Results tagged “SOCA” from Spy Blog - SpyBlog.org.uk

The BBC reports that

21 June 2011 Last updated at 16:32

Teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking

A teenager has been arrested in the UK in a joint Scotland Yard and FBI probe into the hacking of websites.

The man, named locally as Ryan Cleary, 19, was arrested in Wickford, Essex. Police have not identified him.

Make your mind up BBC - is he a "teenager" or a "man" aged 19 ?

Scotland Yard said the raid followed a series of distributed denial of service attacks.

It comes days after hackers from a group called Lulz Security (LulzSec) attacked a number of websites both in Britain and the United States.

Scotland Yard would not say if Tuesday's raid was connected to LulzSec but said it had been a "pre-planned, intelligence-led" operation.

However, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said the Metropolitan Police's e-crimes unit had confirmed the raid was linked to the recent intrusion attacks on the websites of the CIA and Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).

It says the teenager's computer was being examined for data linked to Sony, which recently came under cyber attack.

Mr Cleary was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act and Fraud Act and is being questioned at a central London police station.

Earlier a Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The arrest follows an investigation into network intrusions and distributed denial of service attacks against a number of international business and intelligence agencies by what is believed to be the same hacking group.

"Searches at a residential address in Wickford, Essex, following the arrest last night, have led to the examination of a significant amount of material. These forensic examinations remain ongoing."

Mr Cleary's mother spoke to BBC Essex and confirmed her son had been arrested at 0330 BST on Tuesday.

She said he had been obsessed with computers since he was 12 and added: "Computers were his world."

It is one of the more disgraceful aspects of the mainstream and tabloid media, that they "name and shame" people who have been merely arrested, but who have not yet actually been charged with any offence and who may never charged or convicted of anything i.e. before the sub judice contempt of court rules apply.

What happened to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty" ?

Why did the BBC send a tv satellite outside broadcast van around to the family home in Wickford, Essex and broadcast voyeuristic pictures of it around the world ?

See this Teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking video clip, which was broadcast repeatedly by BBC televeison news, around the world.

BBC_satellite_OB_van_450.jpg

Note the BBC satellite Outside Broadcast van

BBC_Wickford_Essex_1_450.jpg

The number plate of this parked car is clearly visible in the broadcast, although it probably has nothing to do with the house and the alleged computer hacker. - this is "guilt through association".

BBC_snoops_bedroom_windows_450.jpg

What genuine news value is there in the slow pan across all three upper floor bedroom windows ?

Are the BBC complicit in police / government harassment and intimidation, or are they just uncaringly voyeuristic, or both ?

For what it is worth, the inherently untrustworthy @LulzSec Twitter feed claims that :

Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame.
7:54PM June 21st 2011

@superbus We use Ryan's server, we also use Efnet, 2600, Rizon and AnonOps IRC
servers. That doesn't mean they're all part of our group.
7:53 PM June 21st 2011

Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that's it. youtube.com/watch?v=Jf7iBS...
7:48PM June 21st 2011

Will the UK Police actually charge and prosecute Ryan Cleary, or will this become Yet Another Extradition to the USA saga, like that of Gary McKinnon ?

Serious_Organised_Crime_Agency_logo_w_400.jpg"

The BBC reported that

20 June 2011 Last updated at 20:32

Soca website taken down after LulzSec 'Ddos attack'

The UK Serious Organised Crime agency has taken its website offline after it appeared to be a victim of an attack by hacking group Lulz Security.

Soca said it had taken its website offline to limit the impact attack on clients hosted by its service provider.

Soca.gov.uk had been unavailable for much of Monday afternoon, with an intermittent service restored later.

Lulz Security has said it was behind the denial of service attack which had taken the website offline.

Earlier on Monday, as the agency launched an investigation, LulzSec tweeted: "Tango down - in the name of #AntiSec".

The group has hit a number of high-profile websites in recent weeks, including the CIA and US Senate.

Soca appeared to be the victim of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, where large numbers of computers, under malicious control, overload their target with web requests.

In a statement given to BBC News, a Soca spokesman said: "Soca has chosen to take its website offline to limit the impact of DDOS attack on other clients hosted by our service provider.

"The Soca website is a source of information for the general public which is hosted by an external provider. It is not linked to our operational material or the data we hold."

