Police spies infiltrated UK leftwing groups for decades

A Socialist Workers party demonstration outside the Labour party conference in Brighton in 2000. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA

Photograph: Chris Ison/PA


Guardian Exclusive: database shows 124 green, anti-racist and other groups spied on by undercover police.

Police deployed 24 undercover officers to infiltrate a small leftwing political party over a 37-year period, the Guardian can reveal. The database lists 124 groups that have been spied on by undercover police officers since 1968. The database is incomplete as the full list of groups that were spied on has yet to be established.

The list so far compiled, however, suggests police spies overwhelmingly monitored leftwing and progressive groups that challenged the status quo, with only three far-right groups infiltrated – the British National party, Combat 18 and the United British Alliance.

Undercover officers spied on 22 leftwing groups, 10 environmental groups, nine anti-racist campaigns and nine anarchist groups, according to the database.

They also spied on campaigns against apartheid, the arms trade, nuclear weapons and the monarchy, as well as trade unions. Among those spied on were 16 campaigns run by families or their supporters seeking justice over alleged police misconduct.

Continue reading at the Guardian source:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/15/undercover-police-spies-infiltrated-uk-leftwing-groups-for-decades

Groups spied on by undercover police – search the list
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/ng-interactive/2018/oct/15/uk-political-groups-spied-on-undercover-police-list

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UK ‘Snooper’s Charter’ Nearly Law

Illustration by R. Kikuo JohnsonIllustration by R. Kikuo Johnson

The Investigatory Powers Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Lords and will soon become law.

For the first time, security services will be able to hack into computers, networks, mobile devices, servers and more under the proposed plans. The practice is known as equipment interference and is set out in part 5, chapter 2, of the IP Bill.

Bulk data sets

As well as communications data being stored, intelligence agencies will also be able to obtain and use “bulk personal datasets”. These mass data sets mostly include a “majority of individuals” that aren’t suspected in any wrongdoing but have been swept-up in the data collection.

These (detailed under part 7 of the IP Bill and in a code of practice (download PDF), as well as warrants for their creation and retention must be obtained.

“Typically these datasets are very large, and of a size which means they cannot be processed manually,” the draft code of practice describes the data sets as. These types of databases can be created from a variety of sources.

Continue reading here.

Source:
Snooper’s Charter is nearly law: how the Investigatory Powers Bill will affect you (Wired)

Download:
IP Bill – Draft BPD code of practice.pdf. (www.gov.uk)

Fit-To-Work Benefits Test ‘Unfit For Purpose’

More than 150,000 people have raised serious concerns about fit-for-work tests administered by a private healthcare company on behalf of the Government.

Figures obtained exclusively by Sky News show the charity Citizens Advice has been inundated by huge numbers of complaints about assessments carried out by Atos.

Atos Kills. More than 150,000 people have raised serious concerns about fit-for-work tests administered by a private healthcare company on behalf of the Government.

It warns that genuinely disabled and seriously ill people are being stripped of benefits following inadequate tests.

Meanwhile, doctors are warning that the service is “unfit for purpose”.

Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, warned: “Atos is failing to do its job properly, failing to give taxpayers value for money and worst of all, failing thousands of sick and disabled people who bear the brunt of wrong assessments.”

It comes as a woman widowed just last week tells Sky News about how the decision that her husband was fit for work was not even overturned while he was dying from a rare and aggressive cancer.

Lyn Coupe’s case was raised in Parliament this week by her local MP Dennis Skinner.

The 81-year-old Labour politician famed for his passionate performances in Parliament implored David Cameron to “abolish this cruel heartless monster called Atos, get rid of it”.

The Prime Minister admitted that every MP had heard similar stories in their own constituencies.

Mrs Coupe, from Calow near Chesterfield, said she felt compelled to speak out even while organising her husband David’s funeral.

He was assessed as able to work late last year despite ulcerated legs, back pain that left him in agony, diabetes and heart problems.

Mrs Coupe said the couple were forced to sacrifice food and heating to deal with the cut in benefits.

“We didn’t have any heating on in the winter like other people would have had. We sat with coats on or blankets. I would go to bed at about 8am in the evening to try to get warm.”

Food was also sacrificed, and the couple never went out.

The Coupes tried to launch an appeal but were told they would have to wait at least 10 months because of a backlog of cases.

Once Mr Coupe was diagnosed with terminal cancer that would kill him within months, his wife contacted Atos again but still the appeal was not brought forward.

Continue reading…

Via Sky News

The Rise of US Covert Surveillance

Secret Surveillance Reports: Channel 4 News

Barack Obama defends secret surveillance reports, assuring citizens phone calls are private. But the Information Commissioner’s Office says there are “real issues” about US agencies accessing UK data.

In his first comments since the government’s surveillance programmes were made public, President Obama insisted that they were conducted with broad safeguards to protect against abuse.

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this programme is about,” said the president.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the National Security Agency and FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading US internet companies. Meanwhile the Guardian reported that the US government is collecting telephone records of millions of Americans as part of counterterrorism efforts.

On Friday, it also emerged that at least one European intelligence agency is using the US Prism service too: the Guardian reported that GCHQ has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

Mr Obama insisted that the surveillance programs struck the right balance between keeping Americans safe from terrorist attack and protecting their privacy.

But the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that that there were “real issues” with the revelations. A spokesperson told Channel 4 News that there appeared to be aspects of US law that conflicts with UK law and that the ICO had raised concerns with the EU commission, which is in discussions with the US government.

US vs UK law
In a statement, the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) told Channel 4 News: “There are real issues about the extent to which US law enforcement agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens.

“Aspects of US law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to US agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own data protection act.”

Continue reading… Obama defends US spying on internet and phone data – Channel 4 News.

Further Reading
To be updated

“social media is the worst menace to society.” v3

“To me, social media is the worst menace to society.” – Recep Erdogan Turkish Prime Minister

By Rob Valley

Social media and opposition to blame for protests, says Turkish PM | World news | The Guardian.

Further reading:
Robert Valley