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Tuesday 31st August
Public Service – Police have ‘endemic culture of snooping’
Two senior police officers accused of misleading Birmingham City Council over the use of CCTV cameras are being ‘scapegoated’, Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch has told publicservice.co.uk.
He said: “These individual officers are being scapegoated when the problem is an endemic culture of snooping and surveillance in Britain’s police force today.
“Two officers have been caught out, but the real issue is much bigger than individual behaviour.”
Manchester Mule – Minimum alcohol prices to be introduced in Manchester?
Sunday 29th August
Sunday Express – Car registration snoops planned
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said: “The outrageous and often illegal abuse of the DVLA database is yet another example of the way in which local councils will use any available means to keep a check on their residents.
“Law-abiding people, or those suspected of very minor offences, are regularly having their personal lives exposed. They are being spied on for nonsensical reasons by these inflated town hall bureaucrats.
“The Government needs to rein in this sort of clandestine snooping as a matter of urgency.”
Saturday 28th August
Tech Eye – How Google’s call feature could be an affront to privacy
TechEye spoke to Dylan Sharpe, Campaign Director at privacy group Big Brother Watch, about just how dangerous Google might become.
“Whether or not there is any overt privacy threat from using Gmail calls is not yet clear, however this does represent the latest move by Google towards a monopoly of our online communications.”
“As the CEO, Eric Schmidt, admitted recently, people have to be more careful about what they put on the internet and how they use online services. At Big Brother Watch we would be wary of giving too much information to any one company – especially Google.”
Friday 27th August
Daily Mail – Dog squad: Police train CCTV cameras on owners who don’t bother clearing up after their pets
Alex Deane of campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘CCTV operators hunched over monitors for hours, trying to spot dogs doing what comes naturally – can anyone imagine a better example of our intrusive Big Brother society?
‘CCTV is often installed on the basis that it’s for catching criminals, and then gets used to make money from drivers instead.
BBC Radio Humberside – Alex Deane interviewed on CCTV for dog walkers
Surrey Mirror – Police will ‘spy’ on dog walkers
Wednesday 25th August
Radio 786, Cape Town – Alex Deane interviewed on internet privacy
Leith FM – Alex Deane interviewed by Graeme Logan
Tuesday 24th August
BBC Radio Berkshire – Alex Deane interviewed about ANPR on the Breakfast Show
Candis – Parental advice should include online privacy
Families have been warned that children should be educated on the topic of online privacy.
Dylan Sharpe, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, offered parental advice, stating that children who have embraced social networking to its fullest are most at risk and will need a push in the right direction.
BCS – Parents must educate children about online safety
Professional Security Magazine – CCTV Debate
The Way – Parents must teach children about ‘online privacy’
Monday 23rd August
TG Daily – Software searches for faces online
“Ultimately we have to take a degree of personal responsibility for our online identities and how much we place on the internet,” says Dylan Sharpe of Big Brother Watch.
“Nevertheless, the people who will be most affected by software such as this are the young children and teenagers who have embraced social networking to its fullest. They are also the demographic least aware of the dangers and the value of privacy.”
BBC Radio West Midlands – Dylan Sharpe interviewed on Sandwell’s litter fines
Sunday 22nd August
Sunday Times – Bin it, sir, or you’ll taste Singapore-style justice (£)
But there are others. In November, Vanessa Kelly was fined for dropping bread as she and her son fed the ducks at a park in Sandwell.
She refused to pay, and with help from Big Brother Watch – a think tank concerned about the erosion of civil liberties – had the charge dropped. Dylan Sharpe, the think tank’s campaign director, says taking such an absurdly hard line on what are minor “crimes” does neither residents nor council any favours. “People in the UK – and especially in Sandwell – have had enough of being bullied and berated by town hall bureaucrats.”
Sunday Telegraph – Experian chief Don Robert on bounty hunting and catching fraudsters
Pressure group Big Brother Watch has already labelled Prime Minister David Cameron’s move to involve private sector fraud-catchers as a “disproportionate invasion of privacy”. So what happens if Experian makes mistakes and deprives rightful claimants of much-needed lifelines?
The People – Spy car is on prowl
EVERY motorist’s worst nightmare – a CCTV car HIDDEN behind a wall and using a 15ft periscope camera to clock unsuspecting vehicles has been unveiled.
But pressure group Big Brother Watch said: “CCTV cars have little to do with road safety and everything to do with making money off motorists.”
Yahoo Finance – Don Robert on bounty hunting and catching fraudsters
Thursday 19th August
Daily Telegraph – Social media: do we need new rules?
To the pressure group Big Brother Watch, “Google is a company that specialises in knowing where you are, what you are doing and who you are talking to. That’s a scary prospect.”
