Recently in Yet Another National Database Category

The Online Census website is now online via

http://www.census.gov.uk/

When you get your Census Form, it will have an Internet Access Code which will authorise your access to the system and which will be used in the Questionnaire Tracking Database to see if you have completed the Census Form or not.

To be fair to the ONS, they do appear to have at least set up reasonably secure SSL / TLS encrypted web forms. Which do seem to have "A rated" Digital Certificates and webserver configurations. These are not the best in the world, but comparable with most online banking systems.

Compare the results you get via the SSL Labs testing page:

These Online Census Form webservers get an [A 88] rating :

https://onlinema1.census.gov.uk
[195.59.102.163]
https://onlinema2.census.gov.uk [195.59.102.171]
https://onlinepb1.census.gov.uk [212.137.40.242]
https://onlinepb2.census.gov.uk [212.137.40.250]
.
However the Census Media Centre extranet web page
https://2011mc.census.gov.uk [94.126.106.133]

only gets a [B 76] rating, because it still allows weak 56 bit single DES encryption as a choice of cipher.

More importantly all of these Census webservers are still vulnerable to Man in the Middle Attacks because they still support unpatched SSL Renegotiation

http://blog.ivanristic.com/2009/11/not-just-csrf-ssl-authentication-gap-used-for-credentials-theft.html

Therefore nobody should use a public WiFi Access Point e.g. in a cyber café etc to fill in their Online Census Form, especially if they do not fill in all of the form in one session, and leave it partially completed online to come back to later.

There does seem to be a minor spelling mistake: "Forth" instead of "Fourth" in a label in the HTML source code to the first page where you enter this Internet Access Code.

Did they really check this system properly ?

Whether this website will fail to stand up to the strain of millions of simultaneous request, just like so many other previous Government websites have failed, remains to be seen.

Compared with the paper Census Form, there will be no ability to deliberately leave any of the Questions blank (apart from the voluntary one on Religion).

If your Address is on the specially compiled, up to date Address Register for delivery of the Census Form, and the Barcode / Internet Access Code is used to monitor which Census Forms have not been completed, and you believe the promises that only anonymised data will be released to other Government Departments or Agencies etc. then there should , technically, be no need for you to fill in your Name on this Census Form



Census_Bus_NO2ID_450.jpg


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

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

Letters: Perspectives on Israel and its place history

Friday, 25 February 2011

[...]

UK census data is protected

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

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

Weasel words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See previous Spy Blog article:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even more weasel words.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[...]

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

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

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

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

[...]

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

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

Guess where Vangent has its offices ?

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

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

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

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


The Census 2011 media hype is starting to ramp up with this Press Release:

Employees need to know their workplace postcode

where the Office for National Statistics reiterate their bureaucratic desire to snoop on your job / workplace address.

The Census 2011 Questions for England and Wales (.pdf) demand answers about "availability for work" in the past month, treating everyone as if they were all signing on to the dole at the local "Job Centre". They also ask:

33 In your main job, are (were) you:

  • an employee?
  • self-employed or freelance without employees?
  • self-employed with employees?

34 What is (was) your full and specific job title?

35 Briefly describe what you do (did) in your main job.

36 Do (did) you supervise any employees?

  • Yes
  • No

37 At your workplace, what is (was) the main activity of your employer or business?

38 In your main job, what is (was) the name of the organisation you work (worked) for?

Write in the business name
Or tick: No organisation, for example, self- employed, freelance, or work (worked) for a private individual


[...]

40 In your main job, what is the address of your workplace?

Write in the address. If you work at or from home, on an offshore installation, or have no fixed workplace, tick one of the boxes below

  • Mainly work at or from home
  • Offshore installation
  • No fixed place

These will not be contentious questions for many people, but for tens of thousands of people, the existence of such a National Database will represent a threat to their personal security or a threat to national security.

