Speaking at the launch of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) Green said “Drones are like any other piece of kit – where it’s appropriate or proportionate to use them then we will look at using them.”
Across the country, police forces are now busy tracking down people to hand over a DNA sample, not based on any current suspicion of committing an offence but purely because of historical offences that took place decades ago.
The civil liberties implications of this kind of operation are clear. People, currently not under suspicion for any crime and who have served their punishment for past offences, are now hunted down simply in the hope that the force will get lucky and clear up a case.
However, there is also a wider point. A pilot scheme carried out by Hampshire police gathered 167 samples, however none of them matched any outstanding crimes. Now call us pedants, but as pilot schemes go that doesn’t sound like a success. Indeed, you might even suggest that it was a waste of police time. The initial list was 471 people, but for various reasons – including people being dead – the force didn’t manage to collect even half their intended samples.
Last week Intel, the chip manufacturer, predicted that by 2015 there will be more than 15 billion internet-connected devices and one third of these connected devices will be intelligent systems.
The CIA are already getting excited, with Director David Petraeus talking about the”transformational” effect on “clandestine tradecraft.” The proposed draft Communications Data Bill is so broadly drafted it’s been warned that a system to control your central heating could be covered by the legislation.
For the events at UKIP and Conservative conferences you will not need a security pass, however both the Labour and Liberal Democrat events are inside the secure zone.
Full details are below.
Based on data covering more than 2,000 secondary schools and academies, Big Brother Watch warns that there are more than 100,000 CCTV cameras in secondary schools and academies across England, Wales and Scotland.
With some schools seeing a ratio of one camera for every five pupils, more than two hundred schools using CCTV in bathrooms and changing rooms and more cameras inside school buildings as outside, the picture across the country will undoubtedly shock and surprise many.
To put into context the number of cameras, our research earlier this year found there are currently at least 51,600 CCTV cameras controlled by 428 local authorities.
The report, which you can download here, warns that the Home Office’s proposed system of regulation for CCTV cameras is not fit for purpose, with the newly created position of Surveillance Camera Commissioner having no enforcement or inspection powers.
Dear Prime Minister,
Re: Department for Education consultation on parental internet controls
We write to you as the consultation on parental controls closes. In recent years there have been two comprehensive reviews into the issue of child safety online, the Byron Review and the Bailey Review. They considered a wealth of academic expertise, parental concerns and technical input and both arrived at the same conclusion – parents are the best people to decide what their children can see.
To ignore these in-depth and comprehensive reviews and instead adopt a system of ‘default blocking’ would be a short sighted and dangerous step, while doing little to empower parents or children. As Ofcom recognised, blocking is trivial to circumvent and it is likely a default blocking system would lull parents into a false sense of security. A more complex, connected world needs parents to engage more with their children on issues of safety, privacy and personal development – default blocking undermines this dialogue.
Yesterday I was a guest on Radio 4′s PM Programme debating a new petition to be handed in to Government on Thursday calling for a ‘default block’ on internet browsing.
One of the key statistics relied upon by the campaign is that “1 in 3 10 year olds have seen pornography online “. They do recognise it was published in Psychologies Magazine in 2010, but the appearance is given that this is a serious statistic. It’s also used in their ‘Key Facts’ briefing.
When you dig a little deeper however, that definitely isn’t the case. The full section in the magazine reads:
“We’ve had plenty of letters from concerned readers on this very topic, and when we decided to canvass the views of 14- to 16-year-olds at a north London secondary school, the results took us by surprise.
• Almost one-third first looked at sexual images online when they were aged 10 or younger.”
So, the statistic – used to introduce the PM segment and at the heart of the petition’s press release – is based on one magazine’s anecdotal research at a single school.
As we’ve previously argued, default blocking is a dangerous system that risks lulling parents into a false sense of security, while being trivial to avoid for youngsters. That’s why two independent Government reviews have rejected it and said it should be parents who decide what their children see. It also requires a major intrusion into our privacy, only working with a system of total surveillance.