[Updated 19th March 2020]

Channel 4 reality tv programme Hunted manages to get you to suspend disbelief (you quickly ignore the obvious presence of a camera person with each fugitive) as around a dozen "fugitives" are hunted by a team of hunters with
the simulated (in the case of CCTV and ANPR) powers of our UK surveillance state.

It is worthwhile thinking about some of the techniques used in the 4 series so far and how proportionate their use is in any real
cases, apart from the very most serious criminal or national security scenarios.

Twitter hash tag: #Hunted

Channel 4 Hunted home page

Hunted Episodes online

Hunters' techniques already used

DVLA vehicle Registered Keeper check
ANPR - Automatic Number Plate Recognition

GPS / Mobile phone vehicle tracking device attached to family / friend's car

Private aeroplane flight plans
AIS - Automatic Identification System boat / ship beacon mapping

Public CCTV - realistically not available in real time except at transport hubs
Bank ATM card transaction alert

Mobile hunter teams in distinctive Volvos or BMWs etc. (N.B. product sponsorship deals)
Mobile hunter teams in less distinctive white van etc.

Helicopter surveillance - limited airtime
Drones - limited battery, not so great in bad weather.
N.B. neither helicopters nor drones are likely to be used in near major airport flightpaths

Directed Surveillance "stake out" of fugitives family / friends homes using remote cameras and human watchers.

Sniffer dogs

Mobile Phone subscriber details - registered or burner ?
Mobile phone new SIM card in known IMEI handset
Mobile Phone friendship tree - other numbers called / recived when, how long for
Mobile Phone Location Data - targeted

Mobile Phone Cell Tower dump analysis to detect candidates for people who picked up a fugitive in a relatively isolated town or village at a certain time and then phoned their mate to arrange a further lift or accomodation. Harder to do in a City, but there are more Cell Towers per square kilometre so Location fixes are more accurate and useful to the Hunters ground teams if nearby. N.B. usualy a maximum of 256 simulataneous calls per Cell which can be up to 35 Km wide in the Countryside
Cities can have several micro Cells per street or busy shopping or transport area so give more accurate Location fixes, but make it easier to lose track of a burner phone if it is switched off quickly after use and the fugitives move out of the small Cell area fast enough.

snail mail intercept of letters / postcards

Social Media monitoring
Contact chain mapping / visualisation - IBM i2 Analysts Notebook etc.

Hacking of seized laptops, iPads, SmartPhones after a visit by hunters
Covert Hacking via USB malware of laptops , iPads, SmartPhones during a visit by hunters

Forensic analysis of paper writing pads and note books etc. to reveal writing impressions on the blank paper

Geotagging of SmartPhone Location history from seized phones, showing previous travel locations / possible local friends networks

Encouraging children and other casual occupants of a fugitive's family or friends or casual helper's home to talk about the exciting / famous visitor(s) and where they are going

Local radio and newspaper and social media Reward Appeals

£££ cash rewards for tips to publicised phone line or email address

Bribing £££ with reward offer other casual occupants of a fugitive's family or friends or casual helper's home to talk about the exciting / famous visitor(s) and where they are going

Psychological pressure especially on fugitives with young families - get them to meet family / friends who are being watched.

Social Media taunting of fugitives supected of being very competitive / with strong egos, to get them to post a revenge taunt video or photo, giving hunters clues as to their recent location.

"ghost agent" - Non-hunter private investigator / CHIS acting as undercover agent e.g. picking up hitchikers and taking them to the hunters

Social Engineering / blatantly lying to casual contacts on the phone or in person contradicting the fugitives story to get information on them e.g. drop off point
Social Engineering / offering a financial reward to casual contacts on the phone or in person to get information on the fugitives e.g. drop off point

Hacking in to an Android mobile phone's Google Voice Search search history voice recordings

Hacking in to a Google account showing Google Maps search history

Find from bank records that recent graduate students have money problems.
Exploit this by freezing their bank accounts.
When they are recovering from wet wild camping at a local inn, the Bank Card Transaction Declined pinpoints their exact time and location to the Hunters.
Using up almost all of their cash to pay the bill, forces them to reach out to their (monitored) network of friends

Planting remote CCTV cameras inside and outside a fugitive's sister's cottage - picks up a friend who has gone there to arrange a rendezvous

Physical access to a fugitive contacts' mobile phone - scrolling through recent contacts,
taking screenshots and sending them to HQ for analysis.

Physical access to a fugitive contacts' mobile phone - accessing Deleted Messages remotely

Get real time Mobile Phone pings / Location of a phone travelling down the M1 motorway
e.g. Cell Tower every 10 minutes network handshake (even when the phone is not actually in use)

Offering money reward to captured fugitives to either betray their partners still on the run or to give details of the nominated extraction point.
(previous series offered only a few hundred pouns, February 2019 finale tried £4000 without successs)

Financial bribe offer to captured fugitive made more likely by faking the capture of his partner , using loud cheering and voice samples from social media video clips.