[...]

Was it worth bringing the SOCA website back online at all ?

SOCA website still has no anonymous or secure communications methods of contact

SOCA still does not appear to want any "tip offs" from members of the public or
from people with specialist knowledge or access, either in the UK or abroad.

Their website has no means of secure or anonymous electronic communication for
whistleblowers or informants or other Covert Human Intelligence Sources.

- no SSL / TLS encrypted web forms
- no email address(es)
- no published PGP Encryption Key(s)
- no mobile phone SMS text message facility
- no fax number

For what it is worth, there is a postal address:

Serious Organised Crime Agency
PO Box 8000
London
SE11 5EN

For several years, there was no public telephone number published by SOCA, but now they have:

The 24/7 telephone number for SOCA is 0370 496 7622. Call for general enquiries or to verify a person as a SOCA officer.

N.B. that is not in any way an anonymous contact method.

SOCA is being replaced / re-branded anyway

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is, for some bureaucratic or political reason, set to disappear by 2013, to be replaced by a "National Crime Agency" headed by a Chief Constable rather than by a former Deputy Chief Constable / former MI5 Director General / former Ministry of Defence "Sir Humphrey", as if that will make any difference whatsoever.

On the 8th June 2011, the Home Office published:

National Crime Agency - a plan for the creation of a national crime-fighting capability (PDF file - 909kb)

Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May's Foreword to this document says:

The social and economic costs are estimated at between £20 and £40 billion per year

Back in November 2004, Spy Blog asked:

SOCA spin - How much does Serious and Organised Crime cost the UK ? £40 billion or £20 billion ?

Therefore, after 6 and half years, the Home Office appears to be as clueless as ever. . They cannot even estimate, to the nearest £20 billion, let alone prove quantitatively, that SOCA has actually reduced the damage to the UK of Serious Organised Crime at all.

Instead of 4 operational divisions of SOCA, according to Home Secretary Theresa May:

The NCA will also have its own specialist capabilities, including for surveillance,
fraud and threat to life situations. These will be used by the NCA itself and will be available to the police and other agencies.

The Agency will comprise a number of distinct operational commands: Organised Crime, Border Policing, Economic Crime and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. It will also house the National Cyber Crime Unit. .

So the only differences, apart from the expensive corporate re-branding and the tedious waste of time in amending various Acts of Parliament to use NCA rather than SOCA,
appear to be the absorption of some of the Borders Agency staff and the eventual absorption of CEOP.

Astonishingly, SOCA will take 18 months to 2 years to die off and be replaced by NCA. The "Cyber Crime" bit will not be incorporated until after the London 2012 Olympics .

The length of time that this dithering will take, is toxic to the morale and efficiency of the organisation.

How can they possibly recruit or retain talented staff into a "zombie" agency ?

Is there going to be a US style "intelligence fusion centre", with all that implies for the Privacy of innocent members of the public ?

1.5 Mirroring the arrangements for countering terrorism, the NCA will be home to a significant multi-agency intelligence capability. This will comprise an intelligence coordination hub with information flowing to and from the police and other law
enforcement agencies in support of tactical operational activity. It will also include an expert analytical function, playing a more strategic role - a Joint Serious
and Organised Crime Assessment Centre.

Where is the Serious Organised Crime Prevention strategy ?

In the same week as the publication of the NCA plan, the Home Office also issued a revised PREVENT counter terrorism strategy document.

Prevent strategy (PDF file - 713kb)

This rightly criticised the former Labour government's failures

The Prevent programme we inherited from the last Government was flawed. It confused the delivery of Government policy to promote integration with Government policy to prevent terrorism. It failed to confront the extremist ideology at the heart of the threat we face; and in trying to reach those at risk of radicalisation, funding sometimes even reached the very extremist organisations that Prevent should have been confronting.

It remains to be seen if the new PREVENT strategy is any better in practice than the old one, but the obvious question must be asked - where is the equivalent Serious Organised Crime prevention plan or strategy ?

Many of the criminal operational techniques used by Serious Organised Crime gangs e.g. drug dealing, armed robberies, credit card fraud, money laundering, counterfeit goods etc. are exactly the same as those used by terrorists, and vice versa.

