CCTV surveillance as Anti-Social Behaviour

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We are getting an increasing number of emails along these lines, from people whose neighbours are installing cheap CCTV cameras for alleged "security" purposes, without bothering to consult their neighbours, over whose property these cameras also overlook:

So where do I go next - working on this on a daily basis - have been to police, planning, CAB, Liberty too and now the ASBO team, my life is hell and nobody can help! I can finally see how law abiding citizens get themselves into big trouble and finally flip am really coming close and where I have always been of the opinion that the Police etc and authorities will see that justice is done - I am fast becoming disheartened - have even in the last 2 days sent an email to parliament. How can this be that my totally mad neighbour is allowed to train a camera at my property and I am powerless- am at wits end - any advice now? Thanks Regards,


This may be the golden opportunity for anti CCTV campaigners.

Suburbanites watching each other on CCTV will at least polarise them which in turn is likely to bring about a rise in the demand for privacy laws. I think that the best policy here would be to wind them up and watch them go. I suspect that, eventually, they will come to the conclusion that privacy laws are necessary.

As a townie, I haved a public CCTV camera at each end of my street. I keep the curtains shut and use the back door, but I should really not have to do this to protect my privacy.

On the positive side, I have just stuffed one up 'em on my van. I now have a yellow sign on the back written in numberplate letters on a yellow background. The numberplate itself is sandwitched inbetween 2 banner signs. At least it makes it difficult for the readers - H4M PER ANPR.

I think all spy camera surveillance is Anti Social Behaviour. However, you can imagine any privacy law drafted to control private spy cameras will have a myriad of exemptions. These would enable the local authorities, police and private companies to continue with their obnoxious activities unregulated. It would just be the man in the street who would be affected.

On the subject of ANPR, Jake Long's "confusing characters" is a brilliant idea. Arguably ANPR is a greater threat to privacy than spy cameras. You can really only obtain "soft information" from spy cameras - it's neigh on impossible to construct meaningful databases from the images. Not so with ANPR. These devilish devices are logging our movements with increasing accuracy and frequency. They are sprouting up like weeds all over the place, unregulated, and usually installed by the "state within a state" (ACPO) with no consultation.

There's a set on the A19 which I regularly pass. It's not too difficult to shied yourself behind a lorry in the slow lane. Then again, you could ride a motorbike - the cameras log the front numberplate. As for the set on the A1 at Boroughbridge, well it's easy for anyone so inclined to avoid them - just go up the slip road and down the other side. The ANPR cameras are on a bridge at the junction. I think this speaks volumes about police stupidity. Of all the bridges to put ANPR on, they choose one where you can effectively bypass it.

Our local chief of traffic has just been ranting on in the local paper, accusing virtually all motorists of being criminals. He states his number one priority is "denying use of the roads to criminals". What the f' does that actually mean? In his terms I suppose it means sticking ANPR cameras up like there was no tomorrow.

I feel that the Road Traffic Acts and Various road traffic regulations make a blueprint for the vision that the government has got for the future.

It is the nearest they have got to a workable model by which they can persecute, punish and fine 'their' citizens as they see fit using whatever new laws and restrictions that they decide to dream up.

Of course the key to all this is national identity cards, just as the driving licence was key to it all with drivers.

That is why above all elese, ID card legislation must be stopped.

There are 2 serious mistakes that we as citizens made within the last century: No.1 was to allow the special caveats to be created for people who own a particular machine (Motor Vehicles) and No.2 was to allow the use of public CCTV. Combine the 2 and you have total control of a large section of the country. Add to this an identity card and you have a full house: Game set and match to the government.

The nation cannot and must not sit back and allow this to happen.

Point a large CCTV camera with a red light on top at your neighbour's house and stream it to a public web page.

The issue here is whether the public have the same surviellance rights as the state.

To me that's a form of stalking and harrassment and a clear breach of privacy, but to Labour its probably the actions of a good, vigilant neighbour watching for thoughtcrime. I think the homeowner is lucky to be aware (s)he is bring spied on, because, by collecting evidence (photographing the camera and the area it is aimed at), the nosy and arrogant neighbour can be brought to justice.