Bellingcat style geolocation analysis of buildings visible through windows etc. of videos or photos posted on social media to narrow down the exact location from distinctive landmarks (no angle of the sun / shadows etc. analysis for Latitude shown yet, but this is possible)

Bugging the taxi which takes a captured fugitive home, so that they give clues from chat with the driver, about the captured fugitive's still on the run partner's plans e.g. that they know someone with an aeroplane

Access to military service records showing that retired 79 year old fugitive Mervyn had been in Territorial SAS and Military Intelligence.

BMW Assist vehicle telematics regualar location fixes and data on when and where the engine is stopped or started, hinting at rendevous points.

Editing together a number of Voice Notes on a captured phone to fake a message to sew distrust with the captured running partner of a fugitive.
Implication tht he will not share the £100,000 prize money with her, she is offered a chance to name a price for information
She tell the hunters that she is not a snitch

Sending a fake burner phone text message to a fugitive's friend from work (identified through social media network link analysis), asking for help to be extraced from the caravan location she has hidden them in.
She does try to authenticate the text message by asking what her dogs' names are. However the hunters find this quickly from FaceBook.
(should have had a pre-arranged duress code / pre shared secret when they were all face to face.

The hunters follow her vehicle without being noticed (classic road surveillance techniques)

Hunters techniques - not yet seen

internal Bus and Train CCTV - can't be real time

London Oyster Travel Card data - some early posters, but was it actually used ?
London Oyster travel Card combined with TfL CCTV

Mobile device Wifi Probes trying to automatically connect back to out of range home or office Wifi
Mobile device Wifi Probes trying to automatically connect back to out of range but distinctive list of "free" WiFi Access Points

GPS coordinates embedded in a digital image posted on social media - Exif metadata - like John McAfee EXIF Data May Have Revealed Location of Fugitive Software Tycoon John McAfee
Digital camera flaw analysis of digital image posted on social media to identify other photos taken with this (borrowed ?) device, which may lead to the owner

GPS Fitness tracker social media app (e.g. Strava) infiltration and analysis to identify competitive runners or swimmers or cyclists who may be contacts

Equivalent of Cell Dump using e.g. Google Maps - who has been downloading map tiles of a certain area at the relevant time for navigation ? Do their
other Map downloads give a clue as to where they are heading ?

GPS navigation device route data from "seized" vehicle that gave the fugitive a lift
GPS navigation device route data from "seized" SmartPhone of a driver gave the fugitive a lift

GPS / Mobile Phone Network tracking of vehicles fitted with E111 emergency "call the ambulance if in a crash" technology

Private Investigator / CHIS cruising the initial Start location, or, when identified the Extraction point as a mini cab driver / Uber driver to pick up fugitives and lead them into the arms of the hunters.

Google Auto Android in car navigation systems using Google Assistant voice recognition and Google Maps on a BlueTooth linked Android mobile phone- .mp3 file forensic artefecats may betray location of a rendezvous or drop off

Probably the same for Apple CarPlay and a BlueTooth linked iPhone

Hunters sending a "burner" phone to family / friends of fugitive, pretending it has come from the fugitive, to encourage them to contact them on the fugitive's secret burner phone
N.B. Intercept of such a burner phone and bugging / monitoring thereafter by the hunters

Fugitives' techniques already used

Wigs, and change of clothing disguises

Hats and scarves - most CCTV looks downwards, so these can make it harder for hunters to pick out enough identifying detail of your face

Human decoy disguised as the fugitive

Initial start point disguising of luggage e.g. rucksacks hidden in airline style luggage cases on with wheels

Heading for the countryside along canals etc without urban CCTV

Heading for the countryside to a network of friends

Heading for cities with network of friends

Having a huge network of friends or fans e.g. tv / pop stars with fans, political activists or Free Masons

Burner phone - not enough to swap SIMs - phoning a "watched" number hardly slows the hunters down at all

Disinformation - planting false clues for the hunters

Social Engineering / Blagging lifts / hitchiking

Not giving up when blagging a lift, just jkeep trying until someone is going the way you want.

Social Engineering / Blagging the temporary use of a stranger's mobile phone to make a call

Social Engineering / Blagging the temporary use of a stranger's computer to use the internet etc.

Using an online mobile phone app simulator to send an App message to a physical SmartPhone

Bicycles - no ANPR

Motorbikes / scooters - less chance of ANPR

Taxis - quickly jumping in to e.g. London black cab taxi is better than waiting in the open for a bus, but risks hunters getting drop off details from the driver / company or even internal CCTV

Speed Boat
Celebrity fugitives can hide in a locations which are heavily fortified (Parliament) or surrounded by private security cameras and guards
(multiple private holiday homes estate owned by rich people) inaccessible to the Hunters.

Well resourced (Celebrity) fugitives seem to have multiple helpers and decoy vehicles - stretch the Hunters' resources
on a getaway.

Letting down the Hunters' Volvo car tyres worked at least once !

Hiding somewhat from village CCTV by using a closely held umbrella hiding your face
- quite normals in wet and windy Wales.

Not being seen to be travelling together on a train - but only if you do not need the comfort and support of a travelling partner when under stress

Asking someone to pass a note to your friend in the next train carriage - good but limited uses.

Getting off a an infrequent rural bus service *before* it reaches its destination in the nearest town (Abergavenny)
and heading into the countryside.

