MI5 Gestapo Watch: Police State UK… Creeping In…

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Post by outsider »

While this particular case is in Australia, you can bet your life it happens in the UK, EU and US as well:

''Be paranoid': How one reporter learned the danger of metadata':
http://www.icij.org/blog/2015/05/be-par ... r-metadata

'.....Sixteen years ago, I was given an alarming insight into just how often journalists are actually spied on using such powers. It changed forever how I operate as a journalist.

Back then, in 1999, I was doing an investigation into the Australian Tax Office for the then Sunday Program.

There was huge concern from many inside the ATO then, as there is now, that while your average taxpayer was chased for every dollar, the big end of town was often allowed to settle huge tax bills for considerably less than what the taxman said was due.

A lot of ATO staff were very concerned about it. They were even suggesting corruption and I was being leaked a lot of confidential documents.

The turning point for me, my metadata-paranoid-privacy moment, was when a very senior tax office manager insisted on meeting me in a Canberra hotel room.

I thought he was absurdly paranoid because he wouldn’t let me call him and he wouldn’t phone me… his first contact with me, and all subsequent, was actually organised by ordinary post – still one of the safest ways to communicate with a journalist.

The Federal Police Commissioner has publicly played down the number of times the agency seeks a journalist’s metadata. But what the Commissioner didn’t disclose was that most requests for metadata aren’t made by the Federal Police at all.

This is what that senior tax office manager wanted to show me: in actual fact, he said, leaks investigations are generally done by the internal security section of each government department.

My ATO source told me that for years it had been almost a routine practice in the public service when there was any leak to the media for there to be a check on that journalist’s or the suspect public servant’s phone records to find out who had leaked the information.

He also warned me that the laws around the leaking of information were so broad that pretty much any information passed to a journalist – down to the office Christmas Party invitation on a public servant’s desk – could be used to trigger a request for a journalist’s metadata.

But my source had left the best till last. He’d brought along a copy of my metadata – my private phone records.

To educate me about the risks of metadata he’d asked for mine. It detailed all my calls out and all the calls in on my phone.

Sources I’d spoken to for several stories over the previous months were clearly identified by their subscriber name, number and address on that list.

There in front me of was evidence that could send several public servants to jail or at least lose them their jobs.

What shocked me most of all though was the cultural attitude that his request for that paperwork revealed; for this senior public servant – mercifully, a friendly source – he knew that the accountability controls on the ballooning number of metadata requests were so pathetic that he’d obtained my phone records knowing there would be absolutely no blow-back for him.

And there wasn’t, even after I broadcast a story using information he’d leaked to me.

I’d like to be able to say that Australia is the bad apple among Western democracies with its dogged pursuit of whistleblowers through metadata but truth is, it’s happening everywhere.

Anti-surveillance rally, Washington DC.
NSW whistleblower Edward Snowden helped reveal the extent of US government surveillance. Photo: Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com
What we’re seeing is the revenge of the national security agencies, who seem to have nothing but contempt for journalistic scrutiny of what they do, and the evidence suggests governments are wrapping themselves in the flag with questionable claims of national security to try to shut down often legitimate journalistic investigation of government wrongdoing.

The former General Counsel for the US National Security Agency Stewart Baker has said: Metadata tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata you don’t really need content.

The former head of the NSA and the CIA Director Michael Hayden agreed. He said: Absolutely correct. We kill people based on metadata.

So how do we protect ourselves against government surveillance of our metadata? It’s almost impossible. But here are a few tips:
•Try to ensure that ‘first contact’ with a sensitive government source is off the grid – don’t use your phone, email, SMS, or any kind of digital communication.
•Educate potential whistleblowers through your website that they can be tracked through their metadata – and suggest alternatives (like writing a letter).
•Don’t carry your phone with you when you can go and see them because it’s breathtakingly easy to ‘geo-locate’ a phone and show that a journalist and a source were in the same place at the same time.
•Cover your tracks with encryption and obfuscation: I use an encrypted messaging app called Wickr that claims to keep no metadata. I also use the TOR Browser to hide the metadata trail that would otherwise be left by my web browsing on my computer.....'
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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Post by TonyGosling »

A prominent lawmaker, Baroness Jenny Jones, has described the move as provocative, saying it could potentially endanger the public. The plan, drawn up by police chiefs and discussed by top government officials, was leaked to media on Friday. Jones, who sits on London’s Police and Crime Committee, called the revelation as shocking and demanded a parliamentary debate on the issue. The plan, code-named Operation Temperer, would see more than 5-thousand armed personnel in inner cities in case of terror attacks. Last month, more than one thousand police officers and soldiers staged a mass exercise to test their ability to respond to a gun attack on London.
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Post by TonyGosling »

These plans were accidentally leaked online!
And the army are not really liking the idea they say

British army reluctant to post troops on UK streets after terror attacks
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015 ... ror-attack

Secret plan to deploy 5,000 soldiers on UK streets in wake of major terror attacks
Operation Temperer would be deployed in the event of a series of terror attacks on UK soil
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... tacks.html
Emily Gosden By Emily Gosden7:33PM BST 26 Jul 2015
More than 5,000 soldiers could be deployed on the streets of Britain in the wake of major terrorist attacks, under a secret Government plan, it has emerged.
The troops would be sent to guard key targets in major cities if Isil or other terror groups launched multiple attacks on UK soil, under the plan, codenamed Operation Temperer.
Details of the operation were disclosed by the Mail on Sunday after accidentally being uploaded to the National Police Chiefs Council website last week.
Officers had been briefed on the plan by Deputy Chief Constable Simon Chesterman, the ‘national lead’ for armed policing, during an NPCC meeting in Leicester in April.
Under the heading ‘counter terrorism post Paris large scale military support to the police’, minutes of the meeting disclosed that up to 5,100 troops could be deployed “based on force assessments of how many military officers could augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties”.
Soldiers would serve alongside armed police officers to protect against further attacks while plotters were hunted down.

Baroness Jones, a member of London’s Police and Crime Committee, said the plan would be “unprecedented on mainland Britain”
Sources told the newspaper that Operation Temperer would only be triggered by a Cobra meeting, and that the plan had been discussed at the highest level.
Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said the plan was "sensible".
"You really have to have contingency planning, to prepare for potentially the worst," he said.
"If you had multiple sites as they had in the Paris attacks it is possible you would have overstretch, you would look to other options and the Army would be the most obvious port of call.”
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs Council said: "We keep contingency plans under constant review. Only last month we undertook a multi-agency test, Exercise Strong Tower."
He said the minutes of the meeting were uploaded to the NPCC's website last Thursday afternoon and removed and revised early on Friday morning when it was identified that details from the closed session had been included.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “The MOD works closely with other government departments and agencies to ensure that it is able to provide appropriate assistance in response to any security threats, including national security. We keep contingency plans under constant review.”
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Why would anyone trust the Met after this?
Pictured: 'Quiet' dad shot by police following eviction siege had fallen into rent arrears
Nathaniel Brophy, who is of mixed race, was shot three times following a seven-hour siege at his flat in Brixton last month
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pi ... ar_twitter

Difficulties: Nathaniel Brophy had struggled to pay rent after suffering a head injury, his family said
Last month, a 34-year-old mixed race man was shot three times by Metropolitan Police firearms officers outside his front door.

