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Time for surveillance transparency


Today the three heads of Britain's intelligence agencies appear infront of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee in a televised hearing, the first time for such a hearing to be broadcast. Progress, yes, but let's not get ahead of ourselves - the head of the CIA first appeared on TV speaking to congress in 1975, so it's hardly a revolution in oversight. Today we have published new polling by

GCHQ faces legal action over mass surveillance


Today Big Brother Watch, working with the Open Rights Group, English PEN and German internet activist Constanze Kurz, has announced legal papers have been filed alleging that GCHQ has illegally intruded on the privacy of millions of British and European citizens. We allege that by collecting vast amounts of data leaving or entering the UK, including the content of emails and social media messages, the UK’s spy

Patients win choice of sharing medical records


Earlier this year, we led the concern that a new NHS data sharing plan would see every patient's medical records uploaded to a new information system without the right to opt-out. We warned at the time that patient records would be out of patient control. On Friday, the Secretary of State confirmed that this will not be the case. We have worked closely with MedConfidential and Privacy International to ensure

Boom in private investigators risks avoiding surveillance regulation


Our latest report highlights the growing use of private investigators by local and public authorities, particularly the number of times they are used without RIPA authorisation. The law in the UK, particularly the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, is broadly drawn to allow evidence to be introduced in court that in other jurisdictions would not be deemed admissible. Contrasted with the fruit of the poisonous

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Media Coverage – November 2010

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Tuesday 30th November

Alex Deane on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire discussing the cost of CCTV

Daniel Hamilton on BBC Radio Birmingham discussing the cost of CCTV

Alex Deane on BBC Radio Northampton discussing the cost of CCTV

Alex Deane on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcestershire  discussing the cost of CCTV

Alex Deane on BRMB discussing the cost of CCTV

Alex Deane on BBC Radio Teeside discussing the cost of CCTV

Alex Deane on Northsound Radio (Aberdeen) discussing the cost of CCTV

Alex Deane on Talk Radio Europe discussing the cost of CCTV

The Times – Councils spend £315m on closed-circuit TV cameras [not available online]

Times-cctv

Metro – £315m is spent on CCTV in just 3 years

Metro-cctv 

Figures obtained by Big Brother Watch showed hundreds of councils have splashed out millions of pounds on the cameras. Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. ‘We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain.’

Daily Express – Councils ‘Spending £315m on CCTV’

Express-cctv

The level of spending was uncovered by the pressure group Big Brother Watch, which drew figures from 336 local authorities. The group’s director, Alex Deane, said: ‘We are being watched more than ever before, and we are being ripped off into the bargain. ‘

We are being watched more than ever before, and we are being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.’

Evening Standard – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The Independent – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The Guardian – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Daily Mail – CCTV cost councils £300m in 3 years – with one city spending more than £10m

The level of spending was uncovered by the pressure group Big Brother Watch, which drew figures from 336 local authorities. The group’s director, Alex Deane, said: ‘We are being watched more than ever before, and we are being ripped off into the bargain. ‘

We are being watched more than ever before, and we are being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.’

Scottish Daily Express – £300m ‘Wasted’ on CCTV

Local councils now control 60,000 spy cameras – up from 21,000 in 1999, according to Big Brother Watch. The study shows installing and operating cameras has cost Britain £314.8m since 2007 – enough to pay 15,000 nurses for a year.

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent crime. Taxpayers will be scandalised.” Researchers contacted all 418 councils in the UK to ask how much had been spent on cameras.

Herald Scotland – Councils facing criticism over £315m CCTV surveillance bill

Alex Deane, the director of Big Brother Watch, which estimates there are at least 59,753 CCTV cameras controlled by 418 local authorities, said Britain was spending a “shocking” amount on CCTV. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain,” he added.

Daily Star – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

ConservativeHome – Councils spending more than £100m per year on CCTV

Via FOI requests to local councils, the BigBrotherWatch campaigning organisation has discovered that a total of £314,835,170.39 was spent on installing and operating CCTV cameras during the 2007 to 2010 period.

Public Service – Misspending on snooping

With more cameras on the Shetland Islands than in San Francisco’s Police Department, councils alone are spending more public funds on CCTV than the GDP of several nations. And the situation is getting worse, writes Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch

News Wales – Wrexham MP slams Tories on CCTV “stunt”

Ian Lucas MP said the Tory think tank Big Brother Watch claimed CCTV did next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. But the man who ran the think tank, barrister Alex Dean, a former chief of staff to David Cameron, had previously written of a case he had worked on which was solved ‘solely’ by CCTV, said Mr Lucas.

The Register – Councils ‘spend shedloads on CCTV’

Commenting on the overall cost, Big Brother Watch Director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Express and Star – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Politics.co.uk – £300m CCTV costs revealed

Councils spent at least £314 million on installing and operating CCTV over the past three years, according to a report by Big Brother Watch. Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch called the £314 million figure “shocking”, adding: “Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Yahoo! News – £300m CCTV costs revealed

Councils spent at least £314 million on installing and operating CCTV over the past three years, according to a report by Big Brother Watch.

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch called the £314 million figure “shocking”, adding: “Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Epping Forest, Waltham Forest and Wanstead & Woodford Guardian – Council spends £2m on CCTV

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, shows that Redbridge spent £2,048,000 on installing and maintaining CCTV cameras between 2007 and 2010.

Society of Procurement Professionals – Councils facing criticism over £315 million CCTV surveillance bill

Councils have been criticised for spending hundreds of millions of pounds on CCTV at the same time as implementing drastic budget cuts.

