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The National DNA database and its use across the UK

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in DNA database | 4 Comments

Many thanks to the Big Brother Watch supporter who this morning kindly sent us a link to a fascinating section of the National Policing Improvement Agency's website. On the website, you can find a map of the 43 Police forces across the UK and information about the way in which they use the national DNA database.  The information for each county is broken down by the by gender, current age and visual appearance of individuals included on the database. You …

Space: the internet’s new frontier?

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in International, Online privacy | 5 Comments

Guest post by Nick Pickles The UK Government is currently considering the possibility of a UK-wide firewall, which (simply put) would give the Government the ability to block access to websites from the UK. The argument has mainly been made around file-sharing sites, and to a lesser extent child pornography, and of course the Government insists that it would never be used for political reasons. Yet the example of the Arab Spring and the subsequent activities of Governments in shutting …

The government must lift the ban on using intercept evidence

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Databases, Online privacy, Privacy | 1 Comment

Regular visitors to the Big Brother Watch blog will be aware that BBW has long campaigned for a change in existing laws to allow intercept evidence to be used in terrorist trials. Big Brother Watch Director Daniel Hamilton has today outlined the case for the ban to be lifted in an article for the Total Politics magazine's 'The Idea' feature: "As long as the ban on the admissibility of intercept evidence remains in place, so do the many strange anomalies …

Weekly newsletter

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home | 7 Comments

Blogs of the Week 75% of websites leak personal information A recent survey of some of the most popular websites on the internet has revealed that 75% of them leak personal information or identifying data to third-party tracking sites. The study was performed by university researchers, including Balachander Krishnamurthy of AT&T Labs, and Konstantin Naryshkin and Craig E Wills of Worchester Polytechnic Institute. Their report was presented at the Web 2.0 conference in California last month. Divisive CCTV project in …

Nicolas Sarkozy is wrong on internet regulation

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Online privacy | 4 Comments

With the dust having settled following the recent E-G8 summit in Paris, many commentators have begun to express their concern at comments made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy championing tougher government control over the Internet. Addressing the summit, Sarkozy argued that internet users must not forget that "governments are the only legitimate representatives of the will of the people".  While we agree with Mr Sarkozy that the internet shouldn't be a "a parallel universe outside laws and morals", the free-flowing …

EU-wide DNA database ruled out… for now

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Europe | 3 Comments

Over at Public Service, there's an article drawing our attention to comments made by Europol Director Rob Wainwright about the future of DNA record sharing across Europe. Speaking to the website, Wainwright said: "I am not sure a major European DNA database for every citizen would be the right balance, it would be disproportionate so it's not something that is going to happen in the short term, I am sure". While it is encouraging that such a database has been …

Debate this evening: “Civil Liberties: Up in Smoke?

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Events | 1 Comment

'Voices of Freedom' debate hosted by the IEA The Free Society and Privacy International present
 "Civil Liberties: Up in smoke? Pre-debate drinks will be hosted from 6.15pm courtesy of Boisdale. The debate will start at 7pm and finish at 8pm.  IEA, 2 Lord North Street, London, SW1 (door on Great Peter Street) Chaired by Mark Littlewood (Institute of Economic Affairs), speakers include Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday), Simon Davies (Privacy International), Daniel Hamilton (Big Brother Watch) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Sir …

Media Coverage – June 2011

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For all media enquiries please call: 07810 785924 / 07583 523807 (24 hrs)  Thursday 30th June Telegraph – Hand over your NI number and date of birth if you want to keep the right to vote, Government says Daniel Hamilton, a director of Big Brother Watch, said: “We have managed to have elections in this country without surrendering this sort of information for hundreds of years. “Creating a database of National Insurance numbers has obvious risks for our privacy and …

Criminal justice, Russian style

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in International | 4 Comments

Back in October, Alex wrote about the case of Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian national who was more likely than not murdered by a representative of the KGB.  Andrei Lugovoi, the former KGB agent accused of committing the crime, remains in Russia despite extradition request by the Crown Prosecution Service which has been pending since 2007.  It appears that extra-judicial killing has become an accepted facet of Russian law enforcement. Over at the Marginal Revolution blog, there's an excellent post today …

Scottish Government consider under-21 booze ban

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home | 15 Comments

In the United Kingdom, we have long viewed America's stringent alcohol laws with a sense of both mild amusement and confusion.  It would see, to any sensible person, chopped-logic in the extreme for someone to be able to get married, drive a vehicle and serve their country in a theatre of war yet not be able to have a beer legally until they reached the age of 21. Astonishingly, however, Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Minister and the country's Deputy …