It was a shockingly violent end to an incident which had initially shown no sign of taking such a dramatic turn.

The use of deadly force by police on British streets is extremely rare - there were only two operations where firearms were discharged between 2013-14.

But the shooting, on a housing estate on the edge of Brixton and Clapham in South London, attracted little in the way of media attention at the time.

Daily Mirror
Scene: The smart block of flats in Clapham where the seven-hour siege took place
Today, the Mirror can reveal his identity to be Nathaniel Brophy, a father and former delivery driver described as "quiet", "introverted" and "polite".

He was shot three times by police marksmen; once in the right femur, once through the bowel and another in the back.

He required three operations to save his life and remains in a serious condition in King’s College Hospital, under 24-hour police guard according to his family.

His father Patrice Duval, 52, says it has been touch and go whether he would survive ever since.

An infection in the exit wound caused by the third bullet has added to complications.

As Nathaniel continues to recover, his family say the situation could have been defused without shots being fired.

A man is in a critical condition after being shot by police following a siege in Brixton Jay Elwes
Investigation: The police watchdog the IPCC is looking into the shooting on August 21
It is understood Nathaniel had lived at Tilson Gardens in Lambeth for around seven years, renting it from Metropolitan, one of the country’s largest housing associations.

His problems started when he suffered a brain injury in 2010 which left him with occasional speech difficulties and partial paralysis in his hand.

After losing his job, he began to run into arrears on his flat and was eventually evicted, his family say.

But it is understood on the morning of Friday, August 21, he was able to re-enter his property because the locks had not been changed.

Scotland Yard says the incident began when unarmed officers escorted housing officials to an address at Tilson Gardens as part of a “pre-planned eviction”.

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Outside the flat where 'quiet, polite' father was shot three times by police
At around 9.45am, they gained entry to the property and a man was seen emerging from one of the rooms.

A spokesman said officers were “threatened by the suspect” who was “believed to be in possession of a firearm”.

The officers withdrew and the firearms squad were called.

A seven-hour siege unfolded, during which the third-floor flat was surrounded by police marksmen and dozens of residents were evacuated.

Nathaniel Brophy was shot as he came out of the front door of his flat at around 4.45pm.

As a matter of course, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has been asked to investigate.

They say a non-police issue firearm was recovered from the scene - understood to be a 0.177 calibre air pistol.

They have also downloaded footage from CCTV cameras in the area and, significantly, from the body cameras worn by officers during the siege.

Mr Duval, who is himself battling cancer, says so far he has not been shown any footage or given any briefing by the IPCC as to what happened.

Daily Mirror
Injuries: Nathaniel was shot three times by police marksmen
For their part, the IPCC says all requests to meet with the family via their solicitors have gone unanswered.

Mr Duval says his son was "never in a gang", was not “a dangerous criminal” and claimed the siege would have ended peacefully if he had been able to negotiate with his son.

He added that his family is not anti-police and has two close relatives who are serving officers in the Met.

“Nathaniel’s told me ‘Dad, I never thought I was going to get shot’,” said Mr Duval.

“Yes, he shouldn’t have gone back to the flat - I know that.

“But he just wanted to get his stuff.

“Somebody has seen he got back into the property and the housing officers came to the door.

“They told him he had no right to be there. He said ‘I’m taking my stuff - you’re not throwing me out.”

Mr Duval says Nathaniel had been struggling to support himself since his head injury.

“That’s where it all went wrong,” he said.

“He lost his job, his relationship and eventually his house.

"I helped him out from time to time but he was too proud.

"He ended up by himself and I think he felt abandoned.”

Nathaniel Brophy has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm, or imitation firearm, with intent to cause fear of violence.

The IPCCC investigation is ongoing.

Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: “I would like to reassure the community in Clapham and the wider public that the IPCC will be conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation into the events surrounding the shooting.

“Our investigators have already gathered statements from officers involved, carried out house-to-house enquiries, trawled the local area for CCTV and will now being reviewing statements and video footage to establish the events of that day.

“The IPCC has engaged with key community members and is updating them on the progress of the investigation. We have also engaged with the injured man’s family and will continue to do so.”
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Theresa May's GCHQ & MI5 securocrats take desperate measures today 2 bring their criminal bulk spying within the law http://gu.com/p/4dqj4/stw
3:08pm - 4 Nov 15

Theresa May unveils surveillance measures in wake of Snowden claims
Home secretary announces new powers for police and security services tracking UK citizens’ internet use without need for judicial check

Theresa May unveils new measures to spy on internet use
Alan Travis Patrick Wintour and Ewen MacAskill
Wednesday 4 November 2015 13.57 GMT
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/n ... rd-snowden

New surveillance powers will be given to the police and security services, allowing them to access records tracking every UK citizen’s use of the internet without any need for any judicial check, under the provisions of the draft investigatory powers bill unveiled by Theresa May.

It includes new powers requiring internet and phone companies to keep “internet connection records” – tracking every website visited but not every page – for a maximum of 12 months but will not require a warrant for the police, security services or other bodies to access the data. Local authorities will be banned from accessing internet records.

The proposed legislation will also introduce a “double-lock” on the ministerial approval of interception warrants with a new panel of seven judicial commissioners – probably retired judges – given a veto before they can come into force.


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But the details of the bill make clear that this new safeguard for the most intrusive powers to spy on the content of people’s conversations and messages will not apply in “urgent cases” – defined as up to five days – where judicial approval is not possible.

The draft investigatory powers bill published on Wednesday by the home secretary aims to provide a “comprehensive and comprehensible” overhaul of Britain’s fragmented surveillance laws. It comes two-and-a-half years after the disclosures by the whistleblower Edward Snowden of the scale of secret mass surveillance of the global traffic in confidential personal data carried out by Britain’s GCHQ and the US’s National Security Agency (NSA).


It will replace the current system of three separate commissioners with a senior judge as a single investigatory powers commissioner.

May told MPs that the introduction of the most controversial power – the storage of everyone’s internet connection records tracking the websites they have visited, which is banned as too intrusive in the US and every European country including Britain – was “simply the modern equivalent of an itemised phone bill”.

Her recommendations were broadly welcomed by the shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham, but received a more cautious welcome from the former Conservative shadow home secretary David Davis, the former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister.