Taking aa bus from Wells to Bristol but getting a lift to partway along the route rather than starting from the CCTV monitored bus station.

Wearing a white hat amongst a crowd of Panama hat wearing tourists and locals.

Pre-arranged Word Code e.g. "Pepsi Max" delivery time / location in SMS texts - if too anamolous from the "normal" usage
then these stand out suspiciously and Cell Location gives the ganme away.
(Should really use an Encrypted Messenger e.g. Signal Messenger or WhatsApp)

Use of pre-assumed obscure knowledge as a word code e.g. "meet me at the place that I first worked at in London" - N.B. Celebrities especially vulnerable to such a reference being quickly decoded via a Google searchulnerable

Not running immediately (so as not to draw attention) when you have spotted / heard a reconnaisance Drone overhead, then getting under wooded cover and waiting for the limited battery life to expire like the Royal Marine Matt Mason did.

Fugitive's wife using FaceBook App to call a friend in contact with the fugitives (Communications MetaData still available to the Hunters)

Splitting up temporarily so that fugitive A can meet his sister. Other fugutive B posts a real time Instagram video with a friend disguised as fugitive A, to draw away the attention of then hunters.
This works, but later CCTV analysis shows the deception (too late).

Hand held walkie talkies to keep in touch with each other whilst approaching a possible meet up.

Old school no social media presence at all.

Managing to withdraw £100 cash from a bank branch cashier in a strange town, without your bank card.
Future fugitives should practice this and memorise account number, recent transactions and offline / phone banking security questions.

Using Xbox Live VOIP Voice Over IP calls between gamers - the hunters cannot (yet) intercept this, but Xbox users are usually obvious amongst fugitives' social media

A stranger helping a fugitive uses a Virtual Private Network VPN to connect to the internet "without being traced" to view the social media campaign Wanted Poster

Pretending to have split up from a fugitive's partner, phoning youe mother, knowing the hunters will trace the location of decoy phone call, but quickly escaping from the location by vehicle.

Fugitives' techniques - not yet seen

burner phone to burner phone communications to friends or family

WiFi or Ethernet connection hacking to get "anonymous" access to the internet

Use of Tor or a foreign based VPN

Use of mobile phone 3G or 4G PAYG data packages to get mobile internet access on the run

Use of Satellite Phones - easy to intercept but hard to jam or find the exact location of

Counter bribes - if social media / local press & radio campaign offering £200 , offer people giving you lift £500 as you have a chance of winning £100,000

Getting friends to run a counter Have You Spotted this Hunter social media campaign with £££ rewards on offer - fake Wanted Posters unnerved them a bit previously

Infilitrating / surveilling the Hunters' HQ

Covertly grabbing identifiable WiFi and BlueTooth MAC addresses and Probe SSIDs etc. from the Hunters, when a family member or friend is interviewed

Getting a ticket / bus / train bound e.g. for London but getting off at a stop before.
Getting a ticket but not catching the bus / train / tube / aeroplane etc. at the nominal start, but at a later intermediate stop along the journey.
Purchasing multiple transport tickets or a "roam anywhere" ticket

Using an Amazon or other courier to get a package with a burner phone to a friend or family member via an Amazon Locker or other non-home parcel pick up point

Pair of fugitives splitting up so that one of them can distract the hunters near the extraction point, letting the other escape / win the prize

Other contestants spotting you near the extraction point and dobbing you in, to distract hunter resources so they vcan escape / win the prize

USA Hunted technique of enrolling the good looking fugitive(s) on dating apps in an area, and then posting £££ reward info to the people who have seen or even flirted with the fugitives

Radio Monitoring the airwaves / listening to walkie talkie radio of approaching hunter teams

Radio Detecting the presence of hunter teams via their bluetooth headphone / microphones

Uber app taxi alternative - given the snooping and mapping, is this worth the risk of central digital betrays to the hunters or malware a cloned SmartPhone ?

Setting up pre-arranged series of random code words (memorised not written or stored electronically) with family / friends either as a word code about specific locations, dates, times or as authenticators of ad hoc messages(hunters have intercepted and faked postal mail messages)
e.g. getting a friendly stranger to email or social media a message to family / friends including a code word to prove its authenticity

Mobile Phone Encrypted Messenger Apps over public WiFi or via burner Data SIM

  1. Signal Messenger https://signal.org/
  2. WhatsApp https://www.whatsapp.com/
  3. Wire https://wire.com/en/
  4. Threema https://threema.ch/en
  5. Telegram Messenger https://telegram.org/

Pre-arranged DeadDrops for money or burner phones or messages to / from family & friends etc.

Using a prepaid Virtual Post Box service to scan and electronically forward postal mail in another country, to allow fugitives to remain in contact
with their family, friends network

Fugitives' Errors

Buses and Trains are a bit of a trap unless hunters think you are not using them

Contacting loved ones - an essential part of the dramatic tension of the show

Taunting the Hunters

Not taking *all* available cash at an ATM

Ignoring multiple sightings of distinctive hunters' Volvo cars

Being noticably loud / obnoxious to pub / hotel staff
Failing to tip pub / hotel staff - no reason for them not to claima £££ reward if offered

Expecting a taxi driver not to give up info on drop off point if offered £££ reward

Wearing a bin liner over your head makes you stand out on CCTV, *not* the reverse !

