28 October, 2003
This is not really a use for a cam phone, they’re too far up the pole, usually, still, though I’d give it a go.
As part of the traffic congestion scheme in Nottingham, you can view the output of cameras on the internet.
I wondered if I went to a road junction, I could view the webpage on my Sony Ericsson P800 mobile phone, take a screengrab, and save the full image. Amazing eh! All while stood here in the street. Then uploaded the images and text to these pages, for you to see.
Ok, the quality is hopeless, but this is the start of some possibilities .. .. .. ..
Here is the links for the camera I used.
Mansfield Rd / Hucknall Rd, camera-41
Really though, if you have any interest in this subject, please check out my main website, at these ‘direct’ links:
surv – start: http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_10.htm
surv – watched: http://tash.gn.apc.org/watched1.htm
surv – face recog: http://tash.gn.apc.org/face_rec.htm
surv – Nomad: http://tash.gn.apc.org/nomad_10.htm
surv – mayday 2000&1 http://tash.gn.apc.org/surv_mday1.htm
Big Brother Awards: http://tash.gn.apc.org/big_brother.htm
24 October, 2003
17th October 2003. It questions the legality of Home Office plans to snoop on the phone and Internet activity of the UK population.
Privacy International reports:
“The Opinion, which relates to the EU framework directive on the retention of communications data, has ramifications for ten EU states that have implemented, or are planning to implement, measures to place communications users under blanket surveillance. The UK is in the early stages of implementing such measures.”
The Opinion, provided by a prominent global law firm, has unequivocally concluded that the government’s plans would be unlawful.
The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) maintains its recommendation to ISPs that they do not subscribe to the voluntary code of practice under the Home Office’s data retention proposals.
Read ISPA’s concerns:
Meeting, organised by PI and FIPR (Foundation for Information Policy Research): ‘Scrambling for Safety 7’, on October 22nd.
The meeting aimed to address a number of key issues:
Has the Home Office addressed any of the concerns expressed by the public last year?
How much remains to be fixed? Are the Statutory Instruments a useful way forward? What further legislation might be required?
How will government agencies use their new powers?
Is it appropriate to use emergency powers to impose surveillance requirements on ISPs and phone companies?
Are the government’s proposals legal under the Human Rights Act?
Prior to the meeting, GreenNet had decided not to participate in the voluntary retention as we remain deeply concerned that the voluntary code laid before parliament is not compliant with data protection principles and Human Rights standards. It was therefore interesting to note that other Communication Service Providers (CSPs) had grave reservations about the voluntary code, yet the government has not carried out any survey of the potential take-up of the code amongst CSPs before proposing it.
Discussions highlighted the main concerns that CSPs have about a voluntary code of conduct:
it doesn’t give legal authority to retain the data. Although the
Secretary of State will write a letter giving his support to the voluntary code, service providers (SPs) don’t have legal protection.
it is not legislated for because it may be in breach of Human Rights
(as detailed above)
the cost of storage and retrieval systems. The voluntary code of data retention is asking that CSPs retain data for up to one year. Currently GreenNet stores the majority of user data for 7 days.
At the meeting, a representative from Intellect, the association for the UK IT, telecommunications and electronics industries, stated that the code puts businesses in an uncomfortable position whereby the liability and cost are shifted to the industry and alongside this, they run they risk of abusing customer trust at a time when the public at large are increasingly concerned about what personal information is stored.
Read their latest press release on the issue here:
To date, it appears that a voluntary code would be implemented in breach of Human Rights and in an effort to cut costs. The legality of the code will be addressed at a further meeting as there was too much to go into detail about at the meeting on Wednesday.
Visit the PI site for updates. Simon Davies of Privacy International can be reached for comment on 07958 466 552.
In the meantime, GreenNet calls on other UK ISPs not to subscribe to the voluntary code of practice under the Home Office’s data retention proposals. This is in line with with ISPA’s (Internet Service Providers Association) recommendations.
Read the GreenNet user and data retention policy:
See what specific information GreenNet stores here:
Read other responses and the public consultation document here:
24 October, 2003
The Judicial Review brought by Liberty against the Home Secretary and the Metropolitan Police over the use of anti-terrorist legislation against protesters picketing the arms fair in London’s docklands was heard earlier this month.