Edinburgh has been named as one of the highest spenders on CCTV in the country, forking out almost twice as much as similar-sized cities.

The city spent more than £3.6 million on CCTV over the last three years, coming fourth in the UK-wide list compiled by Big Brother Watch, the civil liberties group.

Golwg 260 – Cynghorau Cymru yn gwario £20m ar gamerau cylch cyfyng

Holodd Big Brother Watch bob un o’r cynghorau ym Mhrydain ynglŷn â faint oedden nhw wedi ei wario ar gamerâu cylch cyfyng dan y Ddeddf Rhyddid Gwybodaeth.

“Mae’r ffigyrau yn arswydus,” meddai cyfarwyddwr Big Brother Watch, Alex Deane. “Mae arian y cyhoedd yn cael ei wastraffu ar gamerâu busneslyd sy’n gwneud dim byd i atal na datrys troseddau.

“Rydym ni’n cael ein gwylio fwy nag erioed o’r blaen, ac yn gorfod talu am y cwbl hefyd. “Bydd trethdalwyr Prydain yn synnu bod eu harian yn cael ei wastraffu fel hyn, yn enwedig yn yr hinsawdd economaidd bresennol.”

Local Gov – Councils defend CCTV spend

The director of Big Brother Watch, Alex Deane, said: ‘Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.’

UKauthorITy.com – Privacy group ‘names and shames’ CCTV big spenders

Pressure is growing on the government to curb the spread of CCTV cameras after claims that local councils spent £315m on the technology over three years. The biggest spenders have been “named and shamed” by the pressure group Big Brother Watch – which said the total cost could have paid the salaries of more than 15,000 nurses.

This is Bath – Councils lavish millions on controversial spy cameras

Campaign director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.” “British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

This is Dorset – Millions lavished on spy cameras

Campaign director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.”

“British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Big Brother Watch said Bournemouth was the 12th highest-spending council at almost £3 million, while Bristol was ranked 20th, at slightly more than £2.5 million. Sedgemoor (£1.8 million), Weymouth & Portland (£1.1 million) and Bath & North East Somerset (just over £1 million) were the other councils to spend seven-figure sums.

In contrast, Tewkesbury spent less than £40,000 in four years, and East Dorset £42,000, while North Dorset, Purbeck and West Somerset all said they had no public facing CCTV cameras.

This is Gloucestershire – Group hits out at £750k CCTV spending ‘waste’

Daniel Hamilton, campaign director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. Taxpayers in Gloucestershire will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

24dash – Councils spend £315 million on CCTV cameras over last three years

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.

“We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. “British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Public Service – Councils in ‘shocking’ CCTV spend

Big Brother Watch director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.

“We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.” Big Brother Watch said the UK spends more per head on CCTV coverage than 38 countries do on defence. It added that the national CCTV budget in the UK is more than entire annual budgets of eight independent nations.

Shropshire Star – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

TalkTalk – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Ledbury Reporter – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Somerset County Gazette – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Dorset Business – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Hillingdon and Uxbridge Times – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The Bolton News – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Southend Standard – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Croydon Guardian – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Romsey Advertiser – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Ilkley Gazette – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Richmond and Twickenham Times – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Preston and Leyland Citizen – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Gazette and Herald – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Virgin Media – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Harrow Times – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Winsford Guardian – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Halstead Gazette – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Barry and District News – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Luton Today – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Northumberland Gazette – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The Visitor – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Diss Express – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Market Rasen Mail – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Biggleswade Today – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Bury Free Press – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Derbyshire Times – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The Courier – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Kenilworth Weekly News – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Lancashire Evening Post – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Kingston Guardian – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Wiltshire Times – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Enfield Independent – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Belfast Telegraph – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Press Association – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

icScotland – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Welsh Daily Post – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Surrey Comet – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Surrey Herald – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

icNewcastle – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Holyhead and Anglesey Mail – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Buckinghamshire Advertiser – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

icCheshire – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Liverpool Daily Post – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Coventry Telegraph – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Maghull and Aintree Star – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

MSN News – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Chester Chronicle – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Crosby Herald – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Fulham and Hammersmith Chronicle – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Birmingham Post – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

North and East Cumbria Chronicle – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Formby Times – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

icKent – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Blackpool Gazette – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Ellesmere Port Pioneer – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Sunday Sun – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Flintshire Chronicle – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

icSolihull – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Staines News – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

icLichfield – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Uxbridge Gazette – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Loughborough Echo – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

The Advertiser – Councils spend £315m on CCTV cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

eGov Monitor – FOI Request Reveals Councils Have Spent £315 Million On CCTVs In Last 3 years – LGA Defends Councils Decision On CCTVs

‘This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime,” Alex Deane, Director of Big Brother watch said about these revelations. ‘We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain.’ British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate,’ he added.

Security Oracle – Councils Spend £315m On CCTV Cameras

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Manchester Evening News – Revealed: Town halls’ £9m spree on CCTV

Alex Deane, from Big Brother Watch, said the figures were ‘shocking’. He said: “Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Birmingham Mail – Brum tops CCTV spending chart

The figures were obtained by the pressure group Big Brother Watch under the Freedom of Information Act. A total of £314,835,170 was spent by 336 local councils on installing and operating cameras between 2007 and 2010 and could have paid the salaries of more than 15,000 nurses. Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.”