Just changing the SIM in your mobile phone handset does nothing to stop it being tracked via the IMEI serial number sent with every voice or data call.

Getting too paranoid about real time CCTV in rural areas - the Hunters might be able to get yesterday's footage, but it could take a week

Not being paranoid enough about real time CCTV in major city centres and bus / rail / airports etc.

More dominant / arrogant partner destroying the trust of the other fugitive partner when under pressure, by doing something percieved to be selfish, without consulatation, leadng to a break up.

Not keeping a sharp lookout for Volvo cars

Trying to get accomplices to trap a Hunters's car at a rendezvous you have tipped them off to by taunting them
(a couple of fugitives have tried this - very risky)

Trying to crawl past CCTV cameras like caterpillars

Putting a cover over a CCTV camera but being recognisably filmed actually doing it.

Only using 1 burner phone - the family / friend / contact *also* needs a burner phone they never use
Forces the hunters to try Co-Traveller / Cell Site Dumps which need lots more analysis which might not be feasible in time to be useful for the next meeting / pickup / drop off

Family member's mobile phone ping location reveals approximately where they have met a fugitive - regardless of wjether the phone was used during the journey to and from the rendezvous.
Turn the phone off at least for e.g. an hour's travel time before and after the meeting.

Drawing the curtains on the ground floor during the day time, making the address stand out to the hunters scanning the street.

Hunters' Errors and Limitations

Most of the power and resources are with the Hunters, so most of their near misses or failed captures have been literally only by a few minutes or seconds (with approriate suspension of disbelief)

They have fallen for a few of the wily / arrogant fugitives false trails and decoys i.e. deliberately false clues as to location

They have misjudged people who have helped the fugitives e.g. offering a £££ reward / bribe, and then thinking it was working only to be told that the "informant" had changed their mind or would not "grass" for the small sum offered.

The randomness of some of the fugitives hitchhiking has caused the Hunters problems in trying to guess where they might be

Where the Hunters were seen to be blatantly lying to get information, they risked the ire of the tv audience.

Despite the power of thermal imaging from (limited endurance) helicopters or drones, so far, each of the times this technology has been used by thehynters, it has only found false positve wild animals or innocent members of the public, rather than the fugitives, who it has, of course frightened and added to their stress levels, but not enough to matter.

ANPR on very busy roads e.g. M1 motorway is available, but not in real time if the exact
vehicle being searched for is not (yet) known simply due to the volume of traffic.

Using identifiable black Volvo vehicles which tip off the fugitives tht the ground hunters are close by.

Beware of the Extraction Point Instructions communication method

Web bugging the USB with the fugitive extractiomn instructions to betray the IP address and thus approximate location of where it was opened
(fugitives should make sure the internet is disconnected if they need to do this again)

Accessing a pre-recorded phone message: ""By accessing this message your exact location has been revealed to the hunters!"
Fugitives should use a burner phone or one borrowed from a stranger or get a friend to do this (if they have secure communications with them)

Protest March / Demo mobile device #OPSEC


Whether it is the expected massive turnout for the @PeoplesVote People's Vote anti Brexit march on Saturday 23rd March 2018, or a smaller Climate Change peaceful (yet traffic disruptive) @ExtinctionR Extinction Rebellion Rebellion event
here are a few mobile device Operational Security (OPSEC) and other tips, as everyone who attends will be under intense electronic surveillance, by the Police, UK and Foreign Intelligence Agencies, rival political factions , corporate lobbyists and advertisers etc.
via Mobile Phone network Location Data, WiFi snooping, Social Media platforms (Google, Apple, Twitter, FaceBook/ Instagram and advertiser funded mobile phone Apps

For most people this will not be a problem, but for quite a few out of the expected hundreds of thousands of marchers, there could be a risk pf
being targeted and harassed for their political activities or spammed by inappropriate advertising.

  1. Wear comfortable shoes (weather forecast for Saturday 23rd March is for only a 10% chance of rain)

  2. Bring non-alcoholic drinks (alcohol is banned in public on central London streets and Tube & Buses)

  3. No illegal drugs

  4. Know where there are public toilets, especially if you need disabled access c.f. The Great British Public Toilet Map

  5. Leave your normal mobile phone at home

  6. If you have a mobile phone on the Vodafone UK network, uou can at least Opt Out from Vodafone Analytics (which sells your Location Data to adverisers etc. who will then cross reference and try to de-anonymise it to the best of their ability)
    by sending an SMS text OPT OUT to 68808 from each of your Vodafone devices (only for future data, not historical and only for commercial xustomers, not the Police or Intelligence agencies)
    Not perfect, but better than the other UK mobile phone networks.

  7. If you do bring an unregistered, cash bought prepaid SIM #burner phone for emergencies, keep it switched off except when needed. Don't activate it at Home or at Work.

  8. If you are using a #burner phone or just your normal smartphone to coordinate with your protest march friends only use an End to End Encrypted Messenger App e.g. @SignalApp or @WhatsApp *not** voice or SMS text.

  9. Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth whilst actually on the march route.

