The Hackney council established an Autism Alliance Board in 2016 to eventually create an autism strategy for the borough. Autistics, parents and carers joined to establish a User Engagement work group to contribute to this work.
We’ve published a few web pages at Autistic Hackney to give some information on the work group, how to join it and some key documents.
One of these documents, the Terms of Reference of the Hackney Autism Alliance Board, reflects some early successes of our work group:
The Board has also adopted some Engagement and Consultation Principles that were developed by our work group. These principles include a section on autistic representation on the Autism Alliance Partnership Board, which was the basis for most changes to the Terms of Reference and also for ensuring that autistic representatives and carers on the board should be remunerated for their participation. Another section on accessible meetings suggest accommodations for sensory needs and that if an autistic representative needs a break, the meeting is suspended for everyone. These principles also recommend that consultation on the strategy is conducted in ways to make it accessible to most autistic Hackney residents.
Work is now about to start on drafting the strategy. If you’re autistic and live in Hackney, check out the Autistic Hackney web page to find out how to join our User Engagement work group and contribute to the strategy work.
Transport for London (TfL) has published information about how long it retains footage from some of its many CCTV surveillance cameras on its Surveillance Cameras and Road User Charging web pages and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has published some additional data in a letter (pdf) to the Chair Police and Crime Committee of the Mayor's Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) dated 2017-02-06. Here's the combined data:
- London Underground stations: 14 days (according to TfL)
- London train stations (including tube): up to 14 days (according to the MPS)
- London Underground trains: 72 hours
- TfL Bus stations: 30 days (according to TfL) or for up to 28 days (according to the MPS)
- On-bus CCTV: between 4 to 10 days depending on the type of bus and hard drive installed
- Body worn cameras: 14 days
- Trams: up to 72 hours
- DLR: up to 14 days
- Victoria Coach Station: 28 days
- London River Services piers: 30 days
- Traffic monitoring and enforcement cameras: Images are only recorded if a vehicle is seen committing a traffic contravention. If a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is not issued they are deleted after 28 days. If a PCN is issued the images are deleted 180 days after the PCN is closed.
- Details of each payment of a charge: 24 months from the date of the transaction (regardless of whether or not you are a registered customer)
- ANPR data and images are automatically deleted after payment of the charge has been received or if your vehicle is registered for a discount or exemption
- For Autopay customers, ANPR data and images are retained until after the account has been settled, usually a maximum period of two months
- Details of a discount are retained for 40 months after the date you were last granted a discount
- Details of a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) are retained for seven years after you paid the PCN (this will include images of the vehicle you were driving)
In September 2015, along with 662 other claimants, I joined Privacy International's campaign 'Did GCHQ Illegally Spy on You?' of applications to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal to investigate whether we were subject of unlawful mass surveillance by Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). The Tribunal had 'already concluded that, to the extent my information was shared with the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) by the US National Security Agency (NSA) prior to 5 December 2014, such action was unlawful and a violation of Article 8 of the ECHR'.
The Tribunal wrote me in May 2016 to ask why I believe I may have been targeted for surveillance:
Please find enclosed a copy of the judgment handed down following a hearing that the Investigatory Powers Tribunal held on 15th April 2016. You attention is drawn in particular to paragraphs 46 and 64 of the judgment.
The Tribunal has carefully considered your complaint and Human Rights Act claim in the light of this judgment and in accordance with its normal procedures.
The Tribunal has asked me to inform you that, in the absence of receipt by the Tribunal of any further submissions from you by 24th June 2016, your complaint and Human Rights Act claim will stand dismissed, without further order or notice to you, as unsustainable, that is frivolous within s.68 (4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
Any such submission would have to outline the basis, in respect of your asserted belief that any conduct falling within subsection s.68(5) of RIPA has been carried out by or on behalf of any of the Intelligence Services, and whether there is any basis for such belief; such that the “individual may claim to be a victim of a violation occasioned by the mere existence of secret measures or legislation permitting secret measures only if he is able to show that due to his personal situation, he is potentially at risk of being subjected to such measures.” (Zakharov at 171).
It is rather ironic to be asked for why I may be a target of surveillance when I complained about mass surveillance. However I complied with the Tribunal's request and sent six such potential reasons.
In December 2016, the Tribunal wrote to inform me that either I was spied on lawfully or not spied on at all and that in that respect my human rights were not breached. And that as far as it is concerned that is the end of the matter:
I write in connection with your applications to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal dated 18 September 2015.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal has carefully considered your complaint and Human Rights Act claim in the light of all relevant evidence and in accordance with its normal procedures. The Tribunal has asked me to inform you that no determination has been made in your favour either on your complaint or your Human Rights Act claim.
I would like to explain the role of the Tribunal under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to assist you in understanding the effect of this decision by the Tribunal. Under rules made under that Act the Tribunal has a duty to ensure that no information is disclosed which is contrary to the public interest or prejudicial to national security. Under section 68 (4) of the Act when not making a determination in favour of an applicant, the Tribunal is only permitted to inform such complainant that no determination has been made in his favour.
If no determination is made in favour of the complainant that may mean that there has been no conduct in relation to the complainant by any relevant body which falls within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, or that there has been some official activity which is not in contravention of the Act. The provisions of the Act do not allow the Tribunal to disclose whether or not you are, or have been of interest to the security, intelligence or law enforcement agencies. Nor is the Tribunal permitted to disclose what evidence it has taken into account in considering your complaint.
As set out above the Tribunal is not permitted to give any reasons for its determination. Accordingly the file on these applications will now be closed and the Tribunal is not able to enter into any further correspondence about them.
However, this is not the end of this legal action as 'Human Rights Watch and six individuals lodged a challenge with the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal confirm whether or not they were subject to surveillance by GCHQ.'