Recently in MI5 website and email subscriptions Category

Over the years, Spy Blog has, unfortunately, had to criticise the MI5 Security Service website for an unprofessional lack of security, seemingly every time the web site design has been revamped by c.f.

Here we go again:

To quote MI5 's own "Cyber" section of their website:

Hostile actors

A wide range of hostile actors use cyber to target the UK. They include foreign states, criminals, "hacktivist" groups and terrorists. The resources and capabilities of such actors vary. Foreign states are generally equipped to conduct the most damaging cyber espionage and computer network attacks.

Hostile actors conducting cyber espionage can target the government, military, business and individuals.

There are 4 sections of the MI5 Security Service website:

  1. Corporate brochure, history, "what we do" , "what we don't do", some news e.g. recent terrorism case convictions, speeches by the Director General etc..

  2. The infamous Terrorism Threat Level, which has mutated over the years into seperate categories for mainland UK, Northern Ireland and "international" i.e. muslim extremist terrorism.
    N.B. there is no clear indication of what exactly the public is meant to do at each Threat Level. Should we "Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave!"
    or Keep Calm and Carry On" ?

  3. Job vacancy and Careers information for people thinking about joining Mi5 Security Service.

  4. A confidential National Security tip off web form

Whilst the first two sections are important for the public image and reputation of MI5, the last two (Careers and Tip Off form) are of intense interest to our enemies.

Even the https:// only website does use a Digital Certificate with good Transport Layer Security configuration,

N.B. In common with GCHQ and MI6 there is no DNS entry for i.e. without the "www."
This tends to confuse the dimmer "hackivists" who frequently claim that their "script kiddy" Denial of Service attacks have somehow magically succeeded in a "tango down" of a non-existent website URL.

Accessing the MI5 Security Service website may be illegal or dangerous if you are in e.g. the Middle East or Russia or China etc.
so, for obvious reasons, they claim to keep your communications with them confidential.

You may decide to use the increasingly popular Tor Browser to hide your originating IP address.

Why then does the MI5 website betray your web browser meta data to one and possibly two foreign companies based in the USA i.e. CloudFlare and Google reCaptcha ?

CloudFlare, whilst providing useful TLS and anti Denial of Service attack services, is under heavy criticism for forcing Tor users to fill in stupid Google reCapture puzzles #dontblocktorto proceed to a "protected" website.
This is a minor inconvenience for most people, but it is completely inappropriate for an intelligence agency website with sensitive recruitment and national security tip off form features.

Regardless of whether a visitor is using Tor or not, if they want to to contact MI5 with a national security related tip off, the Google reCaptcha is embedded in the the "secure" contact form!


i.e. there are image links which do not go to the local MI5 web server, or any web servers in the United Kingdom, but which are pulled from Google in California, USA
e.g. the Google reCaptcha refresh image (and all the street sign or river etc. reCapture image tiles)


This creates a web log entry or "Internet Connection Record" in the new Investigatory Powers Bill doublespeak, in a foreign country, regardless of whether you fill in the form or not.

If you are using e.g. Firefox without Tor and your IP address does not trigger Cloudflare, then you may be able to get to the non-Javascript MI5 web contact form

but most people will have been tricked into handing over their meta data to these US companies and therefore to the US government (on demand), instead of just
sharing it with MI5 the Security Service in the United Kingdom

Given the vast amount of public money spent by MI5 the Security Service, especially on new computer systems, it is asonishing that they have allowed the SSL Digital Certificate for to expire:

Subject:, OU="Member, VeriSign Trust Network", OU=Authenticated by VeriSign, OU=Terms of use at (c)05, O=MI5 Security Service, L=London, ST=London, C=GB

Issuer: Ref. LIABILITY LTD.(c)97 VeriSign, OU=VeriSign International Server CA - Class 3, OU="VeriSign, Inc.", O=VeriSign Trust Network

Serial Number: 5BD3 998F 7FFC 7F10 E1AF 83C6 A91C 6028

Valid from: 16-Apr-2009 01:00:00 BST

Valid Until:16-Apr-2012 00:59:59 BST (EXPIRED)

Public Key: RSA (4,096 bits)

SignatureAlgorithm: SHA1withRSA

SHA-1 Fingerprint: BA:02:E2:20:5A:4E:96:31:0B:47:8E:07:EF:DF:D8:3D:47:9C:C3:AE

MD5: A4:BA:FA:B5:81:71:F5:39:6F:BE:52:75:6F:02:9E:1D

Why was a new Digital Certificate not installed last week ?