  10. Don't copy any Contacts from the SIM card to the phone handset (or vice versa if you are temporarily using a new prepaid SIM card - not ideal but better than your normal one)

  11. Only keep other #burner phone contacts on the prepaid disposable SIM card and the phone numbers of specialist civil rights solicitors who attend Police stations 24 /7 e.g. Bindmans in case you are unlucky enough to get arrested (or if this is a deliberate part of your civil disobedience action like some @XtinctionR climate change protestors)

  12. Switch off Notification previews on the the Lock Screen e.g. set to only display when unlocked, or never. This helps reduce the curiosity of people with a casual view of your phone screen.

  13. Switch off / disable access to Location services - both Android and Apple iPhone Apps and OS can blab your location even when not being used
    Print out a Google map before you go to London or use an A to Z map or guide book

  14. If you use "Free" WiFi e.g. on the train or at a restaurant / cafe or pub use a VPN back to Home or your Office or via a Foreign based Commercial VPN, when looking up the #PeoplesMarch route details etc.

  15. When you have finished doing this then force your SmartPhone to *forget* the any Home or Office Wifi connections and any "Free" WiFi you use en route, in case it blabs characteristic WiFi Probe Requests when it is "out of range, which can and will be logged by Advertisers, Retail shops, Transport for London, the Police and foreign intelligence services as you travel.
    N.B. easier to do this on Android, but Apple iPhone users have to remember to do this whilst still in range of the WiFi network or else it is not displayed in the list to allow you to forget it.

  16. Although you are unlikely to be arrested, there is a chance of being caught up in anti police demos which a few extremists will try to incite.
    Remember most violence at London marches & demos happens *away* from the main routes and assembly place, often at night, after the official event has finsished, especially when alcohol has been consumed to excess.
    Memorise or keep the phone number of specialist solicitors who will attend a Police Station 24 / 7 e.g. Bindmans +44 (0)20 7305 5638 or Kaim Todner 0207 842 0650
    on paper or written in marker pen on your arm / hand - your phone contact address book will probably not be available to you if and when you need it, if you are Stopped and Searched or arrested and your phone is being forensically imaged.

  17. If you are arrested or subsequently attend even a "voluntary" interview at a Police Station, even with your solicitor present, do not unlock your mobile phone as there have been cases of shoulder surfing of your unlock passphrase and subsequent seizure of activists mobile phones by the Police. Ideally only bring a "clean" fresh burner phone to such an interview.

  18. On your #burner phone or your switched off normal phone, ensure you have set a reasonably strong screen lock alpha numeric pass phrase (8 characters at least) - not a noddy 4 digit PIN or a pattern or fingerprint or face print. Hopefully this will deter "casual" snooping if you are merely Stopped and Searched by the Police.
    Being arrested will mean that any phone you have with you will be forensically imaged. That could also apply to the phone(s) you have left at home if you are arrested for a *serious* offence and your home / office is then raided.

  19. If you do use your SmartPhone or other Digital Camera to record the peaceful march, do not publish the images online without removing or editing the EXIF metadata, especiallu any Camera or lens Serial Numbers, which can be linked to your identifiable public holiday snaps.
    Use Exiftool which works on Windows, macOS or Linux or an Android App like Exif Eraser
    Ideally use a dedicated #burner phone or camera only for your political protest marches and demos.

  20. Take spare batteries, charged up USB power banks and Android and Apple USB charging cables

  21. If you do witness violence or intimidation, call the police first and then video record it from a safe distance, unless you and your friends can safely intervene to stop it. Do not just voyeuristically record it without taking some action.

  22. Have a pre-arranged fallback meeting location agreed with your family or friends for if / when you get seperated in the hopefully large protest march crowds,

  23. Have fun

UPDATE: UK activists can learn some lesssons from the Hong Kong Protests where people are rightly worried about future State discrimination or repression against those opposing the current government on the streets.

  • Even though the organisers of protests and demonstrations tend to use End to End Encrypted Messenger Apps e.g. Signal Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram it is important to set these up on burner phones or at least using prepaid SIM card phone numbers for the initial social media account set up verification SMS mtext message
    N.B. In UK you do not have to have any money /call time / data / text credit on a 99p prepaid SIM card to recieve such SMS text messages for free.

  • Hong Kong protestors seem to make good use of Apple iOS AirDrop to peer to peer share via BlueTooth & WiFi maps and protest literature locally within a crowd, without relying on potentially tracked centralised internet web sites or services.

  • Hopefully there is no need for anti tear gas respirator masks and saline solution etc., but do consider facemasks or scarves and hats etc. to frustrate some of the CCTV footage and Facial Recognition processed data which will be directed against protest crowds and, as it is unregulated, will be stored into the future, despite the weasel words which say that the (irreleveant after big data processing) raw images are likely deleted after a month or so.

  • As of July 2019, Transport for London has rolled out its WiFi snooping data collection all over the central Underground Tube stations. This data collection scheme targets not just people who take advantage of the "free" Virgin Media WiFi access points, but it also grabs and analyses the WiFi Probe requests which everybody else's SmartPhone makes repeatedly with your Home or Work or other "free" WiFi networks you have used and which are now Out Of Range. Whenever you are not using WiFi for messaging or navigation etc., then turn it off in the Settings of your SmartPhone.

