Practical things to do and bring to the Convention on Modern Liberty

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Apart from an open mind, there are several things which you can bring along to the Convention on Modern Liberty - Bloggers Summit on Saturday. The list of speakers is interesting enough, but the real benefit of such events is the chance to meet and interact with like minded people, face to face, and to to establish a foundation of trust in future online communications.

"You can't save the world via e-mail."

The organisers of the event, quite reasonably, hope that it will spark off further political campaigning and pressure to help to change the counterproductive repressive policies of the current Labour Government.

It seems that even formerly passive middle class people are now expected to "cause trouble" according to "Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Metropolitan police's public order branch" quoted in The Guardian: Britain faces summer of rage - police - Middle-class anger at economic crisis could erupt into violence on streets

What is to stop the new Confidential Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) , set up by the increasingly unaccountable and politicised Association of Chief Police Officers, ( Secret police unit set up to spy on British 'domestic extremists' according to the Daily Mail) from snooping on the Convention on Modern Liberty attendees and speakers and organisers ?

It is always easier for the secret police to expand their bureaucratic empires, by snooping on or harassing peaceful middle class protestors and political activists . Real extremists are much harder to infiltrate, and they pose less of a political threat to the apparatchiki currently in positions of power and influence.

What can attendees of the Convention on Modern Liberty do to resist this ?

It is all very well for Spy Blog to point bloggers and others at some practical advice online, to help you and your contacts resist some of the political or commercial or bureaucratic snooping and dirty tricks, which those of you brave enough to have signed up to attend the Convention on Modern Liberty, might face in the near future.

e.g. Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc. by Spy Blog

Naturally this is a Work in Progress, which would benefit from your suggestions, but it should provide at least a couple of valuable hints, even to experienced bloggers and journalists and activists.

However, since you can read this online at your leisure, what else can you do, to help to defy, frustrate and oppose the machinations of the Surveillance Snooper Stalker Nanny Secret Police State and Bureaucracy, and some of the other, powerful non-Government vested interests who are also after your personal details, especially if they guess that you may now be actively , rather than passively opposed to them ?

Obviously attendees of the Convention on Modern Liberty should join and financially support some of the campaign groups like the NO2ID Campaign or the the Open Rights Group etc. , who welcome people from across the political spectrum. No doubt you can sign up to these at the event on Saturday, as well as online.

However, there are some things that you can only do face to face, with like minded people, physically at the Convention on Modern Liberties:

Modern Liberty swap shop

Here are a few ideas for stuff to bring along to the Convention on Modern Liberty this Saturday, and to physically swap or sell to some of the thousand or so people who you might meet face to face at this event.

Even if you never personally actually make regular use these Swapped Items, you will have increased the entropy and freedom of others, and will have helped to frustrate the control freaks somewhat.

"Anonymity Loves Company"

If you do swap or privately sell (for a nominal cost covering fee, for example, to reimburse stored monetary value or unused credit) things at the Modern Liberty swap shop, you should hopefully be out of sight of CCTV spy cameras and you will be hidden amongst a large crowd of equally, or more suspicious looking, political dissidents and opponents of the Surveillance Police State:

  1. Oyster Cards

    Transport for London's Oyster Card is a contactless Smart Card, linked to a centralised database,

    It is not just a convenient payment system, it is also intended to track journeys from one Underground Station or Bus stop to another, something for which TfL have timetable, route planning and optimisation business needs for.

    However, such travel network planning statistics do not actually require your individual Name, Address, Post Code or Credit Card or Bank Account etc. details to be associated with the Oyster Card journey pattern audit trail.

    All of this travel pattern (start / end of journey, time and date), top up payment location and financial details (which may include credit card or bank account details if you do not pay cash), together with all of TfL's CCTV surveillance and ANPR Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera footage, processed data, and financial payment data, is now routinely handed over to the Metropolitan Police Service, in bulk, in real time, without your informed prior consent, under an exemption certificate signed by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, which exempts these data transfers from the already weak Data Protection Act.

    Nobody objects to this data being used for narrowly targeted investigations of real criminal suspects, but it is obviously being used in secret for bulk data mining and trawling, which will throw up lots of false positives, which unfairly place innocent people under suspicion, without any proven effect on catching real criminals or terrorists.

    Retain the benefits to TfL planning, and the convenience and fare discounts of Oyster Travel cards, but make it very hard or impossible for the Oyster Card to be used to track you personally, by swapping yours with someone else's at the Convention on Modern Liberty.

    Before you arrive at the Convention, check how much credit you have left on that particular Oyster Card and settle up the difference with the person or persons you swap with directly or at the bar.

