May 3rd 2008 meeting report


Here is a taste of some of the sort of things we chatted about this month...

This is not a substitute for coming along to the meetings in person: - remember that everyone is welcome, no matter your age or experience or skills (or lack of them), from both sides of the legal fence.

  • Security weaknesses in the Mayor of London / Greater London Assembly Election

  • Banksy's One Nation Under CCTV wall mural graffiti in Newman Street.


  • Video cable for old Sony Trinitron Viewdata terminal display ? Like these perhaps ?

  • BrumCon in Birmingham on Saturday 4th May.

  • Grand Theft Auto IV video game.

  • Gold Farming and Money Laundering (and possible terorist attack training simulation) in Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORG) - see the links to former UK Special Branch security consultant Roderick Jones research at

  • Phun @ Infosec - Bruce Schneier.

  • Public health and bio-safety risks of finger print , finger vein or palm biometric scanners - how can you sterlise them adequately to prevent the spread of infectious diseases ?

  • Cory Doctorow (science fiction author and privacy and copyright freedom activist, and editor of BoingBoing has a new book just out in the USA, aimed at teenagers called Little Brother , in which, apparently, teenage hackers set about reclaiming civil liberties and freedoms from the US Department of Homeland Security police surveillance state, with the help of hacked Linux Xbox networks (probably influenced by Tor) and also featuring PGP keysigning parties, and music etc. You can download the text of Little Brother for free under a Creative Commons Licence.

  • Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers

  • Compaq Power On Self Test (POST) messages @ Heathrow Airport flight arrivals information display - 601 - Diskette Controller Error, 162 System Options Not Set


  • High tech artist and product designer Benjamin Males "Face Targeting and Analysis System" - "racist" CCTV art project using open source facial recognition software to classify people by skin colour, to stimulate debate about potential CCTV technology abuses.

  • The latest Police anti-terrorism posters target Camera users and people with multiple mobile phones and SIM cards - i.e. almost everyone who comes to a London 2600 meeting ! See Suspiciously timed Climate of Fear propaganda campaign by the Police in the run up to the Counter-Terrorism Bill debates


  • The Reverend Rat is out of hospital - the NHS can be very frightening and unhealthy - "mechanised compassion". Rat kept himself amused by repairing the hospital radio system on his ward and opening painted over windows for ventilation etc.

  • <!-- email us some rumours/reports to insert here -->

  • Thanks to the people who spot mistakes in this report - how about contributing your own observations, either by email or in the Comments below ?

  • About this blog

    London 2600 meetings are similar to those held by 2600 groups around the world, and the other 2600 groups in the United Kingdom.

    N.B. the quarterly 2600 magazine is now rarely available in London shops.

    Everybody who is interested in computer and telecomms security and the impact of technology on society is welcome, from both sides of the fence, no matter what your age or level of skill and experience - nobody knows it all, no matter what they claim.

    You could learn more at these free meetings than from months of study or investigation on your own, but this depends on what you are willing to share and contribute in return. We are mostly British and therefore somewhat shy in public, but it is easy to strike up a conversation with most of us.

    London 2600 meet on the first Friday of each month, 6.30pm to 7.30pm initially, at the frront entrance of the Trocadero shopping centre, then on elsewhere.

    The kinds of people who have attended over the last 25 years or so include:

    "computer hackers, phone phreakers, cyberpunks, performance artists, systems administrators, cybergoths, military intelligence officers, mobi chippers, skip trashers, hacktivists, network gurus, anti-virus programmers, penetration testers, multimedia artists, internet entrepreneurs, newbies, cybercriminals, warez d00dz, old skool, movie script writers, 31337, civil liberties activists, lawyers, radio hams, students, cool hunters, wannabes, djs, corporate security professionals, academic researchers, privacy campaigners, journalists"

    Usually up to 20 to 50 people attend each meeting, most of whom then participate in the rest of the evening/weekend activities.

    Email Contacts

    email: meetings@london2600[dot]org[dot]uk

    For the paranoid crypto-ninjas amongst you (like us !) here is our PGP public encryption key

    For encrypted web based email (which you can access via the Tor anonymity cloud), outside the direct jurisdiction of the UK Government, get a free Hushmail or Protonmail etc. account and contact us on london2600@hushmail[dot]com

    (Obviously many of you will use Google Gmail, which is well secured nowadays, but not very anonymous, especially if you are logged in to your Google accounts or Android Apps)

    London 2600 Email List

    There is a revived London 2600 email discussion list - be polite please.

    This is a public email list, so you should obviously take any appropriate communications data anonymity and other privacy precautions.

    @London_2600 Twitter feed

    Follow the Twitter feed: @London_2600 for last minute meeting venue change announcements etc.