  • Transport for London hands over its data "in bulk, in real time" to the Metropolitan Police, often exempt from the Data Protection Act due to Ministerial Certificates citing "national security".Try not to use financially traceable tickets in London i.e. only cash (not credit or debit card) bought prepaid Oyster Cards or paper Travel Card ticketsand not the convenient but trackable NFC cashless payment Apps on your SmartPhone.

Why should I take OPSEC precautions, I am only protesting peacefully ?

Operational Security precautions only work forwards in time, not retrospectively when it is too late. It is likely that some near future demonstrations will become violent, if there are food or fuel shortages etc. after the Brexit crash out which the current government seems to be planning or cannot avoid.

Police, intelligence agencies and political fanatics will attempt to link future violence to past peaceful political activism, simply because the unregulated data is, or may be made available to them. You only have to look at the false arrests of e,g, drone hobbyists after the Gatwick Airport debacle in December 2018 to fear bureaucrats under political and media pressure to "arrest the usual suspects"

CryptoParty London - Friday 19th October 2018

In parallel with the Centre for Investigative Journalism Conspiracy, The 2018 CIJ Logan Symposium.#LoganCIJ https://tcij.org/conspiracy
Twitter: @cijlogan




Friday 19th October 2018, 6.30 pm - 10.30 pm


St. James Hatcham Building,


University of London,

New Cross,

London SE14 6NW


More information and Schedule


Twitter: @CryptoPartyLDN

Given the number of Investigative Journalists and some of the Spies Who Watch Them who will be attending the CIJ Logan Symposium,
this should be interesting.

SpyBlog will be leading a workssop:

First Contact Problem - Under what threat models can journalists and activists protect their anonymous sources / contacts and vice versa ? How can their communications and meetings be kept private ? Also the regular Anonymity SwapShop - bring along spare social media accounts, SIM Cards, burner phones, Oyster Travel Cards etc. to swap or barter with other people, to help break the financial and CCTV purchase trails.

CryptoParty London



Monday 16th July 2018 6.30 pm to late


Ju Ju's Bar & Stage, 15 Hanbury St, E1 6QR
No registration, free entry (licensed premises)


More information and Schedule


Twitter: @CryptoPartyLDN

CryptoParty London




Tuesday 19th June 2018 6.30 pm to late


Ju Ju's Bar & Stage, 15 Hanbury St, E1 6QR
No registration, free entry (licensed premises)


More information and Schedule


Twitter: @CryptoPartyLDN

@SpyBlog stepped in to present a workshop at the January 25th 2018 CryptoParty London held at JuJu's Bar & Stage, 15 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR London


As promised here is the slide deck:

Digital trail chasing: using open source intelligence techniques to find how much information is public about you and your friends. (SpyBlog @spyblog)

Digital Trail Chasing slides .pdf .pptx .odp


#CryptoParty Crypto Party London @cryptopartyLDN Cocktail Menu - Excellent
"Quantum-resistant Raspberry"
50% GPG
25% Tails
25% Tor Browser
@jujusbarstage (Raspberry Sidecar - Courvoisier Cognac, Chambord Cointreau, Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice)

CryptoPartyLondon cocktail menu DUalv6EX4AAGZlS.jpg
CryptoPartyLondon cocktail menu DUal3sSWsAAh79W.jpg
CryptoPartyLondon cocktail menu DUalmxwW0AEdjNR.jpg

CryptoParty - 11 September 2017 - slides


@SpyBlog presented a short lightning talk at the CryptoParty held at JuJu's Bar & Stage, 15 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR London


As promised here is the slide deck:

Demonstration of Mobile Device WiFi Operational (In)Security.pptx



Unsurprisingly for the self confesses "I am not technical" former Home Secretary, Theresa May has used her Statement following the London Bridge
and Borough Market attacks, to renew her nonsense about alleged "Safe Spaces" for islamist extremism
on the Internet and at Home.

8 minutes video clip of Theresam May's statement:


PM statement following London terror attack: 4 June 2017

Last night, our country fell victim to a brutal terrorist attack once again. As a result I have just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee and I want to update you with the latest information about the attack.

Shortly before 10:10 yesterday evening, the Metropolitan Police received reports that a white van had struck pedestrians on London Bridge. It continued to drive from London Bridge to Borough Market, where 3 terrorists left the van and attacked innocent and unarmed civilians with blades and knives.

All 3 were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, but the police have established that this clothing was fake and worn only to spread panic and fear.

As so often in such serious situations, the police responded with great courage and great speed. Armed officers from the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police arrived at Borough Market within moments, and shot and killed the 3 suspects. The terrorists were confronted and shot by armed officers within 8 minutes of the police receiving the first emergency call.

8 minutes is the length of Theresa May's statement. Ignore all the gun nuts who pretend that arming individual policemen would have killed the attackers any quicker.

Seven people have died as a result of the attack, in addition to the 3 suspects shot dead by the police. Forty-eight people are being treated in several hospitals across London. Many have life-threatening conditions.

On behalf of the people of London, and on behalf of the whole country, I want to thank and pay tribute to the professionalism and bravery of the police and the emergency services - and the courage of members of the public who defended themselves and others from the attackers. And our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and with their friends, families and loved ones.

