Spy Blog articles 2009


2009 saw further encroachments on our freedoms and liberties, without any measurable increase in our security.

Will this increasingly repressive, bankrupt Labour government, be replaced by something kinder, more humane and less inept ?

Spy Blog's articles published in 2009 appear to have been read by, and perhaps influenced, some mainstream print and broadcast media journalists and commentators, some technical IT publications, Members of Parliament at Westminster, various large blue chip companies, and also by UK and foreign government departments, law enforcement agencies and some of the more overt open source collection arms of intelligence agencies and by various private sector "corporate research" outfits.

Spy Blog has also come across some worrying and interesting stuff, which has not been published.

December 2009

  1. 2009.12.31: If Somalia can detect "underwear bombs" without them, why waste money on intrusive "child porn" / "see through your clothes" image scanners at airports ?
  2. 2009.12.23: ID Cards / National Identity Register centralised biometric database - further expansion of the Post Code Lottery to inflict the "voluntary" scheme on Liverpool and the North West etc.
  3. 2009.12.17: Powerless, part time, interim CCTV "regulator" appointed by the Home Office
  4. 2009.12.12: The Sun: Laptop is stolen at MoD HQ - "plus an encryption key to unlock highly sensitive files"
  5. 2009.12.12: Mass Gathering in defence of street photography - 12 Noon Saturday 23rd January 2010 Trafalgar Square, London
  6. 2009.12.11: Intercept as Evidence Report - £2.5 million spent and still no workable "legal model"
  7. 2009.12.02: RIPA Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Paul Kennedy and the MPs expenses scandal
  8. 2009.12.01: Digital Economy Bill 2009 seeks to crush UK Internet Domain Registry industry with bureaucratic red tape and unfair legal costs
November 2009
  1. 2009.11.29: "JFL" provides some more details about his imprisonment for refusing to divulge his crytptographic keys under a RIPA Part III section 49 notice
  2. 2009.11.25: Forced into Prison / Mental Hospital for not revealing cryptographic keys to the Kafkaesque Police and (in)Justice system here in the United Kingdom
  3. 2009.11.21: Bribery Bill 2009 clause 12 - some Secret Intelligence Service MI6 or Security Service MI5 exemptions, but why should Local Authority Trading Standards etc. ever be allowed to bribe anyone ?
  4. 2009.11.19: Manchester area post codes where the foolish can apply for an ID Card
  5. 2009.11.18: Queen's Speech - "mobile phones in prisons" more useless, repetitive, legislation planned
  6. 2009.11.05: Home Office summary of responses to the public consultation on "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Consolidating orders and codes of practice"
October 2009
  1. 2009.10.22: United Kingdom (England & Wales) Census Day / Night - Saturday 27th March 2011 - will you boycott the intrusive, snooping questions ?
  2. 2009.10.21: Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 conviction statistics
  3. 2009.10.19: Does a Registered Post mass mailing in USA = Communications Data / Banking Secrecy law breach in Switzerland ?
  4. 2009.10.17: Non-reportable injunctions - Mr. Justice Tugendhat, Mr. Justice Sweeney and Mr. Justice Maddison
  5. 2009.10.17: Carter-Ruck's Trafigura scandal non-reportable super- injunctions - Mr. Justice Maddison and Mr.Justice Sweeney
  6. 2009.10.15: More illegal Mobile Phones in Prisons, more re-cycled Answers and Policies from the Ministry of (In)Justice
  7. 2009.10.13: Manchester Airport "child porn" Rapiscan X-ray scanner trial - why now, after all the other trials at airports or railway stations failed ?
  8. 2009.10.13: Who are the Judges who are granting secret injunctions on behalf of Trafigura and Barclays etc. ?
  9. 2009.10.10: Is the "Internet Eyes" CCTV web monitoring "game" merely incompetent, or an actual scam ?
  10. 2009.10.04: Sunday Times: "recently retired C" lambasts David Miliband for the appointment of Sir John Sawers as the new Chief of SIS / MI6
  11. 2009.10.01: Sir David Pepper, retired boss of GCHQ, joins Thales UK advisory board - familiar photo in the press release
  12. 2009.10.01: 5 more National Identity Scheme Statutory Instruments - do Thales Group and 3M Company employees realise that they face up to 10 years in prison for any mistakes or strikes?
September 2009
  1. 2009.09.28: China tries to block Tor
  2. 2009.09.28: Compulsory dog ID microchips plan - Yet Another National Database of human names and addresses is not acceptable
  3. 2009.09.27: Castrol roadside billboard ANPR snoopvertising - another DVLA database privacy scandal
  4. 2009.09.26: David Mery gets an apology for his unlawful arrest after 4 years - it should have been 4 days at most
  5. 2009.09.21: RIPA Commissioner and illegal Property Interference by the Environment Agency
  6. 2009.09.14: Sir Joseph Pilling appointed as National Identity Scheme Commissioner - how can a former Whitehall "Sir Humphrey" be "independent" of the Home Office ?
  7. 2009.09.14: How can we have confidence that the HMRC online tax return system is safe to use ?
  8. 2009.09.06: News of the World politics blog: alleged CIA intelligence sharing threat and the Operation Pathway intelligence failure
  9. 2009.09.06: Why is there a need for a "Big Brother Watch" campaign by the TaxPayers' Alliance ?
  10. 2009.09.04: MI5 Security Service web site re-fresh - shadow people and foreign language version inconsistency
  11. 2009.09.01: The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2009 - who will be apponted as the National Identity Scheme Commissioner ?
August 2009
  1. 2009.08.27: ACPO eCrime Strategy - no clarity on international Extradition, nor on Collateral Damage to the innocent caused by eCrime investigations
  2. 2009.08.25: Climate Camp Twits - 6consulting and the Metropolitan Police Service
  3. 2009.08.25: Snooping on the Climate Camp Swoopers via SMS text messages
  4. 2009.08.16: International Action Day "Freedom not Fear 2009 - Stop Surveillance Mania!" on 12 September 2009
  5. 2009.08.13: I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !
  6. 2009.08.10: New Enemies - part 3 of BBC Radio 4 - MI6: A century in the shadows
  7. 2009.08.02: ACPO policy on ANPR: The Management and Use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition
July 2009
  1. 2009.07.31: Home Office: UK identity card image unveiled
  2. 2009.07.29: Which was worse - the MI6 website spelling mistakes or the MI5 website Cross Site Scripting vulnerability ?
  3. 2009.07.25: Gordon Brown maintains the dilution the Wilson Doctrine again
  4. 2009.07.22: RIPA Commissioners Annual Reports for 2008
  5. 2009.07.21: Terrorism Threat Level SEVERE reduced to SUBSTANTIAL - what is anyone doing any different from before ?
  6. 2009.07.20: How they do Lawful Interception of mobile phones and broadband internet in Switzerland
  7. 2009.07.20: Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill - SOCPA to be replaced by Public Order Act powers in 250 metre Area around Parliament Square
  8. 2009.07.20: Satellite jammers in Iran ?
  9. 2009.07.17: RIPA Commissioners Annual Reports to be published on Tuesday 21st July 2009, just as Parliament breaks up until 13th October
  10. 2009.07.15: National Policing Improvement Agency annual report and accounts 2008-09 - mobile handheld computers, ANPR database, DNA database, PNC, IMPACT, Aircell for the Tube, Prüm
  11. 2009.07.12: BBC Radio 4 - MI6: A Century in the Shadows - Monday July 27th 2009
  12. 2009.07.11: Metropolitan Police Service incomplete "war on photographers" advice
  13. 2009.07.11: "suspect your neighbours" Climate of Fear propaganda posters campaign cost £1.7 million, Terrorism Hotline costs £120,000 a year
  14. 2009.07.10: Reminder: Home Office RIPA CoP Con closes today
  15. 2009.07.05: Facebook, Mail on Sunday and Sir John Sawers incoming Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6
  16. 2009.07.02: Alan Johnson lies about ID Cards and £1.2 billion a year identity fraud
June 2009
  1. 2009.06.27: UK Cyber Security Strategy - even more bureaucracy, but no financial budget, legislative power or democratic accountibility
  2. 2009.06.21: Tor relays and exit nodes for Iran, and for the rest of us
  3. 2009.06.17: NightJack blog versus The Times newspaper - are there wider implications for anonymous sources and writers ?
  4. 2009.06.17: London School of Economics: Briefing on the Interception Modernisation Programme
  5. 2009.06.16: Sir John Sawers KCMG appointed as the new Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service MI6
  6. 2009.06.15: ID Card scheme function creep - sneaky compulsory registration of mobile phones by the back door ?
  7. 2009.06.14: Will Home Secretary Alan Johnson bother to listen to opponents of the ID Cards scheme, during his supposed review "by the end of the summer" ?
  8. 2009.06.11: The Guardian reveals details of the mechanics of the failed Hotmail plot by the anti-Gordon Brown faction of Labour MPs
  9. 2009.06.09: HMRC tax records centre left unguarded by Mapeley, who also run the Passport / ID Card interrogation centre buildings
  10. 2009.06.09: Postman Patel - Edward Teague - Rest in Peace
  11. 2009.06.09: Home Office ministers re-shuffled
  12. 2009.06.08: Who's Watching You ? - GCHQ's Sir David Pepper interviewed - but still too many surveillance topics in one tv documentary
  13. 2009.06.06: DVLA still selling drivers names and addresses to dodgy Private Wheel Clampers, according to The Times
  14. 2009.06.04: signonnow@hotmail.co.uk - The Email Address Most Likely To Be Snooped On ? - Labour in crisis: the Hotmail conspiracy
  15. 2009.06.02: Has any other political blogger been spammed by The Jury Team ?
  16. 2009.06.02: Steve Moxon - Home Office Immigration whistleblower vindicated by FOIA disclosures about Beverely Hughes
  17. 2009.06.02: Jacqui Smith to resign as Home Secretary - but when exactly ?
  18. 2009.06.01: Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6 / SIS worries about lost civil liberties
May 2009
  1. 2009.05.30: Richard Tomlinson versus MI6 rapprochement ? Is this due to the amended Terrorism Act ban on eliciting or communicating information about former intelligence agency officers ??
  2. 2009.05.26: 38 Degrees - will the data protection issues inhibit sign up ?
  3. 2009.05.25: RAF Innsworth stolen personnel security vetting files coverup
  4. 2009.05.23: BBC2 tv documentary Who's Watching You ? starts Monday 25th May 9pm
  5. 2009.05.23: Illegal retention of Police surveillance photos of innocent people
  6. 2009.05.20: Home Office and research about the (lack of) effectiveness of CCTV in reducing crime
  7. 2009.05.19: ISC report (again) on the 7th July 2005 London bomb attacks - some jargon explained, but still no blame on MI5 or the Police for intelligence failures
  8. 2009.05.17: Naming of the MP Expenses whistleblower leak intermediaries ?
  9. 2009.05.14: SOCA Annual Report 2009/09 - Appendix III: SOCA Reports and Assessments 2008/09 - will these be made public ?
  10. 2009.05.12: Gordon Brown pretends that "knife crime" is a "new kind of crime"
  11. 2009.05.12: National Identity Cards Scheme creep - 4 Draft Orders laid before Parliament under the Identity Cards Act 2006
  12. 2009.05.10: UK computer forensics expert Jim Bates wins High Court appeal against a police search warrant
  13. 2009.05.09: Operation Algebra child rape convictions in Scotland: open WiFi tracking, digital camera image forensics
  14. 2009.05.07: Home Office spinning about 6 and 12 years data retention for innocent people's DNA profiles and Fingerprints
  15. 2009.05.04: GCHQ: our Intelligence and Security mission in the Internet age
April 2009
  1. 2009.04.27: Communications Data public "consultation" with only one permitted option
  2. 2009.04.22: Jacqui Smith: more weasel words about the harassment of innocent photgraphers
  3. 2009.04.21: BBC Radio 4 iPM - Can U See Me ? CCTV camera spotting and sousveillance
  4. 2009.04.18: Public Consultation on reforming parts of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  5. 2009.04.18: Damian Green MP arrest - Police tampering with computer evidence or political snooping on civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti ?
  6. 2009.04.17: The arrest of opposition Senator Stuart Syvret in Jersey - another Damian Green MP style scandal ?
  7. 2009.04.15: Operation Pathway arrests - where are the explosives or weapons ?
  8. 2009.04.04: Re-appointment of the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the Intelligence Services Commissioner
March 2009
  1. 2009.03.29: Is Huawei really more of a security risk to the UK Critical National Infrastructure than other foreign telecommunications equipment companies like Cisco or Ericsson ?
  2. 2009.03.23: How much "war on terror" training for "tens of thousands" of people is the Labour government providing ? As little as 3 hours (including a coffee break)
  3. 2009.03.23: The state of the UK Database State
  4. 2009.03.19: OGC finally publish the two Stage Zero Gateway Reviews of the ID Cards programme - 1510 days = 4 years 1 month 18 days after the initial Freedom of Information Act request
  5. 2009.03.19: Passion and Dalliance blog: Why you need balls of steel to operate a Tor exit node
  6. 2009.03.17: The Polygraph Rules 2009 - more "Lie Detectors", but not for the politicians and spin doctors
  7. 2009.03.16: Metropolitan Police terrorism fear Propaganda Poster lies about bombs, reconnaissance and CCTV cameras - updated 25th March 2009
  8. 2009.03.16: The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 come into force on 6th April 2009
  9. 2009.03.14: The BBC botnet - UK cyber crime policing is still hopeless
  10. 2009.03.10: National Security Forum appointees - why is there no pandemic disease or biotech or financial markets or cyber security expertise ?
  11. 2009.03.08: Weekend newspaper briefing spin that the controversial Data Orders Clause 152 of Coroners and Justice Bill is to be abandoned
  12. 2009.03.07: Intelligence and Security Committee report for 2007 - 2008 - SCOPE Phase 2 cancelled, even more snooping planned
  13. 2009.03.03: MPs vote to try to keep their constituency home addresses secret
  14. 2009.03.02: The Convention on Modern Liberty is over - now what are you going to do to save our freedom and liberty ? Get rid of Clause 152 from the Coroners and Justice Bill
February 2009
  1. 2009.02.28: Convention on Modern Liberty video streams
  2. 2009.02.26: Liberal Democrats - Freedom Bill 2009
  3. 2009.02.25: Sir David Omand on Protint - 'protected information' data mining of personal sensitive data by intelligence agencies
  4. 2009.02.23: Practical things to do and bring to the Convention on Modern Liberty
  5. 2009.02.20: Privy Council Intercept as Evidence Advisory Group interim progress report 9th February 2009
  6. 2009.02.20: Information Tribunal orders publication of the early ID Cards Programme Gateway Reviews, again
  7. 2009.02.17: Former MI5 Director General Stella Rimington's interview with La Vanguardia
  8. 2009.02.16: Where are all the Home Office press releases ? 177 spin doctors but only 5 press releases a week ?
  9. 2009.02.14: Chilcot Advisory Group on Intercept Evidence (lack of) Progress Report
  10. 2009.02.12: A couple of photos of some Police officers and VIP vehicles - whilst we still can
  11. 2009.02.12: Home Office response to Consultation on second phase of EU Comms Data Retention Regulations (internet email, internet telephony etc.) coming into force on 6th April 2009
  12. 2009.02.12: Sir James Crosby's Review on Identity Assurance being written out of history by Gordon Brown ?
  13. 2009.02.10: Serious Crime Act 2007 used to harass Indymedia server colocation administrator - updated
  14. 2009.02.09: Mass photography protest - 11 am Monday 16th February 2009, Metropolitan Police HQ, New Scotland Yard
  15. 2009.02.08: Sunday Telegraph - British Jobs For British Spies ? MI5 overwhelmed, or lobbying for even more resources ?
  16. 2009.02.07: Surveillance: Citizens and the State - HoL Constitution Committee report
  17. 2009.02.06: Exactly what correspondence or communications between MPs and their Constituents is protected by Parliamentary Privilege ?
  18. 2009.02.05: Lords Constitution Committee report "Surveillance: Citizens and the State" to be published on Friday 6th February 2009
  19. 2009.02.03: Metropolitan Police seeking MPs Parliamentary privileged emails without a warrant
  20. 2009.02.03: London Calling Photographers debate - Know your rights: Facing the police crackdown on public photography
January 2009
  1. 2009.01.29: Ralph Bendrath: Privacy in Germany 2008: A new fundamental right, a privacy mass movement, and the usual surveillance suspects
  2. 2009.01.26: How sneakily are Blue State Digital tracking NGO political campaign emails ?
  3. 2009.01.26: Do not donate money via the Disasters Emergency Committee DEC website
  4. 2009.01.26: Coroners and Justice Bill - Information Sharing Orders and other controversies
  5. 2009.01.23: Counter Terrorism Act 2008 - "attempting to elicit information" and secret DNA sampling and data sharing etc. come into force on February 16th 2009