The Census 2011 Personal Information data is only Protectively Marked to almost the lowest category i.e. RESTRICTED, but such information like the entire listing of the Names, Date of Birth, Home Addresses, relationship details of Family Members, Job Titles, Employer's Name, Address, Postcode should be classified as SECRET or even TOP SECRET, when it applies, as it does to all UK based members of groups like:

  • MI5 Security Service
  • MI6 Secret Intelligence Service
  • GCHQ,
  • DIS Defence Intelligence Staff
  • Special Forces like the SAS
  • Military personnel
  • Police Officers
  • HMRC investigators
  • Serious Organised Crime Agency officers
  • Prison Officers
  • Judges
  • Prosecutors
  • Undercover Confidential Human Intelligence Sources
  • People living under Witness Protection Schemes
  • Women hiding from their abusive or violent partners or stalkers
  • Key personnel who have access to the controls to the Critical National Infrastructure e.g. senior staff at a nuclear power station etc.
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Development scientists harassed by animal extremists.

All of these groups and others, normally attempt to keep their Home Addresses or the fact that they work for a particular organisation secret, due to real or imagined threats to their personal security.

The insistence by the ONS on "full and specific" Job Titles, Employers Address, Location(s) and Post Code(s) etc. effectively tags such personnel to foreign intelligence agencies, crime gangs, terrorists and to stalkers within the bureaucracy.

e.g. Postcodes for

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - GL51 0EX
MI5 the Security Service at Thames House, London - SW1P 1AE
MI6, Vauxhall Cross, London, SE1 1BD
Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station, Suffolk, IP16 4UR
Huntingdon Life Sciences research laboratories, Alconbury, Cambridgeshire - PE28 4HS
Her Majesty's Prison Wandsworth, London, SW18 3HS (largest UK prison population, full of illegal mobile phones and drugs and some corrupt or coerced prison officers)
Her Majesty's Prison Woodhill, Milton Keynes, - MK4 4DA high security prison with Muslim terrorist suspects and convicted terrorists.
Maghaberry Prison, Lisburn, Northern Ireland - BT28 2NF -
high security prison with IRA / UDA convicted terrorists.
New Scotland Yard - HQ of the Metropolitan Police Service, London - SW1H 0BG

These Census 2011 Questions even fall foul of the former Labour government's controversial "thought crime" legislation e.g.

Terrorism Act 2000 section 58 Collection of information

and

Terrorism Act 2000 section 58A Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc

This applies to current and former members of the armed forces, police constable and members of the intelligence services, even ones who have been dismissed from service.

Astonishingly, Section 58A is not going to be amended or repealed as promised before the General Election, according to the Conservative / Liberal Democrat Coalition Government's Review of counter-terrorism and security powers

Section 58A is as yet untested in the Court, however section 58 has been used to send several people to prison who had only collected some personal Information about one single soldier, so it must also apply to those who seek to collect, collate and concentrate such "potential death list" data on all of the people in the UK whose occupations put them and their families at real or imagined risk of violence from foreign spies, serious organised criminal gangs or terrorists.

Both sections have a "reasonable excuse" defence, but that only comes into play after your life has been ruined by being arrested (possibly at gunpoint in a dawn raid, where there is a real risk of getting shot), photographed, fingerprinted and DNA sampled, then charged under Terrorism legislation, thereby blacklisting internationally you for the rest of your life, even if you are acquitted or the charges are dropped.

If the hundreds of thousands of people in the categories listed above are not prosecuted for refusing to fill in a Census Form, or for not filling it in as accurately or as fully as the Office for National Statistics demands, then why should any of the rest of us be forced to do so either, if we feel strongly about particularly intrusive Census Questions ?

The Census 2011 press release:

Employees need to know their workplace postcode

Businesses throughout England and Wales are being asked by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to make sure that their employees know the postcode of their place of work so that they can record it on their 2011 Census questionnaires in March.

Knowing their workplace postcode is a key piece of information that feeds into the overall picture of life in England and Wales. Details of where people live, where they work and how they travel to their place of employment provide important statistics for transport planning and other strategic decisions.

The address and postcode of the employer is one of a number of questions contained in the census questionnaire about jobs, place of work, hours of employment and methods of travel to work. Answers to these questions help to build a profile of the economy of England and Wales and provide the foundation for other labour market and economic statistics published by ONS.

Note that the ONS makes no provision for simply filling in, say only the first 4 digits of the Post Code, which would be more than adequate for such planning purposes,.

Why should we let them be so unnecessarily intrusive ?