Crucially, however, the organisation is also keen to draw web users’ attention to issues of personal responsibility. “Mr Schmidt is completely right about how much information we are giving away online,” says Big Brother Watch’s Dylan Sharpe. “Right now there are millions of young kids and teenagers who, when they apply for jobs in 10 years’ time, will find that there is so much embarrassing stuff about them online that they cannot take it down.”
Independent – Letters: Clean council is doing good job
Big Pond News – Google boss warns on web footprints
Wednesday 18th August
The Independent – Google chief: My fears for Generation Facebook
“His comments are a little ironic but they are also timely,” said Dylan Sharpe from Big Brother Watch, which has campaigned against Google collecting wifi data on web users while taking photographs with its Street View cars.
He added: “Google is a company that specialises in knowing where you are, what you are doing and who you are talking to. That’s a scary prospect even though Google’s users sign up to this sort of data collection willingly.”
Sky News – Dylan Sharpe interviewed on internet privacy
Evening Standard – Hundreds of speed cameras to enforce 20mph zones in London
Dylan Sharpe of Big Brother Watch, said: “Average speed cameras are just a new form of surveillance and now there’s nowhere you can escape their beady eye.
“ANPR cameras started off in the City as a response to the IRA bombings but have grown into a general traffic monitoring tool and the next step will be toll charging.
“Average speed cameras on London’s back roads will massively increase the opportunity to charge motorists.”
Channel 4 News online – Google chief’s warning over online privacy
Channel 4 News – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy
Al Jazeera UK – Alex Deane interviewed on German opposition to Street View
BBC World – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by David Eade for GMT
4FM Ireland – Alex Deane interviewed on internet privacy
Daily Mail – Facebook users will be forced to change their names to escape cyber past, says Google boss
‘Mr Schmidt is completely right on how much information we are giving away online,’ Dylan Sharpe from the privacy website Big Brother Watch told the Independent.
‘Right now there are millions of young kids and teenagers who, when they apply for jobs in 10 years time, will find that there is so much embarrassing stuff about them online that they cannot take down.’
BBC Wales – Dylan Sharpe interviewed on Sandwell’s zero tolerance litter campaign
Evening Standard – Google boss’s online personal data warning
Belfast Telegraph – Google boss Eric Schmidt’s warning over online privacy
MSN news – Google boss warns on web footprints
New Zealand Herald – Google boss warns over personal data we share online
Tuesday 17th August
The Independent – Dylan Sharpe: Such absurdly draconian rules do nobody any favours
If there were a Premier League charting the most bullying, hectoring and punitive local authorities in Britain, the contest would be over each year before the end of August. Since Big Brother Watch was established nearly 12 months ago, we have lost count of the number of times we have had to condemn the actions of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.
BBC Radio 5Live – Alex Deane interviewed by Peter Allen for Drive
Daily Mirror – School run drivers face £60 penalty
School-run parents who park illegally will be snapped by a mobile camera and fined £60.
Campaign group Big Brother Watch raged: “This camera will be used to target mums dropping off their kids on a rainy day.”
Daily Mail – Council accused of ‘bullying’ for buying mobile camera to issue parking fines on the school-run
Alex Deane, of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This camera will be used to target mums dropping off their kids on a rainy day at school. ‘Councils ought to use this kind of money to chase proper criminals not parents doing the school run. Bedford’s bureaucrats are trying to use surveillance to force people out of their car.’
24dash.com – Council accused of ‘bullying’ parents over school run surveillance plans
BBC Radio 5Live – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Ian Paine on Through the Night
Xbow – Alex Deane: Surveillance and the coalition
Sunday 15th August
Bedfordshire on Sunday – Snooping accusation over council’s mobile cameras
Campaigners against a ‘Big Brother’ nation are concerned about a council’s decision to use a mobile CCTV camera to tackle problem parking areas.
Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Drivers in Bedford are being remorselessly bullied by the council, with the planned installation of two separate snooping surveillance systems.”
Saturday 14th August
Daily Mail – 30m people could go on to health database despite promise of opt-out
Dylan Sharpe, of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, said: ‘Millions of people have had their medical data uploaded on to a deeply insecure and unstable system and they probably don’t even realise it.
‘It is only fair that everyone is given the opportunity to opt out.’
Corus Radio – Alex Deane interviewed by Roy Green
Friday 13th August
LBC 97.3FM – Dylan Sharpe interviewed by Nick Ferrari
South London Press – Lambeth’s spy cars reap most in UK
Lambeth council has three cars and according to figures compiled by anti-surveillance group Big Brother Watch issued 34,000 fines between April 2009 and this March.
The £1,689,459 they raised compares to £120,000 in second-place Manchester City Council.
Medway Messenger – Warden on wrong end of the camera
A report made by Big Brother Watch found Medway Council’s two CCTV cars have helped collect more than £455,000 in the year to April.
This is the moment the cameras were turned on Medway’s controversial spy car.