Since the MI5 website re-directs to an SSL / TLS https:// only version , they have effectively created a Denial of Service attack on themselves.

This Connection is Untrusted web browser warnings do not give the impression of professional competence and respect for internet confidentiality, which potential users of their SSL / TLS encrypted

Reporting Suspected Threats web form

should expect, and upon which their lives and the lives of potential British targets may depend.

N.B. as with MI6 /SIS and GCHQ, only the full "" resolves to the website URL - simply using "" on its own, will not always work (except where your web browser fakes this for you).

The MI5 Security Service website design was officially re-launched on the 1st of September 2009. - New version of Security Service website

We have also introduced a new Freephone number (0800 111 4645) to make it easier for members of the public to contact us to report suspected threats to national security. This is in addition to our existing Public Telephone Number (0207 930 9000).

N.B. the exisiting telephone number should "officially" be written as 020 7930 9000.

If, as stated in the they really are trying to recruit agents and informants from overseas , as well as from within the UK, then the international dialing code prefix would also help: +44 (0)20   +44 020 7930 9000.

Given how little content there is overall on the MI5 website, the "other language" versions could easily have been full translations of the whole English language website, rather than just cut down versions.

More worrying, is the inconsistent, or entirely missing foreign language versions of the SSL encrypted secure web contact form.

The English language secure web form, correctly, goes to an SSL encrypted web page (https://) , and then properly processes the potentially very sensitive personal details or intelligence tip off, with a server side script, again protected via SSL, even if you follow a link from the default unencrypted web pages.

The Arabic version secure web form also does this correctly..

However, the Welsh language web contact form, but it does not, by default, make use of SSL encryption. (It can be made to do so, if you change "http://" to "https://" by hand). We suspect that very little use will be made of this Welsh language form, but Welsh is one of the legally defined official languages of the United Kingdom.

The French, Russian, Urdu, Farsi and Chinese language versions do not bother to offer a link to a translated version. These foreign language pages even hide the navigation links to the original English version of the secure web contact form.

The Chinese language version has a broken web link to what was probably former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's official ministerial biography on the Home Office website.

The Farsi version of the website has a translated contacts page, which mentions Secure Sockets Layer (spelled out in English) , but does not bother to use it. The postal address also misses out the word "Desk" from "The Enquries Desk. PO Box 3255, London SW1P 1AE "

How relevant or interesting to the rest of the world, are the relatively detailed explanations about UK legislation like UK Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 etc., which is what much of the translated versions seem to concentrate on ?

Still missing from the English version, let alone the foreign language ones, is an SMS text message short code method of contact (mobile phones are much more common than internet connected computers) ,

There is still no MI5 Security Service published PGP public encryption key or a public email address - why not ?.

The MI5 Security Service MI5 Contacts Us web page is still much better than, that of the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service, or even the Metropolitan Police Service Anti-Terrorism Hotline contact pages (which does at least have an encrypted web form).

Some of the new features such as the MI5 News and Updates RSS syndication feed had already been sneaked in back in July, without any fanfare.

We wonder if this new website design (not very different from the old one) has actually been properly security penetration tested, following the Cross Site Scripting vulnerability demonstrated back in July. - see Which was worse - the MI6 website spelling mistakes or the MI5 website Cross Site Scripting vulnerability ?

The graphical images chosen and, presumably officially approved at the highest level, to represent the MI5 "corporate brand image" or "look and feel" give the impression of a sinsister, Kafkaesque bureaucracy:


Note how many blurred images, or people with their backs to the camera, or with their faces otherwise obscured etc. there are in this selection of graphics from the website, which seem to depict the organisation and its targets and the general public as "shadow people".

Has anyone else who is subscribed to the MI5 email alert list still not yet received their MI5 Security Service website What's New alert emails from Friday, when Jonathan Evans formally took over as Director General, and the website was updated ?

MI5 website What's New page


Jonathan Evans has today taken over from Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller as the new Director General of the Security Service. As the head of the Service, Mr. Evans is responsible for leading and directing its work against threats to the UK's national security. He has been a member of the Service since 1980 and has focused mainly on counter-terrorism, both international and domestic. He served as the Service's Deputy Director General from 2005 to 2007 and has succeeded Dame Eliza following her retirement. For more information on Mr. Evans and the role of the Director General, please click on this item's headline.