In the 2001 Census, nearly 8 per cent of questionnaires did not include a workplace postcode. In some parts of the country, the figure was as high as 18 per cent and large number of calls were taken by the census contact centre from people who were unsure about their work address.

8 per cent must be about 2 million questionnaires.

How many of those people were prosecuted for not filling in a "workplace postcode" ?

Possibly none of the 38 prosecutions since 2001 were only for this.

Deputy 2011 Census Director, Pete Benton, said, "While everyone is likely to know their own postcode at home, many won't know the postcode of their workplace.

"As well as asking for an employer's name, the questionnaire also asks for an address and postcode. While the internet makes it easier to look it up, not everyone has access to the web so we are asking all employers to make sure that their staff have the right information to enable them to complete this section of the questionnaire."

As well as underpinning the planning of public services, census statistics are also used extensively by the private sector. Information on such things as the skill and age profile of the workforce and where people live can help businesses to decide where to place new offices, factories and other places of work and what training they need provide for their employees.

So that would be the very definition of "excessive data collection" then: the collection of extra detailed information which is not directly relevant to an individual's daily life.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said, "Businesses need this information to be able to make the right investment decisions. Census statistics can affect plans for business expansion and new industry, so it is worth making sure staff know their postcodes before completing these surveys.

From a purely selfish, profit centred, perspective, why should an established business make it easier for new competitors to start up, or for old ones to expand ?

All the relevant information about home addresses and work addresses is already known by the Government regarding the vast numbers of people who work in the public sector. Each Government department could collate and anonymise and transparently publish this information about itself on its own website or on a shared transport planning website.

"Having the right transport infrastructure in place is part of this overall picture and something as simple as making sure that your employees know their workplace postcode can really help this process."

Previous Census data has not succeed in producing "the right transport infrastructure", in the past, due to all of the other political and financial factors, so why should it be any different with the Census 2011 ?

There is an unacceptable cost to personal privacy and security, because the Census Questions are too detailed and too intrusive .

Remember, that for the England and Wales Census 2011, there is no longer any guarantee that your Personal Sensitive Information will not be handed over, on pain of up to 2 years in prison under the Census Act 1920, in secret, to a vast array of Government agencies and others, as a result of the wide ranging Exemptions introduced by the former Labour government's Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 section 39. Confidentiality of personal information


Census Day is 27 March 2011 and more information is available from www.census.gov.uk
-Ends-

For further information, images and interviews:

Press Hotline: 01329 447654

Email: 2011censuspress@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Visit: www.census.gov.uk/2011press

Twitter: www.twitter.com/2011censuspress

census_2011_logo_150.jpg

The 2011 Census is rapidly approaching on Sunday 27th March 2011 and the Government bureaucracy is preparing its media spin and propaganda campaign:

Have a look at this Census 2011 Press centre page: Local Press resources, updated 27th November 2010

[...]

Media incident guidelines

The 2011 Census press team has established a comprehensive media handling and issue tracking process. The press team will focus its resources on national and regional press, TV and radio. However, certain events and local press enquiries could mean that you want some support. Possible scenarios are:

Negative local media coverage: If you become aware of any negative local media coverage about the 2011 Census which may affect return rates or could damage the reputation of the 2011 Census and/or ONS, please contact your local census area manager or ACLM.

Difficult press enquiries: Press enquiries can be passed on to your 2011 Census area manager if:

  • you do not feel confident that you have enough information to satisfy a specific journalist request/enquiry
  • the journalist asks for an official ONS comment
  • the journalist is looking for information outside your area
  • you are unsure of the angle the journalist is taking - or suspect they may take a negative line

Other events: If ever something happens that you think could become a media issue, please call your 2011 Census area manager to talk it through.

For all emergencies requiring urgent communication with the 2011 Census press team in Titchfield, please call the 2011 Census Press Hotline:

01329 447654

2011 Census press officers are available on this number 24 hours a day. This is a press hotline and should only ever be used in an emergency.

A 24 hour a day census media spin hotline, to counter journalists who are merely "suspected" of "taking a negative line"

This is in itself, highly suspicious - what exactly are they trying to hide ?