Many of the same people who are drawn into Terrorism, are also likely recruits for Serious Organised Crime gangs, especially within families or minority ethnic groups, or vulnerable people in prisons or schools etc.

Neither SOCA nor the proposed NCA appear to have any functions or budget to actually prevent people being drawn into Serious Organised Crime gangs in the first place.

Why not ?

The secretive Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has published its

SOCA Annual Report 2008/09 (.pdf) (72 pages)

The Times recently published a comment, with which we agree:

The budget for Soca is about £400 million, compared with the £2.5 billion a year designated for counter-terrorism, leading to criticism that the Government has never taken organised crime seriously.

SOCA has its own telephone interception capabilities, which it uses on behalf of other Police forces, and it is heavily involved in the Home Office's mass snooping plans like te Interception Modernisation Programme:

Maintenance of an effective interception and call data capability, managing the challenges of interception modernisation effectively.

Telephone intercept intelligence and communications data played a role in all significant SOCA operations, and in many where SOCA provided support to other agencies' criminal justice casework. This was notably the case with police forces throughout England and Wales, for whom SOCA continued to provide telephone interception services. Many of those forces had seconded police officers to SOCA to carry out this work, under SOCA supervision. The roll-out of new systems and improved coordination of the use of SOCA's range of covert collection capabilities meant that these resources were better focused and more efficiently deployed. With regard to maintaining capability into the future in the face of fundamental technological changes, SOCA continued to be a key contributor to the Home Offce-led Interception Modernisation Programme

The most interesting section of the Report, which hints at crime problems which neither SOCA nor the Police nor any other UK Government department, are providing the general public with timely, detailed crime prevention advice on, is Appendix III: SOCA Reports and Assessments 2008/09

Production of a steady flow of well-informed Assessments and other reporting that identifies for government and others where changes in policy, legislation or practice would reduce the harm caused by serious organised crime.

In addition to the annual UK Threat Assessment, in 2008/09 SOCA produced 182 assessments and reports for law enforcement, government and others, a 44% increase on the previous year. Those issued are listed an [sic] Appendix III to this Report. These were designed to inform policy makers and provide support for operational activity where timeliness and relevance were critical.It was therefore pleasing that readers expressed themselves content with their usefulness and timeliness.

The list of 182 titles of documents, stretches over 8 pages, with 19 of those listed as Title Confidential

In order to provide something for web search engines which do not index (.pdf) files, here is a web page version of this list of titles, in a new window.

However the majority of these titles are not censored , and might be of interest to Spy Bog readers, for crime prevention and deterrence, academic and journalistic purposes, and to see if SOCA is actually being advised properly about the realistic capabilities of, say telecommunications technology etc..

A selection of potentially interesting titles:

  • Technology Enabled Crime: The Use of Information and Communications Technology by Serious Organised Criminals March 2009

  • Fiscal Fraud: Accommodation Addresses as a Fraud Enabler March 2009

  • Technology-Enabled Crime Recent Developments in the Governance of Internet Domain Names and the Potential Impact on Criminal Use of the Internet March 2009

  • Money Laundering: The Creation of Complex Financial Structures by Specialist Money Launderers March 2009

  • Criminal Finance and Profits: Service-based Money Laundering through Music Tours and Nightclub Events February 2009

  • Internet Crime: Activities of a Russian-language Online Criminal Forum February 2009

  • Suspected Criminal Use of Pre-Paid Cards reported in SARs in 2008 February 2009

  • Criminal Use of Electronic Currency Systems and Stored Value Cards January 2009

  • Class A Drugs : Command-and-Control Communications Structure Identified January 2009

  • Suspicious Activity Reports Data Matching January 2009

  • Proceeds of Crime: Analysis of Suspicious Activity Reporting from UK-Registered Online Betting Exchanges January 2009

  • Internet Crime: Activities and Identity of Internet Criminal November 2008

  • Prisons: A Method of Smuggling Contraband into HM Prisons, including Class A Drugs November 2008

  • Cross-Cutting Threats: The Abuse of the Pseudo Trader Unique Reference Number (TURN) System by Serious Organised Criminals November 2008

  • UK Borders: Use of Corrupt Airport Workers by Serious Organised Criminals November 2008

  • The Threat to SOCA from Private Investigators and Others Seeking Unauthorised Access to Information October 2008

Do SOCA interpret every legitimate request for information as a "threat" ?