Some former ministers pressed May on the nature of the double-lock, whereby a warrant could be issued first by the home secretary and then endorsed by a specially appointed judge. They also asked whether some warrants could be issued by the home secretary outside this dual-lock process.

Burnham said it was important to stress the proposals were “neither a snooper’s charter nor a plan for mass surveillance”. The Labour frontbencher said the UK’s laws were outdated given that changes in technology had made the jobs of the security services and police much harder.

Burnham said: “In a world where the threats we face internationally and domestically are growing, parliament cannot sit on its hands and leave blind spots where the authorities can’t see.”

He said strong powers must be balanced by strong protections for the public, adding: “What the home secretary has said today, it seems clear to me both she and the government have been listening carefully to the concerns that were expressed about the original legislation presented in the last parliament.”

Burnham added: “I think it would help the future conduct of this important public debate if this House sent out a unified message today that this is neither a snooper’s charter nor a plan for mass surveillance.”

Davis questioned whether the new warrant process would cover all the current mechanisms for the intercept and use of communications data. He also questioned the independence of the judicary, asking if they will be appointed by the prime minister or by the Judicial Appointments Commission.

Clegg, who in government blocked previous attempts to give spies sweeping new powers, was cautious, saying the proposals were “much improved” compared with the snooper’s charter. But he warned: “I have a feeling under the bonnet it still retains some of the flaws of its predecessor.”

The LibDem MP suggested it might be be simpler and faster to provide for direct judicial authorisation, rather than retaining a role for ministers. He also queried why it was necessary to hold so much internet browsing data.

The draft bill explicitly includes in statute for the first time powers for the bulk collection of large volumes of communications and other personal data by MI5, GCHQ, MI6 and for their use of “equipment interference powers” – the ability to hack computers and phones around the world – for purposes of national security, serious crime and economic wellbeing.

In her statement, May also revealed for the first time that successive governments since 1994 have issued secret directions to internet and phone companies to hand over the communications data of British citizens in bulk to the security services.

She said these secret “directions” had allowed the security services to thwart a number of attacks in Britain, including the plot to attack the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

May revealed that the use of these powers – which show that GCHQ was also engaged in mass surveillance programmes on British citizens using their communications data – under the 1984 Telecommunications Act will be put on a more explicit footing in the new legislation and be subject to the same safeguards as other bulk powers.

Live Theresa May secures backing of Labour and Lib Dems for surveillance plans – live
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Home Office estimates put the extra costs of storing internet connection records and the new judicial oversight regime at £245m to £250m over 10 years after the legislation comes into force in December next year. This includes £175m for the cost of storing everyone’s internet records and £60m for the extra judicial oversight.

Welcoming the bill as a decisive moment in updating Britain’s surveillance laws, May said: “There should be no area of cyberspace which is a haven for those who seek to harm us to plot, poison minds and peddle hatred under the radar.

“But I am also clear that the exercise and scope of investigatory powers should be clearly set out and subject to stringent safeguards and robust oversight, including ‘double-lock’ authorisation for the most intrusive capabilities. This bill will establish world-leading oversight to govern an investigatory powers regime which is more open and transparent than anywhere else in the world.”

She said it could not be used to determine whether somebody had visited a mental health website or even a news website but only for the purpose of finding out whether they had visited a communications website, such as WhatsApp, an illegal website or to link their device to a specific website as part of a specific investigation.

But the detail of the bill makes clear that the authorisation arrangements for internet connection records will remain exactly the same as the current 517,000 requests for communications data made last year. These requests are made without any kind of warrant and signed off by either a police inspector or superintendent depending on the kind of data.

Jim Killock, the executive director of the privacy campaigning body Open Rights Group, sees the draft bill as an attempt to secure even more intrusive powers. “At first glance, it appears that this bill is an attempt to grab even more intrusive surveillance powers and does not do enough to restrain the bulk collection of our personal data by the secret services,” he said. “It proposes an increase in the blanket retention of our personal communications data, giving the police the power to access web logs. It also gives the state intrusive hacking powers that can carry risks for everyone’s internet security.”

A Microsoft spokesperson tentatively welcomed the bill while adding caveats about private data and protection for customers, saying: “We appreciate the government’s willingness to engage in an open debate about these important issues, and as this process unfolds, we will work to ensure that legislation respects these principles and protects the privacy of our customers.”
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

MI5 & GCHQ fess up to further ignoring of criminal law
Criminal law is overseen, High Court and other senior judges appointed, by The Queen

MI5 'secretly collected phone data' for decade
From the sectionUK Politics
MI5 has secretly been collecting vast amounts of data about UK phone calls to search for terrorist connections.
The programme has been running for 10 years under a law described as "vague" by the government's terror watchdog.
It emerged as Home Secretary Theresa May unveiled a draft bill governing spying on communications by the authorities.
If it becomes law, the internet activity of everyone in Britain will be held for a year by service providers.
Police and intelligence officers will then be able to see the names of sites suspected criminals have visited, without a warrant.
Mrs May told MPs the proposed powers were needed to fight crime and terrorism but civil liberties campaigners warned it represented to a "breathtaking" attack on the internet security of everyone living in the UK.

Track terrorists
The draft bill aims to give stronger legal cover to the activities of MI5, MI6 and the police and introduce judicial oversight of spying operations.
It confirmed that Britain's secret listening post GCHQ has been intercepting internet messages flowing through Britain in bulk, as revealed by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, "to acquire the communications of terrorists and serious criminals that would not otherwise be available".
It also revealed that the UK security services have been allowed to collect large amounts of data on phone calls "to identify subjects of interest within the UK and overseas", provided they comply with certain safeguards, set out in a supporting document also published on Wednesday.
The draft bill aims to tighten up these safeguards and put the bulk collection of data on a firmer legal footing. Taken together with the other measures, the home secretary said the bill would give the security services a "licence to operate".
In her Commons statement, Mrs May referred to the 1984 Telecommunications Act, under which she said successive governments had allowed security services to access data from communications companies.
The data involved the bulk records of phone calls - not what was said but the fact that there was contact - with companies required to hand over domestic phone records.
BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera said the programme, which sources said was used to track terrorists and save lives, was "so secret that few even in MI5 knew about it, let alone the public".