Social media guidelines

The 2011 Census campaign includes activities to monitor and engage appropriately with social media. The viral nature of social media calls for extra care whenever your team is representing the 2011 Census in social media, Please observe our guidelines to avoid a social media crisis.

If you are at all unsure, please contact us at 2011censusLAcomms@ons.gov.uk for advice.

Will this "social media monitoring and engagement" manage to detect this blog post and its corresponding tweet ?

Response statements

Should the national press raise an issue that could cause public concern, damage the reputation or success of the 2011 Census, and require correction/clarification, we may publish an official response/position statement on the 2011 Census website, www.census.gov.uk/2011press. We will send you an email alert whenever these are published on the press centre. A detailed explanation of the background, research and consultation involved in developing the 2011 Census questions is available on the ONS website.

Are there any journalists or social media commentators who would like to test this spin system with some "Negative local media coverage" or "difficult press enquiries" or issues "which may raise public concern" ?

See our previous Spy Blog article United Kingdom (England & Wales) Census Day - Sunday 27th March 2011 - will you boycott the intrusive, snooping questions ?

Some Questions to Ask:

  1. The outsourcing of the Census data processing to the United States defence contractor Lockheed Martin, whose company officers and executives have no choice under the US Patriot Act but to allow US Government agencies to snoop on our unredacted, not yet anonymised Census data . What proof is there that US employees or citizens will have no access to our Census Data ?

  2. The mysterious, secret, Census 2011 Online Completion website, which will be available from March 5th 2011.

    • Why is there no preview URL for the public and media to check the "look and feel" and functionality ?
    • What strength of SSL / TLS Digital Certificate and cryptographic algorithms will be employed, if any ?
    • What proof is there that the data will not be shipped from the webserver to back end servers unencrypted ?
    • Will the web forms attempt to force you to answer every Question, even if you want to leave something blank ?
    • Will the website employ web bugs and foreign based Google tracking cookies (like the Census 20111 website does, for no good reason)
    • What Communications Data logfile tracking will there be ? This would be a bonanza for Google or other tracking cookie systems if they are in place.
    • What measures exactly are in place to prevent the "Census Online Completion" website from grinding to a halt, due to entirely predictable peak demand, as we have seen with previous Office of National Statistics historical census websites and with the HMRC self assessment tax return website etc. ?

  3. What proof is there that there will not be Another Massive Data Loss Disaster involving CDs, DVDs, USB memory devices, laptop computer losses or thefts, as we have seen with HMRC and the Ministry of Defence etc. ?

  4. Can census takers and the Census board be prosecuted under the Terrorism Act 2000 section 58A Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc, which applies, without any exceptions, to all current and former members of the intelligence agencies, military personnel or police constables?

    • Will the Census contain accurate lists of the names, home addresses, workplace addresses, job titles and sensitive personal data details of all the UK based employees of MI5 the Security Service, MI6 the Secret Intelligence Service, GCHQ, the Defence Intelligence Staff, members of the Special Forces (e.g. the Special Air Service (SAS) or Special Boat Squadron (SBS) or the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) ) or the Metropolitan or West Midlands or Thames Valley Police Counter-Terrorism Command, the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) etc ?

    • Will these groups of secret civil servants be prosecuted for not filling in the Census Form completely and accurately ? If not, then what legal basis is there for any exemption for these secretive people or for others like Judges, or Prison Warders or people in Witness Protection Schemes etc. ? There is none in the census legislation as it stands.

  5. Most importantly, what about the fact that the old legal protections against the sharing of Sensitive Personal Data defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 Part 1 section 2 Sensitive personal data on religion, health , sexuality etc.collected during the Census have now been abolished. ?

  6. What proof is there that our confidential sensitive personal data will not be shared with the intelligence agencies, the police, the immigration authorities, the tax authorities, foreign governments or private sector companies now that such sharing is exempt from the 2 years in prison penalty under the old Census Act 1921, by virtue of the wide ranging exemptions which were sneaked into the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 section 39. Confidentiality of personal information ?

The Census is set to be inflicted on us on Census Day / Night - Saturday 27th March 2011

Since it has, unfortunately, become impossible to trust this or any future Government with our Data Protection Act 1998 section 2 Sensitive Personal Data, the forthcoming Census, which appears to be a huge increase in the amount of bureaucratic snooping compared with the previous Census, is going to be very controversial.

