February 2007 Archives

Home Secretary John Reid's webchat transcript

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Participating in Home Secretary John Reid's "moderated" webchat via the Number 10 Downing Street website, this afternoon was a frustrating experience, and some of John Reid's comments were deeply worrying and creepy.

Obviously none of our "real time" or previously submitted Questions were chosen by the Moderators.
e.g. Why is there still no ban on the Taleban in the UK ?

Apparently, according to John Reid, the biometric National Identity Register, ID Cards and passports are somehow the only possible way forward:

"Without these, we cannot begin to track people in and out of this country, combat organised crime, tackle illegal immigration or counter terrorism"

Really ? How do other countries mange to do so then ? How were criminals ever caught in the past or even today, without the benefit of this ill-conceived system which will not be in place for several years ?

Another "Wilson Doctrine" Parliamentary Question and non-Answer from the Prime Minister:

House of Commons Hansard Written Answers

26 Feb 2007 : Column 1042W:

Prime Minister

Members Staff: Surveillance

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Wilson doctrine applies to staff of hon. Members. [123771]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I made to the House on 30 March 2006, Official Report, column 95WS.

Oliver Heald MP is the Conservative Opposition front bench spokesman on Constitutional Affairs.

The 30th March 2006 Ministerial Statement did not really clarify anything at all, but Tony Blair did say


I have decided that the Wilson Doctrine should be maintained.

So are the Parliamentary Staff like researchers and secretaries protected, according to the "Wilson Doctrine", from having their communications intercepted, or not ?

They are usually the people who actually deal with the phone calls, faxes, emails and written correspondence between the general public and an MP or Peer.

It would be wrong if the "Wilson Doctrine" privilege extends to any other staff employed by MPs or Peers, i.e. ones who do not handle their communications.

How do the authorities distinguish between the private lives of MPs (which appear to fall under the "Wilson Doctrine") and the private lives of their staff ?

Is this deliberately vague answer due to the current ongoing "cash for honours" scandal involving members of Prime Minister Tony Blair's own inner circle of staff and advisers at Number 10 Downing Street and in the Labour Party ?

There is still time left, until midnight today, to sign The Green Ribbon blogger Tom Griffin's petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website, opposed to the Department for Constitutional Affairs plans to further restrict the Freedom of Information Act:


We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Reject the restrictions on the Freedom of Information Act proposed by the Department of Constitutional Affairs. More details


The proposed changes will restrict the number of requests individuals and organisations can make, and allow Government Department to include 'reading time' in fees calculations, greatly increasing the scope for obstruction of legitimate requests. As the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee concluded, there is no need to change the existing fees regime. Indeed, the cost of the Freedom of Information Act is less than was originally projected by the Government, and the transparency provided by the Act can only benefit efficient government.


There are at least 1,548 signatories of this petition, which must represent a significant proportion of the people who do actually bother to make Freedom of Information Act requests.

The Number 10 Downing Street website has announced an online web chat with Home Secretary John Reid:

Question the Home Secretary

20 February 2007

John Reid will be online on 27 February to answer your questions in the latest of our Policy Review webchats.

The Home Secretary will appear from 1500 GMT for about an hour on the theme of Security, Crime and Justice.


Technological advances will offer us new weapons to prevent and detect crime but there are worries that they may infringe on our civil liberties.

Send in some questions to this moderated online web chat:

We will be stunned if John Reid actually answers any difficult questions without resorting to the standard NuLabour slogans and fake statistics.

Is it worth compiling a list of his likely phrases and slogans, and playing buzzword bingo ?

Sir Swinton Thomas on the "Wilson Doctrine"

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Rt. Hon. Sir Swinton Thomas, the now retired Interception of Communications Commissioner has a large section in his delayed report: Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2005-2006 (.pdf 19 pages), which discusses the constitutional issues resulting from the "Wilson Doctrine".

Spy Blog seems to have written as much about this topic as anyone else (see our Wilson Doctrine category archive) so here are some more of our notes and opinions, some of which disagree with Rt. Hon. Sir Swinton Thomas :

The delayed Report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2005-2006 (.pdf 19 pages), has now been published.

The letter from the the outgoing Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Swinton Thomas presenting the Report to the Prime Minister Tony Blair, is dated 19th December 2006.

Like the other delayed report, that of the Intelligence Services Commissioner, reference is made to the 15 months since the last report. Why ? There Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act says that an Annual report must be presented to the Prime Minister and then to Parliament and the public. None of the previous 5 reports by each of these Commissioners took so long, and the Chief Surveillance Commissioner's report for 2005, with exactly the same reporting requirements, was submitted and published online in July 2006.