This is, as we all know, the third terrorist attack Britain has experienced in the last 3 months. In March, a similar attack took place, just around the corner on Westminster Bridge. Two weeks ago, the Manchester Arena was attacked by a suicide bomber. And now London has been struck once more.

And at the same time, the security and intelligence agencies and police have disrupted 5 credible plots since the Westminster attack in March.

In terms of their planning and execution, the recent attacks are not connected. But we believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism, and perpetrators are inspired to attack not only on the basis of carefully-constructed plots after years of planning and training - and not even as lone attackers radicalised online - but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.

That must mean that the terrorist suspects have been identified between Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis Cressida Dick's statement earlier today that she
and Theresa May's statement, or is this just political licence with the facts ?

We cannot and must not pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change, and they need to change in 4 important ways.

First, while the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.

Defeating this ideology is one of the great challenges of our time. But it cannot be defeated through military intervention alone. It will not be defeated through the maintenance of a permanent, defensive counter-terrorism operation, however skilful its leaders and practitioners. It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence - and make them understand that our values - pluralistic, British values - are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.

All very true, exactly what previous Prime Ministers e.g. Tony Blair have said time and time again

Second, we cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet - and the big companies that provide internet-based services - provide. We need to work with allied, democratic governments to reach international agreements that regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorist planning. And we need to do everything we can at home to reduce the risks of extremism online.

We need Safe Spaces for Internet Free Speech and to do Digital Commerce, free from snooping by evil governments, corporations, criminals and terrorists.

Trying to clamp down on foreign internet companies providing End To End Encrypted services wil not stop terrorist extremists from recruiting or planning. It will destroy Freedom of Speech and the UK Digital Economy, which needs all the help it can get to survive the #Brexit disaster.

Is the UK Government really willing to hand over intelligence watchlists of terrorist sympathiser unconvicted *suspects* to foreign internet companies like FaceBook or Twitter so that they can pro-actively censor their social media ?

That seems unlikely.

Third, while we need to deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online, we must not forget about the safe spaces that continue to exist in the real world. Yes, that means taking military action to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But it also means taking action here at home. While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is - to be frank - far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.

So we need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out - across the public sector and across society. That will require some difficult and often embarrassing conversations, but the whole of our country needs to come together to take on this extremism - and we need to live our lives not in a series of separated, segregated communities but as one truly United Kingdom.

Where exactly are these mythical "Safe Spaces" for islamist extremism in the Public Sector or in British Society ??

What precisely does she mean by "embarassing conversations", with whom ?

Fourth, we have a robust counter-terrorism strategy that has proved successful over many years. But as the nature of the threat we face becomes more complex, more fragmented, more hidden, especially online, the strategy needs to keep up. So in light of what we are learning about the changing threat, we need to review Britain’s counter-terrorism strategy to make sure the police and security services have all the powers they need.

We already have the most intrusive anti-terrorism legal powers in the world, including all encompassing Thought Crime laws, what more can they actually enforce properly ?

And if we need to increase the length of custodial sentences for terrorism-related offences, even apparently less serious offences, that is what we will do.

If there is little or no difference in the penalty for "serious" and "less serious" crimes, this will make it easier for terrorist recruiters to convert peripheral supporters into active terrorist atttackers - "in for a penny, in for a pound".

Again, this all sounds tediously familiar, just like previous Tory and labour governemts e.g. Tony Blair's ratcheting up of repressive terrorism laws.
Will the excerable Jeremy Corbyn and the current Labour control freaks also support this ?

Since the emergence of the threat from Islamist-inspired terrorism, our country has made significant progress in disrupting plots and protecting the public. But it is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.

As a mark of respect the 2 political parties have suspended our national campaigns for today. But violence can never be allowed to disrupt the democratic process. So those campaigns will resume in full tomorrow. And the general election will go ahead as planned on Thursday.

How is standing outside 10 Downing Street with maximum media coverage, announcing new policies, "suspending campaigning" ??

Few people will believe that this is a genuine mark of respect, it is more likely an excuse for the politicians (in all political parties)
to avoid embarassing questions about their failed / lack of coherent policies regarding terrorism.

Allowing the terrorists to disrupt the General Election in any way, is a victory for the the ideology that the Prime Minister so rightly condemned above.

As a country, our response must be as it has always been when we have been confronted by violence. We must come together, we must pull together, and united we will take on and defeat our enemies.

There is no question that the various Official Secrets Act(s) in the UK need urgent reform.

The venerable Law Commission has started off this process with a detailed Consultation.

Protection of Official Data Consultation
325 page (.pdf)

Duration of the consultation: We invite responses from 1 February 2017 to 3 April 2017.

Comments may be sent:
By email to pod@lawcommission.gsi.gov.uk
By post to Criminal Law Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, Tower, 52 Queen Anne’s
Gate, London, SW1H 9AG.
Tel: 020 3334 3100 / Fax: 020 3334 0201
If you send your comments by post, it would be helpful if, whenever possible, you could also send them electronically (for example, on CD or by email to the above address, in any
commonly used format).