Enfield Independent – Millions spent on CCTV is money well spent, says Enfield Council

The figures came to light after civil liberties campaigners, Big Brother Watch, sent Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to town halls across the UK to expose the extent of what they claim is a waste of public money. Big Brother Watch Director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Peterlee Mail – £660,000 bill to cut town crime

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be furious to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Express and Star – Sandwell Council spends more than £5m on CCTV

The figures reveal that the 336 authorities who responded spent more than £314m over the last three years. Big Brother Watch say the money spent on CCTV by the authorities could have paid the salaries of more than 15,000 nurses. Big Brother Watch director Alex Deane, said: “British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Nuneaton News – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

Blackpool Gazette – Councils ‘spending £315m on CCTV’

Alex Deane, the campaign group’s director, said: “This is a shocking figure. Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime. We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain. British taxpayers will be scandalised to see their money being thrown away like this in the current economic climate.”

 

Friday 26th November

IT Pro – Nominet considers cutting off illicit .uk domains

Dominique Lazanski, senior fellow for technology policy at the Big Brother Watch, had issues with the term “reasonable requests.”

Lazanski wrote in a blog: “Does that mean a warrant is required by a law enforcement agency? Will the domain name owner be able to face due process in conjunction with suspension of their domain name and website?”

She praised Nominet for its willingness to talk with experts to advise on the best moves forward, but compared the plans to the Digital Economy Act. “Just like the Digital Economy Act, this proposal does not assume innocence in the face of an accusation,” Lazanski added. “But unlike the Digital Economy Act, this proposal is not codified in a law which would make it legally enforceable.”

Thursday 25th November

IT Pro – TalkTalk to trial controversial anti-malware system

Dominique Lazanski, senior fellow for technology policy at the Big Brother Watch, called on TalkTalk to ensure it keeps within the law and adhere to privacy best practices.

“TalkTalk needs to be transparent with their customers about the details of the new system and customers should be able to opt in and opt out of the system as well,” Lazanski told IT PRO.

“As far as I can tell in reading their releases on the matter, they are explaining their plans and allowing for customers to opt in if they wish to be a part of it.”

England Expects – MPAC is a ‘Civil Liberties Group’! No really

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee are not really up there with Amnesty, of even Liberty , or Big Brother Watch for that matter when it comes to supporting civil liberties.

Wednesday 24th November

Manchester Evening News – Pilots told to boycott ‘naked’ airport scanners

Alex Deane, director of the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, also questioned whether the scanners are safe. He said: “There’s a reason that the nurse stands behind a screen when you get an x-ray at hospital. “Radiation is potentially harmful, even in small doses.”

Monday 22nd November

The Scotsman – Blair-Brown era ancient history as Ed Balls ‘ready to back’ 14-day detention

Alex Deane, director of Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said of Balls’ comments: “This is good news. It It means that there is simply no excuse for the government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 [day] detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Public Service – Ed Balls: “Our detention plans were wrong”

Alex Deane, director of Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said of Balls’ comments: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 [day] detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Daily Post – North Wales councils spend £8m on CCTV equipment

The campaign group Big Brother Watch says taxpayers will be shocked by the amount being spent on surveillance. Its report says the total across the UK is at least £315 million, and campaign director Alex Deane said: “This is a shocking figure. “Public money is being wasted on snooping surveillance that does next to nothing to prevent or solve crime.”

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph – Cost of watching you is £2m

CCTV cameras cost local authorities in north Northamptonshire more than £2m over the past three years. Corby Council spent the most on installing and maintaining its 83 cameras, paying out £725,568 between 2007 and 2010. It was in the highest spending half of local authorities in the country, according to figures obtained by civil rights campaign group Big Brother Watch (BBW).

Evening Times – CCTV big spenders revealed

Alex Deane, the director of Big Brother Watch, which estimates there are at least 59,753 CCTV cameras controlled by 418 local authorities, said Britain was spending a “shocking” amount on CCTV. “We are being watched more than ever before, and we’re being ripped off into the bargain,” he added.

Kable – Councils spent £314m on CCTV

Big Brother Watch, a campaign by the founders of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, says that research using Freedom of Information requests has found that Birmingham City Council spent the most on CCTV from 2007 to 2010, with expenditure of £10.5m.

Chiswick W4 – Cameras cost local taxpayers more than £1m a year to operate

Hounslow Council spends more on CCTV than any other local authority in London according to a new report released by Big Brother Watch. Collating responses to Freedom of Information Requests, Big Brother Watch revealed that 336 councils spent a total of £314,835,170.39 on installing and operating CCTV cameras during the 2007 to 2010 period.

Wallet Pop – Councils spent £300m on CCTV in three years

The extortionate level of spending was uncovered by pressure group, Big Brother Watch, which collected data from 336 local authorities. It found Birmingham spent the most on CCTV in the three-year period, while nine other cities also spend upwards of £3million, including comparatively wealthy and safe areas such as Barnet in North London.

Online Journalism Blog – CCTV spending by councils/how many police officers would that pay? – statistics in context

News organisations across the country will today be running stories based on a report by Big Brother Watch into the amount spent on CCTV surveillance by local authorities (PDF). The treatment of this report is a lesson in how journalists approach figures, and why context is more important than raw figures.

Big Brother Watch’s report is a much more illuminating, and statistically aware, read than the media coverage. Indeed, there’s a lot more information about Sandwell Council’s history in this area which would have made for a better lead story on Radio WM, juiced up the Birmingham Mail report, or just made for a decent story in the Express and Star (which instead simply ran the PA release). I bet the people at Big Brother Watch are banging their heads on their desks to see their digging reported with so little depth. And I think they could learn something from Wikileaks on why that might be: they gave it to all the media at the same time.

