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Emma Carr | Big Brother Watch

Body Worn Cameras Briefing

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Police, Research and reports | Leave a comment

With Police forces around the UK conducting trial schemes and roll outs of body worn cameras (BWCs), we have created a briefing on the use of the technology which can be viewed here (pdf). The largest trial has taken place within the Metropolitan Police Service, beginning on 8 May 2014 and seeing the distribution of 500 BWCs to officers in 10 London boroughs in an aim to repeat the success of a similar scheme in Rialto, Los Angeles. The £815,000 …

There’s No Such Thing As Free WiFi

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 1 Comment

Following York Council’s announcement that the city is to become the first in the UK with city-wide free Wifi, the Council has found itself in hot water for failing to properly inform users about the fact mobile users could find personal information, including their precise location, exposed. It has been reported that when mobile users sign up for the free WiFi service they are inadvertently handing over vast amounts of personal information. The technology picks up signals from your mobile …

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report on “The right to privacy in the digital age”

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 3 Comments

Whilst the DRIP Bill process is coming to an end in Parliament, it is certainly timely that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has published his report on “The right to privacy in the digital age” (PDF). The report raises some important questions regarding the legitimacy of mass data retention, the role of private companies, and the potential impact on privacy and human rights. We have picked out (the many) key points from the report: …

Reaction to the DRIP Bill Debate

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Press Office | Leave a comment

Emma Carr, acting director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The process of pushing surveillance legislation through emergency proceedings has done nothing to reassure the public that the mistakes of previous Bills, including attempts to introduce disproportionate and far reaching snooping powers, are not being repeated. “The DRIP Bill represents a missed opportunity to enforce greater transparency and oversight through legislation. It is not entirely cynical to suggest that the Home Office will continue to benefit from the lack of data …

Civil Society Briefing on the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Research and reports | 6 Comments

The Civil Society groups behind the Don’t Spy On Us coalition have produced a briefing on the fast-track Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (PDF). You can read our initial analysis of the emergency legislation announcement, as well as our amendment recommendations here. BACKGROUND: The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers (DRIP) Bill was published on 10th July 2014 following a press conference given by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister announcing emergency surveillance legislation. They indicated that the leader …

Big Brother Watch picks up Internet Villain award on behalf of NSA and GCHQ

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 3 Comments

It was somewhat ironic that yesterday of all days the Internet Service Providers Awards were held in London. Big Brother Watch were invited to pick up the tongue in cheek award of ‘Internet Villain’ on behalf of the winners (who would obviously not be attending). The shortlist of finalists were selected by the ISPA Council in recognition of their achievements in hindering the industry. The category stated: “The Internet Villain category recognises individuals or organisations that have upset the Internet industry …

What could possibly go wrong with an EU-wide DNA database?

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Databases, DNA database, Europe, European Arrest Warrant, Extradition | 1 Comment

Over the weekend you may have read about the Government’s plans for more policing powers to be transferred over to the EU, including the prospect of the UK joining a Europe-wide DNA database. Considering a debate is planned for Thursday on the current set of Justice and Home Affairs opt-outs, these plans seem absurdly premature. You can read our briefing note on the reported plans and our concerns about the problems with the current system here. There are some fundamental …

Briefing Note – Mandatory Installation of Event Data Recorders: The eCall System

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Research and reports | 3 Comments

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks regarding the European Commission’s plans for all new cars to be installed with event data recorders in order to enable the eCall system.We have produced a briefing note to explain the background of the policy, the concerns that have been raised and the other potential uses for event data recorders once they have been installed. The key points raised in our briefing are: There is an important distinction to be made between eCall …

The Response to Revenge Porn Should Be Level Headed, Not a Knee Jerk Reaction

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | 5 Comments

A debate has erupted around revenge pornography and whether new legislation is required to tackle the problem of jilted lovers posting sexually explicit photographs online. Whilst there is no doubt that these occurrences are deeply damaging and upsetting for the individuals involved, the Government must ensure that any new laws created to police what is posted on the internet is done so with a clear head and not in the heat of the moment. Yesterday Chris Grayling MP, the Justice …

The Intelligence Services Commissioner’s Oversight Is Weak and Unaccountable

Posted on by Emma Carr Posted in Home | Leave a comment

The Intelligence Services Commissioner has released his annual report (pdf) which highlights a high number of times individuals’ privacy was breached due to a series of errors. However, with only 17% of warrants being checked by the Commissioner, serious questions have also been raised about how thorough his investigations can actually be. It is not unfair to suggest that at present the oversight by the Commissioner is weak and his accountability to Parliament and the public is almost none existent.  A …