  • UK Borders: The Dutch Law Enforcement View of the Risk from General Aviation October 2008

  • Commercial Burglary: The Theft of High Value Communications Hardware ("Blades") October 2008

  • Criminal Finances and Profits: Use of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals Within Bookmakers to Launder Criminal Finances and Profits October 2008

  • Identity Fraud: The Use of Identity Fraud as an Enabler in Serious Organised Crime September 2008

  • Internet Crime: Implications of New Restrictions Imposed by Canadian Internet Registration Authority for Law Enforcement Requests for Information September 2008

  • Criminal Techniques: The Changing or Cloning of IMEI Numbers in Mobile Telephones by Criminals August 2008

  • Criminal Techniques: The Use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) by Serious Organised Criminals August 2008

  • Internet Crime: How the Russian Business Network (RBN) has attempted to Evade Law Enforcement and Industry Countermeasures May 2008

  • UK Borders: The Use of the UK-Ireland Border by Serious Organised Criminals April 2008

  • Organised Immigration Crime: Serious Organised Criminals' Attempts to Ingratiate Themselves with UK Authorities April 2008

  • Class A Drugs : Analysis of UK Mobile Telephone Number Featuring in Multiple Heroin Trafficking Operations April 2008

  • UK Borders: How Serious Organised Criminals Exploit Vulnerabilities in the UK's Border Controls April 2008

Unfortunately, for now at least, SOCA is exempt from the list of Public Authorities which have to comply with Freedom of Information Act Requests.

Some of these titles would appear to be useful to the supposedly informed public debate about Communications Traffic Data, Intercept as Evidence, and RIPA reform public consultations and Government policies.

Will any Parliamentary Committees or individual Members of Parliament probe SOCA about what these publications and assessments actually mean in detail ?

Why is Gordon Brown still Prime Minister ?

Both the BBC and The Times (UPDATE: and the official transcript of the speech on the number 10 Downing Street website) quote him, without seeming to notice or care about exactly what nonsense or deceit he was uttering:

Mr Brown told a crime conference in west London: "We face new kinds of crime - especially knife crime, organised crime, e-crime and identity theft

On which planet can "knife crime" be described as a "new kind of crime" ?

We understand that politicians, especially Labour politicians have little or no grasp of complicated modern technology, but low tech "knife crime" has been with us since pre-historic times !

The Times also notes, just as Spy Blog has done in the past, that:

The budget for Soca is about £400 million, compared with the £2.5 billion a year designated for counter-terrorism, leading to criticism that the Government has never taken organised crime seriously.

We await tomorrow's publication of the SOCA annual report with no real expectation of reassurance.

The Independent has an article about a Metropolitan Police Service report on "e-crime".

4 January 2007 16:38

Police struggling to cope with rise of cyber-crime
By Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent
Published: 24 January 2007

Police cannot cope with the huge rise in cyber-crime, such as computer viruses, fraud and the online grooming of children, Scotland Yard has admitted. And the scale of the problem has become so large that not all allegations can be investigated.

Chief constables are lobbying for funding to set up a national "e-crime" squad to help deal with the growing number of offences, which are costing individuals and the country millions of pounds.

So what happened to the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, which was supposed to do this ?

It got submereged into the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which, unlike say the FBI in the USA, refuses to make it easy for the public to contact them, even to receive tip offs or intelligence. This is especially so regarding computer crimes, something which we noted when SOCA was launched formally in April 2006.

See: "Serious Organised Crime Agency website launch signals a very low priority for Computer Crime"

According to today's report in The Times, SOCA is not communicating as it should with Customs, even regarding its top priority, the investigation of organised gangs of Class A drugs smugglers.

The well informed, or well briefed or leaked to, David Leppard in the Sunday Times has a story about Serious Organised Crime investigations, which does not bother to mention the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)

The Sunday Times January 07, 2007

Taxman to get bugging and phone-tap powers

David Leppard

TAX inspectors are to be given new powers allowing them to tap taxpayers' telephones and plant bugs inside their homes and offices.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says its inspectors need such covert surveillance to tackle the growing threat from organised and white-collar crime.