However, their Threat Modelling seems incomplete. We need to ask ourselves exactly what exactly are we are trying to protect and from whom ? Expanding the definitions
to cover terrorist organisations rather than the undefined Enemy countries is ok, but it does nothing about "lone wolf" terrorists or fanatics.

It is all very well getting rid of restrictive pre WW1 terms like "models, sketches, drawings" etc. but there is only 1 passing reference to the Internet and mention of Protection of of Official MetaData or anything to do with Cryptography.

Nor are there any proposals to deal with the vast problem of Over Classification of government data and documents.

Will whistleblowers or journalists investigating UK #Brexit trade negotiating positions now fall foul of the new proposed legislation ?

Over the years, Spy Blog has, unfortunately, had to criticise the MI5 Security Service website for an unprofessional lack of security, seemingly every time the web site design has been revamped by c.f.


Here we go again:

To quote MI5 's own "Cyber" section of their website:


Hostile actors

A wide range of hostile actorshttps://www.google.com/recaptcha/intro/index.html use cyber to target the UK. They include foreign states, criminals, "hacktivist" groups and terrorists. The resources and capabilities of such actors vary. Foreign states are generally equipped to conduct the most damaging cyber espionage and computer network attacks.

Hostile actors conducting cyber espionage can target the government, military, business and individuals.

There are 4 sections of the MI5 Security Service website:

  1. Corporate brochure, history, "what we do" , "what we don't do", some news e.g. recent terrorism case convictions, speeches by the Director General etc..

  2. The infamous Terrorism Threat Level, which has mutated over the years into seperate categories for mainland UK, Northern Ireland and "international" i.e. muslim extremist terrorism.
    N.B. there is no clear indication of what exactly the public is meant to do at each Threat Level. Should we "Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave!"
    or Keep Calm and Carry On" ?

  3. Job vacancy and Careers information for people thinking about joining Mi5 Security Service.

  4. A confidential National Security tip off web form

Whilst the first two sections are important for the public image and reputation of MI5, the last two (Careers and Tip Off form) are of intense interest to our enemies.

Even the https:// only website does use a Digital Certificate with good Transport Layer Security configuration,

N.B. In common with GCHQ and MI6 there is no DNS entry for https://MI5.gov.uk i.e. without the "www."
This tends to confuse the dimmer "hackivists" who frequently claim that their "script kiddy" Denial of Service attacks have somehow magically succeeded in a "tango down" of a non-existent website URL.

Accessing the MI5 Security Service website may be illegal or dangerous if you are in e.g. the Middle East or Russia or China etc.
so, for obvious reasons, they claim to keep your communications with them confidential.

You may decide to use the increasingly popular Tor Browser to hide your originating IP address.

Why then does the MI5 website betray your web browser meta data to one and possibly two foreign companies based in the USA i.e. CloudFlare and Google reCaptcha ?

CloudFlare, whilst providing useful TLS and anti Denial of Service attack services, is under heavy criticism for forcing Tor users to fill in stupid Google reCapture puzzles #dontblocktorto proceed to a "protected" website.
This is a minor inconvenience for most people, but it is completely inappropriate for an intelligence agency website with sensitive recruitment and national security tip off form features.


Regardless of whether a visitor is using Tor or not, if they want to to contact MI5 with a national security related tip off, the Google reCaptcha is embedded in the the "secure" contact form!




i.e. there are image links which do not go to the local MI5 web server, or any web servers in the United Kingdom, but which are pulled from Google in California, USA
e.g. the Google reCaptcha refresh image (and all the street sign or river etc. reCapture image tiles)



This creates a web log entry or "Internet Connection Record" in the new Investigatory Powers Bill doublespeak, in a foreign country, regardless of whether you fill in the form or not.

If you are using e.g. Firefox without Tor and your IP address does not trigger Cloudflare, then you may be able to get to the non-Javascript MI5 web contact form


but most people will have been tricked into handing over their meta data to these US companies and therefore to the US government (on demand), instead of just
sharing it with MI5 the Security Service in the United Kingdom

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

Syndicate this site (XML):

Follow Spy Blog on Twitter

For those of you who find it convenient, there is now a Twitter feed to alert you to new Spy Blog postings.


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

https://twitter.com/SpyBlog (same window)

As Twitter is a a state of flux after being taken over by a biliionaire, Mastodan may have become the alternative, with all the pros (some) and the (many) cons of a decentralised "fediverse".

SpyBlog on Mastodon


Recent Comments

  • wtwu: NetIDMe seems to be in process of being wound up read more
  • wtwu: The House of Lords have approved the Regulations, without a read more
  • wtwu: Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill Government Note on the read more
  • wtwu: The former Customs Officer and the others involved in dealing read more
  • wtwu: BBC reports the password was $ur4ht4ub4h8 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25745989 When Hussain was read more
  • wtwu: "only" an extra 4 months in prison for failing to read more
  • wtwu: Although not confirmed as part of the Wilson Doctrine per read more
  • wtwu: For now (just before Christmas 2013) it appears that the read more
  • wtwu: As expected, the ISC did not give the intelligence agency read more
  • wtwu: N.B. the Intelligence & Security Committee is now legally consituted read more


Monthly Archives

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

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