Thursday 12th August
AutoCar Magazine – Smart CCTV cars ‘raise £8m’
Wednesday 11th August
The Sun – No need for needy to worry, says PM
Mr Cameron had earlier revealed plans to hire credit ratings agencies as “bounty hunters” to sift through housing and benefit claims in a bid to nail cheats.
Alex Deane, of Big Brother Watch, said: “Mining private data on a routine basis on the off-chance of catching people out is a disproportionate invasion of privacy.”
Daily Express – David Cameron: Benefits cheats are ‘morally wrong’
Civil liberties campaigners warned against the move, which will also dismay some Lib Dem MPs, adding to tensions in the coalition with the Conservatives.Director of pressure group Big Brother Watch Alex Deane said that although no one approved of benefit cheats the plan “blurred the line” between the state and the private sector.
Independent – Cameron calls in ‘bounty hunters’ to catch benefit fraudsters
Al Jazeera UK – Alex Deane interviewed on ASA ruling on ACPO adverts
The Register – ICO warns UK on benefits snooping plan
Kent News – Council’s CCTV cars rake in £455,000 in one year
Medway Council’s all-seeing CCTV Spy Cars issued more than 16,000 tickets in the last financial year, raking in just over £455,000 in fines from motorists.
The stunning statistics were revealed in a report by anti-surveillance pressure group Big Brother Watch and showed that on average the authority’s two camera cars penalised a combined total of 300 Medway drivers each week between April 1, 2009, and March 31 this year.
Tuesday 10th August
BBC Newsnight – Alex Deane interviewed on credit agency bounty hunters
Press and Journal – Tayside council spies launched 250 missions
Alex Deane, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, said councils should not be trusted with the powers.
He said: “These abuses of surveillance powers by Scottish councils are shameful. Most people will be alarmed by the news that covert surveillance has been used to spy on children playing football. How can anyone think that that’s proportionate or justified?
BBC Sussex and Surrey – Alex Deane interviewed on neighbourhood vigilantes
BBC News 24 – Alex Deane interviewed on credit rating agencies
103.6FM Tameside Radio – Alex Deane interviewed on Dundee Council use of RIPA
Daily Mail – Bounty on benefit cheats ‘is snooper’s charter’
The Government hopes the scheme will save the state £1billion, which could earn private firms up to £50million.
But Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Nobody approves of benefit cheats. But mining private data on a routine basis on the off-chance of catching people out is a disproportionate invasion of privacy.
‘Furthermore, there should be a line between the state and the private sector. Taking powers of legal investigation and enforcement and granting them to private organisations blurs that line.’
talkSPORT – Alex Deane interviewed by Ian Collins on the late show
LBC 97.3FM – Alex Deane interviewed by James Whale on Drivetime
Sunday 8th August
The People – Councils Get £4million To ‘Hire’ Spies
Snitches are being paid £4million by councils to expose neighbours for benefit fraud. Dylan Sharpe of campaigners Big Brother Watch said: “They are creating an army of citizen snoopers.”
Wednesday 4th August
Lambeth Guardian – Lambeth hands out most ‘big brother’ CCTV parking fines in the UK
Controversial CCTV cars snapping motorists breaking driving rules rake in more cash for Lambeth than any other council in the country.
According to campaign group Big Brother Watch CCTV cars compromise road safety and “make money, with road safety only an afterthought”.
Local Government Lawyer – RIPA reviewed – again
Big Brother Watch published a report last month criticising town hall officials for the routine use of RIPA powers. Examples include “spying” on parents to check they lived in a school catchment area and on homeowners to ensure they closed the lids on refuse bins.
Professional Security Magazine – Alex Deane is a young man to watch, writes Una Riley.
Tuesday 3rd August
The Independent – Council illegally spied on family during row over catchment area
A survey by the pressure group, Big Brother Watch, revealed the powers had also been used by councils to spy on their own employees.
In Darlington, County Durham, they checked up on their car parking, in Exeter, Devon, on their working times and in Hammersmith and Fulham, in London, on their sick pay claims. In Liverpool, they spied on wardens employed to spot crimes.
Timeplan – Council loses school catchment surveillance tribunal
Alex Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, claimed last year that Ripa legislation is widely abused.
Monday 2nd August
The Sun – Council CCTV cars’ £8m fines
Anti-surveillance group Big Brother Watch said: “This a dangerous escalation of our surveillance society.” The Local Government Association said the CCTV cars punished drivers who “thought they were above the law”.
WEHONews.com – Our Companion Animals: On Retractable Leads
Dylan Sharpe, the campaign director of Big Brother Watch stated, “This proposal is completely barking mad – only a local authority would even think of fining people £1,000 because of the length of their dog lead.”
Security Oracle – Council CCTV cars’ £8m fines
Sunday 1st August
Top News – Google cleared of any WiFi snooping
Privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch has described the ruling by the data protection watchdog as “farcical”.