Was Sir Swinton Thomas persuaded to tone down a previous draft of his official report, leading to the delay in publication ?

There are some quite lengthy arguments about, in Sir Swinton Thomas's view,

  • the inadvisability of allowing intercept evidence in court, despite the experiences of other countries.

  • The "Wilson Doctrine" about not intercepting the communications of members of Parliament

We will probably look at these two topics in subsequent blog postings.

The Report discloses the growth in the amount of work undertaken by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, and the fact that a Chief Inspector and 5 Inspectors have been recruited to help to inspect the nearly 800 public organisations which are now snooping on the British public under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 !

Who exactly are these faceless bureaucrat Inspectors ?

The long awaited Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2005-2006 (.pdf 10 pages) has now been published.

The accompanying letter by the outgoing Intelligence Services Commissioner Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, presenting the report to the Prime Minister Tony Blair is dated 12th December 2006

There is nothing at all controversial in the public version of this slim report, with the number of intelligence agency interception and other property interference warrants being reported in the confidential appendix, as has been the case in all the previous five reports.

Page 1 of the Report is headed "Annual Report of the Intelligence Services Commissioner for 2004", which is presumably a copy and paste error from the previous report, where the functions of the various intelligence services and RIPa are described, taking up 5 pages i.e. more than half of the actual content of the report.

There is the customary statement about the professionalism and dedication of the civil servants and others who the Commissioner has inspected or has met with.

There is a small titbit of information about successful appeals to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal

38. During 2005 the Investigatory Powers Tribunal made a determination in favour of two complainants who lodged a joint complaint. This is the first time that the Tribunal has upheld a complaint. On the grounds of confidentiality, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal Rules 2000 prohibits me from disclosing specific details about the complaint, but it is sufficient to say that the conduct complained of was not authorized in accordance with the relevant provisions of RIPA nor was it a complaint against any of the agencies or persons whose conduct I have been responsible for reviewing. The Tribunal ordered payment of an award of compensation to the complainants and the respondents to destroy the relevant records as provided for by section 67(7) of RIPA.

Why are they so unnecessarily secretive ? Perhaps this is really the first case in which the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled in favour of the complainant(s), rather than the only judgement which they have made public, regarding an ex-policeman disability pension directed surveillance dispute ruling, IPT/03/32/H (.pdf).

Why has it taken so long for this entirely bland and uninformative report to be made public ?

The BBC reported (and the rest of the mainstream media copied the story, often without attribution), about the enforcement of forthcoming Smoking Ban in England:

Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 21:38 GMT

Thousands to police smoking ban

By Nick Triggle
Health reporter, BBC News

Thousands of council staff are being trained to police the smoking ban in bars, restaurants and shops in England.

Ministers have given councils £29.5m to pay for staff, who will be able to give on-the-spot £50 fines to individuals and take court action against premises.

They will have the power to enter premises undercover, allowing them to sit among drinkers, and will even be able to photograph and film people.


Ian Gray, policy officer for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and chief trainer for the government course, said he expected most councils would take a "softly, softly approach" at first.

"But there will be some occasions where action has to be taken and I am sure the compliance officers will not shy away from that," he added.

"These officers do not have to identify themselves when they go into premises and they can even film and photograph people to gather evidence although this may not be appropriate in many cases.

"There will be two ways of doing this, either staff can go in and identify themselves to the landlord, but they don't have to."


We are generally supportive of the smoking ban, and, judging by the way similar bans have been introduced in other countries, feel that it will be easy enough to enforce in pubs, clubs, offices etc.

However, we are totally opposed to the idea of undercover snooping and photography aimed at individual smokers and non-smokers alike.

We think that this sort of snooping on people, rather than inspections of licensed premises and places of work, is ultra vires.

In our view this constitutes Directed Surveillance under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which, if conducted by an authorised public body, must be cleared by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioners, in each individual investigation.

This is totally disproportionate to the Fixed Penalty Notice fine of £50 (discounted to £30 if you pay up promptly), which is to be used to enforce this ban.

You are not supposed to get a Criminal Record if you are served with a Fixed Penalty Notice However, the forthcoming, yet delayed, police intelligence systems like the Information Management, Prioritisation, Analysis, Co-ordination and Tasking (IMPACT) programme, together with various Government data sharing plans, could record such snooping details about Fixed penalty Notices in an "intelligence" database, rather than an "official criminal record" database. Similarly, such Fixed Penalty Notice data is likely to end up on the various Childrens Act 2004 "risk factor" databases on children and their parents.