This ties in vaguely with the recent case of a man being shocked at the nude sunbathing of his neighbour, and rushing off to get his video camera for "evidence":

Magistrates cleared her, but interestingly (thankfully?), many people reading the BBC site commented on the inappropriateness of the camera, rather than the nudity:

(There's a whole bunch in this case on how acceptability = normality, but maybe some other time...)

Under the Data Protection Act there are 79 pages of guidelines for installing CCTV cameras.

I took Rochdale MBC to task on this and they had to follow the guidelines , which are advisory not mandatory. (qv Mosquito noise generator to upset teenagers)

There is a strong case that CCTV breaches the legislation on harassment (stalking) but you would have to bring, at high cost, civil legislation.

If a neighbour starts, my view is just go and touch up the lens with a bit of black spray paint.

There is no objective evidence whatever that CCTV has any effect on crime reduction ... or detection. It does however provide the impression that something is being done about these ....

Take the example of the french and when you see a camera, simply return later in a balaclava and paint the camera lense black. It works wonders.

Ihave a neighbour that watches me come in and out of my property on a regular basis and the reason for this he has grown tall hedges around his property and he cannot see me no more so he sets up a camera, a little bit of good has come out of it he has freehold premises i am council tenant i complained to my landlord and they have told him to cut his hedges back to give me more daylight and he has to make sure that he dosn;t allow this to happen again they (the landlords )have made him aware they know about his camera activities, so he has taken it down. Maybe not a victory but a relief for the time being. Many thanks sandra williams

I have 4 cameras permanently recording both private conversations and movement on my land courtesy of my delightful neighbours, and what is unbelievable is that North Wales Police condone their use!
I have had to resort to civil action to hopefully end 5 years of sheer hell - including physical assaults, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, stalking etc etc.
My neighbours are absolutely insane, and are about to also lose the land stolen from our predecessors, as they have tried and failed to convince the Land Registry but refuse to accept this.
There is only so much anyone can be expected to take, and we have been taken well beyond what is acceptable behaviour.

a neighbour of mine has recently installed a cctv camera on his house this camera is directly on my front door, is this allowed, surely this is a intrution of my privacy, can i do anything about this, are they breaking any laws

@ Gary - since there is no Privacy law in the UK, and since CCTV cameras are virtually unregulated (apart from the Sexual Offences Act 2003 offence of Voyeurism, which requires proof of "sexual gratification"), and are unlicensed, then legally, there is not much you can do.

Even the Planning Regulations do not require planning permission for exterior CCTV camera, provided that there are no more than 4 cameras per side of building up to a total of 16 overall, and they are each smaller than the approximate size of a microwave oven - something which virtually all modern cameras easily comply with. Interior cameras which can see through windows etc do not require any planning permmission at all.

Publicly funded CCTV schemes usually require consultation with neighbours, under voluntary, not legally enforcable, Codes of Practice.

Things like the Human Rights Act and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which cover directed or covert surveillance by the Police etc., only apply to "public authorities" and not to private citizens or commercial companies snooping on each other.

If you cannot get any sense from your neighbour after talking politely with him, then you might just be able to persuade your local council to think about issuing an Anti-Social Behavior Order.

You would probably need the support of several of your neighbours, So far, no such ASBOs have ever been issued.

my car, while parket in front of my house got scratched twice, so i have installed a CCTV camera which point to my parket car.My neighbours(we share the same path to our houses) called the police (because they feel watched coming in and out)and the police came to my house and ask to see the view of my camera, they then told me i can only view my own property not the street in front of my house (where my car is parked)is that right ???

@ Frank - There is no law preventing you from snooping on the public street.

However, why did you not first consult your neighbours before installing the camera ?

Are you, in effect, accusing them of scratching your car ?

Myself and a number of neighbours have had a lot of damage done to our cars over the last 12 months. I decided enough was enough & put up a cctv camera to record what was happening to my own car. The camera faces onto the street and appears to point at neighbouring houses (but doesn't). I don't care if it's illegal - if I have to break the law to catch somebody damaging my property then so be it - it's not as if the Police are doing much to catch the idiot causing the damage.

I'm not prepared to just put up with it or chalk it down to 'one of those things', move house or have to move my car. Technically I shouldn't even have the _need_ to put up a camera in the first place.

There's obviously a fine line between the need for privacy and people's own need to feel safe. My cameras aren't **spying** on anybody. I couldn't care less what my neighbours get up to if it doesn't affect me. All I'm interested in is catching a vandal / burglar in the act. So not much will happen to them even if they're convicted, but that's a rant for another time.