    Google Calendar

    Google Calendar reminder button image NOT served and logged by Google

    If you have taken the usual security and privacy precautions e.g. private browsing mode, strict cookie and history deletion policies etc. in your web browser, you may feel that you can trust Google Calendar to remind you about the next London 2600 meeting, and other events of interest. Calendar is a calendar of UK meetings and events, including 2600 meetings, Linux User Groups, HackSpaces etc.

    (The) Hacker(s) Voice Radio / Magazine / TV


    Hacker Voice Radio

    "HVR is an online radio show set up as an vocal forum for all the UK hackers and phreaks to come together, work together and a place to share information."

    (The) Hacker(s) Voice people have expanded into producing a (.pdf) and printed Magazine, called The Hacker Voice Digest, and have plans for Video as well as their internet radio streams and podcasts etc.

    Campaign Buttons

    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.
    Free Gary McKinnon, who lives in London, is accused of hacking in to over 90 US military computer systems, and 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.

    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. 0800 789 321 free, confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline (use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats)
    Anti-terrorism hotline 0800 789 321 free and confidential - use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats.

    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.

    Open Rights Group
    Open Rights Group

    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."

    Amnesty International 's campaign

    BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

    wikileaks_logo_low.jpg - the controversial "uncensorable, anonymous whistleblowing" website based currently in Sweden.

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    Electro Magnetic Field

    As yet unconfirmed plans for a Dutch / German style hacker camp / Temporary Autonomous Zone next August Bank Holiday i.e. 27th August 2012

    "EMF camp" ("Electro Magnetic Field" ?) is promised to have an internet domain name and discussion list etc. by next month.

    Anybody interested in helping to organise this can contact for now.

    London 2600 People's Blog Links

    Here are some of the blogs by London 2600 people:

    Spy Blog - Privacy and Civil Liberties commentary and campaigns

    Rat's Blog - The Reverend Rat comments on London street life and technology

    Dr. K's blog - Hacker, Author, Musician, Philosopher. Author of "Hackers' Tales", which drew partly on interviews with London 2600 attendees. blog - David Mery

    Silver AJ - fashion model and gender hacker.

    Veghead's Bologs

    Other Links - "Hacking and Phreaking in the UK. Old school ethics, New school tech."

    Need To Know (historical)

    El Reg - The Register

    Other 2600 meeting links

    Other 2600 meetings in the UK and elsewhere

    Egypt 2600 - just like London 2600, but in Egypt

    2600 Tor Server Project


    Obviously if you incorporate the campaign button code above onto your website, without alteration, then we will have access to some of your Communications Traffic Data, and so will anyone who is snooping on us.

    Campaign Links

    Free Gary McKinnon - or at least try him in the UK, rather than extraditing him to the USA. Gary is accused of hacking in to over 90 US Military computer systems, including some in the Pentagon, National Security Agency, Army, Navy and Air Force, NASA, etc. for over 2 years. He is facing extradition to the USA, under the notorious Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence, rather than being tried in the UK. He could face a Guantanamo Bay style Military Tribunal and over 60 years in prison ! This case has dragged on now for over 9 years !

    Free Babar Ahmad - another British (Muslim) IT worker from London, also facing extradition to the USA, also at risk of a Military Tribunal, facing terrorism charges not for running websites etc., relating to activities in Afghanistan and Chechnya, which were not illegal in the UK.

    Not Getting Arrested in London

    Now that the UK Government has enacted the draconian email and phone snooping RIP Act, widened the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism Act 2006 to suppress politically motivated computer hackers, and promoted mass technological surveillance of millions of innocent citizens, you have to *trust* the current Home Secretary John "not fit for purpose" Reid that your email is not being routinely monitored, and your mobile phone traffic data and location records are not being fed into some cruel automatic traffic pattern analysis program so as to add points to your electronic secret police dossier, through guilt by association.

    Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers mini-blog gives advice which is also relevant to London 2600 attendees, from both sides of the law, and the media.

    Several people on their way to London 2600 meetings have fallen foul of the anti-terrorism hysteria which swept London after the terrorist bomb attacks of July 2005. You cannot really blame the general public and Police for being suspicious, if you bring along a mysterious looking bit of electronic equipment in your rucksack, with lots of wires, batteries and gaffer tape, no matter how innocent it really is.

    However, none of us should tolerate Police behaviour and policies like those which resulted the arrest of David Mery, one of our respected long standing attendees. He was stopped, searched and arrested on a Tube station, and his flat was searched and computers and other equipment seized, for no good reason at all. He was lucky that he was not shot and killed by the Police. See Innocent in London" and "Techie and terrorist behavioural profiles are the same"


    If you are arrested, then get some legal advice from a firm of solicitors before you say or admit to anyhing whatsoever to the Police e.g. top rated human rights specialists Bindmans & Partners - 020 7833 4433 or Kaim Todner (who represent London hacker Gary McKinnon) - 020 7353 6660 (24 hour Police Station callout)

    London CyberPunk Tourist Guide

    This London CyberPunk tourist guide should be of interest to London 2600 people, from home and abroad.