Sunday 21st November

BBC News – Labour got balance wrong on civil liberties, says Balls

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the government should now debate whether to go lower than 14 days. Director Alex Deane said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Sunday Mirror – Labour ‘could back detention cut’

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Morning Star – Balls turns back on 28-day detention

Big Brother Watch director Alex Deane said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong. “The debate should now be about whether to go lower than 14 days – and I firmly believe that we should.”

Rocket News – Balls: We were wrong on liberties

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the government should now debate whether to go lower than 14 days. Director Alex Deane said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Biggleswade Today – Labour ‘could back detention cut’

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Paisley and Renfrew Extra – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Halifax Courier – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.” 

Saturday 20th November

Yahoo! News – Google escapes lightly in street view saga

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, called the initial decision last month not to pursue more stringent sanctions “disgraceful”. He referred to the information commissioner as “an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it”. The Street View function has been a source of controversy since it was introduced, courting accusations that it represents an illegal intrusion of privacy.

Sunday Express – Labour ‘could back detention cut’

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Daily Star – Labour ‘could back detention cut’

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Express and Star – Labour ‘could back detention cut’

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

icSuttonColdfield – Holyhead and Anglesey Mail – Balls backs cut in terror detention  

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

 North Wales Daily Post – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

icBurton Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Bootle Times – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Chester Chronicle – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Staines News – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Liverpool Daily Post – Balls backs cut in terror detentio

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Wales Online – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Bucks Examiner – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Loughborough Echo – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

The People – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

icTamworth – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Wirral News – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

North Wales Weekly – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

TalkTalk – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

The Mirror – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Hounslow Chronicle – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Birmingham Post – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Sunday Mercury – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Birmingham Mail – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Surrey Herald – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

The Hinckley Times – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Sunday Sun – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Crosby Herald – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

The Flintshire Chronicle – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Gazette Live – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Liverpool Echo – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Huddersfield Daily Examiner – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Denbighshire Visitor – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.

Herald Scotland – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Southport Visiter- Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Luton Today – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.

Evening Standard – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

South Yorkshire Star – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

MSN News – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Belfast Telegraph – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.

Shropshire Star – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Virgin Radio – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

This is Lancashire – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Penarth Times – Balls backs cut in terror detention

Civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch said the Government now had “no excuse” for keeping the pre-charge limit at 28 days. Alex Deane, its director, said: “This is good news. It means that there is simply no excuse for the Government to keep the limit at 28 days – even the authoritarian Labour Party which introduced 28 detention now agrees that it’s wrong.”

Friday 19th November

ITPro – Google to dump UK Wi-Fi data

“The Big Brother Watch has questioned whether the news was comforting at all, telling IT PRO Google had never been punished and the “victims” would never know what data was taken or how it was used.

““If and when this deletion actually takes place, no further investigation into what Google did can be done – and whether it was accidental or deliberate will never be established after that,” said Alex Deane, director for Big Brother Watch.

““So, whilst in a way this is good news for the privacy of the individuals concerned, it’s a bad day for the future of privacy.”

Politics.co.uk – Google escapes lightly in Street View saga

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, called the initial decision last month not to pursue more stringent sanctions “disgraceful”. He referred to the information commissioner as “an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it”.

net.wars: Power to the People

We talk often about the fact that ten years of effort – lawsuits, legislation, technology – on the part of the copyright industries has made barely a dent in the amount of material available online as unauthorized copies. We talk less about the similar situation that applies to privacy despite years of best efforts by Privacy International, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Open Rights Group, No2ID, and newcomer Big Brother Watch. The last ten years have built Google, and Facebook, and every organization now craves large data stores of personal information that can be mined.

Thursday 18th November

Daniel Hamilton on Television Suisse discussing Internet Eyes and the British CCTV culture.

Alex Deane addressed the Oxford branch of Republicans Abroad about the Big Brother Watch campaign.

City AM – The Big Society: An Anatony of New Politics by Jesse Norman

It’s brave of any author in the modern age to begin their work by stating that there isn’t a Twitter summary for the text – anyone interested will simply have to “read the book”. But Jesse Norman, an MP, is a genuine philosopher, and – in delivering an anatomy of the “Big Society” – he is dealing in terrain all-too-susceptible to sound-bites, so his approach is wise.

Tuesday 16th November

Alex Deane on Real Radio discussing CCTV technology.

Alex Deane on ITV Tyne & Tees TV discussing CCTV technology.

Alex Deane addressed Global MSc Security Conference.

Monday 15th November

Daniel Hamilton on Radio Forth discussing CCTV coverage in Scotland.

Samizdata – Five years after the Irish smoking ban the Irish are smoking more than ever

According to Allison Bray writing in the Irish Independent the smoking rate in Ireland has soared despite the Irish smoking ban. Despite hikes in tobacco tax, the smoking ban and a new law against the public display of cigarettes for sale, the number of smokers has steadily risen since 2007 when 29pc of the population smoked. The survey, which was conducted between March and September, revealed the largest group of smokers — 45pc — is aged between 16 and 30. I wonder if “despite” should actually be “because of”, though I am not sure why that should be. The Irish Independent article is actually over a year old, but still of interest, I thought. I found it via a comment from Dave Atherton to this post by Mahendra Jadeja at Big Brother Watch.

