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  • Techies are terrorists...

    Just a news story that got pointed out to me.

    Source: http://gizmonaut.net/bits/suspect.html (contains other links to the guardian etc)
    A London underground station was evacuated and part of a main east-west line closed in a security alert on Thursday, three weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 people on the transport network, police said. (Reuters)
    Ok so most of you are in the US, but the UK and US seem to be so similar now...

    I am told that I am being stopped and searched because they found my behaviour suspicious (from direct observation and then from watching me on the CCTV system):

    * I went into the station without looking at the police officers at the entrance or by the gates, i.e. I was ‘avoiding them’
    * two other men entered the station at about the same time as me
    * I am wearing a jacket ‘too warm for the season’
    * I am carrying a bulky rucksack
    * I kept my rucksack with me at all times (I had it on my back)
    * I looked at people coming on the platform
    * I played with my mobile phone and then took a paper from inside my jacket.
    Sounds *really* suspect to me...

    Under current laws the police are not only entitled to keep my fingerprints and DNA samples, but according to my solicitor, they are also entitled to hold on to what they gather during their investigation: notepads of arresting officers, photographs, interviewing tapes and any other documents they entered in the police national computer (PNC). So even though the police consider me innocent there will remain some mention (what exactly?) in the PNC and, if they fully share their information with Interpol, in other police databases around the world as well. Isn't a state that keeps files on innocent persons a police state? This erosion of our fundamental liberties should be of concern to us all. All men are suspect, but some men are more suspect than others (with apologies to George Orwell).
    I have to admit that the police forces are starting to annoy me now. All this rushed legislation etc.

    Anyway to keep this kind of relevant:
    Just remember not to play with your mobile phone on the underground!

    The police decided that wearing a rain jacket, carrying a rucksack with a laptop inside, looking down at the steps while going into a tube station and checking your phone for messages just ticked too many boxes on their checklist and makes you a terrorist suspect.
    Bah! Sorry this is turning into a mini rant almost, but Im sure others also have strong feelings on this subject.

    Comments/thoughts?
    Twigman

  • #2
    Under current laws the police are not only entitled to keep my fingerprints and DNA samples, but according to my solicitor, they are also entitled to hold on to what they gather during their investigation: notepads of arresting officers, photographs, interviewing tapes and any other documents they entered in the police national computer (PNC). So even though the police consider me innocent there will remain some mention (what exactly?) in the PNC and, if they fully share their information with Interpol, in other police databases around the world as well. Isn't a state that keeps files on innocent persons a police state? This erosion of our fundamental liberties should be of concern to us all. All men are suspect, but some men are more suspect than others (with apologies to George Orwell).
    Originally posted by Twigman
    ...
    I have to admit that the police forces are starting to annoy me now. All this rushed legislation etc.
    ...
    None of that is new, and none of it is due to any "rushed legislation." (By which I'm assuming you are refering to the US PATRIOT Act and the like.) This is simply Standard Operating Procedure for police worldwide. It is not unique to the US nor the UK.

    Police agencies are information gathering organizations. Their stock in trade is the collection of information regarding crimes and potential crimes. When it some of the information is found to be germain to a crime it becomes "evidence." In the meantime, it is "work product." Work product in any police agency is stored forever, or a close to it as is reasonable. Anything gathered may be of interest, and may aid in closing a case at a later time.

    Think for a moment about one of those police subjects that fascinates the pubic: Cold cases. It is not uncommon for cases that are twenty to fifty years old to be solved when something new comes to light. However, in any cold case something like 90% or more of the information that the police use comes from the original investigation's work product. That is comprised of things like interview tapes/transcriptions, officer's notes and reports, DNA samples and fingerprints, etc.
    Last edited by Thorn; September 23, 2005, 06:45. Reason: typos
    Thorn
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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    • #3
      there used to be so much i respected and admired about Britain (and, i mean, there certainly still is... it's a remarkable nation) but they're really trying to outpace all other advanced countries in the race toward totalitarian-style state monitoring and control over the citizens. police investigation is one thing... but i find their use of cameras and centralized, network-style monitoring to be very unsettling.

      on a purely per-capita basis, the nation leads the world with respect to surveillance cameras. and, not to sound cynical or terribly cold-hearted, we saw how much they protected london during the bombings. people need to understand that cameras everywhere don't protect you from anything and ultimately make the populace LESS safe since, despite no meaningful benefits on the terrorism/crime front, there are significant losses in other areas... the primary one being CIVIL LIBERTIES (but also significant is respect from other citizens and tourism dollars... both of which the nation is losing from me until they get their head out of their ass)

      it's like a guy who says, "i'm terrified of my neighbor stealing all my firewood all the time... so i'm going to reroute the drainage from my house, dumping water from my sinks and showers onto the wood pile... that'll show him!!" yeah, you've effectively stopped the neighbor's ability to make use of your firewood (it's a big, sloppy, soapy, wet mess that will never catch fire) but in the process you've eliminated its total purpose as far as serving you is concerned. fighting terrorism the British way is no different... are they really "protecting" society when, in the end, they're turning it into a festering load of worthlessness? without freedoms and the absence of state intrusion, society's usefulness is ruined for everyone... the citizens included.
      Last edited by Deviant Ollam; September 23, 2005, 06:50.
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

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      • #4
        to anyone who thinks this incident is minor, i'd definitely encourage you all to read the whole article from the link...

        A plainclothes officer tells me that my flat will be searched under the Terrorism Act. I request that my girlfriend be called beforehand, so that she won't be too scared. This request is accepted, and I am asked for her phone number. I don’t know it – it is stored in my phone – so I explain it is with the officer at the desk. I later find out that they don’t call her.
        searching a person's private property... all of this before he's officially been placed under a custodial arrest or charged with a crime. [EDIT: i may be reading this wrong... was he at the police station already at this point? or was he still detained in the subway?]

        Three uniformed police officers search my flat and interview my girlfriend. One of them asks her to show him some files on her laptop; he’s particularly interested in all ‘documents’. They take away from the flat several mobile phones, an old IBM laptop ... [a lot of other computer and tech gear] ... a Black Hat computer security conference leaflet, envelopes with addresses, maps of Prague and London Heathrow, some business cards, and some photographs I took – in particular techie ones such as the ones of the ACM97 conference – for the 50 years of the Association of Computing Machinery.
        i understand that this sort of search and seizure is common when officers are investigating and aren't certain what will prove useful and what won't, but...
        This list is from my girlfriend’s memory, or what we have noticed is missing since. The police officers left a notice of the powers to search premises, but this doesn’t include an inventory.
        so the leave a warrant (which i'm betting was worded as a "general warrant"... something that is unconstitutional in the USA although that means less nowadays, but they didn't give an inventory of what was taken.

        one other reason that surfaced detailing why the guy may have been put through all this...
        [in the past] some staff [where the guy works] had been seen photographing tube stations with a camera phone
        some coworkers... sometime in the past... took photos. good lord, what a scardy-cat society the UK has become. irrational fear of everything typcially goes hand-in-hand with poorly-defined policies and practices that don't result in actually doing anything good. i think this is an example of that phenomenon.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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