SInce the data is being collected by US Defense Contractor Lockheed-Martin to data process, it will inevitably be handed over to the US Government, by hook or by crook, regardless of any legal contract signed with this weak Labour Government.

Why has the Whitehall bureaucracy been allowed to ignore the Principles of Data Minimization recommended by the Thomas and Walport Data Sharing Review?

Will the political Opposition manage to get any of these unnecessarily intrusive questions removed from this Draft Statutory Instrument, or will they just rubber stamp it "on the nod", as usual ?

Draft Statutory Instruments 2009 No. 0000

Census, England And Wales The Census (England and Wales) Order 2009

Most of the potential benefits to members of the public, in terms of planning of future government services, simply needs just the number of people living in a particular area, and does not justify these intrusive Census questions

How many of these Sensitive Personal Data Questions about Names and Addresses, Medical Data, Disabilities, Racial Ethnicity, Religious Beliefs, Recent Job History, Accommodation Details and Familial Relationships. will you try to avoid or deliberately lie about ?

Remember that Census Data is not "anonymised".at the point of collection.

[UPDATED on 30th October to include this section on the removal of the supposedly absolute confidentiality of the census data]:

Remember also that, unlike previous Censuses, the supposedly cast iron guarantee of the Census Act 1920 to prevent the sharing of this supposedly confidential census data with the Police or Intelligence agencies or the Tax authorities etc. has now been abolished by a combination of the general "get out of jail for incompetent bureaucrats" clause introduced in by the amendments sneaked in to the Census Confidentiality Act 1991

1 Unlawful disclosure of information

In section 8 of the [1920 c. 41.] Census Act 1920 (penalties), the following subsections shall be substituted for subsection (2)--

[...]

(4) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (2) or (3) to prove--

(a) that at the time of the alleged offence he believed--

(i) that he was acting with lawful authority; or

[...]

When this is combined with the

Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 section 39. Confidentiality of personal information

(1) Subject to this section, personal information held by the Board in relation to the exercise of any of its functions must not be disclosed by--

(a) any member or employee of the Board,

(b) a member of any committee of the Board, or

(c) any other person who has received it directly or indirectly from the Board.

[...]

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

(a) is required or permitted by any enactment,

(b) is required by a Community obligation,

(c) is necessary for the purpose of enabling or assisting the Board to exercise any of its functions,

(d) has already lawfully been made available to the public,

(e) is made in pursuance of an order of a court,

(f) is made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom),

(g) is made, in the interests of national security, to an Intelligence Service,

(h) is made with the consent of the person to whom it relates, or

(i) is made to an approved researcher.

There is now no legal defence for the Office for National Statistics to stand up to the police, intelligence agencies, tax authorities or even High Court Orders brought by rich clients and their expensive lawyers, or other data snoopers, who want to use the census data for their own data trawling purposes to hunt down a particular individual or their family.

Here are the details of the Intrusive, and No Longer Confidential Questions which are to be demanded from you, under the threat of a fine of up to Level 3 on the Standard Scale i.e. £1000:

The Daily Telegraph has a disturbing report about an alleged compulsory plan to insert RFID microchip transponders in all dogs in the UK, and Yet Another National Database of human names, addresses and telephone numbers, which will not solve the underlying problems, and which will pose a Privacy and Security risk to millions of innocent people.

All dogs to be microchipped with owner's details to 'help track pets'

All dogs in Britain will be fitted with microchips which contain their owner's details, under cross party plans designed to track family pets.

By Andrew Hough
Published: 7:00AM BST 28 Sep 2009

Owners will be forced to install the microchip containing a barcode that can store their pet's name, breed, age and health along with their own address and phone number.

barcode ? Surely not ! How exactly do you read one of those opticaly, when it is implanted under the skin and fur ?

Presumably the author means an implantable RFID transponder chip

This sort of glass encapsulated RFID transponder chip implant, designed for animal tagging, uses a low frequency of around 125KHz, with a reading range of about a metre. High or microwave frequency, faster data rate, longer range RFIDchips etc. are of no use for implants, as those radio frequencies are strongly absorbed by living tissue.

