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"A Surveillance Society?" - 28th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners' Conference, London 2nd - 3rd November 2006

The venue of the 28th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners' Conference has been changed recently, and will be held next week in London, United Kingdom, on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2006.

The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, welcomes his colleagues and counterparts from around the world, to the conference whose theme is "A Surveillance Society?', with these words:

Whilst I cannot promise the sunshine of Buenos Aires, I can promise that by coming to the United Kingdom you will be visiting a country with over 4 million CCTV cameras. Visiting London, you will be staying in a city able to monitor its citizens as they travel around the capital by car or on the Underground system. But London is also a city that has witnessed the kind of terrorist atrocities that spark calls for governments to do more and more to protect its citizens.

We may well pop down to the conference venue to see if we can chat to some of these privacy and data protection experts, and to warn the rest of the world not to repeat the surveillance sociiety mistakes which the current Government is inflicting on us.

Is it just a coincidence that the conference venue location, the Riverbank Park Plaza hotel is literally within line of sight of the Security Service (MI5) building, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) building and one of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) offices formerly occupied by the now merged NCIS (National Criminal Intelligence Service) ?

Sir Stephen Lander, the ex-Director General of MI5 and now Chair of SOCA, is scheduled to be one of the speakers at the conference.

Who will be keeping the privacy and data protection commissioners under surveillance ?


The Riverbank Plaza is also next door to the NO2ID offices :)

I wanted to go to this conference, but I think the exclusive ticket price of £250 was a little extreme. For that I could spend my time at both Reading and Glastonbury talking sh*t to hippies about the increased role of surveillance and probably come away with more of a clue about the intentions of our newly-established police state.

Do bear in mind that the Abolition of Parliament Bill is due to be passed by the Lords tomorrow, giving the bearers of elected power in this country unprecendented powers of litigation.

Now, whatever they deem illegal is going to become enforceable using any appropriate technological evidence-gathering they can muster, including, it would seem, rendition to interrogation camps. Perhaps dissent will be written into the Terrorism act and you, reading this, will be in violation of the law - making you a 'terrorist'. Time to worry, folks.

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