 2009 : Column WA176

Lord West of Spithead (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office; Labour)

The confidential anti-terrorist hotline is administered by the Metropolitan Police Service. The hotline receives, on average, 243 calls per month.

In March 2009, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) launched a national media campaign to raise counterterrorism awareness. The anti-terrorist hotline received more than 1,800 calls in March 2009 and more than 1,100 in April 2009.

The anti-terrorist hotline is a 24-hour facility for members of the public to volunteer information to specially-trained police officers, in confidence, regarding any activity which they suspect to be terrorism-related.

The police service considers the anti-terrorist hotline to be a valuable means for the public to volunteer information in confidence. It is assessed that more than 80 per cent of calls received by the hotline contain information relevant to terrorist activity.

It is estimated that the anti-terrorist hotline costs approximately £120,000 to run each year.

[...]

Incredibly, this Written Answer about the "Anti-Terrorism Hotline", does not bother to mention the actual telephone number ! i.e. 0800 789 321

"on average, 243 calls per month" equates to about 2900 calls a year or about £40 per call.

The "more than 1,800 calls in March 2009 and more than 1,100 in April 2009" following the ACPO poster, local press and local radio advertising campaign, has, presumably, now tailed off to below the "on average, 243 calls per month" figure, which must include the effect of the advertising campaign stimulated peaks.

If you bother to hunt around on the Metropolitan Police Service website, there is a "If you suspect it, report it" web page which gives further details about the "Anti-Terrorist Hotline", but none of the Climate of Fear propaganda posters or adverts bother to give details of how to find this web page.

This creepy and disproportionate web page tries to throw suspicion of involvement in terrorism on anyone who uses a "Van, Passport, Mobile Phone, Camera, Chemicals, Masks and Goggles, Credit Card, Computer, Suitcase or Padlock" i.e. the vast majority of millions of innocent people !

There is now, after many years without one, a confidential online form, which does make use of the standard SSL / TLS session strong encryption, built in to your web browser software to protect the confidentiality of your e-commerce credit card etc.online transactions.

N.B. Reminder to the MPS: your Digital Certificate expires later this month on the 24th July 2009, do remember to get a new one ordered and installed before then.

However, "text messages from mobiles are not accepted", which is an utterly stupid policy. What are they worried about ? SMS text messages are no more difficult to trace than mobile phone calls.

There is also no no Web Form or Mobile Phone Multi Media Message Service facility for uploading digital images or video clips taken by members of the public on their digital cameras or mobile phone cameras of "suspicious" people, locations or objects.

It is inconceivable that in the aftermath of the next major terrorist attack in the UK, there will not be an appeal to the public to send in such digital images and video clips of "anything suspicious".

Why waste crucial time in the minutes and hours immediately after such an attack, by hurriedly setting up an untested web upload form or an SMS / MMS capable mobile phone number, and then trying to publicise it. ?

This facility should already be in place, after having been properly specified and stress tested to cope with the huge surge in demand which will follow a major incident.

Adding such a secure web form and SMS/ MMS digital image / video clip upload facility would cost only a few hundred pounds, and even allowing for several thousand pounds for extra secure, resilient infrastructure, testing and training, this will still only cost a fraction of the the £1.7 million pounds wasted on the counter productive, insulting and widely ridiculed advertising campaign.

See BoingBoing: Remixes of the paranoid London police "anti-terror"/suspect your neighbours posters.

Will the Metropolitan Police and other Police forces curtail their "Surveillance State" abuses of photographs and videos of innocent people, following this legal Judgment in the England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) ?

Wood v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2009] EWCA Civ 414 (21 May 2009)

For an expert legal view, see the Panopticon blog

Privacy and the Police - Important Court of Appeal Judgment

It is important to note that the result of the Court of Appeal's judgment is that the taking of the photographs did not per se constitute a unlawful interference with Mr Wood's right to privacy. Rather what was unlawful was the excessive retention of the photographs beyond a time when there was any reasonable basis for supposing that Mr Wood may engage in criminal conduct at the arms fair. On the question of whether this judgment sets a precedent on the question of whether the police can generally take photographs of ostensibly law-abiding citizens, it is worth noting Lord Collins' concluding comments: 'it is plain that the last word has yet to be said on the implications for civil liberties on the taking and retention of images in the modern surveillance society. This is not the case for the exploration of the wider, and very serious, human rights issues which arise when the State obtains and retains the images of persons who have committed no offence and are not suspected of having committed any offence' (paragraph 100).

Whether this Judgment actually leads to the destruction of the millions of images of innocent people, which are currently being stored and retained by Police Forward Intelligence Teams and on other "intelligence" databases and files etc., remains to be seen

Will the "in your face" photographic harassment by FIT police and civilian cameramen of political activists and journalists, especially at public demonstrations, (see examples, and the counter reaction which this provokes, at the FIT watch blog) and the whole infrastructure of CCTV snooping and monitoring come under proper, critical, value for money and privacy oriented scrutiny ?

Or will these matters be swept under the carpet again, through bureaucratic inertia, buck passing and fatuous excuses like "the Olympics" or the "security of crowded places" ?

Will this Government or the next one, actually repeal the stupid and repressive laws and policies which are used to harass innocent photographers in public places ?

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: 0xA165A29480CFAA4C 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