Saturday 13th November

Alex Deane interviewed about student rioters on Roy Green Show, Corus Network, Canada

Pajamas Media – Google Street View: A Systematic Invasion of Privacy

After “accidentally” gathering 600 gigabytes of private information in the process of creating Street View, Google finds itself under unprecedented attack from nations around the world.

Friday 12th November

Alex Deane debated the motion ‘this House believes Civil Liberties were unnecessarily eroded by the Labour Government’ against former cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw MP in Exeter.

Daniel Hamilton discussing the effectiveness of CCTV on Radio Clyde

Daily Telegraph – Warning of new era of surveillance state 

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, said: “Surveillance in Britain has been expanded out of all proportion and it is getting worse.

“Now we face the prospect of improving technology allowing the state to monitor us in every moment of our lives.”
 

Daily Telegraph – Big Brother Britain has grown out of all proportion

Britain’s surveillance culture has been expanded out of all proportion to any threats we face – and it’s getting worse, says Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch and former chief of staff to David Cameron.

Global Thinkers – Alex Deane: “The Way We Use Information Has Changed”

Alex Deane is the Director of Big Brother Watch (www.bigbrotherwatch.org.uk), a campaigning organisation which fights to protect privacy and liberty.

Telecon TV – UK’s Office of the Information Commissioner gives itself a pat on the back – when a knee in the groin would have been so much more appropriate

Alex Deane the director of Big Brother Watch says the ICO’s inaction has led to a “whitewash” of the entire Google incident. He told the UK’s Guardian newspaper, “This [the ICO's] decision is little short of farcical. Information commissioners all around the world are investigating Google’s Wi-Fi intrusion. In Britain alone, our commissioner has whitewashed the company’s wrongdoing.”

Expatica – Big Brother Britain has grown out of all proportion

Britain’s surveillance culture has been expanded out of all proportion to any threats we face – and it’s getting worse, says Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch and former chief of staff to David Cameron.

Wednesday 10th November

Daniel Hamilton on BBC Radio Humberside discussing Hull City Council’s new photographic database of council housing tenants.

Yorkshire Post – Tenants face photos order

Daniel Hamilton from Big Brother Watch, which fights intrusions on privacy and liberty, said: “I am at a loss to work out what practical need Hull Council has to keep this kind of information. This is a hugely intrusive scheme.

“Keeping records about tenants’ behaviour and payment history is one thing but holding a database of their photographs is another.”

TechEye – ICO sent unqualified staff to investigate Google

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has once again come under scrutiny after it was found it sent two ‘non-technical’ members of staff to investigate Google’s illegal collection of data from WiFi connections in July. The findings have been slammed by Big Brother Watch, which described them as a “blunder”…

According to Alex Deane, director at Big Brother Watch, the ICO’s failure to release information about the pair showed that it knew it hadn’t sent the right people. He told TechEye: “The Information Commissioner blundered badly when he sent two non-technical personnel to investigate the HQ of one of the world’s most high-tech companies.

“He clearly knows this, as his office refused to release the information about their lack of proper qualifications to Big Brother Watch when we submitted a Freedom of Information request about it.

“We’re now in an absurd situation. The Commissioner fails to police the worst offender in his patch, and then dodges requests for information about his “investigation” until Parliament itself obliges him to ‘fess up about incompetence – and this is the Commissioner supposed to bring transparency to public life.”

East Riding Mail – Council plan to demand photos of tenants, in anti-fraud bid, ‘is hugely intrusive’

Daniel Hamilton, campaigns director with Big Brother Watch, said he was appalled by the move.

He added: “I am at a loss to work out what practical need Hull City Council has to keep this kind of information.

“This is a hugely intrusive scheme. “Keeping records about tenants’ behaviour and payment history is one thing but holding a database of their photographs is another.”

Tuesday 9th November

Alex Deane on Austrian Broadcasting Corporation discussing body scanners.  

Metro – Pilots ‘risk cancer from body scanners’  

Metro431

  

Network World – Welcome to Skynet, the CCTV Surveillance Society

Big Brother Watch has covered numerous CCTV programs in Europe that seem especially over-the-top total surveillance society. The Samurai project uses CCTV to look for people “acting suspiciously.”

Monday 8th November

Alex Deane on the Richie Allen Show on Talk Radio Europe discussing body scanners.

Tech-Eye – Allied Pilots Association to boycott full body scanners

Alex Deane, director of the civil liberties campaign group said: “Scanners are dangerous. There’s a reason that the nurse stands behind a screen when you get an x-ray at hospital. Radiation is potentially harmful, even in small doses, and the regularity with which frequent flyers are exposed to potentially cancer-causing radiation.

“If pilots aren’t going to be scanned, why should members of the public? This stance from a professional group, the world’s leading association of pilots, must shake the government out of its absurd position on scanners.

He also warns that in the UK alone you “cannot opt for a pat-down search instead of a scan”

Colombus Dispatch – Britain: Google broke law

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger,” said Big Brother Watch, a London-based group that campaigns for privacy rights. “The commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

Daily Paul – Allied Pilots Association to Boycott Full Body Scanners

Allied Pilots Association to boycott full body scanners. Pilots cite health risks, Big Brother Watch agrees

Prison Planet – World’s Pilots Reject Naked Body Scanners Over Radiation Danger, Privacy Breach

Privacy group Big Brother Watch has backed the APA’s advice to pilots, with director Alex Deane, noting “Scanners are dangerous. There’s a reason that the nurse stands behind a screen when you get an x-ray at hospital. Radiation is potentially harmful, even in small doses, and the regularity with which frequent flyers are exposed to potentially cancer-causing radiation.” “If pilots aren’t going to be scanned, why should members of the public?” Deane added.

