Thu, 30 Nov 2006
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has a news
by the European Parliament's Temporary Committee on illegal CIA activity in Europe.
At a time when the EU should have been providing global leadership in the wake of US abuses, European governments were secretly colluding with the Bush administration on secret detention and unlawful rendition
Poland, the United Kingdom and Italy are singled out as having been especially uncooperative.
The committee's report concludes that there were at least 1,245 overflights or stopovers by CIA planes in Europe, and that some of these flights probably involved prisoner transfers.
Tue, 28 Nov 2006
The End of Violence
by Wim Wenders, released in 1997 depicts a city (Los Angeles) under secret surveillance from a network of cameras. When this surveillance system detects that a crime will be committed, the suspect is automatically shot. It's the end of violence as we know it.
And now for something completely different, some of this week's news:
- Police and councils are considering monitoring conversations in the street using high-powered microphones attached to CCTV cameras [...] The microphones can detect conversations 100 yards away and record aggressive exchanges before they become violent.
- Criminal profilers are drawing up a list of the 100 most dangerous murderers and rapists of the future even before they commit such crimes, The Times has learnt. The highly controversial database will be used by police and other agencies to target suspects before they can carry out a serious offence. Pilot projects to identify the highest-risk future offenders have been operating in five London boroughs for the past two months.
on what's happening in the UK.
Sun, 26 Nov 2006
I just discovered the Post 911 Blues by Riz MC (it has been available since last
For more on terrorist
profiling see my essay
on techie and terrorist behavioural profiling.
Wed, 22 Nov 2006
The Association of Chief of Police Officers (ACPO) published today the DNA Good Practice Manual
, Second Edition 2005. The following table from this document reveals that success rate in retrieving DNA from various samples is different in reality from what movies would make one believe:
|Hair without visible
Unfortunately this document includes other surprises such as the mention that DNA profiles in the NDNAD are not destroyed even when an profiled individual dies. I wrote more about this and some other aspects directly affecting me in a new entry
on the Innocent in London page.
Tue, 21 Nov 2006
From the Common Recommendations establishing a common "Practical Handbook for Border Guards (Schengen Handbook)
to be used by Member States' competent authorities when carrying out the border
control of persons:
Advice for border guards when conducting the border check:
- when you take the travel document always have a look at the face of the traveller at
first (try to remember as much as possible of the noticeable features of the traveller's
- compare the features of the traveller with the photo and description included in the
travel document, match them also with the visa when this is required (this could help
to eliminate impostors);
- check the travel document through in order to rule out the possibility that it is
counterfeit or forged (the numbering, printing and stitching of pages, seals and
stamps inserted, the inclusion of other persons; all corrections made in the document
especially at the personal data page should be clarified by the traveller);
- check the data in the file system; while doing this keep always verbal contact and
observe the behaviour and reaction of the traveller (e.g., nervousness, an aggressive
attitude, excessive willingness to co-operate);
- before you put the border's stamp make sure that the person did not overstay the
allowed period during his/her last stay within the Schengen States territory (i.e. 3
months within six months[)];
- do not interrogate the traveller as a potential criminal or illegal immigrant. All the
questions should be well balanced and asked in a friendly way.
- questions posed by the traveller should not be considered as intrusive and should be
answered in a factual and polite manner.
Most of the following activities have resulted in arrests, some in harrasment, some in loss of consciousness...
Some of these entries via TSA Security Round-Up
and previous posts
More on profiling...
Sat, 18 Nov 2006
A few of the upcoming events you may want to participate in, attend or watch. I'll be at several of them. Come and say hi if you're there as well.
Henry Porter's Suspect Nation documentary
Monday 20 November, 21:00 (repeat Wednesday 29 November 22:00)
Since Tony Blair's New Labour government came to power in 1997, the UK civil liberties landscape has changed dramatically. ASBOs were introduced by Section 1 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and first used in 1999. The right to remain silent is no longer universal. Our right to privacy, free from interception of communications has been severely curtailed. The ability to travel without surveillance (or those details of our journeys being retained) has disappeared.
Indeed, as Henry Porter (the Observer journalist famous for his recent email clash with Tony Blair over the paring down of civil liberties) reveals in this unsettling film, our movements are being watched, and recorded, more than ever before.
London Assembly, 7 July Review Committee
Wednesday 22 November, 14:00 (will be webcast live)
The Chamber , City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA
The meeting will be attended by senior representatives from the emergency services, Transport for London, and the National Health Service. The Committee will ask them questions about what progress they have made on key issues such as underground communications, digital radios / alternatives to mobile telephones, and putting in place plans to care for survivors of major incidents.
Civil liberty vs. the database state
Wednesday 29th November, 19:00 - 21:00
Lecture Theatre One, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London SW7
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, QC, MP, Ross Anderson and Henry Porter consider where we go from here. The Identity Cards Act 2006 is law, and must be repealed, but meanwhile the government is already working on extending its scope, through "information sharing" across the public sector and an "Identity Management Action Plan" to be produced by the end of this year. What new threats does this offer to personal liberty? How can the slide to the database state be halted?