The really annoying thing is that I've reported the crime every time it's happened in the past, thinking I was doing a good thing but I've since learned it gets recorded officially and will probably affect my insurance premium in the long term. Nice, now remind me why law abiding folks should even bother..

J - I completely agree with you. I too am having problem wit ha particular vandal singling out my car and continuosly vandalising it within days after getting the damage to the torn-off wing mirrors repaired.

I'm also looking for a monitoring solution. I was wondering if anybody knew of a system that I could install directly inside the car that would be motion activated and record the vandal in the act. GeniusGuard from singapore seems to be reasonable, but I think has a hefty price tag. Any ideas?

We have been advised by the local council that:
can advise that CCTV cameras fall to be permitted development under part 33 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 if they are to be used for security purposes.

However, as ever, this is subject to certain criteria. These are:

a) the building cannot be a listed building.
b) the dimensions of the camera, including its housing, cannot exceed 75cm x 25cm x 25cm.
c) any part of the camera, when installed, cannot be less than 250cm above ground level.
d) any part of the camera, when installed, cannot protrude by more than 1 metre when measured from the surface of the building.
e) any part of the camera, when installed, cannot be in contact with the surface of the building at a point at a point which is more than 1 metre from any other point of contact.
f) any part of the camera cannot be less than 10 metres from any part of another camera installed on a building.
g) the development cannot result in the presence of more than 4 cameras on the same side of the building.
h) the development cannot result in the presence of more than 16 cameras on the building.

Should any of these criteria not be met, a planning application would be required.

As two cameras are within 10mtrs of each other as both are on corners of the building we have had their positioning made a planning condition and they now want to view the images. This seems at variance to an answer you gave to Gary.

Please could you advise?

@ Josie - all these planning regulations are about is the visual impact of the cameras, and not, unfortunately, anything to do with their privacy implications.

Why do you want two cameras within the arbitrary 10 metres of each other ? Is the building so small ? If you moved one of them higher than the other, would the diagonal distance exceed 10 metres ?

As you can see, the regulations, such as they are, were never envisaged to be used for domestic buildings.

There is little chance that any modern CCTV camera is large enough to exceed the physical dimensions, or would require a mounting bracket which makes the camera protrude a metre from the wall - that is what compact Pan . Tilt. Zoom "deathstar" domes are for.

What is so wrong about having to submit to a planning application ?

Today on Radio Four (Word of Mouth) it was suggested that a new word
"snoopervision" should be coined to cover the CCTV plague......also "snoopervisors" for the folk claimed to be in charge.

This seems entirely ripe for adoption. Not least because it seems to cover most of the topics hereabouts. I wonder how much effort it would take (collectively) to get it in the next edition of the O.E.D?


My neighbour has for months now been taking pictures of our property and me if I happen to be in it at the time cutting up the timber I am burning on our wood burner, he seems to think its his right to dictate what goes on my property.

In the past he has reported me to building control and for excessive noise radio4, Chopping & sawing wood needless to say the council sent me one letter which I have replied to a year ago.

Is there anything I can do about it or should I start doing the same back??

My brand new Mistubishi Warrior has been getting scratched outside my flat....and i am absolutly steeming mad about it!!!!..however, stoke of luck yesterday, i was dropping some stuff off at the flat and all in all i was about a min or so till i got back to the car, i saw this woman...a really weird nutty looking wild eyed woman kinda stumbling between my car and the binhouse and i though cant be.....i rushed round the other side and OH MY GOD...another dirty big keying down the driver door...i couldnt beleive it...i turned and she went in to the block of flats across the road from mine..and she was gone..she knows i saw not getting the police involved word against gonna deal with it my way...i think ive sussed what its all about..the space is comunal, but her husband likes to park has massive work van in the spot and if anyone parks there they get scratched....well tomorrow morning im going to catch the guy going out to work and im gonna loose it on him...and probably beat him up...ill keep you posted...i also bought a ford escort for 80 pounds today and im gonna put it in the spot and leave it for good..and wen the tax runs out ill tax it again...hahahah...fu..ers...Danny Glasgow

my neighbour has set up a camera to watch my coming and goiing with the dog .. know this as when his daughter was asked why they had a cctv she said it was to watch me what he is doing legal?