Saturday 6th November

Daily Mail – Beware the Robowarden! Now drivers face parking patrol teams equipped with £500 head-cams

Daniel Hamilton, of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This type of surveillance is both intrusive and unfair. Our local council officials should stop pretending to be James Bond.’

This is Money – Drivers face ‘Robowardens’ with £500 head-cams

Daniel Hamilton, of the campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘This type of surveillance is both intrusive and unfair. Our local council officials should stop pretending to be James Bond.’

Friday 5th November

Pittsburg Post Gazette – British Agency Says Google Violated Privacy Law

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger,” Big Brother Watch, a London-based group that campaigns for privacy rights, said in a statement. “The commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

Computer Business Review – Public sector leads the way on data protection awareness, says ICO

A letter signed by Privacy International, NO2ID, Big Brother Watch, Action on Rights for Children and the Open Rights Group, said the ICO has “completed a full reversal of its position… In our view the ICO is incapable of fulfilling its mandate. The Google incident has compromised the integrity of the Office. We can think of very few substantial privacy issues over the past ten years that the ICO has championed. In most cases the Office has become part of the problem by either ignoring those issues or by issuing bizarre and destructive rulings that justify surveillance rather than protecting privacy.”

Index on Censorship – Google Escapes Fine for Privacy Breach

Google and the Information Commissioner’s Office have displayed contempt for privacy — and free speech will suffer as a result, says Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch

Thursday 4th November

 Cutting TimesMetro194

Alex Deane on BBC Three Counties discussing the Information Commissioner’s ruling on Google Street View.

Alex Deane on BBC Radio Northampton discussing the Information Commissioner’s ruling on Google Street View.

Metro – Move to protect privacy on the web [not available online] 

Campaign group Big Brother Watch said it was “humiliating that wew have to rely on the EU for this regulation”.

The Times – Google camera cars broke law on data security [not available online]

Google broke the law when its Street View service collected personal information such as e-mails and passwords from unsuspecting internet users… Privacy campaigners were outraged at the decision.  Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch said: “The ICO has a contempt for privacy”.

The Sun – Google in let-off fury [not available online]

Campaigners reacted with fury last night after learning Google is not to be fined for collecting private information from home Wi-Fi systems.

The US giant said its Street View cars collected passwords and emails by mistake and promised the Information Commissioner not to do it again.

Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch, said: “It’s disgraceful to say Google has broken the law but take no action.  The Commissioner’s a paper tiger”.

Daily Mail – Facebook and Google forced to ask permission before taking users’ data in tough new EU privacy crackdown

Alex Deane, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘The Commission is going in the right direction, but it’s humiliating that we have to rely on the EU for this regulation. ‘The UK Information Commissioner must take a tougher line against companies like Facebook and Google who infringe our privacy online. ‘At the moment, the Commissioner is an apologist for the worst offenders in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of them.’

Independent – Google escapes with fine for beaking data laws

Alex Deane, director of the civil liberties blog Big Brother Watch, said: “The Information Commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful. Ruling that Google has broken the law but taking no action against it shows the Commissioner to be a paper tiger. The Commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

Public Service – ICO has ‘teeth’ says commissioner

Alex Deane of Big Brother Watch told Publicservice.co.uk that the UK needs a “proper privacy regulator”. He said the Information Commissioner’s “failure to take action” was “disgraceful”.

New Statesman – Has the Information Commissioners’ Office lost its bottle?

A letter signed by Privacy International, NO2ID, Big Brother Watch, Action on Rights for Children and the Open Rights Group, described the decision to merely audit Google in future as, “the latest episode in a litany of regulatory failure that brings disrepute on the Commissioner’s office and which calls into question whether the ICO is fit for purpose.”

City AM – The bravest polemicist of them all

Melanie Phillips is a deeply controversial figure. Our reviewer likes her astonishing opus, in which she spares nobody… Alex Deane is a barrister and director of Big Brother Watch think tank.

Gainsville Sun – Britain: Google broke law

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger,” Big Brother Watch, a London-based group that campaigns for privacy rights, said in a statement. “The commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

St Petersburg Times – British say Google broke privacy law

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger,” said Big Brother Watch, a London group that campaigns for privacy rights. “The commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

IT Pro – The ICO will flex its muscles this month by handing out a fine, commissioner Graham says

The ICO came under fire from various privacy groups for not being harsher, with Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, telling IT PRO the “failure to take action [was] disgraceful.”

TelecomTV – Gummy, the one-trick watchdog, rolls over and plays dead – as per usual

The ICO’s decision has met with incredulity and outrage on the part of privacy groups and lobbyists. Alex Deane, of Big Brother Watch, summed-up reactions pretty succinctly when he said, “Google should have been fined at the highest possible level. The Information Commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful. Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger”.

Wednesday 3rd November

Alex Deane on the Graeme Logan on Leith FM discussing civil liberties issues.

Civil liberties groups say UK Information Commissioner’s Office is ‘not fit for purpose

Joint statement from Big Brother Director Alex Deane, Simon Davies (Privacy International), Phil Booth (NO2ID), Terri Dowty (Action on Rights for Children) and Jim Killock (Open Rights Group).