The disappearance from view of the "We Are All Doomed - now what are we meant to do exactly ?" web graphic button links such as


on the relevant pages on the MI5, the Home Office and the websites, is a bit puzzling.

Is it just managerial incompetence from the Home Office's new Office for Security and Counter-terrorism, or is there a deliberate attempt to try to forget about the whole "terror alert status" media hype ?

It does make us wonder what is going on, and how these people are ever going to make better use of the web and the internet in terms of brand image, trustworthiness and hearts and minds, than our terrorist and other enemies do.

The MI5 website email subscription list system seems to have been re-vamped, again, with some considerable improvements.

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament have looked into the affair, in so far as it is within their narrow remit, and seem to have been assured that the initially improved system is working ok.

The Information Commissioner's Office is currently investigating the data protection aspects of the original system, which we believe did breach the Data Protection Act.

Which Home Office politician or spin doctor or MI5 Security Service civil servant is willing to admit that they made a mistake with the original launch of this email alert subscription service ?

As subscribers to the Security Service MI5's

What's New mailing list

Whenever we publish an item on the "What's New" section of this website, we will issue the same item by e-mail to subscribers. This will enable you to stay informed about what we are doing, without having to constantly check our website for updates. Threat level information will be provided as part of the "What's New" list.

we are still waiting for our email list subscription confirmation emails - the " few days" wait, is now over a month. See our category archive of postings on this topic.

We were hoping to have been alerted by email to this recent "What's New" item on the MI5 website:


MI5 the Security Service, have a statement on the What's New page on their website:

The Security Service does not have a Press Office and does not comment on intelligence matters. The Home Office issues statements relating to our work from time to time...

Why then, is the Cabinet Office handling the media spin over the MI5 email subscription data affair ? Home Secretary John Reid is the man who is meant to be politically responsible for any MI5 "not fit for purpose" issues, but the Home Office Press Office somehow seem to have managed to land the Cabinet Office with the job of trying to put a brave face on it.

According to the BBC:

Alert system dubbed a 'shambles'

By Mark Ward
Technology Correspondent, BBC News website
Last Updated: Monday, 15 January 2007, 13:19 GMT


A spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said the changes made to the service, including bringing the data to the UK, were due to happen before SpyBlog investigated. This was to help cope with the large numbers of people signing up.

Approximately how many people have apparently signed up for this insecure service then ?

"Moving the data to the UK will enable faster e-mail delivery to subscribers,

How much faster exactly ? It may only take a fraction of a second longer for an email to be sent from, say Seattle to London than from London to London. It could even be faster, for many internet users.

most of whom are in the UK

This email subscription list data should never have left the United Kingdom in the first place.

What about the millions of UK internet users with say, or yahoo,com or or email accounts, all hosted in the USA ?

and will enable the Security Service to use Mailtrack's latest technology." said a statement issued by the Cabinet Office.

This should have been installed and tested on an adequate number and specification of UK Government hosted machines to cope with the anticipated demand, and sanity checked for security and privacy vulnerabilities during the formal accreditation process required for connection to the Government Secure Intranet to Internet email gateways, used by UK Central Government Departments, before the system was launched to the public last Tuesday.

Does this wording imply that the Security Service has actually signed a contract with MailTrack this time ?

The Cabinet Office said: "We are confident that the technical arrangements for this service are entirely compliant with the Data Protection Act".

They may be compliant now that the system seems to be entirely within the United Kingdom, but they were in breach of the Data Protection Act from last Tuesday until Friday night.

We have written to the Information Commissioner about the Data Protection issues, and about what happens to the data and the webserver logfiles which are in the USA.

We have also written (but not via email !) to the Intelligence and Security Committee, who are meant to scrutinise MI5 on our behalf, and who were the ones who suggested a more open and less complicated Terror Threat Level status system in the first place.

The Mail on Sunday has published a misleading article about the data protection scandal of the MI5 email subscription list for Terror Alert Status changes and MI5 website news updates, launched with so much hype on Tuesday, and which Spy Blog was embarrassed to discover was so unnecessarily insecure.

See: "MI5 e-mail alert sign up shambles - all email subscription web forms sent to the USA, without encryption"
N.B.. There have been lots of media and blog stories claiming that the system sends out "terror alerts", implying specific terrorist threat warnings, but that is simply not the case.

MI5 terror alert blunder sends private data to US mailshot firm

By JASON LEWIS - Last updated at 21:02pm on 13th January 2007

The Mail on Sunday article did not bother to try to contact Spy Blog for any comments, instead preferring to use the phrase "The Mail on Sunday can reveal..."