Reclaiming our rights
Saturday 2nd December, 10:00 - 17:00
Libeskind Building (Graduate School), London Metropolitan University, Holloway Road N7, (tube Holloway Road)
Plenary speakers: Gareth Peirce, Mark Thomas, Craig Murray, Mark Muller, Brian Haw, Bill Bowring, Nafeez Ahmed
Themes: Anti-terrorism measures, detention and repression of asylum seekers and other migrants, new police powers against demonstrators, ASBOs, ID cards and state surveillance; and how foreign policy and new state strategies for social control relate to all of these measures.
The Terrorist Threat and Freedoms Today - Learning from the US and UK experience
Tuesday 5th December, 19:00
House of Commons Committee Room 14, Parliament, Westminster
Speakers: David Cole (Professor of Law at Georgetown University and author of Terrorism and the Constitution) and Louise Christian (Human Rights Lawyer and Liberty Board Member)
Chair: Katy Clark MP
David Cole and Louise Christian will discuss whether sacrificing civil liberties has in fact made us safer, and suggest that some trade-offs in liberties may have actually made us less safe. They will discuss what has and has not changed since the terrorist attacks of September 11 and July 7, respectively, and how we should proceed as we seek security and justice for all in the future.
Informing yourself is one aspect of how you can act
to help halt and reverse the erosion of our civil liberties.
Olly Kendall got some interesting data
from the Police regarding some arrest statistics. Check out the article at the top of the page about the point that ‘there is no compelling evidence to increase the period for detaining terrorist suspects and further encroach on our civil liberties’
. (14 days was already bad, 28 days
is worse; we need to do all we can to ensure it is not further extended.)
UK Police Terrorism Arrest Statistics (Excluding N. Ireland)
266 people were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 and Terrorism Act 2006
11 arrests under legislation other than the Terrorism Act, where the investigation was conducted as a Terrorist Investigation.
8 Charged with Terrorism Act offences only
22 Charged with Terrorism Act offences and other criminal offences
32 Charged under other legislation. E.g. murder (incl conspiracies), grievous bodily harm, firearms, explosives offences, fraud, false documents, etc.
9 Handed over to Immigration Authorities
13 On Police Bail awaiting charging decisions
1 Dealt with under youth offending procedures
2 Dealt with under Mental Health legislation
0 Returned to Prison (subject to recall)
1 Transferred to PSNI custody
188 Released without charge
1 Remanded in Custody under US Extradition warrant
0 Result of Investigation awaits
8 Terrorism Act convictions to date.
25 Convicted under other legislation. E.g. murder (incl conspiracies), grievous bodily harm, firearms, explosives offences, fraud, false documents, etc
26 Awaiting Trial
143 people were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 and Terrorism Act 2006 - To 30/09/2006.
16 arrests under legislation other than the Terrorism Act, where the investigation was conducted as a Terrorist Investigation.
31 Charged with Terrorism Act offences only
21 Charged with Terrorism Act offences and other criminal offences
13 Charged under other legislation. E.g. murder (incl conspiracies), grievous bodily harm, firearms, explosives offences, fraud, false documents, etc.
2 Handed over to Immigration Authorities
6 On Police Bail awaiting charging decisions
0 Dealt with under youth offending procedures
0 Dealt with under Mental Health legislation
0 Returned to Prison (subject to recall)
1 Transferred to PSNI custody
83 Released without charge
0 Remanded in Custody under US Extradition warrant
2 Result of Investigation awaits
4 Terrorism Act convictions to date.
7 Convicted under other legislation. E.g. murder (incl conspiracies), grievous bodily harm, firearms, explosives offences, fraud, false documents, etc
55 Awaiting Trial
I was likely counted
in some of these numbers.
Sun, 12 Nov 2006
The investigation of the Police following my complaint is now complete. The findings have to be confirmed by the IPCC before I am provided with a copy of the report.
Wed, 08 Nov 2006
I updated my account
and the Is the UK a police state?
article with much more information on how the Police and the Government manager the national DNA database (NDNAD).
- DNA samples are destroyed and profiles deleted when you die
- As of last month DNA samples were collected from 100,828 CJ arrestees
- DNA information is exchanged between the UK and other countries
Wed, 01 Nov 2006
Steve Connor writes
in the Independent:
One in four men could soon be included on the national DNA database which is helping to turn Britain into a nation of suspects, an expert group has warned.
The database has been established with little or no public consultation but over the past 10 years has collected DNA profiles on more than 3.5 million people, including 24,000 children and youths under the age of 18.
Sir Bob [Hepple, chairman of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics] said that this implies that the Prime Minister would be happy to see every citizen's DNA profile being stored on the database. "The cost would be enormous but there is also the deeper question - instead of being a nation of citizens we become a nation of suspects," Sir Bob said.
The figures I had included in Is the UK a police state?
where from March 2004. A million more DNA samples have been collected since.
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is launching
a consultation exercise to investigate on a number of questions raised by the ethical issues surrounding the forensic use of bioinformation.
Tomorrow is the third reading
of Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.
The Reclaiming our rights
conference will be on Saturday 2nd December. Register now! I'll be participating.