'Not outside the law'

The government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson QC, told the BBC the legislation used to authorise the collection was "so vague that anything could be done under it".
He added: "It wasn't illegal in the sense that it was outside the law, it was just that the law was so broad and the information was so slight that nobody knew it was happening".
Mr Anderson has called for a "comprehensive" new law governing surveillance, which the government has produced with the wide-ranging draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

The draft bill's measures include:
Allowing the security services to hack into phones and computers around the world in the interests of national security
Giving a panel of judges the power to block spying operations authorised by the home secretary
A new criminal offence of "knowingly or recklessly obtaining communications data from a telecommunications operator without lawful authority", carrying a prison sentence of up to two years
Local councils to retain some investigatory powers, such as surveillance of benefit cheats, but they will not be able to access online data stored by internet firms
The Wilson doctrine - preventing surveillance of Parliamentarians' communications - to be written into law
Police will not be able to access journalistic sources without the authorisation of a judge
A legal duty on British companies to help law enforcement agencies hack devices to acquire information if it is reasonably practical to do so
Former Appeal Court judge Sir Stanley Burnton is appointed as the new interception of communications commissioner

Mrs May told MPs the draft bill was a "significant departure" from previous plans, dubbed the "snoopers' charter" by critics, which were blocked by the Lib Dems, and will "provide some of the strongest protections and safeguards anywhere in the democratic world and an approach that sets new standards for openness, transparency and oversight".
The proposed legislation will be consulted on before a bill is formally introduced to Parliament in the New Year, Mrs May said. It will then have to pass votes in both houses of Parliament.
Labour's utter zombie of a shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham, backed the draft bill, saying it was "neither a snoopers' charter nor a plan for mass surveillance".
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Post by Whitehall_Bin_Men »

Press freedom
The government is using terrorism as an excuse to spy on journalists
Michelle Stanistreet
The investigatory powers bill – or ‘snoopers’ charter’ – endangers press freedom, and offers no protection for sources or whistleblowers
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/m ... er-charter

Theresa May has been accused of rushing through the investigatory powers bill or ‘snoopers’ charter’.
Theresa May has been accused of rushing through the investigatory powers bill or ‘snoopers’ charter’. Photograph: James Gourley/Rex/Shutterstock
Monday 14 March 2016 09.59 GMT Last modified on Monday 14 March 2016 12.04 GMT

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The investigatory powers bill, which will receive its second reading in parliament on Tuesday, contains a range of surveillance powers available to the security services, police and other public bodies.

The first draft last year raised alarm bells, including amongst the three cross-party parliamentary committees that voiced serious concerns. Yet it took the Home Office just two weeks to cobble together this re-draft that in no way resolves the bill’s serious flaws.

Farcically, concerns about privacy have been addressed by inserting one word into a heading. Part one of the investigatory powers bill was called “general protections” and is now called “general privacy protections”. This is how the government has responded to the parliamentary intelligence committee recommendation that “privacy protections should form the backbone of the draft legislation”.

Snooper's charter: wider police powers to hack phones and access web history
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The NUJ has been campaigning for improved laws and protections since a police report in 2014 revealed the Sun’s political editor’s mobile phone records and call data from the newsdesk had been seized in secret by police. When the British state has a total disregard for the protection of sources and whistleblowers then there are severe consequences for all journalists and press freedom.


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Not least will be the impact on journalists’ safety. Reporters who work in dangerous environments – in a war zone or when investigating organised crime – are already targeted. Being seen as agents of the state, or a conduit to information about their sources, will make their work fraught with greater dangers. The independence of journalists, and the very notion of press freedom, is something that is critical to our collective safety and credibility.

In its essence, this bill is exploiting public concerns about terrorism and national security as an excuse to spy on journalists.

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One section of the bill allows for “equipment interference”, enabling the authorities to access computers and electronic equipment. This interference includes hacking computers to gain access to passwords, documents, emails, diaries, contacts, pictures, chat logs and location records. Microphones or webcams could be turned on and items stored could be altered or deleted. Under the bill, journalists have no right to challenge this type of surveillance – in fact it is highly unlikely they would ever find out it has happened.

If journalists don’t know their work and their sources are being compromised then it becomes practically impossible to uphold our ethical principle to protect sources and whistleblowers.

The NUJ has a long and proud record of defending members from having to identify their sources, including backing a legal case in 1996 that fixed the journalists’ “right to silence” in European law.

That’s only possible if there is a transparent mechanism to challenge such demands for information on sources – if the state can get their hands on that information without a journalist ever knowing, how can we support the countless individuals who are brave enough to blow the whistle on information they believe the public needs to know about?

In 2015 a report by the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office revealed that 19 police forces had made 608 applications for communications data to find journalistic sources over a three-year period. Applications made and considered in secret.

Analysis Technology firms' hopes dashed by 'cosmetic tweaks' to snooper's charter
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In response the previous culture secretary, Sajid Javid, said “journalism is not terrorism” and the government promised to introduce safeguards. Despite a series of interim measures being put in place, none of the key ones are in this new bill. The cross-party parliamentary joint committee said that the “protection for journalistic privilege should be fully addressed by way of substantive provisions on the face of the bill”. Yet this government has turned its face and ignored the recommendation.

The bill also introduces legislative anomalies – there is no adherence to standards already established in legislation such as the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and Terrorism Act 2000. The bill contains no requirement to notify a journalist, media organisation or their legal representatives when the authorities intend to put journalists under surveillance or hack into their electronic equipment. There is no right to challenge or appeal and the entire process takes place in secret. The oversight measures do not involve any media experts who can advocate on behalf of journalists and press freedom. This is an outrageous abuse of press freedom in the UK.

The NUJ is not alone in having grave concerns about this latest version of the bill – we are joined by others in the media industry, trade unions, legal experts, and privacy and human rights campaigners. These extremely intrusive and unnecessary surveillance powers trample over the very principles of journalism and will be a death knell for whistleblowers of the future. There are a growing number of politicians waking up to the dangers in this bill and we hope others will think hard before they cast their vote on Tuesday.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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Post by TonyGosling »

The new heavily armed face of counter terror policing is revealed
Armed Metropolitan Police officers prepare for attackPlay! 00:57
Martin Evans, crime correspondent 3 AUGUST 2016 • 8:55AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08 ... terror-at/

The latest face of anti-terror policing in London has been unveiled as a new batch of highly trained officers prepares to take to the streets.

With mounting concern over a UK terror attack, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has announced that the first of 600 additional armed officers are ready to start work in the capital.

Armed police prepare to deploy from Hyde Park, central London, as Scotland Yard announced that the first of 600 additional armed officers
Armed police prepare to deploy from Hyde Park, central London, as Scotland Yard announced that the first of 600 additional armed officers CREDIT: STEFAN ROUSSEAU
Among them are members of the Met’s elite counter-terror firearms unit who are trained to deploy around the clock at a moment’s notice to tackle marauding terrorists head on.

Equipped with SIG 516 semi-automatic carbines and Glock 9mm sidearms, the counter-terror specialists are capable of racing to the scene of any potential incident on board specially adapted BMW F800 motorcycles.

Riding pillion the officers will be able to cut through the heavy London traffic on boards the all-terrain bikes which are capable of reaching top speeds of 120mph.