they probably scratched your car with that reaction, if they want privacy then they cant expect it in public ie outside, so long as it isnt looking inside their house and theyre not doing anything wrong i cant see why they are bothered

my neighbour came to see me today to ask about my camara/ she said we could be watching her grandchildren' my camera ponts down at my drive does not over look any one eleses. i had the camara as im starting childminding its so i can see whos at my door as my house has 3floors so i dont have to leave kid alone to open the door.she said she would call the police does she have a leg to stand on .

i have installed a hidden camera in my home. i live alone but get the awful feeling that someone is getting acces to my home when i go out! i know it sounds paranoid but i'm at the stage of thinking about moving house. i haven't 'caught' anyone on video yet. i also sence that my mobile phone is being tracked because it interferes with my raio in my car when the phone is on standby. it is as though it is transmitting a signal thus tracking my journey. needless to say my ex wife was not happy that i got the house (long story) when divorced and she just can't let go so maybe something to do with her. she has very influencial friends in this area, lawyers, judges social work, police, DWP,you name it. my point, is it possible for local people to invade privacy with the help of clandestine operations of local groups acting illegally. am attending my doctor for shattered nerves! am i being paranoid or is this a sign of the times.

@ william - mobile phones periodically, say every 5 to 10 minutes, have to make a handshake with the strongest signal from the nearby mobile phone cell transmitters, in preparation for when you want to make a or receive a call or SMS text messsage.

If you put your phone near to the loudspeakers of your stereo or even your computer, you will hear the characteristic handshake noises. You can often hear them from the speakers before the phone itself actually rings.

So in that sense there is nothing to worry abot, however, as of 1st October 2007, all mobile phone Communications Traffic Data is being retained by the networks, even if your phone is not under special investigation by the authorities. This data includes your phone's (and therefore to a high degree of probability your actual) approximate location.

This law affects all 450 million innocent European Union citizens, Everyone should be worried about potential abuses of such massive databases.

It is possible for private people to abiuse other private people's privacy, since there is no actual Privacy statute law in the UK, and things like the Human Rights Act / European Convention on Human Rights Article 8, do not apply to private citizens or companies snooping on each other.

However, as with all of these things, getting evidence and then finding someone to complain about snooping to, and then to get some effective action taken, is very hard.

I live in a row of terraced cottages and as Mine is the end house, my neighbours have acces through my gate, no problem.

The house immediately next to mine has installed a camera that watches this access point over my garden. It does not look down at his front door at all. This is triggered by motion sensor so in effect they watch everyone who comes in and out no matter which house they are visiting, and see us all the time we are out in our garden.

Is this legal?? i dont like being watched coming and going into my own gate and why does he need to see? Surely he should only be interested in who's at his door?

The fact that he keeps two pit bulls and has numerous visitors at all hours, all who seem to only knock then walk away after a few seconds may point to the answer!!!!!

Is there anything I can do??????

i have bought a miniture video recorder and button hole camera and will record up to 5 hours at a time whilst traveling around london and going to the shops.

i live in such an anti social place in london i will make a film out of it all.

if some cheeky **** give me any cheek or i witness a crime i will think about whether i shall post a video of the said crime or cheekyness to the relavent authorities.

what do you think of that.

@ china - have a look at Professor Steve Mann's wearable computer / camera stuff and Sousveillance

Have fun.

However, be careful about passing "sensitive" Government buildings etc. - if you are stopped by the Metropolitan Police or by British Transport Police and searched under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, they may well arrest you under Section 58 Collection of information (up to 10 yars in prison) or Section 57 Possession for terrorist purposes (15 years in prison). Just being arrested will be a heavy punishment, even if they never charge you, you will be DNA sampled, fingerprinted etc..(not deleted from the intelligence databases until your 100th birthday).

Any arrest under the Terrorism Act, even if you are never charged, will dog you internationally for the rest of your life, and will also affect your family and friends.

Does anyone know if councils etc have to furnish you with copies of images including yourself as you pass by surveillance cameras, and if so what law to quote when asking for copies?

@ paul - in theory you can use the Data Protection Act 1998 to do this.

In practice it is a lot more difficult than simply making a Data Subject Access Request.

