How many Home Office websites are there ?

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Apart from the utterly disgraceful deportation of foreign convicts scandal, which emerged last week, Home Secretary Charles Clarke also demonstrated his lack of a grip on the Home Office's internet publishing empire.

How can people who do not appear to know the state of their own "corporate", public facing websites, ever be trusted to securely deliver far more complicated IT systems like the National Identity Register scheme ?

Apparently, according to Charles Clarke's Parliamentary Written Answer, the Home Office "operates 40 websites" - except, of course, it does not !

Written answers Thursday, 27 April 2006

Norman Baker (Lewes, Liberal Democrat) :

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) the websites operated by his Department and (b) the reports placed on the internet in March 2006, indicating in each case whether paper copies were also made available.

Charles Clarke (Home Secretary):

As of 21 April 2006, the Home Office operates 40 websites.

The core Home Office website also has a number of sub-domains, such as, which act as portal sites for practitioners around policy issues.

After a major redevelopment in September 2005, which brought nine separate websites under the main Home Office domain, a plan is under way to consolidate all of our sites by March 2007.

The Home Office does not keep a central record of all of the reports published on its websites. The information requested about numbers of reports published on the internet in March 2006—and also made available in paper copy—can therefore not be collected without incurring disproportionate cost.

So much for a coherent Web Document Publishing system with version control, which would have given the answer within a few seconds.

The Written Answer then lists the URLs of the websites . However several of them refer to non-existant website URLs , some with non-existant sub-domains and some with entirely non-existant domain names. There are even Extranet websites to which the public has no access, which should not have been listed in this Written Answer at all.l

Is it really too much to expect, in the 21st Century, that whoever compiled this list, and Charles Clarke, who signed his name to the Written Answer, should at least have attempted to click on each of the URLs and visited each website listed ?

N.B. we have annoted this raw list of website URLs published in the above Parliamentary Written Answer.

A short description of each website should have been included in the Answer, but it was not.

The inept handling of domains and sub-domains is apparent:

  1. - the main Home Office website.

  2. - There is no such sub-domain.

    Presumably they mean - Home Office Commercial Directorate - "We deliver value for money to the Home Office by providing central commercial and procurement expertise. We strive to ensure consistent application of procurement policy, procedures, legislation and best practice."

    But not when it comes to sorting out proper sub-domains for their public facing website - this is nowhere near "best commercial practice" !

  3. - links to other myterious Home Office "Communities" webpages
    • Active Communities Directorate
    • Civil Renewal
    • Race, Equality, Faith & Cohesion

    What exactly do these people achieve, and at what expense in terms of public money and bureaucratic red tape ?

  4. - Another non-existant sub-domain.

    Presumably what is meant is which actually points to -

    "Welcome to

    This website provides drugs professionals with the latest news and guidance from government about the Drugs Strategy."

  5. - "This site combines all of the police-related information, support and guidance published by the Home Office into one website"

  6. - "Press Office handles enquiries from media only." Even then, this website always lags well behind in publishing the actual flurry of media spin and press releases which the Home Office propaganda machine disgorges.

  7. - under the leadership of junior Home Office Minister Andy Burnham, this is where Crime Statistics etc. are eventually published, usually well after they have been leaked to the press , and before they have been announced in Parliament.
    • Research Development Statistics
    • Home Office Scientific Development Branch
    • Animals Scientific Procedures Division - why is this under the Home Office at all ?

  8. -"provides unclassified information about the work of the Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Directorate, including: guidance on planning, background to legislation, and information about how partners and stakeholders work together to respond to terrorist attacks." i.e. it is of no practical use to the General Public

  9. - another non-existant sub-domain.

    Presumably they mean - "This website has been developed specifically for those involved in the design, development and implemention of the Single Non-Emergency Number Programme. This site is not intended for use by the general public."

    We fear that this will be as useless as the current Non-Emergency Crime and Hate Crime/Incident Reporting Service website developed by the Police.

  10. - "This is the portal to the websites of the three independent, Home Office-sponsored inspectorates - of Constabulary, Prisons and Probation."

    It is a shame that the Home Office so consistently ignores the warnings from these independent inspectorates, and this has led directly to the current Non-deportation of Foreign Convicts scandal.

  11. - "
    Careers information and current job vacancies within the Home Office and its empire of Quangos and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs),

  12. - why does this duplicate number 1 in the list ?

  13. - yet another non-existant sub-domain name.