Operation Hercules: Specialist officers seen patrolling the ThamesPlay! 01:03
The SAS style officers are also trained to carry out water borne assaults from rigid inflatable hull vessels and even abseil into situations from hovering helicopters.

The announcement of their deployment follows a string of terrorist incidents in mainland Europe and warnings from the Met chief that an attack in Britain is a matter of “when, not if”.

Police counter terrorism officers pose
Police counter terrorism officers pose
They will help support newly recruited armed officers who will operate in visible roles across the capital to help reassure the public and deter any would be terrorists.

'Run, hide and tell': Watch what to do in a firearms or weapons attackPlay! 03:05
Members of the public across London will begin to see an increase in armed patrols, particularly in high profile tourist areas, with an increased number of officers carrying semi-automatic weapons, Tasers and shotguns.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says the Met will never be complacent about protecting the public
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says the Met will never be complacent about protecting the public
Announcing the measure, Sir Bernard said: “Anyone who's been following events in Europe over the past few weeks will understand why we want to show our determination to protect the public.

“We are deadly serious about the protection that we are offering the people of London and we will never be complacent.

“That's why I’m increasing the visibility and the number of armed officers on London's streets, and demonstrating some of the range of tactics we already have to protect the public from all manner of threats.

“I want the public to know that we have substantial resources and a range of tactics that we can call on to protect them.”

The Police Federation has warned it could take two years to train all the additional officers needed
The Police Federation has warned it could take two years to train all the additional officers needed
“The reality of having to deal with armed and deadly attackers is that you need firearms officers who will use force to stop those attackers in their aim. Our firearms officers are the ones who will run towards the danger. They are our heroes.

We are deadly serious about the protection that we are offering the people of London and we will never be complacent
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
“Despite the fact they are carrying guns they are still police officers and I want the public to approach and talk to them, they are out on our streets to reassure and help the public.

“Equally important in how we protect our capital is the relationship that our mainly unarmed officers have built with communities over many years. Our communities are a vital source of information and if you have fears or concerns then we want to know.”

French police have begun armed patrols on beaches
French police have begun armed patrols on beaches CREDIT: SIPA/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
But the plans come amid warnings from the Police Federation that plans to introduce 1,500 more armed officers nationally could take at least two years.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers said: “Some forces are getting volunteers coming forward, but they are not always being selected because they don't meet the criteria. It is vitally important that standards are maintained. The best-case scenario is two years in terms of recruiting an extra 1,500 officers.

“If there is an attack it is unlikely to be an isolated incident. We've got to have the resources around the country because it might happen in multiple places at the same time.”

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Metropolitan Police ✔ @metpoliceuk
Armed officers increased to protect #London against threat of terrorism http://news.met.police.uk/news/armed-of ... don-177226
6:53 AM - 3 Aug 2016
120 120 Retweets 141 141 likes
Welcoming the introduction of Operation Hercules, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “The safety and security of all Londoners is my first priority, and our police and security services is working incredibly hard every day on our behalf.

“The threat level here in London has not changed, but it does remain at severe and especially in light of recent deadly attacks in Europe it is important we are prepared should the unthinkable happen.”
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Post by TonyGosling »

Revealed: The troubling trickle-down of phone-cracking technology
By Alon Aviram on 13th January, 2017
CITY | EDITION 10: police, security

https://thebristolcable.org/2017/01/pho ... king-tech/

Avon and Somerset is one of at least 28 UK police forces forensically examining mobile phones. We reveal the powerful technology being targeted at low-level crime, and the serious security breaches it’s enabled in the hands of local officers.
Words: Alon Aviram
Illustration: Liane Aviram

Over the past decade, Cellebrite – an Israeli technology company – has become the go-to supplier for British police forces wanting to crack phones.
‘In the past few years, mobile phone examination has been rolled out to local officers for investigating low-level crime on a mass scale’

The firm is contracted by the FBI and security services worldwide. It has quickly come to dominate the domestic policing market for mobile phone forensics. “Mobile phone examination has become absolutely routine,” says Peter Sommer, a professor at Birmingham City University and digital forensics expert witness, who has observed its use in the investigation of high-level crime.

Police documents seen by the Cable back up Sommer’s assessment. They reveal that over the past few years, mobile phone examination has been rolled out to local officers for investigating lower-level crime on a mass scale. The types of crimes that can warrant a mobile phone search include the likes of assault, burglary and traffic offences.
Meet your local phone crackers

According to Avon and Somerset procurement records, the force uses a combination of in-house and external services to crack phones and digital devices. The South West Digital Forensics team consists of Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Wiltshire, and Dorset police forces.

The team of data forensic investigators analyse phones, computers and digital devices for the four forces, focusing on serious crime, and predominantly deal with cases involving indecent material. According to a 2015 Inspectorate of Constabulary report, mobile phones related to low-level crime are investigated by local officers using downloading kiosks. A 2015 Avon and Somerset police document shows that during busier periods Sytech, a digital forensics company, has been outsourced equipment to assist with analysis.
Local connections

Leafing through procurement records, we found that Avon and Somerset Constabulary (A&S), along with at least 27 other police forces and the Home Office, has contracted with Cellebrite. Since 2014, A&S has paid it at least £47,760 for a number of contracts.

The records also show our local force bought the company’s most popular standalone hacking tool – the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED). Cellebrite’s technology can quickly crack through mobile phone passcodes, sweeping up text messages, emails, contacts, photos, videos, and GPS data in minutes, simply by connecting handsets to a laptop-sized device.

A&S has been typically reluctant to comment on its involvement in this fast-growing area of policing. Freedom of Information requests sent by the Cable asking for information on mobile phone examination were rejected on grounds that it would be too costly to retrieve the data, because it is not centrally recorded. The force also turned down our request for an interview, saying: “We do not discuss, for operational reasons, ways in which we undertake investigations.”

So in a bid to better understand the police force’s actions, we pieced together the available expenditure data, reports and police records nationally. The jigsaw we’ve assembled – admittedly, an incomplete one – appears to show a troubling picture.
Unwarranted searches

In a North Yorkshire Police audit report we examined, the force found that 50% of a sample of mobile phones searched by district examiners – or local officers – lacked an authorisation warrant. This means auditors were unable to find proof that police had received permission to examine 50% of searched phones. The report concludes that, while the current setup allows for rapid examination of mobile phones, there is insufficient scrutiny of local police examiners.

The internal investigation also found that 26% of examinations undertaken from 2012 to 2015 were “serious crime types, for example sexual offences and murder cases”. The report stresses that district examiners should only investigate low-level crime. There were also cases where evidence was left unencrypted, increasing the risk of sensitive data being lost or misappropriated.