The judgment is expected by the end of October. The will be a protest at the High Court in London when judgment is given.
For further information and the date when known see:
For earlier info, check:
22 October, 2003
The Reclaim The Bases site has been renewed !
In an attempt to centralise access to known information on UK military bases that is currently scattered around the web (or elsewhere), it now contains many resources, in particular :
* A list of military bases with (more or less) detailed information on each base (overview, location, address, web, campaining groups, latest developements, latest and upcomming events, …)
Also included is a clickable map of UK bases.
* A list of activist groups who campaign against military bases.
* Information on the latest developments at military bases.
* news page.
All this information will be updated on a regular basis – but for this to happen, we need you to send us what you know! If your favorite base or group is missing, or if you see incomplete/incorrect entries, or if you know of anything of interest, don’t hesitate to send us a mail mailto:email@example.com . Alternativly, join the RtB mailing list (See the website for joining details) and let everyone know at the same time !
Don’t forget the Reclaim The Bases Weekend of events at military bases – 17 and 18 January 2004 (See website for more info)
22 October, 2003
Helen Mark travels to the South West of England to find out about sustainable living.
Her first visit is to Tinkers Bubble, in Somerset. It’s a self-sufficient community that has been in existence for almost ten years now and has provided inspiration for the hundreds of other people who have set up their own communities or individual homes in woodlands around Britain.
Listen to the program, here:
* * * * * *
An environmentally sensitive human settlement, Tinkers’ Bubble is a working example of sustainable living.
21 October, 2003
The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on the final day of the parliamentary session. Compared with the Criminal Justice Bill, this is a tiny piece of legislation – but with a significance disproportionate to its size. It is part of the government’s wider campaign against anti-social behaviour, originating with the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, which has infiltrated a variety of measures – including the Homelessness Act 2002 and the latest proposals on housing benefit sanctions.
The government’s rhetoric on this issue is that of war. The language of the Home Office is of ‘armouries of weapons’, of ‘guts’ and of ‘glory’, and of heroes who ‘take a stand’. Prime targets are those who are perceived by the government as modern day rogues and vagabonds – Travellers, neighbours from hell, feral children and acquiescent parents. But the war is not only being fought against ‘yobs’. It is also being fought against the liberal judges who deny the problems and accuse the Home Office of populism; lawyers who use public funds to silt up the criminal justice system; and those police and local authorities that have failed to use all the powers available to them.
The government’s war against anti-social behaviour is being fought, like most wars, in the name of freedom. The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, in a speech delivered in New York last April, talked of a new understanding of freedom appropriate to these times: ‘a broad definition of liberty based on people’s ability to engage in government and contribute to their communities – not just a passive definition of freedom from interference’. Those who threaten the new freedom are regarded as ideological enemies – they commit the crime of hooliganism against the state.
Yet nothing in the bill promotes active citizenship. The new powers are given only to state authorities; victims of anti-social behaviour have no means of compelling the authorities to take action against perpetrators. Moreover, active citizenship is more contentious than the government acknowledges. For many people, it would encompass engaging in protest or flyposting – both activities that are restricted by the bill.
The bill contains extensive measures to control the behaviour of ‘deviant’ children in ‘dysfunctional’ families. It allows for the dispersal of a group of two or more young people under 16, merely to prevent the risk of disorder. There is no need for anyone in the group to commit a criminal offence, or even threaten a breach of the peace. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) criticised this provision as a ‘potential intrusion on private life and liberty’, and commented on the difficulty of ensuring that the new power would be used proportionately to a ‘pressing social need’.
Clause 59 of the bill, which the government introduced quietly at a late stage, epitomises LAG’s concerns. It amends the Public Order Act 1986 so that the police can impose conditions on ‘public assemblies’ consisting of two people, instead of 20 as at present. The JCHR points out that the original power was designed to prevent serious public disorder, damage to property, intimidation or disruption caused by large groups of people – and that without clarification of the mischief that is being targeted by this amendment, it is impossible to assess its legitimacy.
LAG does not deny that anti-social behaviour is a real problem. David Blunkett may be surprised to learn that many lawyers and advice workers have experienced it at first hand. We share concerns about victims and accept that there should be some redistribution of the resources devoted to criminal justice to give a higher priority to the violence, harassment and fear that often plagues the lives of disadvantaged people.
However, LAG also fears that those who will be the target of the bill’s powers are likely also to be the ‘victims’ that it claims to protect. People who depend on the state for housing, income, education and support services are always subject to the changing fashions of welfare provision. They suffered from an individualised consumer culture that was created under successive Conservative governments, and which rolled back the inherent protections of a universal welfare state. The resulting insecurities that such people experience make them more vulnerable to this current moral crusade.
As LAG has commented previously, anti-social behaviour is a complex issue that is often deeply rooted in a range of social and personal problems. Heaping yet more punitive measures on top of those that already exist is unlikely to prove effective in altering the way that people behave. From the government’s point of view, the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill is more important for what it says than for what it does – but, unfortunately, it will also manage to impose some extremely oppressive controls on vulnerable people.
more background and links, on my blog at:
Criminal Justice and Public Order Act .. .. .. .. AND NOW, PART 2
20 October, 2003
Statewatch has submitted a dossier covering 22 concerns on civil liberties issues to the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights (the Network was set up to follow up the Charter on Fundamental Rights) for its report on the year 2003:
The introduction to the submission says:
“It is our view that the effects of the “war on terrorism” is having a detrimental effect on peoples’ rights and liberties and democratic standards both at the national and European levels. There has been a “sea change” since 11 September 2001 which is not temporary but permanent. The “war on terrorism” has replaced the “Cold War” as a legitimating ideology in the EU and the USA which requires the surveillance and control of those entering and the wholesale surveillance and control of their own populations.
There is no longer a balance between freedoms and liberties on the one hand and the demands of security on the other. The demands of security, the law enforcement and internal security agencies are dominant and “emergency powers” are becoming the norm.
Left unchecked basic freedoms and democratic standards – freedom of movement, freedom of expression and the right to protest, freedom from surveillance in everyday life, accountability, scrutiny and data protection – will be whittled away one by one threatening the very democracy being defended by the “war on terrorism”. Your Network, together with many others in civil society, can play an important role in attempting to halt and reverse the present direction.”
The submission covers:
A. Surveillance and data exchange
1. The use of biometrics in identity documents (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
2. Data protection and the exchange of data outside the EU (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
3. Passenger data: recording and use of by USA and EU (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
4. The surveillance of telecommunications (Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter)
5. The development of the SIS and SIS II (Articles 7, 8 and 47 of the Charter)
B. The rights of migrants and refugees
6.The removal of migrants by land and air (Articles 2, 4 and 19 of the Charter)
7. Deaths and injury during deportations (Articles 2, 4 and 19 of the Charter)
8. Deaths at borders (Articles 2 and 18 of the Charter)
9. The targeting of migrant communities (Articles 2 and 18 of the Charter)
10. UK government AND UNHCR plans for camps (Articles 18, 19, 47 of the Charter)
11. Readmission agreements (Articles 18, 19 of the Charter)
12. Development of an EU border police (Articles 18, 19 of the Charter)
13. Contamination of EU development agenda (Article 6 of the Charter)
C. Policing and security
14.The policing of protests and the gathering of intelligence on protestors (Articles 7, 8, 12, 45, 48 of the Charter)
15. Police Chiefs Operational Task Force (Article 42 of the Charter)
16. The development of Europol (Articles 7, 8, 42, 47 of the Charter)
D. Judicial cooperation, criminal law and constitutional issues
17.EU-US agreements (Articles 7, 8, 42, 47 of the Charter)
18. Terrorist lists (Articles 42, 47, 48, 49 of the Charter)
19. The proposed committee on operational control of activities concerning internal security (Article 42 of the Charter)
20. The mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters (Articles 42, 47, 48, 49 of the Charter)
E. Access to EU documents, accountability and scrutiny
21. The failure of the EU institutions to implement the Regulation on access to documents (1049/2001) (Article 42 of the Charter)
22.The failure to produce an annual report on activities carried out under the Schengen acquis (Article 42 of the Charter)
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