SOCA started to be set up two and a half years ago, and became fully operational in April 2006. It specifically combined the investigative branch of what was then Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, with the National Crime Squad and the National Criminal Intelligence Service, and is supposed to be targeting Serious Organised crime, including money laundering etc.

It has all the possible powers of secret surveillance of every sort permitted under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 e.g. intrusive planting of electronic bugging devices in premises (which may involve actually breaking into them in secret), tracking devices in vehicles, interception of phone calls, emails, internet access, letter and parcel post, communications traffic data etc, as well as powers of search, arrest, and even financial assets seizure via the Assets Recovery Agency.

What possible excuse is there for the renamed, merged Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue, to demand such powers for tax inspectors, under the pretext of tackling "organised crime gangs" ?

HMRC should be supplying SOCA with any necessary tax records, after appropriate permission has been sought and authorised, and they should leave the investigation of such gangs to SOCA, who are probably also investigating the very same people for drugs smuggling or human trafficking crimes etc.

If HMRC and SOCA are not working together efficiently, then senior heads need to roll.

If the tax evasion investigation is not serious enough to justify the involvement of SOCA, then it is not serious enough to justify intrusive surveillance and electronic or postal interception either.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency has now officially come into force and has an official website www.soca.gov.uk

Serious Organised Crime Agency

They have also published their SOCA Annual Plan 2006/07 (.pdf)

This lays out the top priorities (Class A drugs and human trafficking), the top level structure and the governance of the new organisation

However, there is now no mention of the word "computer" or even of the National High Tech Crime Unit, which was part of the National Crime Squad which has been subsumed into SOCA either on the SOCA website or in their Plan.

The www.nhtcu.org website now displays a SOCA logo and says:

The National Hi Tech Crime Unit has now become part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. As a result the NHTCU is no longer providing individual responses to enquiries either via this web site or direct email contacts.


It is bad enough that the Home Office has refused to properly consult on and publish an internet aware replacement for the obsolete Computer Misuse Act 1990, and to just rely on unworkable amendments via the Police and Justice Bill,
(see Liberty Central influences the "computer hacking tools" amendment in the the Police and Justice Bill)

This withdrawal of any public point of contact for businesses or individuals to be able to talk to someone who understands the IT technical issues signals that Computer Crime is no longer a priority for UK law enforcement.

Even the NHCTU Confidentiality Charter (.pdf) which tried to assure businesses that they will not be uncessarily disrupted by the seizure of all their production and business critical computer systems if a police investigation of part of them is required, and the advice on how to foresnically preserve computer evidence without ruining the judical chain of custody and therefore legal admissability in court, have been censored from public view.

What is the NuLabour government playing at ?

Who thinks that the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) , which has not yet started work, has too few powers to investigate serious organised crime like sex slave human trafficking or gun smuggling or drug smuggling and distribution ? According to the Sunday Telegraph, Prime Minister Tony Blair does, and he plans to introduce even more police legislation in the New Year, despite not having made proper use of all the existing laws, or allocating sufficient priority to the police budgets to tackle these crimes.

Why is Tony Blair undermining confidence in SOCA even before it has had a chance to prove itself in action ?

Note the lack of any apology for the failure of the NuLabour government to sign or ratify the Council for Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking of Human Beings

Sunday Telegraph

Blair vows battle on sex slave trade

By Patrick Hennessy and David Harrison
(Filed: 06/11/2005)

Tony Blair has pledged to crack down on gangs who import sex slaves into Britain from eastern Europe.

The Government will bring forward legislation in the New Year giving police new powers to disrupt the activities of human traffickers as well as "vicious" drug and gun gangs such as the Jamaican "Yardies".

Mr Blair would like to see some of the powers now being proposed for use against terrorist suspects being available in the fight against such criminals. This could include greater use of phone-tapping, and suspects being held without charge for longer than the current 48-hour maximum.

SOCA or any Police force already have the power for unlimited phone taps against such gangs under the existing Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Longer detention without charge, justified on what grounds, exactly ?

Sex slaves, guns or drugs are far easier to investigate than "indirect incitement or glorification of terrorism any where in the world" - there is plenty of physical evidence to be seized, since these criminal gangs have to interact with their customers. Their places of business should already be known to the local Police, and any properly planned raid will yield plenty of evidence upon which to charge and prosecute the criminals.