“Given the wealth of personal data they hold, it is extremely alarming that such a high rate of phone examinations lack evidence of authorisation,” Silkie Carlo, a policy officer at the human rights campaigning organisation Liberty, tells the Cable. “It is wholly unacceptable that data extracted is left unencrypted, misplaced or even misappropriated.” The audit report, Carlo adds, demonstrates that without standard safeguards, giving police such capabilities threatens both “our rights and our security”.

Millie Graham Wood, a legal officer at Privacy International, a charity that (as its name suggests) defends people’s right to privacy, calls our findings “concerning”. They reveal “a worrying attitude towards examination of mobile phones, with investigations into serious crimes including sexual offences and murder cases undermined”, she says.

The documents show, Graham Wood adds, “that as increasing public funds are spent on fast-track systems to extract data from phones in non-serious crimes, the extraction is carried out by junior officers, who receive insufficient training and fail to provide a clear audit trail”.
Rolling out the technology

The picture in North Yorkshire does little to inspire confidence regarding our tight-lipped local force’s acquisition of Cellebrite technology. In 2015 the Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found that “demand for digital downloading” at A&S was increasing, and that an unacceptable backlog had developed. According to the same report, A&S eased the bottleneck of digital devices waiting to be examined by creating easy-to-use “downloading kiosks… to speed up the process”, with an increasing number of officers being trained to use them.

Like North Yorkshire police, A&S rolled out mobile phone examination to local officers in a bid to speed up examinations – a move likely to present oversight challenges. The questions raised in the North Yorkshire report around authorisations, data security and proportionality need to be addressed by A&S – and all other forces. Graham Wood adds that it is unclear “what process is in place to inform suspects that their mobile phones have been examined, what happens to data extracted and deletion practices”.
‘Cellebrite’s UFED device can be used to extract data in the field, with no need to return to a lab or police station’

But procurement records make clear that the training of greater numbers of officers and the provision of mobile phone examination kiosks are being rolled out across forces nationwide. In a bid to handle the ever-growing volumes of digital information, police forces are streamlining how they go about examining mobile phones and devices.

West Yorkshire Police, for instance, has trained more than 150 officers in how to examine mobile phones for “low level” crime. According to police guidance, crimes that can attract such searches range from traffic offences, to intent to supply, to assault.

Durham Police, meanwhile, reports that 90% of mobile phone searches are now conducted by local officers. And City of London Police says that examination is undertaken by “frontline officers… generally in the first custody detention period”. Cellebrite’s UFED device can be used to extract data in the field, with no need to return to a lab or police station, ensuring that, the firm says, “a suspect’s phone can be examined before [they have] a chance to destroy or erase data”.
Unlocking our lives

None of this proliferation is in itself surprising. With the explosion of mobile phones, portable digital devices, and cloud-based storage, police and security services have been expanding their technological arsenal in order to glean as much information as possible for investigative purposes. Mobile phone examination is, understandably, instrumental in investigating crime.

Beyond mobile phone examination, Cellebrite and its competitors also sell cloud-based hacking gear, granting police increasingly easy access to every part of our digital and online lives. Without a pushback, as the cost of surveillance and examination devices plummet, police forces are beginning to deploy them with far greater frequency for more mundane objectives. In the eyes of the state, seizing and examining equipment in relation to a criminal offence is legal, even for low-level offences, if a device may hold evidence and authorisation is granted.

But as mobile phone forensic capabilities are rolled out in the Bristol area and beyond, there are serious legal and ethical questions around proportionality, the extent of searches, and the lack of an audit trail – as the North Yorkshire police report makes clear. The passing of the government’s ‘Snooper’s Charter’ is still fresh in the mind. Silence on the part of police, such as A&S’s refusal to engage with this article, does little to garner public confidence amid growing state surveillance – and will rightly make critics more vocal.

“Privacy International calls for greater transparency, and for rigorous systems to be put in place to ensure technology is not abused or misused by the police,” says Graham Wood. She adds that urgent independent oversight is needed “into the necessity and proportionality of downloading kiosks in police stations”. Given that most people now carry a full computer’s worth of information on their person, these seem like sensible demands.
Cellebrite’s global reach

Cellebrite says its technology is used by law enforcement, special forces, tax authorities and other agencies in 60 countries. In early 2016, during a legal case between the FBI and Apple, it was suspected that the FBI had hired Cellebrite to break into a suspect’s iPhone; however, this was later ruled out by the Washington Post. But for the Israeli company, which neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, the coverage hurled it to international prominence.

In the US there are moves to install ‘textalysers’ – Cellebrite technology – which can be used by police to check whether a driver was using their phone at the time of an investigated incident.

Cellebrite is keen to market itself as an ethical company, claiming that it only supplies products to respectable law-enforcement agencies. However, as recently reported by news organisation the Intercept, the Bahraini government has got its hands on Cellebrite cracking gear and used it to spy on political activists who have been tortured in its custody.
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Post by TonyGosling »

MI5 agents can commit crime in UK, government reveals
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... nt-reveals

Secret order on authorised criminality by spies made public after legal battle by rights groups

Jamie Grierson @JamieGrierson Fri 2 Mar 2018 11.24 GMT

MI5 agents are allowed to carry out criminal activity in the UK, the government has acknowledged for the first time.

The prime minister was on Thursday forced to publish the text of a direction to the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office, the spying watchdog, on governing “security service participation in criminality”.

It instructs the IPCO to oversee the participation of MI5 agents in criminal activity, which was previously conducted by the now-defunct office of the Intelligence Services Commissioner, under a secret order referred to as the “third direction”.

However, guidance about when British spies can commit crimes, and how far they can go, remains confidential.
Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
Read more

The commissioner, Lord Justice Sir Adrian Fulford, said: “I welcome the government’s decision to make public my oversight of this sensitive area of work.”

The order was published after a legal battle by the human rights groups Reprieve and Privacy International.

Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, said: “After a seven-month legal battle the prime minister has finally been forced to publish her secret order but we are a long way from having transparency.

“The public and parliament are still being denied the guidance that says when British spies can commit criminal offences and how far they can go.

“Authorised criminality is the most intrusive power a state can wield. Theresa May must publish this guidance without delay.”

Millie Graham Wood, a solicitor at Privacy International, said there was no justification why the secret direction was not published earlier.

“Had we not sought to challenge the government over the failure to publish this direction, together with Reprieve, it is questionable whether it would have ever been brought to light,” she said. “It is wrong in principle for there to be entire areas of intelligence oversight and potentially of intelligence activity, about which the public knows nothing at all.”

The MI5 website says agents are “one of the most significant information gathering assets we have”, adding “intelligence from our agents is critical to keeping the UK safe”.