The barcode's details would then be stored on a national database which local councils could access in a bid to easily identify an owner's pet.

What is the justification for this being a national database ?

Why not local Council based databases, with the minimum amount of data needed i.e. just the RFID chip serial number and a description of the dog, but with no names and addresses of humans whatsoever, except of those people who have actually reported a lost dog ?

The new scheme, supported by the Tories and Labour, is designed to curb the trade in stolen dogs, prevent the use of animals in anti-social or violent incidents and reduce the record number of stray dogs being found on British streets.

It is ludicrous to suggest that drug dealers or those involved in dog fighting etc. will ever submit their real details to such a National Dog Owners Database.

If your dog gets stolen by professional thieves, then it will be easily "re-chipped", or "un-chipped" . There is no economic incentive for them to do so at present, but as soon as compulsion is inflicted, the criminals will easily tool up.

Unscrupulous "puppy farm" breeders of pedigree dogs and dog thieves have been forging dog "identity papers" for hundreds of years, and this scheme will not prevent that either.

If your dog gets lost and you have had it chipped, then it is fair enough to include some minimal contact details and the RFID chip serial number, when you report it lost or stolen, but that does not justify creating another insecure national database containing the details of millions of dog owners who have not lost their dogs.

If an owner failed to insert a chip, at an estimated cost of about £10, they could be fined or face the possibility of having their pet taken away.

Why will it be any more successful than the compulsory Dog Licence, which was abolished in 1987 under the then Conservative government, since it was unenforceable in practice, without an army of petty spies and snoopers, with around half of the dogs in the UK not having been registered. ?

See the House of Commons Library Research Paper 98/6: Dogs

The chip would be installed once but if the owner's personal details change the information on the database can be changed.

The chip, said to be the size of a rice granule, is implanted into the pet either behind the ears or between the shoulder blades.

Experts say the procedure is relatively painless for the animal and is over in a matter of seconds.

Not a "barcode " then.

Most pet and farm animal tagging systems only have enough memory to store a serial number in the RFID chip capsule. - it is a bit hard to read an optical barcode which has been inserted inside the animal.

There is no way of protecting any human name, address and telephone number data unless the chip is at least as complex and as expensive as that in the biometric Passports or the planned ID Cards.

The plans, to be unveiled at the next election, were backed by animal charities, who say it was a quick, cheap and painless way of keeping tabs on animals.

So this is really more about controlling humans than about controlling dogs, a National Identity Register by stealth, for the millions of pet owners in the UK.

Who exactly is planning to set up this National Database ?
How much will it cost ?
How will it ever be secure against corrupt insider attacks ?
Who will regulate it ?
Who will enforce the mandatory registration aspect of it ?
What actual cost benefit will there be ?

The Labour government has never managed to come up with satisfactory answers for their National Identity Register scheme, so there is little chance that a compulsory National Dog Owners Register would be any different.

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.

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

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

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

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

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links

Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog

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

Privacy and Security

Privacy International
United Kingdom Privacy Profile (2011)

Cryptome - censored or leaked government documents etc.

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

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

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

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

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

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

Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

European Digital Rights

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

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

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

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

Human Rights

Liberty Human Rights campaigners

British Institute of Human Rights
Amnesty International
Justice

Prevent Genocide International

asboconcern - campaign for reform of Anti-Social Behavior Orders

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

Internet Censorship

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

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

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

Judicial Links

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

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

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

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

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

Parliamentary Opposition

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

UK Government

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

No. 10 Downing Street Prime Minister's Official Spindoctors

Public Bills before Parliament

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

House of Commons "Question Book"

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

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

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

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

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

Online Media

Boing Boing

Need To Know [now defunct]

The Register

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

Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surveillance Infrastructures

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

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

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

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

RFID Links

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

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

RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

Genetic Links

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

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

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

Miscellanous Links

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

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

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

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

Former Spies

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

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

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

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

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Blog Links

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

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

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

Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

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

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

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

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

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

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward

War-on-Freedom

The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

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

Shaphan

Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

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

BLOGDIAL

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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia

NuLabour

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

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

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

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UK Legislation

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

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

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

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

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

UK Intelligence Agencies

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

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

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

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

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

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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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