The Home Office has announced the appointment of 5 non-executive directors to the board of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, which is headed up by the Chair Sir Stephen Lander and Director General Bill Hughes and ex-MI5 and ex-MI6 people like David Bolt and Paul Evans (presumably they are Executive Directors).

Even though the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, is not yet law, The Times announces, Monday 28th March 2005

"Secret agents join fight against organised crime By Stewart Tendler, Crime Correspondent BRITAIN'S new organised crime-fighting agency has recruited intelligence and security experts for special operations against underworld bosses.

David Bolt, who worked in MI5, and Paul Evans, a former MI6 officer, will have key posts in the Serious Organised Crime Agency. The idea is to bring the skills and training of the intelligence world into frontline policing. Plans for the agency were announced last year after concerns in Downing Street at the failure to curb the drugs trade. It was believed that the fight against organised crime needed new people and new thinking. Sir Stephen Lander, a former director-general of MI5, was appointed to head the board overseeing the agency's creation.

Mr Bolt and Mr West have worked in crime-fighting units after years of work in the intelligence community."

Who is Mr West ?

"Other senior officers may follow them. Mr Bolt, who will be in charge of intelligence operations, headed strategic intelligence operations at the National Criminal Intelligence Service. Mr Evans, who will be "director intervention" at the new agency, was the first outsider to be Chief Investigation Officer at Customs."

So these people are not being recruited from the "intelligence" agencies directly, and should have, in theory, already brought their "skills and training" to play at NCSIS and HMCE ? If these were such a success, then why is there a need for the Serious Organised Crime Agency in the first place ?

The Times headline implies that there is some sort of "brain drain" from the "intellgence" services into SOCA, but this is not necessarily true.

Hopefully the Government will drop the controversial extension of Police powers in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, so as to preserve the powers to set up SOCA, during the "wash up" process when the Election is announced soon.

Even the Police Federation and the Police Superintendents' Association have reservations about the plans remove the traditional independence of police officers who transfer to SOCA, under the direct political control of the Home Secretary.

It will be a scandal if the House of Lords nods through the entire Bill without challenge.

The legal basis of the establishment of the new SOCA - Serious Organised Crime Agency, which, despite the media hype, is not the "British FBI", as it is not tasked with anti-terrorism or counter-espionage duties, is set out in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, which also includes Even More Powers For The Police.

However, the spin surrounding the economic justification for the creation of SOCA throws up a rather large question.

How much money does Serious and Organised Crime cost the UK each year ?

Prior to today, the guesstimate finger in the air figure was £40 billion a year

This £40 billion a year figure was also uttered by Sir Stephen Lander, the Chair of SOCA, formerly the Director General of MI5, the Security Service, during his interview last Sunday with Jonathan Dimbleby.

However today's Home Office press release announcing the new legislation quites Home Secretary David Blunkett as saying:

"organised crime gangs are costing this country at least £20 billion a year and must be stopped."

Who stole the other £20 billion ?

How was either figure calculated, by whom, and using what assumptions ?

Even the Home Office's guesstimates for the alleged cost of part of their ID Card scheme was heavily criticised by the Home Affairs Committee for not being accurate to within the nearest £2 billion.

£2 billion here, £20 billion there, pretty soon this will add up to serious money.

Serious Organised Crime Agency appointments

|

Ok, just for those nice people from a particular public sector organisation, who keep regularly searching Google for "Serious Organised Crime Agency" links, here is a slightly belated comment on the Home Office press release which announced the appointment of Sir Stephen Lander as the new Chair and of Bill Hughes (formerly Director General of the National Crime Squad) as the new Director General, effective from September 2004, even though SOCA will not be operational until 1st April 2006.

Sir Stephen, who retired as the Director General of the Security Service MI5 in 2002, has been a non-executive director of Northgate Information Solutions and a strategic advisor to the "internet security product" startup being set up by the IT consultancy Detica. Both of these companies have substantial IT consultancy and outsourcing contracts with the secret bits of the UK Government.

So who runs the National Crime Squad etc. for the next 18 months ? Will all the experienced officers and technical support staff from the National Crime Squad, from the National Criminal Intelligence Service and from the Her Majesty's Customs and Excise investigations departments etc. end up having to effectively re-apply for their old jobs, with all that implies for loss of morale and reduced operational efficiency, which is so common in large organisational mergers ?