It also states: “Public views of what MI5 agents do are often based on fiction and not always accurate. There are many misunderstandings about what our agents do, as we cannot say much about those who help us, given our commitment to protect their identity.”
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Post by TonyGosling »

MI5 role before London Bridge attack 'of legitimate concern'
Chief coroner questions suspension of investigations into ringleader prior to attack

Haroon Siddique

Fri 1 Nov 2019 15.39 GMTFirst published on Fri 1 Nov 2019 09.21 GMT
The rental van used in the attack.
The coroner suggested measures be introduced to reduce the risk of rental vehicles being used in terrorist attacks. Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA
The suspension of priority MI5 investigations into the ringleader of the London Bridge attacks before the atrocity is a matter of “legitimate public concern”, the chief coroner for England and Wales has said.

In his Prevention of Future Deaths report, published on Friday, Mark Lucraft QC also suggested that further measures should be introduced to reduce the risk of rental vehicles being used in terrorist attacks.

Eight people were killed when three terrorists led by Khuram Butt, 27, drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then began stabbing people in a 10-minute rampage on 3 June 2017.

MI5 had been been investigating Butt since 2015 over concerns he wanted to stage an attack. But the investigation was suspended twice, in 2016 and again from 21 March to 4 May 2017, weeks before the attacks.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... te-concern
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Post by TonyGosling »

MI5 Rape & Assassination Outfit
Zarah Sultana MP

Matthew Scott
The terrifying consequences of the ‘licence to kill’ bill
6 October 2020, 2:55pm
The terrifying consequences of the 'licence to kill' bill
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the ... -kill-bill

Should the Food Standards Agency be permitted to engage in torture in order to put a stop to the sale of horse meat? Should the Gambling Commission have the authority to issue licences to its agents to commit murder with impunity?

That would be the astonishing outcome were the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday, to be enacted in its current form.

The justification for the Bill arises out of the real dilemma of how the intelligence services handle undercover agents who may be forced to break the law in order to carry out their work.

The purist’s position that agents of the state should never break the law is obviously unsustainable. To take but one example: if MI5 wants to place an agent (a 'covert human intelligence source' or 'CHIS', pronounced like the first syllable of 'chisel') within a proscribed terrorist organisation it’s not much good telling him that he mustn’t join it because that would be breaking the law. At the very least a blind eye must be turned to that crime.

The secret agent in a terrorist cell cannot approach his task like a reporter in a brothel; he cannot make an excuse and leave once discussion turns to the planning of an atrocity. On the contrary, both the safety of the agent and the flow of intelligence depend upon at least the appearance of enthusiastic participation. The higher within the organisation the agent might be, the more helpful he will be to his handlers, but also the more likely it is that he will find himself under pressure to become involved in crimes it plans and perpetrates.

But although some law-breaking is inevitable there must be limits to what a democratic state can do in its pursuit of intelligence.

The 1989 murder of Belfast solicitor Patrick Finucane illustrates the dangers of agents of the state becoming involved in murder, believing themselves to be acting with at least some degree of official sanction. Finucane’s murder was carried out by loyalist paramilitaries, but as Sir Desmond de Silva QC’s 2012 inquiry concluded:

there was a series of positive actions by employees of the State that actively furthered and facilitated his murder and… in the aftermath there was a relentless attempt to defeat the ends of justice.
Permitting an employee of the state to facilitate a murder, or obstructing justice in the aftermath of a murder, is something that a civilised state should only do, if at all, in the most extraordinary of circumstances. Those circumstances certainly do not include the gunning down of a Republican sympathising solicitor.

So, given that a certain amount of officially sanctioned law-breaking is essential if intelligence agencies are to do their job properly, there is a difficulty over where to draw the line.

The existing position is a fudge. The guidelines under which the security services operate make clear — or at least as clear as a heavily redacted document can ever be — that while handlers cannot offer immunity from the criminal law, they 'may in appropriate cases authorise the use of an agent participating in crime'.

As the guidelines correctly state, such an authorisation 'has no legal effect and does not confer on either the agent or those involved in the authorisation process any immunity from prosecution'. What it boils down to is that under existing law agents are unlikely to be prosecuted if they have been 'authorised' to commit crimes, but they cannot be completely sure. In general, it is probably a good thing that agents have a nagging doubt over the legality of killing and torturing in the interests of the state.

Under the Bill, such nagging doubts will disappear. Agencies will be able to issue a 'criminal conduct authorisation', permitting CHISs to commit any offence up to and including torture and murder with the assurance of legal impunity. To the maxim 'be ye ever so mighty the law is above you', one would have to add the proviso 'unless your handler has issued you with a criminal conduct authorisation'.

There are obvious dangers in that. Not all agents are patriotic heroes, although of course some are. Some must of necessity be drawn from the membership of terrorist organisations. Such organisations tend to attract fanatics, psychopaths and the unhinged. Even if they are turned by greed, bribery or blackmail, psychopaths will remain psychopaths and the unhinged will remain unhinged despite being in the pay of Her Majesty’s government or issued with an official licence placing them beyond the reach of the criminal law.

Were the Bill to grant these awesome powers just to the intelligence agencies, and only in relation to espionage on matters of vital national interest, that would be concerning enough. Despite the obvious dangers, it would put onto a statutory basis much that goes on anyway and which, for all its dangers and moral ambiguity, most people accept as an unfortunate necessity in the defence of democracy.

Yet the Bill extends its ambit far beyond the protection of national security and serious criminality. The issuing of criminal conduct authorisations will also be possible:

for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder; or
in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.
These are remarkably wide and loosely defined purposes. The 'crime' being fought need not be serious. A criminal conduct authorisation could be issued even for the detection of trivial crime, something that MI5 would not be interested in, but the police might.

Indeed the wording is so wide that it will be permissible to issue them to combat activities that are not even criminal at all. 'Disorder' is a horribly vague word that encompasses lawful dissent. The Bill’s provisions would provide the intelligence services and the police with clear legal authority for sexual deception to be used to gather intelligence on political protest movements, even as the undercover policing inquiry conducts its own detailed investigation into the propriety and proper regulation of that very issue.

Perhaps most startlingly, the list of organisations that will be able to issue licences to commit crimes goes far beyond the intelligence services. Any police force is included, as are the armed forces, HMRC, the Home Office, the Department of Health, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Environment Agency, the Food Standards Agency, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Gambling Commission. In the most modern fashion, the Bill gives the home secretary the power to add other agencies to this list by future statutory instrument — without the oversight of parliament.

As with the intelligence agencies, there are no limits on the types of crime that any of these organisations will be able to authorise, up to and including torture, rape and murder. Quite why it is thought that the Food Standards Agency might ever need to authorise its covert human agents to torture people is unclear, and although the workings of the Gambling Commission are a mystery to most of us, I would require a good deal of persuasion before accepting that it cannot perform its statutory functions effectively without a licence to kill people.

The Bill has apparently been 'widely welcomed in the law enforcement community', which is hardly a surprise, and has so far received a remarkably easy ride from the official opposition. The few backbenchers who somewhat diffidently questioned why the powers needed to be quite so broad were told in the second reading debate not to worry because they would all be subject to the Human Rights Act, hardly a very reassuring reply when the long term existence of that very Act is something opposed by a large section of the Conservative party.
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Post by TonyGosling »

Neil Oliver: 'Once you cross the Rubicon to a police state, I don't know how you get back'

Neil Oliver: 'Once you cross the Rubicon to a police state, I don't know how you get back' www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaErb5sOD4w
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Post by TonyGosling »

Leaked briefing provides a snapshot of a new police unit that’s spying on protesters
Riot cop image projected on to parliament
Canary - InTextAd1 - Abundance Q1 2021
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/20 ... rotesters/

An internal police briefing leaked online provides a snapshot into the workings of a new intelligence unit. The role of this unit is to spy on protesters across the UK. It’s a division of the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC). And its work appears to be very similar to that of an earlier unit, the officers of which were subsequently dubbed ‘spycops’.

The briefing document states that the author is “NPoCC Strategic Intelligence & Briefing (SIB)”. But the document’s metadata shows that it was actually authored by Alex Fedorcio of the National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ (NCTPHQ). The NCTPHQ devises “policy and strategy, and provides corporate and support services to the CT [Counter Terrorism] network”.

The document prefaces that: “This report is solely for the use of approved named individuals on NPoCC’s audited distribution list”.

Monitoring protests
The bulk of the document refers to the policing of protests over the weekend of 13/14 June 2020. These were Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

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For example, the briefing for the London protests of 13 June listed the following:

• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned at Katie’s Statue HA1 1LF from 1100hrs.
• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned at Shooters Hill from 1200hrs.
• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned in Croydon from 1200hrs.
• CANCELLED 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square from
1300 to 1800hrs.
• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned in Alexander Park from 1300 to 1500hrs.
• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned in Kennington Park from 1300hrs.
• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned at Newington Green Roundabout from 1400 to 1800hrs.
• 13/06/2020: MPS A protest is planned in Enfield Town.

The document similarly listed more protests that were expected over that weekend.

Related articles
In a weekend of action, thousands take to the streets saying ‘Kill the Bill’
Jeremy Corbyn just ruined Keir Starmer’s first anniversary as Labour leader
In the aftermath, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) posted images of persons wanted in connection with alleged violence – many of these were of Black and Brown men. However, The Canary reported at the time on how the source of the violence was not BLM protesters but the far-right.

Spycops unit
But there’s another dimension that requires attention.

According to Netpol, which seeks to “monitor public order, protest and street policing,” NPoCC-SIB should be seen as a new ‘spycops‘ unit. Netpol’s comments came after the publication of a March 2021 report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) that stated:

Since the late 1990s, the police have made various arrangements for managing protest-related intelligence nationally. In recent years, this has fallen under the remit of Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP).

In January 2020, the NPCC decided to reallocate responsibilities. Low-level aggravated activism intelligence was transferred to the National Police Coordination Centre (NPoCC).

The HMICFRS report added:

The NPoCC’s strategic intelligence and briefing team (NPoCC SIB) was created in April 2020. Its remit is to manage intelligence related to low-level aggravated activists and protests that have the potential to cause disorder or significant disruption on a national or cross-regional scale. It is also responsible for giving intelligence and assessments to police forces.

Netpol argues that the NPoCC-SIB is essentially:

the return of the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, which employed the undercover officer Mark Kennedy whose unlawful activities helped to trigger the ongoing Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Kennedy worked for the National Public Order Intelligence Unit over many years as an undercover operative. As The Canary previously reported, HMICFRS revealed:

that 3,466 undercover operations took place in England and Wales between October 2009 and September 2013 alone. These operations were carried out by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) – the successor to the SDS [Special Demonstration Squad]. It also found that by 2014 a reported 1,229 officers in England and Wales were trained as UCOs [undercover officers].

Further, the Guardian described the NPOIU as “essentially a giant database of protest groups and protesters in the country”. Its purpose is to:

gather, assess, analyse and disseminate intelligence and information relating to criminal activities in the United Kingdom where there is a threat of crime or to public order which arises from domestic extremism or protest activity

Careers at SIB
It appears that job ads for the NPoCC-SIB back up Netpol’s claim. One such ad by the Met, with an application deadline of 27 October 2020, stated:

NPoCC SIB provides intelligence assessment for both police and law enforcement stakeholders. …

Our core responsibilities are within public order policing – to develop assessments, event planning and the review of security in line with policing’s core duties to prevent and detect crime, keep the peace and to protect life and property.

It described the role as involving:

collating, summarising and interpreting a range of overt and covert information sources to deliver valuable, insightful research to inform the threat, risk and harm picture across the UK.

“Covert information sources” is more commonly referred to as “covert human intelligence sources” (CHIS). In other words, persons – including undercover officers – who spy upon or infiltrate police targets. Given the deadline for applications, it’s assumed the ad was published in the same or previous month that the bill legalising CHIS was going through the second reading stage in parliament (it’s now passed the third reading).

According to the College of Policing, CHIS can include: ‘victims, witnesses, suspects, colleagues such as local and field intelligence officers, community sources including community and race advisers, local councillors, religious leaders and members of the community’.

Return of ‘spycops’
The Guardian, Undercover Research, and The Canary have been pivotal over the last few years in exposing the work of ‘spycops’. In particular, the fake and in some cases real identities of the undercover officers (UCOs) involved. Some UCOs formed long-term sexual relationships with women activists. At least thirty women were exploited in this way.

Kennedy was one of the UCOs who exploited women: with ‘Lisa Jones’ over six years; with Kate (‘Lily’) over two years; with ‘Naomi’; and with Sarah Hampton.

This video shows ‘Lisa’ and Kate explaining what happened:

Class warfare
Recently the UK has seen protests on the streets against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that’s going through parliament. On 27 March, The Canary published an article on a report by the HM Inspectorate of Police and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS). Controversially, that report recommended the banning of public assemblies under certain circumstances.

The report added that intelligence gathering was already being used to target protests. And it specifically named BLM and Extinction Rebellion:

intelligence managers from the forces we inspected gave some positive feedback on the NPoCC SIB’s work so far. We heard from several officers that it had provided good-quality and useful intelligence in relation to protest activity, including from Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion. One intelligence manager told us that, during the Black Lives Matter protests that took place throughout the country in summer 2020, the NPoCC SIB held national telephone conferences with forces to report on events and share information.

Clearly that last sentence refers to the NPoCC-SIB’s briefing document.

However, this isn’t just about the erosion of liberties. It’s a reaffirmation of the class war by the state and its agents.

Featured image via Nick Beard, Courtesy of Democracia and a/political
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