New York Times – British Agency Says Google Violated Privacy Law

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger,” Big Brother Watch, a London-based group that campaigns for privacy rights, said in a statement. “The commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

Daily Mail – Privacy campaigners furious after watchdog says Google Street View cars DID break the law… but firm goes unpunished

Alex Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch said: ‘The Information Commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful.

‘Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the Commissioner to be a paper tiger.

‘The Commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it. ‘If Google can harvest the personal information of thousands of people and get off scot-free, then the ICO plainly has a contempt for privacy.’

Guardian – Google committed ‘significant breach’ over Street View

Alex Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, told the Guardian:

“Google should have been fined at the highest possible level. The information commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful.

“Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the commissioner to be a paper tiger. The commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.

“If Google can harvest the personal information of thousands of people and get off scot-free, then the ICO plainly has a contempt for privacy.”

Public Service – The ICO – time to go?

The ICO has a ‘contempt for privacy and for their duty to protect it’ and their failure to take action over Google is ‘disgraceful’, writes Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch

IT Pro – Google data protection breach was ‘significant’

“The information commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful,” Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, told IT PRO.

Deane accused the commissioner of being a “paper tiger” and “an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.”

“If Google can harvest the personal information of thousands of people and get off scot-free, then the ICO plainly has a contempt for privacy,” he added.

TG Daily – New speed camera detects five different offences

“The quality of the technology aside, there is little evidence to suggest that speed cameras actually improve road safety – but rather that they serve as significant income-generators for local councils,” says Daniel Hamilton of Big Brother Watch.

Pocket-lint – Google guilty of “significant breach” over Street View data harvesting

To some, the ICO’s actions fall short, and privacy campaigners were calling for some kind of fine, as the ICO has the power to fine up to £500,000 for such breaches.

With Alex Deane, director of campaign group Big Brother Watch, telling the Guardian: “The information commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful”.

The Register – ICO U-turns on Street View

Big Brother Watch’s Alex Deane said: “The Information Commissioner’s failure to take action is disgraceful. “Ruling that Google has broken the law, but then taking no action against it, shows the Commissioner to be a paper tiger. The Commissioner is an apologist for the worst offender in his sphere of responsibility, not a policeman of it.

“If Google can harvest the personal information of thousands of people and get off scot-free, then the ICO plainly has a contempt for privacy.”

Tuesday 2nd November

Spiked – Disregarding privacy

Alex Deane, director of privacy campaign group, Big Brother Watch, is unequivocal. He tells me: ‘I think what Google did in their wi-fi capture was extremely serious. It was without doubt the largest intrusion into privacy ever to happen in the private sector in the United Kingdom. Normally to do something this intrusive, you’ve got to have government help.’

Monday 1st November

Daniel Hamilton on the Islam Channel discussing CCTV surveillance in Birmingham

The Scotsman – Surveillance of politicians reveals betrayal of promises

Where are supporters of individual civil liberties to turn? Fringe parties such as UKIP? If it were not for campaign groups such as Big Brother Watch, The Freedom Association and backbenchers such as Robert Halfon MP, opposition to our surveillance state would be as quiet as a dormouse.

New Orleans to discontinue CCTV network

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home | 2 Comments

Neworleans There are few other places in the western world which conjure up images of violent crime and disorder as well as New Orleans. Still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina and profound social problems, one might have thought the New Orleanians would be enthusiastic proponents of a wide-reaching CCTV network.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, however, has reached the same conclusion as Big Brother Watch: when it comes to fighting crime, they're not really worth it.

According to a piece in the Times-Picayune, in the seven years since CCTV was rolled out across the city at a cost of around $10 million, the cameras have yielded only six prosecution – three for crimes recorded on camera and three "for bribes and kickbacks a vendor is accused of paying a former city official to sell the cameras to City Hall"!

While the cameras will continue to operate for now, they will no longer be maintained.

If Mayor Landrieu could come to such a conclusion in a city as violent as New Orleans, what message does that send to Britain – home to 20% of the world's CCTV cameras?

By Daniel Hamilton

BAD BOY OF THE WEEK: Kit Malthouse

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home | 8 Comments

Malthouse Not since West Midlands councillor Mike Bird, whose enthusiasm for launching covert surveillance investigations into members of the public under the auspices of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act knew no bounds, has Big Brother Watch been moved to nominate a 'BAD BOY OF THE WEEK'.

That all changed this week when Kit Malthouse, the Deputy Mayor of London called for those convicted of crimes to be breathalysed twice a day and, in the case of failing to provide the test or being over the limit, gaoled for their 'crime'!

It seems fairly clear to us: if an indivdual commits a crime so serious as to warrant their continued detention then they ought to continue to be detained. Otherwise, they should be free to rehabilitate themselves in their local community.

Malthouse appears to have forgotten that, however undesirable some may find it, consuming alcohol is entirely legal – unlike, for example, injecting heroin or snorting cocaine.

As we said on this blog earlier this week:

"It starts with things that are hard to disagree with like heavier punishments for drink driving, then bans on public transport, then the increasingly widespread alcohol free zones, then "awareness campaigns" that disapprove of alcohol consumption, then state controls over prices, then this. Just ask smokers…"

So, Kit Malthouse; congratulations – you're Big Brother Watch's 'BAD BOY OF THE WEEK'!

Full transcript of internet privacy debate now available

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

Portcullis Big Brother Watch supporters will no doubt be aware of the important debate on privacy and the internet which took place in the Houses of Parliament yesterday.  Only a few, however, were able to make the journey to Parliament to watch the debate in person. 