However, in their interview with David Geller, the president of the US firm WhatCounts Inc, which they also publish photos of David Geller and his wife, and they make a point about saying that she is Iranian, mention their young child and their home town and style of house where they live !

They also imply that his company has links with the CIA, simply because it does work for the Voice of America radio station. The same could be said of any company which does business with the BBC World Service.

The claim that Mrs. Geller (who is specifically named by the Mail on Sunday)

a public relations executive, describes her interests as Iran, travel and cooking and gives her home town as Tehran.

obviously comes from web surfing her online digital photography albums on the Flickr website.

There is no suggestion that the Gellers have any links to the Iranian regime which has been named as part of the axis of evil by President Bush for its sponsorship of international terrorism.

There simply was no such suggestion until the Mail on Sunday just made it !

In what way are those personal family details at all relevant to a story, in which is no longer really involved, since, as of Friday evening, the MI5 system has been changed, as we reported, in our previous blog article "MI5 e-mail list subscriptions now more secure than at launch"

Sometime on Friday evening, the MI5 e-mail list subscription service has been modified from the shambolic version which was launched on Tuesday evening (see "MI5 e-mail alert signup shambles - all email subscription web forms sent to the USA, without encryption")

The e-mail list subscription service no longer seems to send your personal data to the USA in an unencrypted format, but it is still not being hosted entirely on secure UK Government IT infrastructure.

However, signing up this way, no longer gets you an email confirmation immediately, you will now have to wait "a few days". Will the terrorists also wait ?

There has been no indication of an update to the website on its front page, which still claims "Updated 9.1.07 17:00"

There has been no new news item on the What's New page, and so, it is not surprising that there has not been an email message to those people who have already subscribed to the MI5 website news update e-mail list.

The links to the web form

now take you to an SSL / TLS encrypted web page

You can now register "anonymously"

To subscribe, enter your e-mail address and, optionally, your name in the form below and press the "Subscribe" button. You can register anonymously if you wish, but providing your name (or a user name of some description) will enable us to help you more effectively if you report a problem with your subscription.

There is also now an extra paragraph at the bottom of the page :


Your subscription details will be sent over a secure Internet connection via a Secure Socket Layer (SSL), a protocol used for secure communications over the Internet. Web addresses that begin with "https" indicate that an SSL connection will be used.

Hooray ! This uses the already installed Digital Certificate for the website, which was already being used for an SSL encrypted web form.

So far, so good, but why could this not have been done on Tuesday when the service was launched ?

So where is this e-mail list sign up web form being processed this time ?

What a shambles over the heavily hyped "MI5 e-mail alert system", which failed to be available on Tuesday morning, as was implied in the media, but which has appeared on Tuesday evening, with all the appearance of a rushed job !

Astonishingly, MI5, the Security Service, part of whose remit is supposed to be giving protection advice against electronic attacks over the internet, is sending all our personal details (forename, surname and email address) unencrypted to commercial third party e-mail marketing and tracking companies which are physically and legally in the jurisdiction of the United States of America, and is even not bothering to make use of the SSL / TLS encrypted web forms and processing scripts which are already available to them.

Is this evidence of a rush job, to satisfy the demands of the Home Office spin doctors or is it incompetence, or indifference to the privacy and security of the general public ?

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.


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 offer this verifiable GPG / PGP public key (the ID is available on several keyservers, twitter etc.) as one possible method to establish initial contact with whistleblowers and other confidential sources, if it suits their Threat Model or Risk Appetite, but will then try to establish other secure, anonymous communications channels e.g. encrypted Signal Messenger via burner devices,or face to face meetings, postal mail or dead drops etc. as appropriate.

Current PGP Key ID: 0x1DBD6A9F0FACAD30 which will expire on 29th August 2021.

You can download a free copy of the PGP encryption software from
(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:

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)


Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog - ethical and technical discussion about the 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

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 - 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 have gone on to set up other online tools like The Government's contemptuous dismissal of over 5,000 individual responses via the 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 - New Alliance's ID Cards page - 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 - 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 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 - 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 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 journalist network.
The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
Policeman's Blog
World Weary Detective

Martin Stabe
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
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


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.


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 - 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


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

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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

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
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."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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

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.

FreeFarid_150.jpg - 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)

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).

Amnesty International's campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

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."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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."

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


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."


Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme

wblogocrop_150.jpg - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers