Recently in Whistleblowers Category

We have been critical of the grasping information stealing powers which HM Treasury has abrogated to itself under the control freakery of the previous Labour government.

In spite of these unlimited powers, they do not seem to have a clue as to exactly where all the public money has been wasted.

It is therefore interesting to see the Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government's new Web 2.0 (WordPress blog, promotion via Twitter, Facebook etc.) website entitled:

Spending Challenge

This attempts to solicit information about saving public money, from, initially, those people actually working in the Public Sector

Armed forces
Central government
Education and training
Executive agencies & non-departmental government bodies
Local and regional government (including fire services)
Police (including civilians)
Private sector partners working with public sector
Third sector organisations working with public sector (e.g. charities)

After July 9th, the wider general public, will, apparently, also be allowed to contribute ideas.

There is an encrypted web form, but no published email address for this Spending Challenge website.

Interestingly, this official UK Government website specifically mentions online anonymity and also the controversial and now insecure "whistleblower" website

[via: presentation at 26C3 - will Iceland become a Publishing Data Haven ? ]

The annual congress held by the German Chaos Computer Club, between Christmas and the New Year, yet again provided with a chance to communicate some of their activities, in front of an enthusiastic, highly information technology literate audience.

Video of the presentation, in several online formats is now available online:

26C3: Here Be Dragons video recordings

Daniel Schmitt and Julian Assange gave an update of some recent activities:

3567 WikiLeaks Release 1.0 mp4 iProd mp3 ogg


However, the most interesting part of the talk, was their report on the their trip to Iceland in November.

Julian and Daniel managed to get themselves onto the Icelandic political mainstream media, to talk about the project, because, at the end of August 2009, published the loan book of the failed Kaupthing Bank.

The whistleblower leak allowed the Icelandic public to see where the missing billions were initially siphoned off to, immediately prior to this bank's collapse.The failure of this bank, helped to destroy the current Icelandic economy, and precipitated hitherto unheard of riots in the streets of Reykjavik, and a change in government.

Iceland is trying to restructure its debt laden economy, to take advantage of its almost limitless cheap electricity from green hydro electric and geo-thermal sources, and its small but highly computer literate population of about 300,000 people, and its mid -Atlantic time zone location, by hosting some large computer and internet hosting data centres.

The team suggested that Icelandic legislators should take this opportunity to pass the best free speech, whistleblower protection, personal privacy, data protection, copyright and libel laws etc., modeled on best practice around the world, to allow Iceland to become a Publication Data Haven.

This idea seems to have impressed some Icelandic legislators, who seem to be preparing some legislation for consideration by the end of this month January 2010 (another advantage of a small state).

Daniel and Julian are rightly sceptical that such plans might succeed , if the Icelandic politicians wait until after Iceland attempts to join the European Union, as there are a lot of vested interests, lobbyists and bureaucrats who would oppose such laws.

The incompetent UK Labour Government, which failed to regulate UK banks and financial institutions, and which precipitated the Icelandic banking collapse , by seizing Icelandic financial assets, in the most insulting way possible, by abusing anti-terrorism money laundering legislation, (see Icelanders are NOT terrorists!) together with the governments of the Netherlands and Denmark etc,, are using the carrot of European Union membership, to pressure / blackmail the Icelanders into promising to pay the debts of this and other failed Icelandic banks, to the often greedy or incompetent investors from those countries, who should have been aware of the commercial risks associated with the "too good to be true" high interest rates being offered. The Government / Bank failures in the UK or the Netherlands etc. were much larger than the Icelandic ones, but did not affect all of their ffinancial sector in the same way.

Of equal interest to us here in the United Kingdom, where we are also face internet censorship, disconnection and snooping on peaceful political activists:

Also of interest to whistleblowers and journalists the presentation by Roger Dingledine.showing how the Tor anonymity cloud helped in last year's increases in censorship of the internet by the control freaks currently in power in Iran and China etc.

3567 Tor and censorship: lessons learned mp4 iProd mp3 ogg

Roger appealed to his audience of Tor users, to please set up some more voluntary Tor Bridge Relays, which do not appear in the main , easily censored or blocked, public Tor Directory.

Note also Roger's hint about the current uncensorability of IPv6 connections.

Who exactly are the Judges who are are, for no good reason,imposing secrecy orders which attempt to hide the very fact that a rich client has hired expensive lawyers to attempt to suppress a newspaper story ?.

There is often a case for Injunctions etc. about the names of the parties involved in a court case, but to attempt to hide the very fact that there are legal proceedings in the first place, is evil.

Such secrecy is not necessary even for the most serious cases involving National Security.

When this appears to be extended to the suppression of the reporting even of Parliamentary Written Questions, then it is time for the system to be reformed immediately.

See today's coded story in The Guardian:

Guardian gagged from reporting parliament

which has provoked the Streisand Effect flurry in the blogosphere and the twitterverse e.g. Guido Fawkes and Ministry of Truth etc.

Presumably it was one of these Written Questions, by former financial journalist (at Reuters, the Independent on Sunday and City Editor at The Observer) Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP for Newcastle under Lyme.


Questions for Written Answer

Notices given between Thursday 17 September and Friday 9 October


N Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the Court of Appeal judgment in May 2009 in the case of Michael Napier and Irwin Mitchell v Pressdram Limited in respect of press freedom to report proceedings in court.

Pressdram Limited are the publishers of Private Eye satirical magazine.

BAILLI have the judgment online: Napier & Anor v Pressdram Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 443 (19 May 2009)

61 N Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura. (293006)

Inevitably, copies of these documents are available on the whistleblower website in Sweden.

How do expensive firms of lawyers still get away with charging so much money, for legal threats and injunction tricks, which try to suppress information in the media and on the internet, but which are so ineffective and counterproductive to the interests of their clients ? They inevitably create their own public relations disasters.

62 N Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will (a) collect and (b) publish statistics on the number of non-reportable injunctions issued by the High Court in each of the last five years. (293012)

N Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what mechanisms HM Court Service uses to draw up rosters of duty judges for the purpose of considering time of the essence applications for the issuing of injunctions by the High Court.


Good questions - will Jack Straw and the rest of the Ministry of (In)Justice evade giving any proper answers, as usual ?

WIll any investigative journalists or bloggers look into the possible corruption of the Judiciary, which such secrecy inevitably raises suspicions of ?

Feel free to comment below or to email us with any details, (taking the usual privacy precautions. using our PGP Public Encryption Key and anonymity measures e.g.Tor onion routing - see our Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers, investigative journalists and bloggers or political dissidents etc

Some sections the UK political blogosphere and of the newspapers, are discussing the implications of the recent failed attempt by a blogger to obtain an injunction preventing The Times newspaper from publishing his name as the author of an "insider,"on the job" blog based on his experiences as a serving Police Detective Constable

See the ruling by Mr. Justice Eady: The Author of A Blog v Times Newspapers Ltd [2009] EWHC 1358 (QB) (16 June 2009)

Justice Eady's ruling does not really change the legal privacy protection currently enjoyed by bloggers in the UK i.e. none whatsoever.

Bloggers are threatened by the UK's appalling "libel tourism" laws, which favour rich people can afford the financial legal risk of large legal fees, and by various repressive bits of UK Government legislation for "national security" or "serious organised crime" purposes, but which have been used for political purposes, or to harass critics of the Police and the bureaucracy.

Perhaps insider police, or other public service, "on the job" blogs will now become even rarer, as a result of the revelation of Detective Constable Richard Horton identity as the author of the Night Jack blog.

N.B. you can still see many of the entries by subscribing to it via an RSS feed aggregator like Bloglines , even though the Wordpress hosted blog has been nominally deleted.

To "delete" a blog more thoroughly, each of the entries should have first been censored and then re-published, to infect the RSS feed caches with an updated censored or blanked out version of each article, and then the blog can be deleted or unpublished, with less of a persistent data shadow. Even so, there will still be many copies of the now embarrassing or offending blog somewhere on the internet.

Such ongoing "on the job" blogs, are not usually primarily for whistleblowing purposes, but they do give a valuable picture of life at the sharp end of such public service organisations,

Where they highlight or just hint at abuses and incompetence, such blogs should actually be read and acted upon by the senior management (and external regulators) of such organisations, not just suppressed and covered up.

However, The Times newspaper has further damaged its reputation over this affair, because it is not at all clear that there is any public interest in "naming and shaming" the author of this blog, and they were simply wrong to manufacture this "story" in the first place.

The reporter Patrick Foster, whose byline accompanies the story, also has a history of "breaking the rules":

The BBC reported that Patrick Foster was rusticated from Oxford University in 2005

Oxford pair suspended for hacking

for having, with an accomplice,

infiltrated the university's computer systems and said they were able to view live closed circuit material and access information about students' computer use.

Why should any whistleblower or other confidential journalistic source trust Patrick Foster, Media Correspondent or any of the other journalists at The Times ?

If what Patrick Foster claims, in a follow up article, Writer advised on how to evade long arm of the law is true

Mr Horton was adamant that he had taken great pains to keep his identity secret. But on his blog, he also described his visits to a jiu-jitsu club, adding a hyperlink to the website of the organising body for the martial art. Lancashire Constabulary jiu-jitsu club lists only one member who is a detective -- Detective Constable Richard Horton.

Mr Horton was also a member of a number of social networking websites. Those who logged on to his account on the Facebook website could follow posts written by his brother, Roger, who currently lives in Texas. The pair had conducted a conversation about the blog on a publicly accessible part of the website.

then it appears that Richard Horton did not really go to any great lengths to hide his identity online, apart from using a pseudonym, and shared blog space in the USA, especially since since he linked to various social networking sites etc. and mentioned details which were very specific to his local, Lancashire based private life.

Obviously there are other, somewhat more cumbersome and stealthier ways of publishing information - see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers etc. - Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc. (and other political opponents of Gordon Brown).

The Times' claims that the details and opinions published by Night Jack about some notorious local criminals, somehow might have been a breach of confidence etc, which might, in theory prejudice a fair trial, seems to be rather far fetched.

However it was only after the criminal trials were over, and the names and details of the offences were publicised by other local newspapers, that Patrick Foster was able to link the names and offences, to the opinions and anonymised skeleton facts, published on the Night Jack blog.

Spy Blog agrees with Mr. Justice Eady that it would have been wrong for Night Jack / Richard Horton's attempt at getting an injunction to muzzle the The Times to have succeeded, since whenever the Law meddles with free speech and privacy issues, there always seem to be second order knock on effects, way beyond the specific case,

There is no benefit to society as a whole, in giving "meedja reputation" lawyers like Schillings any more legalistic tricks and threats to use to try to suppress bloggers rights.

If Mr. Justice Eady is correct that

10. ... Although the Claimant here is not a journalist, the function he performs via his blog is closely analogous. I see no greater justification for a reasonable expectation of anonymity in this case than in that concerning Mr Mahmood.

11. I consider that the Claimant fails at stage one, because blogging is essentially a public rather than a private activity.

then surely this could and should be applied to anonymous Whitehall public relations spokesmen, briefers, spin doctors and lobbyists as well ?

Presumably they cannot now expect to get a legal injunction to suppress the "detective work" by other journalists or bloggers, who might expose their names "in the public interest" ?

Will this ruling affect our, and other people's, Freedom of Information of Information Act requests, where the names and or job titles of civil servants are redacted or censored ?

Other informed coverage of this case:

The Guardian has a follow up article giving some details of the mechanics of the unsuccessful "Hotmail plot" by the anti-Gordon Brown faction of Labour Members of Parliament

Why plot to oust Gordon Brown failed

The rebels switched from email to texts on a disposable mobile but bid to oust PM was doomed

* Allegra Stratton, political correspondent
*, Wednesday 10 June 2009 21.48 BST

At 3pm on Monday 8 June, 15 people met in an MP's office in the House of Commons to agree that, for the time being at least, the Hotmail Plot had failed.


"The difference between getting 50 and the necessary 70 will be the disloyalty factor," one told the Guardian when the plot was in full swing. The Hotmail Plot -- so called because of the email address,, which MPs were asked to sign up to, calling for Brown to go, remained undetected for days until the Guardian revealed it at noon, shortly after Blears had resigned.

By Wednesday evening, the covert tactic unravelled as thousands of emails arrived. Apart from the odd one from genuinely sympathetic MPs, spoofs, foreign emails, and junk emails flowed in.

Exactly as predicted in the Spy Blog article - The Email Address Most Likely To Be Snooped On ? - Labour in crisis: the Hotmail conspiracy

One rebel said: "We got one email from [the email address of the chief whip]. It might be that they were hoping we'd publish a list and not notice his name was in it and then he could show all the names were ridiculous."

Did they check the full email headers to see if it was sent from the parliamentary email servers e.g., etc. and the outsourced anti-spam and anti-virus email service run by , or was it simply a trivially spoofed email return address ?


Instead, the rebels adopted a tactic favoured by organised criminals and bought an untraceable pay as you go mobile, encouraging sympathetic colleagues to get in touch that way. It became a text message plot.

The use of SMS text messages was suggested in the previous Spy Blog article above.

It is wrong to imply that only organised criminals have a need for an "untraceable pay as you go mobile" - there was nothing illegal in this anti-Gordon Brown faction's attempt to gather support, and certainly no justification for any police or intelligence agency snooping, but. since knowledge is power, the temptation to do so without proper authorisation,or on some flimsy excuse invoking "national security" or "the prevention, detection or prosecution of crime", might be too great, and we the public, have no way of checking up on this.

Why did the anti-Gordon Brown faction not use SMS text messages right from the start, before the Hotmail email idea ?

Each of the core "plotters", should have obtained at least one such mobile phone.

Did these MPs claim the cost of these mobile phones from their office expenses ?

Perhaps they should read our Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers etc. (and anti- Gordon Brown factions in the Labour party)

One cabinet minister due to meet a rebel for dinner had their meeting cancelled - there simply wasn't a restaurant in London discreet enough.

That simply is not true, unless the Cabinet Minister's police protection team cannot be trusted not to blab.

Does the anti-Brown faction believe that they were/are under surveillance ?

Instead, that evening they would have the first of three phone calls. The cabinet minister was interested in the nature of names, irrespective of whether they had arrived by email, text or carrier pigeon.

Remember that the Wilson Doctrine regarding the Interception of the phone calls of Members of Parliament, does not seem to apply to Communications Traffic Data snooping on mobile phones or landlines i.e. who called or sent SMS text messages to whom, and when, which would reveal most of what is of interest in this scheme, to people within the Downing Street bunker, or those who might be trying to curry favour and influence there.


On Monday at 3pm the rebels met. All their info was collated on a five-page spreadsheet across which names, mobile phone numbers, "other telephone numbers" and personal non-parliamentary email addresses were set out horizontally along with the initials of the rebel MP who had brought them on board and vouched for them.

Zealots who wanted Brown out were given the number zero and those newly persuaded the number one. Zero zealots made up most of the first page; ones extended onto the second and together they came to 54. Short of the 71 crucial figure but over the 50 they had briefed journalists would trigger publication.


But there were other categories on that spreadsheet. Number four indicated friends of Brown and category three were people whose opinions were not known.

The category that was by far the longest, stretching to about 120 was number two (yesterday one rebel rang to say: "I've just seen that two of our number twos have got jobs with the government. Patronage is a big problem for plots".) The number two denoted: "Possibles, if..."

Zero Zealots ?

Who would be likely to use such a logical computer programming style, yet utterly inhuman, numbering system starting from 0, to categorise the people on the list ? Charles Clarke has a degree in Mathematics and Economics, but that does not necessarily signify much.

Another way to snoop indirectly on these Zero Zealots, would be to target The Guardian
journalists who have been given access to these details.

Perhaps some of the scandals which have been suppressed by the deliberate Whitehall political delays to Freedom of Information Act requests, may now be slowly starting to emerge.

Home Office Immigration scandal whistleblower Steve Moxon, writes:

Beverley Hughes is quitting 'cos she's just been found out to be a liar: new FOI disclosures

Beverley Hughes, MP and children's minister, is standing down, she says, to spend more time with her family.
Oh yes?
It's an old euphemism.
Just a coincidence then that she is not responding to her local paper's request to discuss the new Freedom of Information disclosures of Home Office documents proving she lied in the immigration scandal over which she presided?

Bev had to resign as minister for immigration back in 2004 for 'misleading the House (of Commons)' -- lying, IOW -- re what she knew of problems with visas at our Romanian embassy. This was in the wake of my coming forward as a 'whistle-blower' over systematic illegal non-application of immigration law across all immigration casework [rubber-stamping applications without checking them, in a procedure named BRACE -- 'backlog reduction accelerated clearance exercise' -- which was applied to all cases for periods].

What is new -- with the long-awaited disclosure from the Home Office after my FOI request back in 2005, when the Act first came into law -- is that it is now proven that she lied about the whole wider problem of illegal administration of immigration applications.

This shows that she is unfit to be either a minister (which she still is; though not of immigration, obviously) or an MP.

Below is my analysis re the most telling lines from the Home Office disclosure documents (which are archived in several small bundles on their website's FOI pages).

The documents are available at the Home Office FOIA disclosure page:

Information relating to "BRACE" (Backlog Reduction Accelerated Clearance Exercises) from 2004

These documents also provide a glimpse into the draughting and re-draughting of Government "Lines to take" by the Press Office civil servants and by Special Political Advisor spin doctors.

This is all even further evidence, that the notorious David Blunkett, who was in charge of the Home Office back in 2004, which failed to handle "Immigration" policy properly, should never be inflicted on us again as a Government Minister, no matter how desperate Gordon Brown is to re-shuffle his Cabinet.

The MP's expenses scandal seems to have paralysed the "Westminster village" of professional politicos for the last couple of weeks or so.

Given Spy Blog's interest in Whistleblowers and in the privacy and security of anonymous whistleblowing sources (see our Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Political Bloggers and Activists - , in the public interest, we read with interest today's story in the Sunday Times, and the later one on the Mail on Sunday website, who name the intermediary brokers of the whistleblower CDROMs containing the uncensored MPs expenses documents, as John Wick and Henry Gewanter,

They were first named by the Wall Street Journal, which appears to have betrayed whistleblower source confidentiality - why should any whistleblower or other confidential journalistic source ever trust them again ?

If whistleblowers are forced to go to the mainstream media, rather than through their management systems or independent confidential whistleblower complaints systems, then there is no moral question about money.

The mainstream media like the Daily Telegraph profit financially from setting the news agenda with a big journalistic "scoop", so whether or not the actual whistleblowers get paid, or whether it is only their advisors and intermediaries who get paid, is not very important if the allegations are true, as they obviously are in this MPs expenses scandal.

Will the publicity about John Wick and Henry Gewanter now actually protect them somewhat, from the vindictiveness of those in power, who they have helped to expose ?

Will the media and political attention focus on them as intermediaries, rather than on the actual whistleblower source(s) ?


Business of the House: Government Information (Unauthorised Release) (4 Dec 2008)

Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock) (Lab):: A little while ago I had a hand in getting the Prime Minister to reaffirm the Wilson doctrine, and he extended it to modern electronic surveillance. On the face of it, it would appear that the Wilson doctrine has been abrogated by the police in this case. Clearly, the e-mails of the hon. Member for Ashford (Damian Green) were looked at. I venture to suggest that he was listened in to, and...

4 Dec 2008 : Column 143

Jacqui Smith: I am sorry my hon. Friend has not received the reply to the letter, which I sent him yesterday and in which I made it clear that the Wilson doctrine as outlined by the Prime Minister has not been abrogated.


Mr. Parmjit Dhanda (Gloucester) (Lab) The Home Secretary has been clear and unambiguous today. Will she go further on the point of my hon. Friend the Member for Thurrock (Andrew Mackinlay) about the Wilson doctrine? Can she reassure all hon. Members that our home numbers, work mobiles and the phones that we use in this House are covered by the Wilson doctrine, as well as our e-mail accounts?

Jacqui Smith: As I have suggested, the Wilson doctrine applies, and it applies as outlined by the Prime Minister.

4 Dec 2008 : Column 151

Remember that the Wilson Doctrine is interpreted very narrowly by this Labour Government - the "seizure of evidence" by the Police, when they grab someone's computer is not "interception of emails" in transit, although the end result in terms of betraying confidential information can be the same.

Since the whistleblower leak inquiry covers the last couple of years or so, what exactly were the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command granted access to, with respect to the Parliamentary email system ?

  • Were the Police granted access to all of the emails sent and received via Damian Green's Parliamentary email account ?
  • Were these emails restricted to only the ones sent to or from the Home Office whistleblower Christopher Galley (if , indeed, any such emails actually exist at all) , or were other emails from or to constituents, or correspondents of Damian Green, also scooped up in the data trawl ?
  • Were the Police granted access to the entire Microsoft Exchange server or shared folders containing correspondence from more than one MP and their constituents ?
  • Were they granted access to archives or backups, going back 2 or more years ?

There are separate questions about any content of any such emails i.e. Interception (which is supposedly covered by the Wilson Doctrine) and any email server logfiles which potentially betray the identities of other whistleblowers or other confidential journalistic contacts i.e. Communications Traffic Data. The latter is not covered by the Wilson Doctrine, but it should be.

It appears that Damian Green's Parliamentary email account was suspended on the Thursday of his arrest.

The Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin appeared to be clueless and not in command of any facts about exactly what privacy, confidentiality and privilege breaches there had, or had not been, regarding the Parliamentary email system.

Some people refer to the unpopular Labour Government as "New Labour" or "NuLabour", or, to draw parallels with the evil dictatorship of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe as "ZANU Labour".

Most people with an interest in politics in the UK take this joke / mild insult in their stride, but surely even members of the Labour party must feel scared by the news that the Conservative MP Damian Green, their frontbench Home Affairs spokesman on Immigration, has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police, and has had his homes and offices searched, including his office at the Palace of Westminster, by "Counter Terrorism Police".

Counter-terrorism police arrest Conservative frontbencher

The police action followed the arrest 10 days ago of a government employee who had allegedly leaked four documents to Green, who in turn passed them to the press. They were:

• A home office memo, which appeared in the Daily Mail on 13 November 2007, which showed that the home secretary Jacqui Smith had been warned four months earlier that thousands of illegal immigrants had been cleared to work in sensitive Whitehall security jobs. The memo emerged days after the Sunday Mirror disclosed that at least 5,000 illegal immigrants had been cleared by the Security Industry Authority to work sensitive Whitehall locations.

• An email to the then home office minister Liam Byrne in February this year which showed that he was informed about an illegal Brazilian immigrant who faked an identity pass to working parliament. The memo, which was published in the Sunday Telegraph on 10 February this year, said Byrne was informed on 31 January. Byrne was accused of a cover up.

• A list of Labour MPs who were likely to rebel against the government's plans to detain terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge. This appeared in the Sunday Times on 20 April 2008.

• A letter from Jacqui Smith to Gordon Brown warning that a recession would lead to a rise in crime. This appeared in will papers, including the Guardian, on 1 September this year.

None of these stories involved any breach of security, only political embarrassment for the incompetent Labour party politicians.

The BBC in that intensely annoying way of theirs, have almost completely re-written their report of this story, but kept the URL the same Senior Tory arrested over leaks - new window">Senior Tory arrested over leaks

They quote a statement from the Metropolitan Police Service (which does not, of course, appear on the Met's website):

"The investigation into the alleged leak of confidential government material followed the receipt by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of a complaint from the Cabinet Office.

"The decision to make today's arrest was taken solely by the MPS without any ministerial knowledge or approval."

There was no need to waste scarce "Counter Terrorism Police" resources on this blatantly political investigation. Are ordinary Policemen no longer capable of searching an office ?

It is irrelevant whether or not Gordon Brown or any other senior Labour politicians were aware of Thursday's arrest beforehand, or not, they are to blame politically.

This affair also reflects badly on Sir Paul Stephenson, the deputy to Sir Ian Blair, who is taking over as Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service. If he is seen to be continuing Sir Ian Blair's NuLabour political policing style, then he must not be allowed to be promoted into that job full time.

We strongly suggest that any other Home Office or Treasury etc. whistleblowers, and any investigative journalists, bloggers or opposition politicians should read our Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Political Activists - Technical Hints and Tips for protecting the anonymity of sources for Whistleblowers, Investigative Journalists, Campaign Activists and Political Bloggers

Some Obvious Questions:

Why is it that our politicians, both in the UK and in the rest of Europe, seem to be so weak, that they have allowed themselves to be manipulated by the terrorist threat, and vested securocrat interests, to weaken our fundamental freedoms and liberties, without any noticeable gain in actual security. ?

Privacy International have a new report on the "effects of new counter-terrorism laws on media and free expression rights in European countries".

Speaking of Terror: A survey of the effects of counter-terrorism legislation on freedom of the media in Europe (.pdf)


Executive summary, page 3
I. Introduction, page 5
II. Effects of international bodies on Council of Europe member states, page 7
United Nations, page 7
The Council of Europe, page 8
The European Union, page 10
III. Limits on access and gathering information, page 13
Access to Information Laws, page 13
State Secrets Legislation, page 15
Limits on Photography, page 17
IV. Limits on freedom of expression, page 19
V. Protection of journalists' sources and materials, page 25
VI. Wiretapping and surveillance of journalists, page 29
VII. Conclusion, page 35
VIII. Appendix, page 37
Guidelines of the Committee of Ministers of the Council
of Europe on protecting freedom of expression and
information in times of crisis, page 37
Declaration on freedom of expression and information
in the media in the context of the fight against
terrorism, page 40

Summary of findings:

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)

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.

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia


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

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

Brian Burnell's British / US nuclear weapons history at

RIPA Consultations

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

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

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

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

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

intelligence_gov_uk_150.gif - Cabinet Office hosted portal website to various UK Intelligence Agencies and UK Government intelligence committees and Commissioners etc.

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protestClimate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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

Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

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

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid_150.jpg - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

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

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

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

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

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

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


Cracking the Black Box - "aims to expose technology that is being used in inappropriate ways. We hope to bring together the insights of experts and whistleblowers to shine a light into the dark recesses of systems that are responsible for causing many of the privacy problems faced by millions of people."


Open Rights Group - Petition against the renewal of the Interception Modernisation Programme