    It will be easiest to swap non-registered, prepay Oyster cards, but there is no reason not to swap ones where a name and (out of date) address has been registered.

    People with season ticket or reduced travel or automatic credit card debit linked Oyster cards will probably not wish to swap.

    If you are worried about your Oyster Card being secretly read remotely (and you should be), then use some cheap aluminium foil to shield it in its plastic wallet.

    See Foiling the Oyster Card

  2. Supermarket Loyalty Cards

    The control freaks in Government like to claim that their schemes like the ID Card will not collect as much personal data about you as, say, a supermarket loyalty card.

    The big difference is that such cards are voluntary and Tesco etc. are willing to spend a lot of money to protect their valuable customer data, from their commercial rivals, and, therefore as a by product, they provide you with a reasonable amount of privacy. The Government bureaucracy has no such incentive, rather the reverse.

    As with Oyster Travel cards, the information collected for retail store location planning, or for stock control and product ordering or display purposes, does not actually need to identify your real name and address, to be useful in anonymous bulk, to the supermarket.

    Allow them to continue planning and running their businesses efficiently, and continue to benefit from the loyalty discounts, but break the link with your personally identifiable name and address data,by swapping your Tesco Club Card or your Nectar Card etc.with someone else at the Convention on Modern Liberty.

    Remember to cash in any outstanding discount vouchers on that card, or make a note of them before you arrive, and then make any necessary financial adjustment with the person with whom you swap the card.

  3. Mobile Phone handsets

    Many of you will have more than one pre-paid mobile phone handset in your possession.

    Bring along your old or spare ones, (ideally with the batteries and chargers) and swap them with other people at the Convention.

    Obviously there might need to be negotiations about swaps of very dissimilar models, or ones with different amounts of pre-paid credit on them

    Contract phones are probably not suitable for swapping, but that is not a hard and fast rule.

    Such perfectly legal swaps of unregistered, or even formerly registered, mobile phones, will help to frustrate Jacqui Smith's control freak Communications Data Bill and Interception Modernisation Programme centralised database plans, to some extent at least.

    Mae a note of your phone's International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) , usually on a label underneath the battery, or it is normally displayed by entering *#06# (and then the typically green call button) .

    The IMEI ends up in the Mobile Phone Network 's Call Detail Records along with the SIM Card phone number details, for every call or SMS sent or received.

    It it technically possible,on many phone handsets, to simply re-program this number,but that is illegal in the UK under the
    Mobile Telephones (Re-Programming) Act 2002 which was amended to now even impose a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, potentially even for just advertising offering such a service (which is legal in other countries), or for the mere possession (not the actual proven use for a crime) of software and equipment capable of doing so (i.e. just about any laptop computer and a data cable to the phone)

    Remember to delete contact details stored in the SIM card and in the memory of the handset.

    Remember to delete any voicemail messages, and to re-set the PIN to the default or tell he person who you are swapping it with, what the vbx PIN is.

    The same applies to any keyboard or power on security PINs which have been set.

    Optionally, swap or create some real or imagined contacts numbers for powerful people, which may give the Police Community Support Officer or Police Constable who is illegally rifling through your mobile phone contacts, when your are stopped and searched under the notorious Terrorism Act section 44 stop and search without reasonable cause (secret) powers.

    Setting a non-default security PIN code on your mobile phone, may well be enough to prevent casual (illegal) snooping by PCSOs etc.

    You should include the 24 hour contact lines for a couple of firms of solicitors who are experienced in defending political activists in such situations e.g.
    Bindmans -
    telephone: 020 7833 4433
    or Kaim Todner - telephone: 020 7353 6660

  4. Unactivated SIM cards

    There are periodic offers of free or cheap SIM cards for existing customers (back to whom there is an audit trail).

    Bring your spare , as yet unactivated SIM cards along to swap with fellow Modern Libertarians.

    Remember that one of the data records demanded by the Home Office from the Mobile Phone Networks under their "voluntary", and now (since October 2000) the mandatory Communications Data Retention scheme, is the time, date and Cell ID location of when and where a new SIM Card is first activated onto the mobile phone network.

  5. Mobile phone numbers for SMS alerts

    Using the above swapped mobile phone handsets and / or SIM cards, exchange a mobile phone number with your fellow Convention on Modern Liberty attendees - this may be useful for SMS news alerts or Twitter feeds etc.

    Remember that you can get one phone to forward calls or SMS messages on to another

    Remember to change the default PIN code on your mobile phone voicemailbox, once you have activated your SIM, otherwise you may be vulnerable to snooping like the News of the World carried out against the Royal Princes.