There are, however, massive practical problems with the abuse of Fixed Penalty Notices in this way.

You have one week (i.e. by Thursday 22nd February 2007) to send any further comments to the Home Office, regarding last summer's public consultation on a draft Code of Practice for Part III of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which deals with the seizure of encryption keys and encrypted information etc., which the Home Office now seem to be in the process of actually bringing into force, after the legislation has been sitting dormant on the statute book, for over 6 years:

2007-02-14 RIPA Part III Post Consultation version2 (.pdf 230Kb)

The biggest change seems to be to make the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC), into a Single Point of Contact to act as the filter and guardian of any RIPA Part III requests - a sensible idea.

See Revised version of the draft Code of Practice for RIPA Part III - Investigation of Protected Electronic Information for contact details.


[via Charlie Stross - Charlie's Diary]

It's an anthology of science fiction stories dedicated to demonstrating the asinine nature of this piece of reactionary and censorious rubbish by breaking the law.

Terrorism Act 2006 Part 1 Encouragement etc. of terrorism

Encouragement etc. of terrorism

  1. Encouragement of terrorism
  2. Dissemination of terrorist publications
  3. Application of ss. 1 and 2 to internet activity etc.
  4. Giving of notices under s. 3

Featuring illegal stories by Kathryn Allen, Chaz Brenchley, Marie Brennan, Hal Duncan, Suzette Haden Elgin, Kira Franz, Van Aaron Hughes, Davin Ireland, Gwyneth Jones, Vylar Kaftan, Lucy Kemnitzer, H. H. Løyche, Ken MacLeod, Una McCormack, Adam Roberts, Elizabeth Sourbut, Katherine Sparrow, Kari Sperring, myself [Charlie Stross], Rachel Swirsky, Lavie Tidhar, James Trimarco, Jo Walton, Ian Watson, and Ian Whates, this is the most political SF anthology published in the UK for a very long time.

[via UK Commentators]

A snippet in the Sunday Times report about the trial of the criminal gang boss Terry Adams, prompts a couple of questions, regarding the MI5 electronic bugged conversation which claims that his brother Tommy had donated £10,000 to his local Labour Party:

The Sunday Times February 11, 2007
Focus: Bringing down our own Capone

Terry Adams, head of Britain’s foremost crime family, was finally brought to book last week by an MI5 trap

Michael Gillard, David Connett and Jonathan Calvert


What none of the brothers knew was that the authorities had at last had enough. Several trials had resulted in acquittals and rumours of jury tampering. This untouchable family had to be smashed. MI5, the security service, was brought in under its remit to tackle organised crime. Its operatives are masters of surveillance.


There is a new exhibition aimed at children at the Science Museum, which extols the virtues of "surveillance", to entertain and educate children and their parents.

Will there be any cross party NO2ID Campaign literature or merchandise available, to provide a properly balanced educational experience ?

[via the original MI5 website news email list]

Security Service MI5

What's New

9 February 2007

The Service's Director General, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, was recently given the opportunity to support the Science Museum's latest educational project, an exciting new exhibition called 'The Science of Spying'. Dame Eliza visited the Museum yesterday evening (Thursday 8 February) to formally open the exhibition. Dame Eliza said:

"I was delighted to be invited to open the 'Science of Spying' exhibition. The entertaining programme of exhibits and activities introduces children and parents to some important issues facing our society in the 21st Century. Some of the themes of the exhibition are at the forefront of the current work of the Security Service (MI5). Visitors are invited to weigh the apparently incompatible demands of privacy and security, as officers of my Service do on a daily basis. You will have the opportunity to think about what developments in technology mean for the verification or falsification of identity. The exhibition is a stimulating and highly enjoyable experience and I invite you all to discover for yourselves the 'Science of Spying'."

Another couple of Parliamentary Written Answers about the missing RIPA Commissioners Annual Reports for 2005.

What is Tony Blair trying to hide from the public ?

This ongoing saga stands a a grim warning about accepting any "Annual" Reports to a Minister.

It has the effect of completely undermining any public trust in the supposedly independent Commissioners, both under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, and all the other Commissioners who have been appointed by this Labour Government, supposedly to provide independent oversight of the state bureaucracy.

This from the Conservative frontbench spokesman on Constitutional Affairs:

Today's Sunday Telegraph reports on even more plans, for even further intrusive Surveillance State measures. such as more familial DNA database speculative trawling, even more tracking of travel cards like the London Oyster Card and stuff for which there are already adequate legal powers, such as checking postal packets for illegal drugs.