Firstly you have to identify who exactly is the legal Data Controller of the CCTV system you think you have been videoed by.

This is not a trivial task as many CCTV cameras do not have an adequate number, or even any, CCTV Warning Signs or Notices which provide contact details of the operators.

The majority of CCTV systems are not registered on the Register of Data Controllers, or if they are, they are registered under such a broad category, that individual cameras or locations are hard or impossible to correlate.

Many "Local Authority" CCTV schemes are not actually operated directly either by the Local Council or by the local Police force etc., but by quango "public / private crime reduction partnerships", which are separate legal entities, and which may sub-contract the day to day operation of the equipment to a private sector security company.

Once you have identified who actually operates the particular camera you are interested in, then you can try the Data Protection Act game.

Your first step is to send off a Data Subject Access Request in writing to the Data Controller you have identified, quoting your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998.

If, and only if, you actually mention it in your letter, you are also entitled to be told, in plain English, about any Automatic Processing of your data. This was originally intended to get finance and insurance companies and direct postal mail marketing companies to explain their "postcode lottery" reasons for refusing you a loan etc, simply based on some dubious credit scoring algorithm. The law applies equally, however, to all the new fangled Face Recognition , Suspicious Behavior Recognition and Automatic Number Plate Recognition digital processing which many CCTV systems are now capable of.

The Data Controllers then have 41 calendar days to reply to you, and they can ask you to provide personal identification and time / date / location data to help them find the appropriate data (i.e. CCTV footage). They will almost certainly demand the maximum fee allowed which is a nominal £10, which does not, of course cover a fraction of their costs in processing your request, but it does mean that you have to provide bank or perhaps credit card details to them.

Some Local Authorities also try to fob you off with a hugely complicated and intrusive CCTV image request form, which asks as many questions as you would expect to answer if you were applying for a job with the Police or other security vetted agency e.g. asking how many years have you lived at your address etc. and other snooping, which has nothing to do with your image being captured on a CCTV system.

See the previous comment thread "A case of Can't Cope TV - Police do not have time to analyse video of burglary", for a example from the London Borough of Richmond.

They then have an indeterminate time in which to reply to you after having searched for any appropriate CCTV footage. Local Councils have targets for replying to correspondence, but this could still take another month or two.

However, because the Data Protection Act does not entitle you to have access to anbody else's personal data apart from your own, the Council or any other Data Controller is not allowed to hand over images which contain other people who can be identified, apart from the individual Data Subject Access Requester.

This means that they have to spend, perhaps £500 on paying a digital video editing bureau (or their own in house one, which still costs about the same) in order to pixellate out other people's identifiable faces, or vehicle license plate numbers etc.

If they do this, which several Councils did do a few years ago when faced by requests from comedian / activist Mark Thomas, you will, eventually get a copy of some video.

As the recent Police reports into the effectiveness of CCTV have pointed out, modern digital CCTV recording systems are now a nightmare of deliberate proprietary and non-standard compression recording formats and custom cable connectors, which makes it difficult or impossible for many individuals or even police forces to view CCTV images away from the CCTV control room itself.

A far more likely scenario is, that having taken all your personal details and the financial details you supplied to pay the £10 fee, the Data Controller will, eventually write back and to say that they are very sorry, but that they delete or overwrite their CCTV images weekly or monthly, and your particular images were actually deleted even before they bothered to get around to demanding £10 off you.

If you can convince the Police to investigate an incident, e.g. a car accident, they will possibly "seize" the video images "evidence", through a Data Protection Act section 29 request, which they will pay for, hopefully before the relevant possible evidence is destroyed.

See the Information Commissioner's Office website for further details

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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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Anti National ID Japan - controversial and insecure Jukinet National ID registry in Japan
UK Biometrics Working Group run by CESG/GCHQ experts etc. the UK Government on Biometrics issues feasability
Citizen Information Project feasability study population register plans by the Treasury and Office of National Statistics - comments and links to each paragraph of the Home Office's "Strategic Action Plan for the National Identity Scheme".

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

Surveillance Infrastructures

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

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

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

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

RFID Links

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

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

Genetic Links

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

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

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

Miscellanous Links

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

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

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

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

Former Spies

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

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

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

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

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

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

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

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

Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

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

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

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

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

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

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward


The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

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


Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

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

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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia


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

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

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at

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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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