  6. Pre-Shared Secrets

    Either as part of the PGP Key Signing or exchange below, or simply because it may be useful or interesting in the future, you could take the opportunity of exchanging one or more Pre - Shared Secrets (PSS) with the people you get into friendly chats with.

    Such PSS can be used to help to authenticate email or SMS text or voicemail or answerphone etc messages in the future, asking for help or giving urgent warnings etc.

    Simply write down or print out some word / number / punctuation copy yourself, and give another copy to the person you are swapping a Pre-Shared Secret with.

    It may be convenient to use a book of pairs of laundry / lottery ticket numbers.

    If they do the same, then you will have the ability to establish a chain of trust in the future (for one message and response at least)

  7. PGP / GPG Key Signing Party

    For the slightly more technically minded bloggers who are planning to attend the Convention on Modern Liberty, this will be an opportunity to hold a PGP / GPG Key Signing Party

    You do not have to physically bring along computers etc. to do this, just bring , for convenience, some printed copies of your PGP / GPG Public Key IDs and /or fingerprints.

    Once you have swapped these with other people, (with or without some pre-shared secrets above), then you can initiates a PGP secure key exchange or you can trust a published PGP key on a website or on a PGP Keyserver.

    You can then , optionally decide to sign the other person's key, establishing that st least someone purporting to be the owner of the key has met you physically.

    Higher levels of trust are possible

    Simply swapping PGP key details without actually signing and re-publishing the signed keys is also worth doing at this event, on a one to one basis.

  8. USB memory device swaps

    Many of you will have multiple USB flash memory keys, sticks,
    camera or phone memory etc. etc.

    This technology is cheap and convenient, but , since it does not work like hard disk or floppy disk or cassette or video tape i.e. it does not use strong>magnetism, and so it is much harder to securely delete data from

    There may be some USB devices which you could swap with other people, so that you are no longer in physically possession of secret or potentially incriminating or mbarrassing data which can be tied to you.

    Obviously handing over your unencrypted Government Gateway source code USB to a stranger, or losing it in a pub car park is unlikely to happen again for a while, at least.

    Ideally, what you should swap are encrypted USB memory devices, which either have the whole device or just some files strongly encrypted with TrueCrypt orPGP

You can swap campaign ideas, security and privacy hints and tips, or confidential information, with Spy Blog and other political bloggers and activists, this Saturday 28th February at the Convention on Modern Liberty Bloggers Summit - Logan Hall, 13.00 - 14.00 (wifi available).


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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.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email your views about this blog, or news about the issues it tries to comment on.


Our PGP public encryption key is available for those correspondents who wish to send us news or information in confidence, and also for those of you who value your privacy, even if you have got nothing to hide.

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

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

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Dissidents

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

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

Convention on Modern Liberty - 28th Feb 2009

Convention on Modern Liberty - 28th Feb 2009
Convention on Modern Liberty - 28th Feb 2009

The Convention is being held in the Logan Hall and adjoining rooms at the Institute of Education in Bloomsbury, central London.


The Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

There are video linked screenings or other parallel meetings being held across the UK in Belfast. Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff and Manchester.

Convention on Modern Liberty blog

David Davis for Freedom

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

House of Lords Constitution Committee 2008-2009 session - Second Report: Surveillance: Citizens and the State


Watching Them, Watching Us

London 2600

Our UK Freedom of Information Act request tracking blog - ethical and technical discussion about the project for anonymous mass leaking of documents etc.

Privacy and Security

Privacy International
Privacy and Human Rights Survey 2004

Cryptome - censored or leaked government documents etc.

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

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

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

International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance

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

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

Technical Advisory Board on internet and telecomms interception under RIPA

European Digital Rights

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

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

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

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

Human Rights

Liberty Human Rights campaigners

British Institute of Human Rights
Amnesty International

Prevent Genocide International

asboconcern - campaign for reform of Anti-Social Behavior Orders

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

Internet Censorship

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

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

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

Judicial Links

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

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

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

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

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

Parliamentary Opposition

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

Public Bills before Parliament

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

House of Commons "Question Book"

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

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

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

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

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

Online Media

Boing Boing

Need To Know [now defunct]

The Register

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

Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

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

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

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

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

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

Surveillance Infrastructures

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

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

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

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

RFID Links

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

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

Genetic Links

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

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

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

Miscellanous Links

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

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

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

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

Former Spies

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

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

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

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

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

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

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

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

Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

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

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

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

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

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

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward


The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

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


Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

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

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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

Identity Cards Bill clause by clause analysis and comments


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.

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


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