  6. 2009.01.21: Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski - parliamentary office searched and constituency correspondence handed over to the Police, without a warrant - updated
  7. 2009.01.20: A plague on The Sun ?
  8. 2009.01.20: Lobby your MP to vote against the Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009 this Thursday - update - have we won ?
  9. 2009.01.17: Rest in Peace: Patrick McGoohan and Sir John Mortimer QC
  10. 2009.01.15: Coroners and Justice Bill - a further crippling of the Data Protection Act
  11. 2009.01.14: ICO Guidance on FOIA requests name and address for correspondence - another attack on Anonymity
  12. 2009.01.10: Communications Data snooping - MI5 Jonathan Evans, BBC, DPP Kier Starmer
  13. 2009.01.05: Remote Searching of Computer Hard Disks - remember that RIPA etc. do not protect business premises from arbitrary intrusive surveillance, property interference etc.
  14. 2009.01.04: Google.co.uk - politically insensitive and inaccurate Metropolitan Police Service "Extremist" Sponsored Links and AdWords campaign
  15. 2009.01.02: Tom Watson and the US Air Force Blog Response Flowchart

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 www.pgpi.org
(available for most of the common computer operating systems, and also in various Open Source versions like GPG)

We look forward to the day when UK Government Legislation, Press Releases and Emails etc. are Digitally Signed 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: http://ht4w.co.uk

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WikiLeak.org - ethical and technical discussion about the WikiLeaks.org 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
PublicTechnology.net - UK eGovernment and public sector IT news
eGov Monitor

Ideal Government - debate about UK eGovernment

NIR and ID cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Surveillance Infrastructures

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

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

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

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

RFID Links

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

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

RFIDBuzz.com blog - where we sometimes crosspost RFID articles

Genetic Links

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

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

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

Miscellanous Links

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

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

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

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

Former Spies

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

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

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

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

Naked Spygirl - Olivia Frank

Blog Links

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

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

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

Liberty Central

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

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

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

Vmyths - debunking computer security hype

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

Martin Stabe
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


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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia


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

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

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

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


Monthly Archives

November 2010

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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 - 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.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

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 irrepressible.info 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