    Presumably they mean to point ot the - "RDS NOMS is the part of the Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) in the Home Office which leads on research and analysis for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). The National Offender Management Service brings together the prison and probation services as one service"

  14. - "providing information and resources for people working to reduce crime in their local area"

  15. - "Crime Statistics for England and Wales" - what about Scotland and Northern Ireland ?

  16. - "is designed to provide access to information about the [National Probation] service, its work and its effectiveness and to act as a reference point for further information."

  17. - a Non-existant Domain Name

    This would be far too long a domain name for advertising or marketing purposes, even if it existed !

  18. - the political slogans "give respect - get respect" and "respect cannot be learned, purchased or aquired it can only be earned" also apply to the breakdown of trust and respect for the Home Office and the Labour government.

    "Respect" appears to be a political codeword for "Anti-Social Behavior Order"

    Why is this a publicly funded Home Office website rather than a Labour Party one ?

  19. - Immigration and Nationality Directorate - "As part of the Home Office we are responsible for Immigration control. We also consider applications for permission to stay, citizenship and asylum. This website will help you understand UK Immigration control and what your rights and responsibilities are when you make an application."

  20. - Immigration and Nationaility Directorate Extranet for Members of Parliament ?? Given the number of immigration cases which Members of Parliament get involved in, this may well, be a Good Idea, however not like this !

    Apart from the obvious fact that the website is not protected by SSL/TLS encrypted sessions, so that the Basic Authentication credentials and the identifiable Personal Data of the Immigration cases, are at risk of being intercepted by third parties, we have to wonder what sort of a "backdoor" there is from the commercial shared webspace which this Extranet front end resides on, and the core Immigration and Nationality Directorate IT infrastructure.

    Why was this private website included in the Written Answer to a question abou public documents and websites ?

  21. - "If you currently employ staff from outside the UK or are planning to, you're legally required to make checks on their right to work here."

  22. - "This site helps you to prepare for the Life in the UK Test. It does not give you the knowledge you need to take the test. You can find this information in the 'Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship' handbook"

  23. - What is this ? There does not seem to be a valid Domain Name registered, let alone a website.

  24. - " Welcome to the Home Office Ceremonies web site. Becoming a British citizen is a significant event in your life. As a British citizen, you are joining a community made up of many different backgrounds, cultures and faiths. To celebrate the occasion of becoming a British citizen, the Government is introducing new Citizenship ceremonies."

  25. - "This site aims to provide you with clear information about the various routes open to Foreign Nationals who want to come and work in the United Kingdom."

  26. - the official saga of the Home Office's attempt to constructi" "an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at the former MOD site outside Bicester in Oxfordshire."

  27. - "On this site you can find out about the work carried out in prisons throughout England and Wales."

  28. - actually now points to the Identity and Passport Service portal page (N.B. not listed in the Written Answer list of websites as at the 21st April, even though this went live on 1st April) linking to the and the UK Passport Service

  29. - Prison Enterprises website under re-design

  30. - actually now points to the Identity and Passport Service portal page (see numnber 28 above) linking to the the UK Passport Service and to the

  31. - The Written Answer should also have listed which is another widely published alias pointing to the relevant part of the Criminal Records Bureau website.

  32. - Forensic Science Service - "is a trading name of Forensic Science Service Ltd., which is a UK Government owned company (GovCo)." and which is also heavily involved with the National DNA Database etc.

  33. - "This site exists to support the Home Office Vehicle Crime Reduction Campaign."

  34. - Orwellian newspeak / NuLabour / Gordon Brown style slogan without verbs: "improving opportunity, strengthening society"

    "Being a citizen means showing that you care and that you belong: in this country, in your community, in your neighbourhood. Citizens' day is an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to come together to break down barriers, tackle prejudice and hate, value our differences and celebrate what we have in common."

    Is the Home Office capable of organising such a "piss up in a brewery" ?

  35. - "The Connected programme is part of the Home Office strategy to tackle gun crime and gun culture, aimed at working with community groups"

    Why is the word (and the top level domain name) "connected" more appropriate for an gun crime campaign, rather than, say, an internet awareness or training campaign ?

  36. - it may very well be, however "This domain name has not been registered"

  37. - "This website has been produced by the Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee, a collaboration between UK financial bodies, government and the police to combat the threat of identity theft."

    This website promulgates the spin and disinformation about the level of so called "identity theft" see Andy Burnham's "£1.7 billon identity fraud" figure is as false as the previous £1.3 billion one

  38. - "This website is brought to you by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and contains loads of information on how to stay safe online. All hot topics are covered – including mobiles, blogging and gaming sites – and you can tell us if you feel uncomfortable or worried about someone you’re chatting to online."