As we have predicted, it seems that the London Olympic Games in 2012 will be used as the excuse to "sell" these ideas to the public, and presumably, money from the Games budget will be diverted to pay for these schemes.

Ministers plan 'Big Brother' police powers

By Patrick Hennessy and Ben Leapman, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:35am GMT 04/02/2007

A swathe of controversial "Big Brother" style crime-fighting techniques are to be introduced by the Government under the cover of the 2012 London Olympics, a leaked memo has revealed.

As subscribers to the Security Service MI5's

What's New mailing list

Whenever we publish an item on the "What's New" section of this website, we will issue the same item by e-mail to subscribers. This will enable you to stay informed about what we are doing, without having to constantly check our website for updates. Threat level information will be provided as part of the "What's New" list.

we are still waiting for our email list subscription confirmation emails - the " few days" wait, is now over a month. See our category archive of postings on this topic.

We were hoping to have been alerted by email to this recent "What's New" item on the MI5 website:


Prime Minister Tony Blair has yet again evasively failed to clarify the current scope and applicability to new technology, of the Wilson Doctrine:

Commons Hansard 1 Feb 2007 : Column 464W:

Wilson Doctrine

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Wilson Doctrine applies to hon. Members use of (a) Blackberry-devices, (b) mobile phone text messaging, (c) Voice over Internet Protocol systems, (d) internet browsers and (e) email. [112159]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 21 January 2002, Official Report, column 589W.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Wilson Doctrine applies to members of the (a) Scottish Parliament, (b) National Assembly for Wales and (c) Northern Ireland Assembly. [112161]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 1186W, and to my written ministerial statement on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 95-96WS.

1 Feb 2007 : Column 465W

See the Spy Blog Wilson Doctrine category archive for details of these previous Questions and non-Answers

Is this reluctance to answer simple questions, which have no bearing on national security methods or on individual investigations, due to some political embarrassment e.g. the current Cash or Loans for Honours scandal ?

The Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to be evading Parliamentary Questions of interest to Spy Blog, again.

The non-publication of the the Annual Report for 2005 of the Interception of Communications Commissioner (currently Rt. Hon. Sir Paul Kennedy , who took over from Rt. Hon Sir Swinton Thomas in April 2006) and the Annual Report for 2005 of the Intelligence Services Commissioner (currently Rt. Hon. Sir Peter Gibson , who took over from Lord Justice Simon Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood in April 2006), as mandated by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Part IV Scrutiny etc. of Investigatory Powers and of the functions of the Intelligence Services (RIPA)

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.


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.

We offer this verifiable GPG / PGP public key (the ID is available on several keyservers, twitter etc.) as one possible method to establish initial contact with whistleblowers and other confidential sources, if it suits their Threat Model or Risk Appetite, but will then try to establish other secure, anonymous communications channels e.g. encrypted Signal Messenger via burner devices,or face to face meetings, postal mail or dead drops etc. as appropriate.

Current PGP Key ID: 0x1DBD6A9F0FACAD30 which will expire on 29th August 2021.

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)


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

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

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

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

Bloggerheads - Tim Ireland

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

Blogzilla - Ian Brown

BlairWatch - Chronicling the demise of the New Labour Project

dreamfish - Robert Longstaff

Informaticopia - Rod Ward


The Musings of Harry

Chicken Yoghurt - Justin McKeating

The Red Tape Chronicles - Bob Sullivan MSNBC

Campaign Against the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Stop the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Rob Wilton's esoterica

panGloss - Innovation, Technology and the Law

Arch Rights - Action on Rights for Children blog

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


Moving On

Steve Moxon blog - former Home Office whistleblower and author.

Al-Muhajabah's Sundries - anglophile blog

Architectures of Control in Design - Dan Lockton

rabenhorst - Kai Billen (mostly in German)

Nearly Perfect Privacy - Tiffany and Morpheus

Iain Dale's Diary - a popular Conservative political blog

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


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

Ralph Bendrath

Financial Cryptography - Ian Grigg et al.

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

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

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

"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

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

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

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

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

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

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

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

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

Justin Wylie's political blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

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

Cool Britannia


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

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

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

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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

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

National Crime Agency - the replacement for the Serious Organised Crime Agency

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.

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

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

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

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

Open Rights Group

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

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

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

Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

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

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

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

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

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

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


I'm a Photographer Not a Terrorist !


Power 2010 cross party, political reform campaign


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


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


WhistleblowersUK.org - Fighting for justice for whistleblowers