Opening the debate, Robert Halfon MP said:

"In recent years, we have become increasingly focused on freedom. With every terrorist atrocity, our civil liberties have been curtailed, often in a somewhat draconian manner. I therefore welcome the coalition Government’s determination to redress the balance by reviewing the anti-terrorism legislation, scrapping identity cards, abolishing the national identity register and the contact point database, and halting the next generation of biometric passports.  However, I do not wish to talk about state surveillance this afternoon.

"The issue of civil liberties and internet privacy first came to a head not long after I was elected to this House in May 2010. The newspapers revealed that Google had been mapping people’s personal wi-fi data without their permission… Many privacy campaign groups, such as Big Brother Watch, have raised awareness of the issue in the media"

A full copy of the transcript of the debate – including, amongst others, contributions from former Shadow Home Secretary Rt Hon David Davis MP, Labour's Ian Lucas MP, LibDem Don Foster MP and Nigel Dodds of the DUP – can be found here.

MP calls for internet bill of rights

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In leading the first ever parliamentary debate on privacy and the internet, Robert Halfon MP will this afternoon call for the implementation of an 'Internet Bill of Rights'.

According to the Telegraph:

"Halfon will tell the House of Commons that a legal framework is necessary to "protect ordinary people" from having private information collected by commercial companies. "Google's invasion of privacy is not a few isolated mistakes. It is starting to look like a pattern".

 The MP is expected to criticise the internet search engine for impinging on people's civil liberties saying: "Either our home is our castle, or it is not".

The full debate in Westminster Hall is open to members of the general public and will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament channel (available on Freeview and Sky) and will commence at 2:30pm.

By Daniel Hamilton

Parliamentary debate on internet privacy to take place this afternoon

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

Parliament The first ever parliamentary debate on internet privacy will take place in Westminster this afternoon.

The debate will take place in Westminster Hall from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. If you attend Westminster yourself, please use the Cromwell Gardens entrance and the Police will direct you to Westminster Hall from there.

In advance of the debate its sponsor Robert Halfon MP has written a piece for the Telegraph in which he outlines some of the issues which will be examined today. It's well worth a read.

If you would like any information in advance of the debate then please e-mail [email protected] Any media related calls can be directed to 07583 523 807.

By Daniel Hamilton

Smoking and surveillance

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

Fag Big Brother Watch has long been critical of the way in which local councils utilise the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIPA) in order to pursue vendettas against businesses and individuals. The act, which allows council to undertake cover surveillance, was originally passed under the auspices of cutting down on benefit fraud yet is now utilised by councils for a variety of purposes.

A Big Brother Watch supporter has written in alerting us to the case of a Norwich pub who were spied on following concerns that they may not be adhering to the smoking ban.

Regardless of one's views on smoking, it is clear preposterous that town hall officials should be utilising legislation like RIPA in order to enforce the smoking ban. Would a forcefully-worded letter to the pub owner warning them about their infrigement of the rules banning smoking in public places not have been more appropriate than launching a James Bond-style covert surveillance plan?

Click here to read the full story.

Hat tip: DA

By Daniel Hamilton.

Tony McNulty and civil liberties

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home | 2 Comments

Mcnulty There was a time in the summer of 2008 when one could barely turn on the television without seeing former Home Office Minister Tony McNulty’s sturdy defences of the Labour Party’s approach to law and order.  A stronger supporter of ID cards and ninety day incarceration it was impossible to find.

Reading The Times this morning it appears that McNulty, who lost his Harrow East seat in May, has had what the Americans call a “come to Jesus” moment, admitting the party “misjudged control orders, stop-and-search and other civil rights issues” while in government.

McNulty says: "Some policies [implemented by Labour] simply did not protect the public and others failed to strike the balance between public safety and liberty”.  He refers to control orders as a “clumsy tool” and now believes that the government should “move on” from provisions allowing the detention of suspects without trial for 28 days.

Sadly, McNulty’s full article is hidden behind The Times’ internet paywall – although it does appear on page 35 of the newspaper itself.

By Daniel Hamilton.

Net neutrality legislation in the US stalls – for now

Posted on by Big Brother Watch Posted in Home | 2 Comments

Dominique Lazanski Several weeks ago, the legislative momentum for Net Neutrality in the US came to a standstill.  The proposal by Congressman Waxman (D-Cal) was shot down by the Congressional Republicans who said that they would in no uncertain terms support it. Congressman Waxman has punted the Net Neutrality issue back to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with hopes that they reclassify broadband as a telecommunication service so that it can be regulated under the current laws that apply.

US elections are less than two weeks away and pundits predict that Republicans will take back the House of Representatives and gain seats in the Senate. The Congressional landscape will look very different after the elections and this will have a big impact on what happens next for Net Neutrality. Let’s have a look at where each stakeholder stands at the moment.

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Genital prints?

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

There must be something in the water on the Champs-Élysées…

Only last month, former Justice Minister and Ile de France Euro MP Rachida Dati made reference to "fellatio" rather than "inflation" on a live radio interview.

Now it's the turn of Interior Minister Bruce Hortefeux to embarass himself.

Speaking in a live interview on France's LCI television channel, Hortefeux confused the terms for fingerprints ("empreintes digitales") with that for "genital prints" ("empreintes genitales").

A slip of the tongue or a freudian slip?

Those with a reasonable grasp of French can watch the full clip here

By Daniel Hamilton.