  39. - "This website contains information on becoming a police officer and how to apply.

    It also has information on Specials, Community Support Officers, other police staff, cadets and volunteers, but its main focus is on police officers."

  40. - "On the High Potential Development (HPD) scheme, you’ll get the training, support and opportunities you need to take your police career to the top.

    The HPD scheme has been designed to develop the future leaders of the police service"

  41. - the Home Office do seem to have registered the domain name back in December 2004, but there is currently no website: - "Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)"

  42. - " The Independent Monitoring Boards

    Few people realise that inside every prison and immigration removal centre there is an Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) – a group of ordinary members of the public doing an extraordinary job. IMB members are independent and unpaid, appointed by Home Office Ministers to monitor the day-to-day life in their local prison or removal centre and ensure that proper standards of care and decency are maintained."

  43. - "Independent Police Complaints Commission

    The IPCC's job is to make sure that complaints against the police are dealt with effectively. "

  44. - "Welcome to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal website. The IPT exists to investigate complaints about conduct by various public bodies, in relation to you, your property or communications."

    Surely the other website of the other Public Body appointed and funded by the Home Secretary, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, namely that of the Office of the Chief Surveillance Commissioner,

    should also be listed in the Parliamentary Written Answer ?

  45. - the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales

  46. - Non-existant Domain Name - the real Bichard Inquiry website is at

  47. - "The Russell Commission was established in May 2004 by the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, to develop a new national framework for youth action and engagement. The Commission was headed by Ian Russell, Chief Executive of Scottish Power, and reflects the Government’s commitment to increase youth volunteering and civic service"

  48. - "The Zahid Mubarek Inquiry

    On Thursday 29 April 2004 the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP announced the establishment of a non-statutory public inquiry into the murder of Zahid Mubarek at Feltham Young Offender Institution on Tuesday 21 March 2000."

Why do some Home Office websites still use the deprecated and sneaky technique of "web bugs" ? These are hidden 1 x 1 graphical images which allow, in this case a foreign owned third party commercial company Sitestat / Nedstat to track visitors to these UK Government websites.

US Government websites are forbidden from using such a privacy insensitive technique.


I would like to kindly request the following:
I have been living in England,London since 1989 to 1996 having the brown pass port with my son whom I born there.
Unfortunately I got ill and I decided to come back to the country where I born.
Know I am in good condition and my sone is at an age of sixteen.
When we compare to live in England with where we are currently living there is better opportunity to learn and live the ideal life.
Hence my approach to you is to ask your esteemed center to arrange me the way to renew my pass port and my son's also.
Needless to say any cooperation that you would make to make easy my process will be much appriciated.
Tirhas Kibrom

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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.

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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)

House of Lords Constitution Committee - Surveillance: Citizens and the State

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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
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Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

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

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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."

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

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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

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Parliamentary Opposition

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."

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

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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
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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.

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

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Surpriv: RFID Surveillance and Privacy
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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
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infinite ideas machine - Phil Booth
Louise Ferguson - City of Bits
Chris Lightfoot
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Liberty Central

dropsafe - Alec Muffett
The Identity Corner - Stefan Brands
Kim Cameron - Microsoft's Identity Architect
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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
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Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

Nick Leaton - Random Ramblings
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The Practical Nomad Blog Edward Hasbrouck on Privacy and Travel
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Matt Sellers
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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


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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

RIPA Consultations

RIPA Part III consultation blog - Government access to Encrypted Information and Encryption Keys.

RIPA Part I Chapter II consultation blog - Government access and disclosure of Communications Traffic Data

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Follow Spy Blog on Twitter

For those of you who find it convenient, there is now a Twitter feed to alert you to new Spy Blog postings.

Please bear in mind the many recent, serious security vulnerabilities which have compromised the Twitter infrastructure and many user accounts, and Twitter's inevitable plans to make money out of you somehow, probably by selling your Communications Traffic Data to commercial and government interests.

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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_gov_uk_150.gif - Cabinet Office hosted portal website to various UK Intelligence Agencies and UK Government intelligence committees and Commissioners etc.

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protestClimate 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

Serious Organised Crime Agency - have cut themselves off from direct contact with the public and businesses - no phone - no email

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.

netcu_logo_150.gif National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit
National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit - keeps a watch on animal extremists, genetically modified crop protesters, peace protesters etc.
(some people think that the word salad of acronyms means that NETCU is a spoof website)

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