Is the Home Office really capable of the change management and "business process re-engineering" needed, to do this smoothly, or will this be farmed out to the usual suspects amongst the Big Consultancies, a process which inevitably seems to add months to the decision making process about who will still have a job in the new Agency, and to a brain drain of the best people ?

Presumably the "serious organised criminals" will continue to operate in the meantime.

Nowhere have we seen any mention of any independent oversight and complaints procedure which can investigate worries and complaints about the new agency from members of the public.

Serious Organised Crime Agency announced

|

The Home Office has announced a few details about the the new Serious Organised Crime Agency:

NEW UK-WIDE ORGANISED CRIME AGENCY POOLING EXPERTISE TO TRACK DOWN THE CRIME BOSSES

"Reference: 058/2004 - Date: 9 Feb 2004 10:38
An elite squad of specialist investigators will take on the new challenge of fighting modern organised crime in the 21st century, the Home Secretary announced today.

Modern organised criminals operate across global networks using hi-tech communications and technology. The new UK-wide Serious Organised Crime Agency will bring together world-class experts including hi-tech and financial specialists and those with criminal intelligence and investigative skills. It will exploit hi-tech 21st century technology to uncover the new wave of crime bosses whose lucrative illegal enterprises range from drug trafficking and people smuggling through to fraud and money laundering.


A policy paper, to be published next month, will set out the Government?s comprehensive strategy to tackle organised crime and arrangements for the new agency in more detail."

Notes to Editors:

The single organised crime agency will bring together the responsibilities which currently fall to the National Criminal Intelligence Service, the National Crime Squad, Home Office responsibilities for organised immigration crime and the investigation and intelligence responsibilities of HM Customs and Excise in tackling serious drug trafficking and recovering related criminal assets. It will be centrally funded.

A Taskforce is being set up to consider the most appropriate form of governance for the single agency. It will comprise representatives of each organisation that will make up the single organised crime agency, will consult widely with stakeholders and report to Ministers within a month.

The Government will be appointing an executive search agency immediately to help in the quest for a Chairman and Director-General.

The earliest legislative opportunity will be sought to seek Parliament?s approval for the necessary legislative changes needed to create the new agency."

What does this mean for the National High Tech Crime Unit of the National Crime Squad ?

What does this mean for the Serious Fraud Office ?

What does this mean for the new Assets Recovery Agency ?

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 & PGP Contact

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

blog@spy[dot]org[dot]uk

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.

Current PGP Key ID: 0xA165A29480CFAA4C which will expire on 6th September 2014.

pgp-now.gif
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 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)

Links

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
United Kingdom Privacy Profile (2011)

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
Justice

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

The incompetent yet authoritarian Labour party have not apologised for their time in Government. They are still not providing any proper Opposition to the current Conservative - Liberal Democrat coalition government, on any freedom or civil liberties or privacy or surveillance issues.

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
Longrider
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
Murky.org
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

War-on-Freedom

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.

Shaphan

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

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

NuLabour

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

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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 and Security Committee - the supposedly independent Parliamentary watchdog which issues an annual, heavily censored Report every year or so. Currently chaired by the Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Why should either the intelligence agencies or the public trust this committee, when the untrustworthy ex-Labour Minister Hazel Blears is a member ?

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protest at the Climate 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

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Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

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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."

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Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

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Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

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

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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.

Foreign Spies / Intelliegence Agencies in the UK

It is not just the UK government which tries to snoop on British companies, organisations and individuals, the rest of the world is constantly trying to do the same, regardless of the mixed efforts of our own UK Intelligence Agencies who are paid to supposedly protect us from them.

For no good reason, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office only keeps the current version of the London Diplomatic List of accredited Diplomats (including some Foreign Intelligence Agency operatives) online.

Presumably every mainstream media organisation, intelligence agency, serious organised crime or terrorist gang keeps historical copies, so here are some older versions of the London Diplomatic List, for the benefit of web search engine queries, for those people who do not want their visits to appear in the FCO web server logfiles or those whose censored internet feeds block access to UK Government websites.

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.

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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)

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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).

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Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

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BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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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."

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

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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."

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

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No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV

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I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !

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Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign

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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."

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

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WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers